日本人英文法の意外な穴

帝京大学教授で、ルミナス英和辞典(研究社)をはじめとする英語辞書編纂にも多く関わってこられたクリストファ・バーナード先生が月3~4回、語法、語彙を含めた広い意味での英文法の様々なトピックを解説します。

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123. Reported thought (Part 3)

123. Reported thought (Part 3)


In the last Column, I gave examples of reported thought in the case of DOUBTING/NOT DECIDING verbs. In this Column I will give more examples of reported thought, but with two different sets of verbs (namely KNOWING/WORRYING and OPINION/REALIZATION).

KNOWING/WORRYING
1) "Oh! I know his name."
I remembered what his name was. >> 覚えている
2) "I used to know where he lives, but I don't now."
I have forgotten where he lives. >> 忘れている
3) Teacher: "I have memorized when everyone's birthday is."
The teacher memorized when everyone's birthday was [is]. >> 暗記する
4) "I have known for a long time that although it seems like the truth, it is in fact a lie."
I had long been aware that what had seemed to be true was in fact a lie. >> 気がついている
5) My dream: "I have won a lot of money in a lottery!"
I dreamt that I had won a lot of money in a lottery.
6) "I am a bit worried because this decision is perhaps not the right one."
I was afraid/worried/anxious that the decision was the wrong one. >> 心配している/不安に思っている
7) "Things may not turn out as we hope."
She feared that things would not turn out as she (had) hoped. >> 恐れている
8) "We are all relieved because the criminal has been caught."
Everyone was relieved/happy that the criminal was [had been] caught/when the criminal was [had been] caught. >> ほっとする/嬉しい

OPINION/REALISATION
9) "Mastering a foreign language is not so easy."
I learnt/discovered/understood/realised that mastering a foreign language is [was] not so easy. >> わかる/発見する/理解する
10) "It is possible to solve the problem in this way."
I learnt/discovered/understood/figured out/found out/realised how the problem could be solved. >> わかる/発見する/理解する/見つける/悟る
11) "Perhaps this problem will return."
I guessed/had a feeling/supposed/expected that the problem would return. >> 推測する/...のような気がする/推定する/多分...するだろう
12) "John will never lie to us."
I never suspected that John would lie to us. >> 疑っている
13) "We are all sure that he will pass the exam."
We were all sure/were all confident/had all expected that he would pass the exam. >> きっと...するだろう/自信がある/期待する
14) "According to the data, this dinosaur lived seventy million years ago."
The scientists estimated/calculated/determined that the dinosaur (had) lived seventy million years ago. >> 推定する/計算する/測定する
15) "I will never surrender to him!"
I was determined that I would never surrender to him. >> 決心をする
16) "We have made up our minds that he is the one who has committed the crime."
We made up our minds/came to the conclusion/jumped to the conclusion/concluded that he was the one who had committed the crime/who the criminal was. >> 決め込む/結論を出す/早まった結論を下す/断定する
17) "I will enter the world of politics."
She made up her mind to enter the world of politics/that she would enter the world of politics. >> 決心をする

To conclude these three Columns, we can say that:

a) learners should think of reported thought, as well as reported speech.
b) sometimes it is not obvious that the verb or verb expression is related to reported thought.
c) it is useful to divide reported speech verbs and expressions into meaning groups (DOUBTING/NOT DECIDING, etc.)
d) it is important to master the grammar rules of reported thought and reported speech (see Columns 102, 103, and 104).


◆NOTES◆
namely:すなわち
a criminal:犯人
as well as ~:~と同様に
divide A into B:AをB(いくつかのグループ)に分ける

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122. Reported thought (Part 2)

122. Reported thought (Part 2)

Sometimes there are verbs, or verb expressions, which are also used to report thought, but which are not so clearly verbs of reporting thought. For example, "know" (as in the previous Column) is clearly a verb which can be used to report thought. However, it is perhaps less clear that "have no idea", or "cannot imagine", or "dream" are verbs, or verb expressions, which can be used to report thought.

In the example sentences in this Column, I have limited myself to verbs (or verb expressions) which are related to DOUBTING/NOT DECIDING. Also, as you can see, I have given examples of the probable original sentence (i.e., the sentence in direct thought) in quotation marks. You should think of these sentences in quotation marks as being the original thought in someone's head. The thought is then reported, so it becomes reported thought.

Here are the examples:

DOUBTING/NOT DECIDING
1) "We do not think he will succeed in this new job."
We all thought that he would not succeed in his new job/doubted whether he would succeed in this new job. >> 疑う
2) "I did not know where he lived."
I had no idea where he lived/that he lived there. >> 見当がつかない
3) "I do not think he will pass the exam."
I did not think that he would pass the exam/I could not imagine that he would pass the exam. >> 想像ができない 
4) "I cannot decide how to do it."
I was undecided how to do it/how it could be done. >> 決定されていない
5) "We do not know the best way to climb this mountain."
We could not make up our minds how to climb the mountain/what the best way to climb the mountain was. >> 決められない
6) "I find it very difficult to decide who to marry."
She agonized over who to marry/whether to marry John or Peter/whether she should marry John or Peter. >> 悩む

An important point to note is that with these verbs of DOUBTING/NOT DECIDING we can often use wh- words (who, what, when, where, why, how, whether).


