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由"I don't think..."句型说开去--试谈英语的否定转移
 

在学英语的过程中,学生常将这样的句子 "我认为这不是个好主意." 译为"I think it isn't a good idea." 而将这句英语译成汉语时,学生又会译为 "我不认为这是个好主意." 老师又会说译错了,这不符合 "I don't think..." 句型,应译为 "l don't think it's a good idea."

那么,这错误的根源究竟在哪里?这就是“英语的否定转移”在作怪。否定转移在非正式语体中特别常见,它是将语义上属于从属分句(一般为that clause)的否定词转移到母句中去。允许否定转移的母句动词在语义上可分为以下两组:

1.看法(OPINION):anticipate,be supposed to,believe,calculate, expect,figure (infml,AmE),imagine, reckon (infml,esp, in AmE),suppose,think:

Eg. I don't believe I've met you before.

("I believe I haven't met you before.")

Eg. She didn't imagine that we would say anything.

("She imagined we wouldn't say anything.")

Eg. He didn't expect to win.

("He expected not to win.")

2.感觉(PERCEPTION) appear,seem,feel as if,look as if,sound as if (后三个动词也作infml,esp, in AmE,其中用like来代替as if):

Eg. It doesn't seem that we canget our money back.

"It seems that we can't get our money back."

Eg. The baby doesn't appear to be awake.

("The baby appears not to be awake.")

Eg. It doesn't look like it's going to rain.

("It looks like it isn't going to rain.")

否定的转移是一种含糊的现象。对于否定词位置不同的两个句子,意思是否相同,或者在多大程度上相同的问题,各人的直觉可能是不同的。但在以下特殊情况下,原来允许否定转移的动词不能将否定转移:

1.I think是插入句,可看作与其他部分无关:

I wish you were here,then I think I should not feel like this.

2.母句中添加情态动词can't mustn't wouldn't时:

I can't believe that they are married.

You mustn't think he's stupid.

I wouldn't have imagined that Sandra would be here.

3.由于cannot help doing,ought not,need not,not at all等短语的关系而把I think隔离。

I should have thought sometimes you couldn't help thinking of the past.

I think you ought not to walk at night alone,Mrs. Moore.

I think you need not be impolite to her,as well as to her son.

"I think the angel are not at all in heaven." Mr.Esmond said."

4. 由于not just... but, just not... enough,not much, not quite等以not为核心的副词短语的影响,也不便把否定拿到动词的前面去:

I think I'm just not smart enough to make any sense out of for you.

"You think she's not much like you? Brerald asked.

But I think that Elizabeth was not quite so certain of it as I.

句中含有no, never, nothing, nobody等的不定词时:

I should think you never have seen many.

I thought it explained nothing.


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