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【商業英語】善用慣用語 說話更地道(二)

【商業英語】善用慣用語 說話更地道(二)

除了成語外,慣用語亦是外籍人士在職場和日常生活中經常使用的。如果我們能善用慣用語,不但能令英語變得更地道,與外國客戶和上司交談時更會使人刮目相看。但大家切勿濫用,否則會有反效果,給人過分造作的印象。承接上節的內容,本節繼續為大家列出在職場和日常生活上常見的慣用語例子,希望大家能好好地掌握。

  1. 放馬後炮 Wiser after event

例子:You can never predict how the game will end but you’re always wiser after the event.

(每次比賽你都不能預計比賽的結果,但當比賽一完,你就放馬後炮了。)

  1. 一樣米養百樣人 Many men, many minds

例子:Many men, many minds. You can never understand why the client thinks in this way.

(正所謂一樣米養百樣人,你永遠都不會明白為何那客戶會這樣想。)

  1. 三個臭皮匠,勝過一個諸葛亮 Two heads are better than one

例子:I asked the team to get together to brainstorm the project because two heads are better than one.

(三個臭皮匠,勝過一個諸葛亮,所以我才叫組員們聚集在一起就這個專案計畫集思廣益。)

  1. 愛屋及烏 Love me, love my dog

例子:If you love her, you must accept everything about her, even her faults or weaknesses. Love her, love her dog.

(如果你愛她,就要接受她的一切,包括她的過錯和缺點。這就是愛屋及烏。)

  1. 人多好辦事 Many hands make light work

例子:Many hands make light work. The boss gave each of the team members a part and the task was completed in just a few hours.

(所謂人多好辦事,老闆給每位組員各分配了一個部分,幾個小時後便把任務完成了。)

 

除了之前的慣用語,部分英語慣用語喜歡引用食物、植物、動物甚至人體五官,不過若細心留意,便會發覺該慣用的實際意思可能跟牠/它毫無關係。

  1. 簡直沒有可能 (亦即「豬乸也會上樹」) Pigs might fly

例子:“I’ll return the money tomorrow, I promise.” “Yeah, and pigs might fly.”

(「我答應你, 明天一定會還錢。」「是嗎?豬也會上樹啦。」)

  1. 井井有條 In apple-pie order

例子:The secretary kept all his belongings and notes in apple-pie order.

(那秘書把他的物件和筆記放得井井有條。)

  1. 錦上添花 Gild the lily

例子:For such a beautiful lady, to use make-up would be to gild the lily.

(如此美麗的女士,化妝亦只是錦上添花。)

  1. 獨善其身 Keep ones nose clean

例子:If he doesn’t keep his nose clean, he may be in for trouble again.

(如果他不能獨善其身,便可能再次惹上麻煩。)

  1. 家喻戶曉 On everyones lips

例子: Her success story is on everyone’s lips at this moment.

(她的成功故事現在已是家喻戶曉了。)

  1. 膽小如鼠 Timid as a mouse

例子:Shy and quiet, this new receptionist is as timid as a mouse.

(這新接待員又怕羞又靜,更是膽小如鼠。)

  1. 無動於中 Not turn a hair

例子:I was expecting the boss to be furious but she didn’t turn a hair.

(我以為老闆會怒氣沖沖,但她卻無動於中。)

  1. 見過世面 Have seen the elephant

例子:The CEO has a range of experiences, good and bad, in her life. She has seen the elephants.

「總裁人生經驗豐富,好的壞的都遇過,是見過世面的人。」

Frankie Chan

MA in English Language Teaching (Distinction), BSc (First-class honours), TEFL Dip.
現代教育IELTS/TOEFL/Workplace English資深英語名師,著名TOEFL參考書作者及星島日報IELTS攻略專欄作者。曾任劍橋商業英語考試BULATS寫作及口試考官,並於國際英 語學院Wall Street English任教多年並擔任其多間分校之校長,具15年教學經驗,並擁有豐富管理與發展商業英語及國際英語考試課程之經驗。

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