精进英语写作: 了解并改善常见英语语法错误

精进英语写作: 了解并改善常见英语语法错误

最常见的英语语法误区

语法错误有很多,其中最常见的五种是:

  • 限定词: 置于名词之前,限定名词的意函。限定词包含冠词(a, an, the)、this、that、every、each、which与that。问题最常发生于判别什么时候该用哪一个限定词。
  • 介系词: 置于名词或代名词之前来表示在同个句子或子句中单字间的关系。介系词最难搞的就是它没有太多规则可以遵循,如果不确定该如何使用的时候,建议利用下列我们提供的工具来检查喔!
  • 主谓一致: 单数主词需要单数动词;复数主词需要复数动词。当主题是包含介词短语的名词短语时,最常见的问题就是出现。问题常出现在名词片语为主词且包含介系词片语的时候。
  • 动词型态: 有原形动词、不定词(to+原形动词), 第三人称单数动词(动词+s)、现在分词(动词+ing)、过去简单与过去分词。有些动词的型态比较少,反观”be”动词有八个型态。动词型态混乱的主要来源是使用错误的分词和过度使用现在分词(动词+ing)。
  • 动词时态转换: 问题时常发生于在某一时间点讨论一个主题但却在同一个子句中使用两个以上的动词时态。 同一个句子中应该要维持同一时态,否则须另外写一个新子句或句子来避免句子时态混乱。

下列图表列出英语写作分析报告中各类语法错误频率
Common English Grammar Errors in Writing

如上图所示,限定词相关的问题高达60%,其中冠词使用为大宗。

为什么冠词是最常见的语法错误呢?

冠词感觉是个不起眼的小字,但在句中有着重要的作用。对于许多英语是第二语言的人来说,母语中可能没有类似冠词的用法,所以可以理解在写作中或对话时使用判别冠词会是很大的问题。但冠词的问题已经比欧洲其他还有性别分类的冠词简单多了。

除了因为语言不同而不熟悉冠词作用之外,还有另一个可能的原因是因为不确定接在冠词后面的名词是否为可数。虽然有许多例外,但大部分的冠词使用都还是根据名词的可数不可数来决定。想知道更详细的冠词使用判断,请参考冠词的用法? 如何判断使用正确的冠词?

English Article Use

冠词的重要性

冠词能够限定出名词的性质,就这一到三个字母能够显现出额外的意思,是否很惊奇呢?为了让大家更清楚冠词的作用,提供以下例子。

你告诉朋友你想买车,可以说:”I really want a car”或”I really want the car.”,但得先决定是想要的是任何一台车(a car)还是特定某台车(the car)。假设你选择了后者,但朋友并不知道是特定哪一台车的话,他可能会产生疑问。因为你并没有将”the car”的详细信息与朋友分享过,导致他产生疑惑。同样的,如果你选择了前者”I really want a car”,朋友还是会不能理解。

这时候有两种方式解决: (1) 先说”I really want a car”,接着再用”the car”开始下一个句子来详细介绍是哪一台或(2) 使用”I really want the car “然后用限定子句来详细描述你想要的那台车。范文如下:

(1) I really want a car. In fact, I want one exactly like the car I saw parked in front of Joe’s house yesterday.

(2) I really want the car I saw parked in front of Joe’s house yesterday.

如何修改常见的语法错误?

1. 误用限定词

  • 冠词

决定使用哪个介系词前,先找出名词为可数还不可数,然后照着附档与文章的规则。可简单分成以下:

    • If you have a noun + prepositional phrase that pinpoints one specific noun, use “the” in front of the noun.
    • If you introduce a specific noun for the first time, use “a” or “an,” followed by “the” for subsequent mentions.
    • If you mean “any” of that noun, use “a” or “an.”
    • If you mean “all” members of that noun class (each and every one, generally), then, for countable nouns, use the plural + no article. For uncountable nouns, use the singular + no article.
    • If you mean a category as a whole (and not each and every member of that category), use “the.”

可数名词:

    • The apple is delicious. →  Apples are delicious.
    •  I read the new book. The book was fascinating. →  I read a new book. The book was fascinating.