◆NOTES◆

clearly:明らかに
limit oneself to ~:自らを~に限定する
probable:十分ありそうな、考えられうる
think of A as B:AをBと考える、みなす
a point to note:注意すべき点

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121. Reported thought (Part 1)

121. Reported thought (Part 1)

In Columns 102, 103, and 104 I wrote about the grammar of reported speech. But I did not really discuss that the grammar of reported thought is the same as the grammar of reported speech. Learners often forget to apply the rules of reported speech to reported thought.

In some cases it is quite easy to see the connection between reported speech and reported thought.

1) I said that he was Japanese. [reported speech]
2) I knew that he was Japanese. [reported thought]
3) I asked where he lived. [reported speech]
4) I did not know where he lived. [reported thought]

In (2) and (4) it is clear that "know" is reporting a thought (namely "that he was Japanese", and "where he lived").

Here are some example sentences with verbs which are used to report thoughts:

5) I realised that he was wrong.
6) I regretted that I had asked him to help me.
7) I remembered that I had seen her before.
8) I understood that it was not so easy to solve the problem.
9) She did not believe what I said.
10) I asked myself which the best choice was.

Perhaps this is not so difficult. If you are on your toes, you will notice that verbs like "know", "realise", "regret", etc. can be used to report thought.

In the next two Columns I will continue to look at reported thought.


◆NOTES◆
reported speech 間接話法
apply A to B:AをBに適用する
be on one's toes:(いつも応じられるように)準備を整える、油断しないでいる


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120. Is "There is a lot of nature in Nagano" normal English?

120. Is "There is a lot of nature in Nagano" normal English?

The English word "nature" means something like: the natural world, the natural environment, the force of nature. Here are some definitions of the word "nature" which I have taken from Kenkyusha's Luminous English-Japanese dictionary:

自然、自然現象、自然の力、自然界、自然の状態

Here are some natural English sentences using the word "nature":

1) We can see the beauty of nature in a single grain of sand.
2) We do not understand all the the laws of nature.
3) Some people believe in God, and some people believe in Nature.
4) There are many lessons we can learn from nature.
5) We should spend more money on nature conservation.

Therefore many Japanese sentences using the word "自然" often do not sound very natural when translated into English using the word "nature" (like "There is a lot of nature in Nagano.").

There are a variety of expressions which can be used to translate "自然". Here are some examples:

5) In some parts of Tokyo the natural environment remains.
6) Although this is a large city, much of the wildlife remains [many of the wild animals and the original plants remain].
7) This park is full of greenery.
8) This zoo is returning many animals to the wild.
9) The hotel is located in a natural setting.
10) Much of the natural landscape of Nagano remains.
11) There are many parts of Nagano which retain their natural beauty.
12) The countryside in Nagano is unspoilt.

So, as a general rule, if you want to talk about trees, and animals, and the beautiful countryside, try to avoid the word "nature"; and instead try to use some of the suggestions above.


◆NOTES◆
environment:環境
definition:定義
a grain of sand:1粒の塩
nature conservation:自然保護
believe in ~:~の存在を信じる
spend money on ~:~にお金を使う
a variety of ~:さまざまな
wildlife:野生生物
greenery:(緑の)樹木、木立
the wild:自然のままの環境、野生の状態
a natural setting:自然な環境
a landscape:景色、風景
retain:~を保持する、保つ
the countryside:田舎、田園地帯
unspoilt:(開発などによって)損なわれていない、(場所が)自然のまま

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119. "Fun" is not an adjective -- usually

119. "Fun" is not an adjective -- usually

Learners of English often make sentences like this:

1) X I went to Disneyland and it was very fun.

Sentence (1) is incorrect. But we can say this:

2) I went to Disneyland and it was very enjoyable.

The point is that "fun" is an uncountable noun, as can be seen in these sentences:

3) I went to Disneyland and had a lot of fun.
4) I did not have much/any fun at Disneyland.

Naturally, this sentence is also correct English:

5) I went to Disneyland and it was great fun.

Sentence (5) is grammatically similar to the following sentences:

6) I felt great happiness/joy.
7) I felt deep love/pain.

However, in informal English "fun" can be used as an adjective. But only as an adjective which comes before a noun, as in the following:

a fun thing 楽しいこと/物
a fun time 楽しい時間
a fun day out 楽しい休日のおでかけ
a fun party 楽しいパーティ
a fun person 愉快な人
a fun film 楽しい映画

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