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show but not tell

替學生英文補習多年,我留意到不少學生的作文內容欠生動是源於他們不懂運用show but not tell這個作文技巧。

Show but not tell 是指運用「多感觀描寫」以顯示某景物/人物/事物一種狀態。簡單一點說,如果你寫He was very angry,這是直接告訴讀者他很生氣。想文章寫得生動有趣,你可以從幾方面描寫,當一個人生氣時,他的面部表情會怎樣?聲線有甚麼不同?會有甚麼動作和想法?


1. His face became as red as a tomato. He clenched his fists into tight balls, stormed out of the classroom and slammed the door.



yelled at Mary loudly / became a fire-breathing dragon / stomped up the stairs / glared at Mary / pursed his lips together tightly

想令句子更生動,可以用副詞(adverbs), 明喻(simile), hyperbole (誇張手法), 形容詞(adjectives), 暗喻(metaphor)


Example 1

Tell: She was very sad.

Show: Her eyes were red. Tears kept flowing down from her eyes. Her lips trembled and she said in a shaky, low voice, 'My puppy died this morning. '

Example 2

Tell: My room was very messy.

Show: I walked into my crowded room and clothes were thrown everywhere. The sheets were crumpled up in a pile on my unmade bed. My books, pens and folders were scattered on the rug. A smell of rotten eggs came from my dirty socks.

Example 3

Tell: My mum was very worried about my grandma.

Show: My mum kept pacing back and forth, waiting for the call from the hospital. She couldn't stop herself from looking at her mobile phone.

Example 4

Tell: The pizza was delicious.

Show: Steam rising up off the melted cheese made my mouth water. The first bite, my teeth sinking into the cheese through the moist crust and into the tomato sauce , made me chew and swallow quickly.



1. 作文技巧:作文只會用First/ Next/ Then/ After that/ Finally?

這篇文章教您如何活用Adverbs of time

2. 如何使文章寫得更生動?


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