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SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF ATTENTION VERB GROUP IN ENGLISH AND THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNVERSITY

M.A. THESIS
SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF ATTENTION
VERB GROUP IN ENGLISH AND THEIR VIETNAMESE
EQUIVALENTS
(ĐẶC ĐIỂM CÚ PHÁP VÀ NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA NHÓM ĐỘNG
TỪ ATTENTION TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG
TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT)

NGUYEN THI KIM THOA
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201

Hanoi, 2017


MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
HANOI OPEN UNVERSITY


------

M.A. THESIS

SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF ATTENTION
VERB GROUP IN ENGLISH AND THEIR VIETNAMESE
EQUIVALENTS
(ĐẶC ĐIỂM CÚ PHÁP VÀ NGỮ NGHĨA CỦA NHÓM ĐỘNG
TỪ ATTENTION TRONG TIẾNG ANH VÀ TƯƠNG ĐƯƠNG
TRONG TIẾNG VIỆT)

NGUYEN THI KIM THOA
Field: English Language
Code: 60220201
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr HOANG TUYET MINH

Hanoi,2017


CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY
I, the undersigned, hereby certify my authority of the study project report
entitled “Syntactic and semantic features of ATTENTION verb group and their
Vietnamese equivalents” submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
the degree of Master in English Language. Except where the reference is
indicated, no other person’s work has been used without acknowledgement in the
text of the thesis.
Hanoi, 2017

Nguyen Thi Kim Thoa

Approved by
SUPERVISOR

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoang Tuyet Minh
Date ……/12/2017

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my
supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hoàng Tuyết Minh who has patiently and constanly
supported me through the stages of the study, and whose stimulating ideas,
expertise, and suggestions have inspired me greatly through my growth as an
academic researcher.
A special word of thanks goes to all the lecturers in the Faculty of Postgraduate studies Hanoi Open University and many others, without whose support
and encouragement it would never have been possible for me to have this thesis
accomplished.
Last but not least, I am greatly indebted to my family, my husband and
my two loving sons for the sacrifice they have devoted to the fulfillment of this
academic work.

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ABSTRACT
ATTENTION verb group is used regularly and flexible in daily
communication, but the significant meaning of the concept of ATTENTION verb
group is still misunderstood by Vietnamese people. Therefore, the author thinks
the study on the subject of ATTENTION verb group in Vietnamese and English is
helpful for improving the knowledge of learners as well as the students learning
English in general. This paper is to study the ATTENTION verb group in terms of
syntactic and semantic features in English and their Vietnamese equivalents. We
have used the combination of descriptive and contrastive methods in this study.
The findings show that the similarities and differences between two languages and
remarkable syntactic and semantic features. We also dealt with the implications
for teaching and learning the ATTENTION verb group as well as for further study
and understanding the meaning of the ATTENTION verb group in general and the
usages of them in particular is the first difficulty of learners and the second one is
the way of using the ATTENTION verb group in each specific context. The
ATTENTION verb group is divided into subtypes and focuses on seven subtypes:
see, show, recognize, discover, witness, look and watch subtypes. The thesis is
expected to help Vietnamese learners of English learn, translate and use the
ATTENTION verb group in English effectively.

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A

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Adverbial

C

Complement

E
NP
O

English
Noun phrase
Object

S
sb

Subject
somebody

sth

Something

V
Vi

Verb
Vietnamese

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LIST OF TABLES AND FIGUGRES
Table 3.1: The sentence patterns of the ATTENTION verb group ...................... 22
Table 3.2 Syntactic properties of the main ATTENTION verbs ........................... 27
Table 3.3: Sentence patterns of the ATTENTION verb group in English and
Vietnamese ............................................................................................................. 31
Table 3.4.: Types of the ATTENTION verbs in English and Vietnamese ............ 36

