有些常見的應答片語,用中文來表達是完全沒有問題的,但在英語情境裡,意思卻截然不同。假如我們把片語直接從中文翻譯成英文使用,對方可能覺得你的回應很唐突和無禮,甚至帶有輕蔑的意思,容易產生誤會。

港式英語錯誤:

A: Can you help me? What does this mean?

B: Sure, it means…

A: But somebody told me it actually means…

解釋:

表達不同意見時,應避免一開口就說「but」,否則會讓人覺得你不願意接受他人的想法。

地道英語:

A: Can you help me? What does this mean?

B: Sure, it means…

A: Ok, I see, thanks. Somebody told me it actually means…is that right?

其他港式英語常見錯誤及解釋

1. 

港式英語錯誤:

A: What time do you want to meet?

B: Because I have to work today, so let’s meet at 19:00.

解釋:

「Because」及「so」不應同時使用,在同一句子裡只可二選其一。以英語為母語的人士也會用「well」或「hmm」等字作開首,讓對方知道你聽到他的說話及正在思考中。你亦可於回答時說「Does that work for you?」以表示善意。

地道英語:

A: What time do you want to meet?

B: Well, I have to work today, so let’s meet at 19:00. Does that work for you?

B: Hmm…I have to work today. Could we meet at seven?

2. 

港式英語錯誤:

A: Ok, I see, is that what you mean?

B: No no no no!

解釋:

除非你想表現得非常肯定、堅持,否則以「no!」或「no no no」回答會顯得太直接及沒有禮貌。以語氣溫和及較長的句子回應會比較恰當。

地道英語:

A: Ok, I see, is that what you mean?

B: Errr, no, not really – what I meant was…

B: Well, not exactly, no. I meant…