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如何在英文寫作中使用平行結構

2017 / 9 / 19

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問題:

「編輯對我的論文提出不少關於平行結構的意見。請問何謂英文句子的『平行結構』?」

– 國立臺北大學管理學院碩士生

回答:

 

平行結構是指以「相同語法呈現多個對等的概念」。這種寫作的特色是會牽涉到文法、風格、修辭與內容。若使用得宜,可增進讀者和自己對於某個主題的理解與認識。

  • Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.(你想要別人怎麼對待你,便要先怎麼對待別人)
  • Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice. (有人說世界將終結於烈火,有人說終結於冰封)

以下是需要修改成平行結構的例句:

例句一

While it was raining, I had to run into the grocery store, the dry cleaners, and stop at the bookstore.

 

這個句子並未採用平行結構,因為當中三個對等的概念裡頭,兩個使用行為動詞,一個卻沒有動詞。在中間的對等概念裡面加上「duck into」後,句子便可產生出平行結構:While it was raining, I had to run into the grocery store, duck into the dry cleaners, and stop at the bookstore.(下雨的時候,我只好跑進雜貨店、躲進乾洗店、停留在書店。)

另一個修改方式是將原句中的「stop at」刪去,得到:While it was raining, I had to run into the grocery store, the dry cleaners, and the bookstore.(下雨的時候,我只好跑進雜貨店、乾洗店、書店。)

例句二

The test was long and requiring skills we hadn’t learned.

 

這個句子並沒有採用平行結構,因為它是以不同的語法形式來呈現兩個對等概念。以下是改為平行結構的結果:

The test was long and required skills we hadn’t learned.(這個考試需要花很多時間,而且需要一些還沒學到的技術。)

對於成對概念或列舉項目而言(如上述兩個例句所示),使用時務必留意「是否符合平行結構的句行」。切記用字須能搭配所有的成對概念或列舉項目,這類用字包含冠詞(the、a、an)與介詞(by、for、of、on、to)。

  • 成對概念的平行句構

在英文句子中使用成對的概念或項目,通常會佐以比較句型,例如easier than、as much as、bigger than;對等連接詞,例如and、but、for、nor、or、so、yet;相關連接詞,例如both…and、either…or、just as…so、neither…nor、not…but、not only…but also、whether…or。讀完以下錯誤的平行結構例句後,請將每一句改為正確用法,每一句可以有一種以上的改法。

例句一

《比較句型》

Our neighbor’s house is bigger than the size of our house.

參考改法:

Our neighbor’s house is bigger than our house.(鄰居家比我們家還大)

或是

The size of our neighbor’s house is bigger than the size of our house.(鄰居家的大小比我們家還大)

例句二

《對等連接詞》

Shou-bi, my crazy dog loves running after Frisbees and plays with leaves.

參考改法:

Shou-bi, my crazy dog, loves running after Frisbees and playing with leaves.(我的小瘋狗「瘦比」喜歡追著飛盤跑和玩樹葉)

或是

Shou-bi, my crazy dog, loves to run after Frisbees and to play with leaves.(我的小瘋狗「瘦比」喜歡追著飛盤跑和玩樹葉)

例句三

《相關連接詞》

Not only was he rude, but also ate all the shrimp balls.

參考改法:

Not only was he rude, but also he ate all the shrimp balls.(他不只沒禮貌,還吃光所有的蝦球)

或是

Not only was he rude, but he also ate all the shrimp balls.(他不只沒禮貌,還吃光所有的蝦球)

  • 列舉項目的平行句構

列舉項目不僅包含鑲嵌在句子裡的概念,也包括編號式或點列式的列舉項目。若要檢查寫作「是否符合平行結構的句型」,其中一中方式是:念出第一個列舉項目之前的句幹,然後針對這個句幹逐一增加後續列舉項目。若此句幹可以搭配第一個項目,則必須也要能搭配後續項目,才能符合平行結構的句型。

例句

After I get off work, I’m driving to the gym, running five miles, and weights.

  1. 找出第一個列舉項目之前的句幹(After I get off work, I’m…)
  2. 確認句幹可以搭配第一個項目(After I get off work, I’m driving to the gym.)
  3. 確認句幹可以搭配第二個項目(After I get off work, I’m running five miles.)
  4. 句幹無法搭配第三個項目(After I get off work, weights.)
  5. 修正為平行句構:After I get off work, I’m driving to the gym, running five miles, and lifting weights.(下班後,我要開車去健身房、跑個五英哩和練舉重)
  6. 確認句幹可以搭配第三個項目(After I get off work, I’m lifting weights.)

 

錯誤例句一

《鑲嵌在句子裡的概念》

On Saturday, my roommates and I are playing in a game of basketball, collecting coats for charity, work on our homework for three hours, and go to a party in the Village.

參考改法:

On Saturday, my roommates and I are going to play in a game of basketball, collect coats for charity, spend three hours on homework, and go to a party in the Village.(星期六我跟室友打算去打籃球、收集外套拿去捐贈、寫作業三小時和參加村裡的派對)

或是

On Saturday, my roommates and I are playing in a game of basketball, collecting coats for charity, spending three hours on homework, and going to a party in the Village.(星期六我跟室友打算去打籃球、收集外套拿去捐贈、寫作業三小時和參加村裡的派對)

錯誤例句二

《列舉項目》

The people I have met since starting college include the following:

Mei-ing Chang

Joe Chen, a guy from the Taipei area

Adam Lu and Donna Liu

Ian Yang from Hong Kong

and Jason Li, whom I met in math class

參考改法:

The people I have met since starting college include the following:

Mei-ing Chang

Joe Chen

Adam Lu

Donna Liu

Ian Yang

Jason Li

或是

The people I have met since starting college include the following:

Mei-ing Chang from near Taichung

Joe Chen from the Taipei area

Adam Lu from Hsinchu

Donna Liu from Hsinchu

Ian Yang from Hong Kong

Jason Li from Morris, Indiana

  • 利用平行結構

若將最重大或意想不到的項目擺在列舉的最後一個順位,便能夠吸引讀者的注意,也有助於烘托所有列舉項目。留意以下兩個例句的不同。

將最重大的項目擺在最後:In the accident, he received cuts on his face, a mild concussion, a cracked rib, and a ruptured spleen.(那場意外使他臉部割傷、輕度腦震盪、肋骨斷裂、脾臟破裂)

將最重大的項目擺在中間:In the accident, he received cuts on his face, a ruptured spleen, a cracked rib, and a mild concussion.(那場意外使他臉部割傷、脾臟破裂、肋骨斷裂、輕度腦震盪)

使用相同或並列的字彙來搭配所比較的概念,可以加強比較的效果。

使用相同字彙的例句:It’s unusual to feel intense attraction and intense repulsion for the same person.(對某個人同時懷抱強烈的愛與恨是不太尋常的事情)

使用並列字彙的例句:You always seem to run to guitar lessons and crawl to piano lessons.(你總是快步跑去上吉他課,再緩步走去上鋼琴課)

  • 使用平行結構的重點回顧

1. 平行結構的句型是指「以相同語法形式來呈現多個對等概念或列舉項目」。

2. 平行結構是一種修辭或風格手法,以適切或有效的方式來排列欲強調的概念。

3. 英文句子中的成對概念應該要採用平行結構的句型。

4. 無論是鑲嵌在句子中的多個概念,或是一條條列舉出來的項目,兩者都應採用平行結構的句型。

5. 在多數情況下,將句子或列舉項目改為平行結構的形式不只一種。

 

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