Q:一般文法書都說 yet 和 just 等表示過去時間的副詞必須與現在完成式連用,但在英文雜誌中卻經常見到它們與過去式連用,如 Did you phone her yet? 請問這句與 Have you phoned her yet? 何者才對呢?

A:這兩句都對。在非正式美式英語中,yet, already, just 和 ever 這幾個過去時間副詞,現今經常與簡單過去式連用,如 The bell just rang. (鈴剛響過);I already saw him. (我看見過他);Did you eat yet? (你吃了嗎?)。但在英式英語中,它們都使用現在完成式,如 The bell has just rung.;I’ve already seen him.;Have you eaten yet?

ever 的用法亦同,所以下面兩句的意思是一樣的:

  • Did you ever go to mainland China? (你去過中國大陸嗎?)
  • Have you ever been to mainland China?

Q:一般文法書對於 used to 和 would 的解釋幾乎都是說,它們是指過去習慣性和經常性的動作,但現在已經不做了,而 used to 也可指過去存在的狀態,但現在已不存在。然而,這樣的解釋似乎無法讓我們準確地判斷這類句子到底要使用 used to 或 would 或是兩者,不是嗎?

A:這樣的解釋的確無法讓我們準確地判斷它們的用法。現在換個角度來說明它們的用法。事實上,一般文法書的解釋也沒有錯,used to 和 would 是指過去習慣性和經常性的動作,但現在已經不做或不再發生,而 used to 也可指過去存在的狀態或情況,但現在已不存在。所以,在一個句子中,有時使用 used to 或 would 都可以,有時則只能使用 used to。請看下面的例句:

  • I used to live in Taipei, but I moved to Kaohsiung last year. (過去我都住在台北,但去年搬到高雄)
  • When he was at school, he used to play baseball every Saturday. (過去在學期間每個週末他都會或常常去打棒球)
  • She used to hate her job until she got a promotion. (過去她一直討厭她的工作,直到獲得升遷)

這三個句子都是敘述過去的動作或情況,但現在都不存在了。

我們使用 used to 來表示在過去持續一段時間的動作或情況,但不能表示突然發生或發生的時間很短暫的事件。所以,我們不能說 I used to have a really good idea when I was brushing my teeth this morning. (今晨刷牙時我常常有個確實很好的構想),因為「有個確實很好的構想」是突然或瞬間發生的。

現在來看 would 的用法。下面為 would 的一些例句:

  • When he was at university, he would sleep until noon on the weekends. (他唸大學的時候,每個週末常常或都會睡到中午)
  • My sister lived in the U.S. for many years, but she would always come home for the Lunar New Year. (我姊姊過去在美國住了許多年,但她都會回來過農曆新年)
  • I would always forget my homework, until the teacher threatened to punish me. (我過去老是忘了作業,直到老師揚言要處罰我)

同樣地,這些句子也都是敘述過去的動作或情況,但現在都不存在了。然而,必須注意的是,這些句子都是在敘述不斷重複的動作或情況。「每個週末常常或都會睡到中午」、「都會回來過農曆新年」、「老是忘了作業」,這些事情都重複了很多次,不斷地重複。

這就是 used to 和 would 的差別。我們僅用 would 來敘述過去不斷重複或重複很多次的動作或情況,而 used to 則用來敘述在過去持續一段時間的動作或情況,且包括不斷重複或重複很多次的動作或情況。

為了更清楚地說明它們的差異,現在再來看上面三個使用 used to 的句子,看它們能不能用 would 來代替 used to。

第一句:I used to live in Taipei, but I moved to Kaohsiung last year.

這裡可以用 would 來代替 used to 嗎? 不行! 因為 live in Taipei 並非不斷重複或重複很多次的動作或情況,它只是過去的一種情況或狀態。所以這句只能用 used to。

第二句:When he was at school, he used to play baseball every Saturday.

這裡談論的是 play baseball every Saturday,這是重複許多次的動作。所以可以用 would 來代替 used to:When he was at school, he would play baseball every Saturday.。換言之,這句使用 would 或 used to 都可以,意思一樣。

第三句:She used to hate her job until she got a promotion.

過去她討厭她的工作很多次嗎? 不,這並非反覆性的動作。所以,在本句中,不能使用 would 來代替 used to,僅能使用 used to。

Melted, molten (adjs.)

