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  川金會破局?學會4種「取消」會議英文片語,看懂國際大事!
 



撰文◎Buffy

到底國際上談到「取消」會議除了cancel外,還有別的說法嗎?我們就從這次川金會可能取消的新聞,學多益(https://goo.gl/iyWpNv)常考且容易混淆的單字吧!

Call ~ off 取消

On Tuesday night, North Korea threatened to call the whole thing off.
(週二晚間,北韓威脅要取消會議。)

在這句話裡面,報導採用了一個較為口語的常見片語「call ~ off」,也就等同於取消的意思,注意這個片語和「put ~ off」不同,後者意思為延後、暫緩,等同於postpone之意,常出現在多益聽力題,聽的時候要注意「動詞用法決定語意」,不然誤會可就大了。

再補充一個和call有關的英文常見片語「call for~」,意思為呼籲,後面接呼籲事項的內容,可接名詞或動名詞,例句:Several of the newspapers were calling for his resignation.(許多報紙媒體呼籲他盡快下台。)

Back out of 退出

Why is North Korea, which had been all sweetness and light for the past several months of negotiations, all of a sudden saying it might back out of the talks?
(為何過去幾個月以來對於協商一直表現友善親切的北韓突然間說他可能會退出會談?)

另外一個用法就是「back out of~」,為表達退出的意思。Back原本是後方的意思,但片語「back out of~」取用往後退的含義,因此有退出之意。

另外和back有關的片語就是back up,可表達為有備份或是支持的意思,例句:All the evidence backs up her story.(所有的證據都支持了她的故事。)而當變成backup時,詞性則變成名詞,而該名詞屬於複合名詞,這也是英文常見的單字創作法之一。

在這裡需注意一點,那就是英文常會出現同個單字,但配上不同的介系詞使用後而完全改變語意的狀況,這些我們稱之為collocations(搭配字詞)。因此若要更理解外國人談話的內容,對於各種單字的collocations一定要有基本認知,建議在準備多益測驗時,順便整理一些collocation的單字表,增加對慣用語的掌握度,因為這些collocations經常會出現在英文對話題中。

Scuttle 阻饒破壞

They don’t believe Pyongyang is trying to scuttle the talks, at least not yet.
(他們不相信北韓政府試圖阻饒破壞會談,至少現在還不是。)

Scuttle這個單字有表達阻饒破壞之意,相似於取消的含義,也和destroy、sabotage等單字同意。例句:Some of the stockholders are threatening to scuttle the deal .(部分的持股人威脅要破壞這個交易。)

Pull out of~ 退出

Kim appeared to suggest that it was Bolton, "talking about (a) formula of 'abandoning weapons first, compensating afterwards,'" which had prompted the threat to pull out of the planned summit.
(金正恩似乎在暗示川普新聘的國家安全顧問John Bolton的論述「談到先棄武,後補償」的公式促使他威脅退出計畫好的高峰會。)

「Pull out of~」其實和前面提到「back out of~」有異曲同工之妙,概念很類似,只是採用不同動詞罷了。我們都知道pull有拉扯的意思,因此從某個東西中拉出來,就是退出的含義。另外比較正式的動詞為「withdraw from~」,皆有退出的意思。例句:Both countries agreed to withdraw their troops.(兩國同意雙方軍隊撤退。)

多益模擬試題:

W: Why didn’t you tell me the product planning meeting had been called off? I was sitting in the seminar for 15 minutes, from 10:00~10:15, but nobody came.

M: It was posted on our department sub-site this morning. We are supposed to log on and check the e-schedule every morning when we come in, right? Charles Burnett, who is in charge of product development, called in sick at around 8:00. There is no way we can have the planning session without him.

W: Didn’t it occur to you that since I arrive every morning at 7:00, maybe I did check our website but it wasn’t posted at that time?

M: I see your point. Oh, it’s my fault, I suppose. I’m sorry I didn’t let you know.

1. What is the problem?
(A) A website is down.
(B) A product is faulty.
(C) A meeting was cancelled.
(D) An employee was late.

2. What did the man assume about the woman?
(A) She called in sick today.
(B) She didn’t plan to attend the meeting.
(C) She already received the sales report.
(D) She knew about the change in schedule.

3. When did the woman arrive for work this morning?
(A) 7:00.
(B) 8:00
(C) 10:00
(D) 10:15

解析:

1. 正確答案為(C),題意為「出了什麼問題?」對話的一開始女方就質問男方說「Why didn’t you tell me the product planning meeting had been called off?(你怎麼沒告訴我產品計畫會議已經被取消了?)」由於call off的同義詞為cancel,因此可以判斷正確答案為(C) A meeting was cancelled,其中注意選項(B) A product is faulty是典型的混淆視聽題型,對話中雖然出現fault,但是和產品有瑕疵的(faulty)完全無關,因此不能選。

2. 正解為(D)。題意為「男方的假設女方的什麼事情?」其中男方被質問後說到「We are supposed to log on and check the e-schedule every morning when we come in, right? (我們每天早上到公司就要登錄網站並且確認當天的電子行程表,不是嗎?)」男方用反問句來確認一個肯定的訊息,因此我們可以推斷這是共識,男方認為女方如果有確認新的行程表,應該會知道會議遭取消一事,因此答案為選項(D) She knew about the change in schedule。其中選項(A) She called in sick today也是混淆視聽題,對話中提到生病請假的人是產品發展主導人,而且不是女方,故不能選。

3. 正確答案為(A)。題意為「女方幾點到公司?」雖然對話中有出現多個不同的時間點,不過在對話中,女方說了這麼一句話「Didn’t it occur to you that since I arrive every morning at 7:00, maybe I did check our website but it wasn’t posted at that time?(你難道沒想過既然我每天早上都七點到公司,或許我確實有確認過但是當時行程表還沒更新嗎?)」因此可以確認答案要選(A) 7:00,其餘時間分別代表負責人打來請假時間、女方在會議室等待時間等,因此皆不可選。

延伸閱讀》海外出差常用到的10個英文 讓你行程安排不出錯

Photo: Marco Verch, CC Licensed