英语从句的词性详解

从句是构成一部分语句的一组词,并包括一个主语和一个谓语。被当做词类使用的从句也叫做分句。分句可以由关系或疑问代词,关系或疑问副词,以及从属连词引导。

  • 关系代词是who,which,what,that(=who或which),as,以及复合关系词whoever,whichever,whatever等。
  • 主要的关系副词是where,whence,whither,wherever,when,whenever,while,before,after,till,until,since,as,how和why等。
  • 疑问代词是who,which和what等。
  • 疑问副词是where,when,whence,whither,how和why等。

最重要的从句连词是because,since(=because),though,although,if,unless,that(in order that,so that),lest,as,as if,as though,than和whether等。

根据从句作为词类的使用情况,可以将它们分为形容词,副词或名词从句。

一、形容词从句

修饰实词的从句叫做形容词从句。形容词从句可以由关系代词,地点或时间关系副词引导。

  • {Able men | Men of ability | Men who show ability} can always find employment.
  • {Treeless spots | Spots without trees | Spots where no trees grew} were plainly visible.

每一组中的名词(men,spots),分别被形容词,形容词短语,以及形容词从句修饰。但整个语句的意思没有改变。

二、副词从句

被当做副词修饰语使用的从句叫做副词从句。副词从句可以由关系副词(when,where,before),从属连词(if,though,because),和关系或疑问代词引导。

  • Jack spoke {thoughtlessly. | without thinking. | before he thought.}
  • The schoolhouse stands {there. | at the crossroads. | where the roads meet.}
  • We pay our rent {monthly. | on the first of every month. | when the first of the month comes.}

每一组中,动词(spoke,stands,pay)被副词,副词短语,以及副词从句修饰。

副词从句通常修饰动词,但它们也常用作形容词和副词的修饰语。

  • Angry because he had failed, he abandoned the undertaking. [从句修饰angry.]
  • I am uncertain which road I should take. [从句修饰uncertain.]
  • Farther than eye could see extended the waste of tossing waters. [从句修饰farther.]
  • Here, where the cliff was steepest, a low wall protected the path. [从句修饰here.]

使用that的副词从句可以用于修饰动词和形容词。

  • He rejoiced that the victory was won.
  • I am glad that you are coming.
  • He was positive that no harm had been done.
  • They were unwilling that the case should be brought to trial.

应注意,这种用法等同于“because”或“as to the fact that。”这种从句可以被解释为状宾结构的名词从句。应根据意思(place,time,cause,concession)分类副词从句。

三、名词(或实词)从句

当做名词使用的从句叫做名词性从句。

  • {Agreement | To agree | That we should agree} seemed impossible.
  • {Victory | To win | That we should win} was out of the question.
  • The merchant feared {loss. | to lose. | that he might lose money.}
  • I expect {success. | to succeed. | that I shall succeed.}

每一组中,agreement和victory等名词被不定式或名词从句替代。在前两个实例中,名词从句是主语。后两个例子,它是动词(feared,expect)的宾语。

名词从句可用于任何更重要的名词结构,如主语,及物动词的直接宾语,名词的同位语,以及谓语主格。名词从句可以由that,whether和if等从属连词,who,which和what等疑问代词,以及where,whence,whither,how,why和when等疑问副词引导。

  • That Milton was spared has often caused surprise. [主语]
  • Brutus said that Tom was a tyrant. [said的宾语]
  • Tom commanded that the prisoners should be spared. [宾语]
  • I wish that you would work harder. [宾语]
  • The traveller inquired where he could find the inn. [宾语]
  • He asked me what my name was. [asked的第二个宾语]
  • My fear that the bridge might fall proved groundless. [fear的同位语]
  • One fact is undoubted,—that the state of America has been kept in continual agitation.—Burke. [fact的同位语]
  • The old saying is that misery loves company. [谓语名词]

名词性从句经常被当做“of commmanding”,“of telling“,“of asking”,以及thinking,doubting和desiring等动词的宾语使用,在感叹词it是语法上的主语时,带that的名词性从句经常出现在谓语中。

  • It was plain that war was at hand.
  • It was clear that this administration would last but a very short time.
  • It must be admitted that there were many extenuating circumstances.
  • It was by slow degrees that Fox became a brilliant and powerful debater.
  • It was under the command of a foreign general that the British had triumphed at Minden.

在这些句子中,名词从句可以被视为it的同位语。此外,名词从句还可以是介词或副词的宾语。