還記得國學大師胡適筆下的「差不多先生」嗎?這位凡事都馬馬虎虎的迷糊蛋,記帳時常常把「十」寫成「千」、「千」寫成「十」,在他的眼中,多一撇少一撇,有什麼大不了?你在說、寫英文時,會不會也是個「差不多先生」?小心!就算只是一點點小疏忽,都可能讓整個句子變成大笑話!

以下這五句話,你看得出哪裡差很多嗎?(紅字為錯誤用法)

1、It wasn’t easy to move a big refrigerator, but my brother gave me his hand.(移動一台大冰箱並不容易,幸好弟弟幫了我一把。)
2、I don’t want to chat with Sally because she loves to split hair.(我不想和莎莉聊天,因為她就愛在小事上吹毛求疵。)
3、Helen is not worried about the exam; it was a piece of a cake for her.(海倫並不擔心考試,對她來說那根本不算什麼。)
4、In response to the environmental protection, I go to work by foot every day.(為了響應環保,我每天走路上班。)
5、Jenny had to fill in a team member who was ill.(珍妮必須接替一位病假同事的工作。)

正確用法:

1、It wasn’t easy to move a big refrigerator, but my brother gave me a hand.
give someone a hand是一句慣用語,用在某人獨力完成某事有困難,而助對方一臂之力時。若是將冠詞a換成所有格his/her/my…,整句話就變成了血腥的大白話--把手給了對方!

2、I don’t want to chat with Sally because she loves to split hairs.
split hairs是指在細微末節的問題上作不必要的爭辯。如果使用不可數的hair,指的是頭上的頭髮,句義就變成莎莉愛「劈頭髮」。

3、Helen is not worried about the exam; it was a piece of cake for her.
a piece of cake作為俗語,是指一件事很容易辦成。若是在cake前面多加了冠詞a,就真的是指「一塊蛋糕」了。

4、In response to the environmental protection, I go to work on foot every day.
表達走路或步行,應該用on foot;用by foot不合文法,而且硬要解釋的話,會變成「搭乘腳丫子」去上班。

5、Jenny had to fill in for a team member who was ill.
fill in for someone是暫時替代某人工作的意思,如果少了for,整句話就變成珍妮要去「填滿」這位生病的隊友。

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