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英文「現在完成式」的使用時機 (3)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: October 25, 2009 – 9:51 am

本篇要講解『現在完成式』。顧名思義,英美人士會用這種時態來說明已完成的事件,而這種事件具有「累計與持續」的特質。請網友多留注版主所舉的例句,細心體會英美人士是如何運用『現在完成式』,同時不要將『現在完成式』與『過去式』混用。

閱讀本篇英文時態解說之前,版主建議先閱讀『英文時態概論』與『英文文法基本概念:動詞的基本型態』,先掌握基本概念,然後再研究單項細節。

◎ 比較「現在完成式」與「過去式」
-「現在完成式」是連接「過去」與「現在」的時態。
-「過去式」是泛指「過去」發生的事情。

現在完成式–著眼現在 (連續、持續的時間敘述)。
過去式– 著眼過去 (明確,不連續的時間敘述)。

I saw him yesterday./ I saw him once yesterday.
(我昨天見過他。) / (我昨天看見過他一次。) – 明確且與現在不連接的時間敘述

I have only seen him once since last week.
(我從上禮拜到現在只見過他一次。) – 連續的時間敘述

I haven’t seen him this morning.
(今早我還沒看到他。) – 說話者認定今早還沒過去,乃是從過去持續到現在
I didn’t see him this morning.
(今早我沒看到他。) – 說話者認定今早已經過去,因此使用過去式

I arrived in Taipei last week. And I have been here since then. 
(我上星期抵達台北,之後都一直待在這裡。) – 有明確的時間時用過去式

** 故事書一般都用過去式,不會採用現在完成式。
Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who lived….
(很久很久以前,有一位美麗的公主,住在…)

** 自傳之類的書籍都用過去式,因為那是作者的親身經歷。
At the age of nie, I became an avid baseball fan. The Polo Grounds were just a short walk away, and kids from the neighborhood could often get in free to watch the Giants play. 
(The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan)
(我九歲時很迷棒球。那時只要走幾步路便可到「馬球球場」,而且當地小孩經常可以免費入場去看巨人隊比賽。)

 

◎ 不定詞 (to) 接現在完成式來表示「完成」或「過去」

**『真正的』完成與過去事件
I’m glad to have left school.
= I’m glad that I have left school.
(很高興我離開了學校。)

You seem to have annoyed Anne yesterday.
= It seems that you annoyed Anne yesterday.
(你昨天似乎惹惱了 Anne。)

We hope to have finished the job by next Saturday.
= We hope that we will have finished the job by next Saturday.
(我們希望下禮拜六之前能夠完成工作。) – 未來的某個時間會完成某件事


**『非真實的』完成與過去事件
某些動詞 (mean, be, would like) 之後搭配完成式,可表達過去未曾發生的事件

I meant to have called you, but I forgot.
(我原本要打電話給你的,但是我忘了。) – 說話者並未打電話

He was to have been the new premier, but he fell ill.
(他原本可以擔任新任總理的,不過他生病了。) – 並未當上總理

I wish I’d been there – I would like to have seen Harry’s face when Nan walked in.
= I wish I’d been there – I would have liked to have seen Harry’s face when Nan walked in.
(真希望我當時在那裏,我很想看到 Nan 走進去時 Harry 臉上露出的表情。) – 你當時並不在場

 

◎ 持續與非持續的區別
這是華人使用完成式時常犯的英文錯誤。請多善用邏輯去判斷句子是否合理。

live – 持續狀態的動作
I have lived in Taipei since 1985.
(我從 1985 年起就住在台北。) – 正確的英文

kill – 非持續狀態的動作
John has been killed. /John was killed last week.
(約翰已經被殺死了。約翰上禮拜播人殺死。) – 兩句都屬於正確英文

John has been killed since last week. – 錯誤的英文
(還要凌遲約翰多久呢?千刀斬嗎?)

Opinion Research estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed since the US-led invasion.
(Opinion Research 估計,自從美國主導發動侵略以來,已經有一百二十萬伊拉克人喪生。) – 用完成式是「強調累計的結果」

(例句)
The design company has been established since 1905. (crazy nuts!)
(這家公司從 1905 年起就「設立迄今」?!)
The design company has been established for 80 years. (crazy nuts!)
(這家公司設立已有 80 年?! – 80 年間一直設立?!)

establish 乃是非持續性動詞,正確的說法應該如下:
This design company has been in business for more than 6 years and currently has over 10 locations nationwide.
This design company has been in business since (it was established in) 1905.
This design company was established in 1905.
It is fifty years since this design company was established (in 1905).

