Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I wish...


我們應該如何用 "wish" 來表達願望呢?

我在替學生們改文章的時候,經常見他們寫像以下的句子: 

I wish I have a lot of money.
I wish I know the answer.
I wish I have a happy family. 

以上的寫法都是不對的。正確的寫法應該是: 

I wish I had a lot of money.
I wish I knew the answer.
I wish I had a happy family. 

你可能會問,為什麼 "wish" 之後的動詞會用過去式呢?難道這些希望都是過去的希望?絕對不是!上面三句話都是表達現在的願望

請注意,跟 type 2 conditional sentences 一樣,這裡 "wish" 之後的過去式動詞屬於 unreal past(或叫作 past subjunctive)。We use the past tense, even though we're talking about the present. 

我們用這種句子結構 (wish + subject + past subjunctive) 去表達「現狀的遺憾」(present regrets)。 

譬如說: 

I wish I knew her phone number. (相當於 I'm sorry I don't know her phone number.)  

I wish I lived closer to my office. (相當於 I want to live closer to my office.  I'm sorry I don't live close to it.)  

I wish I were smart. (相當於 I'm not smart, but I want to be.) 

They wish they were healthier. (相當於 They're sorry that they're not healthy.) 

More examples of type 2 conditional sentences

最近我都在反複講述如何正確地運用 type 2 conditional sentences(有些課本稱它為 pattern 2;名字不重要),因為我發現很多學生都把它用錯。由於上課時間上的限制,我沒有辦法慢慢地去跟你們解釋。希望你們能從這些例子中充份地了解它的用法。


If he had a choice to worry about food or not to worry about food, he would choose not to have to worry about food. 

在上面的 if-clause 中,我們有 "he had a choice to worry about food or not to worry about food"。在 main clause 裡,我們有 "he would choose not to have to worry about food"。

我們都知道,「他有選擇為食物擔心與否的餘地」這句話是不真實的 (unreal),所以我們用 type 2 的 structure (past subjunctive + conditional tense) 去表達 if-clause 中提及的事的不真實性 (unreality):if he had a choice....he would choose.... 


如果你是圖中的男人,你會說 "If I have money" 或是 "If I had money" 呢? 你應該說 "If I had money"。

A: Could you please give me some money?
B: If I had money, I would give it to you.


Imagine that we are in a forest.  If I came across a lion, instead of fleeing from it, I would shoot at it. 

因為以上的句子是虛構性的 (imaginary),我們會說 "If I came across a lion" 而不是說 "If I come across a lion"。之後的 main clause 我們會用 conditional tense: I would shoot at it. (我會向它開槍)

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Conditional Sentences (Type 2) in Action (2)


今天我們看另一個 type 2 conditional sentence 的例句。從這句子中,大家可以很清楚地看見作者是如何利用 type 2 conditional sentence 去帶出 if-clause 的假設性。

如要重溫 type 2 conditional sentence 的特性,請先看以下的連結:

http://grammarfun101.blogspot.com/2011/08/conditional-sentences-type-2.html

看看圖片中間的一段文字:
So, in the hypothetical situation posed at the start of this section, if you were employed as the nurse of the blind man to look after him, you would be under a contractual duty to care for him and so could be convicted of an offence for failing to warn him of the danger.
[Note: hypothetical = 假設的,假定的] 

請留意,為了帶出 if-clause 中「你被雇用為一個盲人的護士」的不真實性(unreality),或假設性(hypothetical nature),作者並沒有用上 type 1 conditional sentence:

If you are employed (present tense, passive voice) as the nurse of the blind man to look after him, you will be (future simple) under a contractual duty to care for him....  

作者所用的是 type 2:

If you were employed (past tense / past subjunctive, passive voice) as the nurse of the blind man to look after him, you would be  (conditional tense) under a contractual duty to care for him.... 

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The Harm Principle


The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

- John Stuart Mill

Everyday 和 every day 有分別嗎?


今天在某牌子曲奇餅的罐上發現了一句錯的英文句子: 

Our cookies are baked fresh everyday.     

錯誤在於 everyday 這個字。正確的寫法應該是: 

Our cookies are baked fresh every day. 

