David的外籍主管在慶功宴上,說了這麼一句 ”Everyone means something to me.”

David想著mean是「指」的意思,mean something「指一些東西」,那到底是「指什麼」,怎麼沒頭沒尾的。沒想到這句說完,同事們就紛紛鼓掌了。原來這一句的意思跟「指什麼」無關,是表示 “Everyone is important to me.”大家對我來說很重要。

means是「手段、方法、意指」,by means of是「透過…方法」,所以通訊工具叫means of communication、交通工具是means of transportation。

聽不懂別人的意思,你可以說:What do you mean?

有意思的是,mean這個字用得最生動的時候,往往是用到人心裡面去,像是:

You mean a lot to me.
(X) 你指出很多方法給我。
(O) 你對我意義非凡。

某件事「有價值、有(特別)意義、有幫助」,請說:

Does this old watch mean anything? Yes, it means something to my dad.
這只老錶有特別意義嗎?嗯,對我爸爸有些意義。

What you did really means something.
你做的事情真的很有意義。

Everyone means a lot to me.
每個人都對我很有幫助、很有價值。

想強調「我是說老實話」
I mean it. 我是認真的、不跟你開玩笑。
Sorry, I didn’t mean it. 抱歉,我不是故意的。
I didn’t mean that. 我不是那個意思。

mean其他的用法還有:

名詞

a man/woman of means有錢人
live beyond your means 入不敷出
live within your means 量入為出

片語

1. by all means當然可以
“May I borrow your charger?” “Yes, by all means.”
我可以跟你借充電器嗎?當然可以啊。

2. by any means不擇手段,任何方法都要達成,略有負面含義
He promised that he would protect their kids by any means.
他承諾他無論如何都會保護他們的孩子。

3. by no mean絕對不,絕非是,還差得遠
It was by no means perfect but still better than last quarter.
這絕非完美,但還是比上一季好一些。

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:洪婉恬