(例句) 
Since (自從) 後面的句子都會有明確的時間
Where have you been since I last saw you?
(自從我上次見你之後,你去了哪裡?)

It was the first time I’d won since I’d learnt to play chess.
(從我學會下國際象棋以來,那次是我第一次贏。) – 過去的事情
(比較)
This is the first time I’ve won since I learned to play chess.
(從我學會下國際象棋以來,這是我第一次贏。) – 現在的事情

(例句)
see (看見/碰見某人) 是一種非持續動作
I have seen her since 1985. (not okay!)
I have seen her only twice since 1985. (okay!) – 使用完成式表示「經驗」
I haven’t seen since 1985. (okay!) – 可以「持續不看見」 

see (會面/與對方交往) 是一種持續動作
We have been seeing each other every year since 1985. (okay!)
(1985年之後我們每年都見面) – 使用現在完成進行式表示「持續的狀態」
We have been seeing each other since February and are planning a life together .
(從二月以後便一直交往,目前正規劃要日後一起生活。)
The week after that an old college boyfriend called and we have been seeing each other since.
(在那之後的下一個禮拜,我昔日的大學男友打電話給我。我們從那時候起便一直交往/見面。)
They’ve seen a lot (nothing/little/more/less) of each other recently.
(他們最近經常 (從不/很少/頻頻/減少) 往來。) –不明確的時間用完成式表示

 

◎ 用於『假設』
搭配 “could, might, ought, should, would, and needn’t”

Did you see him fall? He could have killed himself. 
(你有看到他掉下去嗎?他差點就喪命了。) – 人沒死

You should have called me – I was getting worried.
(你應該要打電話給我的,我當時很擔心。) – 電話沒打

I would have gone to university if my parents had had money.
(如果我父母有錢的話,我以前應該可以上大學的。) – 沒讀大學

She needn’t have sent flowers.
(她不需要送花的。) – 花已經送了

**時態的運用關於個人意志與想法,有時老美會用假設口吻來表達自己對某件事情的信心。
She could (must/should/will/may) have arrived by now.
(她早該到了。)

 

現在完成式用於『未來事件』
英美人士在某些情況下會將現在完成式用於未來。

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
(我們聚此萬年之後) -現在完成式用於未來

Bright shining as the sun.
(光芒耀眼猶如太陽)

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
(我們仍將永世稱頌上帝)

Than when we’ve first begun.
(一如我們最初頌讚之時) – 現在完成式用於過去/未來

Source: Amazing Grace

 

◎ 用現在完成式指『過去的事件』
英美人士在某些情況下會將現在完成式用於過去。

I went to this conference in Toronto last fall. I have never been so exhausted in my life.  48 straight hours of partying, drinking, drugs, papers, and lectures.
(我去年秋天參加一場多倫多的會議。我這輩從沒這麼累過,48 小時不停參加聚會、喝酒、喀藥、發表論文,以及聽演講。) – 電影《證明我愛你》(Proof)

 

Dozens of my books were purchased with money which ought to have been spent upon what are called necessaries of life. Many a time I have stood before a stall, or a bookseller’s window, torn by conflict of intellectual desire and bodily need.
我購買的多數書籍,所用之款原本應用於所謂的生活必需品。我曾多次駐足在書攤或者書店的櫥窗前面,心智渴望與肉體需求在內心交戰。

At the very hour of dinner, when my stomach clamored for food, I have been stopped by sight of a volume so long coveted, and marked at so advantageous a price, that I could not let it go; yet to buy it meant pangs of famine.
我晚餐時刻雖飢腸轆轆,卻會因為看到某本書而駐足停留。書是我夢寐以求的,價格又如此誘人,我著實不忍坐失良機。然而,我一旦購書就必須忍飢挨餓。

My Heyne’s Tibullus was grasped at such a moment. It lay on the stall of the old bookshop in Grodge Street – a stall where now and then one found an excellent thing among quantities of rubbish.
我便是在那種情形下購買漢尼編寫的《提布盧斯詩集》。這本書原本擺在谷吉街一家老書店的書攤上,偶爾可以從那裡的一堆廢物中尋到寶物。
 

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6 Responses »

  1. 版主您好:

    瀏覽您的網站讓我受益匪淺。想向您請教以下問題:

    1.recently依過去學習經驗告訴我們可用於過去式或現在完成式。請問in recent months, in recent years是否只能用於現在完成式?
    2.可否分析以下句子:
    The boys have done very well, winning applause, building self-confidence, and developing a love of gymnastics.
    此句後半用用分詞結構,如果不要用分詞原句應為何?

