句子結合的技巧
Sentence-Combining Skills

 


句子結合的必要性

句子必須結合才能避免單調、味如嚼蠟,因為如果所有句子都很簡短且長度相等,它們必然會產生單調且暮氣沈沈。(如果你還未看過這種句子,那麼可以前往避免小學生式的造詞造句一看究竟。) 寫作者必須使用不同的基本句子結構並變換句子的長度,才能使文章生動活潑、躍然紙上,讓讀者對文章愛不釋手、秉燭夜讀,天天夜未眠。這一頁我們將探討一般寫作者用來結合句子的一些技巧。

首先,我們來介紹英文的基本句子結構。視它們所含的子句數目和類型而定,我們可以將句子分成四大類:

  1. 單句 (simple) -- 一個獨立子句: We drove from Taipei to Kaohsiung in six hours.
  2. 合句 (compound) -- 一個以上的獨立子句:We were exhausted, but we arrived in time for my father's birthday party.
  3. 複句 (complex) -- 一個獨立子句及至少一個從屬子句:Although he is now 79 years old, he still claims to be 65.
  4. 複合句 (compound-complex) -- 一個以上的獨立子句及至少一個從屬子句:After it was all over, my dad claimed he knew we were planning something, but we think he was really surprised.

句子的結合

如上述,合句是由兩個或多個的獨立子句所構成。換言之,句子中至少有兩個獨立子句,而每個子句都可單獨存在。合句的子句可以一個分號 (相當少見) 來分開,或用對等連接詞 (連接詞的前面通常加一個逗點) 來連接。最常用的兩個對等連接詞是 andbut (其他對等連接詞為 or, for, yetso)。這是最簡單的句子結合技巧:

  • Meriwether Lewis is justly famous for his expedition into the territory of the Louisiana Purchase and beyond, but few people know of his contributions to natural science.
  • Lewis had been well trained by scientists in Philadelphia prior to his expedition, and he was a curious man by nature.

注意:and 只不過是將一個子句與另一個子句連接在一起;而  but 也具有這種連接功能,但它亦使子句之間建立了某種關係。and 只是表示某件事在另一件事之後發生,而它們之間的邏輯關係不一定顯而易見或很重要。 but 這個字 (及其他對等連接詞) 使兩個子句之間具有略高一些的邏輯關係。

按這裡一下來溫習在以對等連接詞連接兩個獨立子句時逗點的使用規則。

  

句子元素的結合

在一個句子中,我們也可以結合不同的元素:主詞、動詞、受詞或整個述語、修飾語等等。注意:當句子的兩個元素以對等連接詞連接時 (與合句的兩個獨立子句的連接不同),這個連接詞通常具有平衡的作用,所以無需逗點。
主詞:當兩個或多個主詞係平行對稱時,它們通常可結合成複合主詞:

  • Working together, President Jefferson and Meriwether Lewis convinced Congress to raise money for the expedition.

受詞:當主詞平行地作用於兩個或多個受詞時,這些受詞可以結合起來:

  •   President Jefferson believed that the headwaters of the Missouri reached all the way to the Canadian border.
  •   He also believed that meant he could claim all that land for the United States.
  • President Jefferson believed that the headwaters of the Missouri might reach all the way to the Canadian border and that he could claim all that land for the United States.

注意:這些受詞在結構和詞類上必須平行對稱,否則不能結合。按這裡一下來溫習平行的原則。

動詞與動狀詞:當主詞同時做兩件事時,這些動詞和動狀詞有時可以結合:

  •   He studied the biological and natural sciences.
  •   He learned how to categorize and draw animals accurately.
  • He studied the biological and natural sciences and learned how to categorize and draw animals accurately.

注意:在連接上述元素時,"and learned" 的前面沒有逗點。

  •   In Philadelphia, Lewis learned to chart the movement of the stars.
  •   He also learned to analyze their movements with mathematical precision.
  • In Philadelphia, Lewis learned to chart and analyze the movement of the stars with mathematical precision.
  • (或) In Philadelphia, Lewis learned to chart the stars and analyze their movements with mathematical precision.

注意:在第二部分的結合例句中,我們不必重複不定詞的 "to" 來維持平行對稱,因為 "chart" 和 "analyze" 已經構成兩個動詞的對稱,若加 "to",則變成重複的元素,可以省略,其結果還是一樣的。

修飾語:在適當的情況中,介系詞片語等修飾語也可結合起來:

  •   Lewis and Clark recruited some of their adventurers from river-town bars.
  •   They also used recruits from various military outposts.
  • Lewis and Clark recruited their adventurers from river-town bars and various military outposts.

