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在英国的小伙伴们几乎无时不刻要面对English,但有一些单词并非我们想当然的含义或用法,使用不当可能会闹笑话甚至造成误会,下面就来教大家中国人最易用错的25个英语单词到底该怎么用。





1 Irony



这是一个典型的单词,因为经常有人用错。

你认为单词的含义是:滑稽的事。

单词的真正含义是:事与愿违的。What it really means: Contrary to what you are expecting.

举个栗子你就懂了:

The Titanic was boasted about as being 100% unsinkable and then in 1912 it was sunk anyway. That is what is called cosmic irony. When a starving vegetarian eats a pepperoni pizza, that is what is called situational irony.


解释起来可能有点困难,所以我们还是举例说明吧。泰坦尼克号号称100%不会沉没,但1912年它还是意外沉没了,这就叫“宇宙反讽”。要是某个饿得不行的素食者忍不住吃了块香肠披萨,那就叫“情境反讽”。


当然还有其他分类,比如“喜剧式反讽”和“苏格拉底式反讽”。不管你信不信,irony其实和sarcasm(讽刺)是一个意思。当说到某件事很讽刺时,你的语调和用词意在表达完全相反的两种情况。这就是ironic(反讽)。反讽可以是滑稽的,但并不是所有滑稽的事都可以称得上“反讽”。




2 Travesty



这也是人们经常用错的一个单词。

你认为单词的含义是:悲剧或不幸的事。

单词的真正含义是:拙劣的模仿或恶搞。 This is another one that people have wrong fairly frequently.

举个栗子:You’ve heard people call 9/11 a travesty. Truth be told 9/11 was a tragedy. A travesty is actually a mockery or a parody. One might say that a Weird Al Yankovic album is a travesty. With how often this word is associated with tragedy, we wouldn’t be shocked if that definition were eventually added as an acceptable meaning. Until then, it doesn’t mean anything bad happened.

有人把9.11事件说成travesty,其实他是想说是个tragedy(悲剧)。Travesty其实是指拙劣的模仿或恶搞。你可以说艾尔?扬科维奇的专辑是travesty(恶搞的)。鉴于travesty这个单词总是被人们和tragedy(悲剧)搞混淆,或许以后travesty里面也能加入“悲剧”的含义吧。不过到目前为止,这个单词跟“不好的事情”完全扯不上关系。




3 Ultimate


你认为单词的含义是:某个,唯一的,最好的。


单词的真正含义是:列表中的最后一项。

You may see someone list off a bunch of things and hear them say, “Okay, at the store we need eggs, milk, juice, and ultimately, butter.” That is actually the proper use of ultimate. There is no other context or added context. It simply means the last one.


你或许看到过别人写出一串列单,然后听到他们说:“嗯……我们要去商店买点鸡蛋、牛奶、果汁,最后(ultimately)还有黄油。”这才是ultimate的正确使用方法。这里不存在其他内容或补充内容,ultimate就表示“最后一个”。



4 Conversate



你认为单词的含义是:进行交谈。

单词的真正含义是:压根没有这个词。

Conversate这个单词其实是不存在的,这我可以证明。找个能标红错误拼写的程序,然后输入conversate这个单词,你应该能看到这个单词被标了红色下划线吧?conversate应该是conversation(交谈)和converse(交谈)的混合词,词性是动词。可是,converse(交谈)本身就是动词,根本就没必要再造一个动词来描述同一个行为了。




5 Peruse



你认为单词的含义是:略读或浏览。

单词的真正含义是:深入观察。

When you’re at a record store and you’re just running through a stack of records, you are just browsing. If you pick up a record and look at the artist, track list, and additional information on the back, then your are perusing.


当你peruse(深入观察)某事物时,说明你看得非常仔细。假设你在唱片店穿过一排排的唱片架,那就是“浏览”。如果你拿起一张唱片查看背后的艺术家、目录和其他信息,那就叫peruse(深入观察)了。



6 Bemused



你认为单词的含义是:愉快的。

单词的真正含义是:困惑的。 This is one of the many words on this list that will make you strongly dislike the English language. Despite looking all but identical to the word amused, bemused doesn’t even come close to meaning the same thing. If you are bemused then you are actually confused.


