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英文「過去簡單式」的使用時機 (3)
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: March 26, 2009 – 9:18 am

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。

這是英文『過去簡單式』講解的第三部份,其餘部份在:
英文「過去簡單式」的使用時機 (1)
英文「過去簡單式」的使用時機 (2)
英文「過去簡單式」的使用時機 (4)

『過去簡單式』常用於表示過去曾經發生的事情,請參考以下範例:

2. 表達過去的事件 (常伴隨明確的時間)

Jane gave birth to a baby boy yesterday.
(珍妮昨天生了一個男嬰。)

I went to town this morning…≈≈ I saw your girl friend in a café.
(我今天早上進城…在一家咖啡館看到你女朋友。) – 前文已經表明時間
(比較)
A: “I saw your girl friend in Café Fantasia.” (我在『夢幻咖啡廳』看見你的女朋友。) – 賣關子
B:  “When?” (什麼時候?)

**英美人士對於時態非常敏感,請網友在表達下列概念時一定要注意正確的時態:

以下是電影 Proof 《證明我愛你》的對話節錄:

Professor: “How is your father?” (你父親還好嗎?)
Student:  “I don’t know. I haven’t been able to get in touch with him for a week.” (不知道耶,我已經一個禮拜沒有跟他聯絡了。)
Student:  “He’s fine. Last time I talked to him, he was fine. He’s been fine for months now. Nine months. ” (他很好,我上次跟他聊天時他還很好。他已經好幾個月情況都很良好,有九個月了。)
Professor: “He was a great man.” (他以前是個偉大的人) – 表示現在不是了 (人還活著)
Student: “He still is.” (他還是很偉大) – 反駁與辯解,強調父親仍然很偉大

以下是電影 Proof 《證明我愛你》的另一段對話節錄:
Physicist: “To your old man. Hell of a guy.” (敬你的老爸,他是個偉大的人。)
Daughter: “Thank you.” (謝謝!)
Physicist: “Too bad he went nuts.” (只可惜他發瘋了。)
(說明) 這是喪禮結束後的對話,所以這位物理學家說 “he went nuts” 的時候,指的就是女主角父親生前發生的事。如果他說 ” He was a great man”,女主角絕對不會跟上面一樣說 “He still is”,她會說 “Thank you. / Yes, he was.” 之類的話語。人已經死了,所有的事情都是生前事,只要提及那些事情,老美一定用過去式。

最近美國發生一起耶魯博士生的謀殺案,以下是網路的報導內容:
The Police chief hinted at the tragedy of Le’s murder.
“Annie Le was a young woman of unlimited potential,” he said.
上面這句話說,被害者 (Annie Le) 生前是個潛能無窮的年輕女性。使用 “was” (過去式) 就表示是生前的狀態,這是英文時態觀念的特點,如果人沒有死,就要用 “is” (現在式) 來表達。

**剛發生的事情可以不用指明時間:
Son: “Tommy punched me in the face, mom.” (媽,湯米揍我的臉。)

Mother: “Who left the light on?” (是誰沒關燈。)

“I didn’t catch your name. Sorry, I’m terrible at names.”
(我沒記住你的名字。抱歉,我很不會記名字。)

“That was close. We almost got killed.”
(真是好險 (千鈞一髮)!我們差點就死了。)

**注意下面例句時態的變化:
Mary (answering the phone): Hello?
Sue: Hello. Who is this? (請問你哪位?)
Mary: Well, who did you want? (你要找誰?)
Sue: I want Grandma.
Mary: I’m sorry. I think you have the wrong number. (抱歉,你打錯電話了。)
Tom (as Mary hangs up the telephone): Who was it? (是誰打來的?)
Mary: None of your business. (關你屁事。)

3. 敘述過去某段時間或過去不確定時間內所發生的事情
句子內通常會標示明確時間、時間長度或者頻率副詞

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

I know Monterey Park. I lived in Los Angeles for a long time.
(我知道蒙特利公園市。我曾在洛杉磯住過很長的ㄧ段時間。)

Someone once said that two halves make a whole.
(有人曾說,一男一女可組成完整的個體。)

A: “Have you ever watched (seen) John Williams play the guitar?”
(你看過約翰威廉斯演奏吉他嗎?)
B: “I saw him play a tune on a guitar in Tokyo a couple of years ago.”
(我多年前在東京看他演奏過一首吉他曲。)

4. 敘述過去的習慣
句子必須說明時間

When I was a child, I never drank water. I always drank milk.
(我小時候不喝水,只喝牛奶。)

I smoked forty cigarettes a day until I gave up.
(我以前尚未戒菸時,每天要抽四十根菸。)
(表較)
I used to smoke forty cigarettes a day.
(我以前每天要抽四十根菸。) – 現在不抽了!

