词汇掌故:数字 2

    Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
    Last week, I told about the number one. Today, I will tell about expressions using other numbers.
    Some problems are difficult to solve. But there are a lot of number expressions that can help. For example, if we put two and two together, we might come up with the right answer. We know that two heads are better than one. It is always better to work with another person to solve a problem.
    有些问题难以解决,但是很多数字短语会有所帮助。例如,如果我们根据事实推理(put two and two together)我们就能得出正确答案。我们知道人多智广(two heads are better than one),通常情况下,与他人合作解决问题比自己单干更好。
    Sometimes there are no two ways about it. Some problems have only one solution. You cannot be of two minds over this.
    有时候一些问题别无选择(there are no two ways about it),只有一个解决办法,你就不能对此犹豫不决(of two minds)。
    But with any luck, we could solve the problem in two shakes of a lamb's tail. We could have our answers quickly and easily.
    但幸运的话,我们能迅速(two shakes of a lamb's tail)解决问题。
    Sometimes we can kill two birds with one stone. That is, we can complete two goals with only one effort or action. But we must remember that two wrongs don't make a right. If someone does something bad to you, you should not do the same to him.
    有时,我们能一箭双雕(kill two birds with one stone),也就是说,我们通过一次努力或者行动就能达成两个目标。但是我们必须要记住:负负不得正(two wrongs don't make a right),如果有人冒犯了你,你不应该以牙还牙。
    If you are going out with your girlfriend, or boyfriend, you do not want another friend to go along on your date. You can just say to your friend: two's company, three's a crowd.
    如果你和男(或女)朋友出去约会,不希望另一个朋友搅合你们的约会。你只需对这个朋友说:“俩人结伴,三人添乱(two's company, three's a crowd)。”
    When I was a young child in school, I had to learn the three R's. These important skills are reading, writing and arithmetic. These three words do not all start with the letter "R." But they have the sound of "R." My teachers used to give three cheers when I did well in math. They gave praise and approval for a job well done.
    当我还在上学的时候,我必须学习三个“R”,这三个重要技能就是阅读,写作和算术。这三个词并不都以字母R开头,但是发音都含有R。当我数学表现不错的时候,我的老师通常会为我欢呼三声(give three cheers),这是人们对一项做得好的工作给予的表扬和肯定。
    Some of my friends were confused and did not understand their schoolwork. They were at sixes and sevens. In fact, they did not care if they finished high school. They saw little difference between the two choices. Six of one, half a dozen the other – that was their position. But they were really happy when they completed their studies and graduated from high school. They were in seventh heaven. They were on cloud nine.
    我有一些朋友被弄得晕头转向,不懂自己的功课,他们简直就是乱七八糟(at sixes and sevens)。实际上,他们不在乎是否读完高中,他们认为两者是半斤八两(Six of one, half a dozen the other)没有区别 -- 这就是他们的观点。但是,当他们完成学业高中毕业时真是欣喜若狂。
    注:in seventh heaven / on cloud nine :字面意思是第7个天堂,九霄云外,寓意都是欣喜若狂;喜出望外;兴高采烈。
    Nine times out of ten, students who do well in school find good jobs. Some work in an office doing the same things every day at nine-to-five jobs. You do not have to dress to the nines, or wear your best clothes, for this kind of work.
    在学校表现好的学生十有八九(Nine times out of ten)都找到了不错的工作,一些人每天朝九晚五(nine-to-five)的在办公室做着同样的工作,做这些工作你不必衣着光鲜(dress to the nines)。
    Last year, one of my friends applied for a better job at her office. I did not think she would get it. I thought she had a hundred to one shot at the job. Other people at her office thought her chances were a million to one. One reason was that she had been caught catching forty winks at the office. She slept at her desk for short periods during the day. But her supervisor appointed her to the new job at the eleventh hour -- at the very last minute. I guess her lucky number came up.
    去年,我一个朋友申请了她办公室一个更好的工作,我认为她得不到这个工作,这种可能性很小(a hundred to one shot)。她办公室的其他人也觉得她的机会微乎其微(a million to one),其中一个原因是她在办公室打盹(forty winks)被抓现行,但是她的主管在最后时刻(at the eleventh hour)把这项新工作指派给了她,我猜她是中彩了(lucky number came up)。