Melted 為 melt 的過去式和過去分詞,但也可當 (分詞) 形容詞用,意為「熔化的;融化的」,如 The chocolate (has) melted. (巧克力融化了);melted chocolate/butter (融化了的巧克力/奶油)。談到 melt,與其相關的一句讚美食物的成語亦值得學習,因為它經常用得到,那就是 melt in the mouth (入口即化),如 These chocolates really melt in your mouth. (這些巧克力真的是入口即化)。

Molten 的意思與 melted 相同,但僅用於需要非常高的溫度才會熔化的物質,亦即熔點 (melting point) 很高的物質 (如岩石、金屬或玻璃),如 molten rock/metal (熔化的岩石/金屬)。

Q:在 She would have liked to go to Hong Kong for the weekend. 這句中,would have liked 的意義為何?

A:would have liked 是 would like 的過去式,兩者後面都是接現在式不定詞 (to + 原形動詞),但前者是表示過去想要做但卻沒有做的情況。這種情況也可以用 「would like + 完成式不定詞 (to + have + P.P.)」或 「wanted + 完成式不定詞」(注意:這裡 want 必須用過去式) 來表示。例如:

  • My sister would have liked to study abroad.  (我妹妹本來想出國留學 — 但事實上並沒有去)
    = My sister would like to have studied abroad.
    = My sister wanted to have studied abroad.

所以,問題中的句子是說她本來想去香港度週末,但事實上並沒有去。

Q:How many subsidiaries does your company have got? 這句對嗎?

A:在表示「有,具有」的意思時,英式英語可能使用 have/has 或 have/has got (美式英語通常使用 have/has),雖然這兩者是通用的,但 have/has got 用在口語的情況比較多。注意:have/has got 並非 get 的現在完成式。例如:She has got blue eyes. (她有一雙藍眼睛) (英);She has blue eyes. (英和美)。

若使用 have/has,我們通常使用助動詞 do/does 來構成否定和問句;若使用 have/has got,那麼我們通常使用助動詞 have/has 來構成否定和問句。是故,問題中的句子是不對的,因為它使用 has got,所以必須用 has 來作助動詞,不是用 does。這個句子應改為 How many subsidiaries has your company got? (貴公司有多少家子公司呢?) 或 How many subsidiaries does your company have?。

現在讓我們來看看 have/has 和 have/has got 的否定和問句:

  • I haven’t any money. (我一點錢也沒有)
    = I haven’t got any money.
    = I don’t have any money.
  • Have you got a car? Yes, I have. (你有車子嗎? 是的,我有) (英)
    = Do you have a car? Yes, I do. (英和美)
  • You’ve got a sore throat as well as a runny nose, haven’t you. (你喉嚨痛還有流鼻涕,對不對?)
  • You have enough money to buy a car, don’t you. (你有足夠的錢買車,對不對?)
    (注意:問句簡答及附加問句將因助動詞的不同而有所不同)

有一點必須注意的是,在否定句 I haven’t any money. 中,have 似乎兼具助動詞和一般動詞雙重角色,但這種用法只有在 have/has 及其後的名詞之間夾有其他語詞 (本句是 any) 時才行得通。所以,如果你說 I haven’t money.,那就錯了,但可以說 I have no money.。同樣地,He hasn’t (got) a very good temper. (他的脾氣不太好) 亦是同理可證。

另外,還有一點也要特別注意,那就是:過去式和未來式不可使用 got。因此,你只能說 Did you have a car when you were a student. (你當學生的時候有車嗎?) (英和美),不能說 Had you got a car when you were a student.。同樣地,你可以說 I am going to have some free time at the weekend so I can help you with your homework. (我週末有空,所以我能幫助你做家庭作業),但卻不可以說 I am going to have got some free time at the weekend so I can help you with your homework.。

至於 have/has to 與 have/has got to (必須) 的處理方式和文法觀念亦與上述相同。不過,要注意的是,雖然 have/has (got) to 在大多數情況下都可與 must 互換,但它們的含意卻有些不同。Have/has (got) to 是表示客觀上的需要,是別人加諸給我們的「必須」,而 must 是主觀上的必要,是自己認為的「必須」。試比較下列兩句:

  • Sorry, I can’t come out now. I’ve got to tidy up my room before I’m allowed out. (對不起,我現在不能出去。我必須收拾好自己的房間才可外出)
  • They said that they must work hard. (他們說他們必須努力工作)

最後值得一提的是,在一般口語中,have got to 和 have got a 往往唸成 “gotta”。例如:I gotta go. (= I have got to go) (我必須走了);Gotta pen? (=Have you got a pen?) (有筆嗎?)。

Q:But that there is water, there would be no fish. 這句是假設語氣的條件句,請問 But that 子句為何可以用現在式動詞?

