ヒント140 英文読解“Grandfather Was Dyed.×”

准教授Joe Mckim

was dead?  was died?  has died?



was diedという間違った表現が蔓延してますね~!ネイティヴにはタイトルのように「was dyed」と聞こえるそうです。



One problem that my students frequently have with English is the delicate matter of talking about death. This is a topic that comes up more often than you might think, since every year I hear several excuses of absence due to the funeral service for a grandfather. 


dye「染める、染まる」 come up「起こる、生じる」  






The grandfathers of my students have an extremely high mortality rate. Indeed, I've known a few who have lost four or five grandfathers in the course of their university years. Thus, there often comes that solemn moment when a student approaches me after class to express the fact that "My grandfather has died."


mortality rate「死亡率」 solemn「重々しい」



私の学生たちのおじいさんの死亡率はかなり高いのです。実際、年度中に4,5人のおじいさんを亡くした学生が数人いました。授業の後に学生が重々しく近づいてきて“My grandfather has died.”(祖父が亡くなりました)と言うことがよくあります。




Probably the most common version that I hear is "My grandfather was dead." When I hear this, I have two conflicting impulses. As a teacher, I want to point out that "was dead" implies that the condition was only temporary. In other words, the grandfather in
question, though dead for a while, has recovered and is now alive again. However, I resist this impulse and instead just give my condolences. No one wants to hear that their grandfather is now a zombie, after all.


conflicting「相反する」 impulse「衝動」 in question「当の」 condolence「哀悼の言葉」 



おそらく最も耳にする言い方が“My grandfather was dead.”です。この言葉を聞くと私は2つの相反する衝動にかられます。教師としては“was dead”は一時的なことを意味しているのだと指摘したくなります。つまりおじいさん本人はしばらく死んでいたけれど、回復して今はまた生きている、という意味です。しかし、私はこれを言う衝動を抑え、哀悼の言葉を述べるだけにします。おじいさんがゾンビだなんて話は誰も聞きたくないですから。


The second most common version is the sentence, "My grandfather was died." I can understand the basis for the mistake of using "die" as a passive verb. After all, there is nothing that people do which is more passive than dying. Unfortunately, though, the English verb die doesn't work that way.


passive verb「受身動詞」



2番目によくある言い方は“My grandfather was died.”です。“die”を受身の動詞として使う誤りの根拠は理解できます。死んでいる状態は最も受身ですから。しかし残念ながら、英語の動詞dieはそのような使い方はしません。



When I hear a student say "My grandfather was died," in my mind I naturally hear, "My grandfather was dyed," and my natural impulse is to ask, "Oh really? What color is he now?" But of course, I resist that impulse and offer my condolences.





学生が“My grandfather was died.”と言うと、私には“My grandfather was dyed.”(おじいさんが染まりました)に聞こえ、「本当? 何色になったのですか?」と聞きたい衝動にかられます。しかし、もちろんその衝動を抑えて哀悼の言葉を述べます。



I suppose the topic is in my mind, as I write this in July 2009, because of the recent passing of Michael Jackson. A couple of students mentioned the news to me via email, but alas, no one approached me directly and said, "Michael Jackson was dyed."



この話題が思い浮かんだのは今が2009年7月で、マイケル・ジャクソンが最近亡くなったからでしょう。何人かの学生がそのことについてメールしてきましたが、残念ながら、“Michael Jackson was dyed.”(マイケル・ジャクソンが染まりました)と直接言ってくる学生はいませんでした。



I think that would have been a very suitable eulogy for this great entertainer, who was born a black child, but mysteriously became a white man in later life. Michael Jackson might be the only human being who truly "was dyed."





それはこの偉大な歌手へのぴったりの賛辞でしたでしょうに。黒人の子供として生まれたのに、不思議にも後年白人になったのですから。マイケル・ジャクソンは本当に“was dyed”(色が変わった)唯一の人間かもしれませんね。


<語注&要旨 佐々木彩子/神奈川大学非常勤講師>




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Joe Mckim
関東学院大学文学部准教授。専門は英語学、英語教育法。米国イリノイ州出身。1990年に明治学院大学を経て現職に就く。研究テーマ:Learners’ planning processes for second-language speaking and writing tasks  Second-language test-taking strategies