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英语中有不少单词,其本身存在互相矛盾的两个意思,如果不弄清楚,有时会给我们的英语阅读带来一定困扰。特定情况下,联系上下文语境即可弄清它们的具体意思。

1. sanction      “制裁”&“批准”

Economic sanctions will only be lifted when the aggressor nation withdraws its troops.

只有侵略国撤回其军队,经济制裁才会解除。

They tried to get official sanction for the scheme.

他们想使计划获得正式批准。

2. overlook      “检查;监视”&“忽视;忽略”

I am overlooking her work.

我正在检查她的工作。

I think there is one key fact that you have overlooked.

我认为你忽略了一个重要的事实。

3. finished      “完成的”&“失败的”

Are you finished with that drill?

你的那个练习做完了吗?

This financial crisis means that the government's economic policy is finished.

这次金融危机意味着政府的经济政策失败了。

4. dust      “擦去……的灰尘”&“在……上撒粉末”

I was dusting the mantelpiece when I noticed a crack.

我在擦壁炉台的时候发现了一道裂纹。

Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar.

在蛋糕上撒些糖霜。

5. left      “留下”&“离开”

He left the house by the back door.

他从房子的后门离开了。

His shoes left muddy marks on the floor.

他的鞋在地板上留下了泥印。

6. trim      “添加,装饰”&“修剪,剪枝”

The children are trimming up a Christmas tree with ribbons, laces.

孩子们正在往圣诞树上挂彩带和蕾丝。

He trimmed dead branches off a tree.

他从树上剪掉枯枝。

7. cleave      “劈开;分开”&“粘住;紧贴”

With one blow of the knight's axe, he clove the rock in twain (= into two pieces).

武士大斧一挥,将石头劈成了两半。

The ancient ivy cleaved to the ruined castle walls.

古老的常春藤紧紧攀附在破败的城堡墙上。

注意:表“粘住;紧贴”时,cleave通常与to连用。

8. scan      “细看,审视”&“粗略地看”

She anxiously scanned the faces of the men leaving the train.

她急切地盯着一张张下火车的人的脸。

I scanned through the booklet but couldn't find the address.

我很快地翻阅了一遍小册子,但没有找到那个地址。

9. fast      “快速的”&“固定的”

Computers are getting faster all the time.

计算机一直在提速。

She made her end of the rope fast to a tree.

她把绳子的一头牢牢地绑在树上。

10. off“关掉      ”&“响起”

She turned off the TV.

她关掉了电视。

The alarm went off.

闹铃响了起来。

11. weather      “经受住”&“受侵蚀”

The company weathered the recession.

这家公司挺过了经济衰退。

The rock was weathered.

岩石风化了。

12. screen      “放映;播出”&“遮掩;遮蔽”

The programme was not screened on British television.

这个节目没有在英国电视上播出过。

She raised her hand to screen her eyes from the bright light.

她抬手遮住耀眼的亮光。

13. help      “帮助”&“抑制”

How can I help you?

我如何才能帮你呢?

I couldn't help laughing.

我忍不住大笑起来。

14. clip      “剪下来”&“别上去”

I clipped his picture from the newspaper.

我把他的照片从报纸上剪了下来。

He clipped his flashlight to his belt.

他把手电筒别在腰间。

15. fine      “糟糕的;不合时宜的”&“优秀的;极好的”

He picked a fine time to leave us.

在那个时候扔下我们走了,他可真是会挑时间。

This building is the finest example of its type.

这幢建筑是同类建筑中最杰出的代表。

16. flog      “鞭笞,棒打”&“推销,出售”

Soldiers used to be flogged for disobedience.

过去士兵们常常因不守军令而遭鞭笞。

He tried to flog his old car, but no one would buy it.

他想快点儿卖掉他的旧车,但没人愿意买。

17. ravel      “使纠缠;使错综复杂”&“弄清;解开”

Mark's ​interference ​merely ravelled things ​further.

马克的掺和只是让情况进一步复杂化了。

It took Daisy a ​long ​time to ravel out all the ​wool.

黛西花了很长时间才把毛线解开。

18. mean      “吝啬的,小气的”&“极好的,出色的”

He's too mean to buy her a ring.

他太吝啬了,舍不得给她买一枚戒指。

She's a mean piano player.

她是个出色的钢琴演奏家。

19. toss out      “丢弃”&“提出”

She ​tossed out my ​old ​chair.

她把我的旧椅子扔了。

I decided to toss out the idea.

我决定提出这个想法。

注意:第二个例句在特定情况下也可以指“抛弃”那个想法,要根据上下文而定。

20. buckle     “坍塌,垮掉”&“系牢”

My knees buckled with fear.

我因为害怕而膝盖瘫软。

Buckle your seat belt.

请系好安全带。

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