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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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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125. "approve of" vs. "approve"

125. "approve of" vs. "approve"

These are two verbs which are often confused.

"Approve of" means "think someone / something is good (and therefore give permission for someone to do something)". Here are some examples:

1) My father approves of my new boyfriend.
2) My parents approve of our marriage.

The verb "disapprove" has the opposite meaning to "approve":

3) I disapprove of young people staying out late at night.
4) I disapprove of that kind of language.

The verb "approve" is far less common than "approve of", and is also rather a formal word:

5) Parliament approved the budget.
 国会が予算を承認した。
6) The committee approved the new project.
 委員会は新しい事業計画を承認した。

As sentences (5) and (6) show, the meaning is "officially or formally give permission for something / officially or formally recognize something".


◆NOTES◆
give permission for someone to do something:人が何かをする許可を与える
recognize:~を認める


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124. "care for" vs. " care about"

124. "care for" vs. " care about"

These two expressions can be a little bit confusing. First, let us remember that "care for" means "look after" or "take care of", as in:

1) She cares for her sick father.

This meaning of "care for" I will not discuss in this Column.

"Care for" is almost always used with a negative ("do not care for"), and in such cases means "do not like". Here are some example sentencs:

1) He is a man I do not care for.
2) I do not care for hot weather.
3) I did not care for my job, so I left my company.

"Care about" is usually used with a negative, and in such cases means "do not have any interest in", or "be not worried about".

4) I do not care about politics.
5) I am not listening to you because I do not care about your opinion.
6) There is nothing he cares about more than himself.

However, "care about" can also be used in an affirmative sentence.

7) I do not love you, but I care about you.
8) We should start to care about global warming.
9) You should start to care about your health.

Among sentences (4) to (9), sentences (8) and (9) seem to have a stronger meaning of "be worried about".

To contrast these two expessions, we can put them in similar sentences:

10) I did not care for my job, so I left my company.
= I did not like my job. / I hated my job.
11) I did not care about my job, so I left my company.
= I was not interested in my job. / I had no interest in doing my job properly.


◆NOTES◆
an affirmative sentence:肯定文
global warming:地球温暖化
contrast:~を対比する

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123. Reported thought (Part 3)

123. Reported thought (Part 3)


In the last Column, I gave examples of reported thought in the case of DOUBTING/NOT DECIDING verbs. In this Column I will give more examples of reported thought, but with two different sets of verbs (namely KNOWING/WORRYING and OPINION/REALIZATION).

KNOWING/WORRYING
1) "Oh! I know his name."
I remembered what his name was. >> 覚えている
2) "I used to know where he lives, but I don't now."
I have forgotten where he lives. >> 忘れている
3) Teacher: "I have memorized when everyone's birthday is."
The teacher memorized when everyone's birthday was [is]. >> 暗記する
4) "I have known for a long time that although it seems like the truth, it is in fact a lie."
I had long been aware that what had seemed to be true was in fact a lie. >> 気がついている
5) My dream: "I have won a lot of money in a lottery!"
I dreamt that I had won a lot of money in a lottery.
6) "I am a bit worried because this decision is perhaps not the right one."
I was afraid/worried/anxious that the decision was the wrong one. >> 心配している/不安に思っている
7) "Things may not turn out as we hope."
She feared that things would not turn out as she (had) hoped. >> 恐れている
8) "We are all relieved because the criminal has been caught."
Everyone was relieved/happy that the criminal was [had been] caught/when the criminal was [had been] caught. >> ほっとする/嬉しい

OPINION/REALISATION
9) "Mastering a foreign language is not so easy."
I learnt/discovered/understood/realised that mastering a foreign language is [was] not so easy. >> わかる/発見する/理解する
10) "It is possible to solve the problem in this way."
I learnt/discovered/understood/figured out/found out/realised how the problem could be solved. >> わかる/発見する/理解する/見つける/悟る
11) "Perhaps this problem will return."
I guessed/had a feeling/supposed/expected that the problem would return. >> 推測する/...のような気がする/推定する/多分...するだろう
12) "John will never lie to us."
I never suspected that John would lie to us. >> 疑っている
13) "We are all sure that he will pass the exam."
We were all sure/were all confident/had all expected that he would pass the exam. >> きっと...するだろう/自信がある/期待する
14) "According to the data, this dinosaur lived seventy million years ago."
The scientists estimated/calculated/determined that the dinosaur (had) lived seventy million years ago. >> 推定する/計算する/測定する
15) "I will never surrender to him!"
I was determined that I would never surrender to him. >> 決心をする
16) "We have made up our minds that he is the one who has committed the crime."
We made up our minds/came to the conclusion/jumped to the conclusion/concluded that he was the one who had committed the crime/who the criminal was. >> 決め込む/結論を出す/早まった結論を下す/断定する
17) "I will enter the world of politics."
She made up her mind to enter the world of politics/that she would enter the world of politics. >> 決心をする

To conclude these three Columns, we can say that:

a) learners should think of reported thought, as well as reported speech.
b) sometimes it is not obvious that the verb or verb expression is related to reported thought.
c) it is useful to divide reported speech verbs and expressions into meaning groups (DOUBTING/NOT DECIDING, etc.)
d) it is important to master the grammar rules of reported thought and reported speech (see Columns 102, 103, and 104).


◆NOTES◆
namely:すなわち
a criminal:犯人
as well as ~:~と同様に
divide A into B:AをB(いくつかのグループ)に分ける

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