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英文寫作中的平行結構

什麼是平行的句子結構?

平行的句子結構是指在同一個句子中,單字、片語或子句具有相同的語法形式。平行句式能使句子自然流暢,常用於列舉或比較各元素,造成一種排比效果。在學術論文中,各章節的標題也常使用平行句式結構。

錯誤
I enjoy books, writing, and painting.
正確
I enjoy reading, writing, and painting.

上例中的兩個句子均在動詞後面開列幾個受詞元素。第一句列出的元素是“books”、“writing”和“painting”。“writing”和“painting”具有相同的語法形式,即均為動名詞;“books”則不是動名詞,而是普通名詞。因此,第一句就顯得彆扭和不均衡。第二句開列的元素是“reading”、“writing”和“painting”。這三個元素具有相同的語法形式,因此句子讀起來非常自然流暢,給讀者一種良好的節奏感。

錯誤
You can apply either by visiting the office or email.
正確
You can apply either by visiting the office or sending us an email.

在上例中,這兩個句子是在比較兩個不同的元素。第一句比較的兩個元素是“visiting the office”和“email”。這兩個元素具有不同的語法形式,即分別是動詞片語和名詞。第二句比較的兩個元素是“visiting the office”和“sending us an email”,它們則具有相同的語法形式。

序列中的平行結構

如上所述,在開列的序列中的各元素應當具有相同的語法形式。這些元素可以是單字、片語或子句,通常用逗號分號連接詞相連接,例如“and”或“or”。

單字的平行序列

當開列的元素是單字時,要想使用平行結構,就需要確保各元素具有相同的單字類型。換言之,名詞應該與其他名詞並列,形容詞應該與其他形容詞並列,動詞應該與其他動詞並列。

錯誤
She bought apples, potatoes, and is going to buy oranges.
正確
She bought apples, potatoes, and oranges.
錯誤
We are looking for an editor who is organized, self-motivated, and has a good eye for detail.
正確
We are looking for an editor who is organized, self-motivated, and detail-oriented.

如果開列的元素是動詞,它們必須具有相同的形式。例如,一個動詞的不定式必須與其他動詞的不定式並列,而不應與分詞或動名詞形式並列。

錯誤
I need to cook, showering, and study.
正確
I need to cook, shower, and study.

片語的平行序列

當動詞按照一串序列形式排列時,通常以動詞片語的形式出現。與單個動詞的平行結構一樣,動詞片語的平行結構也必須具有相同的語法形式。換言之,不定式片語應該和其他不定式片語一起列出,分詞片語應該和其他分詞片語一起列出,動名詞片語應該和其他動名詞片語一起列出。

錯誤
Your primary roles are greeting clients, to answer the phone, and updating the company calendar.

在上例中,“greeting clients”和“updating the company calendar”都是動名詞。然而,“to answer the phone”是不定式片語。如果將這個不定式片語改為動名詞片語“answering phone calls”,句子結構就變得平行了,示例如下。

正確
Your primary roles are greeting clients, answering phone calls, and updating the company calendar.

子句的平行序列

上述平行原則也適用於動詞子句,即所有元素必須具有相同的語法形式。

錯誤
The children were told that they should not run in the halls, that they should not chew with their mouths open, and to not use profanities.

在上例中,“that they should not run in the halls”和“that they should not chew with their mouths open”具有相同的語法形式。然而,“to use profanities”卻不具備。為了採用平行結構,需要修改“to use profanities”,或修改其他兩個子句,示例如下。

正確
The children were told that they should not run in the halls, that they should not chew with their mouths open, and that they should not use profanities.
正確
The children were told to not run in the halls, to not chew with their mouths open, and to not use profanities.

冒號後的平行列表

冒號後面的列表內容也必須在語法上保持平行一致。

錯誤
The fabricated composites were found to share three desirable characteristics: having a high resistance to heat, low brittleness, and high flexibility.
正確
The fabricated composites were found to share three desirable characteristics: high heat resistance, low brittleness, and high flexibility.

成對的平行結構

與上述列表或序列中的各元素一樣,成對的兩個元素也必須在語法上平行,即具有相同的語法形式。成對的元素可以用並列連接詞、相關連接詞或比較級連接詞連接。並列連接詞包括以下七個:and,or,nor,but,yet,so,for。這些連接詞都可以將元素配對。

錯誤
We went shopping and to bike.
正確
We went shopping and biking.

相關連接詞也可以連接句子中的成對單字。相關連接詞包括以下五個:either … or,neither … nor,whether … or,not only … but also,both … and。

錯誤
The samples can be collected with either a cotton swab or puncturing the epidermis with a needle.
正確
The samples can be collected with either a cotton swab or a needle.
正確
The samples can be collected by either swiping the inner cheek with a cotton swab or puncturing the epidermis with a needle.

在句子中進行比較的兩個元素之間也必須平行。以下詞彙可以用於比較:than,as,like,over。

錯誤
We decided to examine the samples individually rather than scanning them all at once.
正確
We decided to examine the samples individually rather than to scan them all at once.

標題和提綱中的平行結構

學術論文的章節標題應當具有相同的語法結構。雖然期刊在作者指南中對此問題通常並未明確規定,但在章節標題中採用平行結構有助於論文顯得更為專業和更有條理。這條原則也同樣適用於論文提綱。

錯誤
Symptoms and disease duration
Mortality rate is high worldwide
Transmission mechanism and the effect of immunizations
正確
Symptoms and disease duration
Mortality rates worldwide
Transmission mechanism and the effect of immunizations

主題中的平行結構

如果句子中的元素在語意上不一致或不相關,儘管它們在語法形式上相同,句子仍然是不平行的。換言之,句子中的所有元素都應該彼此清晰關聯。

錯誤
We found that the experimental results agreed with the theoretical model and went out dancing in the city.

在上例中,在語法上,“found that the experimental results agreed with the theoretical model”與“went out dancing in the city”雖然具有相同的語法形式,但是,仍然看不出這兩句話有什麼邏輯上的關係。因此,為了真正實現平行結構,必須在這兩句之間添加關聯詞彙,示例如下。

正確
We found that the experimental results agreed with the theoretical model, and to celebrate, we went out dancing in the city.