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 美国人平时所用的许多短语,看似普通,但有的会有特別意义,究竟是俚语、口语或俗语,没有绝对的定义。其实名称不重要,最重要的是懂得意义和用法,不是吗?

  1、to have(many) irons in the fire: to have a lot of activities going on at the same time(同时有许多事,想马上全部做完,但又不知从何开始,似乎忙得不可开交) (来源:英语麦当劳 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

  Don't bother him because he has many irons in the fire.
  別打扰他,他事情太多,忙得很!

  Some people even like to have many irons in the fire.
  有些人喜欢有很多事忙忙碌碌。


  2、to talk over (one's) head(s): to use large or big words so that audience will not understand exact meaning(指所谈论的内容过于专业或高深,非一般人可以理解;也指有人为了表現自己才学非凡,故意谈些高深理论或用些难字,吓唬別人)

  Dr. Lee's lecture was so specialized that he almost talked over our heads.
  李博士的演讲太专业了,几乎使我们无法理解。

  In order to show his profound knowledge he talks over my head.
  为了表現他的学问高深,他故弄玄虚。


  3、to put (something) back into (in) its cage: to put something under control (可以控制某件事情,多半指政治、健康等)

  We are trying to put inflation back into its cage and our economy is on the mend.
  我们正在设法控制通货膨胀,同时改善我们得经济。

  iplomats and politicians need to put aggression and hostility back into its cage.
  外交官和政客应该收敛攻击和敌对的行为。


  4、to keep (one's) fingers crossed: to hope something good will happen(祝福某人好运或一切顺利。把食指与中指交叉,祈求好运,是老外的迷信,但在写信或正式场合,多半是用“I wish you best (good) luck!”或“Good (best) luck to you!”)

  He keeps his fingers crossed hoping his father will send him more money.
  他盼望有好运,老爸能多寄点钱给他。

  Many people have been keeping their fingers crossed that we can live in a peaceful world.
  许多人都在祈求好运,盼能在和平的世界里生活。


  5、to stretch (one's) legs: to relax or to take a short break(久坐后,把腿舒展一下,或稍微休息一下)

  Let's take ten minutes to stretch our legs.
  让我们先休息十分钟。

  May I take a break so that I can stretch my legs?
  我可以休息一会儿伸伸腿吗?

  During the a long flight from the US to Taiwan, I normally stretch my legs every two hours.
  在从美国到台湾的长途飞行中,我通常每两个小时起身走走。


  6、to read between the lines:to interpret the hidden meaning or a hidden message; to discern the true fact(从字里行间体会隐含的意义;领会言外之意或能了解其中的真正意义)

  As you look at this poem, be sure to read between the lines.
  读这首诗的时候,要从字里行间去体会它的含义。
  
  After he re-read the love letter between the lines, he realized that he was dumped by his sweetheart.
  重读情书之后,他终于明白他已经被情人抛弃了。


  7、to let off steam:to give vent to one's anger (发泄、出气,像放掉蒸汽以减少压力似的。这与“to fly off the handle”意思相近,但比“to lose temper”委婉客气些 )

  What will you do if your wife lets off steam?
  假如你太太大发脾气的话,你该怎么办呢?(因为谈论的对象使对方的太太,所以语气要委婉客气些。)

  但是谈到第三者,就可不必太委婉,可用 lose temper:
  What will you do if one of your staff lose temper?
  如果你的同事冲你发脾气你该怎么办呢?

  Occasionally we should be given a chance to let off steam.
  我们应该不时的发泄一下情绪。


  8、to pay through the nose: to pay too much for something or excessively expensive (花费太多,代价过高,与“ to cost an arm and a leg”意义相近)

  Don't pay through the nose when you buy the furniture.
  不要花太多的钱买家具。

  Some women paid through the noses for their jewelry.
  有些女人花大把的钱购买珠宝首饰。


  9、to take center stage:to be in the spotlight(引人注目的中心人物;以某人为公众瞩目的对象)

  Mrs. Lin always takes center stage at a party.
  林太太总能成为宴会上的焦点。

  President Bush takes center stage wherever he goes.
  布什总统不论走到哪里,都是公众瞩目的焦点。

  His constant taking center stage could deprive him of his privacy.
  他好出风头的毛病让他毫无隐私可言。


  10、to drag(one's)feet: to procrastinate or postpone(慢慢的拖延,行动迟缓,拖拖拉拉)

  It is not a good idea to drag your feet when the work needs to be done.
  拖延工作是不好的。

  No employers like for their employees to drag their feet on any project.
  工作拖拖拉拉的员工总是不受欢迎的。


  11、to paint(someone or oneself)into a corner:to trap oneself or someone; to be in trouble(使自己或某人陷入困境, 应该注意的是即使主语是复数形式,corner 仍然用单数)

  Don't try to paint yourself into a corner. (不要让自己身陷困境,无法脱身。)
  After a heated debate with his boss, Mr. Chen has painted himself into a corner. (和老板激烈的争辩之后,陈先生处境十分不妙。)

 
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