Finally、at last、lastly 還是 in the end 呢?

Finally、at last、lastly 和 in the end 這四個字或片語都當副詞用,除了 lastly 外,finally、at last 和 in the end 均意為「最後;終於」,但用法並不相同。(請參見「At the beginning 還是 in the beginning?At the end 還是 in the end 呢?」一文)

Finally 意為「最後;終於」,通常是指在一段長時間或遭遇一些困難之後。就此意思而言,finally 通常位在句子的中間,亦即位在主詞和主動詞之間 (即普通動詞之前),或位在語氣助動詞或第一個助動詞之後,或位在當主動詞的 BE 動詞之後。例如:

  • We finally got home at midnight. (我們終於在午夜時分回到了家)
  • After months of looking John finally found a job. (找了好幾個月之後,約翰終於找到了一份工作)

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As 還是 like 呢?

事實上,as 和 like 幾乎是風馬牛不相及的兩個字,但偏偏卻有不少人把它們當作同義詞,還三不五時將它們互換一下。必須注意的是,as 和 like 只有當連接詞且用作比較時才可互換,此時它們意為「像,好像,就像;如同 (…那樣),正如 (…那樣)」。誠如大家所知,as 還有幾個很常見的連接詞用法和意思,與 like 更是毫無關聯。

雖然 as 和 like 當連接詞且用作比較時是同義詞,但 like 僅能用於非正式的上下文中,因為迄今傳統的文法書仍將 like 的這項用法視為錯誤。例如:
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Altogether 還是 all together 呢?

Altogether 是個副詞,主要意為「完全,全然」(completely) 或「總共,共計」(in total)。Altogether 意為「完全,全然」時旨在強調某事物完全停止、結束,或者強調某事物被完全遺忘或忽視,抑或強調對所說的話完全肯定;所以,not altogether 意為「不完全是」(not completely)。例如:

  • The government has decided to abolish the tax altogether. (政府已決定完全取消這項稅收)
  • Many people have stopped using their computers altogether. (許多人已完全不用自己的電腦了)
  • John seemed to have forgotten our quarrel altogether. (約翰似乎已完全忘了我們吵過架)
  • This is a new solution altogether. (這完全是一種新的解決方案)
  • I don’t altogether agree with you. (我不完全同意你的看法)
  • I’m not altogether sure Mary will marry me. (我不能完全肯定瑪麗會嫁給我)
  • The speaker was $60 and the microphone was $30, so it was $90 altogether. (喇叭 60 美元、麥克風 30 美元,所以總共是 90 美元)
  • How many students will there be altogether? (總共會有多少學生?)

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Following 還是 the following 呢?

Following 可當介系詞、形容詞和名詞用。這個字並非動詞 follow (聽從,遵循,遵從;理解,明白;[社群媒體上的] 追蹤,關注) 的現在分詞,而是單獨存在的一個字。

Following 用作介系詞時意為「在…之後」,後接名詞片語,其前不可有定冠詞 the 或所有格代名詞。例如:

  • The team blossomed following the selection and recruitment of the new players. (球隊在遴選和招募新球員後大放異彩) (正)
  • Following the banquet, there will be a costume party. (宴會之後將有一場化裝舞會) (正) - costume party 為美式英語。英式英語的化裝舞會叫做 fancy-dress party。
    The following banquet, there will be a costume party. (誤)
  • Following my teaching career, I’d like to be a writer of children’s books. (教書生涯結束後,我想當兒童文學作家) (正)
    My following teaching career, I’d like to be a writer of children’s books. (誤)

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使用 could 時常見的錯誤;釐清 could 和 can 易混淆之處

能力

Could 和 can 皆可表示能力 (意為「能,會」),前者表示過去的能力,後者表示現在和未來的能力。在此用法中,could 為 can 的過去式。例如:

  • When I was young, I could play the piano, violin, and cello. (年輕時我會彈鋼琴、拉小提琴和大提琴)
  • He can speak English, French, German, and Spanish. (他會講英文、法文、德文和西班牙文)
  • I can walk home after school tomorrow. (明天放學後我能走路回家)

當 could 用作 can 的過去式來表示過去有能力做某事時,這是指過去某一段時間發生的事實。對於過去有能力去做某一偶發的單一事件而且做了,在肯定句中我們就不能使用 could,必須使用 was/were able to 或 managed to 或比較正式的 succeeded in (後接動名詞),意為「成功做到,順利完成」。例如:

  • I was able to get the concert tickets I wanted. (我 [成功地] 買到了我想要的演唱會門票) (正)
    = I managed to get the concert tickets I wanted. (正)
    = I succeeded in getting the concert tickets I wanted. (正)
    I could get the concert tickets I wanted. (誤)
  • We were able to find the missing girl we were looking for. (我們 [成功地] 找到了我們要找的那個失蹤女孩) (正)
    = We managed to find the missing girl we were looking for. (正)
    = We succeeded in finding the missing girl we were looking for. (正)
    We could find the missing girl we were looking for. (誤)

