有句話說:病從口入、禍從口出,意思是疾病是因為飲食不慎所導致,災禍也是因為言語不當而招來的。說話總是直來直往的人,總想要事情達到最高效率,最後事情雖搞定了,感情也破裂了,適時學會用柔性的語言、婉轉的措辭,不要一下子講得那麼明白,一來避免過分果斷、二來也減少無謂的傷害,多留一點模糊的空間,巧勁勝拙力。

在英文裡,也有這樣的用法,來看看以下範例:

A:That is the best solution to this problem.

B:Well, I think that this could well be the best solution to this problem.

兩句的意思其實都是要表達「這是這個問題最好的解方」,但是B明顯比A來得婉轉客氣。

外國人聽到B的說法,大多都會選擇認同你的看法,因為聽起來友善、不強勢。我們根據詞性,整理了幾種委婉的用詞分類:

1.Modal Verbs 助動詞:態度決定方向

只是改變一個音節,你的句子就多了一點可能性,別忘記每件事至少有三個解決方法。
增加可能性的助動詞:

禍從口出!想聽起來不強勢...3種用法,改一個字就能說出婉轉的英文

婉轉:It might be a good idea to follow up and see how the client is getting on since we last spoke with them.(追蹤一下從上次跟客戶談完之後,他們後續的動作,可能會是不錯的想法。)

直接:It is a good idea to follow up with the client.(追蹤客戶的後續是個好想法。)

婉轉:Giving a discount to the client could make them more likely to accept our offer. What do you think?(給客戶折扣或許可以讓他們更有機會接受我們的報價,你有什麼看法呢?)

直接:We can give a discount to the client to make them accept our offer.(我們可以給客戶折扣,好讓他們接受我們的報價。)

婉轉:We would be better off cancelling this contract. It is may not be worth the extra effort that we have to put in.(我們可能得取消這份合約比較好,另外再投入多餘心力在上面有點不值得。)

直接:We will be better off cancelling this contract. It is not worth the extra effort that we have put in.(我們最好取消這份合約,再多花心力在上頭不值得。)

2.Verbs 動詞:聽出對話底下的暗語

當你想給出指令,又擔心對方拒絕,怎麼說比較恰當?

禍從口出!想聽起來不強勢...3種用法,改一個字就能說出婉轉的英文

這些都是可以拿來當做婉轉語氣的動詞,他們都表示「沒有百分百確定」,放在句子裡面,既不失禮,又不用說一個絕對的答案。

It appears that the numbers this year are going to increase.(今年的數字看起來是增加的。)

It seems that the difference between these two approaches are not so big.(這兩個方法似乎沒有差別太大。)

Looking at the results for Q2, it suggests that we are going to have some good results in the second half of the year.(從第二季度的結果看起來,我們下半年的成果也會很不錯。)

3.名詞:給予認同感

「我不同意你,但我理解你這麽想的原因。」表達意見前,先給對方認同感,開啟一段有效的溝通。

禍從口出!想聽起來不強勢...3種用法,改一個字就能說出婉轉的英文

The assumption is that this would be a very good investment for our clients.(假設這個對於我們的客戶是非常好的投資。)

I think that this idea has a lot of potential. It’s perhaps wise to investigate things a bit further.(我認為這個想法很有潛力,繼續調查下去或許是明智的。)

My suggestion is that we do our very best to get all the paperwork submitted one week before the deadline to avoid any problems.(我的建議是我們盡全力讓我們的報告在截止日前一周就繳交,以避免問題。)

The claim made by my manager that my work is not good enough is totally unfair.(我的經理聲稱我的作品不夠好,對我是完全不公平的。)

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:http://goo.gl/5eIOmf