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Ways of expressing the attribute.

It can be expressed by:

1. An adjective (the most common way of expressing an attribute).


This biggirl is very lazy.

I am speaking about the biggirl, not the littleone.

He seems a very silent,awkward, bashfullad. (Thackeray)

Meanwhile she was the gayestand most admiredwoman. (Thackeray)


2. A pronoun (possessive, defining, demonstrative, interrogative, relative).


Hisshrewd, steady eyes had lost none of their clear shining. (Buck)

Each of these ladies held fans in their hands, and each, with sometouch of

colour, someemphatic feather or brooch, testified to the solemnity of the

opportunity. (Galsworthy)

I looked at her — at her, and at none other, from thatmoment. (Collins)

James once went down to see for himself whatsort of place this was that they

had come from. (Galsworthy)

In that great London, whattime had they to be sentimental? (Galsworthy)


It should be kept in mind that possessive pronouns are often not translated into Russian. On the other hand when translating from Russian into English one should often insert possessive pronouns.


He extended his hand to me.

Он протянул мне руку.

«Пойди вымой руки», — сказала мать.

“Go and wash yourhands,” said mother.


3. A numeral (cardinal or ordinal).


In his final examinations he won six distinctions... (Aldington)

The secondgeneration of Forsytes felt that he (Bosinney) was not greatly to their credit. (Galsworthy)


4. A noun:

(a) In the common case. One of the marked features of the English language is the wide use of nouns in the common case as attributes in pre-position; in Russian nouns are never used as attributes in pre-position.


I recognized him as Dougal Todd, the villagepainter and carpenter. (Cronin)

Я узнал Дугала Тодда, местного деревенского маляра и плотника.

Не was pleased that the girl seemed impressed because it showed business

instinct. (Galsworthy)

Он был доволен, что на девушку это произвело впечатление, ибо это

свидетельствовало о том, что у нее есть коммерческаяжилка.

He wore a large strawhat.

На нем была большая соломеннаяшляпа.


As seen from the above examples the attributive nouns are rendered in Russian either by nouns in the genitive case used in postposition or by adjectives.

(b) In the genitive case. This kind of attribute is generally used in pre-position.


Her father’snerves would never stand the disclosure. (Galsworthy)

Нервы ее отцане выдержат этого известия.


However, an attribute expressed by the preposition of a noun in the genitive case is used in post-position (the so-called Absolute Genitive): this clever joke of mother’s; a book of my brother’s.


How could he go up to Oxford now, among all those chaps, those splendid

friends of Crum’s?(Galsworthy)


In this case the noun modified is always used either with the indefinite article or with a demonstrative pronoun. The latter makes it emphatic.

The same construction may be used with possessive pronouns in their absolute form: a friend of mine; that pretty sister of his.


5. A prepositional phrase.


To think that a man of his abilitieswould stoop to such a horrible trick as

that! (Dreiser)

And the impressions of six yearsare not got over in such a space of time.



Here it should be mentioned that the treatment of these prepositional phrases in English syntax is different from their treatment in Russian syntax where most of them are regarded as prepositional objects.


The letter from her sisterreassured her.

Письмо от сестрыуспокоило ее.


(from her sister is an attribute; от сестры is a prepositional object)


Very often in translating English of-phrases into Russian nouns in the genitive case without any preposition are used; they are mostly regarded as objects.


the captain of the ship— капитан корабля


(of the ship is an attribute; корабля is an indirect object)


a cup of tea— чашка чая

(of tea is an attribute; чая is an indirect object)


6. An adverb:

(a) In pre-position.

In Russian an attribute cannot be expressed by an adverb inpre-position. Consequently in translating these sentences into Russian we use adjectives: the thensecretary тогдашний секретарь.


In the light of afterevents one cannot but sympathize with them. (Fox)

В свете последующихсобытий им нельзя не сочувствовать.


(b) In post-position.


A voice insidesaid, “Come in.”

Голос из комнатысказал: «Войдите!»

The room aboveis large and light.

Комната наверхубольшая и светлая.

The man thereis my brother.

Вонтот человек — мой брат.

Will it be a step on or a step back?

Это будет шаг впередили шаг назад?


The above examples show that in Russian an adverb can also be used as an attribute in post-position. However, not every English attributive adverb in post-position can be rendered by an adverb in Russian.


7. Participles I and II or a participial phrase.

The participle in the function of an attribute can be used in pre-position and in post-position. In the latter case it is mostly used with accompanying words.


On the opposite side of the road to the site of the destroyedchurch is a fine

avenue of old trees. (Abrahams)

It looks brighter over there. I think it is only a passingshower. (Du Maurier)

I was dazzled by the snow glittering on the tree tops.(Ch. Bronte)


8. A prepositional phrase or a prepositional construction witha gerund.


Sally hated the idea of borrowing and living on credit.(Prichard)

The thought of having it copied again and againset him tosmiling. (Shaw)

The idea of its being barbarous to confine wild animalshad probably never

even occurred to his father for instance... (Galsworthy)


(For ways of translating the gerund see Chapter VIII, The Gerund.)


9. An infinitive, an infinitive phrase, or an infinitive construction. The infinitive as an attribute is always used in post-position.


They must have more companionship, more opportunity to broaden their


All right, go back to your office, you’ve got work to do.(Heym)

But it was not easy to carry out the resolution never to approach her.


This is an English article for youto translate into Russianby tomorrow.


10. Quotation groups.

These are generally rendered in Russian by means of the conjunction как будто, точно and a clause which stands in post-position.


I don’t Jike his “don’t-talk-to-me-or-I’ll-contradict-you” air.

Мне не нравится то, что у него такой вид, как будто он хочет сказать:

«Не разговаривайте со мной, а то я буду вам перечить».

Не was being the boss again, using the it’s-my-money-now-do-as-you’re-told

voice. (Wilson)

Он теперь снова был хозяином и говорил тоном, в котором слышалось:

«Теперь деньги мои, делайте как вам велят».


§ 31.An appositionis a special kind of attribute which is expressed by a noun (with or without accompanying words) which characterizes or explains the word modified by giving the person or thing another name. There are two kinds of apposition, the closeapposition and the looseor detachedapposition.



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