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  Understatement(低调陈述)

  Understatement的意思是:a statement that is not strong enough to express facts or feelings with full force(语气不够强,不足以表达事实或感情的陈述)。A Dictionary of Literary Terms 所给的解释是:A figure of speech which contains an understatement of emphasis, and therefore the opposite of hyperbole. Often used in everyday speech and usually with laconic or ironic intentions.

  也就说,这种修辞格式故意使用有节制的修辞来陈述事实,故意清描淡写,借低调与弱化语言形式来表示强调。所以Understatement故意采取“低调”,化大为小,是deliberately minimize the importance 和play down。一般说来,英语Understatement并无固定格式,通常可以通过词典和语法手段体现。

  1 用词汇手段来体现

  According to the newspaper, the driver, who was returning from a wedding, seemed puzzled. “I only had two bottle of beer and a cocktail.”

  据报道,那位参加完一个婚礼后往回赶的司机一脸迷惑地说:“我只不过喝了两瓶啤酒,一杯鸡尾酒罢了。”

  此句话中的seemd puzzled 以及only 把酒后驾车司机的那种不负责任的态度刻画的淋漓尽致,令人厌恶。

  2 用语法手段来体现

  “ Don’t you figure out that I might have had something to do with it?” said Soapy, not without sarcasm, but friendly, as one greets good fortune.

  (O.Henry: The Cop and the Anthem)

  “难道你看不出我可能跟这件事有关吗?” 苏比说,口气不是没有讥讽,但态度却友好,仿佛一个要交好运的人。

  此例是以双重否定体现understatement, not without sarcasm 就是with sarcasm(语带讥讽)。

  简而言之,understatement(低调陈述)的要点就是清描淡写地陈述一种想法。

  真题(2006年1月sec9)

  Questions 7-19 are based on the following passage.

  The following passage is from a 1979 essay by a Native American writer.

  Before she had finished her sentence the beaver had flipped over in the water and dragged himself onto the bank, where he lay half dead. The porcupine woman managed to make the shore too. and climbed up onto a bear path. When she had caught her breath, she turned on the beaver and quilled him to death.“The Tanaina live in an environment that could euphe-mistically be described as “difficult.” Survival, especially in the wild, is always precarious. Further, they were, in the prccontact period, a nonlitcrate people.

  11. The sentence in which “difficult” appears (lines 54-55) indicates that the author considers the word to be

  (A) an exaggeration

  (B) an estimate

  (C) an understatement

  (D) a contradiction

  (E) a preconception

  题干分析:作者认为54-55行所描述的“困难”一词是什么。有原文分析可知:T所在的环境可以被委婉的描述成“困难”。并且联系下文Survival, especially in the wild, is always precarious.(特别是在荒野之地,生存下来不可能的。)由此判断这里明显非常困难,而原文委婉说困难。此句中情态动词的表达could euphe-mistically be 体现了understatement的运用。

  此题并不是一个修辞题的考题,但是考点涉及到修辞中understatement的运用。

  修辞手法题很容易和其他的题型(例如写作手法题)混在一块考。这也是为什么有些题干会明显有rhetorical device 的提示词,如真题2009年1月的题目:the quotation in lines 10-12 contains an example of which rhetorical device ? 而有的题干没有rhetorical device 的提示词,但是选项中又有修辞格。

  如真题2009年1月的题目:In lines 9-11( “A miniseries ….television.”) , the author makes use of which of the following? 其实那是因为选项中涉及部分的修辞手法,还涉及部分的写作手法。写作手法的讲解会在该题型讲解中详述。在这里就不多讲了。

  以上内容由智课小编为大家整理的关于“SAT阅读的文章中修辞手法解析”,希望可以帮助到大家,小编在此预祝大家在考试中取得好成绩!

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