第三十六輯 第十二課 I had to bite my tongue.

出版時間:2004/01/09

做人太心直口快,在不當的時候衝動亂說話,很容易得罪別人,所以要懂得在適當時候「保持緘默」:I had to bite my tongue. (我只好咬著我的舌頭 )/ I had to hold my tongue.(我要按著我的舌頭), 也可直接說:Stop myself from saying something.(阻止自已說出某些話)。不想令人難堪,有時要強忍不說真相,但有些情況卻是因想不起而說不出口,可以這樣形容:It's on the tip of my tongue. (話到嘴邊或幾乎想起)。

對 話

Candy: Guess what. Vanessa just told me that she's in a pageant.
坎蒂: 猜我聽到甚麼,凡內莎剛告訴我她去選美。
Lisa: She told me the same thing. What could I possibly say to that?
莉莎: 她同樣也告訴過我,我對此有甚麼好說呢?
Candy: That's right. Imagine her in a pageant. I had to bite my tongue.
坎蒂: 對,一想到她去選美,我只好不說話。
Lisa: Forget you. Somebody should bite her tongue… right off. That would stop her lies. (Vanessa approaches) Hi Vanessa, you look great. (They are as fake as Vanessa is)
莉莎: 算了吧,有些人應咬斷自己的舌頭,以免說謊。(凡內莎走近)嗨,凡內莎,你美極了。(兩人如凡內莎般虛假 ) 。
Candy : Yeah, I told you, you looked great. Look at your hair, it's so gorgeous.
坎蒂: 是啊,我之前就說過,你真的很漂亮,瞧瞧你的秀髮,真亮麗。
Lisa: Oh your hair and your physique.
莉莎: 噢,你的秀髮,還有你的身材。

多學一點點《失言和說謊》

莉莎聽說凡內莎參加選美,很不以為然:What could I possibly say to that?(我對此有甚麼好說呢?)坎蒂說:I had to bite my tongue(我只好不說話)。
舌頭(tongue)是說話用的,「失言」就叫做a slip of the tongue,例如:I should have said “Dr Chen” instead of “Mr Chen” : it was just a slip of the tongue(我應說「陳博士」而不是「陳先生」:那是一時說錯了)。為免失言,最好bite one's tongue(把舌頭咬著);所以,這成語是「保持沉默」的意思,例如:I was going to tell him, but I bit my tongue when I saw you wink at me(我本來要告訴他,但看見你向我使眼色,就忍住不說)。留意吃東西時,不慎咬到舌頭,英文也叫做to bite one's tongue。
但有時舌頭未及時咬住就失言了,使人恨不得bite one's tongue off(把舌頭咬斷):加off一字,有「後悔失言」的意思,例如:When I saw how she was hurt by my inadvertent remark, I could have bitten my tongue off(我見自己一句無心的話令她那麼難過,深悔失言)。莉莎說Vanessa should bite her tongue right off to stop her lies(凡內莎應自己咬斷舌頭以免說謊),則當然和「後悔失言」無關,只是照字面意思用字。
其實莉莎說話也不老實。她在凡內莎面前大讚凡內莎漂亮,這種行為叫做with (one's) tongue in (one's) cheek,即「說話不老實」或「話中帶刺」,例如:Lisa praised Vanessa with her tongue in her cheek(莉莎言不由衷的讚美凡內莎)。



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