Collect, gather (vv.)

Collect 和 gather 都有「收集,搜集,聚集」的意思,但兩者的用法有諸多的不同,必須加以區別。譬如說,在 His brother collects commemorative coins. (他哥哥收藏紀念幣) 這句中,collects 不能用 gathers 來替代,因為 collect 表示「收藏、收集 (硬幣、郵票、藝術品等)」,而 gather 並無這項意思。

Collect 意為「收集,聚集,收藏」,表示有計劃、有條理地為了某一目的而進行的較為精心的收集,尤指收藏具有紀念價值或珍貴的東西。例如:My sister collects dolls/stamps. (我姊姊收藏玩具娃娃 / 我姊姊集郵);The wealthy businessman collects a lot of modern art. (那位富商收藏許多現代藝術品);A lot of families collect newspapers for recycling. (許多家庭把報紙收集起來回收再利用);The organization is collecting (money) for the earthquake victims. (那組織在為地震災民募集捐款)。

Gather 意為「收集,聚集,採集」,表示把一些亂放或分散的或難以明確分開的東西收拾在一起、集攏在一起,若是人,則是將他們聚集在一起;也指對花、果、蜜等的採集。例如:A rolling stone gathers no moss. (轉石不生苔;轉業不聚財);Several young people gathered outside the convenience store. (數名年輕人聚集在便利商店外面);My wife is gathering our son’s toys up. (我太太正在收拾兒子的玩具);Her family live by gathering shellfish. (她的一家人靠採集貝類為生)。

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使用 marry 時常見的錯誤

Marry (結婚) 可當及物和不及物動詞用,但通常用作及物動詞,後接受詞。Divorce (離婚) 的用法亦同。例如:

  • Amy married a wealthy old man last month. (艾美上個月嫁給一個有錢的老頭)
  • Last year he divorced his second wife. (去年他跟他第二任太太離婚了)

然而,在正式文體中,它們都用作不及物動詞。例如:

  • He did not marry until he was forty. (他直到四十歲才結婚)
  • John and Mary divorced two years ago. (約翰和瑪麗兩年前離婚了)

在非正式的口說英語中,若沒有受詞,我們係使用 get married 和 get divorced 來表示「結婚」和「離婚」。例如:

  • My son and his girlfriend are getting married in Hawaii. (我兒子和他女友將在夏威夷結婚)
  • The couple finally got divorced last year. (那對夫妻去年終於離婚了)

Be married 和 be divorced 可表示結婚和離婚的狀態。例如:

  • We’ve been married for nearly 40 years. (他們已結婚快 40 年)
  • They’re divorced now. (他們現在已離婚)

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Drop, fall (vv.)

Drop 和 fall 皆意為「掉下,落下」,但兩者並非完全同義詞,僅在一些情況中可以互換,因此使用時仍要謹慎以免出錯。譬如說,在 He dropped the dumbbell on my foot. (他手中的啞鈴掉了下來,砸到我的腳) 這句中,dropped 不能用 fell 來替代,因為 drop 可當及物動詞用,但 fall 卻無此用法。

Drop 意為「掉下,落下」,可當及物和不及物動詞用,係表示物體從高處往低處落下,或讓物體落向低處,可指有意或無意的行為或動作。若為無意的行為或動作,可與 fall 互換。例如:Her button has dropped off! (她的鈕釦掉了!);Please drop these letters in the nearest mailbox. (請把這些信件投入最近的郵筒裡);Sam dropped the crumbs all over the floor. (山姆把麵包屑掉得滿地都是);A Russian bomber dropped several bombs. (俄羅斯一架轟炸機投下數枚炸彈);The cherry blossom has begun to drop/fall. (櫻花開始凋謝)。

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Cent vs. scent vs. sent

Cent 僅當名詞用,意為「分」,是美國、加拿大及其他一些國家面額最小的貨幣單位,等於 dollar (元) 的 1%,亦即 100 cents = 1 dollar。Cent 源自拉丁文的 centum,意為「一百」。Cent- 迄今仍被用作表示一百的字首,如 centenarian (百歲人瑞)、centenary/centennial (美) (一百週年;一百週年紀念)。

Scent 用作名詞時意為「氣味,通常指香味;香水;(人或動物的) 氣味;線索,蹤跡;跡象」,其中除了「香水」為不可數名詞外,其餘意思皆為可數名詞,如 The sweet fresh scent of newly baked bread filled the shop. (剛出爐的麵包香味瀰漫著整間店);People like the food with a rich flavor and scent. (人們都喜歡味道甘美、香氣濃郁的食物);The girl wore/put on too much scent. (那女孩擦太多香水了);Police dogs easily picked up the murderer’s scent in the forest. (警犬在森林裡輕易就嗅出殺人犯的氣味);He’s got a strong scent of anxiety. (他出現了焦慮的強烈跡象);We were soon on the scent of the enemy. (我們很快就追蹤到/掌握了敵人的蹤跡);The enemy managed to throw us off the scent. (敵人成功地使我們失去了追蹤的方向/線索)。

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Prefer 的用法

Prefer 是個及物動詞,意為「更喜歡,較喜歡;寧願,寧可,更願意,更希望」。由於是狀態動詞,prefer 本身不用進行式,其後可接名詞 (片語)、不定詞或動名詞當受詞。Prefer 經常與介系詞 to 所引導的介系詞片語連用來比較兩個事物或兩個動作。例如:

