有一次聽學生談他的旅行經驗:"In my image, Norway is a prosperous country."(在我印象中挪威是一個繁榮的國家。)(X)

很多人想到印象,直接出現英文「image」,其實是不對的。Image是「形象」,而不是「印象」,"in my image"意思是「照著我的形象」。例如:

God created human beings in his own image.(神照著祂的形象創造了人類。)

「印象」英文的說法是impression,所以「印象派」英文就叫做Impressionism,那是不是直接把in my image改成in my impression就對了?

In my impression,Norway is a very prosperous country. (X)

這樣說,字的意思到了,文法卻不正確,impression這樣用不自然:「有什麼樣的印象」,英文通常直接說"I get/have the impression",而不用 in my impression。例如:

I have the impression that she is very good at her job.(印象中她做得很好。)(O)

I got the impression that he was sorely disappointed.(我覺得他很沮喪。)(O)

所以我們原來的第一句,我印象中挪威是個繁榮的國家,可以這樣講:

I get the impression that Norway is a prosperous country.(O)

還有一個片語"under the impression",看起來很像,意思卻剛好相反,不是有什麼印象,而有「誤以為」的意思

He was under the impression that they had become friends. 他(誤)以為他們以經變成朋友了。(其實不是)

I asked him for a job under the impression that he was the head of the firm. 我(誤)以為他是公司老板而向他求職。(其實他不是老闆)

我們再回頭來看image這個字,首先這個字唸錯的機率很高,它的唸法是:/ˈɪm.ɪdʒ/,注意,重音在前面,且a要發成短音/ɪ/,image多半用做名詞,不要和動詞imagine/ɪˈmædʒ.ɪn/混淆了。

Image可以是具體的「影象」,也可以是抽象的「形象」,例如:

How can we improve our image?(要如何改進我們的形象呢?)(O)

它還可以是長得相像的人:

She is the image of her sister.(她和姐姐長得一模一樣。)(O)

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:http://goo.gl/5eIOmf