大学生英语竞赛之怎样写好句子

  • 大学生英语竞赛
罗旭·北京邮电大学
2017-03-06
阅读数1951

  写作的一个重要标准就是要考查学生"是否会用英语清楚而贴切地表达思想"。而句子是表达一个完整独立思想的最小的语言单位。因此,合理的句子结构对表达思想至关重要,其好坏与否直接关系到一篇文章的成败。

  写好句子的基本要素:

  1.简洁性(Conciseness)

  举世闻名的英国剧作家。诗人莎士比亚(William Shakespeare)有句名言:"言以简洁为贵"(Brevity is the soul of wit.)。所谓简洁,就是语言凝练概括,高度浓缩,简明扼要。用较少的语言表达尽可能丰富的内容,无冗长之弊,无拖沓之嫌,做到文约而事丰,言简而意赅,它充分体现了英语语言自身发展的要求。古今中外,作家们大都惜墨如金。中国著名作家鲁迅曾说过:"竭力将可有可无的字。句。段删去,毫不可惜"。美国作家海明威(Ernest Hemingway)的语言风格在西方文学中更是独树一帜。他的文笔含蓄简练,清新流畅,以善用小词。短句著称,人称"电报式"风格。

  他曾经告诫自己儿子说:"Never use more words than you have to—it detracts from the flow of actions."然而,有些学生在写作中却忽略了这一点。把本来可以很简洁的句子变成了冗长的词语堆砌,结果往往是佶屈聱牙,冗长费解。要写出语言优美。短小精悍的文章,就必须作到句子精短,用词简洁,使每个词在句中起到应有的作用。具体来说,在不影响准确。清晰表达的前提下,句子能简化的部分尽量简化,能省略的尽量省略,用精炼的语言表达丰富的思想,使人们要表达的深层语义明白流畅,一目了然,达到简明扼要。清澈晶莹的效果。

  1)尽可能把从句变成单句或短语 ,把短语变成单词If you compare the two methods carefully,you will find the difference.  

  这个句子本来用一个简单句就足以表达清楚,却用了一个含条件状语从句的复合句,反而显得冗长累赘。下面这句就精炼多了:

  Careful comparison of the two methods will show you the difference.

  When I pushed the door open, I saw a group of young people.  

  此句可用现在分词短语代替时间状语从句,使文字更简短紧凑。干净利落:Pushing the door open,I saw a group of young people.

  During the past forty years,the population of China has been rising at a rapid rate.

  句中介词短语at a rapid rate根据其在句中的语法功能,完全可由单个副词rapidly取代,使句子文字简练。

  2)避免不必要的重复,包括语义重复和用词重复。

  She is attractive in appearance ,but she is rather a foolish person.

  前半句属于语义重复。用了attractive(迷人的;有吸引力的),无须再用in appearance ;后半句属于用词重复,全句宜改为:

  She is attractive, but rather foolish.

  改写后行文依然能表达完整意义,给人"含英咀华"之感。

  The workers and technicians in this factory have made a lot of new innovations.innovations(something newly introduced)已含有new 之义。汉语口语中有"新发明"这一说法。母语的负迁移(negative transfer)影响容易使人对等翻译英文,给人以叠床架屋之感。

  I will go to the movies together with my brother.

  "与某人一起"用"with sb."就可以,而"together with (as well as; in addition to)则意为"和。加之或连同"。例如:These new facts, together with the evidence you have already heard, prove the prisoner's innocence.(这些新的事实,连同你已听到的证据,证明此在押被告是无辜的。)

  The final result of the match is 2:1 to our team.

  句中final result搬用了汉语的说法,而没有注意到result 本身意为"结果","结局",用了final无异于画蛇添足。

  以上经过化简的句子,既保持了信息量大的优点,又避免了臃肿,达到以少胜多的效果。要避免句子的类似问题,一方面要了解英汉两种语言在语法,句型,词义等方面的异同,另一方面要用英语的思维和表达方式取代汉语,排除母语的负迁移干扰。

  3)改写不必要的冗长句子结构和被动语态,对原句的结构做一些必要的调整。

  It is necessary for students to fill out both registration forms.

  Students must fill out both registration forms.

  British was defeated by the United States in the war of 1812.

  British lost the war of 1812 to the United States.

  My short stay in the country gave me the greatest happiness that I have had  over the entire period of my life.

  My short stay in the country gave me the greatest happiness in my life.

 

2.多样性(Variety)

  任何事情都不是绝对的。写作中如果一味追求短句,追求简洁,有时会弄巧成拙,适得其反。因为一篇文章如果都是千篇一律的简单句,势必导致割裂句(choppy sentence )过剩。文体松散,文章就会粗糙浅显。毫无生气。英语是世界上最富有表达力的语言之一。它的句型变化灵活多样,丰富多彩。同一思想内容可以用多种语言形式来表达。当然句型多样化决不可滥用,造成华而不实。只有在准确表达思想的基础上方可力求句型多样化,以求既有丰富的内涵,又有优美的文字。英语句子的多样性主要体现在以下两个方面:

  1)句式变化的多样性 

  这是语言运用能力的一种表现,也是避免句子单调乏味最简单有效的办法。通过句子变换(transformation of sentence),运用不同结构,选用不同句式来表达相同的内容,使表意手段更为多样化,具有异曲同工之妙。

  (1)既可以用主动式也可以用被动式,如:

  We certainly should make great efforts.

  Great efforts are certainly required.