(說明) used to + 不定詞 – 表達過去的習慣或狀態,而這種習慣或狀態如今已經不存在或已經停止。
I used to smoke, but now I’ve stopped.
(我以前抽菸,現在已經戒掉了。)

The bingo hall used to a cinema.
(這家賓果店以前是家戲院。)

(注意) 不用 used to + 不定詞 的場合。
I worked very hard last month. (我上個月非常認真工作。) – 單純描述過去事件
(I used to work very hard last month.)
I lived in Taipei for three years. (我曾在台北住過三年。) – 過去某段時間的狀態
(I used to live in Taipei for three years.)
I went to France seven times last year. (我去年去了法國七次。) – 過去的次數
(I used to go to France seven times last year.)

(比較) used to + 不定詞 與used to + Ving (不上手/不熟悉) 的差別。
I didn’t used to drive a big car.
(我以前不習慣開大車。) – 現在會開了!
I wasn’t used to driving a big car.
(我當時還不習慣開大車。) – 單純說明過去的情況,現在會不會開大車呢? 不知道

(比較) would 也可搭配簡單過去式來說明過去的習慣。
When I was a kid, my dad would get up early and go fishing on Sundays.
(我小時候,我老爸禮拜天都會起個大清早去釣魚。)

(比較) 可用『過去進行式』來說明過去經常性的行為,但通常用於說明『背景』來陪襯主題。若與頻率副詞 (always) 共用,有時表示責難、不滿與意外。
Patrick’s best friend, besides me, was Eddie. He was short and flabby and an obnoxious jerk, as far as I was concerned. He was always telling dirty jokes, which I ignored and Gwen rebutted with sharp remarks and rolling eyeballs.
(Soul Catcher – by Katia Spiegelman)
(除了我以外,派崔克還有一個最好的朋友,名叫艾迪,個頭矮小肥胖。對我而言,艾迪簡直是個不折不扣的王八蛋,老愛講些黃色笑話。我根本不想理會那些笑話,不過葛文會不屑地轉動眼珠,用犀利的話反嗆回去。) – 與頻率副詞共用,表示不滿。

(比較) 表達現在的習慣或狀態,要使用『現在簡單式』。
He smokes. (他抽菸。)
He used to smoke. (他以前抽菸,現在不抽了。)

My brother still collects stamps. (我哥仍有收集郵票的習慣。)
MY brother used to collect stamps. (我哥以前收集郵票。)

(實例講解)
下面是電影 Proof 《證明我愛你》的節錄,女主角對著參加父親喪禮的來賓,講述父親的生前習慣。我們可從中體察老美是如何講述過去習慣。”

” Wow. I can’t believe how many people are here. I never knew he had this many friends.”
” Where have you all been for the last five years? ”
” I guess to you guys he was already dead, right? ”
” I mean, what’s a great man without his greatness? ”
” Just some old guy.”
” So you probably wanna catch up on what you missed out on.”
” Um…”
” He used to read all day. He kept demanding more and more books.”
” I was getting them out of the library by the carload. There were hundreds.”
“And then one day I realized he wasn’t reading.”
” He believed aliens were sending him messages through the Dewey decimal numbers in the library books.”
” He was trying to work out the code.”
” He used to shuffle around in his slippers.”
” He talked to himself.”
” He stank.”
” I had to make sure he bathed, which was embarrassing.”
” Then he started writing 18, 20  hours a day.”
” I got him this huge case of notebooks. He used every one.”
” I dropped out of school.”
” You see, he was convinced that he was writing the most beautiful, elegant proofs.”
” Proofs like music.”
” I’m glad he’s dead.”





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