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考研英语写作的连贯性原则

2006-2-25 15:32 田育英博客 

  语言的连贯与否是评价一篇文章优劣的标准。在一篇文章里,语言的连贯主要体现在句与句、段与段之间。上句要能很自然地带出下句,后句与前句呼应,形成句句相连,读起来一气呵成;就如同听一段优美的乐曲,中间是不能停顿的。同样,段与段之间也要相互呼应,不可各自独立、前段不接后段、后段不理前段,使文章缺乏整体性。

  语言的连贯方法很多,有我们最常说到的过渡词(transitional words),也可以称为转折词,还有代词、同义词、近义词等许多成分。为了进一步了解英语语言连贯特点,我们先看下面的实例分析。

  (一)了解连贯——实例分析

  Directions:

  A. Title: A Trip I Would Like to Take

  B. Time limit: 40 minutes

  C. Word limit: 120~150 words

  D. Your composition must be written on the ANSWER SHEET.

  这篇作文题目要求写“我所喜欢的旅行”,但这一旅行还没实现,是计划、打算或是愿望。如不清楚这一点,就有可能跑题。

  请看一篇学生例文分析:

  [“I have a dream one day, I can travel around China.” At that time I was only a little girl. Now I am an adult. I can turn it into reality. ] [I will begin my trip from our capital, Beijing. It is the center of politics, economy and culture. It is just a living history museum. The Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Palace Museum…There are so many interests that I even cannot count all them out. ] [My first stop is Huhehaote, I want to see the grassland, to drink a cup of tea with milk, to listen to the wonderful tune played with matouqin.] [After that I will get on a train, leave for Jiuzhaigou. It is a beautiful place. There are a lot of trees, flowers and waterfalls, if I am lucky I will meet pandas. ] [Several days later, I will arrive in another ancient capital—Nanjing. I want to pay a visit to Zhong Shanling and Yu Huatai. ] [As we all know, Hang Zhou is very close to Nanjing. So I will choose Hang Zhou to be my next stop. I had been told that West Lake is very charming. It is a rarity of the great nature. It is always beautiful, moving and lovely. ] [Now I do not have much money. So I will go back to my hometown—Tianjin. ]

  这篇例文在语言和语法方面有些问题,但本节主要讲语言的连贯,所以,对其他问题不作评论。

  这篇文章虽然只由一段组成,但其中可分为七个层次,以文中的括号为标志。

  下面依次从连贯性角度进行修改。

  第一个层次主要讲作者从小就想周游中国,现在是成人了,可以实现这个愿望。这个用了五句英文表达的层次,句与句之间的连贯不够好,如果修改一下,感觉就会好得多。

  To travel around the country has long been my dream. 此句用不定式做主语,谓语为完成时,较好地概括了例文中前三句的内容。This dream is much more likely to be realized now than it would have been ten years ago, 此句中的This dream呼应上句中的my dream,这里的重复是句子上下连贯的方法之一。since I have grown up and have begun to earn my living. since是表示因果关系的转折词,起连接作用。此外,since带的句子内容比原句意义充实完整,表明我已经长大,而且已经自立了。使句子内容充实完整也是语义连贯的基础。第一层次可完整表述如下:

  To travel around the country has long been my dream. This dream is much more likely to be realized now than it would have been ten years ago, since I have grown up and have begun to earn my living.

  第二个层次是作者旅行的第一站,共写了五句话,但句与句之间缺乏连贯之意。这五句可以并为一句:For me, an ideal travel experience would begin in Beijing, known as the capital of China, where there are many places of historic interest and scenic beauty. 这句中的me与前面的I呼应,ideal travel experience与my dream to travel呼应,这里的代词、同义词或词组在起连贯作用。此外,known as过去分词短语,where非限定定语从句比原文中的单句使上下文连贯得更紧密。

  第三个层次中的first stop显然不合适,因为根据全文分析这里应是第二站。再有,使用呼和浩特之前应提一下省份的名称,外国人也许更熟悉比较大一些的地名。原文为一句,现改为两句,为的是内容更加充实完整,使其更加连贯。

  From Beijing I would cross the north part of the country to Inner Mongolia. In Huhehaote I would explore the grassland, taste milk tea and listen to folk music. 这个层次中的From Beijing…to Mongolia是承上启下,发挥连接作用的短语,即介词词组也起连贯作用。

  第四个层次共四句话,但四句话间仍缺乏连贯性。让我们使用多种方法把它们合为一句:My next stop would be Jiuzhaigou, a place in Sichuan Province which is very attractive for its undisturbed nature covered with trees, flowers and water falls. 修改后句中的next是一承上启下的过渡词,连接了上下文。另外,九寨沟后面的同位语a place in Si Chuan Province,是必须要充实的内容,因为九寨沟毕竟是个太小的地方,用同位语比另写一句更加连贯。同位语后面还带出了一定语从句,这定语从句也比另写一单句连贯得多。

  第五个层次的句式仍然单一不连贯,请看修改后的句子:

  Having seen enough nature by this time, I would head east along the Yangtze River to Nanjing and Shanghai, for both cities are considered as a pair of shining pearls on the river.