注意:我們不必重複介系詞 "from",道理與上述相同。

將一個子句附屬於另一子句

使兩個子句「對等」的動作只是將兩個子句連接起來而已;而將一個子句「附屬」於另一子句則會使兩個子句之間建立一種較複雜的關係,來表現其中一個子句在某方面仰賴另一子句的存在:一種時間前後的關係、一種因果關係、一種條件關係等等。

  •   William Clark was not officially granted the rank of captain prior to the expedition's departure.
  •   Captain Lewis more or less ignored this technicality and treated Clark as his equal in authority and rank.
  • Although William Clark was not officially granted the rank of captain prior to the expedition's departure, Captain Lewis more or less ignored this technicality and treated Clark as his equal in authority and rank.

  •   The explorers approached the headwaters of the Missouri.
  •   They discovered, to their horror, that the Rocky Mountain range stood between them and their goal, a passage to the Pacific.
  • As the explorers approached the headwaters of the Missouri, they discovered, to their horror, that the Rocky Mountain range stood between them and their goal, a passage to the Pacific.

當我們使用子句的「主從關係」來連接子句時,標點符號的使用規則非常重要。在此,我們使用逗點來分開引導及插入語句。

使用同位格來結合句子

同位格可能是結合句子最有效的工具。同位格或同位格片語是句子中先前出現的人事物的另一名稱。你可以將同位格視為省略掉關係代名詞和連綴動詞的修飾子句。同位格通常是 (但並非都是) 插入語句,它的前後都要加逗點來與句子的其他部分分開。

  • Sacagawea, who was one of the Indian wives of Charbonneau, who was a French fur-trader, accompanied the expedition as a translator.
  • A pregnant, fifteen-year-old Indian woman, Sacagawea, one of the wives of the French fur-trader Charbonneau, accompanied the expedition as a translator.

注意:在上面第二個句子中,Sacagawea 的名字是插入語句 (在結構上,句子已指出她是一名十五歲的印地安孕婦),因此需要一對逗點來分開;然而,Charbonneau 的名字對句子的意思至關重要 (否則誰知道我們在談論哪位皮草商人呢?),所以不是用一對逗點來分開。

使用分詞片語來結合句子

寫作者可以將某個句子改為修飾用的片語來將之整合到一個較大的句子結構中。

  •   Captain Lewis allowed his men to make important decisions in a democratic manner.
  •   This democratic attitude fostered a spirit of togetherness and commitment on the part of Lewis's fellow explorers.
  • Allowing his men to make important decisions in a democratic manner, Lewis fostered a spirit of togetherness and commitment among his fellow explorers.

在上句中,分詞片語修飾句子的主詞 Lewis。這類片語通常用一個逗點來與句子其他部分分開。

使用獨立片語來結合句子

最優美 -- 也是最容易被誤解 -- 的結合句子的方法可能是獨立片語。這種片語通常出現在句子的開頭,包含一個名詞 (片語的主詞),其後往往跟隨一個分詞;片語中可能還有其他修飾語。然而,獨立片語中沒有真正的動詞,且都是被當作插入語句,即引導用的修飾語;它被一個逗點來與句子其他部分分開。

獨立片語可能被誤為分詞片語,而這兩種片語之間的差異在結構上雖不是很顯著,但卻很重要。分詞片語不含 獨立片語的主詞與分詞的關係。分詞片語修飾它後面的獨立子句的主詞,而獨立片語則是修飾其後的整個子句。例如,在下面第一個結合後的句子中,獨立片語修飾主詞 Lewis,但它也修飾動詞,告訴我們他「在何種條件下」或「以何種方式」或「如何」使世界對他感到失望。因此,獨立片語係修飾後續的整個子句,所以不應跟不連結分詞混淆;不連結分詞必定是修飾緊跟其後的主詞。

  •   Lewis's fame and fortune was virtually guaranteed by his exploits.
  •   Lewis disappointed the entire world by inexplicably failing to publish his journals.
  • His fame and fortune virtually guaranteed by his exploits, Lewis disappointed the entire world by inexplicably failing to publish his journals.

  •   Lewis's long journey was finally completed.
  •   His men in the Corps of Discovery were dispersed.
  •   Lewis died a few years later on his way back to Washington, D.C., completely alone.
  • His long journey completed and his men in the Corps of Discovery dispersed, Lewis died a few years later on his way back to Washington, D.C., completely alone.

Guide to Grammar and Writing