Q:一般被動態與 get 被動態有何不同呢?

A:及物動詞與動態動詞才有被動態,不及物動詞與狀態動詞 (如 become、seem 等連綴動詞) 沒有被動態。一般的被動態型態為 be + 過去分詞,而 get 被動態型態為 get + 過去分詞。例如:

  • Three people died and four were seriously/badly/severely injured in the crash. (車禍中有三人死亡四人受重傷) (一般被動態)
  • Three people died and four got seriously/badly/severely injured in the crash. (Get 被動態)

Get 被動態主要用在非正式口說英語中,通常用來談論負面或不想要的事件 (但並非總是如此)。這種被動態通常不帶「by + 動作執行者」,但這也不表示其後不能使用「by + 動作執行者」。例如:
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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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如何強調句中的元素(一)

英文使用下列結構和句型來強調句中的元素。

間接受詞與介詞片語

若要表示某人接受某物,我們可以使用典型的詞序:間接受詞 (indirect object) + 直接受詞 (direct object)。但若要強調接受者,則可使用介系詞片語來代替間接受詞。例如:

  • I gave my daughter an iPhone 7. (我送我女兒一支 iPhone 7 手機) - 典型的詞序:間接受詞 + 直接受詞。
  • I gave an iPhone 7 to my daughter. (我送一支 iPhone 7 手機給我女兒) - 非典型詞序:直接受詞 + 介詞片語。將介詞片語置於句末可對接受者 (間接受詞) 起強調作用。

在正式的上下文中,我們有時會將介詞片語置於句首以便強調直接受詞。例如:

  • For his wife, he bought a Mercedes Benz. (他買了一部賓士給他太太) - 這句係用來強調直接受詞 Mercedes Benz。

主動態與被動態
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Infect vs. infest

Infect 意為「(疾病、病菌) 傳染 (給人),感染;污染,使 (食物、空氣等) 遭到污染,散佈病毒於;(思想或情緒上) 感染或影響 (他人)」,如 Don’t come near me if you’ve got a cold. I don’t want to be infected. (如果你感冒了,那就不要靠近我。我不想被傳染);He was infected with HIV. (他感染了愛滋病毒);The flu virus infected almost the entire class. (全班幾乎都感染了流感病毒);The food was infected with unspecified viruses. (食物受到不明病毒的污染);An unspecified kind of virus infects word-processing files. (一種不明的病毒感染文書處理檔案);Amy infected the whole class with her optimism. (艾美的樂觀感染了全班)。

Infest 意為「(有害的、危險的、討厭的人、動物、昆蟲等) 大批出沒於,侵擾,騷擾 (某地)」,如 The entire house was infested with mice. / Mice infested the entire house. (整棟房子鼠滿為患);The mountains were infested with robbers. (山裡有大批盜賊出沒);Mosquitoes infested many places. (蚊子侵擾許多地方)。由 infest 衍生而來的 -infested 與名詞連用來構成形容詞,意為「大批出沒的,大量滋生的,侵擾的」,如 shark-infested waters (大批鯊魚出沒的水域);a crime-infested city (犯罪充斥的城市)。

從上面的例句可知,這兩個及物動詞常用被動態且與介系詞 with 連用。它們的名詞分別為 infection 和 infestation,前者意為「感染,傳染;傳染病」,後者意為「大批出沒,侵擾,騷擾」。

Catfish

Catfish 原意為「鯰魚;土虱」,但在 Facebook 等社群媒體以及其他交友網站和聊天室大行其道、甚至在近年來交友應用程式 (dating app) 被廣泛使用之後,這個字現在有了全新的意思,且可當名詞和動詞用。

Catfish 的新義是指在網路上以假名和假身份來騙取異性網友進行網交的人,但這些人的身份被拆穿後,頂多只是讓已經為他們或她們付出感情的網友傷心難過一陣子而已,與對異性網友進行騙財、騙色或兼而有之的「男蟲」或「女蟲」並不完全一樣,不可等量齊觀。Catfish 亦可當動詞用,意為「以假名和假身份來騙取異性網友進行網交」,通常用於被動態。
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Q:在英文報紙上看到 Winter is come! 這樣的句子。我想這個句子應該是對的,不然他們不會這麼寫。不過,我還是不懂,為什麼一個句子中可以把兩個動詞放在一起呢? 不是要寫成 Winter is coming. 嗎?

