稱讚同事「你的想法很特別」,英文該怎麼說?如果答案是”Your idea is very unique.”可以理解,但一聽就覺得不自然;中文會說「很厲害」、「很特別」、「很值得」,習慣加上「很」,套進英文自然而然就加上”very”。其實unique的意思就已經是very special,再加上very讓人感覺很多餘。句子多了贅字,聽起來不自然又顯得囉唆。

我不是故意要讓你如此生氣。
(△) I did not mean to make you so angry on purpose.
(O) I did not mean to make you so angry.

這句話on purpose是多餘的,因為mean本身就含「有…意圖」之意,有mean,就不必再說on purpose。

我每天早餐前慢跑,不論晴天或下雨。
(△) I jog every morning before breakfast, no matter rain or shine.
(O) I jog every morning before breakfast, rain or shine.

rain or shine是固定用法,前面也無須加no matter。中文「不論晴天或下雨」,英文卻是rain在前、shine在後,是為了讓語調順暢而作的配置。

有時多了贅字無傷大雅,語意還是能理解,但有些句子多了贅字,會造成語意不清,以下試舉幾例:

so ≠ so that

1. 服務生把蕃茄醬灑到我的洋裝上了,所以我必須換件衣服。
(X) The waiter spilt ketchup on my dress so that I had to wear a different one.
(O) The waiter spilt ketchup on my dress, so I had to wear a different one.

so that是「為了要」,so才是「所以」。前句用so that,語意變成「服務生為了要讓我換衣服,把蕃茄醬灑到我身上。」

長高是grow還是grow up?

2. 多做運動幫助那個老人長高了。
(X) Taking more exercise has helped that old man grow up.
(O) Taking more exercise has helped that old man grow.

grow和grow up都有「成長」的意思,但表示「小孩長大成人」才會用grow up。本句是指成年人長高,因此該用grow。grow適用範圍很廣,除了身體長高外,頭髮、名聲、人口、城市的成長都可以用。

hardly不加not

3. 天色很暗,我們幾乎看不見交通標誌。
(X) It is very dark. We can’t hardly see the traffic signs.
(O) It is very dark. We can hardly see the traffic signs.

hardly意思是「幾乎不」,本身就是否定詞,不需多加not。

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:https://goo.gl/Z3q8QK