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Isaac Newton 艾萨克·牛顿(1)牛顿,人类的一份圣诞礼物

(2011-09-28 23:23:15)



分类: 英汉对照读物

Isaac Newton 艾萨克·牛顿


(1)       Newton, A Christmas Gift to Man





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Isaac Newton was born in a farmhouse in a tiny village in England. He was born on Christmas day (1) in 1642, a Christmas gift to the world. 艾萨克·牛顿出生在英国一个小村庄的农家里。他于1642年圣诞节出生,是送给全世界的一份圣诞礼物。


Newton must have seemed a small present indeed. His mother had said that Newton was so tiny at birth that he might well have been placed in a quart-size pitcher. This undersized child, born prematurely to an already widowed mother and not expected to live, (2) grew up to be one of the world’s greatest scientists. 的确,牛顿似乎一定是一份小小的礼物。他母亲曾经说过:牛顿出生时个儿很小,可能放进能盛一夸脱牛奶的小罐里。已经守寡的母亲将这个个儿太小的孩子生出,并不期望他能存活,长大后成为一位世界上最伟大的科学家。


  Newton’s achievements in mathematics, in mechanics, in gravitation, in optics, were so vast and fundamental that each would have brought renown to the scientist (3) even if he had accomplished nothing else. 牛顿在数学、力学、万有引力、光学方面所取得的成就非常巨大,非常重要,每一项成就都会给这位科学家带来荣誉,即使他在其他方面一事无成。


  When his mother remarried, Newton was about two at the time. He was then sent to live with his grandmother. There he showed a great deal of interest in doing things with his hands: he made a model of a windmill, he made water clocks, and he made a stone sundial. He was fond of reading and of copying drawings, and he collected flowers and herbs. 当牛顿的母亲再婚时,牛顿大约两岁。他被送去同外祖母一起生活。在那儿,他在手工劳动方面,表现出极大的兴趣:他做了一个风车模型、一些水钟,和一个石头日晷。他喜欢读书和临摹图画,他收集花草。


  When Newton was fourteen he was taken back to live with his mother, whose second husband had just died, to help her run the farm. 牛顿14岁时,被接回来与母亲一起生活,帮助母亲照看农场;因为母亲的第二任丈夫已经死去。


  The young Newton proved to be totally inadequate at farming. Instead of paying attention to his duties, he would read or daydream or make wooden models. His mother at last agreed that Newton be prepared to enter college. 年轻的牛顿完全不适合务农。他不尽职责,而是阅读,或遐想,或做木头模型。他的母亲最终同意牛顿作好准备,去上大学。


  At the age of eighteen, Newton went off to Cambridge University (4) where he had been accepted at the famous Trinity College. 牛顿18岁时,离家前往剑桥大学,被三一学院录取。


  Newton spent four years at Cambridge and received his B.A. degree in 1665. While at Cambridge, he was befriended by Isaac Barrow, his mathematics professor. Professor Barrow recognized that Newton was out of the ordinary and encouraged him to develop his mathematical abilities. 牛顿在剑桥大学读书4年,于1665年获得学士学位。在剑桥大学学习期间,他与他的数学教授艾萨克·巴罗结为好友。巴罗教授发现牛顿出类拔萃,鼓励他发展自己的数学才能。



1.       Christmas day


2.       This … child, born … to an already widowed mother and not expected to live…

句子中由过去分词bornexpected引导的两个短语,作后置定语,修饰前面的child。注意,动词bear(生孩子)有两个过去分词形式:bornborne。在主动语态的句子中,和在有介词by的被动语态句子中,应该用borne。在没有介词by的被动语态句子中,应该用born。比如:She has borne three children. (生了三个小孩。 主动语态) / The boy was borne by his stepmother. (这个男孩是他的继母生的。 被动语态,带介词by) / A lovely girl was born to her. (她生了一个可爱的女孩子。 被动语态,不带介词by)

3.       …each would have brought renown to the scientist…

句子中的renown是名词,不是过去分词,表示“名望”,与honor, fame, reputation, glory同义。但是,renown指远近闻名的声誉。再比如:It is as a writer that he won supreme renown. (作为一个剑客,他获得了极高的声誉。)

honor指受到公众钦佩和崇敬的荣誉和光荣。比如:He won honor for his courage. (他因勇敢而成名。)

fame含义最广,指或大或小、可远可近的好名声。比如:He has acquired some fame for his inventions. (他因自己的发明而小有名气。)

reputation指熟悉某人或某地的人对该人或该地的看法,可好可坏。比如:He has a good reputation in the community. (他在社区里的名声很好。)

4.       …Newton went off to Cambridge University…

句子中的off可以作介词,也可作副词,有的语法著作称它为“介副词”(adprep.),表示“脱离;离开”。在本句中指离开家,作副词。再比如:The door came off its hinges. (门脱离了铰链。 作介词) / He is to be off by the train. (他将坐这一班火车离开。 作副词)




1.       Why does the author call Newton a Christmas gift to the world?

A.      Because Newton was a great genius.

B.      Because Newton made many contributions to the world.

C.      Because Newton was born on 25 December. 

D.     Because Newton was tiny at birth.

2.       Which of the following statements is false according to the passage?

A.      Newton was born prematurely and not expected to become a man of science.

B.      Newton accomplished much in many branches of science.

C.      Newton, at the age of two, was sent to live with his grandmother. .

D.     Newton did not like to do things with his hands at all. 

3.       At fourteen, Newton was taken back to live with his mother because __________.

A.      his mother was alone

B.      his mother needed him to help with farming 

C.      his mother wanted him to collect flowers and herbs

D.     his mother planned to send him to college

4.       The underlined phrase “out of the ordinary” used in the passage means _________.

A.      unusual

B.      common

C.      good

D.     happy



1. C    2. D    3. B    4. A


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