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
CERTIFICATE OF ORIGINALITY................................................................................i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS................................................................................................ii
ABSTRACT ......................................................................................................................... iii
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS............................................................................................iv
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGUGRES..............................................................................v
TABLE OF CONTENTS ...................................................................................................vi
Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................1
1.1 Rationale for the research ............................................................................................1
1.2 Aims and objectives of the study................................................................................2
1.3 Research questions..........................................................................................................2
1.4. Methods of the study. ...................................................................................................2
1.5 Scope of the study...........................................................................................................3
1.6 Significance of the study ................................................................................................4
1.7 Design of the study ..........................................................................................................4
Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ..............................................................................6
2.1 Previous studies ...............................................................................................................6
2.2 Theory of syntax and symantics..................................................................................7
2.2.1 Theory of syntax...........................................................................................................7
2.2.2 Theory of semantics.....................................................................................................8
2.3. Overview of English verb .............................................................................................9
2.3.1 Definition of English verb ..........................................................................................9
2.3.2 Classification of English verb ..................................................................................11
2.4. Classification of sentences ..........................................................................................13
2.4.1 In terms of sentence pattern ....................................................................................13
2.4.2. In terms of sentence elements .................................................................................14
2.5. Overview of ATTENTION verbs .............................................................................17
2.5.1. Definition of ATTENTION verbs ........................................................................18
2.5.2. Classification ..............................................................................................................18
2.6. Summary .......................................................................................................................19
Chapter 3: SYNTACTIC AND SEMANTIC FEATURES OF ATTENTION
VERB GROUP IN ENGLISH AND THEIR VIETNAMESE EQUIVALENTS .20
3.1. Syntactic and semantic features of the ATTENTION verb group in English 20
3.1.1 Syntactic features of the ATTENTION verb group in English........................20
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3.1.2 Semantic features of ATTENTION verb groups in English............................27
3.2 The ATTENTION verb group in English and their Vietnamese equivalents ...
..........................................................................................................................................29
3.2.1 In terms of their syntactics .......................................................................................29
3.2.2. In terms of their semantic features.......................................................................34
3.3. Summary .......................................................................................................................42
Chapter 4: COMMON ERRORS MADE BY STUDENTS AT HANOI
UNIVERSITY OF INDUSTRY WHEN USING ATTENTION VERB GROUP
IN ENGLISH .......................................................................................................................44
4.1 Survey questionnaire ....................................................................................................44
4.1.1. Subject.........................................................................................................................44
4.1.2. Questionnaire.............................................................................................................45
4.1.3. Procedure ...................................................................................................................45
4.1.4 Preliminary results ....................................................................................................46
4.2 Common errors made by students at Hanoi University of Industry for
students when using ATTENTION verb group in English. .......................................47
4.2.1 Common errors made by learners of English ......................................................47

4.2.2 Causes of committing errors………………………………………….50
4.3 Suggestions for teaching and learning when using ATTENTION verb group in
English ...................................................................................................................................51
4.3.1 Suggestions for teaching ATTENTION verb group in English .......................51
4.3.2 Suggestions for learning ATTENTION verb group in English .....................54
4.4 Summary ........................................................................................................................54
CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSION.........................................................................................56
5.1 Concluding remark ......................................................................................................56
5.2. Limitations.....................................................................................................................57
5.3 Suggestions for further researchers .........................................................................57
REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................58
APPENDIX EXERCISE IN THE STUDY OF STUDENTS’ ERRORS IN USING
ATTENTION VERB GROUP .........................................................................................60
POSSIBLE ANSWERS FOR SURVEY TESTS .........................................................62

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Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Rationale for the research
The verb is perhap the most important part of the sentence. A verb states
what is happening in the sentence. There are many verbs in English and
ATTENTION verbs play an important role in sentences. However, in
communication, we have difficulties in expressing our ideas, especially in
transferring meanings of words from a language to another one, in our case from
English to Vietnamese.
It is known that the ability to express freely in communication is of great
importance for future career, especially in modern societies where contacting with
foreigners often occurs. In addition, there still exist many difficulties in learning
and teaching English in
English quite well but
communication.
There have been
ATTENTION verbs in