A:無論是 Winter is come. 還是 Winter is coming.,都是正確的句子,但意思不同。首先來看 Winter is coming.,其意為「冬天即將來臨」,這是用現在進行式來表示不久即將發生的事情。至於 Winter is come.,句中的 come 是過去分詞,當主詞補語,而不是現在式 (come 的動詞三態是:come, came, come),所以這句的意思是「冬天已來臨」或「冬天來了」。

有一個文法觀念必須建立,那就是:不管及物或是不及物動詞,它們的過去分詞都可以作形容詞用,當主詞補語。由於不及物動詞不能有被動態,所以就不及物動詞而言,「BE + P.P.」就相當於「have + P.P.」的主動完成式結構,意為「已經…」;至於及物動詞,由於「BE + P.P.」就是被動態,所以它相當於「have + been + P.P.」的被動完成式結構,意為「已經被…」。請看下面的例句:

  • Winter is come. (冬天來了)
    = Winter has come.
  • You can watch TV when your homework is completed. (作業做完後,你可以看電視)
    = You can watch TV when your homework has been completed.

Q:The criminal possessed three guns. 為何不能改成被動態的 Three guns were possessed by the criminal. 呢?

A:大家都知道,英文的被動語態是由 BE + 及物動詞的過去分詞所構成,換言之,不及物動詞是沒有被動態的。因此,有人便以為所有及物動詞都可用於被動態。其實不然,有些及物動詞並沒有相應的被動態。問題中的 possess 就是這樣一個沒有相應被動態的及物動詞。茲將一些比較常見的沒有被動態的及物動詞臚列如下,供大家參考。

1. 意為「擁有」、「容納」、「缺少」、「由… 組成,構成」的及物動詞,如 possess, hold, lack, comprise 等,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • Bill Gates possesses great wealth. (比爾蓋茲擁有大量財富)
    Great wealth is possessed by Bill Gates. (誤 — 因為 possess 不能用於被動態。以下錯誤的句子亦適用這項說明)
  • The cinema holds about 500. (這家電影院能容納約 500 人)
    About 500 are held by the cinema. (誤)
  • Mr. Wang usually lacks confidence. (王先生經常缺乏信心)
    Confidence is usually lacked by Mr. Wang. (誤)
  • The country comprises 26 provinces. (這國家有 26 個省/這國家由 26 個省所組成)
    Twenty-six provinces are comprised by the country. (誤)

2. 意為「適合」的及物動詞,如 become, fit, suit 等,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • This sort of behavior hardly becomes a person in your position. (這種行為與一個有你這樣地位的人簡直不相稱)
    A person in your position is hardly become by this sort of behavior. (誤)
  • That color really suits her. (那種顏色跟她真的很相配)
    She is really suited by that color. (誤)
  • This dress fits me very well. (這件衣服非常合我的身)
    I am fitted very well by this dress. (誤)

3. 意為「意味,意思是;相似,相像」的及物動詞,如 mean, resemble 等,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • The red light means “Stop”. (紅燈意味「停」)
    “Stop” is meant by the red light. (誤)
  • She resembles her sister in appearance but not in character. (她的外表像她姊姊,但個性不像)
    Her sister is resembled by her in appearance but not in character. (誤)

4. 意為「明白,理解,領會」的及物動詞,如 catch, get, take 等,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • I didn’t quite catch your last point. (我不太明白你說的最後一點)
    Your last point wasn’t quite caught by me. (誤)
  • She took me wrong. (她誤解了我的意思)
    I was taken wrong by her. (錯誤)

5. 意為「有、吃、接受、度過、經歷」等的及物動詞 have,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • I have three sons and two daughters. (我有三兒二女)
    Three sons and two daughters are had by me. (誤)
  • I have already had dinner. (我已吃過晚餐)
    Dinner has already been had by me. (誤)
  • We will have a good Spring Festival. (我們將會過一個愉快的春節)
    A good Spring Festival will be had by us. (誤)

6. 意為「維持,夠用」的及物動詞 last,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • This food will only last them three days. (這些食物只夠他們吃三天)
    They will only be lasted three days by this food. (誤)
  • This dress has lasted me three years. (這件衣服我已穿了三年)
    I have been lasted three years by this dress. (誤)

7. 意為「價值,花費」的及物動詞 cost,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • The house cost me a lot of money. (這棟房子花了我很多錢)
    I was cost a lot of money by the house. (誤)

8. 意為「(不幸事件) 發生於,降臨在」的及物動詞 befall,不能用於被動態。例如:

  • Some misfortune must have befallen them. (某種災禍必定已降臨在他們頭上)
    They must have been befallen by some misfortune. (誤)

Replace, substitute (vv.)

