英语论文写作常见语法错误(下)

作者:PaperPP  发布时间:2021-07-12 18:22:49

下文中提到的语法错误,看着可能较为简单,但请勿掉以轻心,在列的都是在英语论文写作中常出现的问题。学明白这些内容,对自己的英语文本理解能力和翻译能力都有极大帮助。

1.研究写作中的助动词和情态动词(Helping and Modal Auxiliary Verbs)

助动词(helping verbs 或 auxiliary verbs)包括 will、shall、may、might、can、could、must、ought to、should、would、used to、need 等,用法是与主要动词一同使用,表达时间和情绪。助动词和主要动词的组合会形成动词短语(verb phrase)或动词字串(verb string)。在下列的句子中,“will have been”是助动词,而“studying”是主要动词,并将整个动词字串划上了底线。

*动词字串(verb string):A verb string is a construction formed by one or more verbs in sequence. Up to four verbs can precede the main verb in a verb string (She could have been being starved). In English, the verb string is the way that variations in time or mood are expressed.

• As of next August, I will have been studying chemistry for ten years.

要记得,副词和缩写形式从技术上来说,不是动词的一部分。在“He has already started.”此句中,副词 already 修饰了动词,但是并非动词的一部分。同理可证,“He hasn’t started yet.”中的“n’t”也是如此(缩写式中 n’t 代表的副词 not 不是动词 has started 的一部分)。Shall、will 和 have、do、be 的各形态与主要动词的组合表示时间和语气。作为助动词使用时,be 动词、have、do 可以借由改变形态,表示主旨和时间的改变。

• I shall go now.

• He had won the election.

• They did write that novel together.

• I am going now.

• He was winning the election.

• They have been writing that novel for a long time.

Shall 、Will、Should 的用法

在英式英语中,shall 的功用是表达第一人称 I、we 的一般将来时,如“Shall we meet by the river?”,而 will 是用于所有人称的一般将来时。于第一人称使用 will 会传达出说话者的决心,如“We will finish this project by tonight, by golly!”。于第二、第三人称使用 shall 带有对主旨有某种承诺的意味,如“This shall be revealed to you in good time.”。这样的用法在美式英语中也肯定管用,但是 shall 的使用频率相对地低。不过,由于两者的缩写式都是“’ll”,使用缩写会使两者间的差异模糊化,在美式英语中,除了第一人称的礼貌性提问(含有询问许可的成分)外,鲜少使用 shall:

• Shall we go now?

• Shall I call a doctor for you?

在第二句中,许多写作者会改用 should,但是 should 比 shall更不笃定。在美式英语中,表达将来时,除了上述的情况,几乎都会用 will。在正式文件中(法律或法制文件、会议纪录等),shall 常用来表达义务,即使是第三或第二人称的架构中也会使用:

• The board of directors shall be responsible for payment to stockholders.

• The college president shall report financial shortfalls to the executive director each semester.

现今,should 常会用 would 取代,但是 should 依然会用来表示“ought to”,如下:

• You really shouldn’t do that.

• If you think that was amazing, you should have seen it last night.

英式英文和非常正式的美式英文中,可能时有耳闻或偶尔会读到 should 用于第一人称的状况,用来表达“I should prefer iced tea.”这一类的概念,或在尝试表达意见时使用,如:

• I should imagine they’ll vote Conservative.

• I should have thought so.

Do、Does、Did 的用法

在一般现在时中,do 的功用是表达否定和提问的助动词,does于现在时第三人称单数时使用,did 是所有人称的过去时用法,不论单复数都通用。

• I don’t study at night.

• She doesn’t work here anymore.

• Do you attend this school?

• Does he work here?

本动词也可用于将主要动词省略的简短回答。

• Does she work here? No, she doesn’t work here. 在 Yes-No 问句中,do 及

其相关变化型会在主词和跟随主语的动词之前。

• Did your grandmother know Truman?

• Do wildflowers grow in your back yard?

