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「【TED 文法教室】小小撇號,大大不同」- When to Use Apostrophes


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Is it a flying comma...or a quotation mark chopped in half? Either way, you may already be well-versed in how to use the apostrophe, but here's a quick refresher on its usage.
這是一個飛天逗號...還是被劈一半的引號?不管它是什麼,你可能早就很熟悉撇號該怎麼用,不過這裡有一個快速複習撇號用法的影片。

The apostrophe can be used in three ways: to mark possession, to mark contraction, to mark the plural of single letters. Most of the time, if you see an apostrophe hovering helpfully near a word, it's trying to mark possession or contraction.
撇號可以有三種使用方式:表示所有格、表示縮寫、表示單一字母的複數形。大多時候,如果你見到一個撇號熱心地徘徊在某個字附近,它是在試圖標出所有格或縮寫。

First, let's look at how the apostrophe marks possession. As you can see, the placement of this punctuation mark can really change the meaning of a sentence.
首先,讓我們來看撇號如何表示所有格。如你所見,這個標點符號所在的位置真的會改變一個句子的意思。

"Those robots in the sand are my sister's."
「沙地裡的那些機器人是我妹妹的。」

"Those robots in the sand are my sisters'."
「沙地裡的那些機器人是我妹妹們的。」

"Those robots in the sand are my sisters."
「沙地裡的那些機器人是我妹妹們。」

When showing possession, the apostrophe belongs next to the noun that owns or possesses something. The noun can be singular or plural. Proper nouns work too. So if Lucy needs to get her robots under control before they cause mayhem, those dangerous creatures would be "Lucy's robots."
表示所有格時,撇號應該放在擁有某物的那個名詞旁。這個名詞可以是單數或複數。專有名詞也行得通。所以假如 Lucy 要在她的機器人大搞破壞前管住他們的話,那些危險生物就會是Lucy's robots(Lucy 的機器人們)。

But what if Lucy was Lucas? Would we write "Lucas' robots" or "Lucas's robots"? And what if Lucas gave his robots to the Robinson family? Would it be "the Robinsons' robots" or "the Robinsons's robots"?
但要是 Lucy 是 Lucas 呢?我們會寫成 Lucas' robots 還是 Lucas's robots(Lucas 的機器人們)?要是 Lucas 把他的機器人送給 Robinson 一家人呢?那會是 the Robinsons' robots(Robinson 一家的機器人們)還是 the Robinsons's robots?

The truth is even grammar nerds disagree on the right thing to do. The use of apostrophe s ('s) after a proper noun ending in "s" is a style issue, not a hard-and-fast grammar rule. It's a conundrum without a simple answer. Professional writers solve this problem by learning what's considered correct for a publication and doing that. The important thing is to pick one style and stick with it throughout a piece of writing.
事實是就連文法魔人都對正確寫法沒有一致的意見。字尾為 s 的專有名詞後接的撇號和 s('s) 怎麼用是寫作風格問題,不是死板板的文法規則。這是個沒有簡單答案的難題。專業作家解決這個問題的方式是了解出版物認同的風格並遵從。重要的事是選擇一種寫作風格,然後通篇作品都維持一致。

One more wrinkle: Certain pronouns already have possession built in and don't need an apostrophe. Remembering that will help you avoid one of the trickiest snags in English grammar: its versus it's.
還有一個小問題:某些代名詞本身就已經是所有格,不需要有撇號。記住那件事將有助你避開英文文法中最棘手的麻煩之一:its(它的)對上 it's。

"It's" only takes an apostrophe when it's a contraction for "it is" or "it has." If you can replace "it's" with one of those two phrases, use the apostrophe. If you're showing possession, leave it out. Otherwise, contractions are pretty straightforward. The apostrophe stands in for missing letters and lets common phrases squash into a single word. In rare cases, you can have a double contraction, though those generally aren't accepted in writing, with the exception of dialogue.
It's 只有在是 it is 或 it has 的縮寫形時才需要撇號。如果你可以用那兩個其中一種說法替換 it's,那就加上撇號。如果你是要表示所有格,那就不要加。除此之外,縮寫還滿容易理解的。撇號頂替不見的那些字母,讓常見的詞組壓縮成一個字。少見的特殊情況下,你可以有雙重縮寫,雖然那些通常在寫作時不被接受,對話則可以破例。

So, it's possessive, it's often followed by s's, and it's sometimes tricky when it comes to its usage—it's the apostrophe.
那麼,它是所有格、它後面常跟著 s,而當牽扯到它的用法時,它有時會很難搞--它就是撇號。

  • 「不管怎樣、兩者都」- Either Way

    Either way, you may already be well-versed in how to use the apostrophe, but here's a quick refresher on its usage.
    不管它是什麼,你可能早就很熟悉撇號該怎麼用,不過這裡有一個快速複習撇號用法的影片。

  • 「大多時候、通常」- Most Of The Time

    Most of the time, if you see an apostrophe hovering helpfully near a word, it's trying to mark possession or contraction.
    大多時候,如果你見到一個撇號熱心地徘徊在某個字附近,它是在試圖標出所有格或縮寫。

  • 「在...旁邊」- Next To

    When showing possession, the apostrophe belongs next to the noun that owns or possesses something.
    表示所有格時,撇號應該放在擁有某物的那個名詞旁。

  • 「除去、省略」- Leave Out

    If you're showing possession, leave it out.
    如果你是要表示所有格,那就不要加。

  • 「頂替、代替」- Stand In

    The apostrophe stands in for missing letters and lets common phrases squash into a single word.
    撇號頂替不見的那些字母,讓常見的詞組壓縮成一個字。

  • 「當談到...時」- When It Comes To

    So, it's possessive, it's often followed by s's, and it's sometimes tricky when it comes to its usage—it's the apostrophe.
    那麼,它是所有格、它後面常跟著 s,而當牽扯到它的用法時,它有時會很難搞--它就是撇號。

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