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英语万能代词WHAT的主要用法你知道多少?

WHAT作代词时,它不仅含义丰富,而且其用法广泛。毫无疑问,WHAT是一个万能代词,很值得英语学习者掌握。下面从词性功能的角度,简要归纳一下这一万能代词的主要用法。


一、疑问代词WHAT


在在英语提问中,疑问代词what有很多用法。它在句子中可作主语、宾语、表语、定语等;它既可以问“身份、名字、性质、类别”,也可以问“目的、数量、价值、效果”等。疑问代词what相当于汉语“什么”或“怎么样”的意思,其主要用法如下:


1.问人或事物的特点。例如:


What is he like? [他人怎么样啊?


What kind of suit did she buy in town? [她在城里买的是怎样的服装?


2.问有关事物的数量。例如:


What do you weigh? [你体重多少?]


What did you pay for the dictionary? [这本词典你花了多少钱?]


3.问人的职业(工作性质)或事物的性质(特点)。例如:


What is your father? [你父亲是干什么的?]


What is an engineer? [工程师是干什么的?]


What is the weather like in Beijing? [北京的天气如何?]


4.问事物的内容。例如:


What is the latest news? [有什么最新的消息吗?]


What would you like to buy? [你想要买点什么东西?]


What is artificial intelligence? [什么叫做人工智能?]





5.对一些抽象名词提问。例如:

What's your phone number? [你的电话号码是多少?]

What's the price of the book? [这本书的价钱是多少?]

6.对时间的提问。例如:

What time is it? (= What's the time?)[现在几点了?]

What's the date today? [今天几号?]

What day is today? (= What day is it today?)[今天星期几?]

What month is it? [现在是几月份?]

What comes after spring? [春季之后是哪个季节?]

7.问姓名、排号、尺寸、颜色等。例如:

What is your name? [你叫什么名字?]

What number are you? [你是几号呢?]

What size shoes do you take? [你穿几号的鞋?]

What color is your coat? [你的上衣是什么颜色?]

8.询问对方的看法。例如:

What do you think of game shows? [你认为游戏节目怎么样?]

What about something to drink? [来点喝的怎么样?]

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二、关系代词WHAT

关系代词WHAT也有很多用法。它可引起主语从句、宾语从句、表语从句等;它没有疑问的含义,相当于that、which、the thing(s) that(which),或the…that(which),从句表示的是事物。关系代词WHAT在不同情况下有不同意思,其主要用法如下:

1.主语从句。例如:

What is beautiful is not always good. [美的东西并不总是好的。]

What happened after that was interesting. [后来发生的事挺有意思。]

值得一提的是,当what引起主语从句时,主句谓语动词数的形式比较复杂。中国著名语言学家周海中先生在1985年发表的《关于what-分句作主语的主谓一致问题》一文中,对主句谓语动词数的形式做了深入探究。其中,周先生指出:当主句的表语是动词不定式、动词V-ing和从句时,谓语动词只能用单数形式。他提供了以下的实例:

What he is suited for is to be loved. (J. Bayley: Shakespeare and Tragedy)

What we're doing is getting a chap used to getting up, going to work, learning how to behave in a workshop. (New Statesman, 15 June 1984)

What it comes down to is that the big cars are considered better buys. (U. S. News & World Report, January 18, 1982)

2.宾语从句。例如:

I could hardly believe what he had told me. [我简直不敢相信他所告诉我的。]

His mother gives him what he asks for. [他要什么他母亲就给他什么。]

3.表语从句。例如:

Books are what we need most. [书是我们最需要的东西。]

He is not what he was five years ago. [他不再是五年前的他了。]

(作者为英国牛津大学访问学者 林娜)

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