表达相似度和差异时,可以有效利用 do 的变化型搭配上 so 和neither。

• My wife hates spinach and so does my son.

• My wife doesn’t like spinach; neither do I.

Do 之所以好用,还有一个原因是不必重复动词。

• Larry excelled in language studies; so did his brother.

• Raoul studies as hard as his sister does.

英文中有许多种 do 的强调用法。

1. 强调整个句子:“He does like spinach. He really does!”

2. 加强祈使句的强度:“Do come in.”(实则柔化命令)。

3. 加强频率副词:“He never did understand his father.”

4. 反对否定描述:“You didn’t do your homework, did you?”

5. 对先前的否定描述询问厘清的问题:“Chen didn’t take the

tools.”、“Then who did take the tools?”

6. 表示强烈的让步:“Although Mr. Wang denied any wrongdoing, he did return some of the gifts.”

在没有其他情态动词存在的情况下,do 的变化形会用于问题和否定句构,这称为被动语态(passive voice)。

• Did Chen get selected by the committee?

• The audience didn’t get riled up by the politician.

Have、Has、Had 的用法

“To + have”会用于产生现在完成时和过去完成时,完成时意指某事在过去发生了,现在完成时是指某事已经发生了,而且可能会持续发生,过去完成时则是指某事发生前发生了另外一件某事。“To have”也会与其他情态动词一起使用,表达过去的可能性。

• “To have”作为肯定描述时,可以表达对某事会发生的肯定程度(适当的情态 have 过去分词的组合):“Mei-ing must have left already.”、“They may have voted already.”

• 作为否定描述时,情态动词加上 not + have 过去分词,表示您对某事不会发生的肯定程度:“Mr. Wang might not have known about the gifts.”

• 询问过去的可能性,情态动词加上主词 have 过去分词:“Could Mr. Wang have known about the gifts?”

• 简答形式,情态动词加上 have:“The evidence is pretty positive. He must have.”

“To have ”(有时搭配 to get)用来表达逻辑推论:

• It’s been raining all week; the basement has to be flooded by now.

• He hit his head on the doorway. He has got to be over seven feet tall!

“Have”常与不定式搭配形成意思类似 must 的助动词。

• I have to have a car like that!

• She has to pay her own tuition at college.

情态动词(Modal Auxiliaries)

其他的助动词称为情态动词(modal auxiliaries 或modals),包括can、could、may、might、must、ought to、shall、should、will、would 等,这类助动词不会因为主语不同而改变形态。实际操作一下,试着将这些情态动词替换下表中的 can,与下面列出的各主语搭配。

情态动词 Can 的用法

• 表达能力(能够达成特定事项或是知道如何进行某事):

He can speak Chinese but he can’t write it very well.

• 表达许可(被允许去做某事):Can I talk to my friends in the library waiting room?(注意,can 比 may 还要不正式,此外,有些作者会反对在此情境下使用 can。)

• 表达理论上的可能性:American automobile makers can make better cars if they think there’s a profit in it.

情态动词 Could 的用法

• 表达过去的能力:I could always beat you at tennis when we were kids.

• 表达过去或未来的许可:Could I bury my cat in your back yard?

• 表达现在的可能性:We could always spend the afternoon just sitting around talking.

• 表达假设情境下的可能性或能力:If he studied harder, he could pass this course.

• 表达能力时,can 和 could 也常常带有表达意愿的意思:

Can you help me with my homework?

Can 与 May 的差异

Can 是用于表达做某事的能力或力量,而 may 表达做某事的许可。

May 及 Might 的用法

另外两个更棘手的情态动词是 may 和 might,当处于给予或寻求许可的语境中时,might 是 may 的过去时。Might 比起 may更为委婉。

• May I leave class early?

• If I’ve finished all my work and I’m really quiet, might I leave early?

在表达可能性的语境中,may 和 might 可以是现在时,也可以是将来时,结构为 might + have + 过去分词则为过去时:

• She might be my advisor next semester.

• She may be my advisor next semester.

