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[其他资料] (转)说英语时尽量用试探性语气

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发表于 2018-3-3 09:38:36 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
我以前老板(美国人)调回美国总部工作,走之前还不忘告诉我们说任何话时,一定要用tentative的语气。

他还推荐了一本书《Crucial Conversations》,据说他的建议就是从这本书里来的。

刚才找了一下,美亚上有英文原版,中亚上有有中文版《关键对话:如何高效能沟通》。

风险提示: 我没看过这本书,不知写得好不好,但是毕竟是亚马逊 best-seller,应该不会很差。百度可以搜到到中文和英文版的pdf版。

所谓tentative语气,字面上的意思就是「试探性」的语气,也就是不要把话说死,给自己留一点余地。

注意tentative 不等于 uncertain的语气,注意和maybe这种语气区分开来。

比如多用seem, appear, sound, look这样的词。

例如.
This is wrong 改成This seems to be wrong.
We don't have other option 改成  It seems we don't have other option.

反正在下结论的时候(哪怕明明是很确定的事情),记得加一个seems, appears,语气没那么生硬。

另外,描述一个东西,就算是明显已经知道很好,也要说looks good, sounds good,而不是It's good.

以下还要注意的几点

1)不要总是说maybe这种垃圾话,如果确定性比较大的情况下,用probably(实在不行改成seem也好)

比较

例一

Maybe this is right
This is probably right.

例二

Could we have a better way to do it?
Maybe(maybe你妹).
Probably.
中国人滥用maybe,不管什么情况都用maybe,给人一种毫无把握的感觉。在表示很有可能的时候,老外都用probably。maybe是比较不确定。《纸牌屋》里Peter Russo和他家乡的人说关闭了船厂,但是他有一项新的法案maybe可以让他们重新获得工作,结果这个maybe惹怒了他家乡人。

如果想表示“我很可能是错的”用I'm probably wrong.

2)给别人提供建议时,不要用should,也不要you'd better,而是用It would be better

比较

This design should be changed.
It would be better if we can change the design.

3)表示一件事希望你做,但是不强求时,用It would be nice/great 而不是 I need  you to xxx, I hope you xxxx, could you?

I hope you can come today.
You need to come today.
Could you come today?
It would be nice/great if you can come today. (隐含的意思是still OK if you can't make it.)

再举个例子

比较

Can you bring some wine to the party?
It would be nice/great if you can bring some wine to the party.

4)问别人你要东西/ 信息时,用May I have...? 而不要Could you give me?

比较

例一

What's your name?
May I have your name?
例二
Could you send me the drawing today?
May I have the drawing today?

例三 《血战钢锯岭》里,法官要老Doss把那封信给他,他是说 May I have the letter ?而不是Could you give me the letter?

例四 问别人有没有时间
Could I have a minute/moment of your time?(非常非常礼貌,销售员问法)
Do you have a minute/moment??(一般礼貌,同事朋友之间问法)

例五 你比如你想独处一下,比如想打个私人电话,要别人回避一下。
Could you come out?
Could I have a moment(for myself)?

5) 问别人是否可以做一件事时,用 Is it possible that...比Could you ..更礼貌

比较

例一
Could you change the design?
Is it possible for you to change the design?

例二
Could you call me tomorrow?
Is it possible for you to call tomorrow?

6) 请别人帮忙做一件事时,在前面加(by) any chance,意思是如果有时间/有机会,很委婉。

By any chance,  could you help check the data? 有时间可不可以帮忙看看数据?

7) 指责别人时候,用现在进行时比一般现在时要更委婉。

比较

你很没耐心/强词夺理/无理取闹
You are impatient/argumentative/unreasonable
You are being impatient//argumentative/unreasonable
说前者会得罪很多人,因为你用一个 are 就把别人完全说死了,正常的说法是用being,这样表示某时某刻这个人处于的状态,不表示你把他彻底说死。

8) 表达要求时多用进行时。

比较

We need to do this as soon as possible
We need to be doing this as soon as possible.

老外普遍用后者用的多。

《纸牌屋》里,Clair的母亲对她的一帮朋友说我们要支持Clair,说的就是We should be supporting her, 而不是We should support her.

以上两种情况中,如果不用进行时,就有表示永久去做这件事的意思,用进行时就可以委婉表示我们会进入这种状况,不是永久的。

9) 用would like 代替want吧

中国人用 want比较多,但是want稍微带要求的意思,用would like就委婉一点。

我想要和你开个会。
I want to have a meeting with you.
I'd like to have a meeting with you.

10) 用过去式表示一种委婉语气

口语中经常用过去式表示一种委婉语气,比如 I wanted, I
thought, I was thinking, I was wondering, I was hoping  其实说话留下余地,因为这是表示过去的状态,没有说明现在的状况,从而形成一种委婉。很多人误以为thought就是"以为”用来表示过去的错误想法,其实不是,只是表示过去的状况,不一定是和现在相反。thought一样可以理解成 “认为”.

11) 慎用please

please有时候稍微带一点要求命令的语气,特别是在给客户或者老板写邮件请求某件事,把please替换成疑问句。

比较

例一

Please reply to me by today.
Could you reply to me by today?
而以下情况下用please就没问题,因为有let me

Please let me know your feedback.

12) 用let, allow更礼貌

比较

例一
Please tell me your feedback.
Please let me know your feedback.

例二
I want to make a proposal
Please allow me to make a proposal.

13)不要不分场合乱用screw, suck 这些非正式用语。

我专门写过一篇文章讨论,吐槽鲁豫在节目中用screw up这个词

If you screw this up, you will not have a second chance.
英语 | 到底什么是正式场合和非正式场合

14) 由于客观上导致做不到,not able to 代替 cannot

Sorry I can't come to the party today since I'll need to work very late.
Sorry I'm not able to come to the party today since I'll need to work very late.

15) 给need 加将来时,更加委婉。

比较

You need to buy a new machine if this one doesn't work
You'll need to buy a new machine  if this one doesn't work.

16) 美国人特别喜欢用I guess代替I think表达委婉的语气。

比较

例一
I think we'll leave now.
I guess we'll leave now.

例二
I think we can do better.
I guess we can do better.

17) 用I'm good代替no

中国习惯yes or no式的思维。但是有些场合回答no未免有点唐突,美国人一般用I'm good来婉拒(帮助或者好意),等于说I'm feeling good/I'm satisfied and don't need anything.  

Would you care for some coffee? I'm good. Thank you.

18) 指责别人用You are better than that.

指出别人错误的时候,一般不说you are wrong/careless/weak, 一般说you are better than that,这是非常常见而且礼貌的说法。

19) 某些负面情况下用have difficulty 代替 can't,委婉把责任推向自己这边

I can't trust you.
I have difficulty trusting you.

I don't understand your question.
I have difficulty understanding your question.

20) 委婉命令别人做某事,用it might be a good idea比 please 要礼貌《萨利机长》里空姐要求乘客把安全带系上,说的是

It might be a good idea to fasten your seat belt.


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