意見一致

2018.04.06


今天的社會要對有爭議的問題達成共識,似乎愈來愈困難了。共識,即眾人一致的意見,英文是consensus。「共識政治」,英文是consensus politics,把consensus用作形容詞。作為名詞,consensus的用法見以下例句:


一、The consensus of the committee was that they should elect a new chairman.(委員會一致認為要重選主席。)


二、There is no consensus among parents about whether the test should be abolished or not.(家長們對應否取消該項測驗沒有共識。)


三、We will not make a decision unless we reach a consensus.(除非達成共識,否則我們不會作出決定。)


四、There was a consensus of opinion as to the importance of the news.(對於該則新聞的重要性,人們有一致的意見。)


有些嚴格的編輯會說,consensus已包含「意見」的意思,所以例四裏的a consensus of opinion是多餘的,應該把of opinion刪去。同樣,a general consensus也是累贅的說法,因為consensus一定是general的了。


例一和例二裏的consensus,換作agreement也可以,意思差不多;而an agreement of opinion(意見的一致)和a general agreement(普遍的一致)都是常用說法,沒有人認為錯誤或累贅。


如例三和例四所示,consensus前面要有article "a";至於agreement、reach agreement和reach an agreement都可以說,但兩者意思有別,前者指意見取得一致,後者指達成一項協議,試比較:


五、The management and the employees failed to reach agreement on several important issues.(管方和員方在幾個重要問題上不能取得一致意見。)


六、The management and the employees finally reached an agreement.(管方和員方終於達成一項協議。)


協議的文件也可以叫做agreement,如:


七、Over 190 countries have signed the Paris Agreement dealing with greenhouse gas emissions.(超過190個國家簽署了處理溫室氣體排放的巴黎協議。)


巴黎協議又叫做Paris Climate Agreement或Paris Climate Accord;accord是正式的協議或條約,如和平條約可叫peace accord。


詞語in accord with表示「符合」,與in agreement with相近,如:


八、The Financial Secretary's budget is completely in accord with the Chief Executive's new financial philosophy.(財政司司長提出的預算案完全符合行政長官的理財新哲學。)


表示「同意」的常用字,還有和consensus同源的consent,以及concurrence;consent 所說的「同意」有「批准」的含義:


九、The written consent of the Chief Executive is required for bills relating to government policies to be introduced.(提出涉及政府政策的法案,須得行政長官書面同意。)


而concurrence所說的「同意」則指「持相同意見」:


十、With the concurrence of a group of specialists, the doctor recommended surgery.(在一組專家的同意下,醫生建議進行手術。)


在一致(或雙方)同意下去做一件事,可說by common(或mutual)consent:


十一、She was chosen as leader by common consent.(大家一致同意選她為領袖。)


十二、They kept the deal secret by mutual consent.(他們按雙方同意,把交易保持秘密。)

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