1.It is a great pleasure to tell how I served my apprenticeship as a businessman.我很高兴谈谈我是怎样见习办实业的。
这里apprenticeship是比喻义。卡耐基在本文中所讲的并不是他怎样学习经商，而是记叙了他不满13岁时开始在棉纺厂当小工的情况。但他把他少年时期这段经历看成是他一生成功创业（包括创建慈善事业）的“学徒期”（他在第六段中把这段时间称为“我以后办实业见决期的前奏”，即my preparation of the subsequent apprentice as a businessman），因为这段艰苦生活的磨难使他终身受益。
serve：spend a period of time learning a trade/ in a post/in prison
eg：He has served in the army for three years.
eg：Franklin Roosevelt served 4 terms as U.S.President.
eg：The man is serving a three-year sentence for bribery.
eg：After serving a three-year apprenticeship in a garment factory，the young man was employed as a tailor.
2.But there seems to be a questionpreceding his：Why did I become a businessman？
precede：（formal）to come or go before sb./sth.in time，order，position，etc；to happen before sth.
eg：A loud roar preceded the earthquake.
eg：In the preceding lecture we dealt with the development of nuclear technology.
3.I am sure that I should never have selected a business career if I had been permitted to choose.我相信要是我有选择的余地，我不会选择经商的生涯。
if I had （此句包含一虚拟条件句）
eg：If I had been admitted by Peking University，I should have found a better major.
4.The eldestson of parents who were themselves poor，I had，fortunately，to begin to perform some useful work in the world while still very young in order to earn an living and therefore came to understand even early boyhood that my duty was to asistmy parents and become，as soon as possible，a breadwinner in the family.作为穷人家里的长子，我有幸为了谋生不得不很小就出外干活，因而在孩童时期就懂得了我的责任是协助父母养家，尽快成为家里挣钱的人。这是个包含60个词、三个从句、结构复杂的句子。句子的主干是主语+由and连接的两个并列谓语：1）had to begin to perform some useful work……，2）came to understand……。 the eldest son of parents是主语的补足语；who were themselves poor是定语从句，修饰parents；fortunately（副词），in the world（介词短语），while still very young（= while I was still very young省略形式的时间从句），in order to earn a living（不定式短语）都是状语是，修饰第一个谓语动词had to begin to perform.在第二个谓语动词之后，in early boyhood是它的时间状语，以下是一个系表结构的宾语从句，其中my duty是主语，表语是两个并列的不定式短语to assist my parents和（to）become a breadwinner，as soon as possible和in the family都是become a breadwinner的状语。注意fortunately一词前后各有一个逗号插入had to begin 之间，使其醒目，作者强调小小出外干活其实是件“幸运”的事。
earn a living：make a living谋生
eg：He began to earn a living by himself when he was over ten years old.
eg：This academic year，Xiao Li is assisting Professor Chen in Modern British History.
eg：Xiao Li helped Professor Chen to carry those books to his office.
eg：He is the only breadwinner of the five-people family.
5.What I could get to do，not what I desired，was the question.I was not in a position to choose a job；I had to accept any job I could find.问题是，我能找到什么活干，而不是我想干什么活。（意思是因为人小，不易找到工作，不是人选工作，而是有什么就干什么。）
更常用的形式是：The question is = The problem is，问题是……，
eg：The problem is how to find a way through out the forest.
eg：The question is whether he is competent for the job not whether he will accept the job.
eg：The question is whether he would like me to assist him，not whether I'm ready to so.
6.He owned no fewer than four handlooms and employed apprentices.他有四台之多的手工织布机，还雇了几个学徒。
no fewer than：不少于（表示在当时的情况下，这个数目是大的）
eg：That cool summer，they sold no fewer than 70 airconditioners.
eg：At the first class of this term，there were no fewer than 20 students in his class.