向英语学习者讲话 | What Does “Would of Come” Mean? “Would of Come”是什么意思?

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What Does “Would of Come” Mean?
“Would of Come”是什么意思?

Once a young man found the expression “would of come” in a magazine and asked me to explain it.
有一次一个青年在一本杂志中见到“would of come”这一表达,请我解释一下。

Do you understand it, reader? Have you ever seen such expressions as “would of come”, “should of gone”, “might of done”, “could of learnt”, “ought to of known”?
读者,你懂吗?你见过“would of come”、“should of gone”、“might of done”、“could of learnt”、“ought to of known”这类表达方式吗?

You may or may not have seen such expressions. They are not uncommon in short stories and dramas. But grammars do not usually mention them. So I am afraid that you do not understand them. You think they are simply ungrammatical.
你可能见过或没有见过这类表达方式。它们在短篇小说和剧本中十分普遍。但是语法书中通常不会提及。所以恐怕你不知道它们,认为它们简直是不合语法的。

Well, they are ungrammatical; but there are many ungrammatical expressions that are worth knowing1. You ought to learn to use English correctly. But you ought as well2 to learn to understand the incorrect expressions that are common among Englishmen or Americans. It is partly owing to their ignorance of such incorrect expressions3 that many Chinese learners can parse and analyse well without being able to read a single page in an English-language magazine published in England or America.
的确,它们是不合语法的。可是有许多值得知道却不合语法的表达方式。你应该学会正确地使用英语。但是你也应该学会理解在英国人和美国人中通用的那些不正确的表达方式。许多中国学习者能够描述好单词和分析好句子,却不能在英国或美国出版的杂志中读懂一页,其部分原因是他们不知道这种不正确的表达方式。

Substitute4 “have” for the “of” in each of the abovementioned expressions, and you will understand what it means.
在上文提及的几个表达方式中用“have”代替“of”,你就懂得它的意思了。

“Why is ‘of’ used instead of ‘have’?” you may ask. Well, the mistake is but5 natural. In “would have”, “should have”, etc., the “have” is unemphatic and is often pronounced like the unemphatic “of”. On the other hand, the “have” in “I have it” is emphatic, and such a sentence as “I of it” is never spoken or written.
你也许会问为什么“of”被用来代替“have”呢?这个错误再自然不过。在“would have”、“should have”等中的“have”是不加重语气的,发音往往好似不加重语气的“of”。与此相反,“I have it”中的“have”是加重语气的,所以人们不说也不写“I of it”这种句子。

Need I add that “of” used instead of “have” is always wrong and that you should not use “would of”, “should of”, etc. in your own writing. There are many mistakes that are common among Englishmen or Americans but from which we Chinese are absolutely free. As I have said, you ought to understand them, but you ought not to adopt them as ornaments of style6.
我还必须补充一句:用“of”来代替“have”是错误的,你在自己的写作中不应用“would of”、“should of”等表达方式。有许多错误在英国人和美国人中间是普通的,但我们中国人是绝对不会犯的。正像我刚才说过的那样,你应理解它们,可是你不该采用它们来作为文体上的装饰品。

NOTES

  1. are worth knowing 有知道的价值
  2. as well 也
  3. partly owing to their ignorance of such incorrect expressions 一部分因为他们不知道这种不正确的表达方式。
  4. Substitute … 以……代入
    substitute “have” for the “of” 以“have”代这个“of”
  5. but=only
  6. ornaments of style 文体上的装饰品

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