【英文文法】一文教你分清since用法!以後唔再同as, because, for混淆!

無論是英文初學者抑或是語感較差的人,對英文文法一知半解,摸不著頭腦,説和寫起上來經常猶疑不決。譬如,對於普遍會用到的since的用法有疑問,沒法分辨清楚since在句子中的意思。有時候甚至會把since跟其他相近意思的詞混為一談。小編將為你詳細講解since的用法,以及將since和because、as、for作比較,確保大家不會在上學、辦工或其他須用英語的場合再犯這些不必要的錯誤。今後説和寫英文時,亦會更有自信。

目錄

Since的用法

Since分別有兩種涵意:時間和原因。我們可以依照句子語意、結構和時態,決定since在句子中的意思。

1. 時間

time

在時間的層面上,與「自從」有相似的意思。Since通常可作為介系詞代入一個片語、或連接詞代入一個子句、或是以副詞單獨存在。另外,since後的子句大多是過去式,主要子句為完成式。

連接詞

當since用作連接詞時,可搭配一段期間或某個時刻,引導時間附屬子句,意為「自從…」。附屬子句,即 since 子句,的動詞通常為過去簡單式或現在完成式,而主要子句則使用現在完成式或過去完成式,但以現在完成式居多。如要表示一段期間,since子句該為現在完成式;如要表示某個時刻,since子句便為過去簡單式。不論是過去簡單式還是現在完成式,意思大致上相同。

【例】I haven’t done any outdoor activities since I graduated from university.
【例】John had been cooking his own dinner since he was twelve years old.

在另一種清況下,當主要子句的結構為”It + be + 時間 + since”,可以以四種不同的句型構成,但意思絕對相同。主要子句的be以現在簡單式 is或現在完成式 has been,而附屬子句則為過去簡單式或現在完成式。在美式英語中,” It has been… since…” 比較常見。

【例】It is ten months since Paul and Linda moved to a new apartment.
【例】It is ten months since Paul and Linda have moved to a new apartment.
【例】It has been ten months since Paul and Linda moved to a new apartment.
【例】It has been ten months since Paul and Linda have moved to a new apartment.

其實在剛剛説明的結構中,be亦可使用過去簡單式 was 或過去完成式 had been,但此時 since 子句須使用過去簡單式或過去完成式。

【例】It was ten months since Paul and Linda moved to a new apartment.
【例】It had been ten months since Paul and Linda had moved to a new apartment.

當 since 不是引導過去某個動作或事件,而是過去的某個狀態並現在一直持續著 ,主要子句及其附屬子句都要用現在完成式。

【例】Tom has been sleeping less than 4 hours every day since he has become a doctor.

副詞

作為時間副詞,since/since then有著「此後,從此,自那以後」的意思。

而ever since能用來加強since和since then的語氣。

【例】We graduated from secondary school a year ago and we haven’t reunited since/since then.
【例】They divorced few months ago and haven’t contacted each other ever since.

介系詞

作為介系詞時,since只能與某一時刻搭配,即是since之後必須接著日期、年份等時間有關的詞。時刻能以副詞(e.g. yesterday)、名詞片語(e.g. the beginning of the match)或動作動詞(e.g. I left)表示。意為「自從…,自…以來,從…至今」。

【例】Since yesterday, I haven’t eaten anything.
【例】Since the beginning of the match, she has been cheering loudly for her teammates.
【例】Since I left my previous workplace, it has become much quieter than before.

在某種情況下,我們可以將since從連接詞變成介系詞—就是當 since 子句和主要子句的主詞(subject)是相同時,便可省略 since 子句的主詞。這樣,本身句中的主動詞須改為動名詞 ,接在since後。

【例】Since attending tutorial classes, I have become more confident when answering questions during lessons.
(原句:Since I have attended tutorial classes, I have become more confident when answering questions during lessons.)

2. 原因

除了在時間方面,since 亦可作為連接詞,引導表示原因的附屬子句,意為「既然」。Since接著的子句通常是現在式,亦能是整個前後子句都為過去簡單式。放在主要句子前或後都同樣沒問題。Since的運用大多想表達顯而易見或已成事實的原因。

【例】Since it is too cold out there, I will just stay home today.
【例】Since the power is out, we should just go to bed directly.

英文文法小測 — since用法

第一部份:填充題

  1. She has been waiting  (since/for) 8am.
  2. John has been playing video games  (since/for) hours.
  3. Dave and Sandy have been friends  (since/for) nine years.
  4. They haven’t done any house chores        (since/for) Christmas Eve.
  5. I have become a vegetarian  (since/for) last October.

第二部份:選擇題

請選出since在以下句子中的涵意。(時間/原因)

  1. I am going to wear wellies since it is raining outside.
  2. Since no one is paying attention to the TV, I should just turn it off.
  3. I submitted my dissertation few days ago and I haven’t turn on my computer since then.
  4. My annual income hasn’t increased since 2016.
  5. We are going to the beach since today is hot and sunny.

答案請參考文章結尾。

其他詞能取代since嗎?

1. Since vs. For

Since和for同為時間介系詞,適用於完成式的句子,表達某人已做了某件事或處於某個狀況一段持續的時間。可是,它們的用法有些不同,所以for是不能替代since。接著,讓我們看看應如何區分since和for。

  • Since + 特定時間點(point of time):表示當事件發生在某個時刻時

【例】She has lived with her husband since she got married.
【例】I have stopped drinking milk since three years old.

  • For + 時間長度(length of time):表示當事件持續了一段時間

【例】She has lived with her husband for five years.
【例】I have stopped drinking milk for ten years.

2. Since, Because, As

Since,because 和as都可解作「因為」,用法大致上相同。唯一少許的差異在於它們的語氣。Because的語氣最強,其次是since,as算是最溫和。

Since及as用作對已知的事實提供理由和原因,並非表示直接原因,視附屬子句(since/as子句)為附加資料。還有,通常since和as的子句會加上逗號,將原因和主要子句分開,降低原因的重要性。Since的語氣比as稍為強一點和正式一點。

Because則是表示直接原因,強調原因。適合用於回答why的問題,以及引導從句。

英文文法小測 — since用法答案

第一部份:填充題

    1. She has been waiting since
    2. John has been playing video games for
    3. Dave and Sandy have been friends for nine years.
    4. They haven’t done any house chores since Christmas Eve.
    5. I have become a vegetarian since last October

第二部份:選擇題

    1. I am going to wear wellies since it is raining outside. 原因
    2. Since no one is paying attention to the TV, I should just turn it off. 原因
    3. I submitted my dissertation few days ago and I haven’t turn on my computer since then. 時間
    4. My annual income hasn’t increased since 2016. 時間
    5. We are going to the beach since today is hot and sunny. 原因

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