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英文「未來表達方式」的使用時機 (3)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: July 16, 2010 – 5:52 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。

 

◎ 預測現在或過去
使用 will 來說明目前可能的情況,或者過去可能發生什麼。

Don’t phone them now – they’ll be having dinner.
(別打電話給他們,他們現在一定在吃晚餐)

A: There’s somebody at the door. (門口有人。)
B: That’ll be the postman. (應該是郵差。)

As you will have noticed, there is a new secretary in the front office.
(大家也許已經注意到,業務部門新來一位秘書。)

It’s no use expecting Barry to turn up. He’ll have forgotten.
(別冀望 Barry 會出現,他鐵定忘了。)

 

◎ 用來表示第一人稱的意願、意向或承諾

If I should stay, I would only be in your way.
So I‘ll go, but I know I‘ll think of you every step of the way.
And I will always love you. I will always love you…
(我會永遠愛著你的…) – Whitney Houston

I’ll buy you a diamond ring.
(我會給你買個鑽戒。)

I’ll see the boss tomorrow.
(我明天就去見老闆。) – 意向
//I shall see the boss tomorrow. (我明天將見老闆。) – 可能以前已經被通知要見老闆

We will hold the price for your for another month.
(這個價錢我們將會再為你保留一個月。) –承諾

 

◎ 用來要求、提請、建議或請求指示
will (would) you :要求
shall:提請、建議或請求指示

Will you hold the ladder for me? (幫我扶住梯子好嗎?) – 要求
Shall I get a taxi for you? (要我幫你叫部計程車嗎?) – 建議

What shall I do with your money?
(你這些錢要怎麼花?) – 請求指示

What shall we do to clean up the judicial system of our country?
(該怎麼做才能改革我們國家的司法體系呢?) – 建議請求指示

Shall we keep these people in power for another four years?
(我們要讓這些人再掌權四年嗎?) – 暗示性的建議

Let’s go swimming, shall we? (我們去游泳,好嗎?) – 建議

 

(補充說明)
在法律文件或合約中,shall 用來說明第三人稱應該履行的義務與責任。
The hirer shall be responsible for maintenance of the vehicle.
(租用人必須負責車輛的保養與維修。)

其他場合要使用 must 與 should 來說明義務與責任。
AflexWire (公司電子報) is for internal use only and must not be emailed outside the organization.
(AflexWire 僅供內部傳閱,絕對不可寄給公司之外的人士。)

 

◎ 與人應對時用 will 說明「決定的事項」/ 與人對談的當下,用來說明決定要做的事情。

OK. We’ll buy the tickets if you’ll buy supper after the show.
(好吧!只要你們 (願意/同意) 看完表演後請我們吃晚餐,我們就請你們看表演。)

A: The phone’s ringing. (電話響了。)
B: I’ll answer it. ( 我來接。)

A: Remember to phone Joe, won’t you? (別忘了打電話給喬。)
B: Yes, I will. ( 我會的。)

I think I’ll go to bed. 
(我要上床睡覺了。)

A: How much is this? (多少錢?)
B: Five dollars. (五塊。)
A: Okay, I’ll buy it. (那我要買。)

(參考下面結帳時的對話)
A: “Who’s going to pick it up?” (誰要付賬啊?) – 付賬的人還沒決定
B: “Don’t look at me. I paid last time.” (別看我,上次就是我付的。)
A: “I’m really worried. I should have gone to the ATM before coming to dinner.” (我要是在吃晚飯以前先領點錢就好了,現在可麼辦。) – 假設
C: “It’s OK. I’ll pick up the tab. And, you can get it next time.” (算了吧,我來付。下次你付不就得了。) – 說明當下的決定

I will stop smoking! I really will!
(我一定會戒菸的!) – 強調口氣

translation
以下是 Thomas E. Payne, Department of Linguistics, University of Oregon 對於 will 的解釋:
For example. You arrive at someone’s house, and notice the house is decorated and the table set. You ask: “Oh what is happening?” The response (at least from a native speaker) would not be:
“We’ll have a party.” (註: 正確說法是 We’re going to have a party.)
Why not, if will indicates future tense? However, if someone says, “What should we do to honor Lucretia?” it would be OK to say:  “I know. We’ll have a party.”
This is because the sentence expresses the initiation of the idea, and not just a reporting of a forgone decision.

