第二部分 TEXT

So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingIy less dependent on specialized labour. No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself publications. Armed with the right tools and materials, newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes. Men, particularly, spend hours of their leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture. Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their own computers. Shops cater for the do-it-yourself craze not only by running special advisory services for notices, but by offering consumers bits and pieces which they can assemble at home. Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, but unfortunately not all of us are born handymen.
Some wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and can fix anything. Even men who can hardly drive a nail in straight are supposed to be born electricians, carpenters, plumbers and me-chanics. When lights fuse, furniture gets rickety, pipes get clogged, or vacuum cleaners fail to operate, some women assume that their husbands will somehow put things right. The worst thing about the do-it-yourself game is that sometimes even men live under the delusion that they can do anything, even when they have repeatedly been proved wrong. It is a question of pride as much as anything else.
Last spring my wife suggested that I call in a man to look at our lawn mover. It had broken down the previous summer, and though I promised to repair it, I had never get round to it. I would not hear of the suggestion and said that I would fix it myself. One Saturday afternoon, I hauled the machine into the garden and had a close look at it. As far as I could see, it only needed a minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new. Inevitably the repair job was not quite so simple. The mower firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it. The garden was soon littered with chunks of metal which had once made up a lawn mower. But I was extremely pleased with myself. I had traced the cause of the trouble. One of the links in the chain that drives the wheels had snapped. After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again. I was not surprised to find that the machine still refused to work after I had reassembled it, for the simple reason that I was left with several curiously shaped bits of metal which did not seem to fit anywhere. I gave up in despair. The weeks passed and the grass grew. When my wife nagged me to do something about it, I told her that either I would have to buy a new mower or let the grass grow. Needless to say our house is now surrounded by a jungle. Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn-mower which I have promised to repair one day.

译文:

现在我们自己动手做事的热情很高,结果对于专业工人的依赖越来越少了。由于出版了不计其数的教人自己动手做事的书报杂志,没有人再能说对某事一无所知。新婚夫妇找来合适的工具和材料,喜气洋洋地开始布置新房。特别是男人,常利用空闲时间安装壁炉、布置花园、建造车库、制作家具。有些热衷于自己动手的人甚至自己组装电脑。为了满足自己动手热的需要,商店不仅为初学者提供专门的咨询服务,而且为顾客准备了各种零件,供他们买回家去安装。这些东西为人们潜在的创造力提供了一个绝妙的用武之地。但不幸的是,我们并非人人都是能工巧匠。

妻子常常认为她们的丈夫无比聪明能干。甚至那些连一枚钉子都钉不直的男人都被认为是天生的电工、木匠、水管工和机械师。每当电灯保险丝烧断、家具榫头松动、管道堵塞、吸尘器不动时,有些妻子认为丈夫总有办法。自己动手的例子中最糟糕的是,有时甚至是男人尽管接连失败却还误以为自己什么都行,原因就是要面子。

今年春天,妻子让我请人检查一下我家的割草机。那台割草机去年夏天就坏了,尽管我答应修,但一直没抽出时间,我不愿听妻子的建议,说我自己会修。一个星期六的下午,我把割草机拉到了花园里,仔细检查了一番。在我看来,只需稍加调整即可。这儿紧紧螺丝,那儿固定一下,再加几滴油,就会像新的一样了。事实上,修理工作远不是那么简单。修完后割草机还是纹丝不动。于是,我决定把它拆开。一会儿工夫,割草机便被拆成一个个金属零件,乱七八糟地堆在花园里。但我却非常高兴,因为我找到了毛病所在。驱动轮子的链条断了一节。我买来一根新链条后,面临的就是如何把这些令人眼花缭乱的拼板重新组装起来。等我装完后,那台割草机仍然一动不动,对此我倒并不感到吃惊。原因很简单,因为还剩下几个形状奇特的零件似乎哪里也装不上去。我无可奈何,只好罢休。几个星期过去了,草长了起来。妻子喋喋不休让我想点办法。我告诉她,要么买一台新割草机,要么让草长下去。不用说,我家现在已被丛林包围。深草丛中的某个地方有一台正在生锈的割草机,那就是我曾答应某日要修理的割草机。

第三部分 LANGUAGE POINTS

1,So great is our passion for doing things for ourselves, that we are becoming increasingIy less dependent on specialized labour.

全句使用的基本句型是so...that意为"太...以至于...",引导结果状语从句

So great is out passion 为倒装语序,其正常语序是Our passion for doing things for ourselves is so great that...

为了强调great这个词,把so great提到句首,因此主谓语要倒装

Become/be dependent on 意为"依赖,依靠"

e.g. In China, farming is no longer dependent on the weather. 在中国,种田不再完全靠天了。

2,No one can plead ignorance of a subject any longer, for there are countless do-it-yourself publications.

plead ignorance of sth. 以不知道......为借口

e.g. He pleaded ignorance of the accident.

Not ... any longer=no longer,表示"不再",本句中No one构成了否定形式,因此应使用any longer,不应使用no longer

do-it-yourself为合成词,意思自己动手做的。

合成词是将一个词组或一个句子中的每一个单词用连字符链接,作为一个单词来使用的构词形式。这类合成词多作为定语。E.g.

a can't-be-put-down photo 一张爱不释手的照片

3,Armed with the right tools and materials, the newlyweds gaily embark on the task of decorating their own homes.

armed with引导的过去分词短语,在句中做方式状语,修饰embark。Be armed with意为"装备",相当于be equipped with

embark on 开始从事

4,Men, particularly, spend hours of their leisure time installing their own fireplaces, laying out their own gardens; building garages and making furniture.

spend (in) doing sth. 句中的installing,laying out,building和making均为spend后使用的动名词形式,作宾语。

lay out 布置,设计,花钱

e.g. The word for tomorrow is all laid out.明天的工作都安装好了。

5,Some really keen enthusiasts go so far as to build their own computers.

so...as to与so as to的区别

(1)so...as to表示程度及其结果,即"如此......以致",与so...that...意思相同

e.g.He worked so hard as to pass the final exams.他学习非常刻苦,以致通过了期末考试。

(2)so as to表示目的,即"为了,为的是",同in order to

e.g.He worded very hard so as to pass the final exam.他学习非常刻苦,为的是通过期末考试。

6, Such things provide an excellent outlet for pent up creative energy, ut unfortunately not all of us are born handy men.

Pent up 被抑制的

Be born 意为"生来就是,命中注定"

7,As far as I could see it needed only a minor adjustment: a turn of a screw here, a little tightening up there, a drop of oil and it would be as good as new.

句中a turn of, a little tightening, a drop of 作adjustment的同位语,说明adjustment所包含的内容。

as good as= almost, actually,意为"几乎,实际上"

e.g. The work is as good as perfect.这工作几乎是完美的。

8,The mover firmly refused to mow, so I decided to dismantle it.

一般情况下,动词refuse的主语是人,但文中用物体mower做主语,是拟人用法,这样可以使文字更显得生动

9, After buying a new chain I was faced with the insurmountable task of putting the confusing jigsaw puzzle together again.

句中使用insurmountable和confusing两个较大的词分别修饰task和jigsaw puzzle,具有夸张意味,并以暗喻手法,将lawn mover比作jigsaw puzzle(拼图游戏)更有利于产生喜剧效果。

10,Buried somewhere in deep grass there is a rusting lawn mower which I have promised one day.

Buried somewhere 为过去分词作定语,修饰lawn mower。置于句首位置,一方面起到强调作用,另一方面,由于lawn mower后为which引导的定语从句,这样可使句子显得更为紧凑。