  句子开始的分词短语发挥了很好的连贯作用,这一作用是通过分词短语的形式总结归纳前面旅行的内容而实现的,因为去呼市和九寨沟都是为了欣赏自然景观。此外,句子中其他的词也发挥了黏合作用,如On the river与前面的the Yangtze River呼应;a pair of shining pearls与both cities呼应,both cities 又与Nanjing and Shanghai呼应。这是一句连贯性非常好的句子。

  第六个层次共五句话。原文中的As we all know…so等也有连贯作用,但是用得不够好。请看修改后的句子:Continuing south, I would visit Hang Zhou, a “paradise” on earth. Here I would go boating and take pictures in the beautiful West Lake. 文中的Continuing south 起承上启下作用,这一分词短语同上一层次的Having seen enough nature by this time功能一样。Hang Zhou与a “paradise”是同位语。

  第七个层次请先看修改后的句子:At this time it would be necessary to count how much money I still have. If a tour of Guangdong Province were still possible, I would stop in Guangzhou and Shenzhen. But by this time my money would run low, there is only one place to end my trip—Tianjin, my home town. 修改后的句子又加了一些内容,这后加的内容完全是为后边的but作铺垫,使文章结束既不唐突、不给人以戛然而止的印象,又使人觉得此文作者对旅行意犹未尽,所以中间的铺垫用了虚拟语气。

  综合以上实例分析,不难发现可以使句句相连的方法很多。

  1. 词、词组

  (1)代词:

  I,me,it(指dream)。

  (2)同义词:

  travel, an ideal travel experience, explore, head east, visit, a tour, my trip等。

  (3)重复使用同一个词或词组:

  my dream, this dream; to travel, an ideal travel; at this time, by this time; Beijing, from Beijing… to…等。

  (4)使用过渡词:

  since, here, next, but等。

  (5)使用同位语:

  Jiuzhaigou, a place…或Hangzhou, a paradise…或Tianjin, my hometown等。

  2. 使用句子连接上下文的方式

  (1)从句:

  At that time I was only a little girl. Now I am an adult. I can turn it into reality.

  —This dream is much likely to be realized now than it would have been ten years ago, since I have grown up and have begun to earn my living. After that I will get on a train, leave for Jiuzhaigou. It is a beautiful place. There are a lot of trees, flowers and waterfalls.

  —My next stop would be Jiuzhaigou, a place in Sichuan Province which is very attractive for its undisturbed nature covered with trees, flowers and waterfalls.

  (2)分词短语:

  Having seen enough nature by this time…

  continuing south…

  …known as the capital of China…

  …covered with trees…

  通过以上分析,我们可以用图中—1—2来表示文章的连贯形式。

  根据图中—1—2,我们也可以这样总结本文的连贯特征:内容上下贯通,句句首尾相连。下面请再完整地看一遍修改后的文章。

  Sample for reference:

  To travel around the country has long been my dream. This dream is much more likely to be realized now than it would have been ten years ago, since I have grown up and have begun to earn my living. For me, an ideal travel experience would begin in Beijing, known as the capital of China, where there are many places of historic interest and scenic beauty.

  From Beijing I would cross the north part of the country to Inner Mongolia. In Huhehaote I would explore the grassland, taste milk tea and listen to folk music.

  My next stop would be Jiuzhaigou, a place in Sichuan Province, which is very attractive for its undisturbed nature covered with trees, flowers and waterfalls.

  Having seen enough nature by this time, I would head east along the Yangtse River to Nanjing and Shanghai, for both cities are considered as a pair of shining pearls on the river.

  Continuing south, I would visit Hangzhou, a “paradise” on earth. Here I would go boating and take pictures in the beautiful West Lake.

  At this time it would be necessary to count how much money I still have, if a tour of Guangdong Province were still possible, I would stop in Guangzhou and Shenzhen. But by this time my money would run low, there is only one place to end my trip—Tianjin, my hometown.

  通过对这篇例文的分析,我们清楚地了解到英语连贯的多种方法。要想掌握这些技巧,还要多写多练。

  (二)内容充实完整是语义连贯的基础

  有些作文习作语言欠连贯的原因之一是语言内容不充实。请先看下例:

  Teenagers are active to voice their opinions. Parents are afraid that they have no experience. As a result, children feel caged. Parents feel difficult.

