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文∕吳詩綺

 

本篇文章當中,詩綺老師要介紹大考、多益雙贏秘笈的第七式:「必也正名」,也就是英文學習策略裡的“understanding references"。事實上,所有的英文文章(無論是閱讀或者是聽力段落),都是一個完整的結構,並非只是把句子隨意組合起來。而要了解句子與句子之間如何串聯成有意義的段落,其中的重點之一,就是對前後句子裡頭的「代名詞」正名。

 

英文句子裡的“he / she"、“his / her"、“himself / herself"、“those"、“which"或“both"等等,通常指的就是前、後句子出現過的人、事、物。因此,第七式「必也正名」,就要帶領大家了解在英文的閱聽過程裡,如何找到所指的真正對象、確定代名詞與所指涉的人事物之間的關聯。此功夫不但是常用的閱讀技巧,更是重要的考試策略。能夠鍛鍊起來,不僅在平日閱讀時可更了解文章前後脈絡關聯,還能夠一舉在大考、多益的閱讀測驗、聽力測驗作答順利。因此詩綺老師今天要就這第七式「必也正名」,介紹三大心法如下。

 

心法一:基本文法功夫不可少

通常此類技巧,端看讀者辨識文中代名詞與其先行詞關係的能力。以多益測驗TOEIC)考題來說,大多出現在第五大題「單句填空」或第六大題「短文填空」,這是基本文法觀念的檢測時間。讓我們先來看幾個多益例題:(以下題目來源:TOEIC Official Test-Preparation Guide III)

 

《焦點一》代名詞家族

  1. We did not hire additional help because Mr. Danforth has assured us that he can complete the project by ____.

(A) him (B) himself (C) his (D) he

答案:(B)。多益的此類文法考題,是最簡單的代名詞指涉題,純粹由文法觀念判斷:在介係詞by後面要選反身代名詞“himself"為受詞,“by himself"表示「由他自己」。

 

《焦點二》 關係代名詞

除了代名詞之外,較為進階的文法觀念是「關係代名詞」的考法。再舉一題多益考題示範:

  1. The Yunof brand of teas, ____ entered the market in Norway only three years ago, is already among the top five best-selling brands. (A) when (B) who (C) where (D) which

 

答案:(D)。這題就是以關係代名詞“which"修飾先行詞“The Yunof brand of teas",補充說明“Yunof"是在3年前甫進入挪威市場的茶葉品牌。

 

《焦點三》 代名詞複數型

當然,指涉題的考題也很常出現在大考的綜合測驗與多益測驗的短文填空。我們來看看多益的短文填空例題示範:

144-146.The City Council of Montville would like to thank all those who participated in the fifteenth annual Montville Festival events on September 3-4 for making them a resounding success. Special thanks are __144(答案:due)__ to the sponsors of the events, Montville Electronics and Jeffers Furniture. __145__ donated the prizes handed out on the first evening to children participating in the History of Montville Quiz.(文未完)

  1. (A) What (B) Some (C) Theirs (D) They

 

答案:(D)。在第145題中, 我們可以從基本文法面來判斷。空格是句首的第一個字,後面接動詞“donated",可以判斷本句缺乏一個主詞來指稱上一句提到的兩個贊助商“Montville Electronics and Jeffers Furniture"。因此我們選擇可以指稱複數名詞的選項“They"。

 

心法二:瞻前顧後

從基本的文法面,進階到閱讀能力的「必也正名」,其“understanding references"題型的典型問法有幾個:

  1. In line…, the word“XXXX" refers to….
  2. The word“XXXX"in the passage refers to….

 

我們以99年學測英文考題,第41-44題的閱讀文章示範如下:

…(前兩段略)

Most people probably don’t feel sympathy for these endangered creatures, but they do need protecting. The slow and clumsy wetas have been around on the island since the times of the dinosaurs, and have evolved and survived in an environment. Where they had no enemies until rats came to the island with European immigrants. Since rats love to hunt and eat wetas, the rat population on the island has grown into a real problem for many of the native species that are unaccustomed to its presences, and poses a serious threat to the native weta population.

 

Q44:Which of the following is the most appropriate interpretation of “its” in the last paragraph?

(A) The rat’s.  (B) The weta’s.

(C) The island’s. (D) The dinosaur’s.

 

答案:(A)。該問題也是屬於“understanding references"的典型問題,要我們找出文章最後一段“its"是哪一個選項的最佳詮釋。首先若從文法面來看,“its"是單數代名詞所有格,而4個選項均為單數名詞所形成的所有格。因此我們必須更進一步從上下文意推論。

 

《焦點二》套回原句,文意是否通順?

