為一件緊急的工作做計劃書,極須上司的回覆及核實,但對方說:"I'll reply you in good time."心急如焚的你不禁錯愕:「到底是甚麼時候?!」

 

香港人辦事分秒必爭,有關時間的英文,你又懂得多少呢?

1. In good time

"In good time"不是指「吉時」,而是指「及時」、「儘快」,意思等同於"soon"、"early",是英文口語頗常見的用句。所以上文中,外籍同事表示"I will reply you in good time",其實是指會儘快回覆你

 

 

以下還有其他例子:

  • I have to deal with it in good time. (我必須趕緊處理一下。)
  • We just arrrived in good time. (我們及時到達了。)
2. All in good time

如果在"in good time"前加"all",意思是勸人別心急,要有耐性

 


例如同事向客戶遞交了計劃書,但對方遲遲未有答覆,你見同事心急如焚,就可以安撫對方:

I know you wish the client had replied you as soon as possible. But all in good time. Relax!
(我知道你希望客人會盡快回覆,別心急,放鬆點吧!)

3. Good time

但要注意,"good time"單獨使用的話,是指在獄中表現良好,可以獲得縮短刑期的意思,在美劇不時會聽到這個字:

If he maintains a good behavior in the jail, he may get a good time.
(如果他在獄中行為良好,可能會獲減刑。)

 


至於入獄,除了直白地說"be in jail"或"go to jail"之外,也可以用"do time"來表示服刑

After he has done time, it’s not easy to integrate with the society.
(在他服刑後,不是那麼容易融入社會。)

 


另外,"Do time"亦可以用來比喻:

Finally, I have done my time at that terrible job!
我終於離開那份恐怖的工作了!

4. Against time

香港工作不論是打工仔或老闆,都是日理萬機的 deadline fighter。如果有個項目要在下星期開始動手,但團隊卻連計劃書都未完成,你的外籍上司就會相當緊張了:

This project is a race against time. We are pressed for time. Please hand in the proposal in no time.
這項工程分秒必爭,我們時間緊迫,請快點遞交計劃書。

 

 

上司一口氣講了三個有"time"的用語,似乎真的相當重視時間。這些字都是與時間緊迫有關:

  • Against time = 分秒必爭

We are working against time to finish the photo-shooting for the poster.
我們正分秒必爭地完成海報的拍攝工作。

 

  • Be pressed for time = 時間緊迫

I’m a bit pressed for time. May I talk to you later?
我有點趕時間,可以遲點再跟你聊嗎?

 

  • In no time = 馬上、很快

Thanks for your patience. The food will arrive in no time.
多謝你的耐心等待,食物立刻會送上。

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