Hear that, see that

Hear that 和 see that 經常被用來引導新的訊息或資訊,此時 hear 意為「聽說,得知」,而 see 意為「知道;明白;瞭解」。在這項用法中,hear 和 see 通常使用現在簡單式,而 that 有時會省略。例如:

  • I hear (that) Teresa has a thing for Benjamin. (我聽說泰瑞莎喜歡班傑明)
  • I hear Mary’s getting married in August. (我聽說瑪麗八月要結婚)
  • I see (that) John is going to move to Taipei next month. (我知道約翰下個月將搬到台北)
  • I see Professor Chen remarried. (我知道陳教授再婚了)

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So that 和 in order that 的用法

So that 和 in order that 都是用來表示目的,意為「為了;以便;目的在於」,當連接詞用,通常與語氣助動詞 (can、will、could、would 等) 連用。So that 比 in order that 來得常用許多,在非正式情況中,so that 中的 that 往往省略。In order that 是個正式用語,通常用於正式場合。例如:

  • John lowered his voice to tell me the secret so that no one would hear. (約翰壓低嗓音告訴我這個秘密,這樣就沒有人能聽到)
  • Mary got up early in order that she should/would/might be on time for school. (瑪麗一早就起床以便準時上學)
  • I’ll go there so that I can talk to the president. (我要去那裡,這樣我才能跟總統談話)
  • In order that you can sign the contract, please give me your address and I will mail it to you. (為了讓你能夠簽約,請給我你的地址,我會把合約寄給你)
  • Thomas worked hard so (that) he would earn one million dollars before the age of 25. (湯瑪斯努力工作俾在 25 歲之前能賺到 100 萬)
  • I’ve made some sushi so (that) you can have a snack with your girlfriend. (我做了一些壽司,這樣你就能跟你女朋友一起吃點心)

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Need 的用法

Need 可當「半語氣助動詞」(marginal modal or semi-modal - dare、ought to 和 used to 也是屬於這類助動詞) 和普通動詞用,前者與其他語氣助動詞一樣,後接原形動詞,但它幾乎都是用在否定句和 (少部分用在) 問句中。例如:

  • He needn’t earn overtime. (他不必賺加班費)
  • You needn’t take off your shoes. (你不必脫鞋)
  • Need I reply? (我必須回覆嗎?)

當語氣助動詞用的 need 鮮少用於肯定句,除非是在正式的上下文中。但即使 need 後面未接 not,句子中也幾乎都會使用 no one、nobody、nothing 等否定詞,使得句子仍屬否定句。例如:
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Ever 的用法 (二)

條件句

Ever 用在 if 所引導的條件句時,ever 可緊接在 if 之後或位在句子的中間位置,亦即位在主詞和主動詞之間 (即普通動詞之前)、語氣助動詞或第一個助動詞之後,或當主動詞用的 BE 動詞之後。例如:

  • If ever you’re in Taipei, do give me a call. (如果你有到台北,一定要打個電話給我)
    = If you’re ever in Taipei, do give me a call.
  • If you ever see Robert, give him my kind regards. (如果你見到羅伯特,請代我向他致以問候之意)
  • If Tony had ever worked harder, he would have earned more money. (如果東尼以前更努力工作的話,他會賺更多的錢)
  • I seldom/rarely, if ever, watch television. (我難得看電視)
  • His wife seldom/rarely, if ever, does any cleaning. (他太太難得打掃一次)
    - seldom, if ever 或 rarely, if ever = probably never (難得;可能從不)。
  • Now there’s a great challenge, if ever there was one. (現在確實有一項重大的挑戰)
  • That was a fine dinner if ever there was one! (那確實是一頓豐盛的晚餐!)
  • It was a difficult job if ever there was one. (毋庸置疑地,那是一項艱難的工作)
  • If ever there was an opportunity for you to see the president, this was it. (如果說有一個可以讓你見到總統的機會,那就是這個機會了)
    - if ever there was one/something 意為「(用來強調所說情況的真實性) 不容置疑,確實」。不管主句的時態為何,if ever there was one/something 中的 there was 為固定用語。

