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动名词是动词的另外一种非限定形式,通常由动词+-ing形式构成。它具备动词的某些特点,有时态和语态上的变化,可以有自己的宾语或状语;也具备名词的特点,可以带冠词,被形容词、代词及名词所有格所修饰,在句中起名词的作用,单独或引起短语作主语,表语,宾语,或介词的宾语等。

一、动名词的形式和意义

因为动名词具备动词的特征,所以它也有时态和语态上的变化。以do为例:

  主动形式 被动形式
一般式 doing being done
完成式 having done having been done

1. 动名词的一般式通常表示一般性动作(即不是明确地在过去、现在或将来发生的动作),或是表示与谓语所表示的动作同时发生的动作。

e.g. I) They are interested in climbing mountains.

II) He took a great delight in helping others.

2. 如果动名词所代表的动作在谓语所表示的动作之前发生,则通常用动名词的完成形式。

e.g. I) He denied having peeked at his neighbor’s test paper. 他否认偷看了他同桌的考卷。

II) He was praised for having made such a contribution to the country.

【注】在某些动词后或成语中,也常用动名词的一般形式表示在谓语动词所表示的动作之前所发生的动作。

e.g. I) I don’t remember ever seeing him anywhere.

II) Thank you for giving us so much help.

3. 当一个动名词逻辑上的主语所表示的是这动作的对象时,这动名词一般要用被动形式。如果动名词所表示的动作在谓语表示的动作之前发生,有时还需用动名词的完成被动式。

e.g. I) He could not bear being made fun of like that. 人家这样开他的玩笑他受不了。

II) You can’t eat anything before being operated on.

III) I don’t remember having ever been given a chance to try this method. 我不记得谁给我试验这方法的机会。

【注】在want, need, deserve, require等动词后,尽管表示的是被动的意思,却要用动名词的主动形式。在worth这个形容词后也是如此。在这类结构中,动名词和句子的主语有着动宾关系,因此如果这个动名词是个不及物动词,后面还应当用一个适当的介词。

e.g. I) This problem requires studying (to be studied) with great care.

II) Who needs looking after (= to be looked after)?

III) The picture is not worth looking at.

4. 由于动名词同时具备名词的特征,所以可以在前面加一个物主代词来表示这个名词短语逻辑上的主语,或者用一个名词所有格来完成这种结构。

e.g. I) Do you think my going there will be of any help?

II) What we felt uneasy about was Mary’s having too much confidence in herself.

我们感到不安的是小林过于自信。

二、动名词的句法功能

1. 作主语

e.g. I) Swimming develops the muscles.

II) Tony’s being always late for class affected his final grades.

2. 作表语

e.g. I) The real problem is getting to know the needs of the people.

II) Her job is raising pigs.

3. 作宾语

a) 在下面这些动词后面,通常用动名词作宾语,而不能用动词不定式:suggest, finish, avoid (避免), stop, cant’ help (禁不住), mind (在乎), admit (承认), enjoy, leave off (停止), require, postpone (推迟), put off, delay, practice, fancy (喜欢), excuse, pardon, advise, consider, deny (否认), endure (忍耐), escape (逃避), miss等。

e.g. I) He avoided giving us a definite answer. 他避免给我们作肯定回答。

II) We’d better put off discussing it till next week.

b) 在love, like, hate, prefer, dislike, begin, start, continue, intend (打算), attempt (尝试), can’t bear, propose, want, need, remember, forget, regret, neglect, try, deserve, can’t afford等动词后,可以用动名词作宾语,也可以用动词不定式作宾语。有时两种结构之间意义差别不是很大,如在like, hate, prefer等词后,如果表示一般倾向,多用动名词作宾语;如果表示特定的或具体的某次行动,用动词不定式时则更多一些。

e.g. I) I like reading books of this kind. 我喜欢看这类书。

I’d like to read that book. 我想看那一本书。

II) They prefer walking to cycling. 他们情愿走路,不愿骑车。

I prefer to stay at home today. 今天我情愿呆在家里。

【注】在remember, forget, regret, try, mean, go on, quit, stop等词后面跟动名词和跟动词不定式作宾语时意思则有明显的差别。在remember, forget, regret等词后面接的动名词往往表示动作已经发生过了,而动词不定式则表示动词的尚未发生或将要发生。try后面接的动名词表示试着做某事,而动词不定式则表示设法做某事。mean后面接的动名词表示意味着,而动词不定式则表示企图、打算。在quit (停止), stop后面接动名词表示“停止做某事”,而动词不定式则表示“停下来去做某事”。同样,go on后面接的动名词和动词不定式意义也不同,接动名词时表示“继续做同一件事情”,而接动词不定式则表示“继续做不同的事情”。

e.g. I) I remember seeing her once somewhere. 我记得在哪里见过她。

I must remember to take my notebooks with me. 我必须记住把笔记本带着。

II) I regret not having accepted your advice. 我后悔没有听你的劝告。

I regret to tell you the bad news. 我很遗憾要告诉你这个不幸的消息。

III) We must try to get everything done in time. 我们必须设法及时把一切做好。

Let’s try doing the job some other way. 我们用另一种方法试试看。

IV) Success means working very hard.

John meant to drive there, but his car broke down.

V) He went on working in spite of (尽管) the noise around him.

He gave us a brief (简短的) introduction and went on to show us around the campus (校园).

VI) We’ll start as soon as it quits snowing.

At noon, all the worker quit to take a nap (打盹,小睡).

c) 动名词常可用在某些成语后面充当作介词宾语,常见的有:insist on, persist in, think of, dream of, object to (反对), hear of, approve of (赞成), prevent … from, keep … from, stop … from, be engaged in (忙于), when it comes to … (当谈到……的时候), look forward to, oppose to (反对), depend on, thank … for, feel like, excuse … for, aim at, devote … to (投身于), set about (开始,着手), spend … in, get used to, be fond of, be capable of (能够), be afraid of, be tired of, be sick of, succeed in, be interested in, feel ashamed of, be proud of, be keen on (热衷于), be responsible for (对……负责) 等。

e.g. I) I’ve been looking forward to coming to Beijing for a long time.

II) Have you got used to working on the night shift? 你习惯了上夜班了没有?

4. 动名词也可以和about, against, at, before, after, by, besides, for, from, in, on, upon, without等介词构成短语作状语用。也可以和with a view to (以……为目的), for the purpose of (为了), in case of (万一), in the event of (如果……发生), instead of, apart from, for fear of (为了避免)等成语构成短语,作状语等用。

e.g. I) What can you learn by watching such films?

II) Since returning from New York, he’s been awfully busy.

III) We adopted the new methods with a view to raising our efficiency. 我们采用这些新方法为的是提高效率。

5. 动名词也可以和介词构成短语作定语用。能够用这种定语修饰的名词有:way (of), method (of), art (of), chance (of), opportunity (of), habit (of), hope (of), process (of), possibility (of), importance (of), necessity (of), intention (of), honor (of), means (of), right (of), surprise (of), astonishment (of), excuse (of), apology (of), plan (for), objection (to), idea (of), experience (in), skill (in)等。

e.g. I) They don’t approve of (赞成) his way of looking at things.

II) He hasn’t much experience in running factories. 他没有多少管理工厂的经验。

6. 用在固定结构中:动名词常与be worth, have difficulty (in), it is no good/ no use, there is no point in, how/what about, what’s the point of, what’s the use of, spend/ waste (no) time (in)等词组连用。

e.g. I) What’s the point of leaving today’s work for tomorrow?

II) There is no point buying a fridge since we have a big vegetable garden.

III) He wastes no time correcting his mistake. 他立即改正了错误。

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