February 10, 2013
More than a billion Asians around the globe are ushering in the Lunar New Year, or the Year of the Snake, with fireworks, celebrations, feasts and visits to families.
Much of China is on the move in a massive annual spring migration, or “chunyun” as it is called, with hundreds of millions of migrant workers packing trains, buses, aircraft and boats to spend the 15-day festival with their families.For many Chinese, this is their only holiday of the year.
The capital of Beijing put on a gala variety show during the countdown to the New Year Saturday evening, featuring a host of stars, including Canadian singer Celine Dion, who sang a traditional folk song, Jasmine Flower, in Mandarin. However, this year's fireworks displays were muted, with the government concerned about the city's pollution.
In China, the snake has traditionally been seen as a symbol of wisdom, wealth and longevity, but is considered less auspicious than other animals in the 12-year Chinese Zodiac, such as the dragon.
usher in (v phr) 引進
lunar (a) 月球的；陰曆的
on the move (prep phr) 在移動中，行進中
massive (a) 大量的，大規模的
pack (v) 塞滿，擠滿
gala (a) 節日的；歡慶的
variety show (n phr) 雜耍表演；綜藝節目
mute (v) 消音，滅音
longevity (n) 長命，長壽
auspicious (a) 吉兆的，吉利的
由with 引導的獨立分詞結構是常見的結構，屬於副詞性質，常用來說明主要子句的動作或事件所發生的背景或原因。基本結構是「with + N + V-ing/p.p.」。至於要使用現在分詞 (V-ing) 還是過去分詞 (p.p.)則是看該分詞與本結構中的名詞 (N)是主動意義還是被動意義來決定。遇到主被動難以判斷時，可以試著用造出完整句子(目的是看清楚主詞與動詞的關係)的方法來確認。
新聞中描述中國春節返鄉人潮(春運)的句子，使用with引導的分詞結構來說明背景與原因。「. . . with hundreds of millions of migrant workers packing trains, buses, aircraft and boats . . .」，表示「數億的外地勞工塞滿了火車、公車、飛機和船」，表示另一句中國年度在春節時大規模遷移，也就是春運的原因。片語裡「數億的外地勞工」在語意上是 pack 的主詞，所以是主動的。
新聞中另一處為了說明煙火取消的原因，也使用了「with+ N + p.p.」的結構。「with the government concerned about the city's pollution」，表示「由於政府擔心城市的汙染情況」，而取消了煙火。這裡concerned是用了過去分詞。「擔心」在中文裡雖然讀不出被動的感覺，但如果改寫成完整句子的話，則是「The government was concerned about . . .」。英語「be concerned about」是表示「擔心、關切」的說法，形式上是被動的，只單純用中文語意判斷的話容易出錯。在平常學習時，這種屬於習慣性的、片語的用法就需特別注意，才能避免錯誤。
Check your vocabulary!
Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, select the text below to reveal the hidden answers.
1. Thousands of refugees are on the move, fleeing heavy shelling in their home towns.
2. Tourists in North Carolina packed ferries to flee the Outer Banks.
3. The system is capable of recording massive amounts of information.
4. He attributes his longevity to 'a simple diet and a glass of wine every day'.
5. It is my honour to toast the bride and groom on this auspicious occasion.