  • Do you prefer summer or winter? (你比較喜歡夏天還是冬天?)
  • He prefers his daughter to live near him. (他更希望他女兒住在他附近)
  • Do you prefer to exercise indoors or outdoors? (你比較喜歡在室內還是戶外運動?)
  • She prefers living in Kaohsiung. (她比較喜歡住高雄)
  • I prefer white wine to red. (比起紅葡萄酒,我更喜歡白葡萄酒)
  • A lot of people prefer the quiet countryside to the noisy cities. (許多人喜歡寧靜的鄉村更勝於喧囂的城市)
  • Most people prefer watching television to reading books. (比起看書,大多數人更喜歡看電視)

必須注意的是,prefer… to… 是固定搭配,不可使用 than 來替代介系詞 to。例如:

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Do 和 make 後接名詞片語當受詞時的用法差異

Do 和 make 當及物動詞時都有「做;製作」的意思,當它們後接名詞 (片語) 當受詞時,do 著重於動作或做某事的過程,而 make 則強調動作的產物或結果。例如:

  • Betty did a very good math paper, but she still made two mistakes. (貝蒂的數學考卷答得很好,但還是有兩個地方錯誤)
  • When I was doing the cooking course, I made two chocolate cakes. (我在修烹飪課程時做了兩個巧克力蛋糕)

下列為與 do 和 make 連用或固定搭配的一些常用名詞 (片語):

DO: activity, business, cleaning, cooking, course, damage, drawing, duty, exam(ination), exercise, favor, gardening, harm, homework, ironing, job, laundry, one’s best, painting, shopping, task, test, washing (up), work 等。

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Cell vs. sell

Cell 是個名詞,且僅當名詞用,意為「細胞;電池;(監獄的) 小牢房;(修道院或寺廟的) 小房間;(蜂巢的) 巢室;(電腦) 儲存格;(政黨或政治團體的) 基層組織,小組」,如 Human brains have more than 100 million cells per cubic centimeter. (人腦每立方公分有一億多個細胞);blood/brain/nerve/cancer cells (血球/腦細胞/神經細胞/癌細胞);Samsung Electronics is recalling its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone and said that battery cell problems were behind phones catching fire and exploding. (AFP) (三星電子將回收該公司的 Galaxy Note 7 旗艦機,並表示電池問題是手機起火和爆炸的主因);The sinister and dangerous prisoner was locked in a cell. (那個兇惡危險的囚犯被關在單人牢房裡)。

根據《牛津英語大辭典》(The Oxford English Dictionary, OED),cell 是英文最常用的 1,000 個單字之一。除了上述意思外,cell 在美國亦被用作 cellphone (手機) 的簡稱,常用於口語,如 I just bought a new cell yesterday, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, but it exploded during charging. (我昨天剛買了一支新手機,三星 Galaxy Note 7,但在充電時爆炸了)。

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appraise 和 apprise 之對與錯

  • After I have the jeweler appraise the diamond, I will apprise you of its value. (在我請珠寶商鑑定這顆鑽石的價格後,我會通知你它的價值) (正)
  • After I have the jeweler apprise the diamond, I will appraise you of its value.

解說:appraise 和 apprise 都是及物動詞,前者意為「鑑定,估價」(to set a value on something),後者意為「通知,告知」(to notify or inform)。這兩個動詞的拼字只有一個字母之差,但意思截然不同,切勿把「馮京」當「馬涼」。

Cede vs. seed

Cede 是個及物動詞,意為「(尤指不情願地或被迫) 割讓,讓與,放棄」,其時態變化為 cede ceded ceded ceding cedes,如 Taiwan was ceded to Japan after First Sino-Japanese War. (中日甲午戰爭後台灣被割讓給日本);The military government has agreed to cede power to the country’s newly inaugurated leader. (軍政府已同意把政權交給新就任的領導人)。

Seed 可當名詞和動詞用,前者意為「種子,籽;(網球等運動的) 種子選手、球員」及比喻用法的「原因;根源」,如 Sow/Plant the seeds in the fields. (在田裡播種);the top/first/number one seed (頭號種子選手/球員);Jack was punished for sowing seeds of discord in his class. (傑克因在班上挑撥離間而受到處罰)。

Seed 用作動詞 (及物和不及物) 時,及物動詞意為「播種;使成為種子選手 (由此衍生出形容詞 seeded,如 a seeded player 種子選手);去除水果等的籽」,通常用被動態,而不及物動詞主要意為「(植物) 結籽」,其時態變化為 seed seeded seeded seeding seeds,如 The fields have been seeded with corn. (田裡已種了玉米);Justin was seeded number two. (賈斯汀被排為第 2 號種子選手);Justin was seeded second/third/tenth/8/15. (賈斯汀被排為第 2/3/10/8/15 號種子選手)。This flower seeds in (the) autumn. (這花秋天結籽)。Wash, seed, and cut the bitter melons into small pieces. (把這些苦瓜洗一洗,去籽並切成小片) - 苦瓜的英文還可叫做 bitter gourd、bitter squash 或 balsam pear。

Lessen vs. lesson

Lessen 是個動詞 (及物與不及物),意為「(使) 減輕;(使) 降低;(使) 減少;(使) 變小」,如 The medicine will lessen the pain. (這藥會使疼痛減輕);His fever has lessened. (他的燒退了);The negotiations lessened the tension between Russia and Ukraine. (談判緩和了俄羅斯和烏克蘭的緊張局勢)。這個字的時態變化為 lessen, lessened, lessened, lessening, lessens。

Lesson 是個名詞,意為「課,一節課/一堂課,(教科書中的) 一課,課程;教訓」,如 These students study English, Spanish and other language lessons. (這些學生學英文、西班牙文及其他語言課程);Lesson Five is very boring. (第五課枯燥乏味);That guy needs to be taught a lesson. (那個傢伙得被教訓一頓);Many people have not learned their lesson and continue to drive under the influence. (許多人沒有記取/得到教訓,繼續酒後開車)。