Replace 意為「取代,代替;更換,替換」,而 substitute 意為「取代;代替」,但這兩者並非同義詞,因為它們的用法並不相同。replace 僅當及物動詞用,而 substitute 則可當及物和不及物動詞,如 He’ll have to replace those tires; they’re badly worn. (他必須更換那些輪胎;它們磨損得太厲害了);George has replaced John as captain of the team. (喬治接替約翰當了隊長);Susan is ill and Laura is to substitute her. (蘇珊病了,羅拉將代替她);George has substituted as captain of the team. (喬治代任隊長)。

這兩個動詞最大的差異在於其後所接的介系詞,replace 後面可接 with 或 by (尤其是在被動態中),而 substitute 都是接 for,如 We’ve replaced old calculators with/by computers. (我們已用電腦取代了舊式的計算機);Her photograph was replaced by his painting. (她的照片被他的畫取代了);Home-made parts are being substituted for imported ones. (國產零件取代進口零件)。

必須注意的是,許多人搞不清楚這兩個字在上下文中的替代關係:to replace A with/by B 意為「用 B 來替換 A」,亦即 A 被 B 所取代,而 to substitute A for B (or A be substituted for B) 意為「用 A 來替換 B」,亦即 B 被 A 所取代。例如:

I replaced her photograph with/by his painting. (我用他的畫代替她的照片)。
= I substituted his painting for her photograph.
= Her photograph was replaced by his painting.
= His painting replaced her photograph.
= His painting was substituted for her photograph.

儘管目前 substitute 被用來代替 replace 的情況有越來越多的趨勢,但謹慎的人士仍堅守並維持它們之間的不同。

Q:我想要知道 be to 的用法,如 I’m to sleep on the sofa tonight. (今晚我將睡沙發)。

A:be to 是一種未來式。這種句型相當、相當常用,但它們所表示的意義不盡相同,因此有必要加以徹底瞭解,俾掌握其應用的精髓。「be to + 不定詞」在實際的應用上有下列幾項主要意思,而每項意思都很常見:

1. 表示正式的計畫或安排。

  • The Prime Minister is to make a state visit to Haiti next week. (總理下週將到海地進行國是訪問)
  • We are to receive a pay raise in line with inflation in September. (我們將在9月加薪以因應通貨膨脹)

2. 表示不久的將來幾乎肯定會發生的事件 — 通常用在報紙、電視和電台的新聞報導中。

  • A man is to appear in court later this morning charged with the murder of his father, mother, and wife. (一名被控殺害自己父母親和老婆的男子今天上午稍後將出庭應訊)
  • Work is to begin this week on the new bridge across the Nile. (尼羅河的新跨河大橋將在本週動工興建)

3. 表示別人給我們的正式指示,父母親或其他長輩給小孩的指示,或各種不同的指示、通知和公告。

在這項用法中,經常會出現否定的型態,即 be not to,這種否定型態都是表示「不許,不准,不可」(be not allowed to 或 be not permitted to) 的意思,相當於 mustn’t,但它所表示的「不許,不准,不可」是別人對我們所施加的「不許,不准,不可」。至於在肯定句中,be to 具有 have to (必須) 的意思。

  • You are not to leave the school until your parents arrive to collect you. (在你父母親來接你之前,你不可離開學校)
  • We’re not to smoke in the office. (我們不准在辦公室抽菸)
  • I’m to clean up my room before I’m allowed to go out. (我必須清掃房間後才可外出)
  • We are to look after our neighbors’ dog while they are away. (我們必須在鄰居不在時照顧他們的狗兒)