它們的分別在於 "everyday" 是一個形容詞 (adjective),它後面需要接一個名詞 (noun),譬如說 everyday life 和 everyday use: 

Mobile phones have become part of everyday life.
I need a good computer for everyday use.  
Helping the needy is his everyday activity. 

跟 "everyday" 不同,"every day" 是一個 adverb phrase; 它的作用是為句子中的 verb 帶來更多資料: 

I play the piano every day. 
My cat eats a packet of dried fish every day
He helps the needy every day 

留意以下的對比: 

These plates are for everyday use.
We use these plates every day.

Gossiping is part of everyday life in Hong Kong.
People in Hong Kong gossip every day.

I love her more than he 和 I love her more than him 有分別嗎?


I love her more than he. (= I love her more than he loves her.)

I love her more than him. (= I love her more than I love him.)

Now you see the difference?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

容易用錯的字:alot, a lot, and allot


Mr Li has alot of money. (wrong!) 
There are alot of apples. (wrong!) 
I've written alot. (wrong!) 

切記,"alot" 這個「字」並不存在。"A lot" 才是正確: 

Mr Li has a lot of money.
There are a lot of apples.
I've written a lot. 

至於 "allot" 這個字,它跟 "a lot" 完全沒有關係。它的意思是「分配,分派」:


Everyone completed the task within the time allotted.


"They must allot us more space!" said Chicken.




We have been allotted $1000.

容易用錯的字:uninterested vs disinterested


很多同學都知道,如果我們在形容詞 (adjectives) 前面加上 prefixes 如 "un-" 或 "dis-",那 adjective 的意思就會變成相反。譬如說 "happy" 是快樂,"unhappy" 就是不快樂。"Allow"是准許,"disallow" 就是不准許。

請留意,"interested" 的意思是「有興趣的」,它的相反可不是 "disinterested"! 很多學生作文時就犯下像以下的錯誤:

I'm disinterested in Mathematics. (wrong!)

「無興趣」的英文是 "uninterested": 

My children are uninterested in watching cartoons.
Everyone seemed uninterested in what the lecturer was saying. 

"Disinterested" 的意思是「大公無私的,客觀的」:


Mr Li was a disinterested judge. 


My teacher's advice is always disinterested. 


Bao Zheng was a disinterested official and is viewed as the symbol of justice in China.

容易用錯的字:disease vs decease


千萬不要把 disease 和 decease 混淆。

Disease 的意思是「疾病」,而 decease 的意思是「死亡」。兩個字的串法非常相似。

Disease 其實就是 "dis + ease" 。"Dis-" 這個 prefix 的意思是「相反」(the opposite of)。"Ease" 的意思是「舒適」。生病當然會帶來不舒適。所以「疾病」的英文就是 disease 。記得 disease 的意思,自然就能記下 decease 的意思。

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

容易用錯的字:aboard vs abroad


由於 aboard 和 abroad 串法相近,很多學生把它們混淆。

Aboard 的意思是:在交通工具上,如飛機,船,和火車  

All passengers were aboard the plane.

The bus crashed into a lamp post; all passengers aboard were killed. 

Abroad 的意思是:在國外 

I have been working abroad since last year. 

Peter and I are studying abroad. 

如果你總是把它們混淆,可以幻想交通工具上有一塊板 (a board),那就可以把 aboard 的意思牢記下來。

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

容易用錯的字:overseas


多次見學生將 “overseas”(海外的)寫成 “oversea” 。

切記,英文裡沒有 “oversea” 這個字。

無論是作為 adjective (e.g. overseas students, overseas Chinese) 或 adverb (e.g. to live overseas),都是 “overseas” 。

容易用錯的字:audience


Audience 的意思是觀眾或聽眾。它並不是指當中的一個人,而是指一群人,在同一地點,同一時間,一同欣賞音樂會,戲劇,或演講等。

在同一個劇場內的所有人相當於一個 audience;如果有兩群人,分別在兩個不同的劇場內,我們稱他們為 audiences

如果要說「觀眾或聽眾中的一員」,我們應該說 a member of the audience,而不是 an audience 。

Audience 屬於一個 collective noun;可以配單數動詞 (singular verb) 或者眾數動詞 (plural verb):

The audience was/were clapping.

