A spanner in the works 扰乱

The script of this programme 本節目台詞

Jen: Hi, I'm Jennifer and I'm on the lookout for Helen – someone said they saw her going into the basement earlier… Oh wait, there she is, with… a tool kit? What on earth are you doing? There are pipes all over the floor!

Helen: Oh hi Jen! 我現在正忙著修水管呢。

Jen: Fix the pipes? But you're not a plumber, you don't know anything about pipes!

Helen: I know, but the boss asked me – 他說讓我趕快把水管修好。

Jen: Really? Are you sure that's what he said? It seems strange he'd ask you to turn your hand to plumbing.

Helen: I knew you'd say that, so I printed off his email to show you. Look it says: "關於這個項目- someone has thrown a spanner into the works – 我希望你解決這個問題"…

Jen: <sigh> But Helen…

Helen: ….所以我在找這個 spanner 螺絲扳手!

Jen: Oh Helen, you shouldn't take it literally! In English, if someone throws a spanner into the works, it means they do something to spoil a plan or make it more complicated.

Helen: Oh… A spanner in the works… 那麼這裏沒有一個真的扳手?

Jen: I don't think so… Let's hear some examples to help explain the phrase.

  • The budget cuts have thrown a real spanner in the works for the future of the project.
  • This hospital appointment on the 15th has thrown a real spanner in the works for our holiday – we'll have to come back early.

Helen: 原來 a spanner in the works 是一個比喻,用來形容什麼事情出問題了或者是變得更複雜了。The boss said that someone had thrown a spanner in the works of our project…

Jen: He means that something has happened that will make the project more complicated. Perhaps you should talk to him to find out what the problem is before you start taking the building to pieces!

Helen: You're right. 我得要把這裏收拾幹淨了。糟糕!I can't remember where all the pipes go!

Jen: Oh no! Well let's just try and fit them in as best we can.

V/O: Some time later…

Jen: Well the pipes are all in, but nothing's working. We're going to be in so much trouble.

Helen: We're not defeated yet. 靠後站!…

Jen: Helen… what are you doing with that huge spanner….

Helen: I'm throwing… it… into… the… works…

Helen: 我成功了! I did it!

Jen: You did! With a real life spanner in the works!