8種雙重否定句型的檢查方法及改寫技巧

英文寫作

8種檢視並改寫雙重否定句型的方法

雙重否定 (double negatives, 例: not + nobody, no one, never, etc.) 是文法上的明顯錯誤,而且因為只要有否定或負面的詞在同一句裡面,就構成雙重否定句,因此有許多不同的型態。先舉其中一個例子,讓你讀看看。

× It’s not that we’re ungrateful for all that you’ve done for us. It’s just that without additional funds, and unless we have no fewer than five people to work on this project, it might be impossible for us to meet the deadline.

如果你成功理解了這一個例子,那麼恭喜你擁有千迴百折的思考能力,但這不代表你願意耐心地讀完這樣子的文章,就如同大多數的讀者,沒有人想要讀得這麼辛苦。那假設有一篇頻繁使用雙重否定的學術論文,我們可以推測到讀者除了必須邊閱讀邊在腦中不停負負正負進行破譯,同時再加上許多學術專業術語,困難程度猶如解天文密碼。

為了改善這樣子的情況,我們可以怎麼做呢? 我們先改寫上面的例句,給你看一次:

  We’re thankful for all that you’ve done for us, but we would need at least five people and additional funds to meet the deadline.

一目了然的內容,意思保留,然而讀起來是不是清晰明朗多了呢?

雙重否定容易讓人理解錯誤,而且負負得正,幹嘛不寫正就好了呢? 你寫得輕鬆大家也讀得輕鬆。

然而,可能偶爾會想要利用雙重否定來做強調,其實也不是不行,只是要控制使用的頻率。

 

降低雙重否定的使用頻率,可以怎麼做?

怎麼改寫才可以降低雙重否定的使用呢?

1. 避免使用包含no或not的句型,尤其是指”量”的時候

改寫負變

  • No fewer than → at least
  • No more than → at most

 

2. 避免no/not + 負面副詞像是hardly和scarcely

把 no或not 放在負面副詞前面的時候,負負得正,因此結論是正的,但這種情況下大部分人想表示的其實是負。

刪除no/not或負面副詞來保有原有的負面意思

  • 情況一
    • not hardly → hardly [e.g., "I can't hardly wait" → "I can't wait" or "I can hardly wait."]
    • not scarcely → scarcely
    • not only (except when using “not only…but also” construction) → only
  • 情況二
    • scarcely…no/not → scarcely [e.g. "I scarcely had no time to..." → "I scarcely had time to..." or "I had no time to"]
    • hardly… no/not   → hardly

 

3. 避免no/not + 負面字首的字像是un-, mis-, in-, and non-

使用反義詞

  • No misunderstanding → understanding
  • Not illegal → legal
  • Not unnecessary → necessary
    • [筆記: not + un- 可以用來強調重點,也可以額外多加上一層意義,而這個意義可能在改寫句型時改變。例如:"The girl has many ideas that seem radical but not unintelligent," 意指這個女生的想法,以一般判斷聰穎的標準來說,太過奇怪或極端,但不得不承認的是她的想法還是有深度的]

 

4. 避免no/not跟其他有負面意思的字在一起像是absence, without, fail, terminate, void

修改這一類的句型,可能需要改寫整個句子

  • No additional work is needed in the absence of an emergency. → Additional work is only required in an emergency.
  • If you fail to respond by tomorrow, we cannot continue the project.  → We will continue the project only if you respond by tomorrow.

 

5. 避免no/not + until

一般都可以用only替換

  • No research has been conducted on Jupiter’s atmospheric composition until recently. → Research on Jupiter’s atmospheric composition only began recently.

 

6. 避免 no/not + unless

一般都可以用only + if替換

  • I will not go to the market unless I have to.  → I will only go to the market if necessary.

 

7. 不要寫例外中的例外,像是except + unless

改寫可能需要拆解句子為兩句以上

  • For your college admissions essay, you can write about anything except potentially offensive topics unless you focus on how you overcame an obstacle. → For your college admissions essay, you can write about anything. If you choose to write about a potentially offensive topic, focus solely on how you overcame the obstacle.

 

8. 避免not + but for.

一般可用only替換

  • I am not crazy about the movie but for its aesthetic elements. → I only like the movie’s aesthetic elements.

 

寫作文或論文的時候,很難同時顧及到所有層面,希望這次的八個小方法能幫助你快速抓出一些令人混淆的句子。

 

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