Of course是最常被濫用的英文句子,我們常用得理直氣壯,渾然不知得罪人了。來看看底下兩個例子:

A: Do you hear what the boss said?(你有聽到老闆說什麼嗎?)
B: Of course!(當然)=> 隱含:我怎麼可能沒聽到!

A: Do you speak English?(你會說英文嗎?)
B: Of course!(當然)=> 隱含:我怎麼不會講!

我們經常很理所當然的把of course當做yes來回答,中外皆然。前陣子紐約時報有一篇文叫做"Of course, of course",作者在當天紐約時報就一天的新聞裡'挑出了九幾個不必用"of course"卻用了的例子。他說, of course 幾乎變成了新聞口頭禪。講「當然了」用意固然是強調,,但有它經常也表露出高傲、目中無人。

A colleague points out that “of course” risks becoming a tic in our stories. Sometimes the phrase is warranted for emphasis or, far less often, as a sly comment. But often it serves little purpose and can be omitted with no loss. Occasionally “of course” carries a whiff of condescension or superciliousness that should give us pause.

文章裡出現的of course,很多是可以省略的。我們來看看口語對話中怎麼用這個詞。

A: Do you know how to spell the word?
B: Of course.
但這麼用of course就顯得自大了。這裡面隱含著What a stupid question!,我怎麼可能不會。這時候你回答Yes/sure都可以。

Of course用好,也可以恰如其份。當你說of course的時候,表示這是一件不證自明的事。例如:
A: Can you help me?
B: Of course!
你很樂意幫忙,用Of course!意思是:「我當然願意幫助你了,這還用問嗎?」也可以用Sure/certainly。

Of course的否定是of course not。例句:
A: Do you mind if I open the window?(你介意我開窗戶嗎?)
B: Of course not.(當然不會。)
這時候,Of course not來得正是時候!