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Commas are tricky things,
especially when subordinates and conjunctions are involved.
If you can remember a few basic rules,
a simple law of physics,
and some common scenarios,
you will be able to use commas correctly.
I like to think of the different parts of our sentence as characters.
Let's meet a few of them:
the tiny conjunctions,
the mighty subordinates,
and the clever comma.
Conjunctions are small and nimble.
They are words that connect clauses, words, and phrases.
You can easily remember the conjunctions
by remembering the acronym FANBOYS.
The conjunctions are
for,
and,
nor,
but,
or,
yet,
so.
Because they're so small,
more often than not,
they require the help of a comma
but not always.
Subordinates, on the other hand,
are the WWE heavyweight champions of sentences.
They are words that connect two unequal things,
dependent and independent clauses.
Subordinates make it very clear
what is being prioritized in a sentence.
Commonly used subordinates are
although,
because,
before,
however,
unless,
and even though.
Because subordinates are all about power,
they can do a lot of heavy lifting by themselves.
But, of course, sometimes even the strongest among us
needs some help from our clever friends.
Because our clever comma is so nice,
she often roams her neighborhood
looking for some community service to do.
Today, as soon as she leaves her house,
she sees a subordinate lifting the weight
of two complete sentences,
one on each arm.
Bartheleme loves engaging in political debate
even though
he usually loses.
The comma asks the subordinate if he needs help.
Well, we know that subordinates
are the WWE heavyweight champions of sentences.
They can easily hold the weight
of these two complete sentences
because they are distributed evenly on both arms.
So, when the comma asks if it can help,
the subordinate is appalled
at the idea of needing assistance.
No thanks, maybe next time!
So, the comma continues on.
Soon, she sees a couple of subordinates
attempting to lift the weight
of sentences directly in front of themselves.
Even though Bartheleme loves to sing,
he never sings in front of others.
The comma asks the subordinates if they need help.
They might not want to admit it,
but this time the subordinates do need help.
Complete sentences weigh quite a bit.
Simple physics tells us
that it's easier to balance heavy objects
if the weight is evenly distributed.
So, while the subordinates are quite capable
of balancing two complete sentences
when carrying the weight on both sides,
they're having trouble picking just one up.
The comma rushes over
to help the struggling subordinates,
but how will she help?
When subordinates begin sentences,
the comma will place herself
directly after the first thought or complete sentence.
After helping the subordinates,
our comma heroine continues on
and spots a conjunction
holding the weight of two complete sentences.
Bartheleme was accepted into the University of Chicago,
and
he is on the waitlist for Stanford University.
The comma asks the conjunction if he needs help.
Of course he does! Hurry!
The comma rushes and places itself before the conjunction.
Fanboys aren't as militant as subordinates.
For this reason,
the commas don't have to fall in line behind the fanboys.
Fanboys are courteous creatures.
They allow the comma to go ahead of them.
Helping others is hard work!
On her way home,
our comma sees a conjunction holding up the weight
of a complete sentence
and a fragment sentence.
Bartheleme is going to major in molecular biology
or
interpretive dance.
The now-exhausted comma asks the conjunction
if he needs help lifting the items.
This is one of the rare occassions
where a conjunction doesn't need the help of a comma.
The conjunction assures the comma
that help isn't needed,
which is good for the comma
because by now,
all it wants to do is go home and rest up
for another day of vigilant sentence constructing.
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TED-Ed:逗號的故事 (Comma story - Terisa Folaron)

59133 分類 收藏
wikiHuang 發佈於 2015 年 5 月 14 日

影片簡介

「逗號」是我們書寫時最常使用的標點符號,別看逗號小小的,其實它有相當重要的功能喔!你知道要怎麼正確使用英文中的逗號嗎?逗號到底要放在句中的哪個位置呢?讓聰明的逗號小姐告訴你她的故事吧!


1
mighty0:39
mighty 當形容詞用的時候意思是「強大的、巨大的」,這個字也可以當作副詞使用,意思是「極、非常」,和 extremely 意義相近。

E.g., U.S.A is one of the mighty industrial countries.
美國是工業強國之一。
E.g., I always feel mighty uncomfortable when I have to speak in front of people.
在眾人面前講話總讓我覺得非常不自在。

另外再補充一個相關片語:high and mighty
這個片語用來形容人「盛氣凌人、趾高氣揚」的樣子,帶有負面意味,表示形容的對象自以為比別人重要。

E.g., Fiona used to be a amiable girl, but since she got her promotion she has started acting all high and mighty.
費歐娜以前是個親切的女孩,但自從她升遷後,就變得非常盛氣凌人。

*同場加映

TED-Ed:槓桿中的強大數學原理 (The mighty mathematics of the lever - Andy Peterson and Zack Patterson)


2
acronym, FANBOYS0:53
acronym 就是由每個字的字首所拼成的縮寫,不過 acronym abbreviation(縮寫)有何不同呢?acronym 算是 abbreviation 的一種,比較特別的是,acronym 可以當成一個單字來發音,例如影片中的 FANBOYS 就屬於可以發音、念得出來的縮寫,所以是一種 acronym。如果縮寫成一個字後無法發音,例如 USA,就不算是 acronym(因為 USA 需要三個字母分開念,不能念成 U-SA)。只能將字母分開念的縮寫稱作 initialism

那麼現在就來考考大家,哪些字是 acronym,哪些字不是?

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) 愛滋病
CEO (chief executive officer) 執行長
FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) 美國聯邦調查局
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) 美國太空總署

AIDS 和 NASA 屬於 acronym,CEO 和 FBI 則是 initialism,大家分清楚了嗎?


3
WWE heavyweight champions1:14
WWEWorld Wrestling Entertainment(世界摔角娛樂公司)的縮寫,是全世界最大的職業摔角公司。WWE 所舉辦的節目和活動不是正規的體育競賽,而是以娛樂為主,然而危險性仍然很高,一般觀眾不可以模仿。


4
roams1:51
roam 的意思就是「閒逛、漫步」,沒有特定的目標。
E.g., After graduated from college, Lisa spent a year roaming around Australia, working on farms or in restuarants.
大學畢業後,麗莎花了一年的時間在澳洲各地漫遊,一路在農場上或餐廳裡打工。

英文裡還有許多字和 roam 意義相似,小編在這裡補充幾個:

ramble(尤指在鄉間)愉快地漫步、閒逛
E.g., The weather is pretty good today. Maybe we can go rambling.
今天的天氣挺不錯的,也許我們可以到鄉間散步。

wander 閒逛、遊蕩
E.g., I saw a strange guy wandering near my house yesterday. It was kind of creepy.
我昨天看到一個陌生男子在我家附近遊蕩,感覺有點可怕。

stroll 散步、蹓躂
E.g., My father likes to stroll along the riverside in the evening.
傍晚的時候,我爸爸喜歡到河岸邊散步。

*延伸閱讀

覺得 run 與 walk 不夠用嗎?看看「徘徊、踮腳走」的英文怎麼說!

看了這個可愛的影片後,大家對如何在英文句子中使用逗號有沒有更了解了呢?中文標點符號和英文標點符號使用方式不盡相同,如果不確定某種標點符號該怎麼用,可以在下面留言和 VT 的大家一起討論喔!

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