An Easy Sentence to Study
Before reading on1, please consider the following short sentence: “They cannot see enough of each other”.
在读下文前请考虑下面这一短句：“They cannot see enough of each other.”
What do you think this sentence means? Well, please consider and consider before reading on.
This is a very easy sentence, indeed, and I think every English or American schoolboy or schoolgirl understands it. In fact, it occurs in a story-book for children. But I have been asked to explain it by a young man who, so far as I can see2, has been learning English earnestly for years and has acquired a fair knowledge of grammar and a fairly large vocabulary.
Why, after all, did the young man fail to understand this short sentence? My answer is that it is because its way of expression3 does not have its corresponding way in our own language. There are many ways of expression in English that have no corresponding ways in Han. These are puzzling to most Chinese learners of English.
The above-quoted sentence means that the two persons love each other so dearly that though they see each other often, they think they see each other but4 seldom. By the way, the of in the sentence also deserves attention.5 “See enough of each other” means see each other often enough. “See much of you” means see you often.
上文所引用句子的意思是：这两个人相互喜爱，以至于虽然他们时常相见，但总觉得相见太少。顺便说一说，这句中的“of”也值得注意。“see enough of each other”的意思是“相见得够多”。“see much of you”的意思是“时常见到你”。
In your reading you will do well to pay special attention to those ways of expression for which you do not find corresponding ways in Han. This will help you both in reading and in writing. I am sorry to find that many Chinese learners do not realize the importance of doing this, with the result that6 while they can read English by Chinese authors and write long and tolerably grammatical essays, yet they may not be able to understand an Englishman’s social letter thoroughly or write a short paragraph in purely idiomatic English.
- reading on 读下去
- so far as I can see 据我所知
- way of expression 表达方式
- deserves attention 应该注意
- with the result that … 结果是……；以至于……