The Elements Of Style 学习笔记
发布日期:2019-06-10 18:13
这是一本薄薄的小书。首版于1918 年由纽约一家出版社出版。作者William Strunk,康耐尔大学英语教授,E.B. 怀特对此书加以了修正。此书短小精悍,容量巨大。涵盖了母语英语的人写作和用法上常出的错误,也清晰地解释了一些语法书中很难找到的语言现象。

- Charles’s friend
- Burns’s poems
- one’s rights
- somebody else’s umbrella
      但对一些以-es 和-is 结尾的古老的特有名词,只需加‘(如Jesus’),或写成如the laws of Moses 的形式。代词所有格(hers, theirs, its, yours 等) 没有撇号,但不定代词(one,somebody else 等)的所有格需要加’s。

(中文同样适用,但中文中其实插入语的情况比较少,一般都用定语之类直接就给描述掉了。比如:英文喜欢用“XX, president of PRC”, 中文就直接“中国国家主席XX”了。)
     日期通常包含插入的词或数字,标点方式如下:February to July, 1972 / April 6, 1956/ Wednesday, November 13, 1929.
但若按日- 月- 年表达,习惯上日- 月后的逗号省略,如:6 April 1956。
    缩写词etc.(等等)、i.e.(即是)和e.g.(例如),缩写的学位名称及至于名字后表示头衔的词应按插入语进行标点。如:Letters, packages, etc., should go there. / Horance Fulsome, Ph. D., presided. / Rachel Simonds, Attorney.在名词及表示其身份的限制性同位语之间不应该用逗号隔开。如:William the conqueror / the novelist John Fowle。
The audience, which had an first been indifferent, became more and more interested.
The candidate who best meets these requirements will obtain the place.

The early records of the city have disappeared, and the story of its first years can no longer be reconstructed.(有关这座城市的早期文献记载已经散失,因此它最初几年的情况已无法知晓。)

The situation is perilous, but there is one chance of escape.( 尽管情况十分危急,仍有逃跑的机会。)但分句主语相同时,but 前用逗号,而联系紧密的and 前不需要。

I have heard his arguments, but am still unconvinced. / He has had several years’ experience and is thoroughly competent.
And is the least specific of connectives. Used between independent clauses, it indicates only that a relation exists between them without defining that relation.
As the early records of the city have disappeared, the story of its first years can no longer be reconstructed.
Although the situation is perilous, there is still one chance of escape.


It is nearly half past five; we cannot reach town before dark.


It is nearly half past five , and we cannot reach town before dark.

Stevenson’s romances are entertaining, for they are full of existing adventures.

若第二个分句前加入的不是连接词而是如accordingly、besides、then、therefore 和thus 之类的副词,仍然需要用分号。
I had never been in that place before; besides, it was dark as a tomb.


Man proposes, God disposes.(谋事在人,成事在天。)

Here today, gone tomorrow(. 来也匆匆,去也匆匆。)

Walking slowly down the road, he saw a woman accompanied by two children. 

If the writer wishes to make walking refer to the woman, he must recast thesentence:
He saw a woman accompanied by two children, walking slowly down the road.
 On arriving in Chicago, his friends met him at the station.
Young and inexperienced, the task seemed easy to me.
Without a friend to counsel him, the temptation proved irresistible.
When he arrived in Chicago, his friends met him at the station.
Young and inexperienced, I thought the task easy.
Without a friend to counsel him, he found the temptation irresistible.





- Dead leaves covered the ground.
- There were a great number of dead leaves lying on the
- He soon repented his words.
- It was not long before he was very sorry that he had said what he had.
- Failing health compelled him to leave college.
- The reason he left college was that his health became impaired.

Gold was not allowed to be exported.
It was forbidden to export gold.或者
The export of gold was prohibited.He has been proved to have been seen entering the building.
It has been proved that he was seen to enter the building.
Mobilization of the army was rapidly carried out.
The army was rapidly mobilized.
A survey of this region was made in 1900.
This region was surveyed in 1900.
Confirmation of these reports cannot be obtained.
These reports cannot be confirmed.
比如:not honest ─ dishonest not important ─ trifling did not remember ─ forgot  didnot have much confidence 
in ─ distrusted.
in ─ distrusted.

如:Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your
The question as to whether > whether (the question whether)

There is no doubt but that > no doubt (doubtless)

Used for fuel purposes > used for fuel He is a man who > he
In a hasty manner > hastily
The fact可以更具具体情况改成以下表达:
owing to the fact that > since (because)
In spite of the fact that > though (although)
Call your attention to the fact that > notify you
I was unaware of the fact that > I was unaware that (did not know)
The fact that he had not succeeded >his failure
Macbeth was very ambitious. This led him to wish to become king of Scotland.The witches told him that this wish of this would come true. The king of Scotland at this time was Duncan. Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth murdered Duncan. He was thus enabled to succeed Duncan as king (51 words)
Encouraged by his wife, Macbeth achieved his ambition and realized the prediction of the witches by murdering Duncan and becoming king of Scotland in his place (26 worlds)
规则11 把相关的词放在一起。


Wordsworth, in the fifth book of The Excursion, gives a minute description of this church.
In the fifth book of The Excursion, Wordsworth gives a minute description of
this church.
 Cast iron, when treated in a converter, is changed into steel.
By treatment in a converter, cast iron is changed into steel.
规则12 要强调的词或词组,在句中的恰当位置通常是句末:
- Humanity has hardly advanced in fortitude since that time, though it has
advanced in many other ways.
- Since that time, humanity has advanced in many ways, but it has hardly advanced in fortitude.
- This steel is principally used for making razors, because of its hardness.
- Because of its hardness, this steel is used principally for making razors.
- 掉尾句之所以有力,是因为它突出了主句:
- Wish these hopes and in this belief, I would urge you, laying aside all hindrance, thrusting away all private aims, to devote yourself unswervingly and unflinchingly to the vigorous and successful prosecution of this war.
- 句中另一强调的未知是句首。句中除主语外的任一成分置于句首时,都受到强调:
- Deceit or treachery he could never forgive.

Consider. Not followed by as when it means“ believe to be”.“ I consider him thoroughly competent.” Compare, “The lecturer considered Cromwell First as soldier an soldier and second as administrator”, where“ considered” means“ examined” or“ discussed.”
However. In the meaning nevertheless, not to come first in its sentence or clause. The roads were almost impassable.
However, we at last succeeded in reaching camp.
The roads were almost impassable. At last, however, we succeeded in reaching camp.
When however comes first, in means in whatever way or to whatever extent.
However you advise him, he will probably do as he thinks best.
Nature. Often simply redundant, used like character.
Acts of a hostile nature > Hostile acts State. 
Not to be used as a mere substitute for say, remark, express clearly While. 
Avoid the indiscriminate use of this word for and, but, and although.
The office and salesrooms are on the ground floor, while the rest of the building is devoted to manufacturing. The office and salesrooms are on the ground floor; the rest of the building is devoted to manufacturing.
在不会引起歧义的情况下,可以用来 although 的意思

While I desire his energy, I wish it were employed in a better cause.

In general, the writer will do well to use while with strict literalness, in the sense of during the time that.