Negative sentence 1

April 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Writing, Grammar
Share Embed Donate

Short Description

Download Negative sentence 1...


Negative Sentence

Comparison of Negative Sentence in English and Vietnamese

University of education Supervisor: Nguyễn Ngọc Vũ Name: Nguyễn Lê Ngọc Hà Class: 5BT.05


Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence Introduction Any language in the world also serves the demand of communication of human beings. However, each language has its origin, characteristics and values. As an example, English and Vietnamese are two different languages in many aspects. Among these aspects, we all know that grammatical feature is the basic matter and the most important one that we should pay attention to during learning English as a second language. In my opinion, in learning English grammar, negation causes many troubles to learners in distinguishing it with negation in Vietnamese as well as using it in true way because of differences between two languages. However, in some cases, there are also similarities between them. Because of importance of using negation in real life, I would like to research about rules of forming and using negative sentences in English and Vietnamese so that readers have a general look about negative sentences of English as well as of Vietnamese. I hope that knowledge of negative sentence will help me in teaching English in the future. In my topic, I will present the definition of negative sentence and some basic kinds of negative sentence in English. Then, through presenting all characteristics of forming and using English negative sentence into details, I will give comparison with Vietnamese negative sentence and some examples to illustrate the theory that I mentioned.


Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence Finally, I will express my ideas of using English negation in teaching as the most important aim in my research. Definition of negative sentence Until now, in many research papers, linguists have various views of definition of negative sentence. One of them thinks that negative sentence is one in which negative adverbs (không, chẳng, chớ, đừng, chưa…) are placed after verbs or adjectives to reflect the negation. Another linguist states that there are six kinds of negative sentences, which include negative sentences are formed by single negative words (không, chưa, chẳng, chả,…) and formed by negative phrases ( không phải là, chưa phải là, không đời nào, không bao giờ, chẳng đời nào…). Actually, there is not the accurate and exact definition of negative sentence but we all can understand that a negative sentence (or statement) states that something is not true or incorrect. Formation and use of negative sentences in English and Vietnamese According the linguist, Lê Quang Thiêm, there are many ways of classifying negative sentence. Among of them, by basing on the methods and means of constructing a negation, negative sentence in English can be classified into four types: 1. Auxiliary negation 2. Noun phrase negation 3. Adverb negation 3

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence 4. Morphological negation We will gradually analyze them with examples and make a comparison with negation in Vietnamese to clarify differences as well as similarities of negative sentence between two languages. Firstly, with auxiliary negation, English and Vietnamese have the same rule of forming a negation in sentence. In English, in order to form a negative sentence, “not” is placed after an auxiliary verb or “be” in the positive one. In the following table of an article, the author gave a review of negation in English sentence with some examples. Among examples, some use the contracted forms more used in informal writing and speech, and some others use the full forms. Tense

Negative element +


contracted forms do+not = don’t

I do not play.

does+not = doesn’t

She doesn’t play.

did+not = didn’t

I didn’t play.

Present Simple

Past Simple

am + not = am not (*no amn’t) Present Progressive

I am not playing. is+not = isn’t are+not = aren't


Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence was+not = wasn’t

I wasn’t playing.

were+not = weren’t

They were not playing

have+not = haven’t

You haven’t played.

has+not = hasn’t

She has not played


I have not been

= haven’t been



She hasn’t been


= hasn’t been


Past Perfect

had+not = hadn’t

You hadn’t played

Past Perfect


She hadn’t been


= hadn’t been


Future Simple

will+not = won’t

Future Perfect


He will not have

= won’t have




She wouldn’t play



She wouldn’t have

Past Progressive

Present Perfect

Present Perfect

Perfect Modals

I won’t play.

played. can + not = can’t or

I can’t play.

cannot (formal)

I cannot play.

should+not = shouldn’t

We shouldn’t play.


Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence Similarly, in Vietnamese, we have the word “không” placed before the main verb to mark a negation in sentence. Because it said that there is no tense in Vietnamese sentences so making a negation will be easier than in English, there are not auxiliary verbs added. “Cô ấy rất đẹp” (affirmative) (She is very beautiful) “Cô ấy không đẹp” (negative) (She is not beautiful) “Gia đình tôi mua một ngôi nhà ở vùng quê” (affirmative) (My family buys a house in the countryside) “Gia đình tôi không mua ngôi nhà nào ở vùng quê” (negative) (My family does not buy any house in the countryside) Moreover, in Vietnamese, instead of using the word “không”, people can use the other single words such as “chẳng”, “chả”… or phrases such as “ không có”, “đâu phải”, “đâu có”,” chẳng phải”, “không hề”, “nào có”, “có…đâu”, etc to express the negation in negative sentences. For example, we can say that “Tôi chẳng phải dân vùng này”, “Tôi đâu phải dân vùng này”or “Tôi không phải dân vùng này.” All of them have a same meaning, which means I am not a resident in this region. However, it does not mean that these words can always be replaced to each other in any cases. It also depends on the context, the social relationship between the speaker and the listeners (formal or informal), and the aims of the speakers. For instance, a girl can say “Bố mẹ tớ chẳng có ở nhà” to her friend but she have to say “Bố mẹ cháu không có ở nhà” to an elder 6

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence person although they have the same meaning (My parents are not at home). In the first sentence, the speaker and listener are the same age so she can say informally while she have to say formally to the listener who is older than her to express respect. In some cases, when someone asks you “Bạn có muốn ăn chút gì không?” (Do you want any thing to eat?), it will be polite to say “Tôi không đói” rather than “Tôi chẳng đói” (I am not hungry). In fact, in Vietnamese, with the same meaning, these words such as “không có”, “không phải”, “không” etc. are usually used in formal context or in written language while “chẳng”, “chả”, “đâu có”, “không hề”, “chẳng hề”, “chẳng phải”, “có…đâu” etc are often found in daily language or in close relationships. According to Lê Quang Thiêm, in another aspect, the words “không”, “chẳng”…are used in negation of an action, a progress, a characteristic. “Nhiệm vụ chẳng hoàn thành.” (The mission did not succeed.) “Cô ấy không đẹp như người ta đồn đại”. (She is not as beautiful as people said about.) On the other hand, “không”, chẳng”, “đâu có”, “không hề” going with “là” is a negation of a relation or a characteristic. “Nghèo khó đâu phải là tội lỗi.” “Người lãnh đạo không phải là một vị thánh.”


Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence Secondly, general English sentences can also be changed into negative form by the determiner “no” placed before a noun to reflect negation in the sentence, which is called noun phrase negation. “No one came to her birthday party yesterday.” means “Everyone did not came to her birthday party yesterday.” “They sold no paint this week.” means “They did not sell any paints this week.” “They will do no thing to help him.” mean “They won’t do any thing to help him.” “There is no chance that I will buy a new car” means “There is not any change that I will buy a new car” It is very popular to use such these sentences in both written and spoken English. In many cases, it can help English learners avoid complicated grammatical rules. Moreover, it is also a way to express the importance of negation in the sentence. For example, in the second example, using “sold no paint” will lead the hearers to pay attention to the result “no paint was sold” than the action “did not sell”. In addition, we can change noun phrase negation in which the word “no” is put at begin of sentence into another form of negative sentence. For example, we can change the sentence “No one came to her birthday party yesterday” into “There was no one coming to her birthday party.” This change will not make the meaning changed difficultly. 8

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence Moreover, English also combines the word “no” with some indefinite pronouns to form negative words, such as “nothing”, “nobody”, “no one”, “none” etc to contribute to forming the negation in sentences. “Nobody cares her.” “Nothing is so terrible.” “None of them died.” When comparing to English negative noun phrase, noun phrase negation in Vietnamese is not popular. However, it sometimes appears with the noun phrase as a subject only. “Không ai sợ hắn.” (No one fears him) “Không rạp chiếu phim nào còn vé.” (No cinema still has tickets.) “Không có mưa vào mùa này đâu.” (No rain falls that season) Thirdly, in both two languages, to express a negation, people can also use some negative adverbs such as “never”, “hardly”, “barely”, “scarcely”, “hardly”, “seldom”, “rarely” etc. In English, negative adverb is divided clearly into two forms, including negative adverb go with “positive verbs” and negative adverb go with “to be”. Therefore, we have two following formations: Subject + negative adverb + positive verb Subject + to be + negative adverb “She never comes to church.” (Bà ấy không bao giờ đến nhà thờ.) “John hardly studied at home.” (Tối qua John chẳng học gì cả.) 9

