Loose vs. lose

Loose 主要當形容詞用,意為「寬鬆的;鬆動的;鬆散的;鬆弛的;疏鬆的;鬆軟的;不受束縛的,未予控制的;零散的;散裝的;不準確的;(組織) 不嚴密的;(糞便等) 稀的」等,如 Linda always wears loose garments. (琳達總是穿著寬鬆的衣服);I have got two loose teeth. (我有兩顆牙齒鬆動了);My shoelace is loose. (我的鞋帶鬆了);These seven countries have established a loose alliance. (這七個國家已建立一個鬆散聯盟);They let the dogs loose on the intruders. (他們放狗攻擊闖入者);They let the children loose on the cellphones. (他們讓小孩隨便玩手機);The movie actress managed to break/get/shake loose from her kidnappers. (那位女電影明星成功地掙脫綁匪的控制);The kidnappers had let/set/turned the movie actress loose on a dark country lane. (綁匪在一條黑暗的鄉間小路釋放了那位女電影明星);loose soil/stones (鬆土/碎石);loose change (零錢);Loose cigarettes are 5 pesos each. (散裝/零賣的香菸每支五披索);There were a few loose sheets of paper lying on the ground. (有幾張紙散落在地板上);It’s only a loose translation of the English song. (這只是那首英文歌曲不準確的翻譯);I had loose bowels (or I had diarrhea) all day long yesterday. (我昨天一整天都在拉肚子)。

閱讀全文

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)

So 和 not 與 expect, guess, hope, suppose, think 等動詞連用

我們可以在一些動詞的後面使用 so 來避免重複受詞子句,尤其是在簡答。這些動詞中最常用的是 appear, assume, be afraid, believe, expect, guess, hope, imagine, presume, reckon, seem, suppose 和 think。例如:

  • Denise thinks iPhone 7 is too expensive, and Diana thinks so too. (丹妮絲認為 iPhone 7 太貴,而戴安娜也認為是這樣) - 原句為 … and Diana thinks iPhone 7 is expensive.。
  • A: Do I have to finish writing my composition by Saturday? (A:我一定要在週六之前寫好我的作文嗎?)
    B: I’m afraid so. (B:恐怕是的) - 原句為 I’m afraid you have to finish writing your composition ….。
  • A: D’you think Mary will get married to you someday? (A:你認為瑪麗將來有一天會嫁給你嗎?)
    B: I hope so. (B:希望如此) - 原句為 I hope Mary will get married to me someday.。
  • A: He must have missed the train. (A:他必定是沒趕上這班火車)
    B: Yes, I suppose so. (B:是的,我猜想是這樣) - 原句為 I suppose he must have missed the train.。

我們可以在 be afraid, guess, hope 和 suppose 的後面使用 not 來避免重複否定的受詞子句。例如:

  • A: Did you pass your exam? (你考試過關了嗎?)
    B: I’m afraid not. (B:恐怕沒有) - 原句為 I’m afraid I didn’t pass my exam.。
  • A: Will you be coming tomorrow? (A:你明天會來嗎?)
    B: I guess not. (B:我想不會) - 原句為 I guess I won’t be coming tomorrow.。
  • Gordon thinks he might fail in physics, but he hopes not. (戈登認為他的物理可能不及格,但他希望不會)

閱讀全文

Cache vs. cash

Cache 用作名詞時意為「貯藏物,隱藏物;貯藏所,隱藏處,藏匿處」,如 The police have seized a huge cache of drugs/explosives/weapons. (警方查獲了一大批藏匿的毒品/炸藥/武器);The gang of armed robbers has several caches for illegal guns and homemade bombs. (該武裝搶劫集團有數個窩藏非法槍枝和土製炸彈的場所)。Cache 也是重要的電腦名詞,可指存取速度比動態隨機存取記憶體 (DRAM) 快的「快取記憶體」或資料存取速度較快的「快取」。

Cache 亦可當 (及物) 動詞用,意為「貯藏,隱藏,藏匿」,其時態變化為 cache cached cached caching caches,如 The gangsters cached a large quantity of ammunition in a remote cabin. (那些黑幫份子在偏遠的一間小木屋窩藏了大量彈藥)。

閱讀全文

Brake vs. break

Brake 可當名詞和動詞用,前者意為1.「(車輛的) 制動器,煞車」2.「抑制;阻礙」。Brake 的名詞第 1 義通常用複數,如 The brakes failed and the car crashed into the median strip/the central reservation. (煞車失靈,車子撞上安全島);I heard a screech/squeal of brakes as the taxi pulled up. (計程車停下來時我聽到一聲尖銳刺耳的煞車聲);We heard the brakes screeching/squealing and then a loud crash. (我們聽到一陣尖銳刺耳的煞車聲,然後是一聲巨大的撞擊聲);Mr. Huang saw a girl run out, so he hit the brakes/he slammed on the brakes. (黃先生看見一名女孩跑了出來,所以就緊急煞車)。Brake 的名詞第 2 義通常用單數,其後往往接介系詞 on 再接受詞,如 The government decided to put a brake on price rises. (政府決定控制物價上漲);The high level of debt acted as a brake on economic recovery. (高額的負債阻礙了經濟復甦)。

閱讀全文

要就要,不要拉倒;要就要,不要就算了

英文:take it or leave it (v.)