原文句子“Since rats love to hunt and eat wetas, the rat population on the island has grown into a real problem for many of the native species that are unaccustomed to its presences"(由於老鼠喜愛獵食沙螽,對於許多原生物種而言,島上鼠群的出現成了真正的問題…),由此可知“its"應該代替單數名詞“the rat population"。因此,若將答案套回原句,文意就是“its presence"等於“the rat’s population’s presence",因此答案選(A)。

 

心法三:找出「一言以蔽之」的推論能力

有時“references"的指示詞,講的不只是代名詞或關代前面的先行詞,有可能是指稱一件事情、一個現象。因此,除了結合基本文法功、以及瞻前顧後的謹慎態度之外,還得要有抓出「一言以蔽之」的那個字到底在說什麼的推論能力。

 

此類型的考題,我們經常可以在大考閱讀測驗考題看到,例如102年學測英文科試題如下:

(第一段略)In the late nineteenth century, the Swiss army issued its soldiers a gun that required a special screwdriver to dismantle and clean it. At the same time, canned food was becoming common in the army. Swiss generals decided to issue each soldier a standard knife that that the army loved to serve both as a screwdriver and a can opener.

It was a life saver for Swiss knife makers, who were struggling to compete with cheaper German imports. In 1884, Carl Elsener, head of the Swiss knife manufacturer Victorinox, seized that opportunity with both hands with one big blade, a can opener, and a screwdriver.

 

  1. What does “It” in the third paragraph refer to?

(A) The Swiss army needed a knife for every soldier.

(B) Every good Swiss citizen had a knife in his pocket.

(C) Swiss knives were competing with imported knives.

(D) Canned food was becoming popular in the Swiss army.

 

答案:(A)。根據本文第二段最後一句“Swiss generals decided to issue each soldier a standard knife that that the army loved to serve both as a screwdriver and a can opener."(於是瑞士的將領們決定發給每位士兵一把標準的刀子,可以同時當成螺絲起子和開罐器。)

 

 

而第三段第一句則提到“It was a life saver for Swiss knife makers, who were struggling to compete with cheaper German imports."(這項決定對於當時正奮力和價格較便宜的德國進口刀競爭的瑞士刀製造商而言,就像是救命恩人一樣。)

 

得知“It"指的是「每位士兵都有一把刀」的決定,故(A) 為正確答案。此處“It"所指的就是前面所講的“decided to issue each soldier a standard knife"。作者利用“It"一字來取代,不但精簡化,而且避免用字重複。

 

再來一題試試看,取自103年學測英文科試題,第53-56題:

Today the car seems to make periodic leaps in progress. A variety of driver assistance technologies are appearing on new cars. A developing technology called Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication, or V2V, is being tested by automotive manufacturers as a way to help reduce the number of accidents. V2V works by using wireless signals to send information back and forth between cars about their location, speed and direction, so that they keep safe distances from each other. Another new technology being tested is Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communication, or V2I. V2I would allow vehicles to communicate with road signs or traffic signals and provide information to the vehicle about safety issues. V2I could also request traffic information from a traffic management system and access the best possible routes. Both V2V and V2I have the potential to reduce around 80 percent of vehicle crashes on the road.

 

  1. What does “infrastructure” in Vehicle-to-Infrastructure refer to?

(A) Traffic facilities and information systems.

(B) The basic structure roads and bridges.

(C) Knowledge and regulations about safe driving.

(D) The traffic department of the government.

 

答案:(A)。此處的“infrastructure"可以從後面的“V2I would allow vehicles to communicate with road signs or traffic signals and provide information to the vehicle about safety issues."推斷“infrastructure"在此指路標與交通號誌等資訊系統。因此答案為(A)。

 

結語

本期介紹的第七式「必也正名」(understanding references)是英文閱讀測驗裡重要的基本功夫。平日閱讀英文文章時,練習推敲代名詞,藉由文法判斷或套回原句等方式,確定自己判斷是否正確。若能夠與先前介紹的一到六式等各種策略結合運用,大考、多益雙贏的功力就能更上一層。下一回詩綺老師將介紹英文閱讀、聽力的技巧策略第八式「曉以厲害」,下回見。

 

More Information

欲購《多益測驗官方全真試題指南III》請至多益官網。

 

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吳詩綺

現職: 國立師大附中英文科教師

學歷: 國立中央大學外文系碩士

經歷: 美國佛羅里達大學訪問學者、國立政大附中英文科教師

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