在給予指示時,我們常常會見到「be to + 被動態不定詞 (be + P.P.)」的用法;藥瓶上的用藥指示以及其他正式公告都是使用這樣的句型:

  • (The medicine is) To be taken three times a day after meals. (每天三餐飯後服用)
  • No food of any kind is to be taken into the examination room. (不准攜帶任何食物進入考場)

4. be to 亦經常用在條件句中來談論某種先決條件 (precondition)。

  • If we are to catch that train, we shall have to leave now. (如果我們要趕上那班火車,我們必須馬上動身)
  • If we are to solve the world’s pollution problems, we must address environmental issues now. (如果我們要解決世界污染問題,我們現在必須解決環保問題)

5. be to 後面亦可使用完成式不定詞 (have + P.P.) 來表示過去計畫好或安排好的事情沒有實現或發生 — 所以這裡的 BE 動詞只能用 was/were。這相當於在口語上用得比較多的 was/were supposed to。

  • I was to have gone on holiday with Miss Lin, but she couldn’t get time off work. (我原本要和林小姐去度假,但她無法請假)
    = I was supposed to go on holiday with Miss Lin, but she couldn’t get time off work.

Born, borne (past participle, adj.)

Bear 是個相當常用的動詞,主要意為「忍受,忍耐,容忍 (通常用於否定或疑問句);帶有,具有,印有,寫有,刻有;運送,攜帶;(對某人) 懷有 (某種感受,如懷恨);生 (孩子)」。bear 的過去式為 bore,過去分詞為 borne,但作「生,生育」(to give birth) 之意時,它的過去分詞則有兩種型態:born 和 borne。

當 bear 意為「生,生育」時,born 都用在沒有 by 的被動態且當分詞形容詞用,如 He was born in Japan. (他在日本出生);The twins were born on February 15, 1969. (這對雙胞胎生於 1969 年 2 月 15 日);The baby was born to a very young woman. (這嬰兒是一位年紀非常輕的女子所生);Amy was born into a large/wealthy family. (艾美出生於一個大家庭/富裕家庭) — 請注意上面四個例句中介系詞 (in, on, to 和 into) 的用法。當形容詞用的 born 除了「出生的,誕生的」意思外,還意為「天生的,生來就有的,有天才的,命中注定的」,如 She was considered a born movie star. (她被視為天生的電影明星);He is a born leader/writer. (他是天生領袖/天才作家);She was born to succeed. (她命中注定會成功的)。注意:當 born 意為「出生的」時,be born to 後接名詞或名詞片語 (to 為介系詞),而當 born 意為「命中注定的」時,be born to 後接原形動詞 (to 為不定詞)。

當 bear 意為「生,生育」時,borne 僅當過去分詞用,主詞都是 mother, woman 或 she,如 The woman has borne three sons. (這位女人已生了三個兒子),She had borne six children. (她生過六個小孩),而且只能用於主動態,換言之,上面的例句 The baby was born to a very young woman. 不可寫成 The baby was borne to a very young woman.。

如上所述,在 bear 的其他意思上,不管動詞是主動還是被動,它的過去分詞恆為 borne,如 He has borne a grudge for many years. (他已懷恨多年);They had borne enough pain. (他們已忍受了過多的痛苦);The prisoner’s story was borne out by his wife. (那囚犯的供述為他的妻子所證實);The following points should be borne in mind. (下列要點要記住)。to bear out 和 bear in mind 都是常用的片語,前者意為「證實,為…作證,支持 (某種說法)」,後者意為「記住;考慮」。事實上,borne 亦可當形容詞用,但僅用在 “be borne in on/upon somebody” 這片語以及與名詞連用所構成的形容詞中,前者意為「為某人所意識到;為某人所瞭解」,後者意為「由…所攜帶的;由…所傳播的」:Slowly it was borne in on the citizens that the enemy had surrounded them. (市民漸漸意識到敵人已經包圍了他們);Some plants have windborne seeds. (有些植物靠風傳播種子);Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease. (瘧疾是由蚊子傳播的疾病);airborne pollution (空氣傳播的污染);airborne supply (空中補給);airborne troops ( 空降部隊)。

拼字錯誤的情況經常發生,尤其是當 bear 意為「生,生育」而用法是被動態或形容詞時,born 往往被誤寫成 borne。