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foregone conclusion

昨天我去看了我好朋友的篮球比赛。虽然我很希望他赢,不过我也知道,他所在的球队处于弱势,如果没有奇迹出现的话,他们输定了。果不其然,他们以大比分败北。这也让我想到一个习惯用语。那就是: foregone conclusion.

Foregone,的意思是先前的、预知的,而conclusion,结果。Foregone conclusion, 意思就是"注定的结果, 不可避免的结果"。

上面的例子就是这样。It's obvious that my friend's team was the underdog. It was a foregone conclusion that they'd lose the game. 我朋友的球队显然不是对手,在比赛中失利是不可避免的。在下面的例子里,我们要去看看一个公司里的员工如何讨论谁会升职。

例句-1:Susanna had worked as the assistant manager in the store for three years. When the boss decided to take a job with another company, most of us assumed Susanna would be getting a promotion. It seemed a foregone conclusion. But our predictions were wrong. A new manager with more experience was hired instead.

这段话是说: 苏珊娜当了三年副经理。老板接受另一份工作决定辞职后,我们很多人都认为苏珊娜一定会得到晋升。这看起来是注定的结果了。不过我们都猜错了。公司雇了一名更有经验的经理人。

这世界上的事情谁能百分之百打保票呢?就拿我经常去光顾的一家餐厅来说,那里的服务员几个月前告诉我,餐厅可能要关门了,因为老板得了重病。They were sure the restaurant had to close down. It seems like a foregone conclusion.

可是前两天我去订pizza的时候,他们告诉我,老板手术成功,迅速康复,餐厅会继续开下去?这真是个好消息!

******

美国历史上的南北战争人尽皆知。这次战争以北方取胜告终,结束了奴隶制,是美国历史的里程碑之一。

有些历史学家认为北方显然会获胜,可是有些历史学家则认为双方势均力敌。我们一起去听听他们不同的见解。

例句-2:Some historians believe that the American Civil War was far from a foregone conclusion. In their view, it wasn't clear at all that the North was going to beat the South. It's true that the North had a larger population and greater resources. But, they argue, the South had the advantage of fighting on their own soil. And they had the most experienced generals.

这段话是说:一些历史学家认为当时美国内战的结果并不是板上定钉的事。在他们看来,北方并不一定能打败南方。的确,北方拥有更多的人力和资源。但是他们认为,南方拥有主场优势。而且他们有经验更加丰富的将军。

历史是个值得讨论的话题。每个人看相同的问题都会得出不同的结论。各种战争,选举,都可能出现出人意料的结果。就比如今年的总统大选,鹿死谁手,还很难讲。Who will win the presidential election this year is far from a foregone conclusion.

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