不可数名词:

    • The water is healthy for you. →  Water is healthy for you.
    • I bought the water yesterday, and now I will put the water in the fridge. →  I bought water yesterday, and now I will put < span style=”color: #339966;”>the water in the fridge.
  • 指示形容词 (This/That/These/Those)

使用指示代名词当作主词时须小心是否有指示不清楚的情况出现。

规则

    • this + singular noun (something nearby or recently mentioned)
    • that + singular noun (something “over there”)
    • these + plural noun
    • those + plural noun

范文

    • This is good for you. →  This exercise is good for you.
    • We should adopt a new policy. That policy would help us streamline operations . →  We should adopt a new policy. This policy would help us streamline operations.
    • That would make her happy. →  ✓ That promotion would make her happy.
    • Cats are feisty. Those animals are very independent. →  Cats are feisty. These animals are very independent.
    • What do you want to do with these boxes over there? → < span style=”color: #339966;”> ✓ What do you want to do with those boxes over there?
  • Other vs. Another

“other” 和”another”来指其他替换选项,点击下列图片来看看怎么使用。另外”other”与”another”的不同在于选项的数量。

    • I have two books left. Take this one. Thanks, but I want the another< /span>. →  I have two books left. Take this one. Thanks, but I want the other one.

Diagram explaining grammar rules about "other" and "another"

2. 用错介系词

  • 介系词是个蛮棘手的文法,好消息是通常你可以用动词来替换掉介系词片语! 当你需要使用建立关系的单词时,这里有几个技巧:
    • 惯用语中的介系词是固定的:这一类都没有遵循介系词的规则,如果不太确定的话,可以利用Merriam-Webster’s来检查
    • 不要连续用两个介系词:口语上常这样没有关系,但在写作上必需要避免。例如: “I had to get off of the train.” → “I got off the train.”
    • 点击页面上方的附档可以查看常用介系词列表 (包含一般常见意义与句子)

以下是由Grammar.net制作的图片,介绍了14对容易混淆的介词差异

Grammar.net infographic on commonly confused prepositions

  • 也可以使用像Google Book’s N-gram Viewer,其涵盖了1800年到2000年的所有书本内容,并计算各词语发生的频率。如果你对于介系词的使用有疑虑,输入该片语的不同变形(用逗号分开)后点击”enter.” 该片语的使用频率就会以图表呈现,而应该要选择2000年最常被使用的片语(除非你想使用特定年代的语言)。下列是范例”to conduct research on,” 来搜索动词介系词。

Using Google Books N-gram to check prepositional phrases

3. 主词动词一致性

  • 也就是动词必须与主词的单复数一致。问题常发生于主词有介系词片语的时候,记得动词必须与介系词前的名词单复数一致。
    • Noun1 + Preposition + Noun2 + Verb that agrees with Noun1
    • ✗ The way in which we communicate with others have changed dramatically. → < span style=”color: #339966;”>✓ The way in which we communicate with others has changed dramatically.
  • 想参考其他资源,可以点击以下链接:

4. 动词型态:

  • 两个最常发生的错误是使用错误分词与过度使用现在分词。
  • 错误分词
    • 留意不规则动词,有任何疑问可以利用Merriam-Webster来确认是否拼写正确。
    • 美式英语与英式英语在特定动词分词的拼写上不太一样,例如:美国使用”learned”而英国则使用”learned”和”learnt” 。
  • 过度使用现在分词
    • 使用现在简单式来描述一般事实、习惯和某物的状态。

✗ The sun is always rising in the east. → ✓ The sun always rises in the east.

    • 现在进行式 (verb+ing)用来描述暂时性动作和表示等等想要做的事。当你想要说明在某个动作的进行过程中也发生另一件事情时,可以使用现在进行式。

✗ I visit my sister this week. →  I am visiting my sister this week.

5. 动词时态转换

  • 在同一子句中的动词必须使用同样的时态,如果混用动词时态则可能让读者感到疑惑。
    • ✗ Joe watched the movie and laughs out loud. [Joe finished the movie and is now laughing? This sentence doesn't make sense, right?] → ✓  “Joe watched the movie and laughed out loud,” [Joe completed these actions, and logically, did so at the same time] or “Joe is watching the movie and is laughing out loud” [Joe is currently performing these actions simultaneously].
  • 谈到特定主题 ,重复确认副词子句或句子的动词时态。
    •  Joe eats chocolate whenever he got upset. →  “Joe eats chocolate whenever he gets upset,” [Joe currently has this habit] or “Joe ate chocolate whenever he got upset” [Joe no longer has this habit].
  • 有时候混用时态也是合理的,例如你在表示一个动作的发展时。
    • I am editing the book that I wrote. [Naturally, to edit a book, it must already be written.
  • 想参考其他资源,可以点击以下链接:

 

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