Monday, 22 August 2011

容易用錯的字:staff


Staff 這個字很多學生都會用錯。最常見的錯誤是把 staff 當成「一個員工」,譬如說:

Peter has been a staff here since 2005. (wrong!)
Five staffs have been fired. (wrong!) 

牛津高階字典把 staff 解釋為「全體職工或雇員」。(= "all the workers employed in an organisation considered as a group")

很明顯,staff 不是一個員工,而是一個機構內的全體員工

如果要說「一個員工」,我們應該說 a staff member,或者 a member of staff,而不是 a staff 。

Staff 的 plural form 是 staffs ;Staffs 的意思是兩群或以上,分別屬於不同機構的員工。 

上面的例句,我們應該把它們改為:

Peter has been a staff member here since 2005.
Five members of staff have been fired.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Conditional Sentences 練習題 (1)



同學們,做一些有關 conditional sentences 的練習題吧!

1) If I were rich, I _____ (travel) round the world.

2) If you had gone to the museum yesterday, you would _____ (see) my friend.

3) If she _____ (be) hard-working, she wouldn't have failed the test.

4) If I _____ (be) a millionaire, I would quit my job.

5) If they _____ (have) the money, they would have bought that house.

6) If I _____ (pass) this exam, I'll go to the University of London.

7) If the baby _____ (be) a boy, we're going to name him Peter.

8) I'm not going to give her money.  If I _____ (give) her money, she would spend it all.

9) If she _____ (pay) me today, I'll have enough money to buy the jacket.

10) If I can find a cheap room, I _____ (stay) a week.

11) If I _____ (work) all night I _____ (finish) in time; but of course I'm not going to work all night.

12) If I _____ (see) a lion walking in Times Square, I _____ (scream).

13) He was sent to jail because he killed someone.  If he _____ (not kill) someone, he _____ (not be) sent to jail.

14) I didn't bring a map and I got lost.  If I _____ (bring) a map, I _____ (be) all right.

15) If Quincy _____ (refuse) to help us, we'll have to manage without him.

16) You can ask for a vegetarian meal if you _____ (not want) to eat meat.

17) Had I known that you were still reading those newspapers, I _____ (not throw) them away.

18) Jeremy died in a car accident.  If he _____ (drive) slower, he _____ (be able) to prevent the accident from happening.


答案:
1) would travel 2) have seen 3) had been 4) were 5) had had 6) pass 7) is 8) gave 9) pays 10) will stay 11) worked, would finish 12) saw, would scream 13) had not killed, would not have been 14) had brought, would have been 15) refuses 16) do not want 17) would not have thrown 18) had driven, would have been able

Conditional Sentences Type 3


前幾天講過如何用 type 1 和 type 2 conditional sentences 。如果已經忘記了,請先複習一下:


Type 1: http://grammarfun101.blogspot.com/2011/08/conditional-sentences.html 

Type 2: http://grammarfun101.blogspot.com/2011/08/conditional-sentences-type-2.html 


先看看一些 type 3 的句子: 

If you had told me that you were coming, I would have picked you up at the airport.
If I had had her phone number, I would have given her a call.
If you had seen him, you would have fallen for him.
If he had warned me, I would have been more careful. 

在 conditional sentences type 3 中,if-clause 裡的動詞是過去完成式 (past perfect tense),而 main clause 的動詞是條件完成式 (perfect conditional)。[note: perfect conditional = would/should + present perfect tense]

Type 3 conditional sentences 所表達的時態是過去的,而條件不能實現,因為 if-clause 內所提及的事或行動跟本沒有發生。它就有如我們中文的:如果我當初什麼什麼,我就會(或不會)什麼什麼。

再看看上面的例句: 

If you had told me that you were coming, I would have picked you up at the airport. (But you didn't tell me, so I didn't pick you up.) 

If I had had her phone number, I would have given her a call. (But I didn't have it, so I didn't give her a call.) 

If you had seen him, you would have fallen for him. (But you didn't see him.) 

If he had warned me, I would have been more careful. (But you didn't warn me.)



如果我是 Bosco,我可能會說: 

If I had known that there were paparazzi outside, I would have drawn the curtains.


