Q:在 The clothes I liked were much more expensive than my old ones. 這句中,如果省略 ones,它是否還合乎文法呢?

A:在這句中,ones 不能省略,否則就錯了! 英語是一種「當省 (省略) 則省,能省就省」的語言,但也不能省得太過份,而變得不符語法要求。例如,在 “Would you love to do me a favor? Yes, I’d love to.” (你想不想幫我個忙呢? 是的,我想) 這個問答中,最後面的 to 就不能省略,否則就錯了。

這位讀者顯然是在問名詞片語中名詞省略的問題。The clothes I liked were much more expensive than my old ones. (我喜歡的衣服比我的舊衣服貴很多) 中的 ones 之所以不能省略,乃因句中前後兩個名詞片語並非平行對稱 (in parallel construction)。若前後兩個名詞片語為平行對稱、對仗工整,那麼 ones 就可省略,而省略後的句子仍具備相同的語法功能。請看下面的例句:

  • Do you prefer red wine or white (wine)? (你比較喜歡紅酒還是白酒呢?)
  • I like the blue hat but he likes the green (hat). (我喜歡藍帽,但他喜歡綠帽)
  • This house is bigger than my last (house). (這間房子比我上一間大)

在這些句子中,white (wine), green (hat), last (house) 與前面的名詞片語 red wine, blue hat, this house (形容詞 + 名詞) 平行對稱。但在問題的句子中,the clothes (that) I liked 是一個用關係子句來修飾名詞的名詞片語,與 old clothes 並不對稱,所以句末的 clothes 不能省略,而為了避免重複,故用 ones 來替代。試與下句做個比較,當可瞭解平行對稱在此所扮演的角色有多麼重要;在下句中,my old (clothes) 與 my new clothes 平行對稱,所以後面的 clothes 可以完全省略 (甚至不必用 ones 來替代):

  • My new clothes were more expensive than my old. (我的新衣服比舊衣服貴)

一般而言,當名詞片語中被省略的名詞為可數名詞時,通常用代名詞 one(s) 來替代。例如:

  • I like the blue hat(s) but he likes the green one(s).
  • This house is bigger than my last one.
  • My new clothes are more expensive than my old ones.

在不定冠詞後面,one 是必要的。例如:

  • Do you want a large glass or a small one? (你想要大的杯子還是小的杯子呢?) (佳)
  • Do you want a large glass or a small? (不佳)

當兩個名詞片語不平行對稱時,one(s) 也是必要的,如問題中的句子。再看下面的例句:

  • I like the hat on the table but he likes the green one. (我喜歡桌上那頂帽子,但他喜歡綠色那一頂) (正)
  • I like the hat on the table but he likes the green. (誤)

若名詞片語中的名詞為不可數的物質名詞,那麼就不能使用 one(s) 了;所以,當兩個名詞片語不平行對稱時,該名詞必須重複寫出:

  • Do you prefer coffee with milk or Turkish coffee? (你比較喜歡牛奶咖啡還是土耳其咖啡呢?) (正)
    請注意:coffee with milk (牛奶咖啡),在英文中也叫做 white coffee,但 tea with milk (奶茶) 卻不能叫做 white tea。
  • Do you prefer coffee with milk or Turkish? (誤)
  • We ordered fish fried in butter and garlic but they served us steamed fish. (我們點了奶油蒜香煎魚,但他們卻端來蒸魚) (正)
  • We ordered fish fried in butter and garlic but they served us steamed. (誤)

試與下面文法正確的句子做比較:

  • Do you prefer Irish coffee or Turkish? (你比較喜歡愛爾蘭咖啡還是土耳其咖啡呢?)
  • We ordered fried fish but they served us steamed. (我們點了煎魚,但他們卻端來蒸魚)

Q:Such was his thirst that he drank up the whole bottle of water. 這句的意義為何?

