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名人教英文:To hold one's nerve 臨危不亂

【明報專訊】Coco: That was the most exciting tennis match I've seen in years. And I'm so glad that Irina Dileff won. I've been following her all season.

科科:那是我多年來所見最刺激的一場網球賽,真高興伊琳娜.迪萊夫得勝。這個球季我一直留意她。

Davey: But it was really close. At one point in the second set it looked to me as if Bonnie Magoya was going to win.

戴維:但雙方真是勢均力敵。比賽到了第二盤,我一度以為邦尼.馬戈亞會取勝。

Coco: I know, but Irina won that in the end, so it all depended on the third set.

科科:不錯,但伊琳娜最後獲勝,一切取決於第三盤。

Davey: And what a third set! It had to go all the way to the tie‑break.

戴維:第三盤真精彩,一直鬥至最後的決勝局。

Coco: Yes, neither could get ahead of the other until then.

科科:你說得對,直到那一局,兩人都不相上下。

Davey: I can't believe that Irina lost two match points and still won the match.

戴維:伊琳娜輸了兩個決勝點,仍能勝出,令人難以置信。

Coco: I think what won it for her was her mental attitude. She's very strong minded and she was able to hold her nerve and come back when it really mattered.

科科:我認為她取勝是因為心理狀况良好。她意志堅强,臨危不亂,在重要關頭,得以重新振作。

英文nerve一字,出自拉丁文的nervus,本義是「筋力」。現在,nerve多指「神經」或「勇氣」,例如nerve centre是「神經中樞」,a man of nerve則是「勇敢的人」。To hold / keep one's nerve即在艱難情况之中,保持鎮定,例如:(1) If he had held his nerve when the enemy army approached, the battle would not have been lost (敵軍迫近時,他假如臨危不亂,當不會打敗仗)。(2) He kept his nerve when dealing with the angry crowd, which impressed everyone(他應付憤怒的人群,泰然自若,大家都很佩服)。

■作者︰古德明

專研中英文,著有時事評論、英語學習、散文等書籍。

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