英語教學: 文法大哉問:when和while引導的時間副詞子句

文法大哉問  whenwhile引導的時間副詞子句

 

Q: when  while 引導的時間副詞子句,用法有何不同呢?

 

第一個差異:

 

n   when 子句的動詞可以為延續性動詞或非延續性動

 

n   while 子句的動詞必須是延續性動詞

 

When Daddy came home, I was preparing dinner. 當老爸回家時我正在準備晚餐。

 

  †由於 came 是瞬間動詞,所以不能用 while 來代替 when

 

第二個差異:

 

n   when 子句的動詞通常為過去簡單式

 

n   while 子句的動詞往往是過去進行式

 

 when 子句的動詞與主要子句的動詞都是過去簡單式時,when 子句的動作較早發生,此時 when 相當於 after

 

ž   Mary stood under a tree when it began to rain. (也就是說,是開始下雨後瑪莉才在站在樹下)

 

ž   When Mary stood under a tree, it began to rain.(這句話又不同了,這句話是,瑪莉站在那樹下之後,才開始下雨的)

 

ž   When the film ended, people walked out of the theater. (電影結束後,人們走出戲院)

 

  注意即使是when引導的句子,兩個動作之間還是有先後順序的

 

I was enjoying dinner when my wife came home.= While I was enjoying dinner, my wife came home. (我太太回家時,我正在享用晚餐)

 

以這句而言,我吃晚餐的動作發生的時間比我太帶回家的時間還早,而我太太回家時,我正在吃我的晚餐,這句話可以用while 是因為「我太太回到家」「我在正吃晚餐」這兩個動作是同時發生同時進行

 

結論在此句型,過去進行式的動作比過去簡單式還要早發生,並且when 子句的動詞都是用瞬間動詞。

 

Q:如何表達同時在進行的兩個動作?

 

主要子句和時間副詞子句都用過去進行式,用 while 來引導時間副詞子句,並且兩個子句的動詞必須都是延續性動詞

 

While I was studying in the dormitory, my roommate was having a party in the other room. 當我在宿舍唸書時,我的室友正在另一個房間開舞會。

 

= I was studying in the dormitory while my roommate was having a party in the other room.

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