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不同词序带来的不同语义

发表时间:2006年12月28日 来源:四六级考试网

 

在中文里,词序非常重要;两个字的秩序不同,意思也不同。例如“东西”和“西东”,前者是“things”,后者是“everywhere ——“各奔西东”。再如“女儿”和“儿女”,前者是“ daughter(s)”,后者是“children”。

 

英语的词序虽不像中文那样富有语义上的变化,但也很重要,绝对不容忽视。有时,一字一词方位的改变,全句的意思可能“牵一发动全身”,跟着受影响。

 

下面便是些好例子:

 

① Even the government officers admitted that some tax measures were unfair.

 

② The government officers admitted that even some tax measures were unfair.

 

第一句的意思是:每个人,包括政府官员,都承认有些税务措施不公平。第二句的意思是:政府官员承认,许多事情,连税务措施在内,都不公平。前者焦点在“人”;后者则在“事”。

 

③ The couple don't have much money to spend on their foreign trip.

 

④ The couple don't have to spend much money on their foreign trip.

 

第三句说“钱不够用”;第四句却说“不必多用钱”。“没有钱可花”和“有钱不必多花”,呈强烈对照,词序的影响,由此可见一斑!

 

⑤ The committee as a whole pointed out that the world economic situation had improved.

 

⑥ The committee pointed out that the world economic situation as a whole had improved.

 

 第五句指的是“全部的委员”;第六句却影射“整体的经济局势”。同样一个片语,所指有所不同。

 

⑦ In vain did David try to prevent the job from being done.

 

⑧ David tried to prevent the job from being done in vain.

 

⑦里的“in vain”(无结果)指的是大卫的行动;⑧里的不是指人的行动,而是指“在进行中的工作”。

 

⑨ Approaching the shop, Helen noticed two strangers.

 

⑩ Helen noticed two strangers approaching the shop.

 

⑨里讲的是“海伦走向银行时,注意到两个陌生人”;⑩里指的是“两个陌生人走向银行时,引起海伦的注意”。

 

(11) I may visit a sometime lecturer of English language.

 

(12) I may visit a lecturer of English language sometime.

 

(11)里的“sometime”是形容词,意思是“以前的”;

 

(12)里的“ sometime”是时间副词,意思是“某时候”。前者可以改成“former ”或“previous”;后者就要变为“at a certain time”了。

 

最后,请问下列二词,哪个是“防暴警察”?哪个是“警察暴动”?

 

A: RIOT POLICEB: POLICE RIOT