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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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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