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如何使用修飾語

英文“modifiers”(修飾語)的詞根是“modify”,其含義是改變某物。修飾語的作用就是改變、澄清、強調或限制句子中的詞彙或短語。修飾語可以是單字、片語或子句,能夠起到形容詞副詞的作用。

形容詞
I want a delicious sandwich for lunch.
副詞
You have to run fast to get there in time.
定語從句
She is the one who knows the recipe.

什麼是錯置修飾語?

錯置修飾語是指在修飾單字、片語或分句時,修飾語的位置不對。修飾語通常應當緊鄰它要描述的詞。當修飾語被錯置時,它就修飾錯了地方。

錯誤
She met a new friend working at the school.
正確
She met a new friend while working at the school.
正確
She met a new friend who works at the school.

上例中的錯誤寫法導致句子的意思含糊,因為搞不清楚修飾語“working at the school”是修飾“a new friend”還是“She”。

那句話可以表示以下兩個意思:
  1. 她在學校工作的時候遇到了一個新朋友。
  2. 她遇到了一個在學校工作的新朋友。

錯誤
He said after New Year’s day he will stop smoking.
正確
He said that, after New Year’s day, he will stop smoking.
正確
He said after New Year’s day that he will stop smoking.

限制性修飾語

限制性修飾語是對所修飾的詞的含義進行限制。

英文中的almost, hardly, nearly, just, only, merely是一些常用的限制性修飾語。限制性修飾語應當緊鄰放在它們所修飾的詞的前面。如果把限制性修飾語與它所修飾的詞分開,會造成修飾關係不清晰和令人迷惑。

例句
Only she wants to go out.
She only wants to go out.

在上例中,由於限制性修飾語(only )在句中所處位置不同,句子的意思會完全改變。

第一句話表示在所有的人當中,她是唯一一個想出去的人。第二句話則表示她唯一想做的事情就是出去。這兩個句子在語法上都正確,但它們卻具有完全不同的意思。

例句
I almost won $500.
I won almost $500.

在上例中,第一句話表示我差點就贏了500美元,但實際沒有贏。第二句話表示我贏的錢接近500美元。

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如何糾正錯位修飾語

糾正錯位修飾語的方法很簡單,就是把修飾語放在正確的位置即可,即把修飾語放在它要修飾的名詞, 代名詞, 形容詞動詞的前面或後面。

錯誤
The politician was interviewed after the crime was committed by the reporters.
正確
The politician was interviewed by the reporters after the crime was committed.
錯誤
The girl walked the dog in the red sweater.
正確
The girl in the red sweater walked the dog.
錯誤
Though hungry and cold, the food was left untouched by the students.
正確
Though hungry and cold, the students did not touch the food.

什麼是懸垂修飾語?

在有懸垂修飾語的句子中,修飾語所修飾的主詞被省略,導致主詞可能會用錯。 當修飾語放在句首時,被修飾語修飾的主語應該緊隨其後。

錯誤
Walking through the forest, a wolf appeared in front of her.
正確
Walking through the forest, she encountered a wolf.

在上例中,穿過森林的不是狼,而是她。因此,主句的主詞應該改為她。

錯誤
Upon entering the room, the food came into her sight.
正確
Upon entering the room, she saw the food.

在上例中,進房間的不是食物,而是她。因此,主句的主詞應該改為她。

如何糾正懸垂修飾語

有兩種方法可以糾正懸垂修飾語的錯誤。一般來講,可以改變主句的主詞,把主詞緊挨著放在修飾語短語的後面。另一種解決辦法是把主詞加到修飾語短語中。

改變主句的主詞

將主句的主詞改為修飾語要修飾的那個詞。

修改修飾語短語

把主詞放在修飾語短語中,維持主句原樣不變。

錯誤
Not having finished the assignment, the game could not begin.
正確
Not having finished the assignment, I could not begin the game.
Since I did not finish the assignment, the game could not begin.
錯誤
Cold and hungry, the dinner was devoured by the boys.
正確
Cold and hungry, the boys devoured the dinner.
The boys, who were cold and hungry, devoured the dinner.