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主詞與動詞一致性(主謂一致)

句子的主詞和動詞必須在單複數表達形式上保持一致。單數形式的主詞應當與單數形式的動詞搭配。複數形式的主詞應當與複數形式的動詞聯用。主詞和動詞的搭配非常重要,因為它可以防止讀者搞不清哪個名詞是主詞。

例句
The girl is walking in the park.

這是一個簡單的句子,讀者能夠清楚地分辨出句子的主詞是“girl”。單數形式的動詞“is”與單數形式的主詞“girl”在數量表達上是一致的。

然而,對於更為複雜的句子,單複數匹配關係可能並不顯而易見。例如,

錯誤
Sample 1, in addition to Samples 2 and 3, were found to be contaminated.
正確
Sample 1, in addition to Samples 2 and 3, was found to be contaminated.

在上例中,主詞是“Sample 1”。但是,如果句中使用了複數形式的動詞“were”,讀者便很容易誤認為主詞不僅是“Sample 1”,而且還包括“Samples 2 and 3”。

主詞和動詞搭配的例子

動詞 單數形式的主詞 + 動詞 複數形式的主詞 + 動詞

Be

The study is novel.

The studies are novel.

Make

He makes a cake.

They make a cake.

Conclude

Goldmund concludes that 67% of the samples had been contaminated.

Goldmund and Millstein conclude that 67% of the samples had been contaminated.

Present

The figure presents the results of the simulation.

The figures present the results of the simulation.

複合主詞和動詞

在一個句子中,一個動詞可以有一個以上的主詞。當兩個或兩個以上的主詞共用同一個動詞時,主詞之間用連接詞“and”或“or”連接。由連接詞“and”連接的主詞通常需要與複數形式的動詞聯用。

錯誤
Composite A and composite C was discarded due to surface irregularities.
正確
Composite A and composite C were discarded due to surface irregularities.

相比之下,由連接詞“(either…) or”連接的單數形式的主詞須與單數形式的動詞聯用。

錯誤
We concluded that either composite A or composite C have issues with surface irregularity.
正確
We concluded that either composite A or composite C has issues with surface irregularity.

由連接詞“(neither…) nor”連接的單數形式的主詞也須與單數形式的動詞聯用。

錯誤
Neither sample B nor sample D were found to be contaminated.
正確
Neither sample B nor sample D was found to be contaminated.

但是,如果用連接詞連接起來的主詞是複數形式,則必須使用複數形式的動詞。

錯誤
Neither the patients in group A nor the patients in group B has histories of illness.
正確
Neither the patients in group A nor the patients in group B have histories of illness.

有時,複合主詞會同時包含單數形式和複數形式的名詞。這時,動詞的單數或複數形式應當與最接近它的主詞名詞的單複數形式相匹配。.

錯誤
Neither the main frame of the vehicle nor its additional components needs to be treated with the solution.
正確
Neither the main frame of the vehicle nor its additional components need to be treated with the solution.

上例的正確用法是使用複數形式的動詞“need”,因為“components”是複數形式。

主詞用“and”連接的更多示例

用“and”連接的主詞須與複數形式的動詞聯用。

例句
The puppy and the kitten are friends.
例句
The behaviors of lipids and proteins were studied in an isolated environment.

主詞用“(either…) or”或“(neither…) nor”連接的更多示例

用“(either... ) or”或“(neither…) nor”連接的單數形式的主詞須與單數形式的動詞聯用。用“(either…) or”或“(neither…) nor”連接的複數形式的主詞須與複數形式的動詞聯用。

例句
Either the vacuum chamber or the clean room has been damaged.
例句
Neither the vacuum chamber nor the clean room has been damaged.
例句
Either he or she waters the plants.
例句
It is rainy, so neither the park nor the beach is nice to walk on.

當主詞既包含單數形式也包含複數形式的名詞時,與這種複合主詞相匹配的動詞的單複數形式由最靠近動詞的名詞的單複數形式決定。在用“or”或“nor”連接的名詞中,只要有一個名詞是複數形式,動詞就必須是複數形式,而且這個複數形式的主詞名詞應當放在緊挨著動詞的地方。

例句
Either he or his daughters water the plants.
例句
Neither the clean room nor the vacuum chambers have been damaged.

當主詞和動詞分開時

許多句子帶有片語或從句,導致主詞和動詞是分開的。這可能會造成主詞難以識別。以下面兩個句子為例,

(a)
Many studies on this subject has neglected the effect of oxygen on the fabrication process.
(b)
Many studies on this subject have neglected the effect of oxygen on the fabrication process.

哪個句子是正確的呢?答案是b。這是因為主詞是“studies”,而非“subject”。使用正確的動詞單複數形式,能夠幫助讀者更好地識別句子的主詞。

錯誤
We found that the derivatives of C demonstrates high heat resistance.
正確
We found that the derivatives of C demonstrate high heat resistance.

通過正確使用動詞的複數形式,上例中的第二個句子清楚地表明“derivatives”是主詞。

其他連接詞:along with, as well as, in addition to

像“along with”、“as well as”和“in addition to”這樣的片語不是連接詞,但它們能夠起到連接詞的作用。如上所述,用連接詞“and”連接的多個主詞通常須與動詞的複數形式聯用。但是,當使用“along with”、“as well as”和“in addition to”時,則不是這樣。

錯誤
Composite C, along with composite A, were discarded due to surface irregularities.
正確
Composite C, along with composite A, was discarded due to surface irregularities.
錯誤
Composite C as well as composite A were discarded due to surface irregularities.
正確
Composite C as well as composite A was discarded due to surface irregularities.
錯誤
Composite C, in addition to composite A, were discarded due to surface irregularities.
正確
Composite C, in addition to composite A, was discarded due to surface irregularities.