Vietnam. Many Vietnamese learners can write and read
they do not use it correctly and fluently in real-life
a lot of researchers conducting investigation into
both English and Vietnamese. In English with these

studies: Anna Wierzbicka (1972) Susanna Karlsson (2008), R.M.W.Dixon,(1991)
He studies about the semantic features of verbs such as: see, show, and recognize,
discover, witness, look, and watch. In Vietnam with studies: Hoàng Tuệ( 1962),
Nguyễn Kim Thản ( 1977), Nguyễn Hữu Quỳnh ( 2007), Diệp Quang Ban (2002).
These studies thoroughly describe about the semantic features of the
ATTENTION verbs but they have not been exploited in terms of their syntactic
features yet. Moreover, the equivalents between two languages English and
Vietnamese has not been implemented yet.
In the process of teaching English verbs in general, and teaching the
ATTENTION verbs in particular, it is recognized that this verb group makes
students confused much especially their syntactic and semantic features of the
ATTENTION verb group and their Vietnamese equivalents.
As there are a lot of ATTENTION verbs, learners can use different words to
express their ideas. However, a great number of learners make mistakes when
they use the ATTENTION verbs in different situations to communicate. To
compare the syntactic and semantic features of the ATTENTION verbs are
important to learners, so that they can have good knowledge to use these
ATTENTION verbs correctly.
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For the above reasons, the topic “Syntactic and semantic features of
ATTENTION verb group in English and their Vietnamese equivalents” is
chosen with the purpose of finding out the equivalents of English and Vietnamese
ATTENTION verbs.Especially,the study only focuses on seven ATTENTION
verbs see, show, recognize, discover, witness, look and watch. we do hope that
with the thesis, we can contribute a small part to help students of English as well
as Vietnamese people who learn English and who are interested in English
ATTENTION verb.
1.2 Aims and objectives of the study
The study is aimed at finding out the syntactic and semantic features of
English ATTENTION verb group in order to help learners of English use these
verbs effectivelly.
To achieve the mentioned aims above, the following objectives can be put
forward:
1. Describing the linguistic semantic features of the ATTENTION verb group in
English
2. Pointing out the similarities and differences of the ATTENTION verb group in
English and their Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic
features.
3. Suggesting some possible implications for teaching and learning the
ATTENTION verb group in English and Vietnamese.
1.3 Research questions
On the basis of the abovementioned aims and objectives, the study is
conducted to answer the following questions.
1. What are the syntactic and semantic features of ATTENTION verb group
in English and their Vietnamese equivalent?
2. What are the similarities and differences of ATTENTION verb group in
English and their Vietnamese equivalents in terms of syntactic and semantic
features?
3. What are suggestions for Vietnamese learners of English to learn
ATTENTION verb group in English?
1.4. Methods of the study.
The study is planned to describe and analyse some syntactic and semantic
features of the ATTENTION verb group in English as well as their Vietnamese
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equivalents. To meet the demand of the objectives, this study is going to choose
English as the source language and Vietnamese, the target one.
The methods are used in this study include descriptive and contrastive
analysis ones.
The descriptive method is exploited to search for the syntactic and semantic
features of the seven verbs of the ATTENTION verb group.
Besides, the contrastive analysis method is useful to uncover the
Vietnamese equivalents of these seven English verbs with different senses. In
particular, the data were collected from different sources such as dictionaries,
novels, stories, books.
The verbs are analyzed in detail beginning with see verb followed by show,
recognize, discover, witness,look and watch . Each of these verbs is described in a
seperate section, and the anlysis was conducted with a view to discovering such
aspects of each verb as its syntactics, semantics performed by each of these verbs.
The analysis is believed to contribute to a deeper understanding of the seven
English verbs. The componential analysis will be applied to analyze the data.
1.5 Scope of the study
In this study, the major point is to focus on the ATTENTION verb group in
terms of the syntactic and semantic features in English. English is considered as
source language, meanwhile Vietnamese is target language. So, the syntactic and
semantic features of the ATTENTION verb group in English are compared in
Vietnamese translation version.
On this basis, some suggestions for Vietnamese learners of English at Hanoi
University of Industry are proposed to help them learn the ATTENTION verb
group more effectively. Also, the study supplies the Vietnamese equivalents which
hopefully help learners overcome difficulties when learning the ATTENTION
verb group.
The applications of this work will, hopefully, contribute greatly to find out
appropriate methods of teaching English ATTENTION verb group in Vietnam and
make changes how Vietnamese learners of English not only in their study at
school but also in their daily use of English as a foreign language. As mentioned
previously, regarding English lexical terms, students often learn English words’
definitions separately with their actual uses. In fact, teachers and students often
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make their own examples without collecting and analyzing examples of
collocations indicating how native speakers combine some words with each other
while others are not used frequently. They also have difficulty in using the words
in conversations, in contexts. Therefore, this study suggests them about the
definitions of ATTENTION verb group, different syntactic and semantic types of
verb and discovers the rules to make use of them. The effects will be vital to
students and should be encouraged to be applied at school as well as for learners
of English.
1.6 Significance of the study
Theoretically, the study will provide a comprehensive and overal
knowledge about the syntactic and semantic features of the ATTENTION verb
group in English. Moreover, the similarities and differences between this verb
group in English and in Vietnamese are very helpful in contrasting two languages.
Practically, the study will help teachers and students to be able to master
some suggestions and hints in teaching and learning this verb group effectively
because the ATTENTION verb group consists of many verbs and occationally
make people confused when its syntactic and semantic features are under
consideration
1.7 Design of the study
This study is organized into five chapters
Chapter 1: Introduction - gives the reason why this topic has been chosen for the
research as well as its aims and objectives, scope, significance and organizational
structure
Chapter 2: Literature review – presents the previous studies relating to the
research area and theoretical background employed for conducting the thesis
Chapter 3: Syntactic and semantic features of ATTENTION verb group in
English and Vietnamese equivalents
Show syntactic and semantic features of the ATTENTION verbs group in
English and compare similarities and differences of ATTENTION verbs group in
English and their Vietnamese equivalents
Chapter 4: Common errors made by students at Hanoi University of industry
when using ATTENTION verb group in English

