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中国时间: 09:09 2016年12月10日星期六

美国习惯用语第778讲

  • 美国之音

我打了个哈欠,实在对不起,不过这和今天我们要讲的美国习惯用语倒有点关系,这个习惯用语是:burn the candle at both ends.

Burn是烧的意思,candle是蜡烛的意思,一只蜡烛两头烧,可想而知,很快就会耗尽。所以,burn the candle at both ends这个习惯用语的意思就是过份地消耗精力或是财产。

夏天很多人请假,所以我最近一直在加班。不巧的是,公公婆婆来看孙子,所以我下班还要招待他们,简直忙得不可开交。说实在的,现在这种感觉就是: I don't know how much longer I can burn the candle at both ends.

现在的学生,总有忙不完的事,日程排得满满的。下面这个父亲就很担心女儿的身体吃不消。

例句-1:I'm worried about my daughter. In addition to her heavy class load, she's been holding down a part-time job and training to run a marathon. Next week she's got final exams, which she's been staying up late to study for. If she keeps burning the candle at both ends, she's bound to get herself sick.

他说:女儿很让我担心。除了繁重的课业以外,她还要出去打工,同时为参加马拉松进行训练。下星期是期末考试,她每天都睡得很晚,复习功课,如果她一直这样下去,一定会累病的。

这一点我同意。在校学生应该劳逸结合,不能burn the candle at both ends, 否则累坏了身体,就得不偿失了。

******

不知道大家觉得怎么样,可我确实觉得,一过三十岁,精力明显不如从前,工作和社交活动太频繁,身体就会吃不消。所以我特别能理解下面这个人的感触。

例句-2:When I was younger, I had lots of energy. I used to work all day, and then go out partying with my friends until morning without getting tired. But those days are long gone. I can no longer burn the candle at both ends.

他说:年轻的时候,我好象总有使不完的劲儿。上了一天班以后,还能出去跟朋友开派对,闹到大半夜,也不觉得累。可那已经是过去时了。我再也没有那么充沛的精力可以消耗了。

Burn the candle at both ends,这个习惯用语可以追溯到十七世纪,最初是用来指财产的迅速消耗。上个世纪二十年代,burn the candle at both ends又出现在Edna St. Vincent Millay埃德娜.圣文森特.米莱的一首诗里。

这首诗里说,

My candle burns at both ends,
It will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light.
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