間違いやすい用語や表現 -a lot

熟語「a lot」は副詞として、また前置詞「of」と合わさって形容詞として用いることができます。前者と後者の場合には「a lot (of)」は、それぞれ「a great deal」や「to a great degree/extent」そして「much」や「a great amount/degree of」の同義語になります。ただし、このような用法は極めて口語的なので、学術論文では避けるべきです。(*1)

以下は「a lot」の典型的な誤用を例示します。

I. 副詞

[誤] (1) These two sets of results differ a lot.
[正] (1) These two sets of results differ greatly.
[正] (1’) These two sets of results differ significantly.
[正] (1’’) The discrepancy between these two sets of results is large.

[誤] (2) When carrying out these measurements, it does not matter a lot whether the order of the two steps are reversed.
[正] (2) When carrying out these measurements, the order of the two steps is largely irrelevant.
[正] (2’) When carrying out these measurements, changing the order of the steps does not alter the results significantly.
[正] (2’’) When carrying out these measurements, the variation in the results introduced by changing the order of the steps is much smaller than the experimental uncertainty.

II. 形容詞

[誤] (3) Of course, languages evolve a lot over a period of 200 years.
[正] (3) Of course, languages evolve greatly over a period of 200 years.
[正] (3’) Of course, languages evolve significantly over a period of 200 years.

[誤] (4) A lot of efforts have been made to determine this value.
[正] (4) A great deal of effort has been made to determine this value.
[正] (4’) Many studies have been dedicated to determining this value.
[正] (4’’) Many studies have been carried out with the aim of determining this value.

[誤] (5) We have had a lot of successes using the complex scaling method in studies of resonant structures.
[正] (5) We have had a great deal of success using the complex scaling method in studies of resonant structures.
[正] (5’) We have obtained a number of important results using the complex scaling method in studies of resonant structures.

[誤] (6) A lot of unsolved problems remain with regard to the dynamics exhibited by such systems.
[正] (6) There are still many unsolved problems with regard to the dynamics exhibited by such systems.

(*1)「a lot of」と同様の意味を示す「lots of」という表現もあります。この表現も口語的であり、学術論文では用いるべきではありません。しかし、日本人が書いた論文では、「lots of」は何故か「a lot of」と比べると使用頻度が低いです。


glenn

グレン・パケットGlenn Paquette

1993年イリノイ大学(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)物理学博士課程修了。1992年に初来日し、1995年から、国際理論物理学誌Progress of Theoretical Physicsの校閲者を務める。京都大学基礎物理研究所に研究員、そして京都大学物理学GCOEに特定准教授として勤務し、京都大学の大学院生に学術英語指導を行う。著書に「科学論文の英語用法百科」。パケット先生のHPはこちらから。

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