說明:「要不要隨便你」或「接不接受隨便你」也是同義詞,同樣可用 take it or leave it 來表示。然而,這是主詞為第二人稱 you 或省略 you 的祈使句的情況。當主詞為第一或第三人稱時,take it or leave it (take 前面通常有語氣助動詞 can) 的意思就變成了「要不要都可以;接不接受都可以」。

例句:

  • I can lend you only 1,000 dollars. You can take it or leave it. (我只能借你一千元。要就要,不要拉倒)
  • Allen: I want eggs for breakfast, Mom. (艾倫:媽,早餐我要吃蛋)
    Mother: There’s only cornflakes left. Take it or leave it. (媽媽:現在只剩玉米片。要就要,不要就算了)
  • I can give you 7,000 NT dollars for your iPhone 6, but that’s my final offer. Take it or leave it. (我可以用台幣七千元買你的 iPhone 6,但那是我的最後出價。要不要隨便你)
  • I like chocolate, but I can take it or leave it. (我喜愛巧克力,但我吃不吃都無所謂)
  • The dealer has a set price for the BMW 7 Series, and customers can take it or leave it. (經銷商的 BMW 大 7 系列現在都是固定價格,顧客接不接受都可以)

Forget 還是 leave 呢?

有人可能納悶,forget 和 leave 有何關連呢?怎麼可以相提並論?如果你去查字典、詳細看它們的定義,你會發現這兩個動詞有個意思是一樣的,那就是「忘記帶」。Forget 僅指忘了帶某物,而 leave 則可指忘了帶某人或某物,前者一定是無意的,但後者也可能是有意的。由於 leave 必須用在有地點或場所的句子中,一般幾乎都以「留在,遺留在,遺忘在 (某個地點)」來表示 leave 的意思,讓我們未去探究它真正的含意其實是「忘記帶」。

由於 leave 必須與地點連用,而 forget 則不可以,因此經常發生用字錯誤卻不自知或不知錯在哪裡的情況。現在我們就來舉例說明這兩個字在此意思上的正確用法。例如:

閱讀全文

Brownie points

Brownie points 意為「(老闆、上司、長官、老師、長輩等的) 讚美、讚許」,一般都用複數。單數型 brownie point 非常罕見。有些人知道,童子軍中有所謂的幼年女童軍或女幼童軍,英文叫做 The Brownies 或 the Brownie Guides,而幼年女童軍的成員叫做 Brownie 或 Brownie Guide - 這幾個字都是專有名詞,必須大寫。Brownie points 源自 The Brownies 或 the Brownie Guides 頒贈點數獎勵的制度。這些穿著棕色制服、年齡介於 7 歲和 10 歲之間的女幼童軍,只要在家裡幫忙做點家事、讓大人高興,就可獲頒獎勵點數 (Brownie Points)。但現在 brownie points 這個名詞都作比喻用法,已與女幼童軍無關,而且不大寫。

Brownie points 往往與 earn, gain, get, score 或 win 等動詞連用,亦即 earn/gain/get/score/win brownie points,意為「(因做某事而) 獲得讚美、讚許,得到嘉許」。Brownie 這個字大寫時是指幼年女童軍,而小寫時意為「蘇格蘭傳說中夜間幫人做事的小精靈 (elf);布朗尼蛋糕 (一種巧克力蛋糕)」。

閱讀全文

Better vs. bettor

Better 可當形容詞、副詞、名詞和動詞用。Better 當形容詞和副詞時分別為 good 和 well 的比較級 (最高級為 best),前者意為「更好的,較佳的,好轉的」等等,後者意為「更好地,更適當地,較大程度地」等等,如 Mary went to Taipei, hoping to find a better job. (瑪麗去台北,希望找到一份更好的工作);Nothing could be better! (再好不過了!);The situation’s no better. (情況沒有好轉);If you want to get better, you have to take your medicine. (你若想康復就必須服藥);Is his stomachache any better? (他的胃痛好些了嗎?);Why was it that everyone else did better than me in the exams? (為什麼其他每個人都考得比我好呢?);We’d better keep silent. (我們最好還是保持緘默);I like Charlotte better than Anna. (比起安娜來,我更喜歡夏洛特)。

閱讀全文

挖角

英文:poach (v.)

說明:poach 還有「偷獵,盜獵」、「用水煮 (蛋等);用文火燉 (食物)」等意思,都相當常見,如 poached eggs (水煮蛋)。

例句:

  • John’s manager had been poached by a competitor. (約翰的經理已被該公司的競爭對手挖角了)
  • Japanese baseball teams seem to be poaching all our best players. (日本棒球隊似乎要把我們最好的球員都挖走)