The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 18 , No. 4

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 18, No. 4, pp.423-441
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print)
Print publication date 31 Dec 2018
Received 30 Nov 2018 Revised 12 Dec 2018 Accepted 16 Dec 2018

What English Verb Errors do Korean University Students Make? A Corpus Examination of Learner-Produced Verb Phrases
Kevin Parent
Professor, Korea Maritime and Ocean University Department of English Language and Literature 727 Taejeong-ro, Dongsam-dong, Youngdo-gu Busan, South Korea, Tel: 051) 410-4593 (


Parent, K. 2018. What English verb errors do Korean university students make? A corpus examination of learner-produced verb phrases. Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 18-4, 423-441. This article examines a corpus of writings by Korean university students with an eye towards the verb phrase patterns they use. Provided are a list of verb patterns which they do not use; ones they use but are not, or very rarely, found in writings produced by native speakers; ones they overuse; and ones they underuse. The results show particular problems with the passive voice and the perfect aspect, problems that are magnified when these two are combined. In terms of overuse, it reveals that the simpler verb patterns tend to be used much more frequently than would otherwise be expected. One-word verb phrases (do/did, has, is and lexical verbs like help), basic negative forms (do/did not have), basic modal phrases (can help, could not help) and others are overused. Underused verbs include, among others, various realisations of passive constructions and phrasal verbs. Pedagogical implications based on these results are discussed.

Keywords: verb phrase, passivity, ergativity, perfective, phrasal verbs, error analysis, corpus linguistics, learner English

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