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2014年04月30日

學習英文、學習獨立 - 古德明

問:英文報紙有以下一句:Summer language tours put children in a fun environment to brush up on their English skills, and, at the same time, expand their horizons and become more independent。那brush up on的on字,是不是應刪去?Become more independent是不是應改為make them more independent?
答:讀者示下那一句,應是說「暑期語文學習遊,使孩子身處有趣的環境之中,學習英文,同時增廣見聞,並變得較為獨立」。Brush up (something)或作brush up on (something),那on不必刪去;不過,這動詞片語(phrasal verb)一般是指「溫習(荒疏了的技能)」,即牛津成語詞典 Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English 所謂revise or practise a skill in order to be proficient in it once again。香港學生去外國旅遊,學習英文,用learn English或improve their English應比brush up (on) their English (skills)貼切一點。
至於become more independent三字,明顯是因句子太長,以致作者忘了句子主詞(subject)是summer language tours,不是children。你可以說Summer language tours put children in a fun environment... to expand their horizons,卻不能說Summer language tours put children in a fun environment... to become more independent,因為這似是說「暑期語文學習遊要變得較為獨立」。讀者提議的改寫法很對。另一寫法是:Summer language tours help children to improve their English in a fun environment, and, at the same time, expand their horizons and become more independent.

古德明

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