名人教英文 – Take 2學英文

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11/01/2011

名人教英文 – Take 2學英文 毛孟靜

What’s your take on this?這句話,大家個個字都識,但未必人人霎時都明白。這裏的take(拿),有點中文「拿揑」的意思,是指「想法、意見、理解」:

What’s your take on this?(這事你怎麼看?)一句過去式的問話:

What was your take on whether or not he knew her?(就他識不識得她這一筆,你當時的看法如何?)

Take這個用法,比較近年,比較新,源自本來就有的習用:I take it that you mean……「我理解你的意思是……」I take it,是動作;Your take on,就成了名詞。

另一個流行已久的take口語,但未為西方世界以外熟悉的, 是形容一個人on the take——受賄、收取利益、「攞著數」:

That is a politician on the take.(那是個受賄的政治人。)

I don’t trust him. I suspect he is on the take.(我不相信他,我懷疑他收取利益。)

Take 這個字,小學生都已學會,上到中學,就會碰上give and take,直譯「付出與拿取」,可以是一種生活態度,通常用於談判,但亦可套諸任何關係,談的是這裏讓一讓步,那裏又進取一些,就等於「折衷」。那副心情是,這裏失去一些,不要緊,在另一方面得一些就好:

We can’t afford not to budge. We have to give and take.(我們不可能寸土不讓,我們得妥協一下。)

We have a give-and-take relationship. ( 我們有個「互讓」關係;有「和衷共濟」的意思。更有說,這就是婚姻之道。)

Give and take,正規的中文叫施與受,就會想起「施比受有福」的名句:

It is better to give than take.會有人更喜歡傳統的講法,那個施與受的「受」,不說take,用receive:

To give is more blessed(讀bless-sed,受祝福)than to receive.

看,to give、to receive,有押韻味道。要留意的,是另有give or take 的講法,意思不一樣,是說加一點減一點後, 「差不多、咁上下」。

I think he must be about 30, give or take a couple of years.(我想他應該30 歲左右(加減一兩歲)。)

一個take 字,看起來很淺,但用起來花樣眾多,可以好好玩。有些人崇尚深字,以示淵博,卻容易淪為「未學行先學走」。學好英文,由淺字再開始。Take 2 學英文。

 

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