until與not….until的用法與它的倒裝解析

until是很早學到且一個經常用到的英文字,理論上,學生應該很熟悉他的用法,但是,因為中文翻譯的關係,導致許多人在學習not…until的特殊句型時,反而,覺得困惑,搞不清楚如何使用了。在這篇文章中,先介紹until的概念與用法,再從句子結構概念入手,讓大家一下就理解not…until的概念,並一步步分析not…until句型的變化與他的倒裝句型。

until / not...until

在學習生字與句型時,真的不要太倚賴中文翻譯,也不要死記著單字的中文翻譯,因為英文跟中文是兩種不同的語言,他們對文字的思維是不一樣的,用字也會不同。許多學生在英文所遭遇到的問題,大多來自中文思維所造成的困惑。這也是為什麼not…until的特殊句型ㄧ出現,學生就混亂了。

until的用法解析

在述說事件時,我們常需要使用使用時間副詞來點明事件發生的時間,而until帶領的就是其中一種時間副詞(在口語中可以將until省略為till),整個句子的意思是動作ㄧ直做到某個時間點。在until後面可以是表示時間意義的名詞、片語、或整個句子。在以下的例子中,主要子句的動詞用底線標示,until帶領的時間副詞,用小括號標示出來。請注意:如果until後面是子句,時間副詞子句沒有未來式。

until的例句(主要子句為肯定句):

  1. He did his homework (until his mom came home.)
    他寫作業寫到他媽媽回來(他媽媽來後,就沒寫了)
  2. She lived in Taipei (until she was 12.)
    在台北住到12歲(12歲後,就沒住台北了)
  3. I saw him frequently (until he moved to another neighborhood.)
    在他搬家前,我經常看到他(他搬到別的地方,就沒經常看到他這種狀況了)
  4. I was there (until dinner.)
    我在那裡一直到晚餐(晚餐後就不在那裡了)
  5. She will stay in the hotel (until she finishes her work.)
    她會住在那間飯店直到完成工作(完成工作後,就不住在那間飯店了)請注意:時間副詞子句沒有未來式
not until vs until

not...until的否定句)

由上面所舉的例子可知,主要子句的動作會一直做到until後面所接的時間點,才停止。所以,當主要子句是否定句時,他所代表的意思是,主要子句的動作一直保持沒做的狀態直到until所點出的時間點,才開始做。

not…until的例句(也就是主要子句為否定句)

  1. I will not speak (until my lawyer comes.)
    我不會開口說話的狀態會一直保持到我的律師來(律師來了,我才開口說話)
  2. They did not rest (until they finished the work.)
    沒有休息的狀態一直保持到工作完畢(直到完成工作都沒休息)
  3. John did not do his homework (until his mother came back.)
    沒有做功課的狀態一直保持到媽媽回來(媽媽回家,才開始寫功課)
  4. We did not begin our experiment (until the professor came.)
    沒有開始做實驗的狀態一直保持到教授來(教授來了,我們才開始做實驗)
  5. I did not know the fact ( until you told me.)
    我不知道事實真相的這個狀態一直保持到你告訴我(直到你告訴我,我才知道事實的真相)

It is (was) not until...that SV

要了解這個句型,要先了解分裂句。在英文,有一個強調重點的句型,叫做分裂句,他的句子結構為:It is (was)…that…。作者可以將想要強調的重點移到It is (was)後面,而將句子剩下的部分填入that的後面。可以說,除了動詞之外,句子的任何一個部分,都可以移到分裂句的前半段,表示強調。下面舉一個句子,並用分裂句分別強調將他的各個部分:

分裂句的演示:

  1. Mary met John in the park last night.
    =It was Mary that met John in the park last night.
    強調主詞(注意that子句少了主詞)
    =It was John that Mary met in the park last night.
    強調受詞(注意that子句少受詞)
    =It was in the park that Mary met John last night.
    強調地方副詞(注意that子句少了地方副詞)
    =It was last night that Mary met John in the park.
    強調時間副詞(注意that子句少了時間副詞)
  2. Mary didn’t tell her sister the news.
    =It was not Mary that told her sister the news.
    注意,這個分裂句強調主詞沒做(也就是也強調否定意味),所以將not跟主詞Mary一到It was…的部分,因為not被移走,所以did就不能存在 – 剩下的句子不是否定句了 – 動詞tell要改為過去是,再將句子剩下的不放寫在that後面)

了解了分裂句的概念後,就能理解It is(was) not until…that…這個句型了,因為,這就是分裂句,強調的是until所帶領的時間副詞,也強調否定概念,所以主要子句的not被移到until前面,一起放到It is(was)…的部分,句子剩下的部分寫在that後面,要記得動詞時態的變化喔!

將上面not…until的例句(也就是主要子句為否定句)改為分裂句的變化過程演示,“→”這個符號帶出變化過程(這時候不是正確的句子),“=”這個符號帶出變化完成後的句子

  1. I will not speak until my lawyer comes.
    →I will speak (not until my lawyer comes)
    因為will是必要助動詞,所以不會消除
    =It is not until my lawyer comes that I will speak.
  2. They did not rest until they finished the work.
    →they rested (not until they finished the work)
    注意:因為did是為了構成否定句而出現的助動詞,將not移走,did就沒有存在的必要,必須去除,而rest的時態改為rested
    =It was not until they finished the work that they rested.
  3. John did not do his homework until his mother came back.
    →John did his homework (not until his mother came back)
    注意主要子句的否定句的助動詞did去除,動詞do改為過去式did
    =It was not until his mother came back that John did his homework.
  4. We did not begin our experiment until the professor came.
    →we began our experiment (not until the professor came)
    =It was not until the professor came that we began our experiment.
    同樣請注意動詞時態
  5. I did not know the fact until you told me.
    →I knew the fact (not until you told me)
    =It was not until you told me that I knew the fact.
    同樣請注意動詞時態

not until倒裝句

前面提過,until帶領時間副詞,而not until帶領的就是否定副詞。當我們直接將not until所帶領的時間副詞移到主要子句的主詞前面,主詞動詞就必須倒裝。(yes / no疑問句就是倒裝句型的樣子)

第一個句子中我們演示not until倒裝句的變化過程:“→”這個符號帶出變化過程(這時候不是正確的句子),“=”這個符號帶出變化完成後的句子。其他句子都直接寫出倒裝句來,用底線將倒裝的動詞標示出來

  1. I will not speak until my lawyer comes.
    →I will speak (not until my lawyer comes)
    =Not until my lawyer comes will I speak.
    注意到will被移到主詞前,構成倒裝句了嗎?
  2. They did not rest until they finished the work.
    =Not until they finished the work did they rest.
    當動詞為過去式時,要
  3. John did not do his homework until his mother came back.
    =Not until his mother came back did John do his homework.
  4. We did not begin our experiment until the professor came.
    =Not until the professor came did we begin our experiment.
  5. I did not know the fact until you told me.
    =Not until you told me did I know the fact.

想要進一步了解倒裝句,請閱讀『英文倒裝句的解析、用法與例句』,如果有其他文法問題,可以進入我們的文法頁面,看看是否有討論該文法問題的相關文章。

Barshai Huang
Barshai Huang
從事英語教學二十多年,一路伴隨著學生從幼稚園成長到大學畢業,非常熟悉不同年齡的孩子,在英文學習上會遭遇到的問題與解決方法。擅長自然發音、文法、句子結構、英文閱讀理解策略與寫作的教學。我的教學理念是設計出帶給孩子樂趣與成功經驗的教學方案,孩子就會產生自信,並熱愛英文學習。
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