英文文法專題討論:輔助動詞 “will” 的特殊用法
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: July 20, 2009 – 9:41 am

輔助動詞 “will” 通常用來表示「對未來事件的預測」,用法如下:

Your son will start school soon, won’t he?

How long will you be staying in Taipei?


版主今天要講解 “will” 比較少見的用法,協助網友建立正確觀念,別誤以為 “will” 一定是指未來事件。

“will” 可用來說明下面三種情況:


b. (事物的) 特性

c. 一般事實  


She‘ll sit talking to herself for hours.
= She‘ll always sit talking to herself for hours.
(她習慣坐著,自言自語好幾個小時。) – 習慣

When you look at clouds they will often remind you of animals.
(只要看到白雲,總讓人聯想到動物。) – (事物的) 特性

If something breaks down and you kick it, it will often start working again.
(東西要是壞掉,只要踢一踢它,通常又可以使用。) – (事物的) 特性

Sulfuric (=Sulphuric) acid will dissolve most metals.  
= Sulfuric acid can dissolve most metals.
= Sulfuric acid dissolves most metals.
(硫酸會溶化多數的金屬。) – 說明一般事實


然而,”will” 在某些情況下會讓人產生誤解,請參見下面的英文例子。

Will wonders never cease?
= Miracles can always happen.
(總會有奇蹟發生。/ 意料之外的事情總會發生。)

“Do you remember it? I came to rehearse. Your cousin came too; and we had a rehearsal. You were our audience and prompter. A delightful rehearsal. I shall never forget it. Here we were, just in this part of the room; here was your cousin, here was I, here were the chairs. – Oh! why will such things ever pass away?
Oh! why will such things ever pass away?  =Oh! why do such things always pass away?

以下是兩位英美人士對於 “will” 的說明:

This kind of will is like the “will” in the expression, “Boys will be boys”, which is a future form but refers to the present. It describes something that has always been true, and will be true in the future. We could think of this sentence as having “always” embedded in it. “Boys will be boys.” = Boys will always be boys.


One comment on the “will” as straightforward future marker, however. I realize that I, like Joe Foster, am suspect because of being a native Ozark English speaker. However, it seems to me that in all dialects of English you get this kind of thing:

Q: “All right, she makes you mad, but why? What does she do that’s so annoying?”
A: “She will just sit there hour after hour and do nothing, till I could just *scream*!”

It occurs most often with the contraction, of course — “She’ll” – but that’s also “will.” And there is no corresponding “going to” sentence. It seems to me that this very common usage — which is certainly not future, but some sort of “timeless habitual (無關乎時間的習慣)” or some such thing — makes “will” as unambiguous future marker dubious.


照此推理,”would” 可用來說明「過去習慣」。

When she was old, she would sit in the corner talking to herself for hours.

Sometimes he would bring me little presents without saying why.

On Sundays, when I was a child, we would all get up early and go fishing.

He was a nice boy, but he WOULD talk about himself all the time.
(他以前是個不錯的孩子,不過老是喜歡講自己的事情。) – 以 “would” 來挑剔某人過去的毛病

“was/were always + Ving “與 “used to” 也可表示過去經常的行為。細節請參照:英文「過去進行式」的使用時機


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