名人教英文 – 短語動詞:get

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02/11/2009

名人教英文 – 短語動詞:get 陳淑莊

驟眼一看,你可能不知什麼叫「短語動詞」,但如果說到phrasal verbs,相信在本地學英文一段時間的朋友一定會嘆一口氣: 「哦!

那些動詞的麻煩用法,怎也記不好!」由一個動詞(verb)連接一個介詞(preposition)組合而成,就成為所謂短語動詞,意思可以與原本的動詞毫無關係。

日常口語要講得好,關鍵正是phrasal verbs。Phrasal verbs 很多時有同義的一個動詞,例如「回來」,書面或較莊重的說法是return,口語說法則多數會用上phrasal verb —— get back。

說特首剛從東京回來,政府新聞處可能會向市民大眾和傳媒發布消息: 「The Chief Executive has just returned from Tokyo.」但在特首的「心戰室」和他緊密合作的「戰友」,則可能以短訊互通,簡單的一句「CE’s just got back.」由此可見,站在學習英語的角度, 「親疏有別」也有可取的時候。

學phrasal verbs 困難之處,在於有時會一詞多義,而且許多時照字面看,根本無從估計詞意,所以除了勤力以外,別無他法。

剛才說的get back,字面看也有取回的意思。Get back at 則指報復,例句如: Donald will get back at Mickey, unless Mickey lets him get away with the mess he has himself created.(除非米奇不追究當奴自己搞出來的一團糟,否則當奴定必報復。)Get away with 有開脫的意思。Get into 的意思很廣泛:可以指進入(例如一個地方、一間大學)、產生興趣、沾染壞習慣等等。說某人自大狂妄使自己陷入困窘,可以說︰ He got himself into trouble by getting way above himself.

月滿則虧,水滿則溢,任何人以為自己是萬人之上就可以罔顧法則,是失敗的先兆、傾頹之喪鐘。「敲起喪鐘」的英文是to ring the death knell,to get above oneself 就是自視過高,to get way above oneself 就是非常自大的意思。Way 除了解方向和方法外,也解「十分」,例如說He was acting way out of line,就是「他做得非常過分」的口語。

Due to a hereditary leg pain, Po-tai just wants to get his remaining term as Chief Actor over with.(由於遺傳性腳痛,寶泰只想盡快完成他首席演員的餘下任期。)Get something over with 有只求盡快完成、草草了事的意味。既然已成昨日黃花,寶泰的演出一定壞透了吧?無錯,他才勉強及格,He barely got by. He is not getting his job done!

 

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網上收聽:english.mingpao.com/mp3_09.htm

作者電郵:info@tanyachan.hk

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