如果我是 Edison,我可能會說: 

If I had known that people could gain access to those photos on my hard drive, I wouldn't have taken them in the first place. 

請留意,在以上的句子中,如果以 had 作為句子開頭,if 可以刪去: 

If you had told me that you were coming, I would have picked you up at the airport. 

可以改寫成: 

Had you told me that you were coming, I would have picked you up at the airport.  

If you had seen him, you would have fallen for him. 

可以改寫成: 

Had you seen him, you would have fallen for him.  

還有,我們可以用 could 或 might 去取代 would 這個字:



If we had found them earlier, we could have saved their lives.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Stop doing something 和 stop to do something 有分別嗎?


Stop doing something (i.e. stop + gerund) 的意思是:停止正在做的事 (stop what one is doing)。在考試尾聲,時間到了,老師會說 stop writing,而不是說 stop to write 。其他例子有: 

Put your pens down and stop writing. 
Stop arguing with me!
I was full so I stopped eating. 
Stop fooling around and start working.  

而 stop to do something (i.e. stop + infinitive) 的意思是:停下正在做的事去做另一件事 (stop whatever one's doing in order to do something else)。例如說: 

I stopped to write down a brilliant idea that crossed my mind.  (= I stopped what I was doing so that I could write down that brilliant idea.) 
We stopped to take some photos.  (= We stopped what we were doing in order to start taking some photos.)

Regret to do something 和 regret doing something 有分別嗎?


Regret to do something (i.e. regret + infinitive) 的意思是:很遺憾要做某事 (be sorry for what one's going to do)。換句話講,那件事即將要做。譬如說:

We regret to inform you that your application has not been successful.
I regret to tell you that I'm unable to help you.

而 regret doing something (i.e. regret + gerund) 的意思是:很遺憾做了某件事 (be sorry for what one has done)。換句話說,那件事已經完成。例如說:

I regret telling them the truth.
I regret lying about my situation.

Remember doing something 和 remember to do something 有分別嗎?


Remember doing something (i.e. remember + gerund) 的意思是:記得曾經做過某件事

譬如說: 

I remember seeing Mary the other day.
I remember putting my wallet here.  It's now gone! 


而 remember to do something (i.e. remember + infinitive) 的意思是:不要忘記做某件事

譬如說: 

Remember to give it back to me.
Remember to go to the chemist's.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Conditional Sentences (Type 2) in Action


Conditional sentences type 2 在日常英語中無處不在。它可以表達出一個 condition 的不真實性 (unreality),不可能性(improbability),或虛構性 (imagination)。

以上照片來自一本我最近在看的書。留意作者在文章裡所用的 type 2 conditional sentences

     Imagine a firefighter who has arrived at the scene of a fire burning in a building, seven stories up.  What would happen if she stayed at the bottom of the ladder, unable to act because she was so distraught over what was happening?  The fire would continue to burn and possibly spread to more areas.
     Would the outcome be significantly different if instead she came up with a plan, sprang into action, and aggressively climbed up?  She would save the day!

先看看第一段的第一句。"Imagine a firefighter who has arrived at the scene of a fire...."  我們可以知道這段落是屬於虛構性的 (imaginary)。接下來的正正就是 type 2 conditional sentences,只是作者把一個 statement 寫成一條 question 。我們可以把它改寫一下: 

If the firefighter stayed at the bottom of the ladder, the fire would continue to burn and it would possibly spread to more areas. 

在以上的句子,if-clause 是 if the firefighter stayed (past subjunctive) at the bottom of the ladder,而 main clause 就是 the fire would continue (conditional tense) to burn and it would possibly spread to more areas 。

我們再看看第二段。先把它由問題改寫成一個 statement: 

If instead she came up with a plan, sprang into action, and aggressively climbed up, the outcome would be significantly different, and she would save the day!    

很明顯又是另一個 type 2 conditional sentence

平時看書或是看戲,多留意這種句子結構。多思考,多運用,很快你就可以掌握它的正確用法。

Conditional Sentences Type 2


Conditional sentences type 2, 其實以前略為提過:

http://grammarfun101.blogspot.com/2011/08/if-you-went-on-diet.html

先看看一些 type 2 的例子: 

If I were you, I would leave this place at once.
If I had her phone number, I would give it to you.
If he lived near the office, he would be in time for work every day.
If he came here again, I would scream.
If I shaved my head, people would laugh at me. 

