Monday, 19 November 2012

Proofreading Exercise


'The reason is because upstairs bars are relatively more concealed than those on the street.'


Correction: 
  1. The reason is upstairs bars are relatively more concealed than those on the street.
  2. It is because upstairs bars are relatively more concealed than those on the street.
Explanation:
The word 'because' is unnecessary. (http://www.masteringgrammar.com/2011/09/reason-is.html)

 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Saturday, 29 September 2012

'A Chinese American' 和 'an American Chinese' 有分別嗎?


在此回應某學生的一條問題:'A Chinese American' 和 'an American Chinese' 有分別嗎?

一個在美國出生或入籍成為公民的人,自然就是美國人 (an American)。假若這個人是華裔 (Chinese) 的,那他就是 'a Chinese American',即「美籍華人」。這時候,'Chinese' 是一個形容詞 (adjective),而 'American' 則是一個名詞 (noun)。

同樣地,在 'an American Chinese' 中,'American' 是一個 adjective,而 'Chinese' 則是一個 noun。假如一個美國人在中國入籍成為公民,那他就是 'an American Chinese' 了。

Sunday, 12 August 2012

It is essential that we not battle?


有一網友問了一條很有意思的問題,我想在這裡跟大家分享一下。

他在書中看到這麼的一句話:

Moreover, my newfound spirituality made it essential to me that we not battle. 

他的問題是,究竟這句子在文法上算不算正確呢?

答案是:絕對正確。

我相信令他迷惑的是句子末端的 'that we not battle'。這句子運用了 subjunctive mood 的寫作手法。以上句子最自然的寫法是:

Moreover, my newfound spirituality made it essential to me that we should not battle. 

留意句子中的 'should';這個 'should' 在 subjunctive mood 的應用中會被略去,從而變成問題中的句子。'...that we not battle' 是很正規的寫法;隨便一點,用現在式寫成 '...that we do not battle' 也是可以的。

由此可見,'...that we not battle','...that we should not battle' 和 '...that we do not battle' 全都是正確的寫法。