名人教英文 – 短語動詞:look

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09/11/2009

名人教英文 – 短語動詞:look 陳淑莊

上期專欄我簡單介紹了短語動詞的用法並談及「phrasal verb 之王」——get,例如get back(回來)、get back at(報復)、get away with(開脫責任)。此外常用的還有get along(相處、工作進度)、get off(下車)、get on with something(繼續做一件事)等等。

今次我們會探討同樣常用的短語動詞——look。相信大家對look after(照顧)、look for(尋找)這些極實用的phrasal verbs一定不會陌生。最為人熟悉的一定是look at(看)。英國19 世紀大文豪王爾德(Oscar Wilde)有一句激勵人心的名言:We areall in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.(我們都活在溝渠下,但有些人昂首望向星空)。相比起gaze at(凝望着),look at 無疑缺乏浪漫的詩意和想像,但多了幾分追求理想的踏實。今天的香港人在供樓、貧富懸殊、空氣污染、交通擠塞的壓力下勞碌奔波,最重要積極樂觀,向好那邊看,歌仔都有得唱:Always look on the bright side of life。

說期待一件事,就會用上look forward to,例如:Hong Kongpeople look forward to seeing the blue sky again。雖然to之後多數會加動詞,但look forward to本身是一個phrasal verb的組合,所以之後會是一個名語或名詞短語(noun phrase),而不是另一個動詞。在這個例句,seeing the blue sky again 就是一個noun phrase。因此,如果說look forward to see the blue sky則文法有錯。

Look into 就是調查。Hong Kong people are perfectly entitledto look into matters that concern their well-being。政府的合法性來自人民,市民把工作的血汗錢納稅給政府,當然有權知道政府究竟在幹什麼。立法會、司法機關、傳媒和壓力團體以不同方式,在憲制內外,代表並捍衛市民的權利。所謂「高處不勝寒」, with great power comes great responsibility, 「政治家」,尤其由一個「make-believe election」選出來的,其實不是像吹口哨那麼簡單而輕佻。

說起「看」,不得不提普通法體系最著名的一句判詞︰ Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done。公正行事並不足夠,公正行事還必須被人人看到。一個成熟的法治社會,任何公職人員也要依照程序做事,漠視這些程序(to turn ablind eye to the procedures),我們會時光倒流回到貪污的那個年代。

因此,無論是特首或是那些月入20 萬元的高官或前高官,請小心。Look out! We are all witnesses.

網上收聽:english.mingpao.com/mp3_09.htm

作者電郵:info@tanyachan.hk

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