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选词至关重要 用错这些商务英语词汇让你显low





  Using the right word can matter. Using the wrong word can matter even more. I once lost a potential gig because I used "who" instead of "whom" in a proposal letter.

  选词正确至关重要,然而用错了词,就更不能忽视了。笔者曾经错失了一个潜在的演出机会,原因是我在提案里把 “whom”误用成 “who”了。

  Even just one incorrectly used word--especially when you're trying to make a great impression--can ruin everything. Is that unfair? Yes... but it does happen.


  To make sure that doesn't happen to you, I've collected some of the most common incorrectly used words from other posts into one epic post.


  Here we go.


  Adverse and averse

  Adverse means harmful or unfavorable: "Adverse market conditions caused the IPO to be poorly subscribed." Averse refers to feelings of dislike or opposition: "I was averse to paying $18 a share for a company that generates no revenue."


  But, hey, feel free to have an aversion to adverse conditions.


  Advise and advice

  Aside from the two words being pronounced differently (the s in advise sounds like az), advise is a verb while advice is a noun. Advice is what you give (whether or not the recipient is interested in that gift is a different issue altogether) when you advise someone.

  除了这两个单词的发音不同(advise中的s发起来类似az),advise是动词,而advice是名词。Advice就是你给别人 “advise” 的忠告(至于接收者是否感兴趣则另当别论)。

  So "Thank you for the advise" is incorrect, while "I advise you not to bore me with your advice in the future" is correct if pretentious.[en]

  所以 “Thank you for the advise” 是不对的,而当你在显摆“I advise you not to bore me with your advice in the future”的用法则是正确的。

  [en]Affect and effect

  Verbs first. Affect means to influence: "Impatient investors affected our roll-out date."Effect means to accomplish something: "The board effected a sweeping policy change."


  How you use effect or affect can be tricky. For example, a board can affect changes by influencing them and can effect changes by directly implementing them. Bottom line, use effect if you're making it happen, and affect if you're having an impact on something that someone else is trying to make happen.


  As for nouns, effect is almost always correct: "Once he was fired he was given 20 minutes to gather his personal effects." Affect refers to an emotional state, so unless you're a psychologist you probably have little reason to use it.


  Aggressive and enthusiastic

  Aggressive is a very popular business adjective: aggressive sales force, aggressive revenue projections, aggressive product rollout. But unfortunately, aggressive means ready to attack, or pursuing aims forcefully, possibly unduly so.

  aggressive是一个很常用的商务形容词:aggressive sales force(积极的销售团队),aggressive revenue projections(积极的收入预测)aggressive product rollout(积极的产品展示)。不过,aggressive也有蓄势攻击,或激烈地达到目的,一般带有过分的意味。

  Of course, most people have seen aggressive used that way for so long they don't think of it negatively; to them it just means hard-charging, results-oriented, driven, etc., none of which are bad things.


  But some people may not see it that way. So consider using words like enthusiastic,eager, committed, dedicated, or even passionate.


  Award and reward

  An award is a prize. Musicians win Grammy Awards. Car companies win J.D. Power awards. Employees win Employee of the Month awards. Think of an award as the result of a contest or competition.

  award是一个奖项。音乐家得的奖是格莱美奖;汽车公司可以得J.D. Power奖;雇员得的是月度最佳员工奖。所以award可以视为某个竞赛或比赛的奖项。

  A reward is something given in return for effort, achievement, hard work, merit, etc. A sales commission is a reward. A bonus is a reward. A free trip for landing the highest number of new customers is a reward.


  Be happy when your employees win industry or civic awards, and reward them for the hard work and sacrifices they make to help your business grow.


  Between and among

  Use between when you name separate and individual items. Take "The team will decide between Mary, Marcia, and Steve when we fill the open customer service position." Mary, Marcia, and Steve are separate and distinct, so between is correct.

  当你表示不同的或单独的名目时,使用between。比如“团队将会在Mary, Marcia和Steve之间(between)选出担任客户服务经理的人员。Mary, Marcia和Steve都是不同的个体,所以使用between是正确的。

  Use among when there are three or more items but they are not named separately. Like, "The team will decide among a number of candidates when we fill the open customer service position." Who are the candidates? You haven't named them separately, so among is correct.


  And we're assuming there are more than two candidates; otherwise you'd say between. If there are two candidates you could say, "I just can't decide between them."


  Bring and take

  Both have to do with objects you move or carry. The difference is in the point of reference: You bring things here and you take them there. You ask people to bring something to you, and you ask people to take something to someone or somewhere else.


  "Can you bring an appetizer to John's party"? Nope.

  能说“Can you bring an appetize to John’s party?”不能。

  Compliment and complement

  Compliment means to say something nice. Complement means added to, enhanced, improved, completed, or brought close to perfection.


  I can compliment your staff and their service, but if you have no current openings you have a full complement of staff. Or your new app may complement your website.


  For which I may decide to compliment you.


  Continuously and continually

  Both words come from the root continue, but they mean very different things. Continuously means never ending. Continual means whatever you're referring to stops and starts.


  Criterion and criteria

  A criterion is a principle or standard. If you have more than one criterion, those are referred to as criteria.


  Discreet and discrete

  Discreet means careful, cautious, showing good judgment: "We made discreet inquiries to determine whether the founder was interested in selling her company."

  discreet意为小心谨慎的,判断精明的: “We made discreet inquiries to determine whether the founder was interested in selling her company.”

  Discrete means individual, separate, or distinct: "We analyzed data from a number of discrete market segments to determine overall pricing levels." And if you get confused, remember: You don't use "discretion" to work through sensitive issues; you exercise discretion.

  discrete意为个人的,单独的,或截然不同的: “We analyzed data from a number of discrete market segments to determine overall pricing levels.”如果你想表达敏感的话题,请不要使用discretion(个人的),因为你就在差别对待(exercise discretion)。

  Elicit and illicit

  Elicit means to draw out or coax. Think of elicit as the mildest form of extract.


  Illicit means illegal or unlawful, and while I suppose you could elicit a response at gunpoint, you probably shouldn't.


  Everyday and every day

  Every day means, yep, every day -- each and every day. If you ate a bagel for breakfast each day this week, you had a bagel every day.

  every day的意思,是的,就是每天。每,一,天。如果你一周七天早餐都吃甜甜圈,那么你就是每天(every day)都吃甜甜圈。

  Everyday means commonplace or normal. Decide to wear your "everyday shoes" and that means you've chosen to wear the shoes you normally wear.

  everyday意为习惯的或平常的。觉得穿那双“everyday shoes”就是你选择平常穿的鞋子。

  Evoke and invoke

  To evoke is to call to mind; an unusual smell might evoke a long-lost memory. To invoke is to call upon something: help, aid, or maybe a higher power.


  Farther and further

  Farther involves a physical distance: "Florida is farther from New York than Tennessee." Further involves a figurative distance: "We can take our business plan no further."


  Fewer and less

  Use fewer when referring to items you can count, like "fewer hours" or "fewer dollars."

  Use "less" when referring to items you can't count, like "less time" or "less money."

  指代可数的物品时可以使用fewer,比如fewer hours, fewer dollar。如果指代的东西是不可数的,则使用less,比如 less time, less money.


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