a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數??? - 文法教學區 - 英語討論區
a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數??? - 文法教學區 - 英語討論區
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a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???

ex1. There is a pair of shoes under the bed.在本句中是單數
ex2. A pair of shoes are more expensive than a pair of socks. 在本句中又變成了複數

小弟在美國問了許多老美,她們也搞不清楚為何會這樣?
請指點迷津~謝謝~

2008/08/27 10:28

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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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更正:
之前我搞錯了。
"a pair of shoes"在日常上使用較常是當成單數(兩只鞋子視為單一個體)。其它就要看情況。

2008/08/27 19:18

djyang 於 2008-08-28 21:55:24
djyang 於 2008-08-29 00:23:40
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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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這個問題讓我想了一下。有趣的是,我在三本超過1000頁的英文文法書裡都沒查到針對這個問題的解釋(當然也可能是我漏查了),倒是在英文用法字典裡找到一些說明,節錄於下給大家參考。中括號[]裡的文字都是我加進去的。

簡單說,pair可視為和family一樣的集合名詞(collective noun),要視為單數還是複數通常視使用者的意念而定(只有指人時,通常視為複數,因為人是單獨的個體)。因此There is a pair of shoes under the bed.應該比There are a pair of shoes under the bed.常見,因為除了dj所說的發音習慣外,我們應該是把這雙鞋視為成對的整體,而不是指兩隻鞋。同樣道理,底下的Harper會舉例This pair of gloves is wearing out.而Right, Wrong, and Risky的作者會認為買鞋時會說That pair of shoes is just what I was looking for.而不會說That pair of shoes are just what I was looking for.,因為我們買鞋時是想著買成對的一雙鞋,而不是兩隻鞋。我想dj所引用的British National Corpus (一個英語學者經常使用的重要語料庫)中There is a pair of出現頻率是There are a pair of出現頻率的三倍,不是沒有道理的──正如Penguin所說: “Pair . . . often stresses . . . close association, perhaps . . . mutual dependence.”(原文引於下)。因其通常強調close association和mutual dependence,所以被視為成對整體的機率較高。

不過A pair of shoes are more expensive than a pair of socks.念起來好像也很順,可能是dj所言的shoes接are很順,但這句應該也可說成A pair of shoes is more expensive than a pair of socks.因為價錢應該是一雙的,而不是兩隻的。我在google網址設於美國的網站上查到十筆 “a pair of shoes is”的用法,其中包括:
For example, if a pair of shoes is sold for $120.00, the shoes are not exempt because they exceed the per item clothing price limit of $100.00 per item. (賣鞋是整雙賣,價錢也是整雙算)
The height of the heel in shoes will have a lot of bearing on how a pair of shoes is worn.
Avid runners can sometimes determine that a pair of shoes is becoming worn by feeling extra soreness in their muscles or joints after a run.

“a pair of shoes are”有四筆,但其中有一筆用are不是因為a pair of shoes.所以只能算三筆。

網址設於英國的網站則查到251筆 “a pair of shoes is”,其中包括
That is excellent considering a pair of shoes is around £40. (賣鞋是整雙賣,價錢也是整雙算)
但這251筆包括不同狀況的例子,例如:
I think spending £7000 on a pair of shoes is just shameful.所以實際上可能沒那麼多。

“a pair of shoes are”則僅五筆,但其中包括
Is it true that the more expensive a pair of shoes are, the better the quality and the more comfortable they will be?──這位作者顯然覺得a pair of shoes are expensive是很自然的連結概念。

所以我們似乎可以認為 “A pair of shoes is more expensive . . . .”會比 “A pair of shoes are more expensive . . . .”常見,但這僅是推論,而且兩種說法應該都沒錯。(吐血中:我最怕文法查到後來,答案是兩個都可以)

以下是引文:

The verb form to be used with “pair” depends on whether the elements that make up the pair are considered as mates or as individual items. So it is correct to say, “This pair of gloves is wearing out” [considered as mates] and “The pair of boys are lazy” [considered as individuals]. --Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage

“Pair” is one of those collective nouns that take a singular or plural verb according to notional agreement. If you are thinking of the individuals in the pair, you will use a plural verb: A pair of elephants were grazing near the camp . . . . If you are thinking of the pair as a unit, you will use the singular: Genuine crocodile loafers . . . . The handsome pair has a hand-sewn moccasin construction . . . . --Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage

Say “pair is” when that word refers to one entity, and say “pair are” when the word refers to two entities. For example, you’re thinking of one item when you shop for a pair of shoes. Hence, you’re correct if you say “That pair of shoes is [not “are”] just what I was looking for.” (這個中括號是原文作者加的)But you’re thinking of two entities when you discuss a pair of jaywalkers. --Right, Wrong, and Risky: A Dictionary of Today’s American English Usage

