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淺談 “Did You Know…” 這類英文標題的語氣
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: February 7, 2010 – 9:33 am

版主說過,英文時態偶爾用來表示語氣,這點常常困擾學習英語的華人。最近版主公司的行政部透過電子郵件,預告公司即將發行電子月刊,刊物標題稱為 “Did you know… “。

Coming Next Week!

Look for the first issue of our new internal communications piece “Did You Know…“.

大多數同事看都不看就刪除這封郵件,然而這封郵件的標題卻讓版主好奇不已,想深入暸解為何他們老美會用這樣的標題 (為何不用 “Do you know… “)?

其實,這類標題層出不窮,版主早在時態的貼文 (http://english.ecominfozone.net/archives/968) 就約略提及這點:

◎ 客氣詢問 (Distancing)

利用過去式來與「現在」保持距離,這樣可讓詢問、要求與建議的口氣顯得更為客氣。

I wonder if you could lend me some money.
(不知你是否可以借我一點錢。)
I wondered if you could lend me some money.
(不知您是否可以借我一點錢。) – 更客氣

I thought you might need some flowers for your new house.
(我在想,你也許需要些鮮花來裝飾新家。) – 客氣的建議

How much did you want to spend, sir?
(不知您有多少預算呢?)
(說明) 這不是簡單過去式的用法,因為商家有可能當著你的面說這句話。

(以下是一則瘦身廣告)
5 Tips to Get a Flat Stomach (瘦小腹的五大秘訣)
*Did you know that crunches & sit-ups actually do NOT flatten your abs effectively?
(您可知道仰臥起坐根本無法有效縮減小腹嗎?)
*Did you know that there is a specific type of exercise that burns belly fat faster than cardio?
(您可知道有另一種運動比有氧運動更能縮減小腹嗎?)
*Did you know that certain foods such as soy proteins, “diet” drinks, and others can actually increase your stomach fat?
(您可知道諸如黃豆蛋白、「瘦身」飲料與其他飲品可能會增加腹部脂肪嗎?)
More details in the article below…
(想知道更多嗎? 請閱讀下面的文章…)

 

database

上面是版主根據自己語感所下的結論,這幾天搜尋網路論壇,總算找到比較全面的回答,一解心中的疑惑。
出處:http://www.english-test.net/forum/ftopic12967.html

translation
(網友提問)

Hi

I have seen Did you know? at the top of some information as a heading. Why not Do you know?

Recently I was reading an article by an American author.

Did you know that black peppers win you energy? Which is why it is given in such abundance to…

Why not Do you know? Would it be wrong?

peppers=it??? shouldn’t it be they?

Starting a new sentence with which. Correct???
Tom
I’m a Communicator 😉

==============================

translation

(回答一) – 英國籍人士 

Hi Tom,

Do you know? is a relevant question to what/how/when and so on pertaining to/relevant to asking for/seeking information as in:

Do you know when the train goes?
Do you know what that costs?
Do you know how much electricity you use?

Did you know? is much more probing and inquistive with the suggestion I do know and I believe you don’t as in:

Did you know that debts have risen in the UK over the last 10 years?
Did you know that he is the son of a famous actor?
Did you know that he got more votes and yet he lost the elction?

Alan
_________________
English as a Second Language
You can read my ESL story Are you fancy free?
Alan
Co-founder
Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 9443
Location: UK
==============================

translation

(回答二) – 美國籍人士

Hi Tom

I’d say “Did you know (that …)” is typically used when you are just about to state the information that is being asked about. I’d say it sounds nicer (and/or less like you think you’re a know-it-all) than the more direct “Do you know (that …)”.

I can imagine using “Do you know (that …)” in a more confrontational situation, for example. So, I wouldn’t use it in a sentence like the one you quoted.

Quote:
Did you know that black peppers win you energy? Which is why it is given in such abundance to… 
Before pepper is ground, you have peppercorns. Possibly the author was thinking of those first and then switched over to thinking about ground pepper. (Without the end of the sentence it’s a little hard to say if there might have been a good reason for that or not. It does seem a bit unusual, though. ;))

Which at the beginning of the sentence: Did you understand what the author wanted to say? If so, then I think we can forgive him. 😆

It’s technically not the right way to write a sentence, but it’s not unheard of to find things like this in writing.

Amy

==============================

writing-email

根據第一位英國人的說法:
“Do you know…” 是用來詢問資訊,而 “Did you know…” 則是探究事情,同時隱含說話者知道真相或原理,但讀者可能不清楚。

根據第二位美國人的說法:
“Did you know…” 這種說法比 “Do you know…” 聽起來顯得較為客氣,這與版主的先前的看法雷同。而且,”Did you know…” 通常擺在要解說的資詢之前,有點像自問自答。

歸納以上兩點,”Did you know…” 既可引起讀者好奇,又顯得客氣許多,無怪乎許多英美人士會用這種說法來當作標題。大家瞭解後請背起來使用,日後寫文案或許能夠派上用場。

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