A:But that 的意思是「若非;要不是」,是條件句的另一種句型。它的後面接子句,不過我們也可將之改為「but for + 名詞」(而 but for 又等於 without)。

由於 But that 子句敘述的是事實,所以若為現在式,則使用簡單現在式,若為過去式,則使用簡單過去式。而主要子句係屬假設的敘述 (非事實),所以若與現在事實相反,則句型為「主詞 + would/should/could/might + 原形動詞」;若與過去事實相反,則句型為「主詞 + would/should/could/might + have + P.P.」。不過,它們也都可以改為用 if 引導的假設語氣條件句。注意:此時 if 子句的敘述必須分別與現在和過去事實相反。請看下面的例句 (第一句為問題中的句子) 並加以分析,以徹底瞭解這些實用句型及其變化:

  1. But that there is water, (現在事實的敘述) there would be no fish. (與現在事實相反) — (要不是有水,就不可能有魚)
    = If there were no water, (若無水 — 與現在事實相反) there would be no fish.
    = But for water, there would be no fish.
    = Without water, there would be no fish. (but for = without,意思亦是「若非;要不是」,但後面接名詞)
  2. But that you helped me, (過去事實的敘述) I would not have succeeded. (與過去事實相反) — (要不是你幫忙,我就不會成功)
    = If you had not helped me, (如果沒有你的幫忙 — 與過去事實相反) I would not have succeeded.
    = But for your help, I would not have succeeded.
    = Without your help, I would not have succeeded.

Q:在 I will quit my job and go work for another company. (我將跳槽到另一家公司) 這句中,go 的後面為何可以直接接原形動詞 work 呢?

A:這是美式英語的一種正規用法,而這種用法的實例俯拾即是,除問題中的句子外,在此再舉一例來加深大家對這種用法的印象:I must go buy some soft drinks for my wife. (我必須去幫我太太買一些清涼飲料)。在英式英語中,相對應的正規結構為:「go + and + 原形動詞」或「go + to + 原形動詞」。所以,上句亦可寫成或說成 I must go and buy (或 go to buy) some soft drinks for my wife.。

除 go 之外,come 也有相同的結構和用法,如 You can come live (= come and live/come to live) with us. (你可以來跟我們一起住);You will come see (= come and see/come to see) us sometimes, won’t you? (你有時會來看我們,對不對?) 。

然而,請注意:與 try and 不同的是,go/come + and 並無過去式或現在式的限制。因此,下面的句子也都是正確無誤的習慣用法:He came and saw me yesterday. (他昨天來看我);He went and thanked her last week. (他上週去謝謝她)。

Q: I told you he was going to come to the party. 這句明明是過去式,為何使用表示未來的 be going to 呢?

A:類似 I told you he was going to come to the party. (我告訴你他會來參加聚會) 這樣的句子,我們可以稱之為「過去的未來式」(future in the past);它們是用來表示在過去某個時間點你認為某事未來會發生。至於你的想法或看法是否正確則不重要。這種句型在英文中頗為常見。茲將它們的幾個重點敘述如下:

1. 與簡單未來式 (simple future) 一樣,「過去的未來式」有兩個不同的型態:would 和 was/were going to。

  • I told him I would help him later. (我告訴他稍後會協助他)
  • I knew John was secretly going to meet Jane after the party. (我知道約翰將在聚會後偷偷地和珍見面)

2. 「過去的未來式」遵守簡單未來式的基本用法規則,即 would 的基本用法與 will 一樣,而 was/were going to 的基本用法與 am/is/are going to 相同。

  • He promised he would send a postcard from Egypt. (他承諾會從埃及寄來明信片)
  • I had a feeling (that) the vacation was going to be a disaster. (我覺得這個假期將是一場災難)

3. 與所有未來式一樣,「過去的未來式」不能用在以 when, while, before, after, by the time, as soon as, if 和 unless 等開頭的副詞子句或時間子句中,亦即在這些子句中不能使用 would/will/be going to。

