Q: while 和 however 都意為「然而,不過」,但在 My room is small. However, it’s very comfortable. 中,為何 however 不能用 while 來替換呢?

A:這是因為 while 是連接詞,而 however 是副詞。若將 small 後面的句點改為逗點,那麼 however 就要換成 while (或 whereas) 且不能再使用 however,此時句子就變成 My room is small, while it’s very comfortable. (我的房間不大,不過它很舒適)。若將 small 後面的句點改為分號 (;),那麼 however 就不能用 while (或 whereas) 來替換,且 however 須小寫,此時句子就變成 My room is small; however, it’s very comfortable.。

如果將副詞 however 誤以為是連接詞,而將上面的句子寫成 My room is small, however it’s very comfortable.,那麼這就成了英文中所謂的「連寫句」(run-on sentences),即兩個子句之間未用連接詞或錯用標點符號的句子。連寫句是許多人常犯的錯誤,避免錯誤的方法就是熟記下列規則:當一個句子含有兩個 (或以上的) 子句時,其中一個子句就必須使用連接詞。若這兩個子句都是獨立子句 (independent clauses),那麼要使用 and, or, but, so 等對等連接詞,或者不用連接詞而用正確的標點符號,即分號。若這兩個子句一為獨立子句、一為附屬子句 (dependent or subordinate clauses),那麼附屬子句的前面須使用 though, because, while, when, if 等附屬連接詞。請看下面的例句和說明:

  • Rachel played the piano and her husband sang and danced. (瑞秋彈著鋼琴,她先生載歌載舞) (正)
    - 兩個獨立子句用對等連接詞 and 連接起來。
  • Rachel played the piano; her husband sang and danced. (正)
    - 兩個獨立子句用分號連接。在此,分號的功能與 and 等量齊觀,而分號後面第一個字母須小寫。不過,分號應盡量少用,而且只有當兩個獨立子句在長度和意思上關係非常密切且具有良好的對等關係時才使用。
  • Rachel played the piano, her husband sang and danced. (誤)
    - 這是兩個子句之間未用連接詞或錯用標點符號的連寫句。
  • Cindy likes coffee while Mary likes tea. (辛蒂喜歡喝咖啡,而瑪麗喜歡喝茶) (正)
    - 這兩個子句一為獨立子句、一為附屬子句,附屬子句前使用附屬連接詞 while。
  • Cindy likes coffee, Mary likes tea. (誤)
    - 這是兩個子句之間未用連接詞的連寫句。
  • While/Whilst Dean likes the color of the hat, he does not like its shape. (雖然狄恩喜歡這頂帽子的顏色,但他不喜歡它的形狀) (正)
    - 這兩個子句一為獨立子句、一為附屬子句,附屬子句前使用附屬連接詞 while/whilst。
  • Dean likes the color of the hat; however, he does not like its shape. (正)
    - 雖然 however 是副詞,但分號等同於連接詞。
  • Dean likes the color of the hat, however he does not like its shape. (誤)
    - 這是連寫句,因為 however 是副詞,不是連接詞。
  • Some people like fatty meat, whereas others hate it. (有些人喜歡肥肉,而有些人卻不喜歡) (正)
    - 這兩個子句一為獨立子句、一為附屬子句,附屬子句前使用附屬連接詞 whereas。
  • Some people like fatty meat; nevertheless, others hate it. (正)
    - 這兩個子句用分號連接。分號等同於連接詞。
  • Some people like fatty meat, nevertheless others hate it. (誤)
    - 這是連寫句,因為 nevertheless 是副詞,不是連接詞。

While 意為「然而,不過 (位在句中時);雖然,儘管 (位在句首時)」的連接詞用法,係在強調兩個子句中所表示的兩個事實或兩種情況的對比或差異。與其相當的連接詞還有 whilst 和 whereas,但 whilst 主要用在英式英語中,且其引導的附屬子句都位在主要子句之前,而 whereas 引導的附屬子句都位在主要子句之後。

至於 however 意為「然而,不過」的副詞用法,係在表示轉折或對比,與其相當的副詞或片語還有 nevertheless 和 on the other hand 等。不過,however 不僅能位於句首 (其後通常有逗點),而且還能位於句中 (前後須使用逗點),甚至句末 (其前也要有逗點)。以問題中的句子為例:

  • My room is small. However, it’s very comfortable.
  • My room is small; however, it’s very comfortable.
  • My room is small. It is, however, very comfortable.
  • My room is small. It’s very comfortable, however.

