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避免使用冗长的介词
避免使用冗长的介词

Verbosity in Prepositions

(这篇“冗长的介词”摘自《白话英文完全手册》。作者指出我们在书写公文或商业文件时,时常忘了我们有很多简单的介词可用,却以一些看似堂皇而意义欠明确的介词取代之,作者举出许多例子加以说明,对於学习英文的人有很好的启示与实际的帮助。)

In all utility writing today, official and commercial, the simple prepositions we have in such abundance tend to be forgotten and replaced by groups of words more imposing perhaps, but less precise. The commonest of these groups are:

As regards
As to
In connection with
In regard to
In relation to
In respect of
In the case of
Relative to
With reference to
With regard to

They are useful in their proper places, but they are generally made to serve merely as clumsy devices to save a writer the labour of selecting the right preposition. In the collection that follows the right preposition is added in brackets(对的介词在括弧内):

A firm timetable in relation to the works to be undertaken should be drawn up (for).

It has been necessary to cause many dwellings to be disinfested of vermin, particularly in respect of the common bed-bug (of).

The Authority are fully conscious of their responsibilities in regard to the preservation of amenities (for).

It will be necessary to decide the priority which should be given to nursery provision in relation to other forms of education provision (over).

The rates vary in relation to the age of the child (with).

Coupons without restrictions as to how you should spend (on).

There may be difficulties with regard to the provision of suitable staff (in).

Similar considerations apply with regard to application for a certificate (to).

The best possible estimate will be made at the conference as to the total number of houses which can be completed in each district during the year (of).

As to deserves special mention because it leads writers astray in other ways besides making them forget the right preposition. It may tempt them into a more elaborate circumlocution:

The operation is a severe one as to the after-effects. (The after-effects of the operation are severe.)

It is no concern of the Ministry as to the source of the information. (The source of the information is no concern of the Ministry.)

As to also has a way of intruding itself where it is not wanted, especially before such words as whether, who, what, how. All the following examples are better without as to(以下的例子没有介词as to更好):

Doubt has been expressed as to whether these rewards are sufficient.

I have just received an enquiry as to whether you have applied for a supplement to your pension.

I am to ask for some explanation as to why so small a sum was realised on sale.

I will look into the question as to whether you are liable.

As to serves a useful purpose at the beginning of a sentence by way of introducing a fresh subject(as to只在这里用得恰当):

As to your liability for previous years, I will go into this and write further to you.


Extracted from《The Complete Plain Words》 By Sir Ernest Gowers


[ 本帖最后由 苏杭 于 2014-10-13 19:47 编辑 ]

2 评论

It's not that they cannot be used.  They can be used but try not to use excessively in the SAME content. Moderation is the key.

[ 本帖最后由 小草 于 2010-6-23 22:19 编辑 ]

小草 Rank: 3Rank: 3Rank: 3 2010-6-23 22:18



QUOTE:
原帖由 小草 于 2010-6-23 22:18 发表
It's not that they cannot be used.  They can be used but try not to use excessively in the SAME content. Moderation is the key.

一般上可以同意你的看法。文中就指出:“They are useful in their proper places, but they are generally made to serve merely as clumsy devices to save a writer the labour of selecting the right preposition.”

苏杭 Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6Rank: 6 2010-6-24 10:57

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