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浅析两个常见语法问题:单复数动词、一般代名词与关系代名词

2020 / 5 / 21

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我最近在校稿研究论文时,发现有些作者常搞不清楚两个语法问题。我想借由这期的电子报,将这两个问题提出来与大家讨论。

 

  • 动词单数/动词复数

 

在书写复杂的句子时,作者常常容易搞混主语,因而使用错误的谓语动词形态。

 

举例而言:The ultimate effect of all of these phone calls to the detectives were to make them suspicious of the callers,句中主语是the effect,对应的谓语动词应为单数,所以were的使用是错误的。

 

不妨精简例句如下:The effect… was to make them suspicious,如此,句子的主干就一目了然。

 

另一种容易混淆谓语形态的情形是当连接词存在时,如along with、as well as、together with等。

 

例如:Miss Chen, as well as her pet dachshund, is coming to the party,当出现连接词as well as时,谓语动词的形态要跟as well as前的主语一致。

 

在任何请况下,以and连接的复合主语,谓语皆为复数,即使主语本身为单数名词或不可数名词。

 

例如:Widespread mold and mildew damage the resale value of your house,句中,虽然主语mold/mould和mildew(霉菌)均为不可数名词,但以and连接时,是谓语damage因为复数形态。

 

当我们在引述一作品名称时,若名称中有复数名词,但因它是单一作品,我们仍须使用单数谓语动词。

 

举例来说:“Great Expectations” has the original illustrations in it。

 

金额与时间段通常是单数。

 

例如:Ten dollars is not a lot of money to lend someone.与Five years is a long time to wait to be repaid。

 

  • 模糊的指代

 

模糊的指代是英语中常见的问题,尤其当代词this、it、which或其他此类代名词使用不当时。

 

举例来说:I hitchhiked back to town, got picked up by an alien spacecraft and was subjected to humiliating medical experiments, which is why I didn’t get my paper done on time。在日常对话中,这样的说话方式似乎没有问题,但在写作时请务必小心。

 

建议不妨将用because做为句首:Because I hitchhiked back to town, got picked up by an alien spacecraft and was subjected to humiliating medical experiments, which is why I didn’t get my paper done on time,或者将which is why改成so,变成I hitchhiked back to town, got picked up by an alien spacecraft and was subjected to humiliating medical experiments, so I didn’t get my paper done on time。

 

有时,代词的使用只是一种口语习惯,其实是不必要的。

 

例如:In the book it says that Shakespeare was in love with some “dark lady”,句中it是不必要的,且在正式英语写作中是不被接受的,应直接以the book做主语:the book says that Shakespeare was in love with some “dark lady”。

 

模糊的指代可能因为有多个指代而含糊不清。

 

举例:Most women are attracted to guys with a good sense of humor unless they are into practical jokes,这里的they指的是women还是guys呢?如果句子改成Most women are attracted to guys with a good sense of humor, though not usually to practical jokers,则一目了然。

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