Allow, allow as how, allow of

若干英語評論家有時仍堅持,當需要授權,「准許,允許」某人做某事時,唯一可用的標準動詞是 permit,而非 allow,如 They will not permit nonmembers to attend. (他們不允許非會員參加)。事實上,這兩個字在這樣的句子中都是標準用字,沒有瑕疵可言。

Allow of 是個片語動詞,意為「容許;容許有…的可能」,無論主詞是人或是非人的事物,都是標準用法,如 The evidence allows of no other interpretation. (這項證據只能有一種解釋);The two leaders [The situation] would not allow of any deviation from the agreement. (這兩位領導人 [情況] 不容許有任何背離協議的行為)。只要談到 allow of,吾人往往會再提到另外兩個與之結構相同、意思完全一樣的片語動詞,那就是 admit of 和 permit of,如 This matter admits of no delay. (這事不容耽擱),The results of the test permit of no other interpretation. (測試結果不可能有其他解釋)。這三個片語動詞其實與各該動詞本身 (即 allow, admit 和 permit) 的意思一樣,只是比較正式。

Allow 與 that 子句連用是標準用法,此時它意為「承認」,如 He allowed that they were right. (他承認他們是對的)。然而,to allow as how 雖是慣用語,但卻帶有方言的色彩,因為 as how 是非正規的用語或方言,等於 “that”。除 allow 外,在非正式的場合,as how 還經常與動詞 say 或現在分詞 seeing 和 being 連用。例如:She allowed [said] as how she might be interested. (她承認 [她說] 他可能有興趣);Seeing [being] as how we were ready, we went off without waiting for her. (由於我們已準備就緒,我們沒等她就開始進行了)。注意:seeing as how 亦寫成 seeing as, seeing that 或 seeing 單一個字;同樣地,它們都是非正規的用語或方言,意為「由於;鑑於」,如 Seeing (that) she’s legally old enough to get married, I don’t see how you can stop her. (由於她已到了法定的結婚年齡,我看不出你怎麼能阻止她)。