Get 還是 go 呢?

在表示「移動,行進」的意思時,get 和 go 是近義詞,但 get 著重於到達。例如:

  • I’ll call you as soon as I get to Seoul. (我一到首爾就會打電話給你) (正)
    I’ll call you as soon as I go to Seoul. (誤)
  • The thing is, he got to work late and missed part of the on-the-job training. (問題是,他上班遲到而且錯過了部分在職訓練) (正)
    The thing is, he went to work late and missed part of the on-the-job training. (誤)

上下公車、巴士、火車和飛機要用 get on 和 get off,不能用 go on 和 go off。例如:

  • When Jack got on the plane, there was someone sitting in his seat. (傑克登上飛機時,有人坐在他的座位上) (正)
    When Jack went on the plane, there was someone sitting in his seat. (誤)
  • I will be waiting for you when you get off the train. (你下火車時,我會在那裡等你) (正)
    I will be waiting for you when you go off the train. (誤)

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Q:在流行語「發酒瘋」的英文 get drunk and act crazy 中,你說 get 和 act 都是連綴動詞。Get 殆無疑義,但 act 有這樣的用法嗎?

A:連綴動詞是用來連接主詞及其述詞或謂語 (predicates) 的動詞,而謂語可以是名詞、形容詞或代名詞。連綴動詞 (linking verbs) 係一種沒有動作 (action) 的不及物動詞,沒有受詞。它的句型為主詞 + 連綴動詞 + 主詞補語 (S + V + C),謂語的名詞、形容詞或代名詞是用來補充說明或描述主詞,所以也叫作主詞補語 (subjective complements)。例如:

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發酒瘋

英文:get drunk and act crazy (v.)

說明:get 和 act 在此都當連綴動詞 (linking verbs) 用。

例句:

  • Martin usually gets drunk and acts crazy, throwing any object he sees. (馬丁經常發酒瘋,看到東西就摔)
  • His father and mother were heavy drinkers and would often get drunk and act crazy, yelling at and even verbally abusing him. (他的父母親過去都是酒鬼,經常發酒瘋,對他大吼大叫,甚至辱罵他)

Q:seem, appear 和 look 在表示「似乎,好像,看起來」的意思時,它們的語法結構和語意有何差異?

A:seem, appear 和 look 在英文中叫做連綴動詞 (copular verbs or linking verbs),其後接形容詞 (或名詞或名詞片語) 來做主詞補語。例如:

  • He seems angry. (他似乎生氣了)
  • John appears unaffected by all the media attention. (約翰似乎未受媒體關注的影響)
  • She looks very happy. (她看起來非常高興)

注意:連綴動詞後面要接形容詞,不可接副詞,所以下句是錯誤的:

  • She looked angrily.

當然啦,若 look 不是用作連綴動詞,而是當一般動詞用,意為「看」,那麼就可用副詞來修飾 look,如 She looked angrily at the intruder. (她憤怒地看著闖入者)。

首先來看 seem, appear 和 look 的語法結構差異:

1. Look 和 seem 後面可接 as if/as though 或 like 所引導的子句 (like 後面亦可接名詞或名詞片語),但 appear 通常不行。例如:

  • It looks as if it’s going to rain again. (看來好像又要下雨了)
  • It looks like David will be able to come too. (看來大衛好像也能來)
  • It seems as if they’re no longer in love. (他們似乎不再相愛了)
  • It seems like their marriage is over. (他們的婚姻好像結束了)

2. Seem 和 appear 後面經常接「to + 原形動詞」的不定詞結構,或者接「to + have + P.P.」的完成式不定詞結構來表示該完成式動作或狀態比 seem 和 appear 還要早發生或出現,但 look 則沒有這項用法。例如:

  • It seems to rain all the time here. (這裡好像一直在下雨)
  • I seem to have lost my way. Can you help me? (我好像迷路了。你能協助我嗎?)
  • My boss seems not to like the idea. (我老闆似乎不喜歡這構想)
    = My boss doesn’t seem to like the idea.
  • No one appeared to notice me. (似乎沒有人注意我)
  • They appear not to be at home. Nobody’s answering. (他們好像不在家。沒有人應門)
    = They do not appear to be at home. No one’s answering.
    (由例句可知,seem 和 appear 的否定形式有兩種,—是將否定詞放在 seem 和 appear 之前,另一是將否定詞放在 seem 和 appear之後的不定詞之前,但意思不變。)

3. It seems… 和 It appears… 後面可接 that 所引導的名詞子句,但 It looks… 則不行,後者只能接 as if/as though 或 like 所引導的子句。例如:

  • It seems (that) there is no way out of our difficulty. (我們似乎無法擺脫困難了)
  • It seems to me (that) it will rain tonight. (我看今晚會下雨)
  • It appears (that) I was wrong. (看來我是錯了)
  • It appears (that) she has changed her mind. (看來她已改變心意)