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Shows the research implications for teaching and learning English and common
errors made by students as a foreign language can be found as the last part of this
chapter.
Chapter 5: Conclusion - makes a brief summary of the whole thesis, points out
some limitations and give recommendation as well as suggestions for a further
study.
References come at the end of the study

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Chapter 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter provides an overview of the theoretical background as well as
relevant knowledge and summaries of previous research’s findings and conclusion
associated with the theme of the research. In other words, the review is to explain
several related terms and definitions as to semantics, syntax, collocation, lexical
unit and approach, verb and structures with the ATTENTION verbs group. These
later would further highlight the features conducted of the study as well as suggest
an array of possible implications for teaching the English ATTENTION verbs
group in general and teaching them to Vietnamese students at Hanoi University of
Industry.
2.1 Previous studies
There have been many researchers conducting investigations into
ATTENTION verbs in both English and Vietnamese. The description and
analyses are based on the starting from Chomsky. The other description of
syntactic and semantic view are through different ages in the history of linguistic
as William Bullokar in ( 1785)
According to R. M. W. Dixon (1991), he pointed that the ATTENTION
verbs include seven English verb group: see, show, recognise, discover, witness,
look and watch. The author studies about the semantic of these verbs in terms of
semantic features.
About Vietnamese ATTENTION verb group, Nguyễn Kim Thản (1997), the
Author studied about the classification of words in Vietnamese including the
ATENTION verbs in Vietnamese. English- Vietnamese Dictionary, analyzed and
improved to the meaning and the structures of the ATTENTION verbs.
Although all the studies above thoroughly describe about the semantic
features of the ATTENTION verbs, they have not been exploited in terms of their
syntactic features yet. Especially, the equivalents between two languages English
and Vietnamese has not been implemented. Moreover, the implications for
teaching and learning the ATTENTION verbs in English have not carried out yet.
As a result, that is why this research studies about the ATTENTION verb
group. The ATTENTION verb group of this study consists of seven subtypes as
followed: see, show, recognize, discover, witness, look and watch. In this paper,
the syntactic features as well as semantic features of the ATTENTION verbs will
be analyzed clearly from many different resources.
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These study can be considered as the source for our detailed analysis hereafter and
based on them to find out more new features
2.2 Theory of syntax and symantics
2.2.1 Theory of syntax
Within traditional grammar, the syntax of a language is described in term
of a taxonomy of the range of different types of syntactic strucures found in the
language. The central assumption underpinning syntactic analysis in traditional
grammar is that phrases and sentences are built up of a series of constituents, each
of which belongs to a specific grammatical category and serves a specific
grammatical function.
Syntax is a set of rules in language. It dictates how words from different
parts of speech are put together in order to convey a complete thought. According
to R.M.W. Dixon (1991), syntax deals with the way in which words are combined
together. Verbs have different grammatical properties from language to language
but there is always a major class verb, which includes word referring to motion,
rest, attention, giving and speaking Syntax is understood to be the theory of the
structure of sentences in a language. This view has its direct antecedents in the
theory of immediate constituents, in which the function of syntax is to mediate
between the observed forms of a sentence and its meaning.
Bloomfield (1993) states “we could not understand the form of a language
if we merely reduced all the complex forms to their ultimate constituents”. He
argued that in order to account for the meaning of a sentence, it is necessary to
recognize how individual constituents such words and morphemes constitute more
complex forms.
Syntax is now the study of the principles and rules that govern the ways in
which words are combined to form phrases, clauses and sentences in a language.
Syntax, which is a subfield of grammar, focuses on the word order of a language
and the relationships between words. In other words, morphology deals with word
formation out of morphemes whereas syntax deals with phrase and sentence
formation out of words.
Syntax structures are analyzable into sequences of syntactic categories or
syntactic classes, these being established on the basic of the syntactic relationships
and linguistic items have with other items in a construction.