  • I already told Mark that when he arrived, we would go out for dinner. (我已經告訴馬克,在他到達時,我們將外出吃晚餐) (正)
  • I already told Mark that when he would arrive, we would go out for dinner. (誤)
  • Sally asked if I was going to go to class late. (莎莉問我上課是否會遲到) (正) — 在這句中,if (= whether) 所引導的子句是名詞子句而非副詞子句。

此外,由於在英文中我們可以使用現在進行式來表示不久的將來 (in the near future) 要發生的事件,所以「過去的未來式」亦有可能以過去進行式的型態出現。例如,下面兩句也是「過去的未來式」:

  • She was aware of the fact that we were meeting after class. (她知道我們下課後要碰面)
  • I told my mom I was having dinner with some friends after work. (我告訴我媽媽下班後要跟一些朋友聚餐)

Q:在 I would rather you went now. 這句中,went 是假設語氣用法嗎?

A:一點都沒錯。在 I would rather you went now. (我寧願你現在去) 這句中,went 的確是假設語氣的用法。這種 would rather (寧願,寧可) 句型在英文中頗為常見,其中 would 是句子的動詞,被副詞 rather 所修飾,而其後的子句是省略 that 的名詞子句,當 would 的受詞。雖然它們是指現在或未來的事件,但名詞子句的動詞要用過去式,表示「與現在事實相反」或「未來不太可能發生的事件或不太可能實現的願望」。茲再舉數例以加深讀者對此種句型的瞭解:

  • A: Shall we go out for dinner tonight? (今晚我們外出吃晚餐好嗎?)
    B: No, I’d rather we ate at home, if you don’t mind. (不,如果你不介意,我寧可在家用餐) — 不太可能在家用餐。
  • A: Shall I write to dad and tell him that we’ve sold the car? (我寫信告訴爸爸我們已賣掉車子好嗎)
    B: I’d rather you didn’t. (我寧願你不要寫) — 不寫信的可能性微乎其微。
  • My mother would rather we caught the bus, rather than walk home after the party. (我媽媽寧願我們在宴會後搭公車而不是走路回家) — 事實上,我們是走路回家的。

附帶一提的是,would rather 亦可寫成 had rather (但前者比後者常用多了),所以 I’d rather 可能是 I would rather、也可能是 I had rather 的縮寫,但意思是一樣的。

Q:下列兩句的意思有何不同? (1) Class is supposed to begin at 10: 00. (2) Class was supposed to begin at 10: 00.

A:be supposed to 表示的是一種預期 (expectation) 的情況:現在式的 be supposed to 意為「應該」,因此語意上相當於 should 或 ought to (ought to 的語氣比 should 來得強);過去式的 be supposed to 意為「本該發生的事,但實際上卻沒發生」,因此相當於 should have + P.P. 或 ought to have + P.P.。

第 (1) 句的意思是說,課應該在 10 點開始上 (預期);而第 (2) 句的意思是說,課原本應該在 10 點開始上,但事實卻沒有 (即預期沒有實現),所以這相當於,譬如說,Class was supposed to begin at 10: 00, but it didn’t begin until 10: 15. (課原本應該在 10 點開始上,但直到 10 點 15 分才上)。我們亦可用下面的句子來表達相同的意思:

  • Class should have begun at 10: 00 (but it didn’t begin until 10: 15).
  • Class ought to have begun at 10: 00 (but it didn’t begin until 10: 15).

be supposed to 除了上述的意思外,還有一個頗為常見的意思,那就是「一般認為」(to be generally believed/considered)。請看下句:

  • It is generally believed that mice are afraid of cats. (一般認為老鼠怕貓)

這種以 it 做假主詞或形式主詞來代表其後 that 所引導的名詞子句的句型,在英文中用得很多,應該加以熟悉。現在我們使用 be supposed to 來改寫如下:

  • Mice are supposed to be afraid of cats. (老鼠應該怕貓)

若不用 be supposed to,這句也可以改成:

  • Mice are generally believed to be afraid of cats. (一般認為老鼠怕貓)

大多數的 “It…that” 句型都可以如上述地加以改寫,其方式就是將名詞子句的主詞拿來當句子的主詞,並將名詞子句的動詞變成 to-不定詞。最後要提的是,supposed to 中的 d 不發音,它的發音就跟 suppose to 一樣,但在拼寫時切記不可漏掉 “d”。