Kỳ 003: English idioms hiểu theo Việt ngữ

Đàm Trung Pháp

ENGLISH IDIOMS HIỂU THEO VIỆT NGỮ

051 as is: như hiện trạng, thấy sao thì mua hay bán vậy – One can save money by buying things on an “as is” basis at a thrift store.

052 ask for the moon: đòi hỏi quá đáng, đòi hỏi điều khó xảy ra – Whoa, a Porsche for your girlfriend’s 18th birthday? – She might as well “ask for the moon” because you are now filthy rich! – [ask for the moon = wish for the moon = cry for the moon filthy rich = very wealthy].

053 as the crow flies: đường đi ngắn nhất, đường chim bay. From here the waterfall is only a mile “as the crow flies,” but about two miles by the mountain road – [Nhờ vào thị giác rất tinh và khứu giác rất thính, loài quạ bay thẳng tắp tới chỗ có mồi ăn].

054 at all costs: giá nào cũng chịu, bằng đủ mọi cách – The aging wealthy widower has tried to date a beauty queen “at all costs,” but to no avail – [at all costs = at any cost = at any price to no avail = without success = unsuccessfully].

055 at all times: luôn luôn, lúc nào cũng –The new boss has ordered that employees be respectful to customers “at all times” – [Động từ “be” ở trong “subjunctive mood.” Sau các động từ như order, decree, demand, recommend với hàm ý ra lệnh, đòi hỏi hoặc đề nghị, động từ thường được dùng ở subjunctive mood].

056 at first blush / at first sight: khi thấy lần đầu tiên – “At first blush” we thought it was a decent restaurant, but when we got closer we were quite disappointed • “I fell in love with Lisa “at first sight,” confessed Bob.

057 at a loss: thắc mắc, hụt hẫng, không hiểu tại sao – John called his elderly parents a couple of times but got no answer. He was “at a loss” as to where they could have been so late at night.

058 at any rate: dù sao chăng nữa – What I am doing now is far less pleasant than before, but “at any rate,” it is a secure job in this unstable economy.

059 at a premium: đắt đỏ hơn vì khan hiếm – Housing in Manhattan is “at a premium.” That makes me wonder how people could afford to live there.

060 at arm’s length: giữ khoảng cách vừa đủ để tránh né những cử chỉ quá thân mật hoặc suồng sã – Lisa is comfortable only when her touchy-feely suitor is safely “at arm’s length.” – [touchy-feely = openly expressing affection through physical contact = ôm ấp, kề môi kề má để biểu hiện yêu thương].

061 at bay: tới chỗ đường cùng, hết lối thoát – The thief was chased into an alley and held “at bay” until the police arrived. – [Nguyên thủy là từ ngữ dùng trong các cuộc săn bắn, khi con thú (có thể đã bị trúng đạn nhưng cố chạy thoát thân) thì lại bị đàn chó săn vây quanh, hết lối thoát].

062 at best: may ra thì – My smart but insecure friend Jimmy thinks that, “at best,” he will pass the advanced math course with a C. – [at best = under the most favorable circumstances].

063 at close quarters: chật chội, tù túng, khó xoay sở – The four of us need much more space; this tiny office puts us “at close quarters” – [Từ ngữ này phát xuất từ binh chủng hải quân, trong đó quarters = military lodgings. Chỗ ăn ngủ của binh sĩ hải quân dưới chiến thuyền thường không được rộng rãi].

064 at first hand: trực tiếp từ miệng người nói – Bob, I prefer to hear your harsh criticism of my recommended budget for your department “at first hand,” rather than through gossip – [at first hand = from the horse’s mouth].

065 at heart: thực ra, nghĩ cho kỹ ra – Despite John’s notorious short temper, he is a good person “at heart” – [at heart = deep down = basically despite = in spite of = regardless of].

066 at home with: 1. thoải mái, dễ chịu với – We have never been “at home with” our new supervisor’s style of management. It’s too inconsistent – 2. quen thuộc với – After an effective hands-on training session, we are now quite “at home with” our new PCs.

067 at issue: có vấn đề với – Many physicians are still “at issue” over the practice of acupuncture.

068 at large: 1. tại đào, chưa bắt được – The main suspect of a brutal murder is still “at large” –2. lưu động – Mr. Nguyễn served the South Vietnamese Government with distinction as an ambassador “at large” prior to 1975.

069 at loose ends: chưa ổn định, chưa đâu vào đâu – In spite of a business degree from a prestigious university, my uncle has not been able to find a job since graduation last summer, so he is still “at loose ends.”

070 at liberty: được tự do, không bị kẹt – To be honest with you, I am not “at liberty” to tell you the whole story. I hope you understand my situation – [Từ ngữ này thường dùng với một ý nghĩa tiêu cực như “không được tự do” hoặc “bị kẹt” để làm một chuyện gì].

071 at odds: bất đồng ý kiến, đối nghịch – The old and the young are frequently “at odds” over social issues.

072 at one’s convenience: lúc nào thuận tiện (tùy ý) – Please stop by our relocated store “at your convenience.” It’s not too far from your house, you know.

073 at one’s earliest convenience: càng sớm càng tốt (trong khả năng) – We need your proposal pretty soon, so please submit it “at your earliest convenience”!

074 at one’s fingertips: có ngay trong tay, có liền – No wonder my co-worker Jimmy had all the details “at his fingertips” – he himself prepared the financial report!

075 at pains: ráng hết nỗ lực (đến nỗi đau đớn thể xác) để hoàn tất một việc – My coquettish sister was “at pains” to dress herself elegantly to impress her job interviewer. Sadly, she did not get the job! [coquettish = flirtatious = lẳng lơ].