Reaching out across the Web .. ...分享 Zuojun Yu, physical oceanographer, freelance English editor



已有 1525 次阅读 2018-12-4 14:46 |个人分类:Scientific Writing|系统分类:教学心得| 科技英语, 写作

如果你的目标是写小说,应该看原版The Elements of Style (免费下载):


为了“完整”性,我们继续用The Elements of Style 不喜欢看英文原著的,凑合着看我的注解。

另外,我会用Google Translate。GT现在还不成熟,你不要拿它当回事。



20. Keep related words together. 

The position of the words in a sentence is the principal means of showing their relationship. Confusion and ambiguity result when words are badly placed. The writer must, therefore, bring together the words and groups of words that are related in thought and keep apart those that are not so related. 

Google Translate: 句子中单词的位置是表达他们关系的主要方式。当单词放置不当时会产生混淆和歧义。因此,作者必须将思想中相关的单词和单词组合在一起,并将那些不那么相关的单词和单词分开。



含含糊糊:He noticed a large stain in the rug that was right in the center. 

清清楚楚:He noticed a large stain right in the center of the rug. 

In the [first sentence], the reader has no way of knowing whether the stain was in the center of the rug or the rug was in the center of the room. 

Google Translate: 在[第一句]中,读者无法知道污渍是在地毯的中心还是地毯位于房间的中央。


The subject of a sentence and the principal verb should not, as a rule, be separated by a phrase or clause that can be transferred to the beginning. 

Google Translate: 句子主语和主要动词通常不应该由可以转移到开头的短语或句子分开。


A dog, if you fail to discipline him, becomes a household pest. (主语和动词被分开。)

修改后:Unless disciplined, a dog becomes a household pest. 


The relative pronoun should come, in most instances, immediately after its antecedent. 

Google Translate: 在大多数情况下,关系代词应该在其先行词之后立即出现。

注解:定语从句应该紧跟在 “被定”的词后面。

There was a stir in the audience that suggested disapproval. 

修改后:A stir that suggested disapproval swept the audience. (stir是被定的词)



If the antecedent consists of a group of words, the relative comes at the end of the group, unless this would cause ambiguity. 

Google Translate: 如果先行词由一组词组成,则该亲属出现在该组的末尾,除非这会导致歧义。


The Superintendent of the Chicago Division, who 

No ambiguity results from the above. But 

A proposal to amend the Sherman Act, which has been variously judged 

leaves the reader wondering whether it is the proposal or the Act that has been variously judged. The relative clause must be moved forward, to read, "A proposal, which has been variously judged, to amend the Sherman Act...." Similarly 

The grandson of William Henry Harrison, who

William Henry Harrison's grandson, Benjamin Harrison, who

A noun in apposition may come between antecedent and relative, because in such a combination no real ambiguity can arise. 

Google Translate: 并置中的名词可能介于前因和相对之间,因为在这种组合中不会出现真正的歧义。


The Duke of York, his brother, who was regarded with hostility by the Whigs 



Modifiers should come, if possible, next to the words they modify. If several expressions modify the same word, they should be arranged so that no wrong relation is suggested. 

Google Translate: 如果可能的话,修饰符应该出现在他们修改的单词旁边。如果有几个表达式修改了同一个单词,则应该对它们进行排列,以便不会建议错误的关系。


She only found two mistakes. 

修改后:She found only two mistakes. (强调:only two mistakes)

注解:为上面两句话,我和一位native speaker讨论了5分钟。初听起来,两句话都OK。但是,只有后面一句是对的。



He barely kicked the ball twenty meters.

修改后:He kicked the ball barely twenty meters.


More on “Modifier Placement” can be found at:




1.    语态(1)

2.    常用时态

3.    一些标点符号“规则”(句号、逗号,参考The Elements of StylePart I)

4.    一些语法“规则”(主语、谓语的一致性、变化多端的代词、分词短语的主人,参考The Elements of Style Part I

5.    一些基本的写作“原则”(文章结构、段落、语态、简洁性等,参考The Elements of Style

6.    修改、修改、再修改[简洁为上, see Chapter 7 Concision by Joseph/三种修饰语+两种“问题修饰语”,即悬空修饰语(p161)、错位修饰语/, see Chapter 8 Length by Joseph/逻辑性/一致性]





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