新概念4文章精读 | Youth

新概念英语4第5课Youth是一篇逻辑严密、富含启发性的文章,它选自BBC一本名为The Listener的杂志,作者Fielden Hughes是英国一名作家、学校校长以及播音员。作者在文中极力为年轻人辩护,他否定了所谓的“青年问题”,并指出这些问题更多是由老年人而不是年轻人造成的。他还赞扬了年轻人的蓬勃生机以及无拘无束的生活方式,并愿意以平等的态度和他们交流。推荐各位同学精读这篇文章:



People are always talking about 'the problem of youth'. If there is one—which I take leave to doubt—then it is older people who create it, not the young themselves. Let us get down to fundamentals and agree that the young are after all human beings—people just like their elders. There is only one difference between an old man and a young one: the young man has a glorious future before him and the old one has a splendid future behind him: and maybe that is where the rub is.




(1) which I take leave to doubt是一个插入语,使用两个破折号与主句分开,take leave to do something在这里意思是“擅自做某事”,“冒昧做某事”。


(2) get down to something意思是“开始认真做某事”,比如:I've got a lot of work to do, but I can't seem to get down to it. 我有很多工作要做,可我好像就是没法安下心来去做。


(3) that is where the rub is是一个比较正式的用法,在文学作品中比较常见,the rub意思相当于“问题,困难”,这一句型在写作中也可以用上,比如我们可以说:


When it comes to choosing a career, there is a generational difference. Today many parents prefer their children to work in state-owned enterprises or government departments because they believe such places offer job security, but most young people choose to join the private sector so as to earn higher wages, and maybe that is where the rub is.



When I was a teenager, I felt that I was just young and uncertain—that I was a new boy in a huge school, and I would have been very pleased to be regarded as something so interesting as a problem. For one thing, being a problem gives you a certain identity, and that is one of the things the young are busily engaged in seeking.




(1) I would have been very pleased…这里would have been是一种情态动词的猜测用法,意思相当于“可能,应该”。


(2) for one thing即“一方面”,它通常跟for another thing组成一个搭配,用来列举两个并列的论点,比如:Why didn’t we visit? Well, for one thing, it was too far away. And for another, she never invited us.



I find young people exciting. They have an air of freedom, and they have not a dreary commitment to mean ambitions or love of comfort. They are not anxious social climbers, and they have no devotion to material things. All this seems to me to link them with life, and the origins of things. It's as if they were, in some sense, cosmic beings in violent and lovely contrast with us suburban creatures. All that is in my mind when I meet a young person. He may be conceited, ill-mannered, presumptuous or fatuous, but I do not turn for protection to dreary cliches about respect of elders—as if mere age were a reason for respect. I accept that we are equals, and I will argue with him, as an equal, if I think he is wrong.




(1) an air of something这里air是熟词生义,意思是“气质,感觉”,比如:A stone balcony gives the building an air of elegance. 石阳台给这栋建筑增添了几分雅致。


(2) mean ambitions,这里mean的含义是“卑鄙的,令人不悦的”(unkind or unpleasant)


(3) social climbers是一个固定名词,它指的是“趋炎附势的人”。


(4) It's as if they were…suburban creatures. 这一句用到了虚拟语气,将年轻人比作宇宙人。


(5) suburban在这里意思是“平淡乏味的,传统的”,比如:His clothes are conservative and suburban. 他衣着保守而传统。


(6) turn for protection to dreary cliches about respect of elders这里正常语序是:turn to dreary cliches about respect of elders for protection,turn to XX for protection意思是“寻求XX的保护”,这里将for protection前置是为了避免句子头重脚轻的问题。


(7) equal在这里是名词,意思是“同等的人”,比如:He treats all his staff as equals. 他平等地对待他的每一位员工。

原文始发于(英文悦读):新概念4文章精读 | Youth