“Pair,” like “couple,” concerns two of the same kind. “Pair,” however, often stresses their close association, perhaps their mutual dependence: a pair of pants, a pair of scissors. “Pair,” like other collective nouns, may be either singular or plural. It depends on which gets the emphasis: the group as a unit or its individual members.
If you say, “A blue pair of pants does not go with a brown pair of shoes,” you are emphasizing the oneness of each pair. But “A pair of soldiers were guarding the entrance to their post.” To say “was guarding . . . its” post would be ridiculous. When “pair” refers to people, it is normally plural [because people are more likely to be considered as individuals].
A nature film depicted two dangerous animals of Africa, the cape buffalo and the hippopotamus. The narrator said, “When the pair clashes, the outcome is uncertain.” The two “clash.” [So the narrator made a mistake.] They could not do so if they were “one.” [By using “clashes,” the narrator was seeing the pair as one.] Besides, “pair” has special meaning when applied to animals: it denotes two that are either mated or yoked for labor.
A news story said: “In a rare finding, a pair of twins has been shown to have different fathers.” Make it either “have been shown to have different fathers” or “has been shown to have two fathers.” [So this news reporter also used incorrect English.] That which is one unit cannot differ from itself. [By using “has” after “a pair of twins,” the reporter was seeing the pair of twins as one unit, which is odd.] --The Penguin Dictionary of American English Usage and Style

2008/08/28 12:13

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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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Very good info. Who am I to argue with the dictionary?

不過我想確定的是"A pair of shoes are ..."這用法是否真的不行。

我回前一篇時並沒有在"A pair of shoes is/are ..."上頭多加著墨,說老實話我也沒想到這。好奇之下我另外自己做了些搜尋:

National British Corpus
"A pair of shoes is" : 0
"A pair of shoes are" : 0
(我是很吃驚...)
(Note:有出現例子,但是不是我要的用法)

THE CORPUS OF CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN ENGLISH
"A pair of shoes is" : 0
"A pair of shoes are" : 1 : 2003, NEWS, Denver, "... A pair of shoes are more than $ 500...."
(這個.....)

Google Books(出版書籍,可靠度高些)
"A pair of shoes are" : 256(但是相當多不是我要的用法,不過我還是有在頭幾頁找到幾個:

比如:
"Footnotes: On Shoes" - page 274
by Shari Benstock, Suzanne Ferriss - Social Science - 2001
To this add the fact that a pair of shoes are mirror images of each other; once set to walking, a pair of shoes begins a chiasmatic rhythm that never quite ....

我是覺得這例子已經很好了,所以其他的我就不引用了。這句裡頭用了兩個用法。前面的是把"a pair of shoes (are ...)"當成複數(按照文意來讀的話很合理,因為兩只鞋子是彼此的(鏡像)倒影,所以是以兩個個體來看),而後者("a pair of shoes (begins ...)")則是當成單一個體。

綜合以上,我對下面這部分的解讀是:
引文:
For example, you’re thinking of one item when you shop for a pair of shoes. Hence, you’re correct if you say “That pair of shoes is [not “are”] just what I was looking for.” (這個中括號是原文作者加的)


這裡頭的例句是延續前頭的解說(you're thinking of one item),是把一雙鞋子當成單一個體為前提的情況下來設計的例子,所以是"is",不是"are",但是這不是表示在其他內文裡頭就不能用"are"(比如我前頭引自Google Books的例子)。如果"a pair of"本來就只能有一個意思(當單位用的一個單一個體),那麼我相信作者不需要額外說明"For example, you're thinking ...."(換句話說,如果you're thinking something else呢?還是有可能的)

以這字典上例句來說:

“That pair of shoes is just what I was looking for.”

這是描述日常生活買鞋子的情況,而我們也確實是把一雙鞋子當成單一個體(因為是一起買,包裝在同一個盒子裡頭),這情況在中美皆然,所以這情況(文意)下把一雙鞋子當成是分開的個體是有些奇怪。英式用法我不確定是否是一樣的情況。

以這例句來說的話:

"A pair of shoes are more expensive than a pair of socks."

這是在做一般性的描述,我不敢說用"are"絕對不行,至少在上頭的American Corpus找到的新聞例句是用"are",不過這用"is"也不應該有問題才是。

我的結論是我也不是很肯定,待我有空問問AUE那邊退休的老北北婆婆們.
(我會直接在這裡貼link)

2008/08/28 21:00
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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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對了,我要問原PO的是你那兩個句子是在哪裡看/聽到的? 如果是考題/書裡句子,能否寫出是甚麼考試/書名是什麼?

