商务写作经:双重否定是肯定?

http://www.youth.cn  2013-12-24 11:45:01  中国青年网

  My last post referred to confusing multiple negatives. This one looks at the common grammatical problem of double negatives.

  上一篇文章讲了多重否定,这一篇将会关注那些更常见的双重否定中出现的语法问题。

  Have a look at this example:

  来看一下这个例句吧:

  WRONG

  错误

  This Escrow Account Agreementexpiresif no money is not credited to the Escrow Account by 30 June.

  假如在6月30日之前没有钱被存入第三方托管账户,该第三方托管账户协议即告截止。

  Although this grammatical construction is correct in many languages, it is not correct in English. It was, however, common usage several centuries ago, and it still exists incolloquialEnglish now. This explains well known examples such as “I can’t get no satisfaction” and “We don’t need no education”. But it is not correct in formal written English.

  尽管这种语法结构在很多语言中都是正确的,但在英语中却是错的。然而,在很多个世纪以前,这种用法非常常见,而在今天的英语口语中,也依然存在。这解释了一些有名的例子,比如“I can’t get no satisfaction 我得不到满足”以及“We don’t need no education 我们不需要教育”。但在正式的书面英语中,这并不是正确的。

  The grammatical concept is called “negative concord”. In languages that have negative concord, such as Spanish, Polish and Hungarian, the double negative intensifies the negation. However, in languages that do not have negative concord, such as Standard English and German, a double negative is understood to resolve into a positive.

  这种语法概念叫做“否定和谐”。在有否定和谐的语言中,比如西班牙语、波兰语和匈牙利语,这种双重否定会加重否定。然而在那些不具有否定和谐的语言中,比如标准英语和德语,双重否定会形成肯定。

  So the above example technically means:

  所以那句例句实际上意味着:

  This Escrow Account Agreement expires if money is credited to the Escrow Account by 30 June.

  如果在6月30日之前有钱被存入第三方托管账户,该第三方托管账户协议即告截止。

  In reality, of course, it is unlikely anyone would understand it this way, as it wouldn’t make any sense. But the sentence should be corrected as follows:

  在现实中,当然,不会有什么人会这样理解它的,因为这样毫无意义。但是这句话还是应该被改成这样:

  RIGHT

  正确

  This Escrow Account Agreement expires if no money is credited to the Escrow Account by 30 June 2013.

  如果在2013年6月30日之前没有钱被存入第三方托管账户,该第三方托管账户协议即告截止。

编辑:廖书曼 来源:沪江英语网

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