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使文章“好”上加好 | 用词篇

使文章“好”上加好 | 用词篇

Making “Good” Better

使文章“好”上加好

The Better You Can Write English

the Better You Can Edit It

英文写的好则编的更好

Words

用词篇

Commonly Confused and Misused Words

常见易混易错单词


1

不定冠词a/an 与定冠词the

 “a/an”: 用于可数或单数名词之前

例:"A new species of Escherichia was identified.“

(other species also exist)


“the”: 指目前或将来独一无二事物

例:" The organism responsible for the outbreak was Escherichia coli."


2

affect/effect (and impact)

• effect”作为名词时,表示“行为的结果”

• “affect ”作为动词时,意思为“影响”

BUT

• “effect” 作为动词时,意思为“引起变化”

• affect” 作为名词时,意思为由于某人行为举止或语言引起的感受或情绪

• impact” 只用于描述“一件事对另一件事”产生的冲击,不能作为“affect”使用

例:“Ingesting massive doses of ascorbic acid

may affect his recovery.”

(influence the recovery in some way)

例:“Ingesting massive doses of ascorbic acid

may effect his recovery.”

(produce/cause the recovery)

Luckily, the medicine did not adversely affect the patient. Many scientists believe that global warming is the effect of greenhouse-gas emissions.


3

because/as/since

• “as” 表示时间,而不是因果关系

例:As we were completing the paper,

new evidence came to light.”

• “because” 表示因果关系

例:“Five participants could not complete the follow up questionnaire because they had moved out of the target district.”

• “since” 表示时间关系

例:"Since we completed the study, there have been 3 additional outbreaks."


4

because of/due to

• “due to” = adjective + preposition, adjectival phrase meaning “attributable to” or “caused by” 归因于…

例:"The problem was due to mechanical failure."

• “because of” = conjunction + preposition, adverbial phrase

meaning “as a result of” or “owing to” 因为/由于

例:“The problem occurred because of mechanical failure.”


5

comparable/similar (and same)

• “comparable”: 可与…相比的, 类似的

例:“Because the methods are different, the statistics are not comparable.”

• “similar”: 相似

例:"The mortality rates in Sweden and Chile are similar."

* “Same”  有时会与 “ similar” 混淆。 “Same”  指完全一样,或 “identical”,通常不用于科研结果的比较 ,  特别是两项不同研究的比较


6

compose/comprise/constitute

• “compose

*1) 构成,主动语态

例:“Fifty states compose the United States of America.”

* 2)  构成,被动语态

例:“The United States of America is composed of 50 states.”

• “comprise” 包括,包含

例:“The United States of America comprises 50 states.”

• constitute”与“compose.” 意思相同


7

currently/presently/at present (and

"now")

• “currently” (preferred) and “at present” mean “now.” 现在

例:“There are currently no available studies on Han Chinese populations.”

• “presently” means “soon”, “shortly”, “in the near future.”不久的将来

例:“Presently, we will go to the Forbidden City.”

最好使用currently”或at present”,“Now” 经常被错误使用


8

demonstrate/exhibit/reveal/show

• “demonstrate 演示

例:“The technician demonstrated how to operate the pH meter.”

• “exhibit” 展示

例:"He exhibited the mineral specimens at the last congress."

* 不用于表示被动地体现某事物

× "The patient exhibited a rash" 

○ "The patient had a rash.”

• “reveal” 揭示/显示

例:“The X-ray revealed a tumor in the lower part of the stomach.”

• “show” 指示/表明

例:The results show that the GaN film is of the wurtzite structure and has the Ga-polarity.

*  “demonstrate”  的主语应该是生命体,像 “The data demonstrated that...” 这样的用法应当避免。


9

significant vs.

important/great/major/valuable

• “significant通常用于统计学意义达到一定数值的上限或下限

例:“The mean blood pressure was significantly lowered, with a P value of 0.05”

例:“The results of this research will be of great value to all nanotechnology researchers.”

如不单纯表示统计学意义,建议使用其它单词


10

employ/utilize vs. use

• “use”: adequate in most cases to mean applying or drawing on for a purpose. “use”: 使用广泛,表示为达到某一目的采用的方法与事物

例:“An autorefractor was used to measure refractive error.”

• “employ”: can also mean to put a person to work or put an object to use. “employ”: 聘用某人或采用某物

例:“All of the subjects had been employed at the company since 1997 or earlier.”

* Tip: 在科学写作中,实在无必要使用 “utilize”