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Learning English with Thomas
Asymptomatic - First encounter with Greek prefixes in English
Knowing the relationship between Greek roots and word formation in English 認識希臘字根與英文造字的關係 T : Thomas |M : Mickey   T: Hi Mickey! What are you up to?   M: I’m enjoying my afternoon tea here. Can you spare some time?   T: Oh, sure.   M: Ah Thomas, by the way, did you read the newspapers today? It’s reported: Despite the number of influenza confirmed cases is coming down, there should be quite a few invisible virus-carriers, those asymptomatic carriers. What does this word, asymptomatic mean?   T: It’s one of those English hybrid words with the Greek prefix - a-, meaning not, non, un, to negate the basic meaning of the word, which in this case asymptomatic actually means no symptoms.   M: It’s something new to me. Can you give me some examples?   T: Sure. I can think of the following, to start with: asymmetrical; atypical and even abnormal, where the ab is a variation of a.   M: Wow! I haven’t come across something like these.   T: Haha! It’s time you should read more books.   T:嗨 Mickey!你要做甚麼?   M: 我正在吃下午茶。你有時間嗎?   T: 哦,當然有。   M: 啊Thomas,順便問一下,你今天讀報了沒有?據報道: 儘管流感的確診病例數子正在下降,但應該有不少隱形帶菌者,即那些無症狀帶菌者。Asymptomatic這個詞是甚麼意思?   T: 它是帶有希臘語前綴 —— a- 英語混合詞之一,意思是not、non、un,以否定原詞的基本含義,在這種情況下, asymptomatic實際上意味著沒有症狀。   M: 這詞對我來說很新鮮。能給我一些例子嗎?   T: 當然可以。首先,我可以想到以下幾點:不對稱(asymmetrical);非典型的(atypical);冷漠(apathy);甚至異常(abnormal),其中ab是a的變體。   M: 哇!我從沒有接觸過這些詞。   T: 哈哈,你是時候要多看書了!  
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Learning English with Thomas
Let’s “go” 淺談英文片語
Learning the use of English phrasal verbs 學習英文片語的運用 T: Thomas   M:Mark   M: Hello Thomas! I am so happy to bump into you again for the second time today! Just the right time and right place.   T: Hi Mark! It’s good to see you again, but why is it the right time and right place?   M: Because I’ve got a difficult text to summarise, and I must get it done soon. Can you help me?   T: Sure. Let me go over it.   M: How do you mean “go over”?   T: Please read through it first, instead of passing over it. That’s what I said   M: Oh, I see.   T: Should I go for it now?   M: You just said, “Go for it” ! What does that mean then?   T: Going for it means choosing to do that. OK. Let me go ahead with it and then get back to you right away.   M: Now, I can see that you are playing with phrasal verbs.   T: You are quite observant, Mark! Right. I said all that deliberately to make you get into the task. Now, you have a go at it yourself. And then I’ll tell you afterwards where you went wrong. OK?   M: Thanks. I’ll go through it now (nodding and smiling).   M: 你好Thomas!很高興今天第二次踫見你!真的是恰當的時間和地點。   T: 嗨Mark!再次見到你真好,不過,為甚麼你說是在恰當的時間和對的地方?   M: 因為我有一篇很難深的文章要做撮寫,我必須盡快完成。你能幫忙嗎?   T: 當然可以。讓我仔細看一看(go over)。   M: 你所指的「go over」是甚麼意思?   T: 請你先仔細閱讀(read through ) , 而不是略讀(passing over)。這就是我的意思。   M: 噢,原來是這樣。   T: 現在我可以開始去做嗎﹖   M: 你剛才說「go for it」,它又是甚麼意思﹖   T: 「Go for it」意思是選擇這樣做。好吧,讓我繼續(go ahead)吧,然後馬上回答你。   M: 現在,我開始明白了,你正在玩英文短語文遊戲,對不對﹖   T: Mark,你的觀察力很好!對的。我故意說那些短語,是為了讓你理解文章的要旨。現在,你可以自己動手嘗試。之後我會告訴你哪裡出錯了。好嗎?   M: 謝謝。我現在將仔細再看看(點頭微笑)。  
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Learning English with Thomas
Talking about sentence structure
