区别辨析explanation、definition、description、exposition与interpretation

explanation、definition、description、exposition与interpretation这些名词都含有“解释”或“说明”之意。

explanation : 普通用词,指使人明白未知或不清楚的事。

  • Could you give me a quick explanation of how it works?
    你能给我简要说明一下它的工作原理吗?
  • What was her explanation for why she was late?
    她是如何解释她迟到的原因的?
  • The judge didn't believe his explanation that he had stolen the money in order to give it to charity.
    他辩解说偷钱是为了捐给慈善机构,但是法官并不相信。
  • He said, by way of explanation, that he hadn't seen the traffic light change to red.
    他解释说他没有看到红灯亮了。

definition : 主要指对某一词、短语或专门术语的含义作解释、下定义。

  • The legal definition of what is and what is not pornography is very unsatisfactory.
    法律对什么是色情、什么不是色情的解释令人很不满意。

description : 指对某一事物的重要方面进行详细叙述,常含教育与启迪意味。

  • She has given the police a very detailed/full description of the robber.
    她向警察详细描述了抢劫者的相貌。
  • A girl answering (= matching) the description of the missing teenager was spotted in Glasgow.
    有人在格拉斯哥发现一个女孩,相貌特征符合对失踪少女的描述。
  • Your paper contains too much description, and not enough discussion of the issues.
    你的文章描述性内容太多,而对问题的讨论不够。

exposition : 通常指对论点、假设、理论等的重点作详尽的阐述。

  • It purports to be an exposition of Catholic social teaching.
    它旨在详细阐述天主教的社会教义。

interpretation : 多指对文字上较难的段落,或难于理解,令人迷惑的问题作出解释或说明。

  • The dispute is based on two widely differing interpretations of the law.
    争论是源于对法律的两种截然不同的解释。
  • The rules are vague and open to interpretation.
    规则很含糊,可作各种诠释。
  • It is difficult for many people to accept a literal interpretation of the Bible.
    很多人觉得难以接受对圣经的字面诠释。

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