英语动词变位趣谈

英语动词变位趣谈

如果有人问,work in a factory是什么意思?你可能毫不犹豫地说,是“在工厂工作”的意思。但如果再问,works in a factory是什么意思?你可能还依旧会说是“在工厂工作”的意思。难道work与works没有区别吗?

我们先简单分析一下,原形动词work词尾加s,构成第三人称单数一般现在时。因此works的意思是“他或她(而不是你、我、你们、我们、他们或者她们)工作” ;而且还是经常状态的一种工作,暗含“他或她是在工厂工作,” 而不是“他或她在工厂之外的其它什么地方,比如学校、公司等地方工作” 之类的含义。一个小小的s,居然有如此多得意思。这是为什么呢?

我们知道,一个动作的发生都占有一定的时间,或者过去,或者现在,或者将来;同样,动作的执行者有不同的人或物。这种时间上的差异和由不同的人或物来执行动作的差异,英语和汉语的表现形式是不一样的。汉语的动词却没有任何形态上的变化,而英语要通过动词的相应形态变化表示出来。这里的s即体现了英语动词work这一动作的相应变化,即执行者是第三人称的他或她,其动作发生在现在,而且是经常性的状态。

当然,如果英语动词的变化仅仅限于加个s与否,对母语是汉语的人来说,还比较容易,但麻烦还没完。还以动词work为例,我们看看work一词在下列各句中有什么形态上的变化。

He worked in a factory yesterday (他昨天在工厂工作)。

He is working in a factory now(他正在工厂工作)。

由此,我们看到动词work连同原形一起,共有四种形式,即work, works, worked, working。一个动词要有四种形式,真是挺辛苦的。但更麻烦的是英语中那些最最常用的那些动词。

说到这里,不知读者有没有这样的体会 – 走在大街上,你想向别人打听去某个地方怎么走,你肯定会这样问“请问您,去xxx怎么走?”或者在聚会上,别人向你介绍个新朋友,你也一定会这样打招呼“您好!认识您很高兴!”尽管对方年龄比你小不少,你也会用“您”称呼对方。

但等你坐下来,和对方聊过几句,双方比较熟悉后,你有可能把称呼换成“你”了。俗话说,熟不拘礼嘛。如果夫妻二人说话时,突然用“您”称呼对方,那就不是客气,而是生气了 – “我就这德性,您爱找谁就找谁去吧!”

英语动词的变位,就如同我们在社交场合的称呼;关系一般的,反而规矩;关系越好,反而没有道理可讲。

英语中最常用的动词都是那些不讲规矩的动词。比如动词be,除其本身原形be之外,还有7种形式,即am、is、are;was、were;being; have(has) been。其它几个动词如do、have、go、make、get等变化也不讲规矩。

但在实际应用中,如果能真正掌握这几个动词的不同用法,则完全可以应付日常生活的需要,做到沟通无障碍了。现以动词go为例,看看这个动词能表示多少意思?

  1. How did the interview go(面试进行得怎样)?

It went quite well. Thanks.(很好谢谢)

  1. What do you go by when you decide to employ someone (你雇用人的依据是什么)?
  2. I can never remember how that song goes (那首歌怎么唱我全忘了)
  3. This painting went for one million dollars(这幅画卖了100万元)
  4. They’ve got a happy marriage, brilliant careers and wonderful children – in fact they’ve got everything going for them (他们有美满的婚姻,辉煌的事业,优秀的孩子 – 事实上他们拥有一切)
  5. She knows all about the health problems that go with smoking (她很了解伴随吸烟而来的健康问题)
  6. The TV set would go nicely in that corner (电视机放在那个角落里很合适)
  7. That picture would go well on the wall in the living room (那张画挂在客厅的墙上很合适)
  8. Does 3 go into 12 (12可以被3整除吗) ?
  9. Have you got any idea why this watch won’t go (你知道这块表为什么不走吗) ?
  10. He decided to leave the band and go it alone as a singer (他决定离开这个乐队独自去当一名歌手)
  11. The union advised their members to go slow instead of an all-out strike (工会建议会员们怠工,而不是罢工)
  12. I’ll just connect up the printer to the computer and then we’ll be ready to go (我会把打印机与电脑连接起来,然后我们就可以用了)
  13. I really need to get a new jacket. This one’s starting to go in the elbows (我真得买件新夹克了。这件肘部已开始磨破了)
  14. In spite of the relief effort, thousands of people continue to go hungry (虽有救济,可成千上万的人仍继续挨饿)
  15. The idea of going grey doesn’t bother me but I hate to go bald (我不担心头发变白,但我讨厌变秃顶)
  16. The new regulations will go into effect next year (新条例明年开始生效)
  17. He went off skiing after he broke his leg (摔断腿之后,他就不喜欢滑雪了)
  18. This edition is rather out of date, and only goes up to 2000 (这个版本过时了,最新资料只到2000年)
  19. The tree’s roots go down three metres (这棵树根深3米)
  20. This carpet is terribly old and worn. It has to go (这块地毯破旧不堪。该扔了)
  21. He has been seriously ill and may go anytime (他病得很重,随时会过世)
  22. How long have you been going out with him (你与他谈朋友多久了)
  23. Do you want to take your order here or to go (您是这里吃,还是带走)
  24. Are you planning to go after his job when he leaves (你打算他离职后接替他吗)
  25. This company has been going through considerable changes for the past three years (这家公司在过去3年经历了重大变化)
  26. There’s only one week to go before the exam results come out (还有一个星期考试成绩就出来了)
  27. America’s most wanted criminal is rumoured to have gone to ground in Mexico (据传美国头号通缉犯躲藏在墨西哥)
  28. He tends to go with the crowd so we should be able to persuade him without much difficulty (他是个随大流的人,我们能很容易地说服他)
  29. All the money raised will go to charity (所有筹款将用于慈善事业)
  30. I’d like to come to dinner but I don’t want you going to a lot of trouble for me (我很乐意过来吃饭,但不想过多麻烦你)
  31. Where have my keys gone? I always seem to be losing them (我的钥匙哪去了?我老是找不到)
  32. He went at his dinner as if he hadn’t had anything to eat for weeks (他狼吞虎咽,好像几个星期没吃东西似的)
  33. Your attitude only goes to prove that you are wrong (你的态度正好证明你错了)
  34. Turn down the music – I think I heard the doorbell go (把音乐声关小点,我觉得我刚刚听到门铃响)

 

加拿大博雅教育学会  翟崇生 (604) 562-5086

Cs.zhai@yahoo.ca

 

Comments