Wednesday, 7 September 2011

God 後面的動詞要加 "s" 嗎?



大家都知道,如果我們用現在式 (present tense),第三人稱單數名詞 (third person singular) 後的動詞 (verb) 需要加 "s" 或 "es": 

He eats....
She catches....
It runs....
Peter hates.... 

God 這個字也是 third person singular,那為什麼我們會說 "God bless you" 而不是 "God blesses you" 呢?

原因涉及英語所謂的 subjunctive mood (虛擬語氣)。我們用 subjunctive mood 來表達願望 (wish)假設 (hypothetical nature)懷疑 (doubt) 等等。虛擬語氣常見於 conditional sentences,相信一向有看這個 blog 的人已經看過無數例子。

Subjunctive 可以分為 present subjunctive 和 past subjunctive。

正如以前說過,我們用 past subjunctive 來表達現在的不真實處境 (present unreal situation)。譬如說: 

I wish I had a lot of money. (我希望我有很多錢,但現在的我並不擁有很多錢。) 

If I had her phone number, I would let you know. (如果我有她的電話號碼,我會讓你知道,但現在的我跟本沒有她的電話號碼。) 

If he lived near his office, he would not be late for work. (如果他住在辦工室附近,他上班就不會遲到,但現在的他並不是住在辦工室附近。)

跟 past subjunctive 不同,present subjunctive 主要用來表達願望,而這願望往往跟超自然力量有關係 

God save the queen! (天佑女王!) 
God forbid!  (or Heaven forbid!) (希望不會這樣!) 
Heaven help me! (天啊,幫我!) 
God bless you! (願主祝福你!) 
God damn you! (願主詛咒你!)

留意以上的 present subjunctive 例句,動詞是原形動詞 (bare infinitive)。 

如果句子並不是表達願望,God 後面的動詞就要加 "s" 或 "es" 了。譬如說: 

God helps those who help themselves. (自助者,天亦助之。) 

God knows he's been working hard. (老天能作證,他一直都很努力。) 

"When will we get our $6000 from the government?" "God knows." (“我們什麼時候才能從政府那裡拿到 $6000 呢?” “誰知道。”)

6 comments:

  1. 那為什麼everyone後的verb要加's'?
    不是指所有人嗎?

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  2. "Everyone"的確解作「所有人」 (all people)。
    規則是:
    1) everyone + singular verb
    2) all people + plural verb
    "Everyone" = a number of people considered individually,所以跟單數動詞

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  3. present subjunctive 主要用來表達願望,而這願望往往跟超自然力量有關係:

    God save the queen! (天佑女王!)

    簡而言之,其實就是這些句子前面省略了 MAY 吧?!

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I asked my lecturer this exact same question when i was in uni.
    he told me that was because the "May" was omitted.
    Now I know the true reason! thz!

    ReplyDelete