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中国时间: 12:56 2016年09月30日星期五

美国习惯用语 - break one's back

  • 美国之音

昨天我接到我妹妹的电话。她告诉我,她男朋友这才第一个星期到咨询公司上班,就已经忙得见不到人了!她说这间公司把人女人当男人用,男人当牲口用,她男朋友每天都工作到晚上12点,还得把工作带回家,非常辛苦。这让我想到了一个习惯用语,那就是:break one's back.

我们知道,break这个词本身是“打碎”的意思,而break one's back,背都打碎了,引申的意思就是“非常辛苦地工作”。

我妹妹的男朋友工作非常辛苦,working as a consultant in this company will break your back. 在这间咨询公司上班非常辛苦。

下面这个例句是一个儿子谈到他妈妈为子女所作的牺牲。让我们来听听看:

例句-1:Mom always wanted my sister and me to enjoy a better life than she had. That meant working two jobs for many years to afford what we needed. She broke her back. But, as a result, I became a surgeon and my sister a concert pianist. We would never have become so successful without our mother's great sacrifices.

这段话是说:妈妈一直希望我和妹妹能过上比她更好的生活。她多年来一直身兼两份工作来满足我们的所需。她一直非常辛苦。但是现在,我成了一名外科医生,而我妹妹成了一名钢琴演奏家。如果没有妈妈的牺牲,我们绝不可能取得这样的成功。

是啊。母亲为孩子的牺牲真的很让人感动。这也是美国很多第一代移民的处境。他们为了让子女享受到他们没有享受到的生活,一生都非常辛苦地工作。The parents of immigrant families are willing to break their backs in order to give their kids a better life. 移民家庭的父母非常辛苦地工作, 想让孩子过上更好的生活。

******

上面我们谈到很多人辛勤工作,但是啊,也有恰恰相反的人。有些人,从来都不愿意付出一点努力。我们来听听下面这个例子:

例句-2:My neighbor across the street is one of the laziest people I know. Just about every day, he's out drinking beer on his front porch. Yet his house is falling apart and his yard is full of junk. It would take a lot of effort to get the place in good condition. Unfortunately, I can't imagine him ever breaking his back.

这段话是说:住在对面的邻居是我见过的最懒的人。他每天在门口走廊上喝啤酒,可房子却是东倒西歪,院子里堆满了垃圾。要把那里清理干净得花好大功夫。不过,我可无法想象他会辛苦地去整理。

自己家的院子都不愿意收拾,可真够懒的!在这里,我们也可以用neck, 来代替,"break one's neckK" 一样也是辛苦工作的意思。I can't imagine him break his neck for anything! 我想没有什么能让他去辛勤工作。

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