Q:在 I’ll face the fact that my girlfriend will move to Taipei tomorrow. 中,the fact that 的語法功能為何呢?

A:這句的意思為「我將要面對我女友明天搬到台北的事實」。儘管中文翻譯有「事實」二字,但它並非 “the fact” 的翻譯,而是筆者為了讓中文翻譯變得通順而加入的,因為 the fact that 中的 the fact 雖具有舉足輕重的語法功能,但本身並無意義。

The fact that 的語法功能有下列三項,其對英文寫作的幫助尤其宏大:

一、用來引導名詞子句

在許多情況中,當 that 所引導的名詞子句比較複雜時,若直接將其置於句首當主詞,可能會顯得「頭重腳輕」。這時我們通常使用形式主詞或虛主詞 it 來代替 that 子句,而將 that 子句置於句末。注意:that 子句當主詞時,動詞須用單數。例如:

  • That my son has passed all the exams makes me feel very happy.
    = It makes me feel very happy that my son has passed all the exams. (我兒子已通過所有考試,令我很高興)
  • That he lost his job suddenly worried his parents very much.
    = It worried his parents very much that he lost his job suddenly. (他突然失業,使他的父母非常憂慮)
  • That she did not go to Cindy’s birthday party surprised everybody.
    =It surprised everybody that she did not go to Cindy’s birthday party. (她未參加辛蒂的生日派對,讓大家很驚訝)


有時候,尤其是在比較正式的場合,在不使用形式主詞 it 的情況下,我們可使用 the fact 這一輔助工具,以使句意不致造成誤解:

  • The fact that my son has passed all the exams makes me feel very happy.
  • The fact that he lost his job suddenly worried his parents very much.
  • The fact that she did not go to Cindy’s birthday party surprised everybody.

The fact 與 that 所引導的名詞子句為同位語。原本引導名詞子句的 that 是連接詞,在加上 the fact 當同位語後,that 變成關係代名詞。

二、用於介詞之後引導當受詞用的名詞子句

根據英文文法,介系詞後面不能直接接 that 子句當受詞,但我們可以在 that 子句的前面加上 the fact,使 the fact 作為介詞的受詞,這樣其後的 that 子句就成了 the fact 的同位語,百分之百合乎語法要求。例如:

  • Rachel was absent due to the fact that she was sick. (瑞秋因生病沒來)
  • The father was worried over the fact that his son was suddenly taken ill. (那父親為他兒子突然病倒憂心忡忡)
  • But for the fact that you helped me, I would not have succeeded. (要不是你幫忙,我就不會成功)
  • Carl had to face up to the fact that his family disapproved of his plan. (卡爾必須正視家人不贊同他的計畫的事實)
  • The bad weather is responsible for the fact that the attendance at the party is small. (參加聚會的人稀稀落落,是由於天氣不佳)

事實上,英文中至少還是有個我們常用的介詞可直接接 that 子句,那就是 except。例如:

  • I know nothing about him except that he lives next door. (我除了知道他住在我隔壁外,其他事情毫無所悉)
  • Gary has no special fault except that he drinks too much. (蓋瑞除了喝酒喝太多外,沒有什麼特別的毛病)

三、用於原本不可接 that 子句的及物動詞之後引導當受詞用的名詞子句

英文中有些動詞雖為及物動詞,可接名詞或代名詞當受詞,但卻不能接 that 子句當受詞。因此,這些動詞 (如 contribute, describe, dislike, escape, face, make, prevent, speak, summarize, want) 若要接 that 子句,則可借助 the fact 結構以使其合乎語法要求。如:

  • Linda dislikes the fact that her husband smokes. (琳達不喜歡她先生抽菸) (正)
    Linda dislikes that her husband smokes. (誤)
  • We were lucky to escape the fact that we were punished. (我們很幸運,沒有受罰) (正)
    We were lucky to escape that we were punished. (誤)
  • We must face the fact that our son might fail the General Scholastic Ability Test. (我們必須正視兒子的學測可能不過的事實) (正)
    We must face that our son might fail the General Scholastic Ability Test. (誤)

最後,順便一提的是,下面所列的動詞都可以接 that 子句當受詞 (當然,它們只是這類動詞中的一小部份而已,但它們都是很常用的動詞):

Accept, admit, announce, answer, ask, assume. authorize, believe, claim, command, complain, consent, consider, contest, declare, decide, decree, demand, demonstrate, determine, deny, desire, dictate, direct, discover, discuss, doubt, examine, expect, feel, find (out), forget, grant, guarantee, hope, ignore, imply, indicate, insist, know, move, notice, observe, order, overlook, permit, propose, prove, recommend, regret, remark, report, request, require, say, see, show, specify, suggest, suppose, think, understand, urge, wonder 等等。例如:

  • We have to admit that Benson’s a highly competent man. (我們必須承認班森是個非常能幹的人)
  • We decided that Anna must stay here. (我們決定安娜必須留在這裡)
  • I regret that you see it like that. (我很遺憾你這樣看待這件事)
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One Comment

  1. 又很久沒來俞老師這邊學習了
    每次只要因為備課需求而google難一點的文法觀念,常常就會被引導到這個網站
    俞老師真厲害!
    感謝!

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