實用英語課室 Should和If意思真的相同嗎?

職場 11:30 2019/03/06

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商業電郵中經常都可以見到以下嘅句子:

Should you have any questions, feel free to call me.

Should you encounter any problems, pleases let me know.

Should I be of any assistance, do not hesitate to contact our office.

以上三句嘅should,好明顯,係if咁嘅意思,即係中文入面嘅「如果」。但其實唔講唔知,原來if同should嘅意思唔係完全一樣,所以千祈唔好誤會should係一個專門用嚟寫商業郵件嘅「如果」,絕對絕對冇呢回事。

或者舉個例會易明白少少。ABC公司老闆李先生放大假,一個月後先返香港。佢向秘書交帶落,「如果林總打電話搵我,你就話佢知我一個月後先返香港。」以上句子嘅英文十分簡單,if Mr Lam calls,tell him that I will be back in a month。

不過有時會聽到外國人講,if Mr Lam should call,tell him I will be back in a month。點解冇啦啦會多咗個should字呢?If Mr Lam calls同if Mr Lam should call到底意思上有咩唔同呢?

當李先生話if Mr Lam should call嘅時候,即係其實林總打電話嚟嘅可能性唔高。簡單啲,轉做中文就即係「萬一林總真係打嚟嘅話」,你就同佢講我一個月後先返啦。

再舉個例,我係一個保險經紀,想個客幫我買份保險,但係講到口水乾,個客都冇咩興趣。既然係咁都無謂強人所難,所以我就同佢講,if you should change your mind,feel free to contact me。呢種情況下,你用if you should change your mind,一定會更加好,更加得體過你用if you change your mind,因為咁樣即係代表你都認同個客唔會咁易就改變主意。

當然,你都可以咁用should you change your mind,feel free to contact me,改一改個句子嘅結構。就係咁,我哋可以睇到should同if係唔可以隨便調亂。記住,if係如果,should係萬一。千祈唔好搞亂,兩個意思完全唔同。

DR-Max Limited為全港最大兒童教育服務供應商之一,編製Electronic English英語教材獲獎良多,一點就明。

撰文 : Dr Max