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)

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)

結婚的不同說法

一般大多只知道結婚或嫁娶的英文是 marry, get married 和 wed,其中最常用的是 get married,其次是 marry,而 marry 和 wed 都可當及物和不及物動詞用。例如:

My son’s getting married next week. (我兒子下週要結婚)
He didn’t marry until he was forty. (他直到四十歲才結婚)
They wed (or wedded) in the spring. (他們在春天結了婚)
He married/wed Mary last year. (他去年和瑪麗結婚)

然而,除上述外,英文至少還有 5 個片語跟 marry 和 get married 同義。它們是 get hitched, get spliced, tie the knot, take the plunge 和 walk down the aisle,其中除 get hitched 為俚語 (slang) 外,餘者均為非正式用語(informal);這 5 個片語中以 get hitched 和 tie the knot 或 walk down the aisle 比較常見。它們的例句請參閱字典。

最後值得一提的是,若 get married 和 be married 要接受詞時,則必須先接介系詞 “to” 再接受詞。例如:Michael got married to Jane last month. (麥可上個月和珍結婚);Amy will be married to a wealthy old man next month. (艾美下個月將嫁給一位富有的老頭)。所以,當你看到下面的句子時,千萬別以為邦妮跟一位男生結婚,否則就貽笑大方了:

Bonnie got married with a boy. 這句話的意思是「邦妮已婚,有個兒子」。可別以為介系詞 with 都意為「和…」,這裡的 with 表示「伴隨」的意思。如果將這句改成下句,那就不會引起誤會了:

Bonnie got married with a child. 或
Bonnie got married with a son.