  由于内容不充实完整,读者就不能完全理解作者的意思,读起来感觉断断续续。请看修改后的段落:

  Today‘s teenagers are more active in taking part in social life, more ready to voice their opinions on social and political phenomena and more confident in dealing with the outside world. Meanwhile, parents often underestimate their children and are afraid that they have no experience. Thus, many parents think it is their duty to make decisions for their children. As a result, children feel caged, and regard parental protection as a burden. So both children and parents feel it is sometimes very difficult to communicate with each other.

  再看一例:

  It is not easy to be a tolerant person. One has to possess a kind of love for other people. And a person is eager to show consideration to those people. Forgiveness is an important character. So being a tolerant person asks for other important virtues.

  请对比修改后的例子:

  As a matter of fact, in reality it is not easy to be a tolerant person. This is because, to be a tolerant person, one has to possess other personal qualities contributing to tolerance. It requires a kind of love for other people. This is the foundation of being a tolerant person. And a person with tolerance is eager to show consideration to those people who need help or care. In addition, forgivingness is as an important character as the above two qualities. So being a tolerant person asks for not only tolerance but also other important virtues.

  由于内容充实,语义自然就连贯多了。

  以上例子很说明问题,所以在写文章时一定要注意把内容写得充实完整。

  (三)使用复合句连接上下文

  英语句子共分三类:简单句、并列句和复合句。各类句子各有其长处和功能。在文章中过多地使用简单句,就会使上下文缺乏连贯性。请看下例:

  例1

  We can find successful women everywhere; they are government officials, scientists, athletes, teachers and doctors.

  这是两个连贯不好的单句。把这句修改为:

  Successful women who are government officials, scientists, athletes, teachers and doctors, are found everywhere. (用定语从句连接两句)

  例2

  Opportunities come quietly. They go quietly.

  修改为:When opportunities come they come quietly and go by without being noticed. (用主从句连接两句)

  例3

  They are lazy people. They suffer more from serious problems.

  修改为: Some people who appear to be lazy are suffering from more serious problems. (用定语从句连接两句)

  例4

  We live in the same world and share the same lot. We have to cooperate with each other. This is a win-win matter.

  修改为:As we live in the same world and share the same lot, we have to cooperate with each other, since this is a win-win matter. (用主从句连接三句)

  例5

  The rich countries, however, are falling short in meeting the financial promises. These financial promises were made at the Cairo Population Conference in 1994. This left most of the population stabilization cost with the poorer nations.

  修改为:

  The rich countries, however, are falling short in meeting the financial promises made at the Cairo Population Conference in 1994, leaving most of the population stabilization cost with the poorer nations. (用过去分词和现在分词连接上下句)

  (四)使用过渡词语连接上下文

  前面已经提到过渡词语可以连接上下文。过渡词语很多,有表示层次递进的,如:first, second, furthermore等;有表示比较和对比的,如:in contrast, similarly,contrary to;有表示结论的,如:in short, in conclusion, in a word等;还有表示转折的,如:however,nevertheless,等等。恰当地使用这些词或词组,会使文章展开得自然流畅。请看下例:

  In their haste to get practical preparation for a career, students often overlook the liberal arts(文科)college. There are good reasons why they should consider a liberal arts school.

  上两句之间不够连贯。仔细分析句意,前后两句有转折之意,如使用yet,整句就会连贯自然。

  In their haste to get practical preparation for a career, students often overlook the liberal arts college. Yet there are good reasons why they should consider a liberal arts school.

  依第二句,我们判断good reasons是全段的关键词,下文应该是罗列几条理由来论证说明其观点——上文科院校的好处。原文中表述了三个理由:

  ①Learning is more exciting in a liberal arts college.

  ②Liberal arts education is the most likely to develop one‘s ability to think, speak, read and write.

  ③Students of liberal arts can get top professions.

  为了使各条理由之间连贯,我们可使用first,second,third,来连接上下文;还可使用first of all, next, finally;也可使用furthermore, besides等。总之,递进式的连贯方式很多,也很灵活,请看全文:

  In their haste to get practical preparation for a career, students often overlook the liberal arts college. Yet there are good reasons why they should consider a liberal arts school, even if getting a job is their main concern. For one thing, learning itself may be more exciting in a liberal arts college due to a broader and more flexible curriculum than one might find at a technical school. Thus students may do better in their courses and earn higher grades, which will certainly make them more attractive to employers. More important, a liberal arts education is the most likely to develop one‘s ability to think, speak, read, and write—all critical skills that business and industry are coming to value more and more. Finally, students should realize that a liberal arts education has always been the preferred path for entry into the top professions: law, medicine, government, and education.

  —adapted from Writing: Invention, Form, and Style

  过渡词在使上下文连贯方面起着重要作用。若使用得熟练和巧妙,过渡词能把相差很远的内容连贯起来.

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