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如何用英文介系詞講述時間觀念:for, in, from, since
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: May 13, 2010 – 5:19 am

下面是英文寫作與翻譯時必須注意的地方,這幾個簡單的介系詞如果運用不當,偶爾會鬧出笑話,請各位網友要多加注意。

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【 for + 一段時間】

* I once studied the guitar for three years.
(我曾經學過三年吉他。)

* The house has been empty for six months.
(這間屋子已經空了六個月。)

*My boss will be in Italy for the next ten days.
(我老闆未來十天會待在 (去) 義大利。)
(說明)
My boss will go to Italy next Monday. (這句話是正確的)
My boss will go to Italy for the next ten days. (去義大利要花十天?!坐飛機屁股都坐爛了!)

(說明) 如果時間持續到現在,要以現在完成式來表達。
* I’ve known her for a long time.
=I know her for a long time.
(我認識她很久了。)

(說明/比較) 『現在簡單式』與 for 搭配,時間概念會延續到未來。
* How long are you here for? (= Until when…?)
(你要在這裡停留多久呢? /你要在這裡待到什麼時候?)
* How long have you been here? (= Since when…?)
(你在這裡停留多久了? / 你從何時就待在這裡?)

(說明) 下面是省略 for 的例句
* How long have you been waiting (for)?
* I’ve had a headache (for) all day.
* We’ve been here (for) six weeks.
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【 in + 否定句與最高級】

* I haven’t seen him in months.
= I haven’t seen him for months.
(我已經好幾個月沒見過他了。)

* It was the worst storm in ten years.
= It was the worst storm for ten years.
(它是十年來損害最嚴重的風暴。)

(說明) 有時 in 是指「在一整段時間之後 (after a maximum length of time)」
* It will be ready in a week.
(一週後將可準備妥當。)
*She learnt to drive in three weeks. (eg. After three weeks she could drive.)
(她花了三星期學會開車。)

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【from/since + 起始點 (starting point)】

* I’ll be here from three o’clock onwards.
(我三點以後會在這裡。)

* I work from nine to five.
(我從事朝九晚五的工作。)

* From now on, I’m going to go running every day.
(從現在起,我每天都要去跑步。) – ‘be going to’ 在此是指當事人要立定志向。

* I’ve been waiting since six o’clock.
(我從六點就一直等到現在。)

* From his earliest childhood he loved music.
(他從很小的時候就喜歡音樂。)
(說明)
這裡不可用 since 取代 from。參考下面的說明。

(說明) since 要與完成式與過去完成式搭配,涵蓋的時間觀念是從某個時段延續到說話的時段,其他的狀況要採用 from 來說明。
* I’ve been working since six o’clock, and I’m getting tired. (現在)
* I had been working since six o’clock, and I was getting tired. (過去)

(說明)
* The shop was open from eight in the morning, but the boss didn’t arrive until ten.
(The shop was open since eight in the morning,…)
(單純敘述從幾點開業,此處用 since 不恰當。)

(例外) 當 from 表示的意義是 ‘right from the start’ (從一開始),可以接現在完成式。
* She’s been like that from (=since) her childhood.
(她從小就是那樣。)
* From the moment they were married, they’ve quarreled.
(他們從結婚就吵吵鬧鬧。)
* From the dawn of civilization, people have made war.
(人類從建立文明之後便開始爭戰。)

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【以 since 連接的主要子句與附屬子句的時態用法】

(主要子句)
使用現在完成式與過去完成式

* We haven’t seen John since Christmas.
(我們從耶誕節之後就沒有看到約翰。)

* They’ve known each other since 1980.
(他們兩個 1980 年時就彼此認識。)

* I’ve wanted a baby since I was a girl.
(我還是個小女孩時就想要生個孩子。)

* I was sorry when Jacky moved to America; we had been good friends since university days.
(Jacky 搬到美國時我很難過。我們從大學時代就一直是好朋友。) – 過去的事情

// 主要子句使用其他時態 – 通常是主要子句描述「變化」的狀態
* You’re looking much better since your operation.
(手術完之後,你看起來好多了。)

* She doesn’t come around to see us so much since her marriage.
(她結婚之後,就沒這麼常來看我們。)

* Since last Sunday I can’t stop thinking about you.
(我從上個禮拜天就一直想著你。)

* Since he went on that course he thinks he knows everything.
(從他上那個課程之後,他就以為自己無所不知。)

* Things weren’t going well since Father had lost his job.
(自從父親失業之後,情況就不太好。) – 過去的事情

* It was ages since our last game of tennis.
= It had been ages since our last game of tennis.
(從我們上回打完網球之後,已經過了好久了。) – 過去的事情

(附屬子句)
使用現在完成 (進行) 式與過去式

I’ve known her since we were at school together.
(我從學生時代就認識她。)
I’ve known her since I’ve lived in this street.
(我從住在這條街上就認識她。)

We visit my parents every week since we bought the car.
(我們買車之後,每個禮拜都去探望父母。)
We visit my parents every week since we’ve had the car.
(我們有車之後,每個禮拜都去探望父母。)

You’ve drunk about ten cups of tea since you arrived.
(從你來之後,你已經喝了十杯茶。)
You’ve drunk about ten cups of tea since you’ve been sitting here.
(從你坐下來之後,你已經喝了十杯茶。)

She has made a lot of friends since she has been living here.
(她住在這裡之後已經結交許多朋友。)

It is now a year since we have last discussed your future.
= It is now a year since we last discussed your future. (比較正式)
(從我們上回討論你的未來之後,轉眼已經過了一年。)

They had been close friends since Allice was small.
(從 Allice 很小時,他們就是很親密的朋友。) – 過去的事情
The hadn’t seen much of each other since Polly (had) moved away.
(Polly 搬走之後,他們就不常見面。) – 過去的事情

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【just 的時間觀念 】
Just 用來強調「此時此刻 (at the present)」或者「接近此時此刻 (close to the present)」

* I’ll be down in a minute – I’m just changing my shirt. (= ‘right now’)
(我馬上就下去。我正在換衣服。) – 當下

* Alice has just phoned. (= ‘a short time ago’)
(Alice 剛來電。) – 不久之前

* ‘Where is my tea?’
”I’m just going to make it.’  (= ‘immediately’)
(我的茶呢?/ 我正要去泡。) – 立刻

*’What’s happened to Keith? He seems to have disappeared.’
(Keith 怎麼了?他好像從人間蒸發了。)
‘No, he’s around. I saw him just last week.’ (= ‘as recently as’)
(沒有啊,他還在這裡。我上禮拜還看到他。) – 最近的一個禮拜

* She’s not in just now. Can I take a message?
(她現在不在這,我可以幫你留言嗎?)

* I saw Bill just now. He wanted to talk to you.
(我剛碰見 Bill。他有話跟你說。)

I saw him just after lunch. (= …very soon after lunch)
// ‘just’ suggests closeness to the time in question
(我一吃完午飯就碰見他。)

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