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence “We seldom meet to each other.” (Chúng tôi hiếm khi gặp nhau.) Through the examples above, we can find some similarities to Vietnamese. Actually, Vietnamese are acquainted with using these negative adverbs and we find a lot of them in real life as well as written language such as “hiếm khi”, “không mấy khi”, “hiếm hoi lắm”, “hầu như không”, “chẳng mấy khi” etc. With using them, the negation seems to be less “negative” and make issue less serious to give more comfort to the listeners. For example, if you want to make a complaint about your younger brother to your mother that he does not do the homework, you may say, “Con không bao giờ thấy em ấy làm bài tập về nhà cả.” (I have never seen him doing the homework.) or “Con hiếm khi thấy em ấy làm bài tập về nhà.” (I seldom see him doing the homework.). Apparently, these two sentences are not different from each other between in English and in Vietnamese. However, they are not same meaning in both languages. Specifically, in English, when using the above sentence with negative adverb “seldom” (hiếm khi), we can infer that the brother has done the housework but it is very rare. However, in contrast with English, in Vietnamese, “hiếm khi” means “never”. Therefore, when someone says that sentence, Vietnamese will conclude that the boy actually does not do anything, Although that is just a small point, it can causes Vietnamese learners have troubles in learning English. Therefore, we should focus on it. 10

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence Finally, Morphological negation is an important aspect to mention to when we focus on negative sentences. As we know, English has a system of suffixes, prefixes added to adjective, adverb or verb to form the opposition, which is called morphological negation. Specifically, English has the negative prefixes un-, in-, and non- go with adjective. For example, we have “unhappy”, “insensitive”, and “nonpolitical”. With adverbs, we usually have the prefix un-. For example, we have “unfortunately”, “unluckily” etc. Beside that, the common prefix to a verb to mark the negation is dis-. For example, we have “dislike”, “disaffirm”, and “disagree”. Contrary to English, there is not any affix in Vietnamese grammar. However, in real life, Vietnamese often use morphological negation such as “vô ý thức” (unconscious) in contrast with “ý thức” (conscious), “vô trách nhiệm” (irresponsible) in contrast with “có trách nhiệm” (responsible), “vô hại” (harmless) with “có hại” (harmful), “vô ích” (useless) with “có ích” (useful) etc. However, the function of the word “vô” is not like the word “không” or “chẳng” in Vietnamese because it belongs to Chinese. Although it is only placed before an adjective to form the opposite, not before a verb or a noun, it is widely used in Vietnamese daily communication. Therefore, we can consider it as an element of Vietnamese language. Applying the theories of negative sentence to teaching English Overall, negation in English and Vietnamese is the same. However, Vietnamese students also encounter with problems of using negative 11

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence sentence in English because of differences between two languages. Especially, there are some especial points in formation and use of negation in English and Vietnamese in particular. Among them, I would like to focus on double negative and negative question in English, which is different from Vietnamese. The first point is double negative. As a definition, double negative occurs when two forms of negation are used in the same clause. (“Double negative,” n.d.). In English, double negative resolving to a negative, which is not used in Standard English. For example, we can say, "I do not want nothing!”. However, In Standard English, double negatives are usually understood to resolve to a positive. For example, with the sentence “I do not want nothing!”, if there is very heavy stress on "do not" or a specific plaintive stress on "nothing," Standard English can utilize the form "I do not want nothing" as a way of emphasizing that the speaker would rather have "something" than "nothing" at all. ( “Double negative,” n.d.). Therefore, we have the following table:

Negative + Negative = Positive Negative + Positive = Negative

In Vietnamese, using double negative is simpler. In our daily life, we often say that “Tôi không nói là bạn không đúng” (I do not say that you are not right) or “Không có ngày nào mà anh không nghĩ đến em” (There isn’t


Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence a day when I do not think about you). The meanings of two examples make us think that they are double negative but it is wrong because the two forms of negation are in different clauses. Based on the above definition of double negative, we do not find any grammatical structure of double negative in Vietnamese. It means that there is no double negative in Vietnamese. In English, double negation is widely used in written and spoken language even though it is sometimes considered as a mark of uneducated speaker. In fact, we have many examples of double negative in poetry, music as well as other aspects of daily life. Therefore, it is necessary for teacher to pay attention to teaching double negative. The second one is negative question. According to research papers, negative question is formed by placing the auxiliary before the subject, and the word “not” after the subject. However, when contractions are used, the contracted form of not immediately follows the auxiliary. The following are examples of negative questions with and without contractions: Without Contractions

With Contractions

Was I not working?

