使用 either 時常見的錯誤

Either 可當限定詞、代名詞、副詞或連接詞用。這個字其實有兩種發音,國內大多教美式發音 /ˈi:ðə(r)/,但英式英語亦發成 /ˈaɪðə(r)/。

Either 用作限定詞、位在名詞之前時意為「兩者之中任何一個的;兩者的」。在此用法中,either 後面的名詞必須是單數可數名詞 (雖然 either + 單數可數名詞可用 both + 複數可數名詞來替代,但 both 只能用在肯定句)。例如:

  • I don’t like either color. (這兩種顏色 [中任何一種] 我都不喜歡) (正)
    I don’t like either colors. (誤)
    I don’t like both colors. (誤)
  • John studied chemistry and physics, but he had little interest in either subject. (約翰唸的是化學和物理,但他對這兩門學科都沒什麼興趣) (正)
    John studied chemistry and physics, but he had little interest in either subjects. (誤)
    John studied chemistry and physics, but he had little interest in both subjects. (誤) - little 為否定詞。
  • Either candidate would be ideal for the job. (這兩個人中的任何一個都是做這項工作的理想人選) (正)
    Either candidates would be ideal for the job. (誤)
    Both candidates would be ideal for the job. (正)
  • There are three cars on either side of the river. (河的兩邊各有三輛汽車 - 總共有六輛車子) (正)
    = There are three cars on each side of the river. (正)
    = There are three cars on both sides of the river. (正)

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Finally、at last、lastly 還是 in the end 呢?

Finally、at last、lastly 和 in the end 這四個字或片語都當副詞用,除了 lastly 外,finally、at last 和 in the end 均意為「最後;終於」,但用法並不相同。(請參見「At the beginning 還是 in the beginning?At the end 還是 in the end 呢?」一文)

Finally 意為「最後;終於」,通常是指在一段長時間或遭遇一些困難之後。就此意思而言,finally 通常位在句子的中間,亦即位在主詞和主動詞之間 (即普通動詞之前),或位在語氣助動詞或第一個助動詞之後,或位在當主動詞的 BE 動詞之後。例如:

  • We finally got home at midnight. (我們終於在午夜時分回到了家)
  • After months of looking John finally found a job. (找了好幾個月之後,約翰終於找到了一份工作)

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As 還是 like 呢?

事實上,as 和 like 幾乎是風馬牛不相及的兩個字,但偏偏卻有不少人把它們當作同義詞,還三不五時將它們互換一下。必須注意的是,as 和 like 只有當連接詞且用作比較時才可互換,此時它們意為「像,好像,就像;如同 (…那樣),正如 (…那樣)」。誠如大家所知,as 還有幾個很常見的連接詞用法和意思,與 like 更是毫無關聯。

雖然 as 和 like 當連接詞且用作比較時是同義詞,但 like 僅能用於非正式的上下文中,因為迄今傳統的文法書仍將 like 的這項用法視為錯誤。例如:
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Altogether 還是 all together 呢?

Altogether 是個副詞,主要意為「完全,全然」(completely) 或「總共,共計」(in total)。Altogether 意為「完全,全然」時旨在強調某事物完全停止、結束,或者強調某事物被完全遺忘或忽視,抑或強調對所說的話完全肯定;所以,not altogether 意為「不完全是」(not completely)。例如:

  • The government has decided to abolish the tax altogether. (政府已決定完全取消這項稅收)
  • Many people have stopped using their computers altogether. (許多人已完全不用自己的電腦了)
  • John seemed to have forgotten our quarrel altogether. (約翰似乎已完全忘了我們吵過架)
  • This is a new solution altogether. (這完全是一種新的解決方案)
  • I don’t altogether agree with you. (我不完全同意你的看法)
  • I’m not altogether sure Mary will marry me. (我不能完全肯定瑪麗會嫁給我)
  • The speaker was $60 and the microphone was $30, so it was $90 altogether. (喇叭 60 美元、麥克風 30 美元,所以總共是 90 美元)
  • How many students will there be altogether? (總共會有多少學生?)

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Following 還是 the following 呢?

Following 可當介系詞、形容詞和名詞用。這個字並非動詞 follow (聽從,遵循,遵從;理解,明白;[社群媒體上的] 追蹤,關注) 的現在分詞,而是單獨存在的一個字。

Following 用作介系詞時意為「在…之後」,後接名詞片語,其前不可有定冠詞 the 或所有格代名詞。例如:

  • The team blossomed following the selection and recruitment of the new players. (球隊在遴選和招募新球員後大放異彩) (正)
  • Following the banquet, there will be a costume party. (宴會之後將有一場化裝舞會) (正) - costume party 為美式英語。英式英語的化裝舞會叫做 fancy-dress party。
    The following banquet, there will be a costume party. (誤)
  • Following my teaching career, I’d like to be a writer of children’s books. (教書生涯結束後,我想當兒童文學作家) (正)
    My following teaching career, I’d like to be a writer of children’s books. (誤)

