英文寫作的正式文體

英文寫作經常採用正式文體。英文有多種不同的正式文體,所以文法和字彙的選擇至關重要。正式文體通常少用人稱代名詞,但多用名詞片語和被動態。文體越正式,越不帶感情、越去人稱化!

少用人稱代名詞

人稱代名詞被 it 或 there 的非人稱結構所取代。例如:

  • 一般文體:I suggest that you apologize to your teacher for coming to school late. (我建議你應該為上學遲到向老師致歉)
    正式文體:It is suggested that you make an apology to your teacher for coming to school late. (建議你應該為上學遲到向老師致歉) - 這句也使用名詞片語。
  • 一般文體:We would like to donate a large number of books to the library. (我們想把大量的書捐贈給圖書館)
    正式文體:There are a large number of books to donate to the library. (有大量的書要捐贈給圖書館)

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One, you, we, they

One, you, we 和 they 都可用作泛指的 (generic) 人稱代名詞,亦即用來指所有人或非特定的任何人,而不是指特定的某個人或某些人。它們的意思相當於總稱的「任何人」、「人們」或「大家」。

One, you 和 we

當 one, you 和 we 用作泛指的人稱代名詞時,它們包括說話者或寫作者本身在內。例如:

  • One cannot learn English well unless one works hard. (下苦功才能學好英文)
    = You cannot learn English well unless you work hard.
    = We cannot learn English well unless we work hard.
  • One must try one’s best. (人人都要盡力而為)
  • One has to trust one’s family. (大家都要相信自己的家人)
  • It does make one think. (這的確發人深省)
  • You can never predict what the president would do next. (誰也無法預料總統接下來會做什麼事)
  • If you exercise every day, you’ll feel much better. (天天運動,你會覺得好多了)
  • Our manager is a person who makes you feel very important. (我們經理是個會使人覺得自己很重要的人)
  • We all make mistakes. (人人都會犯錯)
  • We usually need a raincoat in Keelung. (在基隆,人們經常需要雨衣)
  • Why can we learn our mother tongue very easily? (我們為什麼能輕易學會母語呢?)

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All of the + 名詞中的 of 是贅字

在「all of the/these/those/所有格 + 名詞」的句型中,all 是不定代名詞 (indefinite pronoun),如 All of these students live in Taipei. (這些學生全都住在台北);All of his money is spent on food. (他的錢全都花在食物上)。由於 of 可以省略,上述句型就變成「all the/these/those/所有格 + 名詞」,此時 all 變成 (前置) 限定詞 (determiner or pre-determiner),如 All these students live in Taipei.;All his money is spent on food.。雖然 all 後面有沒有 of 都可以,文法都沒有錯,但許多人認為 all of … 的寫法不夠簡潔,因為 of 一點作用都沒有,是不折不扣的贅字。所以,

  • All my students are female.
    All of my students are female. (我的學生全都是女生) (欠佳) - of 是贅字。
  • I want to hear all the details.
    I want to hear all of the details. (我想要聽所有的細節) (欠佳) - of 是贅字。

然而,如果將「all of the/these/those/所有格 + 名詞」中的「the/these/those/所有格 + 名詞」換成人稱代名詞的受格 (us, you, them, it),那麼 of 不能省略,否則就犯了大錯。例如:

  1. All of us must attend the meeting. (我們全都要參加這項會議)
  2. All of you need to buy me a coffee. (你們全都要請我喝杯咖啡)
  3. All of them can speak Japanese. (他們全都會講日語)
  4. He’d like all of us to get there. (他希望我們全都去那裡)
  5. I’ve invited all of them to my birthday party. (我已邀請他們全都來參加我的生日派對)

不過,若「all of + 人稱代名詞」當主詞用,那麼它可改寫為不用 of 的「人稱代名詞主格 + all」;若「all of + 人稱代名詞」當受詞用,那麼它可改寫為不用 of 的「人稱代名詞受格 + all」。茲將上面 5 句改寫如下,上下對應句之間的意思完全一樣且都是標準英語:

  1. We all must attend the meeting.
  2. You all need to buy me a coffee.
  3. They all can speak Japanese.
  4. He’d like us all to get there.
  5. I’ve invited them all to my birthday party.