代名詞及其與先行詞一致性
Pronouns and Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement

 


定義

大體而言 (但並非總是如此),代名詞代表 pro + noun,或指一個名詞 -- 一個人或多個人,一項事物或多項事物 (代名詞的先行詞),他們的身份已在句子先前的部分明確的表示出來。例如,我們對下面這個句子一定會丈二金剛摸不著頭:

They say that eating beef is bad for you.

They 是代名詞,指某人,但他們是誰呢?母豬嗎?他們代表誰呢?這是不當的代名詞用法。

然而,並非所有代名詞都是指先行詞。

Everyone here earns over a thousand dollars a day.

"everyone" 這個字沒有先行詞。

代名詞與其先行詞之間及代名詞與其動詞之間的一致性問題我們會在下面詳加討論。現在我們先來看看代名詞的種類。

人稱代名詞 (Personal Pronouns)

與名詞 (名詞除了字尾加 "-s" 來產生複數及加 "省略符號 -s" 來產生所有格外通常不改變型態) 不同的是,人稱代名詞 (代表人事物) 根據它們在句子中不同的用法而改變型態。因此,I 被用做句子的主詞 (I am happy.),me 以不同的方式被用做受詞 (He hit me. He gave me a book. Do this for me.),而 my 被用做所有格 (That's my car.)。其他人稱代名詞亦然:單數的 you 和 he/she/it 以及複數的 we,you 和 they。這些型態被稱為「格」;請參考人稱代名詞的格

所有格代名詞往往做主詞用,這就是所謂的主格所有格 (nominative possessive):mine, yours, ours, theirs。

Look at those cars. Theirs is really ugly; ours is beautiful.
This new car is mine. Mine is newer than yours.

  

指示代名詞 (Demonstrative Pronouns)

指示代名詞 (this/that/these/those/such) 係在指向名詞:That is incredible! I will never forget this. Such is my belief. 我們可以使用這些代名詞來表達時間和空間上的相對距離感:These pancakes [在我盤子內的薄煎餅] are delicious. Those pancakes [我昨天早上吃的薄煎餅] were even better. This child [站在我前面的小孩] is well behaved; that child [我現在所指,在那邊操場上的小孩] is obnoxious.

我們也可以使用指示代名詞來表達情緒上的距離感,甚至輕蔑:Then all of a sudden he started going out with this girl. You're going to wear these? 在口說的句子中,這種用法的代名詞必須重讀,亦即句子的重音所在。

關係代名詞 (Relative Pronouns)

關係代名詞 (who/whoever/which/that) 將一組字與名詞或其他代名詞產生關係:The student who studies hardest usually does the best. who 這個字將主詞 student 與附屬子句中的動詞 studies 連接起來或使它們產生關係。如何在 whichthat 之間以及 whowhom 之間做出正確的選擇,可能是英文文法中最常被問到的問題。

擴充型的關係代名詞 -- whoever, whomever, whatever -- 也稱為不定關係代名詞 (indefinite relative pronouns) 。我們舉幾個例句就足以說明它們為何被叫做「不定」:

  • The coach will select whomever he pleases.
  • He seemed to say whatever came to mind.
  • Whoever crosses this line first will win the race.

What 通常也是當不定關係代名詞用:

  • She will tell you what you need to know.

不定代名詞 (Indefinite Pronouns)

不定代名詞 (everybody/anybody/somebody/all/each/every/some/none) 無法代替特定的名詞,但它們的功能是當名詞用:Everyone is wondering if any is left.

我們在使用不定代名詞時所遭遇的主要困難之一是,"everybody" 讓人覺得它是指一個人以上,但卻使用單數動詞 (Everybody is accounted for.)。如果你把這個字想成意謂「每一個體」(every single body),這項困惑和混淆往往就消失無蹤了。再者,不定代名詞 none 可以是單數或複數,視上下文而定。some 也可以是單數或複數,視它是指可數或不可數名詞而定。

除上述外,我們還有其他不定代名詞;它們就是兼做限定詞用的字:

enough, few, fewer, less, little, many, much, several, more, most, all, both, every, each, any, either, neither, none, some

  • Few will be chosen; fewer will finish.
  • Little is expected.

加強語氣代名詞 (Intensive Pronouns)

加強語氣代名詞 (如 myself, yourself, herself, ourselves, themselves) 是由人稱代名詞加 selfselves 所組成,係在強調名詞:I myself don't know the answer. 加強語氣代名詞可能放在它所指的名詞前面,但這相當罕見:Myself, I don't believe a word he says.

反身代名詞 (Reflexive Pronouns)

反身代名詞 (字型與加強語氣代名詞一樣) 表示句子的主詞也接受動詞的動作:Students who cheat on this quiz are only hurting themselves. You paid yourself a million dollars? She encouraged herself to do well.

當代名詞結合在一起時,反身代名詞為第一人稱

Juanita, Carlos, and I have deceived ourselves into believing in my uncle.

若沒有第一人稱時則為第二人稱:

You and Carlos have deceived yourselves.

不定代名詞 one 有其自己的反身代名詞 ("One must have faith in oneself."),但其他不定代名詞則以 himselfthemselves 做為反身代名詞。專家的建議:使用複數的反身代名詞以避免累贅的 himself 或 herself 結構。

  • No one here can blame himself or herself.
  • The people here cannot blame themselves.
注意:目前有一種趨勢,那就是不當和不必要地使用反身代名詞及加強語氣代名詞。Bob and myself I are responsible for this decision. These decisions will be made by myself me.

