火龙果习语站 | A Penny for Your Thoughts

编辑:火龙果写作站        日期:2020-09-05

英语中的习语 (idioms)就像汉语中的成语一样,使用恰当时能更饱满地传达情绪,生动地表达含义,也让对方感到更加熟悉地道。和成语类似,很多英语习语并不能简单地望文生义,需要熟悉习语的含义和用法。

火龙果习语站是火龙果智能写作软件产品组策划的一档英语习语系列博客。每天用5分钟时间,为你讲解容易误用的英语习语。让你无论在英语写作还是日常表达中,都更加地道,自信,游刃有余。

今天给大家介绍的习语是a penny for your thoughts

A penny for your thoughts: 询问别人在想什么

A penny for your thoughts一般单独使用,而不和其他词语搭配使用。

剑桥词典对它的解释是:said when you want to know what another person is thinking, usually because they have been quiet for a while.

也就是说,当你的朋友长时间不理你,和你交谈的时候经常神游,你就可以用这个习语问他在想什么,比如说:

You haven't said very much – a penny for your thoughts.

你好像没怎么说话,你在想什么呢?

"A penny for your thoughts?" "Oh, I'm just thinking about what I want to do over the weekend."

“你在想什么呢?”“噢,我只是在想我这周末要干什么。”

与what are you thinking直接发问相比,a penny for your thoughts 显得更加亲切和委婉。它的字面意思是,我能用一便士(英国货币)知道你在想什么吗。而那时候的a penny价值不菲,又加之是提问的语气,因此就显得更加客气。否则,当对方心情不好时,面对what are you thinking的提问,就很可能回答It is none of your business, leave me alone. 这样就会闹得很尴尬。

A penny for your thoughts出处

早在1522年,Thomas More出版的书《Four Last Things》就已经出现了这个习语,上面说道:

“As it often happeth that the very face sheweth the mind walking a pilgrimage, in such wise that, not without some note and reproach of such vagrant mind, other folk suddenly say to them, ‘A penny for your thought.’”

这句话的大意是,一个智者陷入沉默,人们为了获得他的智慧,必须提供金钱(让他传授智慧),后来a penny for your thoughts就演变为了想知道别人在想什么的意思了。

最后给出两个真实的对话案例(选自2分钟英语课堂):

1.Junky Beach

Jack: Our beach has become so dirty.

Anna: It’s become a busy tourist attraction.

Jack: How do you feel about the tourists? A penny for your thoughts?

Anna: Sure, tourism is good, but we still need to take care of the beach.

2.Musical Thoughts

Jack: Hey Anna, you look upset. A penny for your thoughts?

Anna: Oh, it’s nothing, but now you made me remember a song that I love.

Jack: Really? Which one?

Anna: Lavender by Marillion. There is a part that goes exactly like this: a penny for your thoughts, my dear.

A penny for your thoughts这个习语至今还在广泛使用,你甚至能在一些英剧和美剧中听到。使用它,让你的英语更加地道。

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