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英文寫作標點符號用法(8)
2010/04/13 20:23
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                                                 廖柏森

相關資訊: http://www.jwbooks.com.tw/catalog/link/SEO34-index.htm

() 分號 ; (semicolon)

    英文的分號也和中文分號一樣,用來分開意義緊密、地位相等或並列的兩個句子。它在中斷文意的語氣上比逗號強烈,但又比句號稍弱。英文分號還有一些文法上的要求,容易與逗號和句號的用法混淆。進一步探討則有以下幾種主要用法。 

3.1 分號可連結兩個語意關係密切(closely related)的句子,此時不用連接詞如and, or, but, for, not, yet等,如下例:

This essay is concerned with assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Individualism and Collectivism; the main issue under consideration is how far these opposing ontologies disprove each other.

本文關注的是評價個體主義和集體主義的優缺點,主要討論的議題在於這兩種對立本體論的差距。

說明: 上句其實是由兩個句子組成,中間用分號隔開,但是不可再加上連接詞,否則就會變成錯誤的句子如下:

* This essay is concerned with assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Individualism and Collectivism; and the main issue under consideration is how far these opposing ontologies disprove each other. 

上句也可以改寫成用連接詞and連接再加逗號。如下句:

This essay is concerned with assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Individualism and Collectivism, and the main issue under consideration is how far these opposing ontologies disprove each other. 

另外也還可以用句號直接分成兩句,而後句的第一個字母要大寫,。如下句:

This essay is concerned with assessing the strengths and weaknesses of Individualism and Collectivism. The main issue under consideration is how far these opposing ontologies disprove each other.

說明: 此例句可看出分號和句號的功能和用法很接近,都是直接置於兩個句子中間。但用句號時,兩句的語意關係就不如用分號緊密。 

從分號和句號的功能和用法很接近的觀點出發,我們還可以進一步來看有連接副詞如therefore, thus, however, nevertheless, furthermore, moreover, in other words, in addition, in fact, in contrast, in summary等連結兩個句子時,也可以把兩句間的句號改為分號,並把第二句的第一個字母改成小寫,以凸顯兩句間的緊密關係。如原句:

Ethnomethodology does not deny the existence of a “common culture”. However, the precariousness of social interaction is exactly that what this “common culture” is not.

常民方法論並不反對「共同文化」的存在,然而社會互動的不穩定性正否認了所謂的「共同文化」。 

可改成下句:

Ethnomethodology does not deny the existence of a “common culture”; however, the precariousness of social interaction is exactly that what this “common culture” is not.

說明: 此句中的however為連接副詞,它並不具文法上的連接作用,但可以在語氣上結合兩個意義相關的句子。原句在連接副詞前用句號區隔兩句,也可以改成用分號,這樣兩個句子看起來就只有一個句子,語意關係更緊密。另外還要注意連接副詞之後要加逗號。 

具備以上的觀念之後,我們還可以綜合之前在逗號一節2.4中所講述,連接副詞也能置於句中或句尾的句型,經過排列組合就會形成以下六種可以代換的公式,請特別注意其標點符號的使用:

(1)   S + V . 連接副詞 , S + V .

The government would allow college tuition fees to rise by as much as 18% over four years. However, this does not appear to be a long-term solution.

政府將允許大學學費以四年時間調漲高達18%,但這並不是長遠的解決之道。 

(2)   S + V . S , 連接副詞 , + V .

The government would allow college tuition fees to rise by as much as 18% over four years. This does not, however, appear to be a long-term solution. 

(3)   S + V . S+ V , 連接副詞 .

The government would allow college tuition fees to rise by as much as 18% over four years. This does not appear to be a long-term solution, however. 

(4)   S + V ; 連接副詞 , S + V .

The government would allow college tuition fees to rise by as much as 18% over four years; however, this does not appear to be a long-term solution. 

(5)   S + V ; S , 連接副詞 , + V .

The government would allow college tuition fees to rise by as much as 18% over four years; this does not, however, appear to be a long-term solution. 

(6)   S + V ; S + V, 連接副詞 .

The government would allow college tuition fees to rise by as much as 18% over four years; this does not appear to be a long-term solution, however. 

這六種句型雖然文法都正確,但不代表各種情況使用都很恰當,尤其是第(3)和第(6)種句型的第二個句子如果很長,就不宜將連接副詞放在句尾。而第(4)(5)(6)三種句型都是用分號隔開兩個句子,句子間的關係相對於第(1)(2)(3)三種句型要來得密切。

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