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考えると言うこと(6)

解説者に手を引いてもらいながら英語を読む(問題を解く)ときに注意することがいくつかあります。先ず、単語集を使って覚えた「言葉の死骸」を生(なま)の文章の中で生き返らせること。もし「de=強調+press(ギュッ)=depress(心を押しつぶす=落胆させる)」の仕組みが分かっていたら、第1語義しか覚えていなくても推測ができます。それに、国語力に自信があれば、第1語義からひねり出すのも悪くありません(多義語は無理ですが)。そして、これが一番大切なのですが、その単語の品詞を必ず考えてください。言い換えると、文章の中でのその単語の役割を考えることです。英語が言葉として性能が高いのは、同じ単語が名詞になったり動詞になったりするところです。これが分からないと、いつまで経っても英語は暗号です。ここは手を抜かずに考えないといけません。小林秀雄じゃないですが、「掴んだら離さぬ」覚悟で考えるのです。
As you have the commentator lead you in reading English (answering the questions) there are several things you should pay attention to. First, revive the corpses of words you learned from word books in real English sentences. If you understand the structure “de=emphasis+press (crush)= depress (crush the heart=depress), you will be able to infer what the sentence is saying even if you only learned the meaning of the word. If you are confident of your Japanese language ability, it’s not bad to work out the meaning of the sentence from the first dictioinacry meaning of the word (although this is hard to do if a word has several meanings). The most important thing is to be sure that you think about what part of speech a word is. In other words, think about the role the word plays in the sentence. English words perform at a high level because one word can be a noun or a verb or some other part of speech. If you don’t understand this, English will seem to you like some kind of code. So don’t cut the corner of thinking about what part of speech a word is. Not to quote Hideo Kobayashi, but make up your mind to “think and not stop thinking.”

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