First step in knowing how sentences are structured 初步認識英語句子的結構 T: Thomas, L: Lawrence   T: Hi Lawrence! So glad to see you again. What is today’s subject regarding learning English that you wish to appreciate a bit more?   L: Thanks Thomas! If your time allows, can you tell me more about sentence structure?   T: Sure. Let me give you an example. Hmm … Right … Consider “David is very fond of making fun of Mary”. Can you tell at once which word is the subject and which word is the object ?   L: Of course. David is subject and Mary is object. Right?   T: Correct! Now, let’s expand this simple sentence like this. “David is very fond of making fun of Mary, which is not a very nice thing to do”. What kind of sentence is the sentence now? Simple or complex?   L: Complex, since there is a clause added to the basic sentence, or we can call that the main clause. Correct?   T: Exactly. So, you can see that the structure of the sentence is now changed a bit, but the basis still remains, which is now the main clause of the complex sentence.   L: I am getting it now.     T: 嗨Lawrence,很高興又見到你。今天你想了解多一點甚麼英文課題?   L: 謝謝您,Thomas。如果你時間允許,可否告訴我多一些關於英文的句子結構嗎?   T: 當然可以。讓我給你舉個例子⋯⋯嗯⋯⋯比如句子 “David is very fond of making fun of Mary”你可以立刻分辨出句子中哪字是「主語」,哪字是「賓語」﹖   L: 當然可以。David是主語,Mary是賓語。對不對?   T: 正確的!現在,讓我們擴展這簡單的句子。“David is very fond of making fun of Mary, which is not a very nice thing to do”。句了擴展後,它的類別是甚麼?是單句還是複句?   L: 複句,因為在原先的基本句上加了一個從句,或者我們可以稱之為主句(main clause)。對嗎?   T: 正確。所以,你可以看到句子的結構現在出現了一點變化,但是基礎原則仍然不變,現在成了複雜句子的主句。   L: 我現在明白了。    
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Learning English with Thomas
“ Shall we dance? ” “ When will we dance again? ”
Explaining the principles of using "shall" and "willl" with examples 舉例說明Will 和 Shall 的使用原則   T: Thomas, A: Anna   A: (Anna knocking) Professor, can I come in?   T: Please come in, Anna. Haha. So you really wish to know a bit more about the principles of using “shall” and “will”?   A: (Anna speaking rather shyly) Right. I still find it puzzling regarding a couple of points in such uses. For instance, last weekend I heard a couple of old English songs on my grandpa’s place. They were “Shall we dance?” and “When will we dance again?” Can I ask, what’s the difference between these two uses?   T: Your examples are very good. When people make a polite request, they usually use “shall” to start the question, like “Shall we dance?”; “Shall we go out for lunch?”; “Shall we start the meeting now?”. All these belong to the same category.   A: Aha … (Anna nodding in agreement)   T: As to a similar question, such as, “When will we dance again?”, the implication is different. Although it is still a question, but the point is that the asker is expressing clearly his or her intention of inviting the other party to dance. What is more, he or she is quite confident that the dance will materialize.   A: I see. There can be connotation about it in such uses. I can see that I still need to spend more time to learn English better. (Thomas smiling in place of speaking again)     A: (Anna敲門)教授,我可以入內嗎﹖   T: 請進來,Anna。哈哈,你一定仍然想知多一點Will and Shall的使用原則﹖   A: (Anna害羞地說)是的,我仍有一些地方想不通。上週末我在爺爺家中聽到兩首英文舊歌,分別是「Shall we dance? When will we dance again」這兩句問句看上來的意思差不多,對嗎﹖   T: 你列舉的例子很有意思。當人們有禮貌提出一個請求,多用Shall 作問句的開首語。「Shall we dance?」,「Shall we go out for lunch?」,「Shall we start the meeting now?」屬於此類。   A: 啊⋯⋯(Anna點頭示意)。   T: 至於類似的問題,比如「When will we dance again?」,含義是不同的。儘管同樣是問句,不過其重點想表明提問者想邀請對方再次共舞的意圖,且胸有成竹對方會答允其請求。   T: 原來是有弦外之音,看來我還要花多一點時間學好英文文法。(Thomas笑而不語)