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英语讲义【168】委婉的话语

2007-07-05 16:11陈清霖

  英语中有许多客气或委婉的说法。学英语时要特别小心,多多体会,才不会冒失,给人不好的印象。

  下面(1)a-(5)a是不客气的话语;(1)b-(5)b则变为委婉:

  (1) 你要什么?

  a. What do you want?
  b. Can I help you? / Is there anything I can do for you?/ Can I be of any help to you?

  (2) 我想问你一个问题。

  a. I want to ask you a question.
  b. I would like to ask you a ques-tion./ May I ask you a question?

  (3) 你遇见我的朋友吗?“Have you ever met my friend?”

  a. No, I haven't.
  b. I don't think I have./ I am afraid I have.

  (4) 你想出去吗?“Would you like to go out?”

  a. No, I wouldn't.
  b. No, I don't think I would./ I don't think so.

  (5) 你现在有空吗?“Are you free now?”

  a. No, I am not.
  b. I am afraid I have an appoint-ment this afternoon.

  除了上述这些较固定的委婉口语之外,还有其他表示委婉的方法,如(6)b到(13)b:

  (一)多用疑问句,如:

  (6) a. Shut the door, please.
     b. Would you please shut the door?

  (7) a. I suggest that you go?
     b. May I suggest that you go?

  (二)多用情态动词(Modal verbs),特别是过去式,如:

  (8) a. I want a cup of tea.
     b. I would like to have a cup of tea. / Could I have a cup of tea?

  (9) a. I think you are making a mistake.
     b. I should have thought you were making a mistake.

  (三)用动词的过去式,如:

  (10) a. Do you want to see me?
      b. Did you want to see me?

  (11) a. I wonder if you will give me a hand?
      b. I wondered if you would give me a hand?

  (12) a. I will appreciate it if you can approve my application.
      b. I would appreciate it if you could approve my application.

  (13) a. I am wondering if you will give me some advice.
      b. I was wondering if you would give me some advice.

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