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Every language has a limited number of syntactic relations. Subject and
object are probably universal of syntactic relations, which apply to every
language. However, just as the criteria for the major words class noun and verb
differ from language to language, so do the ways in which syntactic relations are
marked.
Theory of syntax is a sourse of studying syntactic features in general and
ATTENTION verb group in particular.
2.2.2 Theory of semantics
Semantics is a branch of linguistics, which deals with meaning or the content
of communication. According to Hurford and Heasley (1983:1), “semantics is the
study of meaning in language”. Language is a means of communication, and
people use language to communicate with others by making conversations, giving
information, and other things to make social relationship. Human beings have
been given the capacity to talk, to communicate with each other, to make
meaningful utterances, so that they are understood by other human beings. They
communicate about the world in which they live, about themselves, about their
thought and feeling, about what has happened, about what might happen or what
they would like to happen, and a lot more.
Hurford and Heasley (1983:5) state, “the giving of information is itself an
act of courtesy, performed to strengthen social relationships”. This is also part of
communication. There are some linguists that try to define semantics. Moreover,
as quoted by Lyons (1977) at first defines semantics as the study of the relations of
signs to the objects to which the signs are applicable. And then he revises his
definition, saying that, semantics is that portion of semiotic which deals with the
signification of sign in all modes of signifying
Semantics is usually connected with pragmatics Carnap (Lyons, 1977:116)
says that descriptive semantics (i.e. the investigation of the meaning of
expressions in “historically given natural language”), may be regarded as part of
pragmatics. The reason why descriptive semantics is part of pragmatics seem to
have been that he believed that difference in the use of particular expressions were
not only inevitable in language - behaviour, but must be taken account of in the
description or context. Smith, as quoted by Lyons (1977:116) states that
“semantics studies how these signs are related to things. And pragmatics studied
how they are related to people”. According to Leech (1983:5) in practice, the
8


