『名詞子句』就是『作用等同於名詞的子句』。如果你不知道什麼是子句,請參考《形容詞子句》的第一段。

例句:
I don't know it.
I don't know your father.
I don't know that your girlfriend is a singer.
I don't know where he lives.
I don't know if your brother is older or younger than me.

上面這幾個例句的句型都一樣,但是藍色的字是『名詞』,紅色的字則是『名詞子句』。它們的作用都一樣,都是『I don't know...』的受詞,只不過藍色的名詞是某個人/事/物,紅色的則是整個子句。

如果子句的內容是直述句(statement),則這個名詞子句(noun clause)與一般的句子(sentence)沒什麼不同,一樣有主詞有動詞,只是前面加一個 that 來提醒讀者『後面這一串是子句哦』。又因為那個 that 常常被省略,所以看起來/聽起來和一般的句子根本一模一樣。

但當名語子句的內容是一個問句(question)時,就要特別注意啦:要把問句中顛倒的主動詞再顛倒回來,這是一般人常常會出槌的地方。

例如原問句:
What time is it?
改成名詞子句:
Would you please tell me what time it is?
I don't know what time it is.

所有的 wh- 問句改法都一樣。以下是範例:
What is your name? -------------------> I don't know what your name is.
How long have you been here? -----> I don't know how long you have been here.
Where did you go yesterday? -------> I don't know where you went yesterday.
Why are you late today? -------------> I don't know why you are late today.
Which color do you prefer? ----------> I don't know which color you prefer.
Who are you talking to? --------------> I don't know who you are talking to.
Whose book is it? ---------------------> I don't know whose book it is.

但並非所有問句都以 wh- 開頭呀,你說。

是的,像是『你愛我嗎』這種問題叫做『是非題』(Yes/No question),改成名詞子句的時候要用 if 或 whether:
1. if.....
2. if.... or not.
3. whether.....
4. whether.... or not.
5. whether or not....
以上五種寫法的意思完全一樣。

例如:Does he love me? 要改成 I'm not sure... 有以下五種選擇:
1. I'm not sure if he loves me.
2. I'm not sure if he loves me or not.
3. I'm not sure whether he loves me.
4. I'm not sure whether he loves me or not.
5. I'm not sure whether or not he loves me.
不過因為美國人很懶,所以通常都不講『or not』。

當然,如果是選擇題,你也可以在 or 的後面寫別的選項。例如:
I'm not sure if he loves me or Jenny.
I'm not sure whether he loves me or my beauty or my richness.

注意當名詞子句的內容是直述句時,會以 that 開頭(that 也可省略);但當名詞子句的內容是問句時,則以 wh- 或 if/whether 開頭,不可以再加上 that 哦!

所有『名詞』可以做的事,『名詞子句』也可以做。『名詞』可以做什麼呢?其實還滿乏善可陳的 -- 就是主詞和受詞而已。所以名詞子句也可以當主詞或受詞。

要注意的是,名詞子句當主詞時,動詞形式一律是單數。例如:
What you said is not important.
Where he lives doesn't matter.
How old they are is the main issue.
Does what she has said hurt you?

再回頭說說肯定句。

雖然說通常只要在子句之前加一個 that 就沒事了,但有些特殊的動詞後面接的子句一定要用原型動詞(文法中稱為 subjunctive),這也是大家常常搞不清楚的地方。

這些特殊的動詞通常有『命令』或『建議』的意味。例如:
recommend, suggest, ask, advise, demand, insist, propose, request

還有一些常用的句型後面接的子句也要用 subjunctive:
It is essential (that)...
It is imperative (that)...
It is important (that)...
It is critical (that)...
It is necessary (that)...
It is vital (that)...

例句:
1. The teacher demands (that) we be on time.
2. I insisted (that) he pay me the money.
3. I recommend (that) she not go to the concert.
4. It is important (that) they be told the truth.

文法書上解釋,這些子句中其實是省略了 should 這個助動詞,所以後面的動詞才會是原型動詞。
例如: The teacher demands that we should be on time.
這樣看起來就順眼多了對吧?
不過美國人很懶,通常會把 should 省掉,所以才變成上面那些例句的怪樣子。如果在英式英文(British English)中,通常還是會把 should 加上去。

以上。不敬禮解散。 :p

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