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英文「未來表達方式」的使用時機 (2)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: June 27, 2010 – 2:08 am

英文的時態觀念與中文略有不同,而且使用方式多變。通常初級英語課程會簡化時態觀念,以方便初學者在短期內上手,這是無可厚非的做法。可惜,過於簡化的時態觀念會讓學生掉入錯誤的陷阱而不自覺。版主舉一個例子來說明這種狀況:

課堂上美籍英文老師指導學生,描述過去的事情用『過去式 (I went to ….)』,描述現在的事情用『現在式 (Ice melts at…) / 現在進行式 (He is watching…)』,描述現在的事情則用『未來式 (I will …)』。這種簡化的方式讓教學進展迅速,學生大都能夠接受。然而,要是遇到下面的狀況,心思細膩的學生就會產生疑問:

老師:「Hurry up! The school bus is leaving in 15 minutes. No time to waste.」(快點!校車15分鐘後就要開了。別再拖了。)

在這種情況之下,老美通常不會說 ‘The school bus will leave in 15 minutes.’ 這無關文法對錯,而是使用習慣的問題。華人如果要精通英文,就必須確實瞭解英文的時態觀念。英文有許多表達未來的方式,因此版主不會用未來式來概括一切,而會用『未來表達方式』。

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,然後再研究細節。

 

◎ be to 的句型

** 排定的事情
Asean Leaders are to meet in Singapore next Friday.
(東南亞國協領袖將在下週五於新加坡會面。)
(說明) 這句話會以下列方式改寫成新聞標題:
Asean Leaders to Meet in Singapore Next Friday

** 警告或命令
Poisonus Substance. Not to be taken orally.
(有毒物質,不可口服。)

You are to submit the proposal before 1 P.M.
(你必須在下午一點之前交出建議書。)

Don’t ever cheat on your income tax. You are not to get away with it.
(不要逃漏所得稅,你是不可能躲得掉的。)

 

 

◎  be about to / on the point of / on the verge of  的句型
這些句型表達「立即」的未來,比 ‘be going to’ 還更接近目前。

I was about to leave when the telephone rang.
(電話鈴響時,我那時正要離開。)

Please go back to your seat and fasten your seat belt. The plane is about to take off.
(請回到座位並繫好安全帶。飛機將要起飛了。)

The couple bickering over there are on the point of fighting.
(那一對在吵嘴的夫妻就快要打起來了。)

Both parties are on the verge of settling their latest nomination disputes.
(兩黨都即將解決它們最近的提名紛爭。)

 

 

◎ ‘ be due to’ 使用於時間表和行程

The contract is due to expire on November 14th.
(這項合約將於十一月十四日期滿。)

The EVA 543 is due to arrive in Taipei at 16:40.
(EVA 543號班機將於下午四點四十分抵達台北。)

The train is due in four minutes.
(火車預計於四分鐘後抵達。)
這句的意思等同於:The train is scheduled to arrive in four minutes.

 

 

◎未來簡單式

** 表示對未來的意見、預測或猜想
第一人稱用 will / shall (純未來 – 美語中非常少見)
第二、三人稱用 will

I shall be twenty next month.
(下個月我將滿二十歲。) – 純未來

This time next week I shall be sitting on a  beach in Greece. 
(我下禮拜的此刻會坐在希臘的海邊呢。) – 預測

Inflation will go up again next year.
(通貨膨脹明年將會更嚴重。) – 預測

No body will ever know what happened to her.
(以後沒有人會知道她先前發生過什麼事情。)

Who do you think will win on Saturday?
(你認為禮拜六誰會贏?)

You will never finish that book.
(那本書你絕對看不完。)

It will rain tomorrow.
(明天會下雨。) – 預測

Political observers in Taipei all say he will win the next year’s presidential election.
(台北的政治觀察家都認為他將贏得明年的總統大選。) – 預測

One of these days he’ll realize what a fool he’s been.
(他不久就會明白自己是多麼的愚蠢。) // one of these days = soon 不久

 

translation
(比較1)
未來簡單式 與 現在進行式/ be going to 在說明「未來」時,傳達的意義很類似,只有細微的差異:
未來簡單式 – 單純說明未來
現在進行式 / be going to – 比較強調「意圖 (intention) 或確信程度 (certainty)」

What will you do next year?
What are you doing next year?
What are you going to do next year? – 強調意圖

All the family will be here.
All the family are going to be here. – 比較確信

The movie “The Bucket List” will win several Academy Awards.
The movie “The Bucket List” is going to win several Academy Awards. – 比較確信

You won’t believe this.
You’re not going to believe this. – 比較確信

Next year will be a very interesting year.
Next year is going to be a very interesting year. – 比較確信

 

translation
(比較2)
will – 沒有客觀證據下預測未來
be going to – 有客觀證據下預測或說明未來

Look out – we’re going to crash!  – There is outside evidence.
(小心,我們要撞上了!) – 眼見要撞上了,有客觀證據

Don’t lend him your car. He’s a terrible driver – he’ll crash it.  – based on the speaker’s knowledge
(別把你的車借他,他技術很爛,會把車撞壞。) – 憑個人的印象所下的結論,沒有客觀證據

I’ve just heard from the builder. That roof repair’s going to cost $500. – outside evidence: the builder’s letter
(我收到建商的信,修復屋頂要花 500 美元。) – 從信中得知,有客觀證據

I reckon it’ll cost about $3,000 to put in new lights. – the speaker’s opinion
(我猜想裝上新的燈大概要花 3000 美金。) – 全是個人猜想,缺乏客觀證據

Alice is going to have a baby. – outside evidence:she is pregnant now.
(艾莉絲將會有個小孩。) – 她已經懷孕,有客觀的證據佐證

The baby will certainly have blue eyes, because both parents have. – the speaker’s knowledge about genetics
(孩子絕對會有一雙藍眼睛,因為父母都是藍眼睛。) – 全憑個人對基因的知識所下的結論,缺乏客觀證據

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