倒裝句型

倒裝句 (inversion) 就是正常詞序顛倒的句子,其中以主詞和動詞順序對調的情況最為普遍。所以,英文中最常見的倒裝句就是問句。總的來說,陳述句為正常詞序,即「主詞 + 動詞 (片語)」,而問句為倒裝句,詞序變成「BE 動詞 + 主詞」、「Can、Will 或 Would 等語氣助動詞 + 主詞」或「Do、Does、Did 或其他助動詞 + 主詞」。例如:

  • John is writing an email. (約翰正在寫電子郵件)
    Is John writing an email? (約翰正在寫電子郵件嗎?)
  • Mary would like to go to the concert. (瑪麗想去聽那場演唱會)
    Would Mary like to go to the concert? (瑪麗想去聽那場演唱會嗎?)
  • They like to play the piano. (他們喜歡彈鋼琴)
    Do they like to play the piano? (他們喜歡彈鋼琴嗎?)
  • He has been invited. (他已接到邀請)
    Has he been invited? (他接到邀請了嗎?)

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如何強調句中的元素(二)

The thing, the one/only/first thing, something

The thing

我們可以用 the thing (+ 形容詞子句) 當主詞,後接 BE 動詞 (is 或 was) 來強調 BE 動詞後面的元素 (即主詞補語)。這與 Wh-分裂句的作用一樣,但比較不是那麼正式。例如:

  • The thing I love about John is his loyalty to his wife. (我喜歡約翰的一點是,他對他太太的忠誠)
    = What I love about John is his loyalty to his wife.

即使被強調的元素為複數,BE 動詞亦用單數,因為 the thing 是單數名詞。例如:

  • The thing I like most about Penghu is the historic sites. (我最喜歡澎湖的地方是歷史古蹟)
    = What I like most about Penghu is the historic sites.

BE 動詞後面要強調的元素也可以是連接詞 that 所引導的名詞子句。在非正式情況中,有人會將 that 省略,但筆者期期以為不可,因為這是錯誤的文法。例如:

  • The thing you need to remember is that you’ve lent James 50,000 dollars. (你必須記住的是,你已借給詹姆斯五萬元) (正)
    = What you need to remember is that you’ve lent James 50,000 dollars. (正)
  • The thing you need to remember is you’ve lent James 50,000 dollars. (誤)

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No longer, not any longer

No longer 和 not any longer 均意為「不再」,一般視之為同義詞,但 no longer 比較正式。例如:

  • I could stand John’s rudeness no longer. (我無法再忍受約翰的粗魯無禮)
  • I couldn’t stand John’s rudeness any longer. (我不能再忍受約翰的粗魯無禮)

No longer 和 not any longer 的反義詞為 still。例如:

  • She no longer works here. (她已不在這裡工作)
  • She doesn’t work here any longer. (她已不在這裡工作)
  • She still works here. (她仍在這裡工作)

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Q:”In came John.” 這句的意思是「約翰進來了」。這也是一種倒裝句嗎?

A:沒錯,這是一種倒裝句。但一般我們所見到的倒裝句大多屬於否定副詞或副詞片語被提到句首時,主詞與動詞的順序對調的倒裝;這種倒裝句跟問句一樣,係將 BE 動詞、語氣助動詞、have/has/had 或 do/does/did (當主動詞為一般動詞時) 等助動詞挪到主詞的前面。至於這些會導致句子倒裝的否定副詞或副詞片語包括 never, nowhere, no sooner. not only, neither, nor, no more, no longer, seldom, only, hardly, scarcely , barely, rarely, little, under/in no circumstances, on no account, by no means, in no way 等等。例如:

  • Never have I seen such a wicked man. (我從未見過這樣邪惡的人)
  • On no account must this employee be removed. (這個員工決不可以被解雇)
  • No sooner had I left than the rain began to come. (我剛離開雨就開始下了)
  • Very seldom do these solutions meet the needs of old people. (這些解決方案鮮少符合老人的需要)

倒裝句的目的在於「強調」(emphatic),加強語氣。倒裝句大多用在正式寫作或文學中,平常的談話或寫作鮮少使用倒裝句。例如:

  • Never have I read a more curious book. (我從未讀過一本更奇怪的書了) (比較正式)
  • I have never read a more curious book. (比較不正式)

問題的句子可謂另一種倒裝句型;不過,這種也是基於修辭需要的倒裝句僅用於 in, out, up, down, round, over, back 等表示運動方向的副詞被置於句首的情況,而且這種倒裝句不使用助動詞,而是直接將主動詞挪到主詞的前面。例如:

  • Up jumped the puppy. (小狗跳起來)
  • Out came my boss and his secretary. (我老闆和他的秘書出來了)
  • Down fell the rotten branches from the tree. (腐枝從樹上掉下來)

然而,當主詞為代名詞時,句子就不倒裝了。例如:

  • Out you go, you little rascal! (你出去,你這個小搗蛋鬼!)
  • So down to the basement I went. (於是我就下去地下室了)

Q:在 You may well say so. 這句中,may well 的意思為何? 另外,may/might (just) as well 和 may/might as well…as 的意思又是為何?