Seem, appear 和 look 均意為「似乎,好像,看起來」,但他們的語意不盡相同。Seem 可用來指比較客觀的事實、印象或感想,亦可用來指比較主觀和情緒上的印象或感想,而 appear 是個比 seem 略微正式的字,通常只用來指比較客觀的事實、印象或感想。Look 的用法與 seem 相近,用來指從外表得到的印象或感想,因此所做出的判斷有可能與事實相符 (客觀的事實),也可能與事實不符 (主觀和情緒上的印象或感想)。

就比較主觀和情緒上的印象或感想而言

  • It seems a shame that we can’t take Linda on holiday with us. (不能帶著琳達跟我們一起度假似乎很可惜)
  • It doesn’t seem like a good idea to leave him here by himself. (讓他獨自一人留在這裡似乎不是個好主意)
  • It seems ridiculous that he has to stay here to look after the cat. (他必須留在這裡照顧貓似乎很可笑)

就比較客觀的事實、印象或感想而言

  • They have the same surname, but they don’t appear/seem to be related. (他們的姓氏相同,但似乎沒有親戚關係)
  • She’s not getting any better. It seems/appears that she’s not been taking the medication. (她的病情沒有任何好轉。她似乎一直都沒有服藥)

最後要注意的是,seem 僅能當連綴動詞用,而 appear 和 look 還有其他意思和用法。

Q:一本修辭書籍說,在 The house was set on fire and seriously damaged last night, but the perpetrator was unknown. 這句中,第二個 was 不可省略。但根據文法規則,這個 was 不是可以省略嗎?

A:「省略」(ellipsis) 是英文的主要特色之一,雖然「當省則省」、「能省就省」,但若省過頭就不合語法了。The house was set on fire and seriously damaged last night, but the perpetrator was unknown. (房子昨晚遭縱火而嚴重損壞,但兇手身份不明) 這句前半部中的 was 是個助動詞,因為它是被動結構,而後半部中的 was,則是個連綴動詞,所以兩者的功能或用法並不相同,當然不能省略。同樣地,在 The president was killed in a car accident, but his death was highly welcome in his country. (總統在車禍中喪生,但他的死卻受到該國多數人額手稱慶) 這句中,第二個 was 也不能省略。

Drunk, drunken (adjs.)

這兩個形容詞都意為「(酒) 醉的」,但 drunk 通常用在動詞之後,其型態為 BE 動詞、get 等連綴動詞 + drunk (on + 所喝的酒),而 drunken 通常用在名詞之前,如 He got drunk on only two glasses of wine. (他才喝了兩杯葡萄酒就醉了);He got dead drunk on only two cans of beer. (他才喝了兩罐啤酒就爛醉如泥);There was a drunken man lying on the ground. (地上躺了一名醉漢)。drunk 經常與其他字連用來構成固定搭配,如 blind/dead/roaring drunk, drunk as a skunk/lord,這幾個片語均意為「酩酊大醉,爛醉如泥」(= very drunk),如 He is blind/dead drunk./He is drunk as a skunk. (他喝得酩酊大醉)。drunk 還可當名詞用,意為「酒鬼,酗酒者;醉漢」,為一貶抑詞。

Drunk 可用於比喻,但 drunken 則不行。drunk 的比喻意思為「陶醉的;興奮的;暈頭轉向的」,其後接介系詞 with,如 John is drunk with power. (約翰醉心於權力);He was drunk with success. (他陶醉於成功中);She felt drunk with rage. (她氣得暈頭轉向)。不過,drunken 除了「(酒) 醉的」意思外,還意為「酒醉引起的」,如 My uncle had a drunken sleep. (我叔叔喝醉後呼呼大睡);He collapsed in a drunken stupor. (他醉得不省人事而倒在地上);a drunken brawl/rage (酒後鬧事/狂怒)。在英國,酒醉鬧事、擾亂治安是一種犯罪行為,但這一法律用語並非 drunken brawl,而是 drunk and disorderly,如 The police charged him with being drunk and disorderly. (警方指控他酒醉鬧事、擾亂治安)。

然而,由於 drunk 暗指一時或暫時的酒醉,而 drunken 暗指習慣性的酗酒,因此當需要強調這項差別時,這兩個形容詞慣常的用法規則可以反其道而行,亦即 drunk 用於名詞之前,而 drunken 用於動詞之後,這也就是「酒後駕車」的英文可以是drunk driving 或 drunken driving 的原因;在英國,「酒後駕車」還可說成或寫成 drink-driving。drunken 用於動詞之後的情況其實並不多見,如 He was usually drunken and foul-mouthed. (他經常酗酒又爆粗口)。不過,在法律上,酒後駕車的正式用語並非drunk/drunken driving,而是 DWI (driving while intoxicated) — intoxicated 意為「(酒) 醉的;陶醉的」,如 He was arrested for/charged with DWI. (他因酒後駕車被捕/他被控酒後駕車)。除了 DWI之外,還有另一個表示「酒後駕車」的用語亦不時被使用,那就是 DUI (driving under the influence)。