這些連接詞與“and”的區別在於,它們並不構成複合主詞。在上述句子中,主詞是“composite C”,而不是“composite C, along with composite A”、“composite C as well as composite A”或“composite C, in addition to composite A”。

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不定代名詞

單複數形式的另一個常見的混淆之處是不定代名詞,比如“anything”是應該與單數還是複數形式的動詞聯用。有些不定代名詞總被當作單數,而另一些則總被當作複數。還有一些不定代名詞,根據句子的情況不同,有時被當作單數,有時則被當作複數。常見的不定代名詞包括:all, any, anything, anybody, anyone, anywhere, every, everything, everybody, everyone, everywhere, some, something, somebody, someone, somewhere, none, nothing, nobody, nowhere, more, most, another, each, one, both, either, few, many, several

大多數不定代名詞被視為單數。“every”、“another”、“each”和“one”,以及所有以“thing”、“body”、“one”或“where”結尾的不定代名詞都須與單數形式的動詞聯用。

例句
Every sample was treated with the prepared solution.
例句
Another girl asks for paper.
例句
Each of the samples was treated with the prepared solution.
例句
Only one of the boys wants ice cream.
例句
Something is wrong.

另一方面,“both”、“few”、“many”和“several”則被視為複數。

例句
Both of the samples were contaminated with ammonia.
例句
Few are happy with the results.
例句
We found that many of the composites were damaged by exposure to air.
例句
Several children look for extra pencils.

根據句子的情況不同,有些不定代名詞可以被視為單數,也可以被視為複數。它們包括:all,some,any,none,more,most,either。請看下面使用不定代名詞“some”的例句。

例句
Some of the samples were contaminated.
Some of the sample was contaminated.

在上例的第一個句子中,“some”指的是“samples”,是複數形式,因此應當與複數形式的動詞聯用。在第二個句子中,“some”指的是“sample”,是單數形式,因此應當與單數形式的動詞聯用。

放在動詞後面的主詞

在有些句子中,主詞跟在動詞後面,而不是把動詞跟在主詞後面,例如,以“there”或“here”開頭的句子,以及句子結構為倒裝形式的句子。

例句
There are five equations that must be considered.
例句
Here is an equation that must be considered.
例句
Behind the building stands a trash can.

從上例可見,主謂語單複數形式一致的原則同樣適用於主詞置於動詞後面的情形。

數字、百分比或數量作為主詞

句子的主詞有時可以是數字或數量。這在學術寫作中尤為常見,因為數值對於科學研究來講非常重要。與數字主詞連用的動詞單複數形式取決於數字所指的內容。

例句
67% of the samples were found to be contaminated.
例句
80 cm of electric tape was cut.

在上例中,“67%”指的是“samples”,是複數。因此,它需要與複數形式的動詞“were”聯用。而在另一句中,“80 cm”指的是“electrical tape”,是單數,因此應該與單數形式的動詞“was”連用。同樣的規則也適用於比例數字。

例句
Almost three-quarters of the samples were found to be contaminated.
例句
Almost three-quarters of the first sample was found to be contaminated.

如果主詞指的是某個事物的一個整體數量,它應該被視為單數。

例句
70 cm is not a sufficient length.
例句
97.5% is a high accuracy that has not been previously achieved.

集體名詞作為主詞

集體名詞是指一群人、動物或事物的名詞。與這些名詞搭配使用的動詞單複數形式在美式英語和英式英語中具有不同的規定。在美式英語中,集體名詞通常被視為單數;而在英式英語中,則被視為複數。

例句
(US) The flock flies to Russia in early summer.
例句
(UK) The flock fly to Russia in early summer.

鳥群指的是一群鳥。根據美式英語的習慣,“flock”應當與單數形式的動詞聯用。英式英語則規定,“flock”應當與複數形式的動詞聯用。這是因為美式英語強調鳥群的整體性,而英式英語則強調鳥群是由許多隻鳥組成的。

在上例中,“強調”這個說法很關鍵,因為它可以決定句子的內容,並決定集體名詞是作為單數還是複數處理。

例句
The flock squawk at each other.
例句
The flock is enormous.

在上例中,兩個句子強調的重點有所不同。

不可數名詞作為主詞

不可數名詞是抽象概念或一般術語,因此無法計數。不可數名詞的例子包括:research, information, progress, equipment, furniture, luggage, flour, cement。不可數名詞通常與單數形式的動詞聯用。

例句
The research found the previous results to be invalid.
例句
Information is a strategic resource.
例句
The cement was poured over the foundation.

作為主詞的首字母縮略詞和縮寫詞

關於首字母縮略詞和縮寫詞的規則比較簡單,即檢查這些詞的非縮寫原詞是什麼。首先,確定非縮寫的原詞是單數、複數、複合詞或集體名詞,然後使用相應的規則即可。

例句
This new SSD is perfect for my PC.

“SSD”代表“solid-state drive”,是單數,因此應當與單數形式的動詞聯用。

例句
BCS continue to experience the side effects of the treatments they were exposed to.

“BCS”代表“breast cancer survivors”,是複數形式,因此應該與複數形式的動詞聯用。