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使用 could 時常見的錯誤;釐清 could 和 can 易混淆之處

能力

Could 和 can 皆可表示能力 (意為「能,會」),前者表示過去的能力,後者表示現在和未來的能力。在此用法中,could 為 can 的過去式。例如:

  • When I was young, I could play the piano, violin, and cello. (年輕時我會彈鋼琴、拉小提琴和大提琴)
  • He can speak English, French, German, and Spanish. (他會講英文、法文、德文和西班牙文)
  • I can walk home after school tomorrow. (明天放學後我能走路回家)

當 could 用作 can 的過去式來表示過去有能力做某事時,這是指過去某一段時間發生的事實。對於過去有能力去做某一偶發的單一事件而且做了,在肯定句中我們就不能使用 could,必須使用 was/were able to 或 managed to 或比較正式的 succeeded in (後接動名詞),意為「成功做到,順利完成」。例如:

  • I was able to get the concert tickets I wanted. (我 [成功地] 買到了我想要的演唱會門票) (正)
    = I managed to get the concert tickets I wanted. (正)
    = I succeeded in getting the concert tickets I wanted. (正)
    I could get the concert tickets I wanted. (誤)
  • We were able to find the missing girl we were looking for. (我們 [成功地] 找到了我們要找的那個失蹤女孩) (正)
    = We managed to find the missing girl we were looking for. (正)
    = We succeeded in finding the missing girl we were looking for. (正)
    We could find the missing girl we were looking for. (誤)

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使用 both 時常見的錯誤

Both 可當 (前置) 限定詞和代名詞用,意為「兩個;兩者;雙方」。

在所有格 + 名詞的前面可以使用 both 或 both of;換言之,both of 跟 all of 和 half of 一樣,of 可以省略。例如:

  • Both (of) her parents are doctors. (她的父母親都是醫生)
  • Both (of) his sisters are living in Japan. (他的兩個姊姊都住在日本)

Both 可修飾名詞。例如:

  • There are five cars on both sides of the road. (路的兩邊各有五輛汽車)
  • Both children went. (兩個孩子都去了)

Both 與代名詞連用時,無論代名詞是主格還是受格,both 都位在它們的後面。例如:

  • They both need some money. (他們兩人都需要一些錢) (正)
    Both they need some money. (誤)
  • I like them both. (他們兩人我都喜歡) (正)
    I like both them. (誤)

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At the beginning 還是 in the beginning?At the end 還是 in the end 呢?

At the beginning (of something) 意為「在 (某事物) 開始時;開頭部分;開端」,其後經常接介系詞 of。In the beginning 意為「起初,當初;開始時,一開始 (用來與時間上的「後來」相對)」,與 at first 和 at the start 同義 (beginning 和 start 的前面皆可用 very 來修飾),其後不接介系詞 of。例如:

  • At the beginning of every lesson, the teacher gave us a quiz. (每堂課開始時,老師都會給我們小考) (正)
    In the beginning of every lesson, the teacher gave us a quiz. (誤)
  • I’ll go abroad for two weeks at the very beginning of May. (五月初我會出國兩個禮拜) (正)
    I’ll go abroad for two weeks in the very beginning of May. (誤)
  • Children are still at the beginning of their lives. (兒童仍處於他們生命的初期) (正)
    Children are still in the beginning of their lives. (誤)
  • In the beginning the main energy source was wood. (最初主要能源是木材) (正)
    At the beginning the main energy source was wood. (誤)
  • In the beginning I didn’t know what had happened. (起先我不知道發生了什麼事) (正)
    At the beginning I didn’t know what had happened. (誤)
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. (一次不成功,那就再接再厲) (正)
  • He was a bit shy at the (very) start. (他開始時有點害羞) (正)

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Consider 還是 regard 呢?

當 consider 意為「認爲;把…當作,把…視為」而 regard 意為「認為,看待;把…看作,將…認為」時,兩者皆不可使用進行式 (consider 意為「考慮」時才可使用進行式)。例如:

  • I consider her irresponsible. (我認為她不負責任) (正)
    I am considering her irresponsible. (誤)
  • Mary regards Jack’s achievement as unique. (瑪麗認為傑克的成就獨一無二) (正)
    Mary is regarding Jack’s achievement as unique. (誤)

就上述意思而言,consider 有下列幾種句型:
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With regard to 還是 with regards to 呢?

With regard to 或 in regard to (= in connection with) 意為「關於;至於」,其中 regard 須用單數,不可用 regards。儘管 with regards to 自 1990 年代以來有越來越多人使用的趨勢,但仍應被視為錯誤。例如:

  • With regard to your suggestion I will consider it carefully. (關於你的建議,我會好好考慮) (正)
  • With regards to your suggestion I will consider it carefully. (誤)

不過,由於許多人認為 with regard to 和 in regard to 這兩個在商業書信中經常用到的片語不夠簡潔,因此往往使用同義的 about、concerning 或 regarding 來代替。例如:
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