有讀者問,寫商業email用被動的句子一定不好嗎?其實主動和被動都是一種策略,端看你要「強化」還是「淡化」訊息。就從回答這個問題,今天來談談商業寫作的進階需求,不只是怎麼寫不犯錯,而是怎麼寫才有效。

1.主動策略vs.被動策略:你想?

想強化訊息用主動語態,主動句創造活力,給人深刻印象。比較一下這兩句:

(X)The ideas you proposed have been reviewed and found to be acceptable and appropriate. An implementation schedule has been developed with the goal of being completed by next month.(你提出來的想法已經被檢視過,我們發現它可行。會擬出執行計劃,以下一季開始執行為目標。)(被動→官樣)

(O)We like your ideas and will implement them next quarter.(我們喜歡你的想法,下一季前就會開始。)(主動→有活力)

想要淡化特定訊息時,策略性使用被動語態:

We haven't repaired your car.(我們還沒有修您的車。)(主動→自找麻煩)
Your car has not been repaired by us.(您的車還沒有修好。)(被動→淡化目標)

2.句子和句子之間要有關聯性

組織關聯性,是指讓每一句話或每一訊息之間產生關係。有組織,不管是口語或書寫溝通,就不會東一句、西一句,讀起來很零散。

(X)I appreciated the opportunity to speak with you yesterday, and I have revised the proposal.(缺乏關聯性)

(O)I appreciated the opportunity to speak with you yesterday. Based on your advice,I have revised the proposal.(很感謝昨日有機會與您談話。根據你的建議,我們做了一些修改。)(有關聯性)

3.聽者導向,不要說者導向

很多人一開頭寫英文就是I、We或是my、our,感覺太本位,把I和We頭始的句子,改成you就對了。

(X)We know you’ll enjoy the many benefits of our new health care plan.(說者導向)

(O)Your new health care plan will benefit you in many ways.(新的健保方案會帶給你很大幫助。)(聽者導向)

4.有行動力

除了「告知性」的信件之外,大部份商業email都希望對方有「行動」。因此在寫訊息時就要明確告知,你希望他們怎麼做:

(X)We hope to receive an indication of your approval as soon as possible.(希望能夠很快收到你的同意。)(無行動力)

(O)Please fill in the attached form, sign it and return it to me by July 25th.(請填好表格並簽名,於7月25日前回傳。)(有行動力)

5.不要重複數字

寫數字的基本原則是:數字出現在句首、或數字小於10,拼出來。數字大於10,用阿拉伯數字。但有人習慣既拼字又用阿拉伯數字,顯得冗贅,不需如此。

(X)One hundred and forty three(143)questionnaires were collected. →不要重複數字。

(O)We collected 143 questionnaires.(我們回收了143份問卷。)

(X)There are approximately six hundred people working in this company.

(O)There are approximately 600 people working in this company.→超過10的數字用阿拉伯數字表現。

(X)500 people will show up in the conference.

(O)Five hundred people will show up in the conference.→句首的數字拼出來。

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:http://goo.gl/5eIOmf