区别辨析free、liberate、release与discharge

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free、liberate、release与discharge这些动词均含“解放、释放”之意。

free : 指不再受任何限制、约束、阻碍和压迫,完全可按自己的意志行事。

  • After a ten-hour siege the gunman agreed to free the hostages.
    经过10个小时的围困,持枪歹徒同意释放人质。
  • Anti-vivisectionists last night freed a number of animals from a laboratory.
    反对活体解剖的人昨晚放走了实验室里的很多动物。

liberate : 常指从束缚和压迫中解放出来,强调获得最终的解放,有时可和free换用。

  • They said they sent troops in to liberate the people/the country from a dictator.
    他们称他们向该国派出军队是要把那里的人民/那个国家从独裁者手中解放出来。

release : 侧重指放松限制、解除监禁或免除义务。

  • He was released from prison after serving two years of a five-year sentence.
    他被判5年徒刑,但是服刑两年后就被释放出狱了。
  • She was arrested for shoplifting but was released on bail (= after paying a sum of money to the court).
    她因为在商店行窃而被捕,但是在交纳保释金后就被释放了。
  • The surgery released him from years of pain.
    手术使他摆脱了多年的病痛。

discharge : 强调把某人或某物从监禁、束缚中释放出来。

  • Patients were discharged from the hospital because the beds were needed by other people.
    由于其他人需要床位,患者们便被允许出院了。
  • More than half of all prisoners discharged are reconvicted within two years.
    在获释的犯人中有一半多在两年内又被再次判刑。
  • A peace protester was conditionally discharged for twelve months (= allowed to go free only if they do not commit a crime again for this period of time).
    一个和平抗议者被有条件假释12个月。