在 conditional sentences type 2 中,if-clause 裡的動詞是過去式(past tense),而 main clause 的動詞是條件式 (conditional tense)。[note: conditional tense = would/should + infinitive/perfect infinitive]

正如以前說過,if-clause 裡的過去式動詞並不是 true past,而是 past subjunctive,用以表達不真實性 (unreality),或者不可能性 (improbability)

我們再看看上面的例句: 

If I were you, I would leave this place at once. (but I'm not you; hence, unreal) 

If I had her phone number, I would give it to you. (but the fact is, I don't have her phone number; hence, unreal again)   

If he lived near the office, he would be in time for work. (but the truth is, he doesn't live near the office; hence, unreal 

If he came here again, I would scream. (but I don't expect him to come here again; hence, improbable 

If I shaved my head, people would laugh at me. (but I don't intend to shave my head; hence, improbable)

In short, type 2 = unreal, improbable, unlikely, imaginary


除了以上的基本句子結構 (if + past + conditional),conditional sentences type 2 還可以有其他的變異:

1) if + past + might/could   


If you practised more, you might win.
If I knew her address, I could pay her a visit.
If he had a college degree, he could get a job here.

2) if + past + continuous conditional

If I were on vacation now, I would be touring Hong Kong.
If he were bitten by that dog, he would be screaming in pain.

3) if + past + another past (用於表達在過去必然發生的事)

If you stared at that dog, it bit you.

4) if + past continuous

If my car was working, I would drive you to the airport.
It's so hot today!  If we were going by taxi, we would feel much better.

Conditional Sentences




Conditional sentences 可以分為兩部分:if-clausemain clause;譬如說: 


If I see Mary, I shall let you know. 

"If I see Mary" 是 if-clause,而 "I shall let you know" 就是 main clause

Conditional sentences 一般分為三種:Type 1, Type 2, 和 Type 3

我們先看看 Type 1。

Conditional sentences type 1 是最為人熟悉的。譬如說: 

If you run, I will shoot. 
If he lies, his parents will punish him.
The dog will bite you if you run.
If we catch the 5 o'clock train, we will be in time. 

我們可以看到,if-clause 中的動詞是現在式 (present tense),而 main clause 的動詞是未來式 (future simple)。

Conditional sentences type 1 暗示的是:if-clause 內提及的行動是有可能會發生的。這一點跟 conditional sentences type 2 有明顯分別。

In short, type 1 = probable.

這種句子帶出的時態,可以是現在,也可以是未來。

除了以上的基本句子結構 (if + present + future),conditional sentences type 1 還可以有其他的變異:

1) if + present + may/might/can/must/should 

If the rain gets heavier, the trip might be cancelled.
If you don't get your act together, your boss may fire you.
If it stops raining, we can go out.
If you want to get a good grade, you must work hard. 
If you want to lose weight, you should eat less.

2) if + present + another present (通常用於表達必然發生的事) 

If you heat ice, it melts. 
If there is a shortage of anything, prices of that thing go up.

3) if + present continuous 

If you are looking for Jack, you'll find him in his room.
If you are still working on your project, you had better hurry up.
If the lift is still not working, we'll have to use the stairs.

4) if + present perfect 

If you have finished with your calculator, I'd like to use it.
If you have written your letter, I'll post it for you. 

晚一點再跟大家分享 conditional sentences types 2 & 3 的結構和用法。

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Collective Nouns


family, team 和 crew 等等,都是所謂的 collective nouns。它們可以配單數動詞 (singular verb) 或者眾數動詞 (plural verb),取決於你對這個 collective noun 的觀點。

如果我們 collective noun 視為一個獨立單位 (a single unit),那我們就把它配 singular verb: 

Our crew is the best.
Our team has won!
The jury is considering its verdict. 

如果把 collective noun 當作一群人 (a group of individuals),我們就配上 plural verb: 

Our crew are wearing their new uniforms.
Our family are the best.
The jury are considering their verdict.