疑問代名詞 (Interrogative Pronouns)

疑問代名詞 (who/which/what) 引導疑問句:What is that? Who will help me? Which do you prefer? Which 通常用在比 what 更特定的情況。假設我們參加一項測驗,如果我問 "Which questions give you the most trouble?",我指的是測驗中的特定問題。如果我問 "What questions give you most trouble"?,我是問何種問題最讓你頭痛。疑問代名詞亦可做為限定詞:It doesn't matter which beer you buy. He doesn't know whose car he hit. 在這種限定詞角色中,它們有時也被稱為疑問形容詞 (interrogative adjectives)。 

與關係代名詞一樣,疑問代名詞引導名詞子句;又與關係代名詞一樣,疑問代名詞在它們所引導的子句中扮演主詞的角色:

  • I already told the detective what I know about it.
  • We know who is guilty of this crime.

相互代名詞 (Reciprocal Pronouns)

相互代名詞就是 each otherone another。相互代名詞是一種讓你將相同觀念結合的便利工具。如果 Bob gave Alicia a book for Christmas and Alicia gave Bob a book for Christmas,我們可以說 they gave each other books (或 they gave books to each other)。再舉一例:My mother and I give each other a hard time. 如果是兩個人以上,我們可以說 they gave one another books. 相互代名詞也可使用所有格型態:They borrowed each other's ideas. The scientists in this lab often use one another's equipment.

代名詞與先行詞一致


基本原則:一個代名詞通常是指句子中先前部分的人事物 (它的先行詞),所以在數方面 -- 單數或複數 -- 必須與先行詞一致。

1.不定代名詞 anyone, anybody, everyone, everybody, someone, somebody, no one, 和 nobody 永遠是單數。 這有時會令一些寫作者感到困惑,因為他們認為尤其是  everyoneeverybody 應該是指一個人以上。eitherneither 的情況亦然,它們也永遠是單數,即使它們似乎是指兩件事。

2.代名詞與其先行詞必須一致的要求,可能產生性別問題。例如,如果有人這樣寫:"A student must see his counselor before the end of the semester.",當其中有女學生時,這可能產生不必要的困擾。在這種情況中,我們可以使用複數來避免此種問題:

Students must see their counselors before the end of the semester.
或者我們也可以這樣寫
A student must see his or her counselor. . . .

然而,太多的 hisher 最終可能變得令人厭煩,而讀者也會發現該寫作者的功力也不過如此而已。

3.為了遵照第 2 項規則,可能引發許多無意義的爭論。一般廣泛認為像 "Somebody has left their bag on the floor." 這樣的句子是正確的 -- 截至20世紀末仍被視為是正確的。但許多人反對這樣的寫法,因為 somebody 是單數,而 their 是複數。然而,把 their 這個字當做非特定性別 (中性) 的單數代名詞使用的人比比皆是,包括英國名小說家奧絲汀 (Jane Austen)、桂冠詩人史賓塞 (Edmund Spenser)、莎士比亞 (William Shakespeare) 及其他文學泰斗;事實上,這種單數的 "they"/"their"/"them"/"themselves" 結構在他們著作中俯拾即是。牛津英語辭典 [Oxford English Dictionary (OED)] 中也經常可以見到 "單數的 their" 的例句。

4.記住:當代名詞與其他人事物複合時,我們不必改變代名詞的型態。恪遵這個規則往往產生「聽起來不是很好的」句子。如果你寫了這樣一個句子 "This money is for me.",當有其他人參與其中時,你不可寫成 "This money is for Fred and I."。試試下面的句子:

  • This money is for him and me.
  • This arrangement is between Fred and him.

這兩個句子都是正確的好句子。

5.英文文法中,最常被問到的問題之一是,如何正確使用代名詞 who 的各種型態:who, whose, whom, whoever, whomever。這個代名詞 (及其伴隨的動詞) 的數 (單數或複數) 是由此代名詞所指的人來決定;他可以指一個人或一群人:

  • The person who hit my car should have to pay to fix the damages.
  • The people who have been standing in line the longest should get in first.

who 的各個型態與代名詞 hethey 的各個型態做個比較對我們可能也有幫助。它們的型態是相似的:

  主格 所有格 受格
單數 he
who
his
whose
him
whom
複數 they
who
their
whose
them
whom

為了正確使用 who 的各個型態,我們最好改寫句子以便在 hehim 之間作一選擇。如果你要的是 him,那就寫 whom;如果你要的是 he,那就寫 who

  • Who do you think is responsible? (Do you think he is responsible?)
  • Whom shall we ask to the party? (Shall we ask him to the party?)
  • Give the box to whomever you please. (Give the box to him.)
  • Whoever shows up first will win the prize. (He shows up first.)

大多數寫作者在使用 whose 時所發生的唯一問題是將它與 who's 搞混了;who's 看起來像個所有格,但實際上是 who is 的縮寫。就跟我們不可將 hishe's ( he ishe has 的縮寫) 混為一談一樣,我們也不可將 whosewho's 搞混了。

  • Who's that walking down the street?
  • Whose coat is this?
  • I don't care whose paper this is. It's brilliant!

Guide to Grammar and Writing