As much as 也意為「好像;幾乎;差不多;等於」

在「“in doing so” 和 “in so doing” 有何不同呢?」 這篇文章中,筆者舉了 “Mary as much as told him the secret, even though she had no intention of doing so/of so doing.” (瑪麗雖然不是有意把秘密告訴他,但這等於或言下之意已告訴他了) 這個例句來說明 of doing so 和 of so doing 是同義詞。有網友問到,句中 “as much as” 的真正意思為何? 筆者的回答如下:

As much as 在此意為「好像;幾乎;差不多;等於」。由於這片語直接就位在主詞的後面和動詞的前面,與一般 as much as 在句中的位置不同,因此看起來有些「特別」。然而,事實上,這項用法並無特別之處,亦非絕無僅有。在此再舉一例供大家參考:

He as much as admitted that it was his fault. (他幾乎承認那是他的錯)

Not/no more than 和 not/no less than 釋義

More:

  1. Not more than:不多於;至多 (= at most)
    She spent not more than 10 dollars. (他最多花了10塊錢)
  2. No more than:只不過:只有,僅有 (= only)
    He has no more than 5 dollars. (他只有5塊錢)
    She is no more than a secretary. (她只不過是一名秘書而已)
  3. Not more…than:不像…那樣;不到…的程度 (= not so…as)
    I am not more foolish than you. (我不像你那麼笨)
  4. No more…than:和…一樣不 (= not…any more than)
    I am no more a god than you (are). (我和你一樣不是神)
    He is no more mad than we are. (他和我們一樣不瘋)

Less:

  1. Not less than:不少於;至少 (= at least)
    I have not less than 100 kilograms. (我至少有100公斤)
  2. No less than:多達;不下…之多
    There are no less than 50 students in our class. (我們班上的學生不下50人)
  3. Not less…than:像…那樣;到…的程度 (= as…as)
    I am not less young than you are. (我像你那樣年輕;我和你一樣年輕)
  4. No less…than:和…同樣是;正是
    The whale is no less a mammal than the horse. (鯨魚和馬一樣是哺乳類動物)

Not (even) begin to + V

英文中表示「一點也不」的片語多得不得了,如 not at all, anything but, far from, in no case, in/under no circumstances, in no respect, in no wise, in no way, by no means, not in the least, none too, not nearly, not a bit (還有其他,只是族繁不及備載)。但可能很少人知道 “not (even) begin to + V” 也可以表達「一點也不」的意思。請看下面的例句:

He does not begin to speak English. (他一點也不會講英文)
She couldn’t (even) begin to explain. (= It’s quite impossible to explain.) (她[甚至]無法開口解釋/她一點都無法解釋)

「一點都不知道」的 4 種常用講法

在口語中,對於「一無所知」、「一點也不明白」、「一點都不知道」的意思,一般都使用 have no idea, haven’t a clue, haven’t the faintest idea 或 haven’t the slightest idea 等片語來表達。例如:

I have no idea what you’re talking about. (我一點都不知道你在說些什麼)
= I haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.
= I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re talking about.
= I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

Equal 和 equal to 你搞混了嗎?

Equal 這個字可當動詞、形容詞和名詞用,是個很常見的字。相信絕大部分人都會這個字,但在表達「等於」的意思時,卻有不少人會用錯。當動詞時,equal 是個及物動詞,亦即其後直接接受詞,不可先接介系詞 to 再接受詞。再者,作「等於」解時,equal 與 “be equal to ” (這個 equal 是形容詞) 同義;換言之,若有受詞,則當及物動詞用的 equal 後面不可接 to,但當形容詞用的 equal 後面一定要有 to。例如:

Two and three equals five. (2 加 3 等於 5) (正)
Two and three equals to five. (誤)
Two and three is equal to five. (正)
Two and three is equal five. (誤)

此外,當及物動詞用的 equal 還有一個蠻常用的意思,那就是「平了(…記錄)」:

Thompson today equaled (or equalled) the world record for the 400 meters. (今天湯普森平了 400 公尺的世界記錄)

Look set to 真正的意思為何?

閱讀文章時,經常會看到這個片語,但不少人卻不知其真正的意思 (因為不時有網友詢問這片語的意思)。”Look set to do something” 意為「很可能做某事」(likely to do something) 或「可能會做某事」(will probably do something),其中 set 為形容詞。

Mr. Chen looks set to be charged with corruption. (陳先生很可能被控貪污)
John looked set to miss the match because of injury. (約翰看來很可能因傷錯過比賽)

-based 的字怎麼翻譯呢?

