Very 只能修飾部分最高級

  • John is the very oldest child in my class. (約翰是我班上年齡最大的小孩) (正)
  • Mary is the very most beautiful supermodel in Taiwan. (瑪麗是台灣最漂亮的超模) (誤)

解說:Very 這個副詞加強語可以修飾形容詞和副詞的原級與最高級,但不能修飾比較級,若要修飾比較級,須使用 much 或 very much。另外,very 雖可修飾最高級,但僅能修飾單音節以 -est 做字尾所構成的最高級 (包括 best 和 worst),不能修飾三音節 (含) 以上或以 -ful / -less / -ing / -ed / -ous 為字尾的雙音節使用 most (或 least) 或 by far the most (或 least) 所構成的最高級。例如:

  • It’s very cold today. (今天很冷) (正)
  • Gary always drives very fast. (蓋瑞一向開得很快) (正)
  • Peter runs much faster than Sam does. (彼得跑得比山姆快很多) (正)
    Peter runs very much faster than Sam does. (正)
    Peter runs very faster than Sam does. (誤)
  • This is the very best apple pie I’ve ever tasted. (這是我嚐過最好吃的蘋果派) (正)
  • This is the very lowest price we can offer. (這是我們能提供的最低價格) (正)
  • Paul is the most careful student in my class. (保羅是我班上最細心的學生) (正)
    Paul is the very most careful student in my class. (誤)
  • Professor Morgan is by far the most popular teacher in the university. (摩根教授是這所大學最受歡迎的老師) (正)
    Professor Morgan is by far the very most popular teacher in the university. (誤)

Decent、descent 和 dissent 之對與錯

  • Mary didn’t have a decent meal for three months. (瑪麗三個月來沒有吃過一頓像樣的飯) (正)
  • Mary didn’t have a descent meal for three months. (誤)
  • Mary didn’t have a dissent meal for three months. (誤)

解說:這三個字或其中兩個字無論發音或拼字都非常相近,很容易讓人錯把馮京當馬涼。Decent 意為「像樣的;正派的;得體的;體面的」,是個形容詞。Descent 意為「下降;下坡;血統;墮落」,是個名詞。Dissent 意為「異議;不同意」,可當名詞和動詞用。

下面為 descent 和 dissent 的例句:

  • The military aircraft started its descent from 3,000 meters. (那架軍機開始從三千公尺高空降落)
  • There’s a long, steep descent over there. (那裡有一條長而且陡峭的坡道)
  • Many Malaysians are of Chinese descent. (許多馬來西亞人有華人血統)
  • The bill was approved without dissent. (這項法案無異議獲得通過)
  • Anyone wishing to dissent from the plan should now raise their hand. (不同意這項計畫的人請舉手)

Apart from 和 except for 之對與錯

  • Apart from Sam, we all also passed the math exam. (除山姆外,我們也都通過了數學考試) (正)
  • Except for Sam, we all also passed the math exam. (誤)

解說: Apart from 和 except for 都意為「除…之外」,但 apart from 可以是將其後面的人事物排除在外 (不包括在內),亦可以是將其後面的人事物包含在內 (除…外還有…,即 in addition to)。Except for (或 except) 只能表示將其後面的人事物排除在外。在上面的例句中,通過數學考試的人包括山姆在內。再看下面的例句:

  • Apart from the weekend, I’ll be in Taipei. (除週末外,我都會在台北) - 不包括週末。
  • My son likes all vegetables apart from cauliflowers. (除花椰菜外,我兒子喜歡吃所有蔬菜) - 不包括花椰菜。
    = My son likes all vegetables except for cauliflowers.
    = My son likes all vegetables except cauliflowers.
  • Except for Sam, we all passed the math exam. (除山姆外,我們都通過了數學考試) - 不包括山姆,亦即山姆不及格。

Ask for 和 demand 之對與錯

  • I called John to ask for his help in fixing my computer. (我打電話給約翰請他幫我修電腦) (正)
  • I called John to demand his help in fixing my computer. (誤)

解說:Ask (someone) for something 意為「要求或請求 (某人) 給予某物」;demand 意為「(強烈、堅決或嚴格) 要求」,說話者預期他們的要求不會遭到拒絕或者堅持不讓對方拒絕要求或不會接受否定的回答。例如:

  • Paul asked his parents for more money, but they refused. (保羅向他父母要更多的錢,但他們拒絕了) (正)
  • The police officer demanded her name and address. (警察要求她說出姓名和住址) (正)

至於 ask + 不定詞,也是「要求,請求」的意思。Ask (someone) to do something 意為「要求或請求 (某人) 做某事」。例如:

  • He asked to see the President. (他要求會見總統)
  • I asked John to help me fix my computer. (我請約翰幫我修電腦)

adverse 和 averse 之對與錯

  • The expedition encountered adverse weather conditions. (探險隊遇到惡劣的天氣) (正)
  • The expedition encountered averse weather conditions. (誤)

