2017年11月26日 星期日

Anything or nothing but?

anything but nothing but 在英語裡都很常用,但不知是否字面上太相似,我們經常搞混兩者的邏輯,偏偏這兩個片語意思完全相反,稍一不慎便很容易出錯。

舉例說:
The hotel was anything but expensive.

The hotel was nothing but expensive.

上面兩句乍眼看來真的很相像,但千萬不能混淆,因為意思差很遠。

anything but 是表示完全否定,根本沒有後面所提及的事物或性質,所以第一句的意思是「這家酒店一點也不貴」。

nothing but 是表示僅有的,強調只有後面所提及的事物或性質,所以第二句的意思是「這家酒店沒甚特別,只是貴」。

又例如:
She eats anything but carrots.(她甚麼都吃,就是不吃紅蘿蔔。

She eats nothing but carrots.(她甚麼都不吃,就只吃紅蘿蔔。

再舉一些長句子:
There is speculation that the progress of his case might be anything but straightforward.(有人推測,他的案件進展可能不會那麼簡單了結。

When things go wrong, it's easy to blame anything but your own shortcomings.(當事情出錯的時候,很容易會歸咎於其他事,卻不會怪責自己的缺點。

It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us.(欺騙我們的往往只是我們自己的虛榮心。

I will never let anyone say anything bad of Judy, for there is nothing but good in her.(我決不會讓任何人說朱迪的壞話,因為她身上只有善良。

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