A:這句意為「他很渴,把整瓶水都喝光了」,是 His thirst was such that he drank up the whole bottle of water. 的倒裝句,屬於用來表示前因後果的 “such… that”、”so… that” (如此…以致於) 的句型應用。注意:so 後面要接形容詞或副詞 (so 為副詞),而 such 後面要接名詞或名詞片語 (such 為限定詞) 或不接名詞 (such 為代名詞)。我們可用 so… that 來加以改寫為 He was so thirsty that he drank up the whole bottle of water.。

同樣地,我們也可將 so 移到句首來強調表示事件之原因的形容詞,此時句子亦同樣要倒裝:So thirsty was he that he drank up the whole bottle of water.。再舉一例來加深讀者對這種句型的印象:

  • He was so surprised that he remained speechless for a few minutes. (他驚訝得好幾分鐘說不出話來) (正常句)
    = So surprised was he that he remained speechless for a few minutes. (倒裝句)
    = His surprise was such that he remained speechless for a few minutes. (正常句)
    = Such was his surprise that he remained speechless for a few minutes. (倒裝句)

Prejudice (n., v.), prejudiced (adj.), prejudicial (adj.)

Prejudice 這個名詞的意思可以是「成見,偏見,歧視」也可以是「偏愛,偏袒」,而當動詞用的 prejudice 也同樣有這兩個正好相反的意思,所以在上下文中必須明確指出所指的是那個意思,因為若未明示,prejudice 通常被視為是在表達「成見,偏見,歧視」的意思。此外,當名詞用的 prejudice 還意為「損害,侵害,不利」。我們經常耳聞的「種族歧視」,英文就是 racial prejudice — 亦可用形容詞 racially prejudiced 來表示。

當動詞用的 prejudice 意為「使抱偏見,使懷成見」,幾乎都是與直接受詞或反身代名詞連用,其後再接 against, toward(s) 或 in favor of — 但接 in favor of 的情況非常罕見:His nagging prejudiced the children against [toward(s)] him. (他的嘮叨使孩子們對他懷有成見);His unfortunate experience prejudiced himself against [in favor of] all lawyers. (他的不幸經歷使他對所有律師產生偏見)。此外,當動詞用的 prejudice 還意為「對…不利;損害,侵害」:I don’t want to prejudice your chances in any way. (我決不想破壞你的機會)。

當名詞用的 prejudice 也與上述介系詞連用,同樣地與 in favor of 連用的情況非常罕見:Her prejudices against [toward(s), in favor of] Italian cooking are well known. (她對義大利菜的偏見眾所周知)。再者,當它意為「損害,侵害,不利」時,其後是接介系詞 to,尤其是在 without prejudice to 這個片語中:The attorney argued that the decision involved prejudice to his client. (律師論辯說這一裁決侵害了他的委託人);We accept this interim settlement, without prejudice to our claim for a full settlement later on. (我們同意這一臨時解決辦法,但保留我們今後要求全面解決的權利)。

Prejudiced 意為「有成見的,有偏見的」:prejudiced views/attitudes (帶有成見的看法/態度)。其後若接介系詞,通常接 against:His reporting was clearly based and prejudiced against the homeless. (他的報導顯然有失偏頗,對遊民有所偏見)。Prejudicial 意為「不利的,有害的:引起偏見的」,通常接介系詞 to,但有時接 toward(s):Too much smoking is prejudicial to health. (抽太多菸對健康有害);Her remarks were openly prejudicial toward(s) foreigners. (她的談話是公然歧視外國人)。

Leave, let, leave (me) alone, let (me) alone

Leave 和 let 有個意思是重疊的,即「讓;允許」,但這往往造成一項用法問題:
leave me alone 和 let me alone 都是正規英語,兩者均意為「別打擾我」或「走開,我想要一個人靜一靜」。let + 代名詞 + 不帶 to 的不定詞 (即原形動詞) 是正規用法,如 Let me go. (讓我走吧);Let them find us. (讓他們來找我們)。但 leave 在此結構中則是非正規用法,所以像 Leave me go. 和 Leave them find us. 這樣的句子通常僅用在幽默場合。然而,如果 leave 後面使用帶 to 的不定詞,那麼這結構就是正規英語,不過意思略有不同:Leave me to go. (離我而去);Leave them to find us. (交由他們來找我們)。

