J英文寫作十誡J

 

October 29, 2001

 

Form the habit of proofreading whatever you write.  The following is a list of the most frequent errors made by beginners of English writing before their writing habits are formed. Study them carefully and do your best to eliminate them.

 

(初習英文寫作者,必已具備基本英文文法知識,但在練習時,作文中還是出現最常犯的錯誤,可能自已都不相信。為甚什麼?因為尚未養成英文寫作習慣。例如早已知道第三人稱、單數、現在式,動詞要加s可是寫作時就是會忘了加。)

 

1.      In titles you should not capitalize prepositions, articles, and conjunctions unless they begin the title.  All other words are capitalized.
(在書寫作文標題時,每一個字的第一個字母要大寫,但是前置詞、冠詞、連結詞則不需要,除非它是標題中的第一個字。)
Wrong: The title of his composition is "My Life In The United Kingdom."
Right:  The title of his composition is "My Life in the United Kingdom."
Note:   Prepositions of more than four letters are frequently capitalized.
           Example:
           In the first hour our teacher asked us to write a diagnostic composition on
          "A Little About Myself."

 

2.      You should not use the verb which does not agree with the subject in person and number.
Wrong: The number of the students in my English Composition class are limited to
              thirty.
Right:  The number of the students in my English Composition class is limited to thirty.
(the number of是某某的數目,後跟單數;a number of是多數的,後跟複數。)

 

3.      You should not use "to" after the following verbs: behold, bid, feel, have, hear, help, let, make, observe, perceive, see, watch.

Wrong:  I made him to go to a movie with Susan last night.

Right:   I made him go to a movie with Susan last night.

Note:   You may use to after Help.

 

4.      You should not use an infinitive after a verb which must be followed with a gerund.
Wrong: It seems no one enjoys to read textbooks.
Right: It seems no one enjoys reading textbooks.

 

5.      You should not forget to add "s" to plurals.

Wrong: There are fifty student in my English Writing class.

Right:  There are fifty students in my English Writing class.

 

6.      You should not forget to add "s" to the verb following third person, singular number, and present tense.

Wrong:  He go to school every day except Sundays.

Right:   He goes to school every day except Sundays.
(Note: everyday 是形容詞,如 everyday life)

 

7.    You should not use illogical sequence of tense.

Wrong:  He said that he will come to see me yesterday, but he did not show up.

Right:   He said that he would come to see me yesterday, but he did not show up.

 

8.         You should not use "but" after "though" or "although."

Wrong:  Although I am a teacher, but I cannot answer all your questions.

Right: Although I am a teacher, I cannot answer all your questions.
I am a teacher, but I cannot answer all your questions.

(在中文中,在雖然之後,一定跟但是。在一句英文中,兩者誓不兩立。)

 

9.    You should not use "so" after "because."

Wrong:  Because he is not interested in English, so his English is very poor.

Right: Because he is not interested in English, his English is very poor.
He is not interested in English, so his English is very poor.

(在中文中,在因為之後,一定跟所以。在一句英文中,兩者誓不兩立。)

 

10.     You should not use illogical or double comparison.

Wrong:  His life is like a movie star. (illogical comparison)

Right:   His life is like that of (the life of) a movie star.
Or: His life is like a movie star's (life).

(同一類的東西才可以比較。life 與 movie star 非同類。)

 

Wrong: He is more poorer in English than most of his classmates.
(double comparison 雙重比較級)

Right: He is poorer in English than most of his classmates.
Or: He is much poorer in English than most of his classmates.

 

摘錄自拙著pp.82-84, Practical English Grammar and Rhetoric
(中譯:實用英文文法與修辭第九版第五刷,文鶴出版有限公司 Tel: 02 23934497)

 

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