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說三道四

曾鈺成| 由同求異

2017年10月27日

文章裏要引述某人的話,最簡單的是用「說」。但當引述的話多了,為避免「說」字重複出現多次,有時便用「表示」、「認為」或者「強調」、「聲稱」等詞來代替。

同樣,英文的say,也可以用別的同義詞來代替,以避免太多重複使用。

很多說話是表達觀感或意見的,例如:

一、"It's unusually hot this year," he said.

二、" They should reduce the maxi-mum working hours of bus drivers," said the union leader.

三、The report said that we were losing our competitiveness.

這幾個句子裏的said,可以用re-marked、 observed、commented、 opined或pointed out取代;這些動詞,都用來指表達意見、發表評論或者指出事實, 它們之間的分別不大。

有些動詞,用來代替say,可以加上特別的色彩或含意,例如:

四、"It's unusually hot this year," he complained. 他抱怨說:「今年天氣熱得反常。」

五、"They should reduce the maxi-mum working hours of bus drivers," stressed the union leader. 工會領袖強烈表示:「巴士司機的最高工時要減少。」

六、The report concluded that we were losing our competitiveness.(在作了分析之後)報告書總結說,我們正失去競爭力。

用這幾個動詞代替了say,給說法添了點色彩。

要表示說話的人用了十分肯定的語氣,可以用assert,如:

七、The government asserts that the cuts in spending will not affect the quality of public services.

八、"The government is making a bad mistake," he asserted.

如果把上面兩句中的assert換做claim,就是「聲稱」,通常帶有所說的話「未經證實」的含意。

在辯論中提出某種主張,又可以用contend或argue,例如:

九、He contended(或argued)that abolishing the test would do more harm than good.

十、"The government is making a bad mistake," he contended.

試看以下對話:

"We need more land to build houses," said Alan.

"There is plenty of undeveloped land in the New Territories," said Betty.

"Do you mean the brownfield sites?" said Alan. "Most of them are occupied by recycling plants, open storage facilities or other businesses."

"Those businesses can either be relocated or terminated with compensation," said Betty.

"That's easier said than done," said Alan.

"It can be done if only the govern- ment has the will," said Betty.

這裏said用了6次,讀起來很重複。這6個said,依次可換作remarked、ob-served、asked、suggested、replied和contended;把一部分換了,效果會更好。

另一個做法是,當說話的人已十分清楚、不用指出時,把said Alan、said Betty等字全部略去。

曾鈺成真人演繹,請上 http://bit.ly/2hhvLHk觀看。

 

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