problem of distinguishing language and language use has centred on a boundary
dispute between semantics and pragmatics. Hurford and Heasley (1983:14) further
explain that the study of semantics is largely a matter of conceptually and
exploring the nature of meaning in a careful and thoughtful way, using a wide
range of examples, many of which we can draw from our knowledge. But Jack
Richards, John Platt, Heidi Weber (1987:172) state that “the study of meaning is
semantics. Semantics is usually concerned with the analysis of the meaning of
words, phrases, or sentences and sometimes with the meaning of utterances in
discourse or the meaning of a whole text.”
But Jack Richards, John Platt, Heidi Weber (1987:172) state that “the study
of meaning is semantics. Semantics is usually concerned with the analysis of the
meaning of words, phrases, or sentences and sometimes with the meaning of
utterances in discourse or the meaning of a whole text.”
According to David Crystal (1992:347), “semantics is the study of meaning
in language”. Structural semantics applied the principles of structural linguistics to
the study of meaning through the notion of semantic relations (also called sense
relation), such as synonymy and antonyms. In generative grammar, the semantic
component is a major area of the grammar’s organization, assigning a semantic
representation to sentences, and analyzing lexical terms of semantic features. The
theory of semantic field views vocabulary as organized into areas, within which
words (lexical items) interrelate and define each other.
.
Theory of semantic is a base that studies semantic features of ATTENTION
verb group in chapter 3.
2.3. Overview of English verb
2.3.1 Definition of English verb
As for dictionary of Merriam - webster ‘‘verb is a word that characteristically
is the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or
mode of being, that in various language is inflected for agreement with the
subject, for tense, for voice, for mood or for aspect, and that typilally has rather
full descriptive meaning and characterizing quality but is sometimes nearly devoid
of these especially when use an auxiliary or liking verb’’
In most languages, verbs are part of speech expressing existence, action, or
Occurrence. According to Jack C. Richards et al ( 1992: 398), a word is a verb
when it satisfies these following criteria: Occurs as part of the predicate of a
9


sentence; Caries markers of grammatical categories such as tense, aspect, person,
number, and mood; and refers to an action or state. R.M.W.Dixon(1991) defines
that ‘ a verb is the center of a clause’’. A verb refer to some activity and there
must be a number of participants who have roles in that activity as: Sinbad carried
the old man; or it may refer to state, and there must be a participant to experience
the state as: My led aches.
As set of verbs is grouped together as one semantic type partly because they
require the same set of participant roles. All giving verbs require a Donor, a Gift
and a Recipient, as in:
John gave a bouquet to Mary, Jane lent the Saab to Bill.
Or: The woman’s Institutes supplied the souldiers with socks.
(R.M.W.Dixon, 1991: 9)
All attention verbs take a Perceiver and an Impression( that which is seen or
heard), as in:
I heard the crash, I witnessed the accident, I recognized the driver’s face.
(R.M.W.Dixon, 1991:9)
Affect verbs are likely to involve an Agent, A Target, and something which is
manipulated by the Agent to come into contact with the target which I call manip.
A manip can always be stated, although it often does not have to be. Let’s see the
following examples:
John rubbed the glass (with a soft cloth)
Mary sliced the tomato( with her new knife).
Tom punched Bill ( with his left first)
( R.M.W.Dixon, 1991: 9)
L.G Alexander ( 1983) points out a verb is a word or phrase which expresses the
existence of a state or doing an action.
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Encyclopedic( 1998) states that a verb is a word or a
phrase indicating an action, an event or state.
According to Borahash ( 1975), the verb is a part of speech denoting an action or a
process.
Generally in English, the verb tense shows the time of the action or state; the
aspect of a verb defines the temporal flow ( or lack thereof) in the described event
or state. In English, for example, the past- tense sentences “ I swam’ and
I was swimming ’differ in aspect ( the first sentence is in what is called the
perfective or complective aspect, and the second in what is called the perfective
10


