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中進英翻譯系列講座(十七)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: June 12, 2016 – 11:53 am

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各位網友好,從今天起,「天地無用」網站要分享一系列英文翻譯與寫作的專題文章。有心學習「高階」翻譯與英文寫作的網友必定可以從中學到版主寶貴的實務經驗與技巧,請大家廣為宣傳。

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◎ 現在完成式

translation
1. 表示「累計」
Investigations are ongoing and so far, two people have been arrested.
(調查正在進行,目前已有兩人被逮捕。)

translation

2. 表示「持續狀態」
與since (自從……) 和 for (有……之久) 連用
I’ve wanted a baby since I was a girl.
(我從少女時代就一直想生個小孩。)

The system has been in operation for two months.
(這個系統已經運轉兩個月了。)
(解說)since是表示「自……到現在」,無法用來指「一段時間」,所以不能說:I’ve been learning Chinese since two years. 這句話要改成:I’ve been learning Chinese for two years.

translation

3. 現在完成式與過去式的區別
現在完成式是連接「過去」與「現在」的時態。

現在完成式:使用「不明確」或「連續」的時間敘述,著眼於現在。
過去式:使用「明確」或「不與現在連接」的時間敘述,著眼於過去,通常表示「確實發生」的事件。

I saw John yesterday.
(我昨天看見過約翰。)──明確且和不與現在連接的時間敘述。
I have only seen John once since yesterday.
(從昨天到現在為止,我只見過約翰一次。)──連續的時間敘述。
I haven’t seen John this morning.
(今早我還沒看到約翰。)──說話者認定今早還沒過去,時間從過去持續到現在。
I didn’t see John this morning.
(今早我沒看到約翰。)──說話者認定今早已經過去,因此使用過去式。

(解說)故事書通常採用過去式,不會採用現在完成式。
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived in a kingdom far far away. (很久很久以前,有一位美麗的公主,住在一個遙遠的國度。)

weve-lost-the-pilots

translation

4. 現在完成式與動詞性質的配搭
動詞性質與完成式要搭配得宜,才不會出現荒謬的錯誤。

John has been killed since 1985.
──kill 這個動作無法持續,還要凌遲約翰多久呢?千刀斬嗎?
(解說)這句話要改寫成John has been killed或John was killed last week。

The company has been established since 1985.
(這家公司從 1985 年起就「一直設立」至今?!)
The company has been established for 50 years.
(這家公司50年來「一直設立」?!)
──establish 這個動作無法持續,無法一直設立某家公司。
(解說)上面的句子應該改成:
The company has been in business since 1985.
The company was established in 1985.
如果要說明公司在哪一年成立,以及公司成立了多久,可以採取下面的說法:
It is thirty years since the company was established in 1985.
= It has been thirty years since the company’s inception in 1985.

translation

5. 特殊句型
• 說明第幾次的經驗
This is the second time I have seen a 3D movie.
(這是我第二次看3D電影。)

It was the third time he had been in love that year.
(那已經是那年他第三次談戀愛了。)

(解說)
1. 上面的例句表示過去的經驗,因此使用現在完成式(或過去完成式)。
2. 英文與中文的時態表達雖有所不同,但行文仍要符合邏輯,不能太過拘泥,請參考下列英美人士所寫的例句:

Right now is the first time in history that anyone can grab the opportunity presented by the Internet to make a real full-time income working from home.
──使用現在式。

“Do you enjoy carpentry work?”
“Yes, I do. It is the first time I have done it.” ──已經完成
“Yes, I do. Right now is the first time I am doing it.” ──正在進行

It’s the first time I’m visiting this website, and I’m pleasant with the way you’re talking about events and people. ──說話者目前正在瀏覽網站

Right now is the first time I’m touring to the bigger cities. I’m in San Francisco right now; next city will be Seattle, New York, Chicago, and then Los Angeles. ──使用現在進行式,表示持續行為。

Normally Mars is not visible with the naked eye. However right now, or soon to now I not sure which, Mars will be closer to Earth than it has in 65,000 years or somewhere in that neighborhood. So right now is the first time in a very long time that Mars will be visible to the naked eye. ──使用未來式,表示尚未首次發生的事件。

Last Tuesday was the first time that I did it. ──使用過去式
= Last Tuesday was the first time that I have done it. ──使用完成式
(解說)Last Tuesday是過去的時間點,所以可用過去式與現在完成式來表達過去做過的動作或行為。

• It is …years/a long time since…
It is fifteen years since we last met.
(從我們上次見面到現在已經有十五年了。)

It is a long time since we last heard from him.
= It is a long time since we have heard from him.
(我們已有好久沒有聽到他的音訊了。)
(解說)
since 前面通常都用完成式,為何唯獨這種句型要用非要用現在簡單式(It is a long time…)?美國人或多或少也會搞不清楚吧。
“How have you been? It’s been such a long time since we’ve seen each other.”
(最近怎麼樣? 真是好久不見了。)
“Good, just really busy with school.”
(還不錯,只是前陣子忙著課業。)

• It is …only/best/worst…
It’s one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read.
(這是我讀過最有趣的一本書﹝之一﹞。)

This is the strangest debate I’ve ever seen.
(這是我看過最奇怪的辯論。)

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