限定关系子句

限定关系子句为主要子句提供很重要的信息,让我们知道它指的对象为何,顾名思义「限定」了所指的人或事物。就拿这个例句来说:Dogs that like cats are very unusual. 在这句话中,我们知道这世上有很多只狗,但这句话指的是「喜欢猫的狗」,限定关系子句提供的就是这样的信息。如果把限定子句从句中移除,剩下的句子虽然文法上没有问题,但意思就会大大的不同。

限定关系子句包含关系代词(有时可省略)丶动词,以及动词的主词或受词等要素。限定关系子句并不会用逗号或括号来与主要子句隔开,这些标点符号通常只用在非限定子句。

举例
  • Children who hate chocolate are uncommon.
  • They live in a house whose roof is full of holes.
  • An elephant is an animal that lives in hot countries.
  • Let's go to a country where the sun always shines.
  • The reason why I came here today is not important.

关系代词

以下的关系代词用于限定关系子句,位置会放在子句的句首,这类关系代词指的是前面句子提过的名词。

  原因
主格 who/that which/that      
受格 who/whom/that which/that where when why
所有格 whose whose      
在口头上会用 that 取代其他关系代词

在口头上,通常会用 that 来取代 who丶whom 和 which 等关系代词。whom 是非常正式的用语,通常只用在正式书面上;在口头上可以改用 who 或 that,或直接省略关系代词。以下的例句都属于非正式用法,粗体字为限定关系子句。而括号内的字是取代 that 的正式写法。

举例
  • The dish that I ordered was delicious. (which)
  • The man that came with her has already left. (who)
  • The doctor that I was hoping to see wasn't on duty. (whom)
何时可以省略关系代词?

当关系代词是子句的受格时,才可省略;而当关系代词是子句的主格,就不得省略。如果关系代词后面接了另一个主词和动词,就可以知道这个关系代词是子句的受格。在以下第一个例句的关系代词之所以不能省略,因为它是关系子句「the woman spoke」的主词。而在第二句中,「the woman」是动词「loved」的受词,因此代词就可以省略。

名词,主要子句的主词 关系代词 动词 + 关系子句的其馀字词 动词 + 主要子句的其馀字词
The woman that spoke at the meeting was very knowledgeable.
The woman (that) the man loved was living in New York.
that 的其他用法

当限定关系子句前面有 something丶anything丶everything丶nothing丶all 和最高级时,通常会用「that」来引导限定关系子句。当 that 不是子句的主格时,就可以省略。

举例
  • There's something (that) you should know.
  • It was the best film (that) I've ever seen.
  • Do you have anything that will help my throat?
  • Everything (that) you say seems silly to me.
  • Nothing (that) anyone does can replace my lost bag.
  • I'm sorry, but that is all (that) I saw.