Wasn't I working?

Were they not working?

Weren't they working?

(“English grammar,” n.d.) Negative question is not a strange matter to Vietnamese students because in our language, we also have a equivalent structure. For 13

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence example, we can say, “Bạn không nghĩ là mình nên thay đổi à?” (Don’t you think you should change something?), “Họ không phải là một cặp sao?” (Aren’t they a couple?), “Anh không biết tên cô ấy hả?” (Don’t you know her name?) etc. However, in some ways, there are still some differences between using negative question between English and Vietnamese, especially, the way of answering to negative question between two languages. For example, if someone asks a question: “Bạn mệt à?” (Are you tired?), both English and Vietnamese will say that “Vâng, tôi mệt.” (Yes,I’m tired). Nevertheless, if the question is in negation, “Bạn không mệt sao?” (Aren’t you tired?), English will answer “Yes, I’m tired” but Vietnamese will say “Không, mệt chớ.” (No, I’m tired.) if he feels tired. Otherwise, the answer wil be “Ừa, tôi không mệt?” (Yes, I’m not tired.) as a Vietnamese but the answer will be “No, I’m not tired” if he is an English. That is the problem of Vietnamese in learning English. In real life, Vietnamese have different ways to respond to a normal interrogative and a negative question. Although this difference is not serious, it can cause a misunderstanding in communication between English and Vietnamese. In addition, Vietnamese students will be in trouble of negative questions with the word “WHY”? if they are not guided carefully about using it. For example, if an English person asks you “Why don’t we go to the zoo?” and “Why doesn’t you do your homework?” The grammatical structure of two above examples is the 14

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence same. However, the first example is just an invitation and you have to respond that “Let’s go” or “I’m sorry but I can’t go”. Meanwhile, the second one is a question asking a reason that needs an answer. That structure is also used in Vietnamese but it is very rare. Therefore, teachers should spend theirs time to present it and help students practice it more. Conclusion In summary, there are many equivalents of negative sentence between English and Vietnamese. Beside that, each language also has its own special ways of forming and using negative sentence as I focused on. However, the general rules of forming and using negative sentence in English are more systematic. It will be not easy for Vietnamese students to approach to English and learn it well. Therefore, as a teacher in the future, I think we should have some practical way to help them overcome the language barrier. I think at first, we have to introduce it to Vietnamese students and ask them to focus on the “unusual thing” on that structure instead of avoiding it for the fear that they can make the students confused. Secondly, we give them the rule of constructing and using negative sentence in English and in Vietnamese so that students can distinguish the differences between them clearly. Moreover, the most important point of learning grammar is to use it. Therefore, at the same time of comparing, we should give many examples in both two languages to help students familiarize and use negative sentence in right way. 15

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence

References Le, Quang Thiem. (2004). Ngôn ngữ học đối chiếu. Hanoi: Hanoi National University Publisher. Negative sentences and questions in English ( English Grammar Guide). (2009). Negative Sentences and Questions in English: The rules for forming negative and interrogative sentences using auxiliary verbs in English. Retrieved December 15th, 2009 from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2009). Double negation. Retrieved December 15th, 2008 from Double Negatives, (2009). Double negative. Retrieved from Tom McClive. (2009). The question of không: use and effects of the Vietnamese negative and interrogative particle. Retrieved December 15th, 2009 from Negative Sentence in English/ World-Leading Language Solution…(2009). Negative Sentences. Retrieved December 17th, 2009 from http:// 16

Contrastive Analysis

Negative Sentence Question and negative statement. Retrieved December 18th, 2009 from http:/ Phân tích đối chiếu ngôn ngữ trong việc dạy và học tiếng - VLOS. (2009). Phân tích đối chiếu ngôn ngữ trong việc dạy và học tiếng. Retrieved December 18th, 2009 from http:/ân tích_đối_chiếu_ngôn_ngữ_trong_việc_dạy_và_học tiếng... English Grammar. (2009). Chapter 6. The Past Continuous, The Past Perfect, and The Past Perfect Continuous. Retrieved December 20th, 2009 from H A PTER 6. THE PAST CONTINUOUS, THE PAST PERFECT AND THE PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS


Contrastive Analysis

View more...


Copyright � 2017 NANOPDF Inc.