since-时间从句的谓语形式和意义

发布时间:2022-05-21T10:02:19 英语语法

since-时间从句的谓语形式和意义

首先请们看 1993 年高考试题(全国卷)22小题:

— What was the party like?

— Wonderful. It’s years ________ I enjoyed myself so much.

A. after   B. before C. when  D. since

正确选项为 D。意为:“你觉得这次聚会怎么样?” “棒极了,我好多年都没有这么痛痛快快地玩了。”这里的It’s years since I enjoyed myself so much = I haven’t enjoyed myself so much for years. 为什么 “enjoy” 的意义在这里变成了否定的呢?

这是因为enjoy是持续性动词。当持续性动词用在since时间从句中时,其意义不同于非持续性动词。

一、在 since 时间从句中用非持续性动词时,时间的计算应从该动作发生之时开始;若是用持续性动词,时间的计算则应从该动作结束之时开始。例如:

① I haven’t seen him since he left Wuhan. 自从他离开武汉以来,我一直没见过他。(这里的left为非持续性动词,时间的计算应从left的动作发生之时开始。)

② I haven’t seen him since he lived in Wuhan. 自从他不住在武汉以来,我一直没见过他。(这里的lived为持续性动词,时间的计算应从lived的动作结束之时开始。)

以上的句①和句②的意思基本相同。句②since从句中的谓语lived的意义是否定的,而习惯上又不能将其改为 didn’t live。又如:

She has stayed at her uncle’s since she was ill. 她自病愈以来就一直住在她叔叔家里。(这里was ill是持续性的“状态”,用在since从句中同样表示这种“状态”的结束,也就是“不生病”或“病愈了”)

二、任何语法都不是绝对的,例外情况总是存在的。

1. 有时候,since从句中的持续性动词同样可以表示动作或状态延续到现在,时间的起点可以从动作或状态的发生之时开始,但通常在since之前加上 “ever” 以加强since的语意。如:

I’ve known her ever since I was a child. 我自孩提时代起就认识她了。

I haven’t been to the cinema ever since I owned the TV set. 自从我拥有了这台电视机,我就没有去电影院看过电影。

注:since从句中如果用非持续性动词,即使用ever来加强语义,也绝不意味从句中动作有什么持续性。如:

My granny has been catnapping ever since the film began. 自电影一开始,我奶奶就一直在打瞌睡。

2. 若将since从句中持续性的谓语改为完成时态来加强语意,同样也可使持续性动作或状态延续到现在,但在since从句中用完成时态并不是很常见。如:

He has been looking for a job since he has been laid off. 自从他下岗以来就一直在找工作。

I haven’t heard from him since he has lived abroad. 自从他在国外居住以来我一直没有收到他的来信。

三、在“It is + 时间 + since-从句” 的结构中,情况则不一样。它表示从过去某一时刻起到现在(说话时刻)为止的一段持续时间的总和,从句中通常都用一般过去时,但无论用持续性还是非持续性动词都表示动作或状态的完成,时间的起点应该是在动作或状态完成的那一刻开始算起。例如:

① It is six years since I joined the Party. 我入党已经有六年了。

② It is six years since I was in Beijing. 我不在(离开)北京已经有六年了。

在句②中,无论在 since 从句前加 ever 还是在从句中用 have been 都无法表达“我已经在北京呆了六年”的意思。又如:

It is about five years since my father (has) smoked. 我父亲不吸烟已经约五年了。

(= It is about five years since my father gave up smoking.)

所以,本文开头的那道高考题“It’s years since I enjoyed myself so much.” 应译为“我好多年都没有这么痛痛快快地玩了。”这样才与上下文逻辑上一致。

四、但是,如需要 since 从句表示某一持续性的动作或状态从发生之时起一直延续到现在的时刻,则可将 since 改为 that,并且谓语必须用完成时态。试比较:

① It is about seven years since we (have) lived in the countryside. 我们约7年不住在乡下了。

② It is about seven years that we have lived in the countryside. 我们在乡下约有7年了。

= We have lived in the countryside (for) about seven years.

其实,句②就是一个“It is + time + that”所构成的强调句型。

注意:强调句中的谓语绝不可用非持续性动词的肯定式,但可用其否定式。因为否定式表示该动作没有发生,是一种状况,这种状况是可以持续的。比较:

(正)① It is three weeks that he hasn’t come here.

(正)② He hasn’t come here for three weeks.

(误)③ It is three weeks that he has come here.

(误)④ He has come here for three weeks.

(但句若④理解成“他到这儿来了,打算呆三个星期”则是正确,那么 for three weeks 作“目的状语”而非“时间状语”了。)