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Ever 的用法 (一)

Ever 是個副詞,主要意為「在 (過去、現在或未來) 任何時候;從來」,通常用於疑問句,否定句以及表示比較和條件的附屬子句。

疑問句

  • Have you ever been to New York? (你去過紐約嗎?)
  • Have you ever heard of the word “dotard”? (你聽過「老番癲」這個字嗎?)
  • Do you ever dream about winning the lottery? (你夢想過中樂透嗎?)

否定句

Ever 用於否定句時通常與 not、no、none、no one、nobody、nothing 和 hardly 等否定詞連用。例如:

  • No such animal ever existed. (這樣的動物從來就沒有存在過)
  • None of my friends have ever heard of that guy. (我的朋友當中從來就沒有人聽說過那個傢伙)
  • No one ever told me John had moved to Taipei. (從來就沒有人告訴我約翰已搬到台北)
  • It hardly ever rains here in the summer. (這裡夏天幾乎從不下雨) - hardly ever = almost never (幾乎從不)。

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年份的說法

年份的說法是一項英文基本功,但有些事情可能使其變得複雜,而英式英語和美式英語的說法又有一些差異。

現在就讓我們從簡單的開始。對於像 1456、1832 或 1791 這樣的年份,我們都是將前面兩個數字和後面兩個數字分開來唸,猶如它們是單一數字:fourteen fifty-six;eighteen thirty-two;seventeen ninety-one。

若第三個數字是 0,那麼有兩種說法。例如:

1508:fifteen oh eight 或 fifteen hundred and eight

1903:nineteen oh three 或 nineteen hundred and three

不過,第二種說法比較少見且聽起來略顯過時,尤其對美式英語來說更是如此。

對於結尾是兩個 0 的年份,慣例是:

1600:sixteen hundred

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完成式不定詞

我們有時會在 be、claim、expect、hate、hope、like、love、prefer、pretend 和 seem 等動詞後面使用完成式不定詞 (perfect infinitive,即 to + have + P.P.) 來表示該完成式動作比這些動詞還要早發生,但完成式不定詞的動作可能是過去的事實,也可能是過去的非事實 (與過去事實相反)。

完成式不定詞的動作係過去的事實。例如:

  • Peter claims to have met the president, but most of us don’t believe him. (彼得聲稱見過總統,但我們大多不信) - 至於彼得是否真的見過總統並不重要,也不影響它在英文中被視為「過去的事實」這一事實。
    = Peter claims (that) he has met the president, but most of us don’t believe him.
  • I seem to have lost my way. (我好像迷路了)
    = It seems to me that I have lost my way.
  • He seems to have gone out. (他似乎已經出門了)
  • John hated to have quarreled with his wife. (跟太太吵了一架,約翰感到遺憾)

完成式不定詞的動作係與過去的事實相反。這種過去的非事實主要用在下列句型:

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Before 的用法 (二)

Before 用作副詞時意為「以前」,經常放在 day、night、week、month、year 等時間名詞後面,構成 the day before、the night before、the week before、the month before、the year before 等片語來表示「前一天」、「前一天晚上」、「前一個禮拜」、「前一個月」、「前一年」等意思。但 the day before yesterday (前天) 和 the week before last (上上週) 等片語中的 before 為介系詞。例如:

  • Cindy mentioned a movie she’d seen the night before. (辛蒂提到她前一天晚上看過的一部電影)
  • A: Did you graduate in 2000? (A:你 2000 年畢業嗎?)
    B: No, actually, I finished college the year before. (B:不,其實我是在前一年完成大學學業) - 前一年是指 2000 年之前一年,也就是 1999 年。

