教你如何縮減英文字數: 消除介詞

學術寫作技巧

reduce word count - editing tips - avoid nominalizations

學會縮減英文字數的技巧對於職場人或是學生來說都是有益無害,因為能夠幫你將內容改得更為簡潔有力,傳達訊息更清晰。作為修改技巧系列的第二篇,這篇著重在英文介詞的縮減。在中文,我們沒有介詞的用法,因此除了不會用之外更糟糕的是用錯。這篇帶來一個好消息就是把「介詞消光光」,可以不用再猶豫到底是要用「on」或「of」了!

Tip # 2:  消滅 “Of” (改寫介系詞片語)

參考以下例句:

  1. The blood pressure of the mice was elevated.
  2. The elephant teetered along the edge of the cliff.
  3. The focus of this project was to study the effects of increased global temperatures on local fish hatcheries.

雖然找不出文法錯誤,但是應該可以感覺的到這些句子太冗長了吧。現在就要來示範怎樣利用消除介詞of把它們縮短。

  1. The blood pressure of the mice was elevated. [8 words]
  2. The elephant teetered along the edge of the cliff. [9 words]
  3. The focus of this project was to study the effects of increased global temperatures on local fish hatcheries. [19 words]

我們將可以刪除的介詞用紅色標出

  1. The mice’s blood pressure was elevated. [6 words]
  2. The elephant teetered along the cliff’s edge. [7 words]
  3. This project examined how increased global temperatures affect local fish hatcheries. [11 words]

以上的例句只要,只要用兩個字去替換刪掉的介系詞片語就可以成功縮短字數了。假設文章中充滿上方這一類的句型,不難想像可以刪減掉多少字!

可以刪掉介詞的情況有很多,上方例句只是一小部分,而這一篇文章提到的也是其中之一。記憶力好的人應該還可以想起來使用動詞名詞形容易讓人寫出被動語態。

下方介紹那些狀況的介系詞片語你可以修改,同時學習該怎麼修改

  1. 改成所有格: 許多高度相關的情況下,例如兩個名詞之間的所有權,就可以刪掉中間的介詞。例如,句子中有「Noun1 of Noun 2」或「Location1 in Location2」,直接將第二個名詞往前移併加上「’」 變成Noun1’s Noun2。
    • The approval of the Food and Drug Administration was received yesterday. → The Food and Drug Administration’s approval was received yesterday.
    • The studies were conducted at Max Laboratories in Chicago. → The studies were conducted at Chicago’s Max Laboratories.
  2. 改成主動語態:當被動語態的句子後面跟著「by」的時候 (Noun1 was/were + past participle + by + Noun2),把by後面的名詞改成句子主詞寫成主動語態。
    • The approval of the plan was given by the committee. →  The committee approved the plan yesterday.
  3. 替換副詞形式: 某些介係詞片語可以改的更為堅定,例如:由「with」開頭的片語。
    • The seller agreed with reluctance. →  The seller reluctantly agreed.
    • He spoke with hesitation when he accepted the deal. → He spoke hesitantly as he accepted the deal.
    • By chance, I finished work on time. →  Fortuitously, I finished work on time.
  4. 改成更精準的動詞: 有些介係詞片語可以用更有力、精準的動詞替換掉。可多加注意動詞使用「get」和「make」。
    • He got to the finish line. → He reached the finish line.
    • Increased benefits can make up for long working hours. →  Increased benefits can offset long working hours.
  5. 避免動詞名詞形 (請參考縮減字數:避免動詞名詞形)
  6. 檢視該片語的重要性:有些介系詞片語在句中並沒有任何作用或價值,建議直接刪掉。
    • In our current situation, we should decline the offer. → We should decline the offer.
  7. 嘗試wh-子句: 動詞跟「說」(例:ask, say, admit, argue, reply, agree, mention, explain, suggest, etc.) 或「心理狀態」像是 thinking、studying和deciding (例: know, understand, suppose, remember, forget, wonder, study, examine, decide, etc.)有關的,建議大膽嘗試wh-子句來寫出有力簡潔的句子。
    • The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of solar radiation on bioluminescence. →  This study examined how solar radiation affects bioluminescence.
    • Our mission was to conduct an investigation into the relationship between sunlight and plant growth. → We investigated how sunlight affects plant growth.

現在來動一動腦吧!

  1. The house of my mother sat on a big hill.
  2. The licensing of the software will be completed next week.
  3. The variables changed with little difference.
  4. The aim of our research was to assess the correlation between variable A and DNA replication rates.
  5. This paper was written to explore the way in which extra recess time and the test performance of students are related.
  6. To get back to you, we are looking back on what was done to figure out what we can do moving forward. [This one's hard. How short can you make this one?]

 

 

 

 

 

解答:

  1. My mother’s house sat on a big hill.
  2. The software licensing will be completed next week.
  3. The variables hardly changed.
  4. Our research aimed to assess how variable A affects DNA replication rates.
  5. This paper explores how extra recess time affects students’ test performance.
  6. We are examining the past to determine how we should proceed.

 

 

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