Max離開大型廣告公司自行開立工作室,前客戶兼友人Wilson前來道賀。為表示謙虛,Max說:「It's just a little company.」Wilson聽了糾正他:「It's a small company, not a little company.」並半開玩笑地說,如果Max堅持這是little company,雙方未來就難有合作機會了!

商務對話中若需要自謙,小心別用錯字,否則恐怕給人不專業的感覺。

以下試舉三例:

我只是開間小公司。

(X) I'm just running a little company.

(O) I'm just running a small company.

說明:small用來客觀描述體積小,因此規模不大的公司以"small company"來表達,是謙虛也是事實。little雖也指「小」,但有時還帶有「微不足道、不夠看」的意味,如此形容自己的公司,會給人不認真看待事業的感覺。

例:In a small company,I have to do everything.I am the head cook and bottle-washer.(在小公司,我必須做所有的事,是校長也兼工友。)

我沒有預料自己會被選中來領導這個團隊。

(X) I didn't expect that I would be chosen to lead this team.

(O) I didn't expect that I would be selected to lead this team.

說明:可以用「沒有預料自己會被升官」來自謙,但「選擇」的英文須用select而非choose,因為select=carefully choose,是經慎重考慮選出,choose是在有限的選擇裡挑選,隱含隨便挑一個看起來還OK的人出來的態度,這樣講恐讓上級不滿、下屬不服。

例:John has everything going for him; therefore he was selected to fulfill this special task.(約翰各方面的條件都很好,因此被選中去執行這項特殊任務。)

這部車很舊了,我們試著修看看。

(X) This car is very old,we'll try to fix it.

(O) This car is very old,we'll try to repair it.

說明:fix和repair都是表示「修理」,但前者多用在簡單的修補,後者則需要專業的技術能力,等級較高。客戶送修產品,想必喜歡聽到專業的維修,而非業餘級的處理,因此即使不確定能否修好,想要帶點保留,仍應該用repair較好。

例:If the television you purchased is within the warranty period, you may have it repaired directly in our shop.(如果您購買的電視機在保固期內,您可以直接送到我們的店面進行維修。)

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:http://goo.gl/5eIOmf