or completive aspect, and the second in what is called the imperfective or durative
aspect); voice is used to show relationships between the action and the people
affected by it; mood is one of a set of distinctive verb forms that are used to signal
modality. It is distinct from grammatical tense or grammatical aspect, although
these concepts are conflated to some degree in many languages, including English.
To some extent, the same word patterns are the attitude of the speaker about the
verb currently identified moods include conditional, imperative, indicative,
injunctive, optative, potential, subjunctive, and more. Verbs can be affected by
person and number to show agreement with the subject. Some English verb like
forms have properties of speech( e.g participles may be used as adjectives and
gerunds as nouns).
2.3.2 Classification of English verb
According to R. Quirk et al ( 1985), verbs are classified into two
types:intensives verbs and extensive verbs
a. Intensive verbs
Intensive verbs are also called copular verbs, and they are usually followed
by a noun, or noun phrase, and adjective or prepositional phrase. Intensive verbs
are used to describe the subject. It means that the focus is on one thing- the subject
only. Intensive verbs appear in the structure ‘SVC’’or SVA” Words or phrases,
which are followed by an intensive verb work as the subject compliment and they
apply to the subject, not the verb. Let’s consider the following examples:
Your dinner seem ready( SVC)
My office is in the next building. (SVA)
( Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
Intensive verbs are not take any object. It presents the relationship between
the subject and the subject complementation. The verb in sentenses with subject
complement is a ‘’copular’’ or ( linking verb) , which of itself has littles meaning
but functions as a link between the complement subject.
There are two subgroups:
Current intensive: be, appear, look, feel, remain, keep….
(E. Warrriner, J. & Graham, L.S.1980: 108)
Resulting intensive: become, come, get, go grow, turn…
She grew tired o his complaints. (SVC)
(E. Warrriner, J. & Graham, L.S 1080: 108)
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b. Extensive verb
Extensive verbs are most other verbs, they do not have subject compliment.
Extensive verbs are used to say what the subject is doing. It covers a wider area; it
takes the information away from the subject. Words or phrases, which are
followed by an extensive verb work as the verb’s object. They apply the verb, not
the subject as in:
He stayed very quiet.
( Quirk, Randolph, 1985:55)
Extensive verbs include three small types: monotransive, complex transitive
and ditransitive.
Ditransitive verbs are verbs which take a subject and two objects or have
the strucures ‘ SVOO’’. According to certain linguistic consideration, these
objectives may be called direct, indirect objectives, or primary and secondary
objectives as in the following examples:
I must send my parents an anniversary card. (SVOO)
In contrast, monotransitive verbs take only one object and appear in the
structure SVO as in the following examples
That lectures bored me. (SVO)
( Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
Verbs requires both a direct object and another object complement is
complex transitive verbs. Complex transitive verbs appear in the structure “
SVOC’’ or ‘SVOA’’. In a complex- transitive construction, the object complement
identifies a quality or attributes pertaining to the direct object. Let’s consider the
following examples:
Most students have found her reasonably helpful. (SVOC)
You can put the dish on the table. (SVOA)
( Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb states
what is happening in the sentence. Finite verbs locate the condition or action of the
verb in a specific time frame: past, present or future and have a specific tense and
a subject with which they grammatically agree. A complete sentence must contain
a finite verb. Verbs create the relationship between the subject and the object of
the verb.

12


In a command, there is still this relationship with the subject and object
understood. “Go!” (Subject –you- understood, verb “go!” object away–
understood.)
The form of the verb must agree with the number of its subject, which will
be a noun or noun group, for example 'They were not home' (as opposed to 'They
was not home'). Confusion can arise when deciding whether the subject is singular
or plural, for example 'This group of students is very clever', or when there are two
subjects, for example 'Ice cream and strawberries are delicious' (not 'is delicious').
It is a source to analyze in the chapter three.
2.4. Classification of sentences
2.4.1 In terms of sentence pattern
Sentence classification is carried out in order to get the foundation of
studying the sentence types in the DECIDING verb group in English and
Vietnamese in chapter 3
By eliminating optional adverbials from the clause structures, we have seven
clause types in the classification of the essential core of each clause structure.
S(ubject) V(erb)
Type
SV
Type
SVO
Type

Someone
My
mother
The

SVC
country
Type
I
SVA
Type
Mary
SVOO

O(bject(s))

C(omplement) A(dverbial)

was
laughing
enjoys

[1a]
parties

[2a]

became

totally

[3a]

independent
have
been
gave

Type
Most
SVOC people

consider

Type
You
SVOA

must put

inthe garden [4a]
the visitor

[5a]

A glass of
milk
these books rather
expensive
all the toys

13

[6a]
upstairs

[7a]


Table 2.1: Sentence patterns (Quirk, Randolph, 1985)
Each clause type is associated with a set of verbs. The seven fall naturally
into three main types. There are:
1. A two-element pattern: SV
They are talking.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
2. Three three-element patterns: SV + {O}
That lecture bored me. (SVO)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
3. Three four-element patterns: SVO + {O, C}
I must send my parents an anniversary card. (SVOO)
Most students have found her reasonably helpful. (SVOC)
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 721)
This set of patterns is the most general classification that can be usefully
applied to the classification of sentence patterns of the ORDER verb group in
English.
2.4.2. In terms of sentence elements
2.4.2.1 Syntactic features of sentence elements
Subject is the most important element of the clause elements other than the
verb according to Quirk, Randolph (1985). It is the element that is most often
present. It is also the element for which we can find the greatest number of
characteristic features. The subject is normally a noun phrase or a nominal clause,
a pronoun, That-clause, To infinitive or V-ing. A subject is obligatory in finite
clauses except in imperative clauses, where it is normally absent but implied.
Verb is also taken an extremely important role in sentences. It is convenient
to make a further classification of the verbs in these patterns:
Monotransitive verbs occurs in type SVO
Transitive verbs

