新概念英语第三册36:A chance in a million
 

一、听力mp3

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1.课文
We are less credulous than we used to be. In the nineteenth century, a novelist would bring his story to a conclusion by presenting his readers with a series of coincidences -- most of them wildly improbable. Readers happily accepted the fact that an obscure maidservant was really the hero's mother. A long-lost brother, who was presumed dead, was really alive all the time and wickedly plotting to bring about the hero's downfall. And so on. Modern readers would find such naive solution totally unacceptable. Yet, in real life, circumstances do sometimes conspire to bring about coincidences which anyone but a nineteenth century novelist would find incredible.
When I was a boy, my grandfather told me how a German taxi driver, Franz Bussman, found a brother who was thought to have been killed twenty years before. While on a walking tour with his wife, he stooped to talk to a workman. After they had gone on, Mrs. Bussman commented on the workman's close resemblance to her husband and even suggested that he might be his brother. Franz poured scorn on the idea, pointing out that his brother had been killed in action during the war. Though Mrs. Busssman fully acquainted with this story, she thought that there was a chance in a million that she might be right. A few days later, she sent a boy to the workman to ask him if his name was Hans Bussman. Needless to say, the man's name was Hans Bussman and he really was Franz's long-lost brother. When the brothers were reunited, Hans explained how it was that he was still alive. After having been wounded towards the end of the war, he had been sent to hospital and was separated from his unit. The hospital had been bombed and Hans had made his way back into Western Germany on foot. Meanwhile, his unit was lost and all records of him had been destroyed. Hans returned to his family home, but the house had been bombed and no one in the neighbourhood knew what had become of the inhabitants. Assuming that his family had been killed during an air raid, Hans settled down in a village fifty miles away where he had remained ever since.
 
2.翻译
我们不再像以往那样轻易相信别人了。在19世纪,小说家常在小说结尾处给读者准备一系列的巧合——大部分是牵强附会,极不可能的。当时的读者却愉快地接受这样一些事实,一个低贱的女佣实际上是主人公的母亲;主人公一位长期失散的兄弟,大家都以为死了,实际上一直活着,并且正在策划暗算主人公;如此等等,现代读者会觉得这种天真的结局完全无法接受。不过,在现实生活中,有时确实会出现一些巧合,这些巧合除了19世纪小说家外谁也不会相信。
当我是个孩子的时候,我祖父给我讲了一位德国出租汽车司机弗朗兹。巴斯曼如何找到了据信已在20年前死去的兄弟的事。一次,他与妻子徒步旅行。途中,停下来与一个工人交谈,接着他们继续往前走去。巴斯曼夫人说那工人与她丈夫相貌很像,甚至猜测他可能就是她丈夫的兄弟。弗朗兹对此不屑一顾,指出他兄弟已经在战争中阵亡了。尽管巴斯曼夫人熟知这个情况,但她仍然认为自己的想法仍有百万分之一的可能性。几天后,她派了一个男孩去问那人是否叫汉斯.巴斯曼。不出巴斯曼夫人所料,那人的名字真是汉斯.巴斯曼,他确实是弗朗兹失散多年的兄弟。兄弟俩团聚之时,汉斯说明了他活下来的经过,战争即将结束时,他负伤被送进医院,并与部队失去联系。医院遭到轰炸,汉斯步行回到了西德。与此同时,他所在部队被击溃,他的所有档案材料全部毁于战火。汉斯重返故里,但他的家已被炸毁,左邻右舍谁也不知原住户的下落,汉斯以为全家人都在空袭中遇难,于是便在距此50英里外的一座村子里定居下来,直至当日。
 

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三、课文精讲

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(Attention: The following points are not covered by the video. It is better for you to watch the video or listen to the MP3 first and try to take notes on your own. Then you may check here to get more details. )

1 We are less credulous thank we used to be. 背熟

credulous adj. 轻信的 (修饰人)

credible: 可信的,可靠的 (修饰事物)

Eg: The story he told us is credible.

incredulous 不轻信的,表示怀疑的
incredible  难以置信的,不可思议的,惊人的
believable  
Eg; He demanded for believable explanation 

2 accepted the fact that an obscure maid-servant
obscure adj. 不起眼的

Eg: The bus stopped at an obscure little town

令人费解的

An obscure figure can be seen through the fog.

vague 多用于比喻意,指不明确说明而造成的模糊不清

3 a novelist would bring his story to a conclusion by presenting his readers with a series of coincidences

bring ... to a conclusion "...结束"

Eg:

They had made so wonderful a plan that the work was brought to a good conclusion.