Leave sb to do sth 意為「留給或交給 (某人) 去做 (某事);留下 (某人) 繼續做某事」:I’ll leave you to buy the tickets. (我將把買票的事交給你辦);I’ll leave you to get on with your book. (我會讓你繼續看你的書)。這個句型還有一些變化,如 leave sth to sb 或 leave sb to sth:Don’t worry, just leave everything to me. (別擔心,就把一切交給我好了);I’ll leave you to your crossword puzzle. (我會讓你留下繼續做你的填字遊戲)。所以,I’ll leave you to buy the tickets. 可改為 I’ll leave it to you to buy the tickets. (句中的 it = to buy the tickets) 或 I’ll leave buying the tickets to you. — 最後這一句是將不定詞片語改為動名詞片語,放在 leave 後面當受詞,符合 leave sth to sb 的句型。

最後要提的是,let me alone 意為「別打擾我」,但 let alone 的意思卻是「遑論:更不用說 (用來表示接著提到的事情更不可能)」,兩者不可混淆,如 The baby can’t even walk, let alone run. (這嬰兒連路都不會走,更談不上跑了) — let alone 和主句之間要用逗點隔開。至於 leave alone,一般都以 leave sb/sth alone 的型態出現,因此意思並無變化,但 leave sth alone 意為「任其自然不予理會;不去動它」:Leave that ornament alone; you might break it. (別動那件裝飾品;你可能會弄壞它)。

Identify

除了「認出;辨認;確認;指認」的意思外,identify 還意為「認為與 (某人) 有關連;(在思想或感情上) 認同 (某人);理解並同情 (某人) 的感受,感同身受」,如 Most young readers identified (or identified themselves) with the heroine of the novel. (大多數年輕讀者都與小說中的那個女主人公感同身受)。這項用法導源於心理分析領域,因此有特定的專業意思,但與其他來自該領域的用語一樣,當它被做更廣泛的應用時,一般大多視之為術語。尤有甚者,一些持批評態度的人士堅稱,就此意思而言,這個動詞通常用作不及物動詞,因此不能接反身代名詞。

然而,近年來,identify 與介系詞 with 連用的不及物動詞用法或接反身代名詞再接 with 的及物動詞用法都已是正規英語。例如:Reading the book, I find it hard to identify (or identify myself) with the main character/with the main character’s struggle. (閱讀這本書,我發現自己難以跟書中主人公有同感 [認同主人公的鬥爭])。至於意為「認出;辨認;確認;指認」的及物動詞用法,這動詞也是正規英語:He identified the dead woman as his wife. (他認出死者是他的太太);He identified the wallet as his. (他認出那個錢包是他的) — 注意這項意思的 identify 經常與介系詞 as 連用。

The likes of, the like of

幾乎所有字典都將 the likes of 和 the like of 視為同義的片語 (意為「…樣的人或物」),但它們的語意其實並不完全相同。the likes of 有兩個意思:一為正面、恭維的意思,如 I was seated with the likes of two deans and a provost — VIPs all. (我跟兩位院長和一位教務長 – 皆為重要人物 – 這樣的人坐在一起);另一為貶抑、輕蔑的意思,如 I won’t associate with the likes of him. (我不會結交像他這樣的人),I doubt they’d give one of those jobs to the likes of us. (我懷疑他們會把那其中一份工作給我們這樣的人)。從上面的例句似乎可以看出,the likes of 後面若接有一定社會地位或受人敬重的人,它表示的是正面的意思,但若接代名詞當受詞,則它是個貶義之詞。

