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托福写作:发英文邮件时的实用贴士

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2015年06月05日

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The growing ubiquity of e-mail means that everyone in business, from lords of finance to programmers who dream in code, needs to write intelligently. By using simple, clear, precise language–and following a few other basic writing rules–you can become a better communicator.

电子邮件的普及意味着在商务环境中的每个人,上至财务总管,下至以代码为梦的程序员,都需要写得一手好的电子邮件。使用简单,明晰,精准的语言,再遵循一些基本的写作规则,你就可能成为一个良好的沟通者。

1. Put metaphors on the back burner.

1. 不要优先考虑比喻

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you often see in print.

在常见的一些打印出来的文档中,不要使用隐喻、明喻或其他修辞。

2. Use simple, concrete language.

2. 使用简单,具体的语言。

Never use a long word where a short one will do. More often than not, an everyday word is better than a bookish one. Use simple, clear, precise language. Instead of mentioning “the current situation,” explain exactly what it is.

竟可能使用短的词语。很多情况下,日常词汇要比书面词汇更好。使用简单、清晰、准确的语言。提及“现状“这个词的时候,应当解释它到底是什么。

3. Omit needless words.

3. 删除不必要的词语。

Be ruthless about self-editing. If you don’t need a word, cut it.

在自查的时候应当毫不留情。如果你不需要一个词,那就大胆丢掉它。

4. Stay active.

4. 使用主动语态。

Never use the passive verb where you can use an active verb instead. Active verbs help energize your prose. Instead of writing “The meeting was led by Tom,” write “Tom led the meeting.”

竟可能使用主动语态。主动语态可以让你的行文更加有力。写“会议是由汤姆主持,”倒不如写“汤姆主持会议。”

5. Use English.

5. 使用 英语

Never use jargon, a foreign phrase or a scientific word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Using jargon is lazy, and it clouds the message that you’re trying to deliver. Using foreign language makes you look like a showoff.

能找到常见的替代词,就不要去用那些难懂的术语,外来的或者科技类的词语。使用难懂的术语是懒惰的一种表现,这也使得你更难传达自己的信息。使用外语也会让人觉得你在卖弄。

6. Curb your enthusiasm.

6. 别过于热情

Avoid overusing exclamation points. Use professional sign offs like “Best” or “Regards” instead of something cutesy like “xoxo.”

避免过度使用感叹号。文末应当使用"Best"或者“Regards"这样的字眼,而不是"xoxo"这样的故作姿态的符号。

7. Match your subject to your pronoun and verb.

7. 主谓一致

This tip sounds obvious, but people often get it wrong. The number of the subject (whether it’s singular or plural) determines the number of the verb. Use a singular verb form–and pronoun– after nobody, someone, everybody, neither, everyone, each, either.

这个听起来容易做起来难。主语的单复数决定了谓语的单复数。在nobody, someone, everybody, neither, everyone, each other这样的主语后面使用单数形式的动词和代词。

8. Limit your use of adverbs

8. 减少副词的使用量

Use a strong verb instead of a weak verb and an adverb. Instead of writing “Sales grew quickly,” try “Sales accelerated.”

使用效果强烈的动词,代替效果弱的动词或副词。试着用"Sales accelerated" 代替"Sales grew quickly."

9. Know when to use “that” and “which.”

9. “that” 和“which"应当区分开来

“That” usually introduces essential information in what is called a “restrictive clause.” “Which” introduces extra information in a “nonrestrictive clause.” Here’s an example: “I’m interested in speaking with you about our new product, which has the potential to increase sales.” The second clause provides extra information, and it isn’t essential to the first clause. Therefore, “which” is correct. In a sentence such as “Computers are the only products that we sell,” the clause “that we sell” is essential to the meaning of the sentence, so the correct word is “that.” You can’t remove the “that” clause without changing the meaning of the sentence.

“that”通常适用于“限制定语从句”用于说明重要信息。"Which “用在”非限制性定语从句”中,来补充说明额外的信息。这里有一个例子:““I’m interested in speaking with you about our new product, which has the potential to increase sales.”第二个从句提供了额外的细信息,对于第一个从句来说它是次要的。因此,“which”是正确的。在这样的句子中:“Computers are the only products that we sell,”。“that we sell” 对于句子的意思来说是次要的。所以“that”是正确的。如果拿掉“that"后面的从句,就那么整句话的意思也是会被改变的。

10. Don’t confuse “affect” and “effect.”

10. 不要把“affect”和“effect”混淆

Affect is a verb that means “to influence.” “Effect” is a noun that means “result.” “The weather affects our ability to travel, and had a terrible effect on our flight to New York.”

影响是一个动词,意思是“影响”。“effect”是一个名词,意思是“结果”。“The weather affects our ability to travel, and had a terrible effect on our flight to New York.”


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