Don't end a sentence with a preposition!


剛剛在書上看到一個挺有趣的笑話:

A: Where's the theatre at? 

B: My good man, don't you know that one doesn't end a sentence with a preposition? 

A: Well, where's the theatre at, jackass? 

[Note: a jackass = a stupid person]

的確,在 formal English 裡,我們不要把 preposition 放在句尾,除非那 preposition 屬於 phrasal verb 的一部分,例如 take off (起飛), carry on (繼續) 和 win over (說服)。

譬如說: 

The plane has taken off. 

這句話沒問題,因為 preposition "off" 屬於 phrasal verb "take off" 的一部份。

如果是: 

Peter is the person I played with.    

在 formal English 裡,我們應該把它寫成: 

Peter is the person with whom I played.    

當然,如果是會話式英文,Peter is the person I played with 這句話就沒有問題了。

Saturday, 13 August 2011

他跑得比我快


昨天有學生問了一個有意思的問題。

他問,如果要說他跑得比我快,應該說: 

He runs faster than me. 

還是說: 

He runs faster than I. 

其實要表達以上這句話,有幾個說法:

1) He runs faster than I run. 
2) He runs faster than I do. 
3) He runs faster than I. 
4) He runs faster than me. 

當中以 3) 最為 formal,而 4) 最為 informal / colloquial

He runs faster than I run 其實相當於 He runs faster than I do。因為 "faster than" 之前和之后的動詞一樣 (i.e. run),我們可以用 auxiliary (e.g. be, to, have) 來取替後來的動詞。

譬如說: 

He knows more than I do. (= He knows more than I know.) 
I earn less than she does. (= I earn less than she earns.) 
She jumps higher than he does. (= She jumps higher than he jumps.)

還有,在 He runs faster than I run 這句子中因為 "faster than" 之前和之后的動詞時態 (tense) 一樣我們可以省略后來的動詞: 

He runs faster than I. 

看看以下例子: 

He has more money than I. (= He has more money than I have.)
I'm as old as you. (= I'm as old as you are.)
She's not as stingy as you. (= She's not as stingy as you are.)
Paul and I know more about science than they. (= Paul and I know more about science than they know.)

至於 He runs faster than me,這是口語式 (colloquial) 的說法。跟外國人這麼說一點問題都沒有,但在考試的時候,還是用formal English 比較適合。 

More examples:   

I jump higher than him. (= I jump higher than he does.) 
We work longer hours than them. (= We work longer hours than they do.) 
You type faster than me. (= You type faster than I do.)
You and Mary work harder than me. (= You and Mary work harder than I do.) 

Thursday, 11 August 2011

If you went on a diet....


今天有學生問我,以下兩句有什麼分別:

1) If you go on a diet, you will lose weight. 

2) If you went on a diet, you would lose weight. 

兩句的意思都是說: 如果你節食,你會減肥 

但分別在於第二句 (If you went on a diet) 有一個暗示: 我不相信你真的會去節食。第一句並沒有這個暗示。

譬如說,如果你有一個朋友超級肥胖,但他老是說自己沒有問題,還可以多吃點。你心裡知道他一定不會戒口,但你還是為他著想,希望他去減肥。那你就可以說: 

I don't think you'll go on a diet.  However, if you went on a diet, you'd lose weight. 


這就是 past subjunctive 的一個用法。它可以表達出一件事的不真實性 (unreality),或者不可能性 (improbability)。千萬別因為看見 went 這個過去式動詞 (simple past),就以為節食 (went on a diet) 在過去發生。

但如果你的肥胖朋友下了決心要減肥,問你節食有效嗎,那你大概會說: 

If you go on a diet, you'll lose weight. 

讓我們看看更多例子:

(在一個平安的社區) If I came across two men fighting with each other, I would call the police. (暗示 improbability:But I don't expect that I'll come across two men fighting with each other.)

(在一個品流複雜的社區) If I come across two men fighting with each other, I will call the police. (暗示 probability:It's quite probable that I'll come across two men fighting with each other.)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

把 "It is time...." 改寫成 reported speech


大概半個月前,我跟大家講過如何用 It is time 作。如果已經忘記了,請先復習一下:

http://grammarfun101.blogspot.com/2011/07/it-is-time.html 

如果考試遇到問題要把這種句子改成 reported speech / indirect speech,應該怎辦?

