日本人英文法の意外な穴

帝京大学教授で、ルミナス英和辞典(研究社)をはじめとする英語辞書編纂にも多く関わってこられたクリストファ・バーナード先生が月3~4回、語法、語彙を含めた広い意味での英文法の様々なトピックを解説します。

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132. Some special possessive idioms (Part 2)

132. Some special possessive idioms (Part 2)

In this Column I will continue the list of special possessive idioms from the previous Column (see Column 131).

HEIGHT AND DEPTH
Grammar note: 
The first two expressions are used in the following pattern:
・It was the height of folly/fashion.
The other HEIGHT expressions are used in the following pattern:
・We were at the height of the crisis.
The DEPTH expressions are used in the following pattern:
・We got lost in the depths of the mountains.

* the height of folly 愚の骨頂
* the height of fashion 流行の最先端
the height of the crisis 危機の頂点
the height of his success 成功の頂点
the height of his career 仕事の絶頂(期)
the height of his power 権力の頂点
the height of passion 情欲(情熱)の極み
* the height of summer 夏の真っ盛り
the height of the tourist season 観光シーズンの真っ最中

* the depths of winter 真冬
* the depths of despair 絶望(失望)のどん底
the depths of the mountains 山奥,深山
the depths of the woods/forest 森の奥深いところ
the depths of Nagano 長野の僻地
the depths of her eyes 彼女の目の奥底
the depths of her mind 彼女の心の奥底
* the depths of her soul 彼女の魂の奥底

LOSING AND LACKING
Grammar note: 
There are a wide range of grammar patterns which can be used with these expressions. For example:
・There was a loss of face.
・There was a lack of knowledge.
・We had a loss of morale.
・She had a lack of talent.
・They suffered a loss of motivation.
・He showed a lack of respect.

Also, in all the expressions below, "a" can be omitted before "loss" and "lack", with almost no difference in meaning, but I think that using "a" is generally the safer choice.

* a loss of status 地位を失うこと
* a loss of memory 記憶喪失、物忘れをすること
* a loss of life 命を落とすこと
a loss of power 権力(勢力)を失うこと
a loss of friendship 友情を失うこと
* a loss of face 面目(面子)を失うこと
a loss of effectiveness 有効性がなくなること
a loss of youth 若さを失うこと
* a loss of (self-)control 自制心を失うこと
* a loss  of motivation 意欲(やる気)を失うこと
a loss of morale 士気がなくなること
* a loss of support 支持を失うこと
* a loss of business (店の)客が減ること

* a lack of knowledge 知識の欠如
* a lack of understanding 理解の欠如,理解不足
a lack of talent 才能の欠如、才能不足
a lack of ability 能力の欠如、能力不足
* a lack of effort 努力が足りないこと
* a lack of means 資産(資力)が足りないこと
a lack of commitment 決心(献身)のなさ(不足)
a lack of foresight 先を見通す力(先見力)のなさ、洞察力のなさ
* a lack of respect 尊敬心の欠如
a lack of gratitude 感謝の気持ちの欠如
a lack of focus 集中力の欠如
a lack of will 意志のなさ

OTHERS
the sins of the flesh 肉欲の罪
an embarrassment of riches あり余る豊かさ、贅沢な悩み
the bloom of her youth 娘盛り
* the stress of the job 仕事のストレス

I suggest that readers master at least some of these expressions by memorizing them in the grammar patterns given in the Grammar Notes.


◆NOTES◆
I suggest that ...:...してはいかがでしょうか


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131. Some special possessive idioms (Part 1)

131. Some special possessive idioms (Part 1)

When I was working on the grammar of possessives (see Columns 128, 129, and 130), I collected quite a large number of idioms which use a possessive "of". 

I have never seen a list like this in any grammar book or textbook, so I hope that it is interesting to readers. 

The list follows below, and continues in Column 132. 
Since these lists are rather long, I have marked the expressions which I think are most common, or most useful, with a star (*).

