如何強調句中的元素(二)

The thing, the one/only/first thing, something

The thing

我們可以用 the thing (+ 形容詞子句) 當主詞,後接 BE 動詞 (is 或 was) 來強調 BE 動詞後面的元素 (即主詞補語)。這與 Wh-分裂句的作用一樣,但比較不是那麼正式。例如:

  • The thing I love about John is his loyalty to his wife. (我喜歡約翰的一點是,他對他太太的忠誠)
    = What I love about John is his loyalty to his wife.

即使被強調的元素為複數,BE 動詞亦用單數,因為 the thing 是單數名詞。例如:

  • The thing I like most about Penghu is the historic sites. (我最喜歡澎湖的地方是歷史古蹟)
    = What I like most about Penghu is the historic sites.

BE 動詞後面要強調的元素也可以是連接詞 that 所引導的名詞子句。在非正式情況中,有人會將 that 省略,但筆者期期以為不可,因為這是錯誤的文法。例如:

  • The thing you need to remember is that you’ve lent James 50,000 dollars. (你必須記住的是,你已借給詹姆斯五萬元) (正)
    = What you need to remember is that you’ve lent James 50,000 dollars. (正)
  • The thing you need to remember is you’ve lent James 50,000 dollars. (誤)


BE 動詞後面要強調的元素亦可以是帶 to 或不帶 to 的不定詞或不定詞片語。若形容詞子句有動詞 do,則當主詞補語用的不定詞或不定詞片語可以省略 to,若是 do 以外的其他動詞,則 to 不省略。下面所討論的強調句型,若 BE 動詞後面被強調的元素是不定詞或不定詞片語,都適用這項規則。例如:

  • The thing I have to do is (to) marry her. (我必須要做的就是跟她結婚)
    = What I have to do is (to) marry her.
  • The thing Megan plans is to study abroad. (梅根所計畫的就是到國外留學)
    = What Megan plans is to study abroad.

One thing, the one thing, the only thing, the first thing

我們可以用 one 來加強 thing 的語氣,而 the one thing、the only thing 和 the first thing 的語氣更強烈。BE 動詞後面要強調的元素與上述相同。例如:

  • One thing I admire most about Peter is his diplomatic tact. (我最欣賞彼得的一點就是他的外交手腕)
  • The one thing you should know is that your husband has extramarital affairs. (妳應該要知道的一件事就是妳先生有外遇)
  • The only thing I want is to win the lottery. (我唯一想要的就是中樂透)
  • The first thing we must do is (to) deal with all of the documents from before 2015. (我們首先必須要做的就是處理 2015 年之前的所有文件)

Something

我們還可使用 something (+ 形容詞子句) 當主詞,後接 BE 動詞 (is 或 was) 來強調 BE 動詞後面的元素 (即主詞補語)。同樣地,這與 Wh-分裂句的作用一樣,但沒有 the thing 那麼特定和直接,它的含意相當於「除了別的以外的另一件事」。例如:

  • Something you must never do is give your cellphone number to a complete stranger. (你絕對不能做的另一件事就是,把你的手機號碼給一個完全陌生的人)
    或 What you must never do is give your cellphone number to a complete stranger.
  • Something I love about John is that he frequently lends money to me. (我喜歡約翰的另一點是,他常常借錢給我)
    或 What I love about John is that he frequently lends money to me.
  • Something you need to remember is that you mustn’t yawn in class. (你還必須記住的是,千萬不要在課堂上打哈欠)
    或 What you need to remember is that you mustn’t yawn in class.

用 it 做假主詞或形式主詞來強調真正的主詞

這種以 it 做假主詞或形式主詞來代表其後的動名詞或動名詞片語、帶 to 的不定詞或不定詞片語或 that 所引導的名詞子句的句型,在英文中用得很多。例如:

  • It was very dangerous having a foot in both camps. (腳踏兩條船是很危險的) - 這句真正的主詞是 having a foot in both camps。
  • It is my hobby to play computer games. (玩電腦遊戲是我的嗜好) -這句真正的主詞是 to play computer games。
  • It is generally believed that mice are afraid of cats. (一般認為老鼠怕貓) -這句真正的主詞是 that mice are afraid of cats。

若要強調句中的時間副詞 (如 yesterday, in the morning, at 8 pm),我們可以使用 it is/was not until、it is/was only when 等句型。它們的意思都是「到某時才 (做某事)」。例如:

  • It wasn’t until I read your email yesterday that I understood the true reason. (我直到昨天看了你的電子郵件才瞭解真正的原因) - 強調 “yesterday”。但這個句型可改成更具強調作用的倒裝句:Not until I read your email yesterday did I understand the true reason.
    <試比較:Until I read your email yesterday, I didn’t understand the true reason.>
  • It was only when I met him in the afternoon that I realized his true intention. (我直到下午跟他會面才明白他真正的意圖) - 強調 “in the afternoon”。但這個句型可改成更具強調作用的倒裝句:Only when I met him in the afternoon did I realize his true intention.
    <試比較:When I met him in the afternoon, I realized his true intention.>

用 there 做假主詞或形式主詞來強調真正的主詞

這種以 there 做假主詞或形式主詞並與 BE 動詞連用的結構,可對其後的真正主詞起強調作用。例如:

  • There’s a strange sound coming from behind the door. (有個奇怪的聲音從門後傳來) - 強調 “a strange sound coming from behind the door”。
    <試比較:A strange sound is coming from behind the door.>
  • There were many people attending his wedding. (有許多人參加他的婚禮) - 強調 “many people attending his wedding”。
    <試比較:Many people were attending his wedding. >
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One Comment

  1. 請問版主, 下面的 given 是分詞, 它省略了什麼? 又代表一件事還是兩件事?
    We are laggard on that deterrent front and we face a concrete problem in Europe given the tergiversation of Helmut Kohl on the modernizing of the remaining nuclear missiles in West Germany.

    煩請撥冗解我疑難。謝謝。

    Jimmy 敬上

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