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被動語態
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: June 27, 2009 – 6:15 am

本篇介紹被動語態的用法。與中文相較之下,英文比較常使用被動語態,一來避開虛主詞,二來使立論看來更為客觀。然而,使用被動語態節制,寫文章時切記通篇採用被動語態,免得文章讀起來非常拗口。本篇參照顏斯華先生的《實用大學英文文法》的內容來撰寫。

◎ 被動語態的用法

1. 「受者」比「施者」重要
Park Chung Hee was assassinated by his protégé.
(朴正熙當年被親信暗殺。)

(比較) 以下為主動語態
Former President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea killed himself by jumping off a cliff.
(南韓前總統盧武鉉跳崖自殺身亡。) // killed himself (oneself) = committed suicide 

Thousands of people have been killed in the earthquake.
(數千人在這場地震中喪生。)

 

2. 維持主詞或者轉變敘事焦點
“What happened to him?” “He rushed out of home in a tantrum last night, but was carried back by an ambulance this morning.”
(他怎麼了?他昨晚怒氣沖沖衝出家門,今早卻被救護車送回來。) – 維持主詞

Thousands of patents are granted each year, but very few of them ever reach the market in product forms.
(每年有數以千計的專利獲得核可,然而只有少數能用於產品而進入市場。) – 維持主詞

Some trashy looser broke the driver side window and stole my iPod.
(某個廢物打破駕駛座玻璃,偷走了我的 iPod。) – 主動語態
See this window pane? It was broken by that looser.
(你有看到這片玻璃嗎?就是被那個混帳打破的。) – 此時的焦點是打破的玻璃,因此改用被動語態 (轉變敘事焦點)

(以下為國中課本不妥的例句)
When they ( = games) are played in the snow or in the rain, players must be more careful because mistakes are easily made.
(直譯:這些遊戲在雪中或雨中被玩的時候,球員必須更加注意,因為錯誤很容易被犯。) – 主要子句與附屬子句的主詞不同,容易干擾讀者思緒。

** When players are playing these games in the snow or in the rain, they must be very careful, for they can make mistakes easily. (顏斯華先生的版本)
** Players must be very careful when playing these games in the snow or in the rain because it is easy for them to make mistakes. (版主的版本)

(說明)
a. 維持主詞一致,讓語氣順暢 (以 player 球員為主語)
b. 使用比較句型時,通常要有比較對象 (沒有比較就用 more careful,其實屬於不好的行文方式。 )
c. mistakes are easily made – 副詞的使用有點問題,請參考下例
// Many mistakes are often made in writing a book review. (中文說「容易犯錯」,並不是說犯錯誤這件事很簡單,而是說經常或不小心就會犯錯。 )
d. for (因為) 是正式的用法,然而使用上有限制,以下是 Michael Swan 的解說:
For introduces new information, but suggests that the reason is given as an afterthought (事後想起/添加).
For-clauses never come at the beginning of sentences, and cannot stand alone.

I decided to stop and have lunch – for I was feeling hungry. (我決定停下來’吃午餐,原因是我餓了。)
We listened eagerly, for he brought news of our families. (他帶來我們家人的消息,因此我們都認真聽著。)
Prepare to alight, for we are almost there. (我們馬上要到了,準備下車吧。)

 

3. 主詞含糊的情況
Mandarin is spoken here.
(這裡講普通話。) – 避免說出主詞 (因為主詞不重要)

At the press conference, the spokesman was asked to explain a controversial remark the President had made earlier.
(在記者會中,發言人被要求解釋總統稍早發表的爭議性言論。) – 避免說出主詞 (因為主詞不重要)

The income tax return must be filled out in detail and be audited by a certified public accountant.
(所得稅申報單必須詳細填寫,同時經過認證合格的會計師審核。) – 避免說出主詞 (因為主詞不重要)

The TRD sensor is an ultra-sensitive precision instrument that is susceptible to changes in temperature and moisture and must always be handled with extreme care.
(TRD 感應器是一種極為敏感的高精密度儀器,很容易受到溫度與溼度的影響,使用或搬移時必須極度謹慎。) – 避免說出主詞 (因為主詞不重要)

 

4. 刻意「打太極拳」時
避免「親自」做出承諾,或者不願直接「撕破臉」。

A government spokesman said that the problem had been well understood and would be dealt with as soon as possible.
(某位政府發言人說,這個問題已經充分被了解,並且會儘快獲得處理。)
(某位政府發言人說,相關單位已經充分了解這個問題,並且會儘快處理。)

A pay-cut across the board is proposed because the company is not doing well.
(由於公司營運不佳,一項全體員工減薪方案被提出。)
(由於公司營運不佳,有人提議要全體員工減薪。)

 

◎ 兼具「被動語態」與形容詞用法的過去分詞

We are interested in your products. – 形容詞
We are interested by your advertisement in today’s Liberty Times. – 被動語態

We were surprised at his presence. – 形容詞
We were surprised by his presence. – 被動語態

When I got there, the store was closed. – 形容詞
The store was closed by municipal authorities on the ground that it was not properly equipped against fire hazards. – 被動語態

You are ruined. – 形容詞
The city was ruined in indiscriminate blanket bombings during the war. – 被動語態

We were worried about you last night. – 形容詞
We were worried by the news that the government is going to build another nuclear power plant around here.- 被動語態

 

◎ 兼具「主動」與「被動」意義的動詞

This paragraph reads well.
(這一段文章讀起來很通順。)

What does the thermometer read?
(溫度計顯示多少度?)

The stupid book is selling like mad (crazy).
(這本蠢書瘋狂銷售。)

This kind of fish cooks easily.
(這種魚極易烹調。)

This kind of fabric washes easily.
(這種布料極易清洗。)

Don’t push. The door only opens inward.
(不要推。這扇門只能向內開。)

The door doesn’t lock. / The door won’t lock.
(這門無法鎖。/這門鎖不上。)

The cover will tear if you continue to handle it that way.
(如果你在那樣拿它,(書的) 封面將會裂開。)

 

◎ 「據說」、「據信」、「據報」之類的被動語態

acknowledge (承認)
allege (宣稱)
believe (相信)
consider (認為)
know (知道)
report (報導)
say (據說)
suppose (認為)
think (以為)
understand (瞭解)

1. (虛主詞) it + (被動語態) + that + 子句
Several rescue teams are already on their ways to the site of the plane crash. It is feared that there might be no survivors.
(幾組救難人員已經趕赴飛機失事現場。不過,人們普遍都擔心,可能無人能夠生還。)

It is reported that the cabinet is going to be reshuffled.
(根據報導,內閣將重新改組。)

It was pointed out at the conference that women’s rights are as important as that of men and that they should be protected and promoted.
((有人) 在會議中指出,女性的權利與男性的權利同等重要,必須受到保護與推廣。)

2. 主詞 (被動語態) + to + 不定詞子句
Mondi is said to be the greatest warrior of the tribe.
(蒙地據說是該部落最勇猛的勇士。)

He is said/alleged/believed/thought/ to have embezzled a big portion of the construction fund.
(他據說/據稱/據信/被認為私自侵吞一大部分的建設款項。)

Laotze is considered to be the wisest of all Chinese sages.
(在中國聖賢中,老子被認為最具智慧。)

He is supposed to be at the office right now.
(他現在應該在辦公室內。)

The company is known to be the leader of the industry.
(眾所週知,該公司乃是產業龍頭。)





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