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Essay代写修改:冠词省略为什么容易出错?

Dueduedue官方博客2018-03-08essay代写 459 0A+A-

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身为专业译者与编辑,多年来为许多英语非母语人士修改与润色文章,发觉华人从事英文写作时常犯的错误,在于落入中文的语法陷阱中、或是无意识受到中文影响而使用不该用的措辞,造成词不达意而无法精确地用英文的句构逻辑连结起来,但也可能仅是对于英文句法结构的不熟悉所致。

此次推出的新专栏希望能带领读者发现常见的英文写作陷阱,并避免将这些谬误带入文章当中。新专栏并非在教导文法规则,而是提出一些观点,提点写作者如何提升英文写作风格与文字说服力。

As an editor and translator with years of experience in correcting English written by non-native speakers, I have come across certain areas that seem to be major pitfalls for Chinese speakers when writing in English. These mistakes are usually the writer's Chinese grammar or diction unconsciously coming out in their English exposition, or perhaps simply a unfamiliarity with English composition at its higher levels. 

This monthly column can teach you to spot these common writing pitfalls and thus avoid having them find their way into your English composition. It will not be a list of grammar rules to follow, but instead a look into how we can improve the style and force of our English writing.

Today we are going to discuss a small, but frequent problem that ESL learners exhibit when writing in English: the omission or misuse of articles.

今天我们要讨论一个英语非母语学习者在写作时常见的小问题:冠词省略与误用。

First off, let’s do a quick review on articles. English has two articles:

首先,来做个快速检视。英文有两种冠词:

  • ‘the’—the definite article 第一种是定冠词「那个(the)」。

  • ‘a/an’—the indefinite article. 第二种是不定冠词「一个(a/an)」。

There is almost no easier way to make your English sound foreign or “non-native” than to misuse articles in speech or writing. Unfortunately, for many Chinese speakers, articles are not only often omitted, but at times mixed up, or used when they are not required.

当您在说英文或英语写作时出现冠词误用的情形,很容易不小心透露出您是外国人或是英语「非母语」人士。不幸的是,许多华人在使用上不仅经常将冠词省略,而且有时候混用或使用时机不正确。

So what is the difference between the definite article and indefinite article?

那么,定冠词与不定冠词之间的区别为何?

One simple definition would be: A definite article is used in front of specific nouns, while the indefinite article is used to modify general, non-specific nouns.

一个简单的定义是:定冠词用于特定名词之前,不定冠词则用于修饰普通、非特定名词。

So, for example, if I say “I want the book for Christmas” the definite article ‘the’ points to the fact that I want a very specific book.

所以,举例而言,如果我说「我想要那本圣诞节的书」,其中定冠词「the」意指我想要「那本」特定的书籍。

But if I say “I want a car for Christmas” the use of the indefinite article means that I am not asking for a specific car, in fact, any car will do.

但如果我说「我想要一台用于圣诞节的车」,此句使用不定冠词意味着,我没有要求某辆特定的车,而是任何一辆车都可以。

However, if the person I was talking to referred back to that same car, he would use the definite article since he would be talking about a very specific car (i.e. the car that I want for Christmas) and one that I had mentioned previously.

然而,若跟我对谈的这个人提到前句我所说的那台车,他需要使用定冠词,因为他是指一辆特定的车(亦即前述所指那辆我想要用于圣诞节的车)。

Therefore, we can also understand the use of the definite and indefinite article by looking at the overall context of the sentence(s). For example, the indefinite article is often used to introduce new information, or something that is unfamiliar to the listener/ reader:

因此,我们也可以透过理解句子上下文的方式,来决定应使用定冠词或不定冠词。例如,不定冠词常用于介绍新的资讯,或是一些听众或读者不熟悉的事物。

1,I saw a car yesterday. 昨天我看见一辆车。

2,Tomorrow a plumber is going to come over. 明天有一位水管工人会过来一趟。

(In both cases, the speaker or writer is introducing something new to the listener/reader.)

(在这两种情况下,说话者或是写作者都在介绍新的事物给听众或读者。)

Using the definite article, however, we are signaling that the listener/reader probably knows what we are referring to; either because it is common knowledge, or because it is something we have mentioned previously:

然而,当使用定冠词的时候,听众或读者或许知道我们所指涉的事物;因为那是一般常识,或是我们先前提过的事情。

1,I saw a car yesterday. It reminded me of the car that you said you wanted for your birthday.

昨天我看见一辆车。那使我回想起你说过你生日时想要的那辆车。

2,Tomorrow the plumber is going to come over.(Perhaps reminding the speaker of something that both parties were already aware of)

明天那位水管工人会过来一趟。 (或许说话者与被提醒者都已经知道这件事。)

There are also dozens of rules regarding where you can or can not use the definite article. Confused yet? Don’t worry, articles and their use are confusing for even native speakers, but with a little practice you can get the general rules down.

关于定冠词使用时机的规则有许多条。您困惑了吗?别担心,就连英语母语人士也未必全部都用得正确,但是您可以经由一些练习掌握基本原则。

Let’s now take a look at some sentences written by non-native English speakers and see where they went wrong.

现在让我们看看以下由英语非母语人士写成的句子,并找出定冠词使用错误的地方。

Problem: Missing ‘the’

状况:少了「那个(the)」

1,Back then, a volunteer of (the) local chapter started recruiting members at a local supermarket.

当时,(那个)地方分会的志工开始在当地的超级市场招募成员。

2,Volunteers from Tokyo mobilized to visit (the) rescue centers and hospitals where (the) victims were sent.

东京的志工动员起来前往(那些)救援中心和医院,去探望(那些)受害者。

3,The movement has also united people from different faiths to work together on behalf of (the) survivors.

这场运动也结合了不同信仰的人,为(那些)幸存者团结起来,齐心协力一起工作。

Problem: ‘a’ mistakenly used in place of ‘the’

状况:在应该使用「那个(the)」的地方却用了「一个(a)」

1,Despite the makeshift operation room, the doctors conducted a (the) surgery with full confidence. (The definite article here is correct as the sentence is referring to one particular surgery.)

尽管是临时替代用的手术室,医生对于一场(那场)手术仍深具信心。 (在这里使用定冠词「那个(the)」才是正确的,因为是指一场特定的手术。)

Problem: ‘the’ mistakenly used in place of ‘a’

状况:在应该使用「一个(a)」的地方却用了「那个(the)」

1,The sign was posted above the camp. Volunteers said the sign was important for keeping peace in the camp. (Here “the sign” should be “a sign” as this is new information for the reader.)

那个标志被张贴在难民营上。志愿兵说该标志对于难民营维持和平是非常重要的。 (在这里应该要写「一个标志」而不是「那个标志」,因为这对于读者来说是一则新资讯。)

Problem: ‘the’ used where not needed

状况:不该使用「那个(the)」

1,Passang Lama is always seen wearing a long ponytail as it is a tradition in the Tibet for men and women to wear their hair long. (No ‘the’ in front of country names…although there are a few exceptions to this rule)

Passang喇嘛总是绑着长马尾,因为那是那个西藏男女的传统风俗。 (即使会有少数的例外情形,但通常不应在国名前面加上定冠词「那个(the)」)

2,Volunteers of the Beijing’s Chaoyang District called on members of the community to join the event. (No ‘the’ in front of city/street/names)

那个北京朝阳区的群众呼吁社会各界加入此次的活动。 (在城市、街道、名称前面不应加上定冠词「那个(the)」)

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