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考研英語第三天:選詞的兩大訣竅

時間:2007-09-26來源:考研英語欄目:考研英語作文作者:考研英語 英語作文收藏:收藏本文
詞是最基本的語言單位,對詞語選用的重要性曾有一個很好的比喻:“Using the right word at the right time is rather like wearing appropriate clothing for the occasion:it is a courtesy to others,and a favor to yourself——a matter of presenting yourself

詞是最基本的語言單位,對詞語選用的重要性曾有一個很好的比喻:“Using the right word at the right time is rather like wearing appropriate clothing for the occasion:it is a courtesy to others,and a favor to yourself——a matter of presenting yourself well in the eyes of the world.” 我們漢語中的“一字值千金”也說明了選擇詞語的極端重要性。有時“一字之差”會造成令人遺憾的敗筆,或招致成千上萬的經濟損失。這些反面的教訓也告訴我們必須重視詞語選用的問題。而且選詞的好壞直接關系到我們作文質量的高低,也就是說,選詞是我們的作文能否得高分的重要因素。今天要求大家掌握的就是英語寫作中選詞的兩大訣竅。

一、選詞要準

選詞準,就是要根據使用場合選用確切的語言形式。正如有句英語俗語所言:Do not write so that your words may be undertstood, but write so that your words must be understood.著名美國作家馬克·吐溫說:“用詞準確與用詞幾乎準確,這兩者之間的差異就如閃電與螢火蟲之間的差異。”(The difference between the right word and the almost?right word is as great as that between lighting and the lighting bug.)

Brevity is the soul of wit.

言貴簡。 這里所說的準包括三個方面的含義:一是說用詞的正式程度要恰當;二是說所選詞的意義要正確;三是說要避免使用有性別色彩的詞語。

1、正如說話者要根據聽眾和談話的場合來確定所使用的語言的正式程度一樣,我們在寫作文的時候也需要根據題目的要求來選擇適當的語氣和用詞。

例1:I'm sending you this letter because I want you to meet with me and give me some info about the job you do.

顯然在一封求職信中這句話太隨便了,want, info等詞都是口語中的常用詞匯,應該改為:I'm writing to inquire about the possibility of an interview.

例2:The driver education course prepares the student for the skills of handling a vehicle on the highway transportation system.

而在這句話中handling, vehicle, transportation system等詞則過于正式,讓人讀起來感覺非常生硬。應改為:The driver education course teaches the student how to drive.

考研英語中的短文寫作通常都介于正式文體和非正式文體之間,而讀者就是閱卷的老師,因此選詞時要注意把握好其正式程度,避免使用俚語、俗語、術語等,也要注意不要過多地使用專業術語,使用普通的詞匯即可。

2、漢語的詞匯與英語的詞匯不總是一一對應的。有時,漢語詞的含義較英語的廣,比如漢語中看電視、看電影、看報紙、看病等等都用一個“看”字,而在英語中則分別對應著watch TV, see a film, read newspaper, visit the doctor。有時漢語詞的含義較英語的窄,比如complaint一詞就對應著抱怨、疾病、控訴等意思。因此,我們在選詞時要注意詞義對應準確。

例1. The living level of the people in China has been greatly raised in recent years.

句中level一詞不符合英語的表達習慣, 應改為standard.

例2. I forgot my keys in the office.

句中forgot一詞被誤用了,應改為left。

例3. The traffic is crowded in some large cities.

句中crowded一詞用錯了,應改為heavy。

3、當我們使用prehistoric man, manpower, chairman, mailman和the brotherhood of man等單詞或短語時,我們所說的man指的是人類,但往往會引起誤解。因此我們在作文中要謹慎地使用帶有man的單詞,在使用人稱代詞的時候也要注意。

例1:Mankind has always been obsessed with man's inhumanity to man. (mankind, man)

應改為:Human beings have always been obsessed with people's cruelty to one another.

例2:Did you leave a note for the mailman?

應改為:Did you leave a note for the mail carrier?

例3:Today's student values his education.

應改為:Today's students value their education.

下面列出一些常見的帶有性別色彩的詞和它們的替換詞。

ExampleAlternatives

mankindhumanity, people, human being

man's achievements human achievements

man'mademanufactured

common manaverage person, ordinary people

man'hour staff'hour

businessman business executive

fireman firefighter

Deliberate slowly, execute promptly.

謀慮要慢,行動要快。

二、用詞要活

用詞活,就是在用詞上要做到靈活,使句子生動、優美。靈活是建立在準確性的基礎之上的,否則,單純追求靈活、生動或優雅,就會出現辭藻華麗(flowery)而內容空洞的文風,這是應當避免的。準確性是靈活性的前提,也是提高靈活性的基礎。然而,靈活、生動與簡練相關。英國文豪莎士比亞的名言“Brevity is the soul of wit”相當于漢語的“言貴簡潔”。我們說話、寫文章都要以“言簡意賅”四字為目標。譴詞造句要盡可能避免不必要的用詞重復,反復地使用同一個詞,容易使文章單調乏味,缺乏表現力,而且會使讀者感覺到作者詞匯量的貧乏。

1. 同義詞替代法。同其他語言一樣,英語中也存在著大量的同義詞,而且在許多情況下,同一個意思可以使用不同的單詞甚至是一些短語來表達。

例如:

例1.The fog was so thick that we could not see anything. (dense)

The fog was so dense that we could not see anything.

例2. You'd better take this sofa away. It takes too much room. (space)

You'd better take this sofa away. It takes too much space.

例3. I used to live in the town which is about twenty miles away from our college. (some, distant)

I used to live in the town which is some twenty miles distant from our college.

例4. Finally he managed to get the airline tickets. (At length, In the end, At last...)

At length he managed to get the airline tickets.

In the end he managed to get the airline tickets.

At last he managed to get the airline tickets.

例5. A decrease in demand causes lower prices. (results in, leads to, produces)

A decrease in demand results in lower prices.

A decrease in demand leads to lower prices.

A decrease in demand produces lower prices.

例6. He is considered as the right candidate. (thought/ believed/regarded)

He is thought as the right candidate.

He is believed as the right candidate.

He is regarded as the right candidate.

Friendship cannot stand always on one side.

友誼是雙方的事。

2. 巧用指代詞法。我們知道,代詞的使用頻率較高是英語的一大特點。因此在寫作時,為了避免不必要的重復以使行文流暢,我們經常使用指代詞來代替前面已經出現過的名詞。例如:

例1:Queen Elizabeth II served as a driver and mechanic in World War II. Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service in 1944, while the future queen was still a princess. Although Princess Elizabeth did not know how to drive, she quickly learned how to strip and repair kinds of engines.

上面一段中黑體字部分的Elizabeth, the future queen和Princess Elizabeth不僅讓讀者感覺啰嗦,而且有時會感到費解,甚至有時會引起誤解。如果用she來代替的話不僅避免了重復, 而且還可以起到連接上下文的效果。

【友情提示】

詞是句子和篇章最基本的組成單位,要想選好詞,就必須遵守英語的表達習慣,注意英語和漢語在用詞上的異同。對于同義詞也要注意它們的語體色彩、用法和習慣搭配。平時注意積累一些比較地道的英語表達方式,相信勤奮的你一定可以讓閱卷老師對你的作文另眼相看。

One tree does not make a forest.——獨木不成林。

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