譬如說:

"It is time you sold the house," said Peter. 

我們可以把它 report 成:

Peter said it was time I sold the house. 


請留意,我們只把 "it is time" 中的 is 改成 past tense (was),而 sold 就不變。這裡的 sold 不是真的 past tense,而是 unreal past tense / past subjunctive,所以維持不變。

給多一些例子給大家參考: 

Jeremy said, "It's time we started working." 
= Jeremy said that it was time they started working.
(請留意: we --> they) 

"It is high time you stopped being stupid!" said Jason.
= Jason said that it was high time I stopped being stupid. 

"It's time the government did something to help the poor," she said.
= She said it was time the government did something to help the poor.

把 "If I were you, I would...." 改寫成 reported speech


把直接談話內容改寫成 reported speech / indirect speech 是中學(甚至小學)考試常常出現的問題之一。今天我們看看一個比較特別的例子:

"If I were you, I would buy a house," said Peter. 

你會如何把以上的內容改寫成 reported speech 呢?

我們可以利用 advise (建議)這個動詞: 

Peter advised me to buy a house. 

看看以下例子: 

"If I were you, I'd ask for a compensation," said Mary. 

我們可以把它改寫成:  

Mary advised me to ask for a compensation.

He said, "If I were you, I'd leave at once."  

可以改成: 

He advised me to leave at once. 

Sunday, 7 August 2011

At the end 和 in the end 有分別嗎?


(Correct) In the end, my boyfriend showed up and paid for my movie ticket. 

(Wrong) At the end, my boyfriend showed up and paid for my movie ticket.    

很多中小學生分不清 at the end 和 in the end 的分別。其實很簡單

In the end 是一個 adverb phrase,意思是最終

譬如說:   

Peter played all day long and, in the end, he failed all his examinations.   

We waited for Peter for an hour but he didn't turn up.  In the end, we went without him. 

而 at the end 是指一個地方的盡頭,一個時間的盡頭,或者一個東西的最尾部份

英文會寫成 at the end of (something)。

一些例子:
  • at the end of the street/tunnel/corridor/etc.
  • at the end of the week/month/year/etc.
  • at the end of the story/film/etc.

譬如說: 

We said goodbye to our teacher at the end of the class.

I'm going to watch a movie at the end of the week.    

Keep walking and you'll see the bus stop at the end of the street.

Although 和 though 有分別嗎?


Although 和 though 的用法有一些分別。

Although 和 though 都解作雖然,但語氣上 though 比較隨便,較常用於口語,譬如說: 

Although/Though Cecilia is ugly, I like her just the same. 

有學生跟我說,他們學校的老師說不可以把 although 放在句子的中間,必須把它放在句子開頭。我不知道他有沒有記錯老師的話,但肯定的是,although 絕對可以放在句子中間:   

Mr Li is very stingy, although/though he is very rich. 

還有,我們可以說 even though,把 even 加到 though 之前,以加強語氣。我們不可以說 even although!

Though 可以有不過的意思。譬如說: 

Mr Li is very rich.  He's very stingy, though. 

意思上跟 however 一樣: 

Mr Li is very rich.  He's very stingy, however. 

Although 就沒有這個用法。

Just a thought....


Having been teaching English for over a year in Hong Kong, I've come to realise that we, as native Chinese speakers, tend to make certain specific mistakes in English.  I've seen it time after time in the writing of the students I've taught at the tuition centre.  It is my wish to point out what the common mistakes are, and to show how they can be easily remedied.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

In the sun 和 under the sun 有分別嗎?


In the sun 的意思是: 在陽光下。 

譬如說: 

We played in the sun. (我們在陽光下玩耍。) 

He sat in the warm sun. (他坐在溫暖的陽光下。) 

Under the sun 的意思是: 世上,全世界。 

最為人知的例子有: There is nothing new under the sun. (太陽之下沒有新事。) 

Nicholas and Edison are very good friends; they talk about everything under the sun. (Nicholas 和 Edison 是很要好的朋友﹔天南地北,他們無所不談。)