解說:Adverse 是個形容詞,意為「不利的;有害的;逆向的」;averse 也是形容詞,意為「反對的;嫌惡的;不願意的」,通常用於 “be averse to” 的結構中,其中 to 為介系詞,後接名詞或動名詞。例如:

  • These drugs are thought not to have any adverse effects (= side effects). (這些藥物一直被認為沒有任何副作用)
  • I’m not averse to taking an occasional drink. (我不反對偶爾喝一杯)

藥物治病是「藥物 + for + 疾病」,不可使用 against

  • Which medicines should you take for cough? (治療咳嗽應服用哪種藥物?) (正)
  • Which medicines should you take against cough? (誤)

解說:For 在此意為「為了 (治療)」(= in order to cure),而 against 意為「預防 (疾病)」。因此,當疾病的前面給的是治療該疾病的藥物或措施時,介系詞須使用 for,不可使用 against。例如:

  • The doctor treated him for epilepsy. (醫生治療了他的癲癇) (正)
    The doctor treated him against epilepsy. (誤)
  • Do you have medicine for a cold? (你有感冒藥?) (正)
    Do you have medicine against a cold? (誤)
  • A good diet and lots of exercise can protect against some kinds of illnesses. (良好的飲食和大量運動可預防一些疾病) (正)
  • This is a vaccination against hepatitis B. (這是 B 型肝炎疫苗的接種) (正)

Specialty、speciality 和 specialism 之對與錯

  • Shell carvings are a specialty of Penghu. (貝殼雕刻是澎湖的特產) (正)
  • Shell carvings are a speciality of Penghu. (正)
  • Shell carvings are a specialism of Penghu. (誤)

解說:Specialty 意為「特產,名產;專業,專長」,為美式拼法;speciality 也意為「特產,名產;專業,專長」,為英式拼法;specialism 亦是英式拼法,但僅有「專業,專長」的意思。這三個字都是可數名詞。

  • His specialty is geoscience. (他的專業是地球科學) (正)
  • His speciality is geoscience. (正)
  • His specialism is geoscience. (正)

請參閱「Speciality, specialty (nn.)」這篇文章以進一步瞭解這兩個字的其他用法。

It’s time + 主詞 + 過去簡單式動詞是指現在時刻

  • Gosh! It’s almost midnight. It’s time we went home. (天啊!快深夜了。我們該回家了) (正)
  • Gosh! It’s almost midnight. It’s time we go home. (誤)
  • Gosh! It’s almost midnight. It’s time to go home. (正)

解說:It’s time + 主詞 + 過去簡單式動詞是指現在時刻,不可使用現在簡單式。It’s time 後面除了接子句外,亦可接不定詞 (片語),而做不定詞所表示之動作的人 (亦即不定詞的主詞 - It 並非不定詞的主詞) 雖被省略,但指的是說話者 + 聽者,不是僅指其中任何一人。再舉一例:

  • It’s time to start learning English. We are going to study abroad next year. ([我們]該開始學英文了。明年我們就要出國唸書了)
    = It’s time we started learning English. We are going to study abroad next year.

「如上所述」、「如前所述」是 as stated above,不是 as stated before

  • As stated above, there is no shortcut for learning English grammar. (如上所述,學習英文文法沒有捷徑) (正)
  • As stated before, there is no shortcut for learning English grammar. (誤)

解說:在正式寫作中,我們經常會使用到 as mentioned above (如上所述,如上面所提及的)、as noted above (如上面所指出的)、as demonstrated above (如上所示)、as shown above (如上所示) 和 as stated above (如上所述,如前所述) 等片語來表示上文、上面或之前所提到的事物,但在這些片語中,不可使用 before 來代替 above。再舉一例:

  • As noted above, the government lacks efficiency. (如上面所指出的,這個政府缺乏效率) (正)
  • As noted before, the government lacks efficiency. (誤)

Promise 須接含有 will 或 would 的名詞子句或不定詞

  • The government have promised (that) they’ll reduce income taxes. (政府已承諾要降低所得稅) (正)
    The government have promised (that) they reduce income taxes. (誤)
  • I promise (that) I won’t tell your wife. (我答應不會告訴你太太) (正)
    I promise (that) I don’t tell your wife. (誤)

解說:Promise 可當名詞和動詞用,主要意為「允諾,答應;保證」。用作動詞時,promise 可接 that 引導的名詞子句 (that 可以省略) 或帶 to 的不定詞。若接名詞子句,子句中須有 will 或 would。下面為使用過去式 would 和不定詞的例句:

  • He promised (that) he would attend my wedding on Saturday.
    = He promised to attend my wedding on Saturday. (他保證週六會參加我的婚禮) (正)