忙了一整天,Dora想約人下班後一起去家好餐廳享受一番,便對同事Sally說:「Let's eat dinner together. I know a restaurant nearby.」Sally聽聞,笑笑地糾正她:「We have finished the work. Let's HAVE dinner, OK?」有些情況若用太「直接」的字詞去表達,非但不會更精準,還可能曲解說話者的意思,以下試舉三例:

【情境一】休假邀約友人小聚

要不要一起吃個晚餐?

(X)Would you like to eat dinner with me

(O)Would you like to have dinner with me?

說明:eat、have都是「吃」,但前者單純指把食物放入嘴裡吞下去,後者卻有「享用」的意味,所以eat dinner會給人匆忙解決一頓的感受,在這種情境下用have dinner才合適。

例:The coming Friday will be my day off. Would you like to have lunch with me?(禮拜五我不用上班,要不要一起吃個午飯?)

【情境二】告知出差時的住所

我會住在朋友家。

(X)I will live with a friend.

(O)I will stay with a friend.

說明:出差這幾天你確實是與朋友同「住」,但用live這個字會讓人誤以為是長期居住,stay才是指短期性的停留。

例:I just found out that I have to go to Chicago on business for a week. I think I will stay with a friend during this period.(我剛剛才知道我必須去芝加哥出差一星期,我想這段期間我會住在朋友家。)

【情境三】強調工作最後期限

2月15日是到期日,不可延期。

(X)February 15 is the due date. You can't ask for an extension.

(O)February 15 is the hard deadline. You can't ask for an extension.

說明:due date是「到期日」沒錯,但它屬於soft deadline,亦即「建議」的交期,在此日期之後交件也許還可被接受。由於第二句已說明無法延期,因此用due date不精確。

例:You must hand in your proposal by Friday, which is the hard deadline.(你必須在週五前交出提案,那是最後期限。)

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:http://goo.gl/5eIOmf