與 the likes of 後面可以接單數或複數名詞或代名詞不同的是,the like of 後面通常只接單數名詞或代名詞當受詞,而且無論是接名詞或代名詞都沒有貶低、輕蔑的意思,甚至是在表示地位、能力等方面相同的意思,如 Will we ever see the like of Mozart again? (我們還會再見到莫札特那樣的天才嗎?),I don’t know where you’d find the like of him. (我不知道你要到哪裡才能找到能與他匹敵的人了);再者,the like of someone/something 這個慣用語更常被寫成 someone’s/something’s like,所以上句更常被寫成 I don’t know where you’d find his like.。someone’s/something’s like 意為「能與某人匹敵者/能與某物相比的東西」。然而,the likes of someone/something 卻不能寫成 someone’s/something’s likes,因為 someone’s likes and dislikes 的意思是「某人的好惡」,亦即某人喜歡和不喜歡的事物。

Possessed

Possessed 後面通常接介系詞 of, by 或 with。這個過去分詞形容詞與 of 連用時意為「擁有」(have):She was possessed of a large estate. (他過去擁有許多資產);That child is possessed of a sharp tongue. (那個小孩說話很刻薄)。possessed 和 of 之間可插入反身代名詞,但此時意為「弄到;找到」(get hold of):She possessed herself of her daughter’s diary. (她自己找到她女兒的日記)。possessed 與 by 或 with 連用時意為「瘋狂的;著魔的;鬼迷心竅的」:The prosecutor described him as a man possessed by (or with) an urge to kill. (檢察官形容他是個有瘋狂的殺人衝動的男子)。

必須注意的是,雖然 possessed 是 possess (擁有,持有) 的過去分詞,但在 He was possessed by an urge to kiss her. (他有一種難以自持的衝動想要吻她) 這樣的句子中,be possessed by 並非 possess 的被動結構,因為 possess 雖是及物動詞但卻不能用於被動態。例如,我們可以說 The criminal possessed three guns. (這罪犯擁有三把槍),但卻不能說 Three guns were possessed by the criminal.。英文中還有一些及物動詞跟 possess 一樣是沒有被動態的,如 lack (缺乏)、suit (適合)、last (維持)、cost (花費) 等。

Decline (v.)

如果某人要給你某樣東西,你可以婉拒該項提供 (to decline the offer),或者如果有人請你做某事,你也可以拒絕去做 (to decline to do something)。但你絕不能說你婉拒汽車或房子的貸款 (to decline the loan) 或婉拒借款 (to decline the lending or borrowing)。說得更明確一點,這裡所談的 decline 意為「婉拒,謝絕」,後面可接名詞當受詞或接帶 to 的不定詞;然而,decline 後面的名詞一般都是接 offer (提供;提議)、invitation (邀請) 或其他類似的名詞,不能接實物或實體的名詞:We asked her to the reception, but she declined the invitation. (我們請她參加招待會,但她謝絕了邀請)。She declined to have lunch with her friend, saying that she wasn’t feeling well. (她說她身體不舒服,婉拒了與她的朋友共進午餐)。

Decline 有一文法專用的意思,那就是「使 (形容詞、名詞或代名詞) 發生詞形或詞尾變化」,如 to decline a pronoun 意為「使該代名詞的詞形發生變化 (declension)」。

概念上的一致和文法上的一致

在英文中,有關主詞和動詞一致的問題頗為複雜,稍一不慎,很容易就搞混了。在 “Half” 一文中,筆者曾提到「概念上的一致」 (notional agreement or concord)這個名詞,為了讓大家對此有進一步的瞭解,因此再撰本文來加以闡述。事實上,英文的主詞和動詞一致有兩種,一種就是「概念上的一致」,另一是「文法上的一致」(grammatical agreement or concord)。

我們知道,複數名詞一般都有複數標記,即名詞後面的 s,代名詞也有單複數形式 (they, we, he, she…)。所謂文法上的一致,就是動詞和主詞 (或代名詞及其先行詞) 在單數、複數形式上保持一致。所謂概念上的一致,就是動詞的單數或複數取決於主詞所表達的概念或意思,而不是取決於表面的語法標記。就文法上的一致而言,單數的名詞、代名詞、不定詞、動名詞以及子句作主詞時,動詞要用單數。例如:To work hard is necessary.;Mary is a good girl.;The dog is very big. 等等。複數的名詞、代名詞等要用複數動詞。例如: These girls are my students.;They have lived here for five years.