这个单词可能本清单中“荣膺”让你讨厌英语的原因之一。尽管bemused(困惑的)在拼写上跟amused(愉快的)很相似,但这两个单词的含义却并不一样。如果你bemused,说明你其实很困惑。



7 Compelled



你认为单词的含义是:志愿选择做某事。


单词的真正含义是:被迫或有义务做某事。

举个栗子:When you’re in court, you are compelled to give honest testimony. You may not want to, but it doesn’t matter because you have to.


这个单词被人们搞错其实倒也情有可原。它的真实定义和人们通常误用的含义很接近,但区别就在于动机如何。当说到compelled(被迫)时,人们以为说话者想做某事,但实际上,说话者是有违自身情绪而被迫去做某事的。举个例子,在出庭时,你就是compelled(被迫)如实作证的,你可能心里不情愿,但不管怎样你只能这么做。



8 Nauseous


你认为单词的含义是:感觉不舒服。

单词的真正含义是:令人不舒服的。

举个栗子: If you’re at an amusement park and you’re sitting next to a full trash can, the fumes from the trash may make you feel ill. That means the fumes from the trash can are nauseous because they are making you feel nauseated.


许多人用错这个单词也是情有可原的。如果你果真感到不舒服,那么你会nauseated(作呕),让你感到不舒服的东西是nauseous(作呕的)。请看下面的例子。假设你坐在游乐园一个满满的垃圾桶旁边,垃圾桶里冒出的烟雾让你感到不舒服。这就是说,垃圾桶里冒出的烟雾是nauseous(令人作呕的),因为它让你感到nauseated(作呕)。



9 Redundant


你认为单词的含义是:重复的。

单词的真正含义是:过剩的。

A popular thing companies are doing now is firing people but instead of calling it “getting fired,” they call it “eliminating redundancies.” The premise being that the employee they’re firing is unnecessary and excessive and they are thus eliminating them. In pretty much any scenario where there is simply too much of something, it is redundant.


这个单词有点复杂,因为你可能总会用错,却也不一定什么时候就用对了。当你不断重复某事很多次后,事情可能就会变得redundant(多余的),但是redundant这个词所包含的意思远不止“不断重复”。当下公司都很流行解聘雇员,但他们不会说“炒你鱿鱼”,而是称之为“裁员”;但前提是,被裁的员工是可有可无的、多余的,这样就可以裁掉了。在很多情况下,如果某事太多太剩,那就是redundant(多余的)了。



10 Enormity


你认为单词的含义是:巨大的,庞大的。

单词的真正含义是:极其不道德的或邪恶的。

举个栗子:An example of how to use it is the following: “The enormity of the crimes committed by the Nazis in World War II.” It doesn’t mean the enormous crimes, it means the heinous crimes.


不要因为用错这个单词而自责,因为没多少人能不假思索地知道这个单词。Enormity(穷凶恶极)的发音和enormous(庞大的)比较相近,正如先前提过的许多例子一样,对于发音相似的单词,人们也很容易认为它们的意思也一样。Enormity是指“极其邪恶”。举个例子来说明如何使用这个单词吧。“纳粹分子在二战中犯下的罪行是enormity(穷凶恶极的)。”它不是说enormous(庞大的)罪行,而是指十恶不赦的罪行。



总结


The English language is a finicky one but it’s also ever changing. Words are updated and definitions change. New words are added every year and some are retired. Very few people will ever master the entire language and the rest of us will just have to do the best we can!


英语是一门讲究的语言,并且一直在演变。单词在更新,定义在修改。每年都有旧词废除新词增补。很少有人能把整个英语语言吃透弄懂,那我们这些芸芸大众只要尽力掌握就可以啦!