    煩請撥冗答覆。Thanks for your help.

  2. 你的問題牽涉到語感,屬於英文較為細膩的層面。我的回答如下:

    1. in recent months/years – “in”在此表示 “在某段時間內 (during a period of time)”,因此只能使用(過去/現在)完成式

    2. recently – 表示過去的一個時間點,因此可用過去式或完成式 (強調事情的結果)

    下面是 Greenspan 在他自傳中的例句

    Based on what we’d learned in recent years about inflation expectations, I said, “if the Federal Reserve waits until actual inflation worsens before taking countermeasures, it would have
    waited too long.

    Japan in recent years has had to struggle back from the stock-market and real estate crash of 1990.

    In recent decades, as urbanization has encroached on rural China, local authorities have seized enormous expanses, granting as compensation only a small fraction of what the land would be worth as part of an urban enclave.

    3. The boys have done very well, winning applause, building self-confidence, and developing a love of gymnastics.
    英文中這種分詞構句很常見,主要是連接兩個句子,讓句子更精簡,目的是要隱約表示 “原因或結果”。

    所以你舉的句子其實可寫成

    The boys have done very well. They won applause, built self-confidence, and developed a love of gymnastics.

    The boys have done very well because they won applause, built self-confidence, and developed a love of gymnastics.

    學會使用這種句型,你的英文寫作能力會大幅提升。

  3. 版主您好:

    感謝您的答覆。

    想再向您請教以下問題,節錄文章一段如下:
    One day, Romeo, the son of the Montagues, saw Juliet, the beautiful daughter of the Capulets, at a party. Immediately, he fell madly in love with her. However, when Romeo learned that Juliet was a Capulet and therefore his enemy, he wished that it had not been true.

    最後一句是否應改為:
    …when Romeo had learned that Juliet was a Capulet and therefore his enemy, he wished that it were not true.

    我認為learn早於wish,理應用had learned,還是不需要?
    另外,一般人都以為現在式就用現在事實相反假設句,句子為過去式就用過去事實相反假設句,但Romeo wished…的「當下」,兩家仍為宿敵的事實仍存在,理應用it were not true而不是 it had not been true,請問版主的看法為何?

    感謝您的答覆。

  4. 你已經可以讀這麼深的英文,版主為你感到高興。英文學到這種程度時,邏輯分析非常重要,但切忌勿走火入魔。

    我簡單回答你的問題

    1. 英文在敘事或講述故事時,常用過去式表達,此時歐美的讀者的思緒會被帶到過去,感覺故事非常有臨場感。

    在這種情況下,所有故事當下的時態都是平常使用的現在時態往回(過去)退一格。

    2. However, when Romeo learned that Juliet was a Capulet and therefore his enemy, he wished that it had not been true.

    這句話使用的時態並無不妥之處。想像自己搭乘時光機回到當時,這句話就變成:

    When Romeo learns that Juliet is a Capulet and therefore his enemy, he wishes that it were not true.

    When – 是指’當下 / 一…就’ 所以 learn 和 wish 幾乎是同時發生,沒有必要區分發生的時間先後

    再者,wish 這邊是指希望 (不可能的事實),常見的例句有

    I wish I had a yacht. / I wish I spoke French. (用過去式)

    wish 如果是指非事實的過去,時態還要再往前一步

    I wish you hadn’t done that. (用過去完成式)

    Now he wishes he had gone to university. (用過去完成式)

    這句話可以改成:
    When Romeo learns that Juliet is a Capulet and therefore his enemy, he wishes that she were not a Capulet.

    這樣就可以看清楚來龍去脈,wish 後面講的就是”不可能的事實”

    因此,整句返回到過去式之後就變成 (所有時態都要退一格)
    When Romeo learned that Juliet was a Capulet and therefore his enemy, he wished that it had not been true.

  5. 版主您好:

    請教您這個句子:

    The elephant would be a much better animal to use to describe the person.

    請問可以寫成這樣嗎?

    The elephant would be a much better animal to be used to describe the person.

    不定詞當形容詞後面接主動或被動如何判斷?

    感謝您的說明。

  6. 我會用被動 (to be used) ,感覺比較合理。主動式的寫法是有可議之處,不過我看過老外這樣寫,所以我不敢說是錯誤的。

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