• She might have advised me not to take biology.

避免将 may 的可能性语义与 might 作为假设情境的意涵混淆,举例来说,假设机场有直升机坠毁,在一名新闻播报员的初始报告中,在尚未集齐所有事实之前,他可以说机师“may have been injured(可能受伤了)”事后,结果发现机师其实没事,该播报员可以改口说该机师“might have been injured(可能会因此受伤)”,因为这句话的语境是从未发生的假设状况。还有一个例子是:A body had been identified after much work by a detective. It was reported that “without this painstaking work, the body may have remained unidentified.” 因为该尸体事实上已经确认了身份,所以明显应该要用 might。

Will 及 Would 的用法

在特定的语境中,will 和 would 可以互相替换,但会有些许不同。注意,“’ll”这个缩写常用于表示 will。Will 可以用来表达意愿:“I’ll wash the dishes if you dry.”也可以表达意图(特别是第一人称):“I’ll do my exercises later on.”,以及预测:

• 特定:The meeting will be over soon.

• 无时间限制:Humidity will ruin my hairdo.

• 惯常:The river will overflow its banks every spring.

Would 可用以表示意愿:“Would you please take off your hat?”也可以表示坚持,相当少见的用法,重音会放在 would 上:

“Now you’ve ruined everything. You would act that way.”以及有特色的活动:

• 风俗:After work, he would walk to his home in West Hartford.

• 典型(日常):She would cause the whole family to be late, every time.

在主语从句中,would 可以表示假设语气:“My cocker spaniel would weigh a ton if I let her eat what she wants.”最后,would 可以表示可能性:“I hear a whistle. That would be the five o’clock train.”

Used to 的用法

“Used to”的助动词结构是用于表示过去发生的动作,或许是习惯性的,但是该动作现在已经不再是习惯性发生了。

• We used to take long vacation trips with the whole family.

此动词的拼法对某些人来说是个问题,因为“-ed”结尾在说话中很容易会消失:“We yoostoo take long trips.”,但是 -ed不该在写作中消失,但是也不是没有例外。当助动词与 did 助动词结合时,该助动词拿去了过去时的功能,因此 -ed 的结尾就省去了。这种状况在疑问句中经常发生:

• Didn’t you use to go jogging every morning before breakfast?

• It didn’t use to be that way.

Used to 也可以用来表达习惯于或熟悉了某事物的感觉:

• The tire factory down the road really stinks, but we’re used to it by now.

• I like these old sneakers; I’m used to them.

Used to 最好留到口语情境上再使用,这个助动词在正式或学术写作中无立足之地。

2.各式各样的错误(Miscellaneous Errors)

同音异义词(Homonyms)

虽然word的拼写检查很有用,但不是万能的,因为拼写检查无法辨别同音异义词,也就是发音相同但拼法不同的词。要想抓出这类错误的唯一方法是进行仔细的校稿,最好是将文件印出来校对。值得注意的同音异义词有:its vs. it’s、your vs. you’re、their vs. they’re 或 there。

引用符号(Quotation Punctuation)

许多人常会对引用资料时的标点符号用法感到混淆。句号和逗号须落在引用符号的内侧。

• The first line of Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times,” resonates with many people.

• Shakespeare’s theme is embodied in Macbeth’s line, “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

问号、冒号、分号则有不同的规则,若是这类标点符号是所引用的资料的一部分时,要放在引用符号的内侧,若不是所引用资料的一部分,则放在引用符号之外。

• He asked, “Did you lie?”

• Who said “I cannot tell a lie”?

括号的用法(Parenthetical Punctuation)

使用圆括号(parentheses)或方括号(square brackets)时,如果括号内的资料是句子中的一部分,则将标点符号置于后面的括号之后。

• Monarchs migrate from the Great Lakes to the forests of Mexico in winter (November to February).

如果括号内的资料自成一句,将结尾符号放在最后的括号内。

• Monarchs migrate from the Great Lakes to the forests of Mexico in winter. (They are there from November through late February.)

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