樹上鳥在叫 vs 鳥在樹上叫
(二之一)


January 8, 2000

 

1. The birds in the trees are singing.

樹上鳥在叫? 還是鳥在樹上叫?

2. The birds are singing in the trees

樹上鳥在叫? 還是鳥在樹上叫?

 

如果你沒學過前置詞(preposition)或稱介詞或介系詞,你就沒學過前置詞片語,當然也就沒學過前置詞片語(prepositional phrase)的功能。
前置詞片語有兩項功能:
(1)當形容詞用,(2) 當副詞用。

學過之後,方知句(1) in the trees在名詞之後,當形容詞用;句(2) in the trees在動詞
(現在分詞)之後,當副詞用。所以

(1)是:(哪裏的鳥右叫?) 樹上鳥在叫
(2)是:(鳥在哪裏叫?) 鳥在樹上叫

現在先談前置詞,再談前置詞片語。

  1. 前置詞

前置詞在英文句子結構中是不可或缺的。一般來說,十個句子當中,少說也有五個句子當中有前置詞。請看以下五段便知。

  1. A ranking Soviet diplomat was found hanging by his neck from a leather belt in the bathroom of his residence in Madras (on) Friday. (6 prepositions)
    (From 12/17/1988, China Post)

 

  1. Hong Kong - The Tiaoyutai islands dispute took a tragic and emotional turn
    yesterday when the leader of a ship of protesters from Hong Kong jumped
    into the sea and drowned after being barred from going ashore.(6 prepositions)
    ( From 9/27/1996, CHINA NEWS)
    (Note: the leader's name was David Chan---a 46-year-old man.)

 

  1. David, Don, Steve and I met while we were standing in line at the dormitory eating hall on the first day of the first year at college. In the coming months the four of us were to become friends and live together, experiencing the pleasures as well as ordeals of a freshman in college.

    The end of the year was to find Steve married, David an honor student, Don out of school and myself wondering about what had happened to us in the first year.

When I arrived, suitcase in hand, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, I looked at my surroundings with a feeling best described as bewilderment. Like an actor going on stage for the first time, I took a deep breath, put on a confident air and walked onto the campus to face a new life. (26 prepositions)
(From AWAY FROM HOME by Peter Koper )

 

  1. On a cold January day in 1845 a woman lay on a sofa in a second-floor room in Wimplole Street, London, with little to look forward to in life. Small and delicate,
    with great dark eyes fringed by long lashes, long ringlets curtaining her pale face,
    and exquisite hands and feet, she lay like a shadow in her velvet dress, enveloped
    in the silence of her closed room. She was a spinster long past girlhood, an invalid,
    a recluse. True, she had gained a reputation as a poet, but the world was shut away from her by walls of ill health. For six years Elizabeth Barrett had remained thus a prisoner in her chamber, where the loudest sound was the breathing of her devoted little spaniel, Flush. (23 prepositions)
    ( From IMMORTAL ROMANCE by Donald and Louise Peattie )

 

  1. Rainbow in the morning
    is sailors' warning.
    Rainbow at night
    is sailors' delight.

待續 (To be continued)

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