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使用 both 時常見的錯誤

Both 可當 (前置) 限定詞和代名詞用,意為「兩個;兩者;雙方」。

在所有格 + 名詞的前面可以使用 both 或 both of;換言之,both of 跟 all of 和 half of 一樣,of 可以省略。例如:

  • Both (of) her parents are doctors. (她的父母親都是醫生)
  • Both (of) his sisters are living in Japan. (他的兩個姊姊都住在日本)

Both 可修飾名詞。例如:

  • There are five cars on both sides of the road. (路的兩邊各有五輛汽車)
  • Both children went. (兩個孩子都去了)

Both 與代名詞連用時,無論代名詞是主格還是受格,both 都位在它們的後面。例如:

  • They both need some money. (他們兩人都需要一些錢) (正)
    Both they need some money. (誤)
  • I like them both. (他們兩人我都喜歡) (正)
    I like both them. (誤)

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At the beginning 還是 in the beginning?At the end 還是 in the end 呢?

At the beginning (of something) 意為「在 (某事物) 開始時;開頭部分;開端」,其後經常接介系詞 of。In the beginning 意為「起初,當初;開始時,一開始 (用來與時間上的「後來」相對)」,與 at first 和 at the start 同義 (beginning 和 start 的前面皆可用 very 來修飾),其後不接介系詞 of。例如:

  • At the beginning of every lesson, the teacher gave us a quiz. (每堂課開始時,老師都會給我們小考) (正)
    In the beginning of every lesson, the teacher gave us a quiz. (誤)
  • I’ll go abroad for two weeks at the very beginning of May. (五月初我會出國兩個禮拜) (正)
    I’ll go abroad for two weeks in the very beginning of May. (誤)
  • Children are still at the beginning of their lives. (兒童仍處於他們生命的初期) (正)
    Children are still in the beginning of their lives. (誤)
  • In the beginning the main energy source was wood. (最初主要能源是木材) (正)
    At the beginning the main energy source was wood. (誤)
  • In the beginning I didn’t know what had happened. (起先我不知道發生了什麼事) (正)
    At the beginning I didn’t know what had happened. (誤)
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. (一次不成功,那就再接再厲) (正)
  • He was a bit shy at the (very) start. (他開始時有點害羞) (正)

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Consider 還是 regard 呢?

當 consider 意為「認爲;把…當作,把…視為」而 regard 意為「認為,看待;把…看作,將…認為」時,兩者皆不可使用進行式 (consider 意為「考慮」時才可使用進行式)。例如:

  • I consider her irresponsible. (我認為她不負責任) (正)
    I am considering her irresponsible. (誤)
  • Mary regards Jack’s achievement as unique. (瑪麗認為傑克的成就獨一無二) (正)
    Mary is regarding Jack’s achievement as unique. (誤)

就上述意思而言,consider 有下列幾種句型:
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With regard to 還是 with regards to 呢?

With regard to 或 in regard to (= in connection with) 意為「關於;至於」,其中 regard 須用單數,不可用 regards。儘管 with regards to 自 1990 年代以來有越來越多人使用的趨勢,但仍應被視為錯誤。例如:

  • With regard to your suggestion I will consider it carefully. (關於你的建議,我會好好考慮) (正)
  • With regards to your suggestion I will consider it carefully. (誤)

不過,由於許多人認為 with regard to 和 in regard to 這兩個在商業書信中經常用到的片語不夠簡潔,因此往往使用同義的 about、concerning 或 regarding 來代替。例如:
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Pick 還是 pick up 呢?

Pick 的動詞用法有好幾個常用的意思,包括「(用手) 採,摘」、「挑選,選擇」、「(用手指或尖形工具) 挖,剔」、「撿起,拾起,拿起或類似的動作」等。然而,這些意思無一可以用片語動詞 pick up 來替代。Pick up 主要意為「(用手從某一表面) 拿起、舉起 (人或物)」及「(用車子) 接載 (某人)」。雖然 pick 和 pick up 都有「拿起,撿起」的意思,但含意不同 (Pick 和 pick up 的其他意思請參閱字典)。

Pick 意為「(用手) 採、摘」。例如:

  • We spent the summer holiday picking strawberries. (我們這個暑假都在採草莓) (正)
    We spent the summer holiday picking up strawberries. (誤)
  • John picked Mary a rose. (約翰摘了一朵玫瑰花給瑪麗) (正)
    = John picked a rose for Mary. (正)
    John picked up a rose for Mary. (誤)

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