英文中以 -based 做字尾所構成的字層出不窮、屢見不鮮,如 water-based, school-based 等等。如果單就 -based 本身來說,它的意思大概是「以…為基礎的」,但在與其他字結合後,如果你還以這意思來翻譯,大部分的情況都是不通的,如 water-based,如果譯為「以水為基礎的」,雖然大家都看得懂中文,但並不一定瞭解其真正的意思;如果譯為「水性的」,相信大部分人都知道它所代表的意義,而且譯文也簡潔許多。又如 school-based,如果譯為「以學校為基礎的」,似乎沒有什麼不對,問題是這個字是教育領域的專門用語,意為「學校本位的」,如 school-based curriculum (學校本位的課程)。

因此,在意思不固定且牽涉諸多專門領域的情況下,這些以 -based 所構成的形容詞的翻譯只能「看事辦事」– 視情況而力求最正確的翻譯。但如果已知某個這樣的複合字是某領域的專門用語,那麼一定要以該領域最通用的翻譯為依據,否則即使譯得再好,該領域人士也是有看沒懂,難收功不唐捐之效。

最後再舉幾個以 -based 做字尾所構成的字及其中文意思來說明它們的翻譯是多麼地難以捉摸:task-based language learning and teaching (任務導向的語言學習和教學)、game-based learning (遊戲式學習)、resource-based view (資源方面的觀點;從資源角度來看)。

Approach, discuss 和 lack 這三個動詞有什麼關係呢?

老實說,這三個動詞一點關係也沒有,但它們有一共通點,那就是它們都是及物動詞,後面直接接受詞,不可以接介系詞再接受詞。英文中有許多這樣的動詞,這裡只是以這三個我們常見但經常用錯的動詞作代表。總之,當 approach, discuss 和 lack 做及物動詞用時,那麼 approach to + 受詞,discuss about + 受詞,lack of + 受詞的寫法都是錯的。例如:

Silently we approached the enemy’s camp. (正)
Silently we approached to the enemy’s camp. (誤)
(我們悄悄地逼近敵人的營地)
He’s approaching 70. (正)
He’s approaching to 70. (誤)
(他快70歲了)

She discussed her study plan with her mother. (正)
She discussed about her study plan with her mother. (誤)
(她和母親討論她的讀書計畫)
Mr. Wang refused to discuss the matter. (正)
Mr. Wang refused to discuss about the matter. (誤)
(王先生拒絕討論這件事)

He’s good at his job but he seems to lack confidence. (正)
He’s good at his job but he seems to lack of confidence. (誤)
(他善於工作,但似乎缺乏信心)
I don’t seem to lack anything. (正)
I don’t seem to lack of anything. (誤)
(我好像什麼都不缺)

然而,這三個動詞的名詞 approach, discussion 和 lack 則都必須先接介系詞再接受詞。例如:

I like her approach to the problem. (我喜歡她解決這問題的方法)

We had a discussion about our future plans last night. (我們昨晚討論了我們未來的計畫)

He cannot buy this watch because of his lack of money. (他因缺錢買不起這個手錶)

Compensate 或 compensate for 呢?

Compensate 可當及物和不及物動詞用。當及物動詞時意為「補償;賠償」,後面接被補償或賠償的人或事物當受詞,然後再接 for + 補償或賠償的原因;當不及物動詞時意為「彌補;抵銷」,後面先接介系詞 for 再接要彌補的事物。請看下面的例句:

We compensate workers for injuries suffered at their work. (我們對工人在工作中受傷給予補償)

Her intelligence more than compensates for her lack of experience. (以她的聰穎來彌補她的經驗不足是綽綽有餘的)

In the hope of, in the hopes of…

寫作時,一般對於「我希望」、「我們希望」等等都用 “I hope”, “we hope”來表達,換言之,一般都使用動詞的hope來表達「希望」的意思。然而,寫作忌諱重複,因此我們應盡量使用同義字或同義詞來表達相同的意思,以免同一個字一用再用,讓讀者心生厭煩或感到無趣。下面所列為與 “hope” 意思相當的一些片語,可以多加利用:

美式英語:
In hopes of + 名詞(片語)/動名詞(片語)
In the hopes of + 名詞(片語)/動名詞(片語)
In hopes that + 子句
In the hopes that + 子句
例如:We are in the hopes that he will succeed. (我們希望他會成功)

英式英語:
In the hope of + 名詞(片語)/動名詞(片語)
In the hope that + 子句
例如:I am in the hope of winning the game. (我希望贏得這項比賽)

由上可知,我們不能寫成 in hope of 或 in hope that。