City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 11, 2020 in Questions about English Grammar by Ariel (28,250 points) | 181 views

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了解语义类型是区分个别动词用法的第一步。这三个动词都属于视觉感官,就要从视觉经验的区分来细究这三者独特的语义。前面提过感官动词分为自主与非自主的调控:see是视觉上“不自主”的接受,look则是视觉上“主动”的调整,强调“目光”的停驻点:

A: What are you looking at? →目光放在哪?

B: I am looking at the picture. →目光停留在书上

A: What do you see in the picture? → 视觉接收到什么?

B: I see a forest, a river and a rainbow above it. →接收到的东西

视觉停驻可能是为了深入领会,watch就是指专注而投入的“观赏”,不仅只是目光停留,还强调“目不转睛、全神贯注”盯着看:

A: What are you doing?

B: I’m watching TV / a talk show / a ball game. → 眼目、心思跟着起伏

请注意:“看电视”是watch TV,而不是watch the TV。因为看的是电视节目,不是电视机!用watch表示“观赏节目”,盯着荧幕,全神贯注,心领神会的看,不只目光到位而已,心思也要到位。若说成look at the TV,就可能只是在看电视的“外壳”了:

I’m watching TV. → 观赏电视节目

I’m looking at the TV. → 看着电视机

可是,“看电影”不也是观赏吗?但通常“看电影”的说法是go to a movie或go to see a movie,强调视觉上自然的讯息接受;不过也越来越常听到I’m going to watch a movie,强调盯着大银幕专注的欣赏。

同样,若要强调只是想“看到”一个电视节目,就可用see来表达和“专注观赏”不一样的语义:

What do you want to do tonight?

I want to see a special TV program. → 要看一个特别节目(接收讯息)

使用不同的动词其实是为了表达不同的语义,动词各有其“侧重点”,用动词沟通时,不只是死板地考虑“可以与不可以”,而是要弄清楚究竟想传达什么意思,然后选择适当的词汇来表达要侧重的语义。

这三个动词“侧重”不同的语义面向:

目光初接触 → She looked at the car in front of her.

专注观察 → She watched the car moving to the side.

视觉接收 → She saw a baby in the car.

再以一个小故事来总结这三种不同的“看”:

He looked at the menu, and decided to watch a new program. In the program, he saw the beauty of Taiwan.

他看了看节目表,决定看一个新的电视节目,节目中他看到台湾的美。

——劉美君. (2012). 英文文法有道理! 重新認識英文文法觀念. 聯經.

answered Nov 11, 2020 by Ariel (28,250 points)

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1,332 questions
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