中外思维的差异使得我们在学习英语词汇时容易产生错误理解,把中文背景带到英文单词中。不要紧,今天就跟着我们一起看看25大常错词,及时纠正错误观念并牢牢记住吧!

  1. Irony

  What you think it means: Something that is funny。你认为单词的含义是:滑稽的事。

  What it really means: Contrary to what you are expecting。单词的真正含义是:事与愿违的。

  This is a famous one because so many people get this wrong so often. It’s also kind of hard to explain, so we’ll use an example. The Titanic was boasted about as being 100% unsinkable and then in 1912 it was sunk anyway. That is what is called cosmic irony. When a starving vegetarian eats a pepperoni pizza, that is what is called situational irony。这是一个典型的单词,因为经常有人用错。解释起来可能有点困难,所以我们还是举例说明吧。泰坦尼克号号称100%不会沉没,但1912年它还是意外沉没了,这就叫“宇宙反讽”。要是某个饿得不行的素食者忍不住吃了块香肠披萨,那就叫“情境反讽”。

  There are other kinds too, such as dramatic irony and Socratic irony. Believe it or not, sarcasm

  is actually irony. When you say something sarcastically, your tone and your words mean two opposite things. That is ironic. Irony can be funny but not everything funny is irony。当然还有其他分类,比如“喜剧式反讽”和“苏格拉底式反讽”。不管你信不信,irony其实和sarcasm(讽刺)是一个意思。当说到某件事很讽刺时,你的语调和用词意在表达完全相反的两种情况。这就是ironic(反讽)。反讽可以是滑稽的,但并不是所有滑稽的事都可以称得上“反讽”。

  2. Travesty

  What you think it means: A tragedy or something unfortunate。你认为单词的含义是:悲剧或不幸的事。

  What it really means: A mockery or parody。单词的真正含义是:拙劣的模仿或恶搞。

  This is another one that people have wrong fairly frequently. You’ve heard people call 9/11 a travesty. Truth be told 9/11 was a tragedy. A travesty is actually a mockery or a parody. One might say that a Weird Al Yankovic album is a travesty. With how often this word is associated with tragedy, we wouldn’t be shocked if that definition were eventually added as an acceptable meaning. Until then, it doesn’t mean anything bad happened。

  这也是人们经常用错的一个单词。有人把9.11事件说成travesty,其实他是想说是个tragedy(悲剧)。Travesty其实是指拙劣的模仿或恶搞。你可以说艾尔?扬科维奇的专辑是travesty(恶搞的)。鉴于travesty这个单词总是被人们和tragedy(悲剧)搞混淆,或许以后travesty里面也能加入“悲剧”的含义吧。不过到目前为止,这个单词跟“不好的事情”完全扯不上关系。

  3. Ultimate

  What you think it means: The one, the only. The best。你认为单词的含义是:某个,唯一的,最好的。

  What it really means: The last item of a list。单词的真正含义是:列表中的最后一项。

  Some people do actually use this one properly. You may see someone list off a bunch of things and hear them say, “Okay, at the store we need eggs, milk, juice, and ultimately, butter。” That is actually the proper use of ultimate. There is no other context or added context. It simply means the last one。确实也有人能够正确使用这个单词。你或许看到过别人写出一串列单,然后听到他们说:“嗯……我们要去商店买点鸡蛋、牛奶、果汁,最后(ultimately)还有黄油。”这才是ultimate的正确使用方法。这里不存在其他内容或补充内容,ultimate就表示“最后一个”。

  4. Conversate

  What you think it means: To have a conversation。你认为单词的含义是:进行交谈。

  What it really means: Nothing。单词的真正含义是:压根没有这个词。

  Conversate actually doesn’t exist and I’ll prove it to you. Go into a program that underlines words with red if they’re spelled wrong. Now type out conversate. Did you see the red line? Conversate was meant to be a mixture of conversation and converse and be used as a verb. However, converse is a verb and there really isn’t a need for a second verb to describe the same action.Conversate这个单词其实是不存在的,这我可以证明。找个能标红错误拼写的程序,然后输入conversate这个单词,你应该能看到这个单词被标了红色下划线吧?conversate应该是conversation(交谈)和converse(交谈)的混合词,词性是动词。可是,converse(交谈)本身就是动词,根本就没必要再造一个动词来描述同一个行为了。

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