[詞彙區別] people, individual, persons, human, man, mankind, humankind 的區別:

Image may contain: 23 people, people smiling, people standing

在寫作的時候,有些同學為了避免重複使用相同的詞彙,卻選用了意義上不盡相同的單字,而無法精確地表達出自己所想傳達的想法。這問題很可能來自於考生平時在語言學習上過於依賴中英翻譯,因此考生在不夠了解某些一字多義的詞彙的情況下,很容易造成讀者的誤解。舉例來說,spend vs. cost vs. take (花費),borrow vs. lend vs. loan (借),這些字的中譯都很非常類似,以中文為母語的考生在使用上,只要稍微一不注意,就容易錯誤使用。甚至有些考生會以offspring (子孫; 後代) 來代替 children (小孩),我們若是查字典了解其義,就會知道 offspring 比較常出現在正式的科學用法上,泛指動物的後代及植物的幼苗。

為了幫助同學增加詞彙量並且精確地在口說和寫作上使用這些字。我會用使用一個新的同義字系列清楚地區分這些類似的字並幫助同學們在文章中正確地使用它們。同學們也應該在使用這些字之前先查查字典,以了解這些字的使用方式。

People 的同義字

★★★human (human being) ★★★

我們使用human being這個字來強調我們和動物的不同。 We used human being to stress our difference from animals or aliens (in science fiction).

1. Dogs can hear much better than humans.
2. That is no way to treat another human being.

★★★man★★★

我們用man這個字來指男性、全部的人類、或指特定某一時代的人類。 We used man to talk about adult male human or humans as a group (or humans from a particular period of history).

1. The relationships between men and women are often complex and puzzling.
2. This is one of the worst diseases known to man.
3. Man had caused considerable damage to the environment.
4. Being a modern man today is no different than it was a century ago. It’s all about adhering to principle.

★★★mankind★★★

我們用mankind這個字來強調全部人類這個概念。 We used mankind when we talk about all humans as one large group.

1. Pollution is something that harms mankind across the globe, and disasters like war and famine have affected mankind all through our history.

*Man和mankind傳統上一直是用來指所有的男性和女性。很多人現在偏好使用humanity這個字和humankind來避掉性別歧視的問題。

Man and mankind have traditionally been used to mean “all men and women.” Many people now prefer to use humanity, the human race, human beings or people to avoid being sexist. Humankind is used as a gender neutral alternative to “mankind.”

★★★person★★★

person這個字是指人的單數。A person in the singular to refer to any human being.

1. He was a very nice person, always pleasant and friendly.

Persons 是 person的複數,是一個在文件或法律條文中使用的單字。
Persons (plural) is a very formal word. We only use it in rather legalistic contexts:

1. Any person or persons found in possession of illegal substances will be prosecuted.
2. The police are looking for three separate persons who were in this area.

People 也是person的複數,可指所有的人類或特定狀況中的一群人。它也可以指所有的國民。

People can refer to all human beings, or to a group of persons in a particular situation. It can also mean “all the citizens," as in a political leader who understands the needs of the people.

1. There were at least a thousand people in the audience.
2. The people are tired of hearing political rhetoric! They want action, not talk.

★★★individual★★★

我們用individual來強調個人以和團體做區隔。We used individual to stress that a person considered separately rather than as part of a group.

1. Every individual has rights which must never be taken away.
2. Three separate individuals walked into my store.

除了以上的用法,同學也可以用代名詞 (e.g. everyone, they) 來替換”人們” 這個單字,也可以用形容詞來更明確的指出某一群人(e.g. most, some, a few, all)。

Summary:
✎ 通常會用"people"這個詞彙來指稱一般的社會大眾;另一方面,如果想要去強調一個團體當中的每個人,則會使用"individuals"。

✎ 想要將所有人類當成一個大族群去做論述的時候,通常只會用"mankind/humankind"或是"the human race/human beings"等詞彙。

✎ 想要去強調一個人的人性面時,通常會用"human being"。

E.g. How could you do this to another human being? He has rights!

✎撰寫科學性質的相關文章時,才會運用到"Homo sapiens"。

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=443676912389120

Sources:
http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/
http://www.ldoceonline.com/
http://www.merriam-webster.com/
http://www.vocabulary.com/

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