Q:although 和 though 位在句首時,用法有何不同?

A:位在句首時,這兩個字用法相同,都是當附屬連接詞用,意為「雖然,儘管」,它們幾乎可以互換;隨個人的喜好和習慣,你可以使用其中任何一個字。

但 though 還可以當副詞用,意為「不過,然而,可是」,而 although 則沒有這種用法。though 在這種副詞用法中不能放在句首,只能放在句中 (它的前後通常各用一個逗點來與句子其他部分隔開) 和句末:He’s a bad manager. There’s no reason, though, to dismiss him. (他是個差勁的經理,但沒有理由因此將他免職);It’s hard work; I enjoy it though. (這是件苦差事,不過我倒很樂意做)。

此外,在 as though (= as if:好像,彷彿) 和 even though (= though:雖然,儘管) 等連接詞中,我們也只能用 though,不可使用 although。

Q:Such experience as I have is useless in this situation. (我的這種經驗在此情況下派不上用場) 這句中的 “as” 是當什麼詞用?

A:這個 as 是當 (準) 關係代名詞用。要特別注意的是,這個 as 千萬不可用 that 來代替,否則意思就不一樣了,因為 “such + 名詞片語 + that” 是在表示「因果」(cause and effect) 的關係,而 that 所引導的是結果子句;茲舉一例來說明之:

  • This book is written in such easy English as beginners can understand. (這本書是以初學者所能理解的簡易英文寫成的 — as 為關係代名詞)
  • This book is written in such easy English that beginners can understand it. (這本書是以簡易的英文寫成,所以初學者都能瞭解 — that 為附屬連接詞)

所以,像 Such honesty that he showed is rare in a politician nowadays. (他所展現的這種誠實作風在現今的政治人物中純屬希罕) 這樣的句子是錯誤的,其中 that 應改為 as。

另外,”the same… as” 若其後接子句,這個 as 也是當關係代名詞用,不過我們可以用 that 來代替它。例如 (下面兩句的結構和意思完全相同,亦即 that 也是關係代名詞):

  • Could I have the same room as I had last time? (我可以住我上次住過的那個房間?)
  • Could I have the same room that I had last time?

As well as

As well as 可當附屬連接詞和介系詞用,當連接詞時,它是標準英語,意為「和…一樣」:You know as well as I that he’s a fool. (你和我一樣都知道他是個笨蛋);Do your homework as well as you can. (盡你所能把家庭作業做好)。當介系詞用時,意為「除…之外;而且,也,和」(in addition to):He received a new car, as well as several smaller gifts. (他收到一部新車和數個較小的禮物 / 除了數個較小的禮物,他還收到一部新車)。然而,許多起初看似介系詞的用法其實是標準的附屬連接詞 (下句 as well as 後面沒有受詞):Visitors came from Canada and the United States, as well as from Europe and the Near East. (遊客來自加拿大和美國,而且也來自近東) – 近東通常指地中海東部沿岸地區,包括非洲東北部和亞洲西南部,有時還包括巴爾幹半島 (資料來源:大英百科)。

當 as well as 使句子的主詞變成複合主詞 – 所以要使用複數動詞 – 時,或者當 as well as 及其受詞被語調或逗點隔開,因此使第二部分成為不影響主動詞一致的插入語句時,這片語就會發生用法上的問題:Their seven-foot center as well as their huge forwards were simply too tall for our average-sized players. (他們七呎高的中鋒以及人高馬大的前鋒對我們一般身材的球員來說簡直太高了);Their seven-foot center, as well as their huge forwards, was simply too tall for our average-sized players. (除了人高馬大的前鋒外,他們七呎高的中鋒對我們一般身材的球員來說簡直太高了)。這兩種主動詞一致都是合乎語法的正規英語,但第二個例句顯然不得體 – 英文中,與 as well as 插入語句用法和意思相似的字詞還有 along with, together with 和 plus 等。

或許比上面任何一個例句都要來得好的句子就是捨棄 as well as 而改採不同的寫法:Their center was too tall, and so were [as were] their forwards. (他們的中鋒太高,而他們的前鋒也是)。請務必確定語調或標點符號能反映你所要表達的方式並據此確定主詞是單數還是複數。此外,當字面上的意思可能出現模稜兩可的情況時,as well as 也最好不用,如 Mark plays bowling as well as Peter. 這句可能意為「馬克和彼得都打保齡球」,但也可能意為「馬克和彼得的保齡球打得一樣好」。