今天來談一個「高級」的錯誤,指的是程度很好的人,也有可能會犯。

有個學生告訴老師,她參加了一場演講,很感人,感動到流眼淚。她說:Moved by his speech, tears came from my eyes. 被他的發言所感動,我禁不住掉下了眼淚。

這句子聽起來很有畫面感,卻是錯的。

英文在意邏輯,特別是把兩組訊息串在一起的時候,前後的主詞必須要一致。這個句子不正確,因為moved by his speech的邏輯主語應該是I,而句子主詞卻是tears,這樣一來就成了,「眼淚被演講」所感動。要說成:
(O)Moved by his speech, I couldn’t hold back my tears.

再來看一個例子也許會更清楚:

做這種工作需要耐心。
(X)In doing such work, patience is needed.
(O)In doing such work, you must be patient.

很多表面看起來很通順、用中文想很合理的句子,實際在英文邏輯卻是忽略了主詞的一致性。以下幾個就是很典型的例子:

1. 我的心一沈,幾乎無法保持鎮定。
(X) My heart sank and could hardly remain calm.
(O) My heart sank and I could hardly remain calm.

sank(下沈)的主詞是my heart,但could hardly remain calm(無法保持鎮定)的主詞不是my heart,要多加入一個主詞I。

2. Billy是個孤兒。當他三歲時,父母雙亡。
(X)Billy is an orphan. At the age of 3, his parents died.
(O)Billy is an orphan. When he was three years old, his parents died.

如果沒有加上he was,句子會變成Billy的雙親本身在三歲時雙亡。

3. 我洗澡時,我的手機響了。
(X)When taking a shower, my cellphone rang.
(O)When I was taking a shower, my cellphone rang.

這句話如果是上一句,變成我的手機在洗澡的時候響了。改成I當主詞才對。

4. 很多公司要求員工加班,在下班前完成所有工作。
(X)Many companies have required employees to work overtime, performing all tasks before going home. (O)Employees are required to work overtime in many companies, performing all tasks before going home.

主詞many companies, 而performing的主詞應該employee, 所以應該要把主語改成employees。

三個月英文脫胎換骨的一對一:https://goo.gl/cP12GQ