A:may/might well 意為「很可能;儘可,有足夠理由」,如 She may/might well refuse to speak to you. (她很可能拒絕跟你說話);You may/might well say so. (= You have good/enough reason to say so.) (你有足夠的理由這麼說)。這種句型也可變成倒裝句,如 She may well refuse to speak to you. 可以變成 Well may she refuse to speak to you. — 請注意詞序。再舉一例:Well may you ask why! (你儘可以問原因啊)。

再者,你可能會見到 might well + have + P.P. 的句型,這僅意為「很可能」,它的用途主要有二:(1) 在與過去事實相反的假設語氣中用於結果子句,如 We lost the baseball match, but we might well have won if one of our players hadn’t been hurt. (我們輸了這場棒球賽,但如果我們有個球員不受傷的話,我們很可能會贏);(2) 對過去所發生事情的推測,如 Your mother might well have been looking for you. (你媽媽很可能一直在找你)。注意:在否定句中,NOT 是位在 “well” 之後 (意為「很可能不」),如 You may well not recognize him. (你很可能認不出他了)。

may/might (just) as well (= had better/best) 意為「最好 (還是);還是…的好」,如 You may/might as well not fool around all day long. (= You had better/best not fool around all day long.) (你最好別整天遊手好閒) — NOT 同樣位在 “well” 之後 (意為「最好不」);No one will eat the food; it may/might just as well be thrown away. (沒有人要吃這些食物,最好還是扔掉算了)。

may as well A as B 意為「與其 B 不如 A」。
might as well A as B 意為「做 B 等於做 A」。例如:

  • One may as well not know a thing at all as know it imperfectly. (與其一知半解不如完全不知)
  • We might as well negotiate with a tiger for its hide as try to make peace with the Chinese Communists. (與中共謀和無異於與虎謀皮)

Q:在省略 if 的條件句中,若為否定形式,好像不能將 “had not” 縮寫後移到句首 (如不能將 Had it not been… 寫成 Hadn’t it been…),這是否屬實?

A:沒錯! 英文的條件句有三種情況可以省略 if:當條件句的動詞部分含有 were (與現在事實相反)、had (與過去事實相反) 或 should (與未來事實相反 — 即假設的情況不太可能發生) 時,我們可將它們移到句首並省略 if,使句子變成倒裝句。例如:

  • If I were you, I wouldn’t do that.
    = Were I you, I wouldn’t do that. (如果我是你,就不會那麼做了)
  • If he had taken my advice, he might not have made such a bad mistake.
    = Had he taken my advice, he might not have made such a bad mistake. (要是他聽我的勸告,就不會犯這樣嚴重的錯誤了)
  • If I should have a chance to try it, I would do it in another way.
    = Should I have a chance to try it, I would do it in another way. (要是我有機會試一試,我會用另一種方法去做) — Should 係表示有機會一試的可能性微乎其微。
  • If we were to have children, we’d need to move to a bigger house.
    = Were we to have children, we’d need to move to a bigger house. (如果/要是將來有小孩,我們必須換一間較大的房子) –「were to + 原形動詞」是另一種與未來事實相反的條件句型。

如果條件句為否定形式,那麼在寫成倒裝句時,NOT 必須置於主詞的後面,不能將它與 were、had 或 should 縮寫後移到句首。例如:

  • Were she not my daughter, I’d have no hesitation in phoning the police. (如果她不是我女兒,我會毫不猶豫地打電話報警) (正)
  • Weren’t she my daughter, I’d have no hesitation in phoning the police. (誤)
  • Had it not rained last Saturday, we would’ve celebrated Tom’s birthday with a barbecue in the garden. (上週六要是沒下雨,我們會在花園烤肉慶祝湯姆的生日) (正)
  • Hadn’t it rained last Saturday, we would’ve celebrated Tom’s birthday with a barbecue in the garden. (誤)
  • Should you not wish to sign the contract, you must let them know before the end of June. (要是你不想簽約,你必須在六月底之前讓他們知道) (正)
  • Shouldn’t you wish to sign the contract, you must let them know before the end of June. (誤)

但如果將倒裝句改回正常的詞序,那麼 were、had 或 should 就可與 not 縮寫在一起。請看下面的例句 (其它條件句亦同):

  • If she weren’t my daughter, I’d have no hesitation in phoning the police and telling them about the crime that has been committed. (如果她不是我女兒,我會毫不猶豫地打電話報警,告訴警方她所犯的罪)

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)