Deduce, deduct (vv.), deduction (n.), deducible, deductible, deductive (adjs.)

Deduce 和 deduct 是動詞,而 deducible, deductible 和 deductive 為形容詞。由於拼字只有一個字母之差,如果將這兩個動詞或這三個形容詞放在一起,有人可能就會被搞混了。

Deduce 意為 「推斷,推論,演繹」,如 From the fact that the coffeepot was still warm, we deduced that someone had been in the kitchen not long before. (從咖啡壺仍然溫熱的情況來看,我們推斷不久前有人在廚房)。Deduct 意為 「扣除,減去」(subtract),如 The cost of the breakages will be deducted from your pay. (損壞東西的費用將從你的薪資中扣除)。

然而,deduct 現在也開始出現在應該使用 deduce 的情況中,如 What did Darwin deduct from the presence of these species in the Galapagos? (達爾文從加拉帕哥斯群島那些物種的存在推斷出了什麼呢?)。雖然字義的變化可能在進展中,但在此強烈建議,讓 deduce 和 deduct 橋歸橋,路歸路,前者走它的陽關道,即用作「推斷」的意思,而後者過它的獨木橋,即用作「扣除」的意思。再者,這兩個動詞後面的介系詞都是用 from。
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Distinct, distinctive (adjs.)

這兩個形容詞經常被搞混。Distinct 意為「截然不同的,有所區別的;清楚的,清晰的,明白的,明顯的」,如 The word has several distinct meanings. (這個字有幾個不同的意思);a distinct smell of burning (一股明顯的焚燒氣味)。

Distinct 經常跟介系詞 from 連用,並構成我們常見的片語 as distinct from (意為「俾與…有所區別」),如 The rule only applies to nationals of the country, as distinct from foreign visitors. (這項規定僅適用於本國國民,以便和來訪的外國人有所區別)。它的副詞 distinctly 也很常見,尤其是用在類似下面的例句中:I distinctly (= clearly, vividly) remember the day we first met. (我還清楚地記得我們初次見面的那一天)。

Distinctive 意為「有特色的,有特性的,特殊的」,如 a distinctive flavor. (特殊的味道);Beer has a very distinctive smell; it’s quite distinct from the smell of wine. (啤酒有一種很特殊的氣味,它與葡萄酒的氣味截然不同)。

Disease, illness, sickness (nn.)

Disease 通常指具體、往往會影響特定身體部位的疾病,也就是那些可以染上或傳染,由細菌或病毒所導致的疾病;此外,醫學研究或醫學上所稱的各種疾病通常也是用 disease 這個字。

Disease 可當可數名詞和不可數名詞用,後者是指疾病的總稱,如 heart disease (心臟病)、lung disease (肺病)、skin disease (皮膚病)、a sexually transmitted disease (STD,性病)、contagious/infectious diseases (傳染病);Many diseases are caused by bacteria. (許多疾病是由細菌所引起);Arthritis is a chronic disease. (關節炎是一種慢性病);Tuberculosis is a very serious disease. (肺結核是一種非常嚴重的疾病);Rats spread disease. (老鼠傳染疾病)。
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Fee, fare (nn.)

這兩個可數名詞雖然都是指「費用」,但它們的含意其實截然不同。Fee 通常是指專業服務或諮詢所索取的費用,如 lawyer’s fees (律師費)、doctor’s fees (醫師費) 或 counseling fees (諮詢費)。請看下面的例句:

  • International school fees have risen by 5% this year. (今年國際的學費已上揚 5%)
  • I have to pay the solicitor’s fees for helping me make a will. (我須支付律師協助我立遺囑所需的費用)
  • What are the fees for a weekly house cleaning service? (每週的房子打掃服務費是多少呢?)

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Ingenious, ingenuous (adjs.), ingenuity, ingenuousness (nn.)

