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force one's hand

今天我收到了园艺俱乐部主席的电子邮件。邮件里说,很遗憾我们今年的资金不足,所以要减少很多有趣的活动。我很奇怪为什么她不等下次见面时告诉我们,后来才知道原来是有人看到了财务报表,去质问主席了。这也让我想到一句习惯用语,那就是: force one's hand。

大家都知道,force意思是强迫,而hand是手,force one's hand, 意思就是强迫某人做某事,特别是在没有准备好的情况下。

在上面的例子里, 我们的俱乐部成员质疑园艺俱乐部的财政情况,迫使主席马上发邮件跟大家说明。She forced the president's hand.

在下面的例子里,一名员工还没准备好,就不得不告诉大家他要退休的消息。我们一起来听一听:

例句-1:I didn't intend to announce my retirement quite yet. I've told my buddy at work not to say anything to anyone. But after a few too many drinks, he accidentally mentioned that I would soon be leaving the company. I know he didn't mean to force my hand. But I had no choice but to confirm the news.

这段话是说: 我本来没想公布退休的消息。我告诉我办公室的好友要为我保密。可是几杯酒下肚,这位老兄就提到了我马上要离开公司。我知道他并不是这个意思,但我不得不跟大家证实了这个消息。

******

这就是酒精会带来的问题,它会让你做出一些愚蠢的举动。我记得我奶奶就曾经告诉我,如果你想保守秘密,就不要告诉任何人。就像有些惊喜派对,有时候很难做到保守秘密, 搞不好的话,The honoree will figure out what you're up to and forces your hand,有时被派对主角发现秘密筹备的事,你没办法只好承认。

小孩子淘气,弄坏家里东西是常事。不知道大家小时候有没有类似的经历? 下面这两个小孩就干了件坏事。我们来听听他们受到了怎样的惩罚。

例句-2:We shouldn't have been playing basketball in the house. That's how we broke a window in the living room. We must have looked guilty. As soon as mom and dad came home, they asked us what was wrong. We never had time to invent a story because they succeeded in forcing our hand. Now we'll have to do extra chores for a month!

这段话是说:我们不该在屋里打篮球,就因为这样打碎了客厅的窗户。我们看起来肯定是干了错事的样子。爸爸妈妈一进门,就问我们到底出了什么事情。我们还没有足够时间编故事,他们把我们抓了个正着! 现在我们要多做一个月的家务!

这听起来还真有些耳熟,我记得原来我妈妈眼睛就特别尖,我干了什么错事,她都能一下子发现!

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