MAN/WOMAN
Grammar note: 
The basic grammar pattern to use with these expressions is: 
・He is a man of courage.

a man/woman of courage 勇気のある女、勇敢な人
a man/woman of wisdom 賢者、賢い人
a man/woman of dignity 気品のある人
* a man/woman of means 資産家
* a man/woman of the world 世間慣れした男、世事に明るい人
a man/woman of science 科学者、科学的な人

AIR  
Grammar note: 
The basic grammar patterns to use with these expressions are:
・The building has an air of mystery.
・He walked into the room with an air of confidence.
・There was an air of resignation in the way he walked.

Also, in the Japanese translations I have shown which expressions are most commonly used with people by using 態度 or 様子 in the translation, and which expressions are most commonly used for a situation or place by using 雰囲気.

* an air of confidence 自信のある態度
* an air of authority 権威に満ちた態度
an air of (self-)satisfaction (自己)満足したような態度
an air of urgency 慌しい雰囲気、緊迫した態度(様子)
an air of excitement 興奮した様子(雰囲気)
an air of danger 危険な雰囲気
* an air of mystery 神秘的な雰囲気
an air of innocence 無邪気な態度(様子)
an air of indifference 無関心な態度(様子)
an air of resignation あきらめた態度
an air of hopelessness 絶望的な態度
an air of hesitancy ためらった様子
an air of prosperity 繁栄しているような雰囲気、繁栄しているような様子
* an air of freedom 自由な雰囲気

FORCE
Grammar note: 
The basic pattern to use with these expressions is:
・He succeeded by force of personality.
But these are exceptions:
・I made the decision because of force of circumstances.
・When I was in the US, I kept on driving on the wrong side of the road from force of habit.

* force of personality 人柄(人格)の力
force of character 性格の力
force of will 意志の力
* force of numbers 数の力
force of public opinion 世論の力
* force of arms 武力、武器の力
force of necessity 必要に迫られて 
* force of circumstance(s) やむを得ない事情
* force of habit 習慣の力、惰性  

CHANGING AND SHIFTING
Grammar note: 
There are a wide range of grammar patterns which can be used with these expressions. For example:
・I had a change of heart.
・There was a change of mood.
There was a shift of focus.
・I want/need a change of air.
I want/need a shift of emphasis.

* a change of attitude 態度の変化
* a change of heart 心変わり
* a change of mood 雰囲気の変化,気分の変化
* a change of atmosphere 雰囲気の変化
a change of air/scene 環境の変化、転地(療養)
* a change of subject 話題(主題)の転換
a change of direction 方向転換
* a change of luck 運の変化
a change of focus (話題の)焦点を変えること(ずらすこと)

* a shift of emphasis 重点を移すこと
a shift of responsibility 責任の移行
a shift of focus 焦点を変えること
a shift of perspective 観点の変化
a shift of power 権力の移行
a shift of attention 注意(注目)の転換

In the next Column I will continue with this list.

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128. Verbs of wanting and of trying to obtain

128. Verbs of wanting and of trying to obtain

In Column 127, I gave some examples of the vocabulary and grammar of verbs of longing. This Column is also one which looks at the vocabulary and grammar of another set of verbs. Namely verbs of wanting and trying to obtain.

I have chosen verbs which would be useful to intermediate and advanced learners.

As in Column 127, I have given Japanese translations.

REALLY WANT
1) He is begging for help. >> 請う・頼む
2) He is begging to see you.
3) He is begging for you to help him.
4) He is begging you to help him.

5) I thirst for / after knowledge. >> 渇望する

6) I hunger for / after justice. >> 熱望する 

7) He is angling for the job. >> (遠回し)...を得ようとする
8) He is angling to get the job.
9) He is angling for you to give him the job 

FIGHTING
10) We will fight / battle / strive for what is right. >>...のために戦う・...のために奮闘する
11) We will fight / battle / strive to overcome injustice.

WORKING 
12) The government is working / labouring to solve the economic problem. >> ...のために働きかける・...のために骨折る

13) We are all striving for a better world. >> ...のために努力する・...のために努める
14) We are all striving to make a better world.

