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周街學英文﹕Disinterested 與 uninterested

【明報專訊】我們可用be interested in來表達「對……感興趣」。如果要對某事表達不感興趣,應該用uninterested還是disinterested呢?

Uninterested和disinterested同為形容詞,意思卻截然不同。uninterested是不感興趣、漠不關心的意思;而disinterested則有公正無私的意思,例如:disinterested outsiders, disinterested sacrifice, disinterested advice。同是形容人,uninterested person是指對周遭事情漠不關心的人;而disinterested person則是指一個公正不阿的人。請看以下例子,互相對照(例子來自Leeds Collection of Internet Corpora):

There will be people who are happy for you; there will be people who are disinterested; there will be people who are upset. (╳)

There will be people who are happy for you; there will be people who are uninterested; there will be people who are upset.(漠不關心的人) (ˇ)

Often we hear of certain people or groups making an argument that directly affects their livelihood and status, we are aware of the possibility that this position is not necessarily an uninterested analysis of the situation. (╳)

Often we hear of certain people or groups making an argument that directly affects their livelihood and status, we are aware of the possibility that this position is not necessarily a disinterested analysis of the situation.(未必是不偏不倚的分析) (ˇ)

作者簡介﹕香港理工大學英文系研究助理教授,為政府、大專院校、專業機構等擔任英語顧問。

文︰陳美寳博士

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