 

◎ Will you…? 句型應該注意之處
How soon will you know your holiday dates?
(你多久可知道你有哪些假日?) – know 說明狀態

Will you be here next week?
(你下禮拜會來這裡嗎?) – be 說明狀態

Will you do the shopping this afternoon?
(請你下午去買菜(買東西))–命令或請求 // shop 說明動作
若要詢問對方下午是否要去買菜,則採用以下方式:
Are you doing the shopping this afternoon? (現在進行式詢問對方的計畫)
Will you be doing the shopping this afternoon? (用未來進行式來單純詢問)

 

◎正式或嚴肅的場合以 will 來代替 be going to
用於報紙、新聞廣播、請帖與公告
The election will take place on December 3rd.
(選舉將在十二月三日舉行。)

The president will chair the meeting tomorrow.
(總統明天將主持這場會議。)

According to the Bureau of National Weather Forecasting, the cold front will linger for another week.
(根據中央氣象局的報導,這道寒流將再停留一週。)

 

◎ won’t 用於拒絕
不單是人,物體也可以用這種句型
I won’t pay the bill.
(我不付這一筆帳。) – 拒絕

I won’t work tomorrow. (我明天不去工作。) – 拒絕
//I won’t be answering questions on the conference call tonight.– 單純說明未來情況

The car won’t start. (這部車子無法發動)
When your car won’t start, you can easily check quite a few things before calling a tow truck.
(如果車子無法發動,先隨手撿查幾個項目,不要急著打電話叫拖車。)

Nothing can be more frustrating than turning on your Mac only to find that it won’t start up.
(最讓人洩氣的,莫過於打開麥金塔電腦之後發現無法開機。)

 

◎ 用預測的口吻來代替命令
說話者不直接下命令,而是堅定地說未來某事一定要發生,這種方式常見於軍中或軍教片。

The regiment will attack at dawn. (步兵團拂曉出擊!)

You will start work at six o’clock sharp. (六點整開始工作!)

 

◎ shall 用於「精神喊話」或「命令」
在嚴肅的場合,會利用shall 來取代較為平易近人的 will。

We shall overcome.(我們將克服一切。) – Bob Dylan 的歌曲名稱

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were(假設) subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would (假設) carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps (以現在式表示未來) forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
(1940年 6月4 日,邱吉爾在眾院報告「敦克爾克大撤退」演說的後半段,演講標題就是:We Shall Fight on the Beaches)

 

◎ 未來進行式
** 單純表示將來會發生的事情

The shuttle bus will be leaving at 6:45.
(區間來回巴士將在六點四十五分開車。)

I won’t be paying this bill. (My old man will)
(我將不會付這筆帳。)

Will you be coming along?
(你會跟我們一起來嗎?) –單純詢問,只想知道對方來不來
//Will you come along? (有邀請之意)

 

** 未來進行式使用的情況不多,有時候可以用其他時態來代替,表達的意思幾乎相同
I’ll be leaving in a few minutes.
I’ll leave in a few minutes.
I’m going to leave in a few minutes.
I’m leaving in a few minutes.

When will you be leaving for Taipei?
= When will you leave for Taipei?

 

** 想像未來某個時間點將進行或持續的情況
句中通常要出現未來的時間

By this time tomorrow I’ll be dancing with hoolah girls on the beautiful beach of Tahiti.
(明天這個時候我將在大溪地美麗的海灘與草裙舞女郎共舞。)

Take an umbrella. It will be raining when you return.
(帶把雨傘。你回來時會下雨。)

What will you be doning at 10 pm tonight?
(你今晚十點會在做什麼事?)

Sorry, I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. I’ll be meeting a client from Hong Kong.
(抱歉,我明天下午有事,我得與香港客戶見面。)

The OSM club will be performing at the celebration of the town’s centenary.
(OSM 俱樂部將會在鎮上一百週年的慶祝會上表演。)

Jason will be working on the DTT system for the next three weeks.
(Jason 未來三週將會處理 DTT 系統 。)

The selection committee will be meeting every Wednesday morning.
(選舉委員會星期三的早上都會開會。)

 

** 用來淡化 will 的「質問」或「命令」的意味
When will you tidy up these rooms?
(你什麼時候才要(/願意)打掃這些房間?) – 質詢或罵人
When will you be tidying up these rooms?
(你什麼時候會打掃這些房間?) – 客氣的詢問

 

◎ 未來完成式與未來完成進行式
說明未來某一時間時事情的狀態。

By the year 2010, I will have lived in Taipei for 50 years.
By the year 2010, I will have been living in Taipei for 50 years.
(公元 2010時,我將在台北住滿五十年。)

I will have been studying English for three years by the end of this term.
(這個學期結束時,我將學英文三年。)

When he returns, the wine will have been fermenting for three months.
(他回來的時候,葡萄酒將已經發酵三個月了。)

By the time you get an ambulance, he will have been dead.
(等你叫到救護車,他(將)已經死了。)

I won’t have finished this paper until next Friday.
= I won’t be able to finish this paper until next Friday.
(我無法在下禮拜五之前完成這篇論文。)

By the time you arrive, he will have just finished.
(等你來到時他剛好能做完。)

 

◎ 過去的「未來」
I knew she would arrive before long.
(我當時知道她很快就會到。)

Something was going to happen that was to change the world.
(那時,某件事情即將要發生,整個世界都將隨之改變。)

 I didn’t have much time talking to him because I was leaving for France that night.
(我那時沒有太多時間跟他說話,因為當晚我要前往法國。)

 

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下面這個網頁有未來表達方式的練習題,有興趣的網友不妨前往測驗自己的程度:Going to and present tenses for future

 

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