14) He hated Mary, but exerted himself to be polite to her. >> 大いに努力する・頑張る 

15) The United Nations is pushing for a solution to world hunger. >> ...を強く要求する・...を得ようと努める

POLITICS
16) We are campaigning for the abolition of the death penalty. >> ...のために[...の]運動を起こす

17) That group is lobbying for a cut in tax rates for doctors. >> (圧力団体などが議会などで)...のために[...の]働きかけをする

18) Mr Suzuki is canvassing for the position of committee chairman. >> (支持などを)取りつけるために依頼・勧誘して回る ・...の運動をする

If readers study this Column together with Column 127, they will notice that the grammar patterns are very similar. They should also notice that there is an overlap in the meanings of the verbs in these two Columns. In other words, there is a large "meaning family" of verbs connected with longing, wanting, and trying to obtain.


◆NOTES◆
looks at ~:~を検討する
intermediate and advanced learners:中上級の学習者たち
overcome:~を乗り越える、克服する
justice:正義
(an) injustice:不公正(な行為)
a solution to ~:~への解決策
hunger: 政治
a cut:切り下げ
a tax rate:税率
the abolition of the death penalty:死刑の廃止
a committee chairman:委員会の議長
an overlap 重なり:重複


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127. Verbs of longing (「憧れ」の動詞)

127. Verbs of longing (「憧れ」の動詞)

In this Column, I will give examples of verbs of longing. I have selected this as a group because of the similarities in both meaning and the grammar of these verbs.

In the examples that follow, I have given simple Japanese translations. However, since the meanings overlap so much, these should only be seen as guides.

1) I long for the good old days. >> 待ち焦がれている
2) I long to see her face once more.
3) I long for her to visit me.

4) That film star yearns for publicity. >> 切望する
5) I yearn to return to the place of my birth.
6) The dog yearns for his dead master to come home.

7) There is no point in pining for what is not possible. >> (pine for)思い焦がれる

8) I ache for a view of her face. >> ~したがる・切望する
9) I ache to hear Mary's voice once more.

10) I hanker for / after country life. >> 憧れる・切望する
11) Mary hankers to go abroad, and see the world.

Although this is not such an important area of vocabulary, it is nevertheless interesting, and I think worth learning. Language learning becomes a little bit easier when we learn new words in meaning groups, and also learn the grammar patterns of these meaning groups.


◆NOTES◆
similarity:相似点
overlap:共通するところがある
guide:指針
the good old days:古き良き時代
publicity:世間の注目
be worth -ing:~するがある

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126. A meaning puzzle: "I couldn't care less about... / what happens" = "I could care less about... / what happens"

126. A meaning puzzle: "I couldn't care less about... / what happens" = "I could care less about... / what happens"

In Column 124 I discussed some expressions using "care". In this Column I will look at two more expressions with "care".

The very common expression "couldn't care less about ... / wh-..." entered British English about seventy years ago, and later crossed the Atlantic to the United States, where it is commonly used. The meaning is "I do not care about it at all / what happens at all", as in:

1) I couldn't care less about him / what happens to him.

The expression is always with "could not", never with "cannot". Therefore according to the rules of sequence of tenses you often see examples like this:

2) I couldn't care less what happened to him.

The literal meaning of "I couldn't care less about him" is:

I care about him 0%, therefore it is impossible for me to care about him less than 0%. In other words, I do not care about him at all.

In the United States the negative sometimes is omitted, but with the same meaning:

3) I could care less about him / what happens to him.

This is a usage which is criticised as being substandard English, but is nevertheless becoming increasingly popular -- in the United States at least.

It is also very illogical. If we say "I could care less", it means "I do care 20% (for example), and therefore it is possible for me to care less". In other words, "I could care less" suggests that I do care to some extent. But this is not the meaning with which the expression is used. It always means "I care 0%."

So, my advice is to know about both these usages, but only use the standard form (i.e., "...couldn't care less").

In conclusion, here are some example sentences:

4) I could not care less which team wins.
5) I could not care less about the Olympic Games.
6) Some rich people could not care less about poor people.
7) That man thinks he is important, but I could not care less who he is.
8) I could not care less about the money.
9) I could not care less about the salary, as long as the job is interesting.
10) I could not care less about your opinion.


◆NOTES◆
the Atlantic:大西洋
sequence of tenses:時制の一致
literal:文字通りの
criticise:~を非難する
substandard:標準以下の
illogical:非論理的な
to some extent:ある程度は
salary:給料
as long as ...:...の限りは(条件を表す)


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