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VOA慢速超碰97资源站--The Many Uses of 'Would' in Everyday Speech, Part 1

时间:2018-06-28 23:18来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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Imagine that you are visiting a friend in Washington, D.C. Your friend takes you to a popular restaurant. You look at the menu and decide what you want: crab1 cakes. Your friend is taking a little longer to decide. So, when the server comes to your table, your friend tells you to order first. You say:

Hi, I want the crab cakes, please.

Although you expressed your request clearly, it is best to avoid using “want” when making polite requests. Instead, we use “would like.”

This is just one of many uses for the modal “would” in everyday speech. A modal is a helping2 verb that is usually used with another verb to express ideas such as possibility, necessity and permission.

Today, we will tell you some of the uses of “would.”

Polite requests & offers

Let’s return to polite requests. At restaurants and other places where we pay for services, a common way to make a request is using “would like.” This phrase means “to wish to have.”

Listen to the polite version of the food order:

Hi, I would like the crab cakes.

We also use “would like” in polite offers. When we do this, we use question form. Here is how the server might respond:

Sounds good. Would you like anything else with that?

Yes, I’d like the side salad. Thanks.

Along with food orders at restaurants, you may also make a polite request for someone to do something for you.

Listen to this line from a famous television ad for a fruit-based spread:

Would you (please) pass the jelly?

To many native English speakers, using “will” in such a request sounds demanding rather than polite or neutral.

There are other polite ways to ask someone to do something. In an earlier program, we told you about indirect questions. One of them includes the phrase “Would you mind…?”

If we use this phrase, the jelly request becomes:

Would you mind passing the jelly?

Common “yes” responses to such a request include: “No, not at all” and “Sure.”

Reported speech

Another everyday use of “would” is in reported speech. We use reported speech to tell others what someone else said – without using their exact words. In reported speech clauses, “would” is the past tense of “will.”

First, listen to “will” in direct speech:

“I will bring the drinks,” Anita said.

When we change this to reported speech, we change “will” to “would”:

Anita said (that) she would bring the drinks.

Another example of changing tenses in reported speech is when talking about the weather. Imagine that you are listening to a weather report on the radio. The reporter might say:

It will be sunny in the morning, but we can expect rain the afternoon.

Here is how you might tell someone else about what you heard:

The weather report said (that) it would be sunny this morning but rainy this afternoon.

Imaginary situations

Another everyday usage of “would” is in unreal conditionals4. These conditionals describe what we would do in imaginary -- or unreal -- situations.

You may remember from an earlier program that unreal conditional3 statements have two parts: the if-clause and the main clause. The word “would” goes in the main clause. Here’s an example:

I would move to Japan if I spoke5 Japanese.

In this statement, the main clause comes before the if-clause. But, the order of the clauses does not change the statement’s meaning. You could also say, “If I spoke Japanese, I would move to Japan.”

Sometimes, in casual, spoken English, we leave out the if-clause in unreal conditional statements, but its meaning is understood. One situation when we do this is when giving advice:

How are you getting to Boston?

We’re flying out on Friday.

Nice! I would arrive two hours before departure. The DC airport is usually crowded on Fridays.

The understood meaning is “If I were you, I would arrive two hours before departure.”

Past unreal conditionals also contain “would.” But they are more complex and require a strong understanding of present and past perfect verb tenses. You can read more about these conditionals in an earlier episode of Everyday Grammar.

Repeated past actions

Let’s move to something a bit simpler. We also use “would” in everyday speech to talk about repeated actions in the past. This usage is called “past habitual6.” Here’s an example:

When I was little, I would play hopscotch8 with my friends.

There are two rules for this usage. The first is that we must state the time period in the first part of the sentence -- “When I was little” for example. Second, we only use “would” this way with action verbs, such as “play” in the hopscotch example. We do not use it with stative verbs, such as: live, be, know, think, understand or want.

We could not, for example, say, “When I was little, I would be happy playing hopscotch.”

Well, we’ve given you a lot of information. Would you like to practice now?

Join us again soon to learn about more ways we use “would.”

I’m Alice Bryant.

