By and by 通常當副詞片語用,意為「不久 (after a while);很快 (soon)」,如 Sam will come back by and by. (山姆不久就會回來);By and by the sun began to appear. (不久太陽開始出現)。但 by and by 亦可當名詞用,意為「未來,將來 (future)」,與 future 一樣,其前都要有定冠詞 the,且表示單數的概念,而且為了避免混淆,這片語通常加連字號,如 Most science fiction stories are set in the by-and-by. (大多數科幻小說都是以未來為背景);Last night I told my wife about my plans for the by-and-by. (昨晚我告訴我太太有關未來的計畫)。

By the by 意為「對了;順便一提 (incidentally, by the way)」,如 I have to go now. By the by, if you want that book, I’ll bring it next time. (我要走了。對了,如果你要那本書,我下次帶給你);By the by I have something to tell you. (我順便有件事要告訴你)。

這兩個片語都被認為不適合用於正式寫作。Bye and bye, bye the bye, by the bye 等等都是錯誤的拼法。

雖然這兩個片語現今仍三不五時出現在新聞媒體中,但似乎已不若往昔那麼常用。對現代英語人士而言,它們似已過時,尤其是 by and by 具有聖經的特質,因為它被用於聖經英譯本及基督教讚美詩中。

 

資料來源:http://englishhome.org/archives/7306

    全站熱搜

    宏浩翻譯 發表在 痞客邦 留言(0) 人氣()