Ditransitive verbs occur in type SVOO
Complex transitive verbs occur in types SVOC and
SVOA

Objects is an indispensable element in a sentence with a transitive verb.
In fact, there are two types of object: direct object (Od) and indirect object
(Oi). An object such as parties in [2a] (My mother enjoys parties) clearly has a
different role in the lause from an object such as the visitor in [5a] (Mary gave the
visitor a glass of milk), and this has been traditionally recognized by applying the
14


term direct object to the former, and indirect object to the latter. We give priority
here to the distributional fact that whenever there are two objects (in type SVOO),
the former is normally the indirect object, and the latter is direct object. But
although it is more central with regard to position, in other respects the indirect
object is more peripheral than the direct object: it is more likely to be optional, and
may generally be paraphrased by a prepositional phrase functioning as adverbial.
Complements is used in sentence patterns SVC and SVOC. There are also
two types of complements: subject complement (Cs) and object complement (Co).
We can distinguish between the types of complement found in the SVC pattern; ie:
totally independent in:
The country became totally independent.

[3a]

And the type of complement found in the SVOC pattern; ie: rather expensive in:
Most people consider these books rather expensive.
[6a]
The distinction is effectively made by noting that in [3a] the country is
understood to have become a totally independent country, while in [6a] the books
are understood to be considered rather expensive books. In other words, in SVC
clauses the complement applies some attribute or definition to the subject, whereas
in SVOC clauses it applies an attribute or definition to the object. This distinction
is usually denoted by the terms subject complement and object complement
respectively. In these cases, the complement is an adjective phrase, but elsewhere,
where the complement is a noun phrase, the same kind of distinction holds:
Type SVC: The country became a separate nation.
Type SVOC: Most people considered Picasso a genius.
2.4.2.2. Semantic features of sentence elements
Quirk, Randolph (1985) shows that the most typical semantic role of a
subject in a clause that has a direct object is that of the agentive participant: that is,
the animate being instigating or causing the happening denoted by the verb:
Margaret is mowing the grass.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 741)
The subject sometimes has the role of external causer; that is it expresses
the unwitting (generally inanimate) cause of an event:
The electric shock killed him.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 743)

15


It may also have the role of instrument; that is, the entity (generally
inanimate) which an agent uses to perform an action or instigate a process:
A car knocked them down.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 743)
With intransitive verbs, the subject also frequently has the affected role
elsewhere typical of the direct object:
The pencil was lying on the table.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 743)
Besides, the subject may have a recipient role with verbs such as have, own,
possess, benefit (from); the role of positioner with intransitive stance verbs such
as sit, stand, lie, live, stay, remain, and with transitive verbs related to stance verbs
such as carry, hold, keep, wear; the locative, temporal and eventive role.
Direct object has several roles in sentences.
The most typical role of the
direct object is that of the affected participant: a participant (animate or inanimate)
which does not cause the happening denoted by the verb, but is directly involved
in some other way:
Many MPs criticized the Prime Minister.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 741)
The direct object may have a locative role with such verbs as walk, swim, pass,
jump, turn, leave, reach, surround, cross, climb.
Besides, the direct object has a resultant, cognate, and instrumental object.
Besides, the most typical role of the indirect object is that of the recipient
participant: i.e, of the animate being that is passively implicated by the happening
or state:
I’ve found you a place.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 741)
It occationally takes an affected role with a few of the verbs that combine with an
eventive object. The most common verb in the latter construction is give:
She gave me a push.
(Quirk, Randolph, 1985: 742)
Complement is also a very important element in sentences. The typical
semantic role of a subject complement and an object complement is that of
attribute. We can distinguish two subtypes of role for the attribute: identification
16


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