Words in This Story

menu – a list of the foods that may be ordered at a restaurant

crab cakes – n. a patty of flaked9 or minced10 crab meat, typically served fried

modal verb – n. a verb that is usually used with another verb to express ideas such as possibility, necessity and permission

casual – adj. appropriate for use in informal occasions

jelly – n. a sweet and soft food made by boiling sugar and fruit juice until it is thick

phrase – n. group of two or more words that express a single idea but do not usually form a complete sentence

clause – n. a group of words containing a subject and verb and forming part of a sentence or a whole simple sentence

episode – n. a television show, radio show, et cetera, that is one part of a series

hopscotch – n. a child's game in which players hop7 through a series of squares drawn11 on the ground

practice – v. to do something again and again in order to become better at it


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 crab xoozE     
n.螃蟹,偏航,脾气乖戾的人,酸苹果;vi.捕蟹,偏航,发牢骚;vt.使偏航,发脾气
参考例句:
  • I can't remember when I last had crab.我不记得上次吃蟹是什么时候了。
  • The skin on my face felt as hard as a crab's back.我脸上的皮仿佛僵硬了,就象螃蟹的壳似的。
2 helping 2rGzDc     
n.食物的一份&adj.帮助人的,辅助的
参考例句:
  • The poor children regularly pony up for a second helping of my hamburger. 那些可怜的孩子们总是要求我把我的汉堡包再给他们一份。
  • By doing this, they may at times be helping to restore competition. 这样一来, 他在某些时候,有助于竞争的加强。
3 conditional BYvyn     
adj.条件的,带有条件的
参考例句:
  • My agreement is conditional on your help.你肯帮助我才同意。
  • There are two forms of most-favored-nation treatment:conditional and unconditional.最惠国待遇有两种形式:有条件的和无条件的。
4 conditionals 83ad05a5f1438e68406b285d1d4a49d9     
n.条件句,从句,条件式( conditional的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Conditionals are used to about possible, imaginary or impossible conditions. 条件句用于谈论有可能的、想像的或不可能的状况。 来自互联网
  • Macros containing conditionals will automatically update their visual feedback as appropriate during play. 宏中若有条件式存在时,会依照条件式自动更新该宏的技能、物品描述。 来自互联网
5 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
参考例句:
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
6 habitual x5Pyp     
adj.习惯性的;通常的,惯常的
参考例句:
  • He is a habitual criminal.他是一个惯犯。
  • They are habitual visitors to our house.他们是我家的常客。
7 hop vdJzL     
n.单脚跳,跳跃;vi.单脚跳,跳跃;着手做某事;vt.跳跃,跃过
参考例句:
  • The children had a competition to see who could hop the fastest.孩子们举行比赛,看谁单足跳跃最快。
  • How long can you hop on your right foot?你用右脚能跳多远?
8 hopscotch 4rAzYB     
n.小孩独脚跳踢石子的游戏,“跳房子”游戏
参考例句:
  • The children squared off the sidewalk to play hopscotch.孩子们在人行道上划出方格,做“跳房子”的游戏。
  • At hopscotch,the best hoppers are the children.在跳房子的游戏中,孩子是最优秀的单足跳者。
9 flaked 62b5ec44058865073ee4b2a3d4d24cb9     
精疲力竭的,失去知觉的,睡去的
参考例句:
  • They can see how its colours have faded and where paint has flaked. 他们能看到颜色消退的情况以及油漆剥落的地方。
  • The river from end to end was flaked with coal fleets. 这条河上从头到尾处处都漂着一队一队的煤船。
10 minced e78bfe05c6bed310407099ae848ca29a     
v.切碎( mince的过去式和过去分词 );剁碎;绞碎;用绞肉机绞(食物,尤指肉)
参考例句:
  • He minced over to serve us. 他迈着碎步过来招待我们。
  • A young fop minced up to George and introduced himself. 一个花花公子扭扭捏捏地走到乔治面前并作了自我介绍。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 drawn MuXzIi     
v.拖,拉,拔出;adj.憔悴的,紧张的
参考例句:
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
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