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用字遣詞顯功架 - 《IELTS攻略》
20-Dec-2017

用字遣詞顯功架

 

2010年的馬尼拉人質事件,經過3年多的追討,菲律賓政府終向受害者致以最悲痛的歉意(most sorrowful regret),惟不少人都斟酌菲政府的用詞是否等同apology(道歉)。其實上述事件正好反映了詞彙的影響力及重要性。

我們寫作IELTS的學術性文章時,必須恰當地用字遣詞。 別以為只有英文欠佳的人才會用詞不當,就算說得一口流利英語的學生,亦有用字失當的時候,他們有時會以「我手寫我口」的方式寫作,用詞傾向口語化,若把這些詞彙套用在學術性文章就不太適合了。這篇讓我們學習修飾口語化及不當的詞語,使之成為正規英語。筆者節錄了一些雖然合乎語法,但用詞失當及空泛的句子,現在我們便試試逐一把它們修飾。

  1. 1. The survey results indicate that the quality of service in some Hong Kong five-star hotels is bad.

Good、bad、nice等字眼不夠具體,讀者無法得知事物的好壞程度。故此,學術性文章應盡量避免使用這些無實質意義的詞語。例句的bad可改為unsatisfactory(不令人滿意的)、disappointing(令人失望的)、inadequate(不夠好的)或substandard(低於標準的),使意思更明確。

  1. 2. In the past decade, a lot of research has been done on work life balance.

A lot of太口語化,可改為 a great deal of(大量)。而done這個字亦欠正規,可改為conducted(進行)。

  1. 3. The problem of working overtime has become more and more serious lately.

More and more傾向口語化 ,若要講究用詞的話,可改用副詞increasingly(愈來愈多地、不斷增加地),這樣就更到位。另外,lately亦過分口語化,建議用in recent years(近年)取代。

  1. 4. Many international companies value members of staff who have got good presentation skills.

Have got 太口語化,應改為possess(擁有)。而good這個字的意思不夠具體,可改為effective(有效的)。

  1. 5. The school didn’t have much difficulty in identifying the bullying problem.

Didn’t是縮寫,而 did not have much difficulty 的意思可用 encountered / experienced little difficulty(遇到/經歷少許的困難)代替,把句子意思由負面變成較正面,效果更理想。

  1. 6. The principal provides no evidence at all to back up her claim that English standards of the students are getting worse.

Provides no evidence at all 的意思過於強硬,撰文者是否肯定零證據?建議改為 provides little evidence (提供少量的證據)。此外,back up及getting worse亦太口語化,前者可改為 substantiate(證實),後者可用deteriorating(惡化)或declining(衰落)代替。

  1. 7. The revised Statutory Minimum Wage of $34.50 per hour has been a hot topic since May.

嚴格來說, a hot topic並無不妥,但改用形容詞debatable、controversial  或 contentious(引起爭議的)更佳。

  1. 8. In the past year, share prices have gone up and down a lot.

Gone up and down太口語化,可改用動詞fluctuated。A lot亦欠正規,可改為considerably(相當多地)、significantly(顯著地)或 substantially(在很大程度上)或 dramatically(戲劇性地)。

  1. 9. Ensuring a big sample of subjects for a reliable survey is a must.

Big 太口語化,可改用substantial(可觀的)或sizable(相當大的)就更精煉。另外,a must 非正規用詞,建議改用形容詞invaluable(極有用的)、essential(必要的)、crucial(關鍵的)、vital / imperative(極其重要的)、indispensable(不可或缺的)或paramount(首要的)。

  1. 10. Everybody knows that there has been a huge increase in the number of office workers attending Putonghua courses since the handover.

Everybody knows太口語化,可改為 It is widely acknowledged that(被廣泛認可)。若把huge如改為significant (顯著的)或substantial(可觀的)就更理想。