  (2)既可以用肯定式也可以用否定式,如:

  The lesson will be firmly rooted in our minds.

  We will never forget this lesson.(3)既可以是正常语序也可以是倒装语序,如:

  One can't learn anything until he rids himself of complacency.

  Only when one rids himself of complacency can he learn something.

  (4)某些成分既可以放在句子前面也可以放在后面,还可以放在中间,如:

  With a car, people can get around freely.

  People can get around freely with a car.

  People, with a car, can get around freely.

  (5)既可以用简单句(simple sentence)也可以用并列句(compound sentence) 或者复合句(complex sentence)

  a.扩展为名词从句

   One man's meat is another man's poison.

   What is one man's meat is another man's poison.(从句作主语)

   The manager is going to some place,but no one knows where.

   No one knows where the manager is going.(从句作宾语)

   b.扩展为形容词从句

   Our present house suits us fine.

   The house that we are now living in suits us fine.

   Robert was not a man to tell a lie.

   Robert was not a man who told a lie.

   I placed the book on the table,and it is still there.

   The book that I placed on the table is still there.

   c.扩展为副词从句

   With the continuance of life,there is still hope.

   While there is life,there is hope.(表示时间)

   The ice was thick enough to walk on.

   The ice was so thick that we could walk on it.(表示结果)

   Not withstanding the heat of the sun,we must go out.

   Hot as the sun is,we must go out.(表示让步)

   Mrs Brown was getting older,so her hair turned grey gradually.

   As Mrs Brown was getting older,her hair turned grey gradually. (表示原因)

   Hold your tongue,or you will be sorry.

   Unless you hold your tongue,you will be sorry.(表示条件)

  三者各具功能。简单句简洁明快,措辞严谨,直截了当;并列句则表达同样重要的信息;复合句信息量大,轻重有别,结构上有枝有蔓,能体现出层次。这三种不同的句子形态为语言的表达提供了丰富的选择。使用什么样的句子应取决于实际需要,灵活选用。只有句型多样化,才会行文起伏,流畅自然。

 

 

 2)句子长度的多样性

  尽管人称海明威"电报大师",但纵观其作品,句子也是长短相间,富于变化,给人以"万峰起伏,层峦叠嶂"之感。这一点值得我们在写作中好好借鉴。从整体效果考虑,好的文章应该是该用长句时用长句,该用短句就用短句。因为长句和短句各有千秋。长句的特点是结构层次多,凝重典雅,严密周详,气势畅达,利于复杂思想的表达。严密的论证,但使用起来不够活泼,不够简便。短句的特点是生动简洁,短小精悍,活泼有力,但容量较小,不利于表达复杂的语义内容。在具体语言活动中,为了达到简洁明快。生动活泼,又严密精确。细腻委婉的目的,往往是长短句交替使用。这既体现了节奏上的要求,也是意义上的需要。请看下面这段:

  John went to work on foot. He took a bottle of hot tea and delicious lunch in a paper bag. He walked slowly. He enjoyed the cool, early morning air. He also enjoyed the sights and sounds of the streets. The big city was rapidly waking up. It was noisy and turbulent. An energetic little boy was setting his battered shoeshine stand in front of a hotel entrance. A deliveryman was busily slapping down cartons of let-tuce on the sidewalk in front of a grocery store and he was dressed in a white uniform. John saw a friend. The friend was waiting for a taxi. He stopped briefly for a short chat. The walk could yield pleasurable observations. John usually walked to work and he seldom took taxis. Walking made him happy. It also kept him healthy.

  从语法和用词来看, 这段文字无可挑剔。但句子长度大体相当,且都是短句,读起来平淡无奇,不妨这样修改:  

  With a bottle of hot tea and delicious lunch in a paper bag,John walked to work.Slowly he walked,enjoying the cool,early morning air and the sights and sounds of the streets.The big,noisy,turbulent city was rapidly waking up. An energetic little boy was setting his battered shoeshine stand in front of a hotel entrance.A deliveryman dressed in a white uniform was busily slapping down cartons of lettuce on the side walk in front of a grocery store.John saw a friend waiting for a taxi.He stopped briefly a short chat.As the walk usually could yield pleasurable observations,John seldom took taxis.Walking not only made him happy but also kept him healthy.  

  改写后的段落中,长短句交替使用,语句叠峦起伏,音韵和谐,语言表达有张有弛,活泼而不乏凝练,紧凑而不显呆板。所以句子的好坏,并不在于长短,简单还是复杂,归根结底在于多变。句子是否多变是衡量一篇文章是否老练成熟的主要标志之一,当然也显示出一个人的英语水平的高低。句子多变主要表现在句型的多样化与长短句的交替使用。但这种交替使用并不是机械的,而是根据不同的语境,选择最能表达作者意图的句子。

  总之,面对多种多样的句子,在写作时不分场合简单地偏爱某种句型,会使文字显得呆板,单调,而一味追求长句。复杂句,特别对于那些基本功不扎实的英语初学者来说,会使文章显得华而不实,甚至弄巧成拙。但也有一些初学者为保险起见,过多地使用简单句,甚至认为使用simple sentence符合我们提倡的 Simple English,这也是一种误解。一篇文章只有交替使用合适的长句。 短句,交替使用有效的简单句。复合句,才会显得生动有力。

 

本文由 罗旭 授权 赛氪网 发表,并经赛氪网编辑。转载此文章须经作者同意,并请附上出处(赛氪网)及本页链接。原文链接https://www.saikr.com/a/2925
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