English slang – I Heard it through the grapevine 道听途说. 以蛾传蛾

Hi everybody, I have posted an article entitled “English slang- I heard it through the grapevine“. Find out the meaning of the slang and part of the lyrics of the popular American pop song of the same title and the Spanish and Chinese translations thereof.

Please click here.

Advertisements

Word of Mouth, Boca a baca 口碑载道

All of the above three phrases essentially have the same meaning. Find out more how to use them and examples thereof at my blog at Weebly.com.

http://bzin2.weebly.com

Speak of the devil 说曹操,曹操到

Meaning 意义


Speak of the devil (and in he walks). This idiom means “talk about certain person and he appears”.  A similar Spanish idiom is “”Hablando del Rey de Roma, por la ventana se asoma” (Speaking of the King of Rome, through the window he appears). In Chinese, it is 说曹操,曹操到 (“shuō Cáo Cāo, Cáo Cāo dào”), which translates as “Speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives. Cáo Cāo is the a well known historical figure of ancient China during the Three Kingdom Period (220-265CE).


Example 例子

  • Hey, I haven’t seen Bob for a long time. Speak of the devil, here he comes.
  • Hola. hace tiempo no he visto a Bob. Mira, hablando rey del Roma, aquí viene Bob ahora.
  • 喂,我很久没有见过Bob. 说曹操,曹操到, 他正走过来!

Does it ring a bell? 你记得我吗?

Meaning 意义

The most common meaning for this slang is something or a name which sounds familiar and causes someone to remember something or someone. El modismo significa que hay algo o un nombre que provoca una memoria o conocimiento. 这一俚语最常用于某些事物或名听起来熟悉。

Example 例子

  • Hi, this is Brandon. Does it ring a bell to you? I am the person who always asks you to visit his blogs.
  • Hola, soy Brandon. ¿Te acuerdas de mi? Yo soy la persona que siempre te pide que visites sus Blogs.
  • 你好,我是布兰登,你记得我吗?我市一天到晚叫你上他的网站的那位。

uuus

Sound like a broken record 喋喋不休

Meaning 意义

Back in the seventies and eighties, polyvinyl discs, known as records, were the mostly common form of music albums. A scratch of a record may cause the needle of a record player stuck in the same groove and plays the music over and over again. The idiom “Sound like a broken record” refers to a person saying the same thing over and over again. The literal translation of this idiom in Spanish is “pareces un disco rayado” 早在七十,八十年代音乐唱片普遍是用胶碟播放,当唱片被刮花唱针停留在槽上, 音乐重复又重复,此语句是指一个人说同样的事情一遍又一遍,喋喋不休。

Examples 例子

  • Brandon, you sound like a broken record. Please don’t keep telling me to visit your blogs. 白兰敦,请不要象破坏的唱碟,一天到晚叫我上你的网页。
  • Americans for the umpteen times accuse that China controls its currency. It sounds like a broken record to me. 美国无数次指中国操控人民币汇率,真是不胜其烦!

All that glitters is not gold 人不可以貌相,物不可信包装


Background

A popular use of the subject proverb is in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, which was written in 1596.

Meaning

“All that glitters is not gold” is to say that all may not be as it appears to be. Literally, it means that just because something sparkles or glitters, that does not mean it is gold. It could be some other metal or something that sparkles similarly to gold. In real life, it is easier to apply. For example, if someone appears to be your friend as they treat you nicely and act favorably to you, this does not necessarily mean that they are really your friend and hold your best interests at heart.  You can, of course, also apply it to items or products that look or sound valuable, but can be worthless.

Examples

  • Don’t be deceived by the designers’ dresses, shoes and jewellery that Mary wears. The fact is she is on the verge of bankruptcy. All that glisters is not gold.
  • Don’t listen to what the investment consultant told you. She claimed the mini-bonds were as safe as government bonds, but she did not tell you that they could become worthless. All that glisters is not gold

Remarks
Question:  Glitters appear to be a plural noun,  why is it not “All those glitters are not gold”?
Answer:     Glitters is not a noun here. It is a verb. All in this situation should be followed by a singular verb as in “All is well”. “that glitters” forms a verb clause. If you still cannot figure that out, please try treat it as “All (which glitters) is not gold”.
背景

这语句最为人熟识是娄似句子曾在沙士比亚名著威尼斯商人 (1506) 出现过。

意义

这语句直译为“所有闪光的不都是金”。意思是一般事物都不是如外表看上去一样,从字面上来看是指闪烁的东西不一定是黄金,那可能祗是一些跟黄金相似可发光之物体。在真实人生很容易遇到有关例子。例如有些人表面是你的朋友,对你很好,友善及迁就你,这并不意味着他是你真正的朋友。这语法也适用於形容某些物品表面看似值钱,但其实是一毛不值。

例子

  • 你看她穿着名牌服装,皮鞋及珠宝,但不要被他蒙闭,其实她面临破产边缘,人不可以貌相,
  • 请不要听那位投资顾问所说,她声称迷你债券稳如证府债券,但她没有告诉你它们可以变为一文不值,物不可信包装。

The use of future continuous tense

This subject arises in relation to the sentence “I will be going to New York and Los Angles” that I wrote in my blog at QQ. A friend asked me why I did not say “I will go….” or “I am going to go…..”. I did not seriously think about the grammar of my sentence at the time. As a matter of fact, I used “I will go….” in the blog at 163.com. The reason that I did not write “I am going to go…..” is  that it seems repetitious.
“I will be going……” is a form of the future continuous tense (“CFT”), which according to EnglishClub.com is used to express action at a particular moment in the future. It is said that the following rules apply to the use of CFT:

  1. The action will start before that moment but it will not have finished at that moment.
  2. When we use CFT, our listener usually knows or understands what time we are talking about.

The example given by EnglishClub.com is that if I will start work at 2pm and stop work at 6pm, I may say “I will be working at 4pm”. The listener would understand that I am in the middle of working at 4pm, i.e. I start working before 4pm and will continue beyond that time.

Returning to my sentence, I think FCT is appropriate to express my upcoming trip as I will continue to go from New York to Los Angeles. It would be a long and extended trip. Nonetheless,  I did not follow the second rule applicable to CFT as I did not mention as to the relevant time of my trip. In the circumstances, I will revise my sentence to “I will be going to New York and Los Angeles in June”. It is to tell you that I would be in the middle of my trip in June. Further you may expect that I would leave before June and would not finish the trip in June.

I am grateful to my friend for raising the question.