A soft-spoken man
soft-spoken不是形容 [人] 輕聲細語嗎
剛剛查文法書上面寫a soft-spoken man~a man who speaks softly
照DaSaGwa你剛剛說的不是應該a soft-speaking man~a man who speaks softly
- LionEnglishLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
有些字看起來是 「過去分詞」 的樣子，但其實本身就是形容詞，表示 「某種樣子」 或「某種特性」，專門和其他字來形成複合形容詞，spoken 就是其中之一。
spoken 用來和別字形成複合形容詞時，本身就是形容詞，表示 「說話的樣子」：
a soft-spoken man 形容那人說話輕聲細語，很悅耳。
a well-spoken man 形容那人講話得體，客氣有禮。
其他像 legged 也有類似用法，表示 「腳的數目或是樣式」，例如：
a one-legged man 「獨腳人」。
這種桌子是 cross-legged table:
2014-05-22 23:50:00 補充：
我們有幹到教育部長的人說「三隻小豬」是成語、「罄竹難書」是好話，可見不是全世界的人對同一英語的解釋都一樣。我們不能禁止人家用 soft-speaking 來講人，我們學的是最多人使用的說法 soft-spoken，考試的時候選 soft-spoken。
2014-05-23 01:00:09 補充：
Star 的意見正確。 請看我回答中說的：
『有些字看起來是 「過去分詞」 的樣子，但其實本身就是形容詞.....』
Star 舉的字看起來都是 ＋ ed，好像過去分詞當形容詞，但其實本身就是形容詞，不是過去分詞。
- 呆子Lv 76 years ago
louis說的不完全對，舉個例子odd-looking pipe是 adj+Ving
- LouisLv 76 years ago
-speaking combines with nouns referring to languages to form adjectives which indicate what languages someone speaks, or what language is spoken in a particular region.
-spoken combines with adverbs and adjectives to form adjectives which indicate how someone speaks.
2014-05-23 02:32:20 補充：
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- 6 years ago
middle-aged, old-fashioned, short-sleeved, absent-minded, cold-blooded,
big-bellied, gray-haired, near-sighted, one-eyed, flat-nosed, dog-eared 〔書或紙等因翻得多而形成〕摺角的
連 OED 都找得到: short-lived= have a short life
- DaSaGwaLv 76 years ago
"soft-spoken" is for the word a person speaks with
"soft-speaking" is for the person who speaks.
2014-05-22 21:55:29 補充：
Master LionEnglish gives a good analogy: legged
Intuitively, a person with ONE leg is NOT done in an active (主動) way, but a passive (被動) one.
2014-05-22 21:56:46 補充：
Hence, "soft-spoken" refers to the word a person uses to speak is soft. Since word cannot be spoken by itself, but by a person. Basically it means:
word spoken by a person is soft.
2014-05-22 22:04:03 補充：
as to "soft-speaking", it means
a person speaks softly in his saying
You got confused is because one is "被說的話" and the other is "說的話", yet no matter which one it is, they are all done by a person.
2014-05-22 22:04:47 補充：
Take a look at this sentence:
When “soft speaking” people are told of this, they will often reply, “No, my voice is not too soft! My spouse complains all the time, but he/she needs a hearing aid!"
2014-05-22 22:05:54 補充：
The above sentence will help you to understand why you cannot use "soft-spoken" in the above sentence.
2014-05-23 01:12:03 補充：
Yes, I agree that no matter it is present or past participle, they all can be adjective. However, they still carry the meaning of a verb action. As the example in opinion #005, can we simply treat it as an adjective, without paying attention to the different verb form?
2014-05-23 01:13:11 補充：
If we can ignore it, then replacing "soft-speaking" with "soft-spoken" will NOT change the meaning of that sentence and shall be interchangeable. However, it is NOT true.
2014-05-23 01:15:14 補充：
This question of Phapha is very nice, because it MAKES us think why we have both "soft-spoken" and "soft-speaking". My saying is just for a reference. Hopefully, through discussing, we can have a better idea.
2014-05-23 01:19:18 補充：
I don't know how master LionEnglish and Star have thought about it before. As for me, I have used soft-spoken more than soft-speaking until Phapha asks this question. It really makes me wonder why both are in use in our daily interaction, yet they are NOT interchangeable.
2014-05-23 01:22:10 補充：
By the way, as I stated, I am NOT here to defend my saying, but just to provide a possible explanation.
2014-05-23 02:13:07 補充：
照DaSaGwa你剛剛說的不是應該a soft-speaking man
My using "soft-speaking" is ONLY for that sentence I provide. My purpose is to let you know: yes, it can be "soft-speaking", but the way you understand shall be "soft-spoken".
2014-05-23 02:14:25 補充：
In that sentence, "soft-speaking" refers to people who speak very lightly in their voice, such a light voice causes other people not being able to hear him well.