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英语讲义【149】不定式动词可以分开吗?

2007-07-05 15:25陈清霖

  众所周知,不定式动词(Infinitive)的形式是:“to + 原动词”, 如:to come, to go, to play, to read, to listen, to sing等等。

  在一般情况下,“to + 原动词”必须靠拢,但在某些情况里,“to”和原动词可以被适当的副词(Adverb)分开,在某些动词句型里,“to”则必须省略。

  在什么情况下,不定式动词的两部份可以分开呢?分开的目的何在?在大多数场合里,不定式动词两部分不分开,只有在特殊环境里才准许让副词加入,以便更准确地,更自然地反映某些实际情况。看看下面三个句子:

  (1) Bob failed completely to fulfil his duties.
  (2) Bob failed to fulfil his duties completely.
  (3) Bob failed to completely fulfil his duties.

  在(1)里,状态副词“Completely”既可修饰谓语动词“failed”,也可修饰不定式动词“to fulfil”。在 (2) 里,“completely”和被修饰的不定式动词离开太远,力道不足,效果欠佳。在 (3) 里,“completely”夹在不定式动词两部份之间,把它修饰得既自然又贴切;这个位置,在三个句子中,可说是最恰当的了。

  同样的,(4)比(5)紧凑;(6)比(7)扎实:

  (4) It was wrong for Mr Lim to suddenly quit the job.
  (5) It was wrong for Mr Lim suddenly to quit the job.
  (6) Is it possible for a chaotic country to further develop its economy?
  (7) Is it possible for a chaotic country to develop its economy further?

  由于不定式动词的两部分在适当时分开有其优点,这种用法,在现代英语里越来越普遍。例如:

  (8) Civil servants were urged to better serve the public.
  (9)The Economic Development Board has just announced some new plans to further promote the economic development.
  (10) I don't want you to be forever criticising your friends' good efforts.
  (11) The new manager wanted the new scheme to be properly implemented.

  最后,顺便谈谈什么情况下,不定式动词中的“to”要省略。

  一、和“make, let”, 及感官动词“see, hear, watch”连用的句型中,“to”必须省略。例如:

  (12) Don't make her cry.
  (13) I won't let you go now.
  (14) We saw a man jump into the lake.
  (15) Have you heard me call you ?
  (16) Let us go to watch him play the game.

  二、在“had better, would rather”后面的不定式动词中的 “to”要省略。例如:

  (17) You had better do the work now.
  (18) It is late now. I would rather go tomorrow.

  要注意的是,在被动语态中“to”这符号可能要重现。例如:

  (19) Noone can make him understand the real problem. → He cannot be made to understand the real problem.
  (20) We heard them speak English.→They were heard to speak English.

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