在討論概念上的一致之前,我們先來看 committee 這個字。如果你把 committee 視為一個整體,即「委員會」,那麼其後要接單數動詞,如 The committee has its own regulations. (這委員會有它自己的規定);如果你把 committee 視為組成該委員會的委員,那麼其後要接複數動詞,如 The committee have their own duties. (委員會的委員都有他們的執掌)。由此可知,「概念」的不同會造成主詞和動詞一致上的不同。英式英語和美式英語的「概念」經常會有很大的差異,以 government 和球隊名稱為例,英式英語將其視為複數,而美式英語則視為單數。例如:(英式英語) The government have decided to issue consumption vouchers. (政府已決定發放消費券),Manchester United are ahead, three to nil. (曼徹斯特聯合隊現在以3比0領先);(美式英語) The government has decided to issue consumption vouchers.,Manchester United is ahead, three to nil.。

此外,My admiration and love for her is without limit. (我對她的愛慕無窮無盡 – 若為文法上的一致,is 應改為 are) 和 Everybody has their own freedom of speech. (每個人都有言論自由 – 若為文法上的一致,their 應改為 he or she) 等這類美式英語的句子,也是典型的概念上的一致。然而,並非每個人都能接受概念上的一致,有人甚至批評這種用法上的問題。誠然,正式的書面英語往往盡量避免概念上的一致,以免落人口實。因此,筆者建議,寫作時最好嚴格遵守文法上的一致。

Included, including 和 inclusive (of)

Included 是形容詞,意為「包括在內的;被包括的」,用在名詞和代名詞之後。例如:All of us, me included, are teachers. (包括我在內,我們都是老師)。

Including 是介系詞,意為「(其中) 包括」,用在名詞和代名詞之前。例如:All of us are teachers, including me. (包括我在內,我們都是老師/我們都是老師,其中包括我在內);I’m ordering some extra office equipment, including a new printer. (我即將訂購一些額外的辦公室設備,包括一台新的印表機)。

Inclusive 是形容詞,意為「包括在內的」,用在名詞和代名詞之後。例如:The rent is NTD 6,000 inclusive. (包括水電等一切費用在內,房租為台幣6000元)。Inclusive 後面常接 of,此時其用法與 including 等量齊觀。例如:All of us are teachers, including me. = All of us are teachers, inclusive of me.

值得注意的是,在英式英語中,inclusive 經常被用來表示「所有數目或首末兩日包括在內的」意思,如 Monday to Friday inclusive (從星期一到星期五,首尾兩天 — 即星期一和星期五 — 包括在內),但美式英語則使用 through 來表達 inclusive 的意思,如 Monday through Friday (從星期一到星期五,首尾兩天 — 即星期一和星期五 — 包括在內)。

Included, including 和 inclusive (of) 的相反詞分別為 excluded, excluding 和 exclusive (of),用法相同,只是意思變成相反的「除…之外;不包括」。再舉數例來說明它們的用法 (請注意它們在句中的位置):

All on the plane were lost, including the crew. (包括機組人員在內,機上所有人都失蹤了)
= All on the plane were lost, the crew included.
= All on the plane were lost, inclusive of the crew.
= Including the crew, all on the plane were lost.

The hotel charges $5,000 a day, excluding meals. (這家飯店一天索費5000元,其中並不包括三餐)
= The hotel charges $5,000 a day, meals excluded.
= The hotel charges $5,000 a day, exclusive of meals.

All of us, me included, were invited. (包括我在內,我們所有人都受到邀請)
= All of us, including me, were invited.
= They invited all of us, inclusive of me.

The rent is $10,000 inclusive. (包括一切費用在內,房租為10000元)
= The rent is $10,000 inclusive of everything.