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英文專題討論:When, While, As 三者有何差別?(實戰篇:While)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: April 18, 2009 – 11:22 am

常見的英文單字 “When, While, As” 三者有何差別?要解釋清楚這點,得花費一番口舌。本篇 (實戰篇:While ) 是版主整理的重點,網友如有疑問,請不吝賜教。

以下舉例說明 “While” 所引導的「時間觀念」:

translation
“While” 多指長的連續時間片段,這種時間片段是說話者提供的「背景敘述」 (a longer background action or situation)。既然是用於說明背景,所以 “while” 常與『過去進行式 / 過去式』搭配。

He fell asleep while (he was) doing his homework. (他做著做著功課就睡著了。)

While I was in Madrid there was a carnival. (我在馬德里的時候遇上了狂歡節。)
= While I was staying in Madrid there was a carnival.
= When I was in Madrid there was a carnival.
//英語的過去式就是表示「已經完成」,無論你是用「時間點的角度」或者「一段時間的角度」來描述事情,都不會妨礙讀者的認知。

“What is the point of all these questions?”
(你問這些問題要幹什麼?)

“Some police officer came by while you were in the shower.”
(你在洗澡的時候來了幾位警察。)

Tom took some photos to document the blooms and animal life while I was away.
(我不在時,湯姆拍了些照片來記錄花草生長與動物活動。)

While they were playing cards, somebody broke into the house.
(當他們在玩牌時,有人闖進屋子。)

While I was sitting in the boarding area of an airport waiting for an airplane, across from me was a boy whom I estimated to be 5 years old. He was sitting between his parents fidgeting about as 5-year-olds do, excited about riding in an airplane.
(我坐在機場候機區等候班機時,對面有一位年約五歲的小男孩,夾坐在父母之間,他跟多數的五歲孩童一樣坐不住而動來動去,因為即將搭飛機而興奮不已。)

While I was sitting there, the guy behind started honking like crazy, and then he leaned out of his window and screamed, “For the love of God! Go! Go! Go!.”
(我坐在哪裡的時候,背後的男子開始鬼吼鬼叫,然後頭伸出窗戶大喊:「看在老天爺的份上,衝啊! 衝啊! 衝啊! 。」)

translation
“While” 用來說明兩項動作或狀態同時進行
While you were reading the paper, I was working.
(你當時在讀報紙的時候,我正在工作。)

John cooked dinner while I watched TV.
=John was cooking dinner while I was watching TV.
(約翰當時在煮晚餐,我則是在看電視。) – 有持續性質的動詞,可依個人喜好,使用『過去進行式』或者『簡單過去式』

While I was weeding the garden my wife was cleaning the house.
= While I weeded the garden my wife cleaned the house.
(我在除草時,我太太正在打掃房子。) – 有持續性質的動詞,可依個人喜好,使用『過去進行式』或者『簡單過去式』

While
Cathy was writing a letter, the kids were playing outside.
(凱西寫信時,孩子都在外頭玩。)

There was a lot to do. While I cleaned the car, my wife was preparing lunch. She then did the ironing after lunch as I cleared away the dishes.
(事情多如牛毛。我在洗車時,我老婆在準備午餐。吃完午餐後,她去熨衣服,我則去洗碗。)
(版主說明)
這句話同時出現 “As” 與 “While”,表示兩者可以偶爾可以通用。不過,版主會告誡自己,如果說明的事情沒有變遷的涵義,使用 “While” 是比較恰當的作法。

針對這點,BBC 的說明如下:
As a general rule, we tend to use “while” here rather than “as”, because “as” has many different meanings and uses. It could be confusing if “as” meaning “while” could be mistaken for “as” meaning “because”.
** As I was doing my homework, my mum prepared my supper. (As = because)
(當時因為我正在做功課,我母親便幫我準備晚餐。)
**As I was doing my homework, my mum prepared my supper. (As = while)
(當時我正在做功課,而我母親正幫我準備晚餐。)

translation

“While “表示習慣/目前狀況/未來事件/假設情況

He (always) listens to the radio while driving to work.
(他上班時習慣邊開車邊聽廣播。) – 習慣
//(他去上班一邊開著車一邊聽音樂。) – 牛津高階字典的翻譯,看不出本句是講過去的事件,還是描述個人習慣,譯者顯然想矇混過去。

Almost half of the college students in the United States work while they are studying.
(美國幾乎有一半的大學生是半工半讀。) – 普通情況

A: Stop bugging me like that while I’m trying to study.
(我在讀書的時候別那樣打擾我。) -目前狀況
B: But the building’s on fire.
(這棟大樓失火了耶。)

Strike the iron while it is hot.
(打鐵要趁熱。) -目前狀況

You’ll have to double up with Mary while Aunt Paulie is visiting.
(波利姨媽來的時候你得和瑪莉睡同一個房間。) -未來事件

Although a senior professor may also move to another job while you are a student, the probability is lower.
(當你還是研究生的時候,你的資深論文指導教授也可能會換工作,但這種情況比較不可能發生。) –假設情況

**double up = to share something, especially a bedroom (共用臥室)

translation
“While “表示對比或相反

I drink black coffee while he prefers it with cream.
(我喜歡喝黑咖啡,他卻喜歡加奶精。)

English is understood all over the world while Taiwanese (Minnan) is spoken only by a few people outside Taiwan itself.
(出了台灣之後,英語可在全世界通用,但台語 (閩南語) 卻只有少數人在說。)

Joe drove while Tom slept, while Mary slept while Kathy drove.
(Tom 睡覺的時候 Joe 在開車,而 Mary 睡覺的時候 Kathy 在開車。)
//這種情況下,while 的使用次數太多,劃底線的 while 可以改成 whereas。

translation
(補充說明) “when” 與 “while” 附屬子句的主詞若與主要子句的主詞相同,『主詞 + be』可以省略。”As” 的附屬子句則不適用於這項規則。

When making cranberry jam, remember to use as much sugar as fruit.
=When you are making cranberry jam, be sure to use as much sugar as fruit.
(製造越橘果醬時,別忘了糖與水果的分量要相等。)

While in France, he grew particularly fond of all varieties of cheese.
=While he was in France, he grew particularly fond of all types of cheese.
(他待在法國的那段期間,變得特別喜愛各種起司。)






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