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句首的介词短语后加逗号不?

已有 1215 次阅读 2018-5-31 10:01 |系统分类:教学心得

 导读:逗号其实就是一个停顿,这个停顿比空格长(空格又比连字符"hyphen"长), 但是比“;”短。对语言表达,停顿越短,关系越紧密。我们经常说某人讲话“大喘气”,就是因为我们原本期望关系紧密的两个东西,你故意在中间加了很长的停顿。

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    英语的句首经常有介词短语,那么这个短语后面是否要加逗号呢?

    为了回答这个问题,先要谈逗号的功能。逗号其实就是一个停顿,这个停顿比空格长(空格又比连字符"hyphen"长), 但是比“;”短。对语言表达,停顿越短,关系越紧密。我们经常说某人讲话“大喘气”,就是因为我们原本期望关系紧密的两个东西,你故意在中间加了很长的停顿。 当然恰当的停顿也有吸引受众注意力的效果。

    对书面表达,停顿的长短就要靠符号来表示,即连字符、空格和逗号等。是否加逗号,大体有如下原则。

    原则一:在尽可能准确传达说话人的意思前提下,可不要逗号以避免啰嗦。比如

    例1:At the time, Bob was in charge.  

    例2:At the time Bob was in charge.

    在例1中,time 和Bob之间有逗号,那么At the time与Bob was in charge是分开的,意思是:这个时候,Bob在负责。在例2中, time与Bob的密切关系不比其它空格远,因此语义(是短语,不是句子)是:在Bob负责的时间。

    很显然逗号加与不加,有时也蛮关键的。再比如:

    例3:     After cleaning my brother collapsed on the couch.

    说话人想表达:清洗完后,我的兄弟倒在沙发上。然而例3中很容易把cleaning my brother一起读。尽管仔细读,你会在cleaning和my之间断开,但是毕竟花费了你的脑细胞,所以最好加逗号,即

    例4:After cleaning, my brother collapsed on the couch.

    可以想象,介词之后接不带宾语的现在分词,如果不带头号,都有例3这样的戏剧效果。有的时候一个单词,既能当名词,又能当动词,也会出现这个效果。如

    例5: Before the snow flurry birds sought shelter.

    读者很容易把snow flurry birds连读(大雪让鸟儿不安起来)。当然审慎地读,应当是这样:

    例6: Before the snow flurry, birds sought shelter.(在大雪来临前,鸟儿搜寻躲避的地方)。

    再比如Outside, the air was foul如果没有逗号,很容易把 Outside the air 连读。

 

    原则二 除了语义,如果句首起修饰作用的介词词组太长,那么朗读需要换气,思考需要暂停,那么最合适的位置当然是介词词组结束的地方,所以此时在介词词组后面就要加逗号

    至于多长算长,有的指导书说是4个单词以上(包含介词),有的说是5个以上(不管长短,加逗号在语法上肯定没错)。例如

    例7: Under the kitchen table the dog cowered. (介词短语没超过四个,后面句子也很短,所以就没加逗号)。

    例8: Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands. (介词短语比较长,在它之后加了逗号)

    例9:On Monday we will begin the new program.

    例10:On April 9 he came in and resigned.

    例11:In the afternoon I had the responsibility to gather them together.

    例12:At 7:00 he would promptly call me daily.

    在上述4个例中,各自表示时间的介词短语都很短,而且也会有误读和误解的可能,所以都不用加逗号。

    例13:Before the contract we had to go in individually and talk to the boss.

    例14:Under the arch he kissed me for the first time.

    上述两个介词都比较短,所以它们后面都没有逗号。但是下面这些就太长了。

    例15:In a hard fought contest, the home team prevailed after two overtimes.  

    例16: After driving for more than eight fun-filled hours, we finally arrived at the motel.

    例17: For the cat that jumped down from the tree, it was a long way to the ground.

    例18:Under the flowering rose bushes, the snake slithered into hiding.


    原则三 如果介词套介词的,那么总长度肯定比较长,于是也有这样的建议:如果出现介词嵌套,那么在整个介词短语后面要加逗号,例如:

    例19:In the event of disagreement about the duties, the work plan may be presented to the PhD Committee.

    例20: In the heat of the moment, many people make rash decisions.

    例21: On the couch in her apartment, she learned how to punctuate introductory prepositional phrases.

    例22:After riding his bike around the neighborhood twice, Rob was sweating profusely.

    例23:During the production of the film, the director nearly quit.

    例24:On the morning before my birthday, my parents surprised me with a trip to Hawaii.

    例25:Under the pile of clothes, we found his wallet.

    原则四 上面是介词嵌套,如果是平行的介词短语,那么每个介词短语后面都要有逗号(不管单个介词短语有多短),如

    例26:By land, by sea, by air, we'll get that package to you within a week.

    如果语义是介词嵌套,那么不要用逗号把嵌套拆开,例如下面两句是不当的。

    例27:On the hill, with the fairy grass, we stopped to eat lunch(说话人想表达的意思是:在长着仙草的山坡上,我们停下来吃午饭)。

    例28:On the sand, of the beach, by the inlet, we relaxed in the sun. (说话人想表达的意思是:于入口处沙滩之处,我们在阳光下放松)


    原则五 有些插入语是以介词开头,此时不管此短语有多短,都要加逗号(因为语义不紧密,肯定要停顿)。

例29:For example, Aims offers a variety of services that can benefit students.


    原则六 有时介词短语不是用来修饰主句,那么它与主句之间就明显有停顿(此时的介词短语往往是一个句子缩略而成的),那么书面表达肯定要加逗号

例句30:As a student, I find that offensive.

    例句31:Without my work, I was tempted to skip class. (没有我的工作,我想跳过课程)

    例句32:Despite our differences, we collaborate well.

 

    原则七 恰当的停顿可强化表达效果。比如“On Monday, we will begin the new program.”就比" On Monday we will begin the new program."更强调Monday(不是Tuesday, Sunday, ...也许受众想确认的是时间这个信息)。当然像下面这个倒装句,

    例句33:Down the stream paddled the kayakers. (皮艇顺流而下)

本来作者就是想强调与上文(或背景)无缝连接。若在stream后加了逗号,则破坏了说话人想表达的意境。

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