下班時Kevin整理一下辦公室,剛好遇到外藉同事問他在忙什麼,他說:

(X)I need to throw the garbage before I leave today.(我得在離開前清掉垃圾。)

同事一時莫名其妙,原來這樣講錯了。中文裡丟垃圾的「丟」,意思是「丟掉、處理掉」,但英文的throw卻是「投、拋、扔」的意思,只是「扔」這個動作,而不是扔掉。"Throw the garbage"聽在老外耳裡,好像是把垃圾在空中拋來拋去,很沒道理。

再舉一個例子,要問人「你能幫我把這個扔掉嗎?」有人會說"Can you help me throw it?"這樣說也不對,把東西丟掉,throw要加上一個away變成"throw away":

When are you going to throw away those old books?(這些舊書你何時要丟掉?)

Don't throw your bus ticket away. The inspector may want to see it.(別把你的車票丟掉,查票員可能要查看。)

「丟垃圾」美國人最常用的動詞不是throw away,而是更簡單的take out,把東西拿出去,所以上面Kevin那句話要改成:

(X)I need to throw the garbage before I leave today. 

(O)I need to take out the trash before I leave today. 

倒垃圾還可以用一個字──dump

(O)He went to dump the garbage.(他去倒垃圾。)

所以「可以請你幫我把這東西扔掉嗎?」要這樣說:

(X)Can you help me throw it?

(O)Can you dump this for me?

進階版

Throw這個字有趣,但涵意太廣,不容易用得好,來看幾個稍有難度的口語例子:

1.Throw a party

He threw a party for us.(他為我們舉行舞會。)

Throw a party其實就是have a party/give a party,但老外很常講throw a party,意思差不多,但throw更有隨興、即興,有讓人興奮的感覺。

2.Be thrown

I wasn't expecting a visitor. I was really thrown.(我沒有意料會有訪客,一時措手不及。)

Throw有"confuse"(使困惑)的意思,在口語上也算常用,但在聽的時候,因為不熟悉它的時態變化(threw/thrown),很多英文不錯的同學也會錯聽。

3.throw up

來比較這三句中,throw up的意思:

The meeting threw up some interesting ideas.(這次會上提出了一些有趣的想法。)

He's thrown up his job and gone off to Africa to work for a children's charity.(他辭掉工作,去非洲為一家兒童慈善機構工作。)

I spent all night throwing up.(我吐了一夜。)

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:https://goo.gl/Z3q8QK