這兩組字有時會讓人搞混。Ingenious 意為「富有創意的,有發明才能的 (inventive);足智多謀的,巧妙的,靈巧的 (clever)」,如 What an ingenious gadget! (多麼巧妙的小玩意兒啊!);an ingenious person/idea/excuse (頭腦機靈的人/別出心裁的主意/巧妙的藉口)。

Ingenuous 的意思是「(人或行為) 單純的,天真的 (innocent, naive);坦率的 (frank, candid)」,如 Mike is the most ingenuous in his class. (麥可是他班上最天真的學生);an ingenuous smile (純真的微笑)。 閱讀全文

Perverse (adj.), perversity, perversion (nn.), pervert (n., v.), perverted (adj.)

Perverse 是個形容詞,意為「一意孤行的;知錯不改的,逆情悖理的;剛愎的;頑固的」(obstinate; stubborn; wrong-headed),如 She gets a perverse satisfaction from making other people embarrassed. (她有一種不正常的心態,以使別人難堪來取樂);He’s not really opposed to our marriage; he’s just being perverse. (他不是真的反對我們的婚姻;他只是反常罷了)。與這個字同義的名詞是 perversity,意為「剛愎;悖理;反常;荒謬」,如 the perversity of the Taiwan weather (台灣氣候的反常)。
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Peaceable, peaceful (adjs.)

這兩個形容詞的意思有些重疊,但還是可以區分它們的差異。Peaceable 意為「不愛爭吵的;平和的」(not quarrelsome)、「平靜的;安寧的」(calm; quiet),如 Peaceable people keep out of quarrels. (平和的人不吵架);a peaceable protest (平和/非暴力的抗議)。

Peaceful 意為「和平的;沒有戰爭的」(without war)、「平靜的;寧靜的」(calm; quiet),如 peaceful coexistence (和平共存);the peaceful use of nuclear energy (核能的和平用途);a peaceful nation (愛好和平的國家);It was a quiet, peaceful Sunday afternoon. (那是個寧靜的星期天下午);Her face looked peaceful. (她的臉看來是平靜的)。
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Minuscule, miniscule (adjs., nn.)

這兩個字皆可當形容詞和名詞用。有些人認為 miniscule 是 minuscule 的變體,但也有人認為是拼字錯誤。不管怎樣,它們現在都是標準英語用字,但專家建議最好還是拼成 minuscule。

這兩個字意為「(中古時期的) 小寫字體 (的);(印刷上的) 小寫字體 (的),小寫字 (的);微小的」。然而,在表示「極小的,微小的」(extremely small) 的意思時,我們幾乎都是使用 minuscule,鮮少使用 miniscule,如 a minuscule quantity (一個極小的數量);The risk to public health is minuscule. (對大眾健康的危害微乎其微);All Kevin gave his son to eat was two minuscule pieces of toast. (凱文只給他兒子吃了兩小片土司)。

Negligent, negligible (adjs.)

這兩個形容詞的意思其實相差滿大的,但由於在拼字上僅形容詞字尾不同,因此有時亦會造成誤用的情況。

Negligent 意為「疏忽的,粗心大意的,不注意的」(neglectful, careless),如 Paul was a negligent worker, careless of details. (保羅是個粗心大意的工人,不注意細節)。此外,negligent 還意為「不拘泥的,不在乎的,無所謂的,隨意的」,如 His conversational style was rather negligent. (他的談話方式頗為隨便)。當與介系詞連用時,negligent 可以接 about, in 或 of,如 He was negligent about [of, in] his dress. (他隨便穿)。

Negligible 意為「可以忽視的, 無足輕重的,微不足道的」,如 The damage to my car is negligible. (我車子的損壞程度很輕微);My knowledge of Japanese is negligible. (我對日文僅略知一二)。

Observance, observation (nn.)

這兩個看似相像的名詞一度是同義詞,但現在幾乎已是意思截然不同的兩個字。Observance 意為「(法律、儀式或習俗的) 遵守,奉行;(節日,生日等的) 慶祝,紀念;(通常用複數) 典禮,儀式」,如 observance of speed limits and traffic lights (遵守速限和交通號誌);The observance of his 40th birthday falls on next Friday. (他將在下週五慶祝 40 歲生日);religious observances (宗教儀式)。

Observation 意為「觀察;觀測;觀察力;監視」,如 She’s been admitted to hospital for observation. (她已入院觀察);He is a man of little observation. (他是個觀察力極差的人);They decided to put him under observation. (他們決定監視他)。
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