Q:在下句中關係詞要用 which 還是 where 呢? My entire family now worships in the church (where or which) my great grandfather used to be a minister.

A:有不少人的確不知道如何在關係子句中使用正確的關係詞。關係詞可分為關係代名詞和關係副詞,前者包括 who, whom, whose, that, which,而後者是指 where (表示地點的副詞),when (表示時間的副詞) 和 why (表示原因的副詞)。My entire family now worships in the church (where or which) my great grandfather used to be a minister. (現在我們全家正在我曾祖父過去擔任牧師的教堂做禮拜) 這句應該使用 where 這個關係副詞,在此 where 修飾動詞 used to be,但 where 所引導的整個關係子句 (where my great grandfather used to be a minister) 則是修飾 church。

附帶一提的是,when 是用來修飾時間名詞,如 My favorite month is always February, when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. (我最喜愛的月份一直都是我們可以過情人節的二月),而 why 是用來修飾 reason 這個名詞,如 Do you know the reason why Mary isn’t in class today? (你知道瑪麗今天缺課的原因嗎?)

不過,我們有時會在這類子句中省略關係副詞 why。另外,許多寫作者在表示「原因」時往往使用 that 來代替 why,但 that 可以省略:Do you know the reason (that) Mary isn’t in class today?;I know the reason (that) men like motorcycles. (我知道男人喜歡機車的原因)。再者,why 跟 that 一樣不能引導非限制性的關係子句,所以像 I know the reason, why men like motorcycles. 這樣的句子是錯誤的。

然而,在關係子句中,我們該如何判斷在什麼情況下使用關係代名詞,又在什麼情況下使用關係副詞呢?

方法一:由關係子句的動詞來判斷 — 當該動詞為及物動詞,且其後沒有受詞時,須使用關係代名詞;若該動詞為不及物動詞,或為及物動詞,但其後有受詞時,則使用關係副詞。

  • This is the mountain village where I stayed last year. (正 — stay 為不及物動詞)
    (這是我去年停留的山村)
  • This is the mountain village where I visited last year. (誤 — visit 為及物動詞)
  • This is the mountain village (which) I visited last year. (正 — which 可省略)
    (這是我去年造訪的山村)
  • I’ll never forget the days when I worked together with you. (正 — work 為不及物動詞)
    (我永遠不會忘記和你一起工作的日子)
  • I’ll never forget the days when I spent in the countryside. (誤 — spend 為及物動詞)
  • I’ll never forget the days (which) I spent in the countryside. (正 — which 可省略)
    (我永遠不會忘記在農村生活的日子)

上面的句子 “My favorite month is always February, when we celebrate Valentines’ Day.” 是屬於「及物動詞,但其後有受詞」的情況。

方法二:由先行詞來判斷 — 當先行詞在關係子句中做主詞、受詞或修飾語時,須使用關係代名詞;當先行詞在關係子句中做副詞時,則使用關係副詞。

  • This is the museum which the exhibition was held. (誤 — 這句的先行詞 museum 在關係子句中不是當主詞或受詞,而是當副詞用,即 in the museum:The exhibition was held in the museum.)
  • This is the museum where the exhibition was held. (正)
  • This is the museum in which the exhibition was held. (正 — 因為 in the museum 的關係,在此 where = in which)
    (這是舉行展覽的博物館)