Maggie和美國籍同事一起到日本出差,在餐廳用餐完畢要結帳,同事問他: "Can I charge this?” 

她一下愣住,還以為同事的手機要充電。一問才知,原來是問 "Can I use my credit card to make a purchase?"可以用信用卡付款嗎?

Charge這個字可以用得這樣簡單。我們今天就一起來看charge這個看似簡單,卻很難用得妙的字。

Cash or charge? 現金或刷卡?

在美國結帳時,最常被問到的一句話,相當於中文的「付現或刷卡」,完整的句子是 Will you pay (in) cash or by credit card?

但結帳時都希望口語越短越好,一般不把credit card兩個字說出來。

為什麼信用卡付帳用charge?原來charge這個字的意思是「記在帳上」,信用卡也叫charge card。來看兩例:

Do you have a charge card? 你有信用卡嗎?
She charged everything with her Visa Card. 她用Visa卡支付所有費用。

收費也用charge,這個用法大家應該不陌生:

How much do you charge for a repair? 维修要收多少費用呢?

My phone is fully charged. 我手機電量是滿的。

Charge也可當充電。例如:

I don't think the battery is charging. 我覺得電池沒有在充電。
Is there a place where I can charge my cellphone? 有没有哪裡可以给我充電呢?
Is it all right to put the battery on charge overnight? 讓電池充一夜電可以嗎?

He was charged with embezzlement. 他被控盜用公款。

Charge可以用作指控、控告,既可當名詞,也可以當動詞。

He has been arrested on a charge of murder. 他因被控謀殺而遭逮捕。
The police brought a charge of theft against him. 警方指控他犯了盜竊罪。

He got angry and charged off.  他氣沖沖跑開了。

"charge"還有「猛衝」的意思,可以是人跑得快,也可能是事件發展迅速。這用法大家較不熟悉,多看幾個例子:

Lee charged off to talk to the boss. Lee一下就跑去和老闆說話了。
Our company is charging forward with plans for a new line of products.在為新的產品線做了規劃之後,公司發展勢頭很足。
A bison charged at full speed towards a couple of tourists taking pictures of it. 一頭美洲野牛猛然全速衝向那些正在拍照的遊客。

Recharge ≠ 儲值

也曾經聽過同學錯把recharge當成儲值,他想儲值手機,一不小心說成了 I need to recharge my cellphone. (X)

Recharge和charge的意思相當,這樣就變成了「我手機要充電」。要說儲值,英國人會說:
I need to top up my mobile.

美國人直接一點,直說:
I need to buy more minutes for my phone.

至於in charge of/take charge of,大家很熟悉了,只看一個例句:
Who's in charge of making decisions in your office? 你辦公室裡誰是管事做決定的?

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:https://goo.gl/cP12GQ

責任編輯:黃雅苓
核稿編輯:陳慶徽