Before 和 ago 雖然皆意為「以前」,但前者指的是「現在之前的任何時間」(亦即指過去某個不確定的時間),而後者是指「現在之前的某個確定的時間」。所以,before 可以跟現在完成式連用,而 ago 只能用於過去簡單式;但 before 也可用於過去簡單式。例如:

  • Have you two met before? (你們兩人以前見過面嗎?) (正)
    Have you two met ago? (誤)
  • Your father phoned ten minutes ago. (你父親 10 分鐘前來電) (正)
    Your father phoned ten minutes before. (誤)
  • He was never late before. (以前他從不遲到)

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Before 的用法 (一)

Before 可當介系詞、副詞和連接詞用。在進入主題之前,必須再次強調一點:在寫作中,我們經常會用到 as mentioned above (如上所述,如上面所提及的)、as noted above (如上面所指出的)、as demonstrated above (如上所示)、as shown above (如上所示) 和 as stated above (如上所述,如前所述) 等片語來表示上文、上面或之前所提到的事物,但在這些片語中,不可使用 before 來代替 above。例如:

  • As stated above, there is no shortcut for learning English grammar. (如上所述,學習英文文法沒有捷徑) (正)
    As stated before, there is no shortcut for learning English grammar. (誤)
  • As noted above, the government lacks efficiency. (如上面所指出的,這個政府缺乏效率) (正)
    As noted before, the government lacks efficiency. (誤)

Before 用作介系詞時意為「在…之前 (earlier than);在…前面 (in front of)」,其後最常接名詞片語來表示在 (某個時間點、事件或行動) 之前、在 (某地點) 前面、在 (某人或某物) 面前、(在列表或一系列物件中) 在…之前。例如:

  • I regularly go for a run before breakfast. (我經常在早餐前跑步)
  • She got there before me. (她比我先到那裡)
  • Turn right about a kilometer before the railway station. (在火車站前約一公里處右轉)
  • A few miles before the border the refugees were stopped at an army checkpoint. (難民在距離邊界數英里的一個軍事檢查哨被攔了下來)
  • Before the library stood a bronze statue of Chiang Kai-shek. (圖書館前矗立一尊蔣介石銅像)
  • John stood up before all his colleagues and asked Mary to marry him. (約翰在所有同事面前站起來向瑪麗求婚)
  • The letter U comes before V in the English alphabet. (在英文字母表中,U 排在 V 前面)
  • His name comes before mine on the list. (名單上他的名字排在我的前面)

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當副詞用的 pretty 不可用於否定句

Pretty 當副詞用時意為「相當,頗,很,非常」,可放在形容詞或另一副詞前面當修飾語。它是個非正式用字,通常用於口語及非正式場合,不可用於較正式的場合;正式場合須使用 quite 或 fairly。例如:

  • Professor Smith comes from a fairly poor country but he is not poor. (史密斯教授來自一個相當貧窮的國家,但他並不窮) (正)
  • Professor Smith comes from a pretty poor country but he is not poor. (誤)

如標題所述,pretty 不可用於否定句。例如:

  • This type of smartphone isn’t very good, really. I don’t think I’ll use it again. (這款智慧型手機的確不是很好。我想我不會再用它了) (正)
  • This type of smartphone isn’t so good, really. I don’t think I’ll use it again. (正)
  • This type of smartphone isn’t pretty good, really. I don’t think I’ll use it again. (誤)

Pretty 與 much 和 well 固定搭配所形成的 pretty much 和 pretty well,是兩個不時可見的副詞片語,但意思與其字面相去甚遠,值得學起來。它們與另一片語 pretty nearly 都是同義詞,意為「差不多;幾乎」(almost)。例如:

  • I can pretty much guarantee that he’ll be back in time. (我幾乎可以保證他會及時回來)
  • It’s pretty well impossible for us to guess what he thinks. (我們幾乎不可能猜出他的想法)
  • The work is pretty nearly finished. (這項工作差不多要完成了)