介词 by 引导的介词短语作方式状语

coincidences n. 巧合

conscious adj. 感觉到的,意识到的

4 A long-lost brother, who was presumed dead, was really alive all the time and wichedly plotting to bring about the hero's downfall. And so on.

who 为关系代词, 引导非限制性定语从句, dead作从句主语的补足语

背熟:who was presumed dead, was really alive all the time and wickedly plotting to bring about the hero's downfall.

presume: 假定 (根据过去的经验和感觉作出决断) 未证实前假定是真的

assume : 武断的,把尚未证实的作为依据,与事实不相符合

Eg: Let us assume that your words are fact

suppose : 最普通的用词,猜想、陈述自己的看法

Eg: I suppose that it was my fault.

conspire: 众多人合谋做重大的犯法勾当,犹指反叛,不用于修饰单个人
plot 密谋
bring about 造成, 导致,引起

Eg:
Gambling has brought about his ruin.
downfall: sudden & complete 毁灭性结局

5 circumstances do sometimes conspire to bring about coincidences, which anyone but a nineteenth century novelist would find incredible.
circumstances pl. 周围的环境, 情形
do 助动词, 强调作用
but 为介词, "除...之外", but + 后面的介词短语作定语, 修饰anyone
在表示此意时, 与介词except 的意思相近, 但是but 更强调意义上的完整性, except 则更着重后面的例外.
Eg:

I have written all my letters but one. 我只差一封信就全写完了.
I have written all my letters except one. 我还差一封信没写.

6 While on walking tour with his wife, he stopped to talk to a workman.
While 后面省略了he was, 在表示时间, 地点, 条件, 让步等的状语从句中, 从句的主语和主句的主语相同, 常省略从句的主语和谓语.
stop to do sth. 停下来(在做的事)去做某事
stop doing sth. 停止(在做的)事
Eg:
The bus stopped to take up passengers. 停下来搭客
The bus stopped taking up passengers. 停止搭客

7 After they had gone on, Mrs Bussman commented on the workman's close resemblance to her husband and even suggested that he might be his brother.背熟
commented on 对...进行评论
resemblance to 与...很像
Eg:
The girl in the picture bears some distant resemblance to her.

resemblance n. 相似

likeness: 最普通的用语,比resemblance意味要强

bear a strong resemblance to sb. or sth.

The girl bears a strong resemblance to her sister.

such a resemblance

resemble 特别是指外观或外在性质的相似

similarity:性质、特色、程度的相似

The two envents which happened at the same time have got similarity

similar to sth. or sb.

They have got close likeness.

suggest: 认为, 表明 (如文中), 之后的that 从句用正常时态和语气
建议, 提议 that 从句中通常用 (should)+ 动词原形的虚拟语气结构.

8 Franz poured scorn on the idea, pointing out that his brother had been killed in action during the war.
poured scorn on 对...嘲笑
Eg:
Don't pour bitter scorn on thouse in miserable conditions.

scorn n. 嘲弄,挖苦

pour scorn on

pour contempt on

pour ridicule on 对......嘲弄,挖苦,斥之以鼻

pour heap

Eg: He poured scorn on his wife's suggestion.

look down upon / think scorn of 藐视

contempt: 蔑视,强烈谴责某人或某事低贱、卑鄙,语气强于scorn

despite: 语气较弱,表示嘲弄

Eg: His suggestion was dismissed with scorn.

His face showed the scorn he felt.

pointing out that 为现在分词短语, 在句中作伴随状语, 修饰动词poured

9 Though Mrs Bussman was fully acquainted with this story

acquaint v. 使了解

be acquainted with sth. 对......有所了解

acquaint sb. with sth. / acquaint sb. of sth. 告之某人某事

make a person acquainted with sb. 介绍某人同另一个人认识

Let me make ... acquainted with you (正式用法)

acquaintance n. 熟人

10 Hans returned to his family home, but the house had been bombed and no one in the neighbouthood knew what had become of the inhabitants
become of ==happen to 发生遭遇,不幸的事件,多用于疑问句,主语必须是what / whatever

Eg: Whatever became of that girl?
Please explain what became of you yesterday.

11 used to & would
used to & would 都可表示过去的习惯, 且现在此习惯已不存在.
Eg: I used to smoke, but I don't any more.
I would narmally spend the winter in Miami.

used to 可以用来描述过去的状态, 但是would 不行
Eg: I'm not quite as sure as I used to be.

used to 仅用于一般过去时

 

四、单词学习

1、提示:n.名词、adj.形容词、vi.不及物动词、vt.及物动词、adv.副词、prep.介词、pron.代词、int.感叹词、num.数词、abbr.短语缩写
2、双击或选中某个单词可划词查字典,如下图:(手机端无法使用此功能)

划词工具示意图

划词工具示意图

3、单词列表:

credulous
adj. 轻信的
improbable
adj. 不大可能的
obscure
adj. 不起眼的
maidservant
n. 女仆,女佣
presume
v. 假定
wickedly
adv. 心眼坏地,居心叵测地
plot
v. 密谋
downfall
n. 倒台,垮台
naive
adj. 天真的
unacceptable
adj. 不能接受的
conspire
v. (事件)巧合促成
incredible
adj. 难以置信的
scorn
n. 嘲弄,挖苦
acquaint
v. 使了解
reunite
v. 使团聚
assume
v. 假定,认为

 

五、课后练习答案

1d 2c 3c 4b 5d 6a 7b 8b 9d 10c 11a 12d