2008/08/28 22:05
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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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嗯,我也很好奇原句的出處。

我舉雙手贊成dj對於To this add the fact that a pair of shoes are mirror images of each other; once set to walking, a pair of shoes begins a chiasmatic rhythm that never quite ....一句的分析,而且這是個很好的例句,正好顯示出pair被視為複數和單數的區別。

此外我也很同意dj所說「這裡頭的例句是延續前頭的解說(you're thinking of one item),是把一雙鞋子當成單一個體為前提的情況下來設計的例子,所以是"is",不是"are",但是這不是表示在其他內文裡頭就不能用"are"」,例如我也查到Is it true that the more expensive a pair of shoes are, the better the quality and the more comfortable they will be?這個例句。

我不認為A pair of shoes are more expensive than a pair of socks.一定是錯的(我第一次唸這句時也覺得很順),只是覺得用is好像也可以,所以想了一下,決定去查字典。可用複數會不會是因為比較貴賤時,我們也可能把重點放在內容上,所以把鞋看成兩隻而不是一雙?可惜我同事裡那位英文文法專家位高權重,平常見不到面,就算碰到面,我還真有點不敢拿這種「小」問題去問她。

2008/08/29 07:01

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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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個人傾向於支持複數
因為:
1.我的英國籍英文老師是教"複數"
2.我在網路上找到以下網站可供參考:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/youmeus/learnit/learnitv163.shtml
http://www.hersheng.com.tw/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&Itemid=49

或是上班日再到以下網站詢問專家(國外週末通常會休假)
http://www.allexperts.com/el/1815-9/English-Second-Language/

2008/08/30 17:25

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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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Not to argue with the facts that have already been presented, "a pair of shoes" is relative to "a pair of glasses", "a pair of pants" - all plural. Speaking of pants, I'm sure many of you have read or heard about the $54 million pair of pants.

If you listen to native English speakers, they address their glasses, pants as plural, not "a pair" that many may think as singular.
"Has anyone seen my glasses?" - "They are on the coffee table."
"Check out that pair of pants, they are perfect for tonight's party."

2008/08/31 06:56

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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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日前有個機會請教了一些在台灣工作、母語為英語的外籍人士,共問了九位,年齡全在三十歲以上,也都是專業人士(其中至少有二人有博士學位),結果是:

五位美國人都不假思索地說是 is
二位澳洲人也很確定地說是 is
二位英國人都說是 are . . . .即使被告知其他人都說是 is。再加上Ajooezf的英國籍老師,三位英國人都會用are

這似乎應證了以前讀到的「英式英語會將集合名詞視為複數使用,美式英語則通常視為單數」, 而pair既然在文法體系中常被歸為集合名詞,兩位英國人會用are似乎也順理成章。

我手上有一本Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English,是根據四千萬英文字字庫所歸納編寫的,書中有提到,“Singular collective nouns allow either singular or plural concord (at least in BrE), depending upon whether the focus is on the group as a whole or on the individuals making up the group. . . . Most collective nouns, such as committee and government, typically take singular concord . . . . In contrast, a few collective nouns such as family and crew regularly take both singular and plural concord in BrE, although singular concord is preferred in AmE . . . . In fact, nearly all collective nouns occasionally occur with plural concord in BrE.”

Ajooezf列出的三個網站,第二個我連不上,第三個我沒上去問,至於第一個網站是BBC World Service的網站,其中有關集合名詞後接單數或複數動詞的說法和其他的文法書(如Longman Grammar)一樣,要看使用者是 “thinking of the group as a unit . . . or as a number of individuals,所舉例句中的family, government, class, BBC, The British Council 等名詞,都因此有時接單數、有時接複數動詞。該網站還提到如glasses, jeans, shorts, trousers, pliers, scissors, directions, manners, means, thanks, greetings等,人們穿戴、使用、珍視的一些事物通常也接複數動詞,所舉的例句雖然加了a pair of(用來 “refer to single pieces of clothing or single items of use”),但動詞依然用複數動詞:
•I took a pair of shorts out of the drawer and put them in my suitcase.
•I had a pair of field-glasses in my cupboard so I gave them to Tom for birdwatching.

所以,依照目前查到的文法,以及詢問到的十位母語人士,is和are都對,英國人(BBC也是英國的)會用are,美國人則用is。

2008/09/02 10:45

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Re: a pair of shoes到底是單數還是複數???
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引文:
日前有個機會請教了一些在台灣工作、母語為英語的外籍人士,共問了九位,年齡全在三十歲以上,也都是專業人士(其中至少有二人有博士學位),結果是:
....


Thanks!

2008/09/02 18:56
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