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句和句的連貫性

英文作文裡面所謂 coherence,中文大概翻成連貫性。什麼叫做連貫性? 為了應付各級考試,英文老師大概會說連貫性就是你要背很多連接詞,例如 to begin with,for example 等,然後不管怎樣一定要把它們用在文章中。

下面我們用實際的範例,說明寫出不連貫的句子遠比你想像中來得容易。

前文 ...... 現代人不喜歡閱讀,有幾點原因。
Recent technological developments are going welland we don’t like to read the book to get the knowledge we need. So internet browsers take this role.

  • "are going well" 本身就很怪,不是嗎?
  • 「科技日新月異, and 我們不喜歡從閱讀書本來獲取知識」。很明顯 "and" 之前,和 "and" 之後,好像沒有什麼因果關係,先後關係。起碼在這句話中,原作者沒有講出任何關係。我認為這就是沒有連貫性的典型例子。
  • 接下來,「So 網路瀏覽器取代了閱讀」,是另一個沒有連貫性的例子。就算科技進步造成人們不愛閱讀,也絕不能像原作者那樣,直接聲稱「因為科技進步,我們不愛閱讀,所以瀏覽器取代了書本」。因果關係太過牽強。
  • With the advent of the Internet and computer technology, young people read a lot less than their parents did. Electronic media, such as web contents and e-books that are read on tablet computers and mobile phones, are gradually replacing printed books as the major source of information.

It is very convenient to get information from pictures. We don’t have to try hard to figure out what these sentences mean and we understand what the messages they want to pass.

  • 第一句,It is ... 和下一句, We ... 的連接性很低。一下子 it 當主詞,一下子 we 當主詞,而且兩句之間是因果關係?還是補充敘述關係?
  • 第二句「我們不需要費力理解文字 and 我們能理解句子想表達的意思」,缺乏連貫性問題就更明顯。and 放這裡很怪異。
  • People are attracted to visual narratives and illustrations so much more than they are to printed texts. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. 

As techs developing, tools and media for entertainment change from generation to generation. Why do modern people, however, spend an hour for downloading movies instead of for reading electronic books.

  • 以上畫底線部分,用詞本身有誤,不過我們此處先不管
  • 翻譯成中文,也許大家比較容易看出連貫性問題在哪裡。「隨著科技進步,娛樂工具也不斷演進。但是,為什麼人們願意花一小下載一部電影,也不願意閱讀電子書?」看出來了沒有,文中第一句和第二句,好像是完全無關的兩句,卻硬要用 "however" 連接起來。
  • 也許可以改成這樣:Technological advances have facilitated the revolution of entertainment and social media. For examle, today’s feature films are so much more attracting in terms of visual and audio effects comparing to a traditional printed book.