Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wink 和 blink 有分別嗎?


最近有一網友問 "wink" 和 "blink" 的分別在哪裡。

"Blink" 就是「眨眼睛」的意思;眼睛作出一開一合的動作,就此而已: 

The glaring sun is killing my eyes!  I can't stop blinking.  (刺眼的太陽令我不斷眨眼睛。) 

When he lies, he does not even blink.  (他說謊不會眨眼。)


一個人做事很快,一眨眼就把工作完成,我們可以這樣形容他: 

He finished the work in the blink of an eye(= He finished the work in a very short time.)

跟 "blink" 不同,"wink" 的意思是「打眼色」: 

Vladimir Putin gave the man next to him a wink.  (普京向他身旁的男人眨眼示意。) 

Fletcher has the habit of winking at girls in his class.  (Fletcher 習慣向班中的女生使眼色。) 

和 "wink" 相關的 idiom (慣用語) 有 "a nod and a wink",意思是「心有靈犀,一點就明」: 

Jeff and Chen knew each other so well that all things could be done by a nod and a wink. (Jeff 和 Chen 二人心有靈犀,凡事一點就明。)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Compare A with B 和 compare A to B 有分別嗎?


"Compare A with B" 的意思是「把A和B作出比較」: 

Let's compare CY Leung with Henry Tang to see which person is more suitable to become the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong. 
(讓我們把梁振英跟唐英年比較一下,看看誰更適合成為下一任香港特首。)


It's no use comparing apples with oranges as they are completely different. 
(把蘋果跟橙作比較是沒有用的,因為它們跟本完全不同。)

"Compare A to B" 的意思則是「把A比作B」: 

Jeff compares Chen to an angel.
(Jeff 把 Chen 比擬為天使。)

 A lot of people compared Mr Tang to a pig.
(很多人把唐先生比作一隻豬。) 

The coach compared his strength to that of an ox.
(教練把他的力氣和一頭公牛的相提並論。)

"It was" 的縮寫是什麼?


"It is" 的 contraction (縮約形式) 是 "it's": 

It's raining now.  (= It is raining.)

"It has" 的 contraction 也是 "it's": 

It's been raining for two hours.  (= It has been raining for two hours.)

那麼 "it was" 的 contraction 是什麼呢?  

在古代英文裡,"it was" 可以被縮寫成 "'twas": 

'Twas raining.  (= It was raining.) 
'Twas thy love that brought us together.  (= It was your love that brought us together.)

但在現代英文裡,"it was" 並沒有 contraction;"'twas" 這個字已被淘汰了。 

換句話說,"it's" 可以是 "it is" 或 "it has",但不能是 "it was"。 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Proofreading & Editing Services


I'll be offering proofreading and editing services soon.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Anyone else live on the premises?


最近有一個學生在一本小說裡看到這樣的一句話: 

Anyone else live on the premises? 

他問我為什麼 "anyone" 後的動詞是 "live" 而不是 "lives" 呢?有學 grammar 的人都知道 "anyone","someone","no one",和 "nobody" 等等,作為句子中的 subject,都應該配上 singular verb。例如: 

Nobody knows anything about it. 
Anyone who lies to the king will be punished. 

首先,我很欣賞這位同學的好學。要學好英文,單靠學校的英文課本是絕對不夠的。在香港,我們缺乏一個學英文的語言環境,所以必須自己主動爭取機會,多看英文小說,報紙,甚至雜誌,才能掌握不同的寫作手法。

言歸正傳。 上面的句子,如果要把它完整寫下來,會變成: 

Does anyone else live on the premises? 

西方人在日常對話中,往往會把 "do" 或 "does" 從問句中略去。譬如說: 

Do you like swimming? 

他們會說成: 

You like swimming? 

又例如說: 

Does anyone know the answer? 

他們往往會說成: 

Anyone know the answer? 

所以 "Anyone else live on the premises?" 作為日常對話中的句子,並沒有錯。