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Learning English difficulties for Vietnamese | Adverbial expressions

Vietnamese learners of English have some problems using adverbial expressions correctly. A short comparison between how these adverbial expressions are used in Vietnamese and English can be seen below.

Adverbial expressions of place: There is/are

In most cases adverbial expressions of place in Vietnamese parallel the English word order. The following Vietnamese sentence "Ông chờ trong phòng khách" will be translated in English as: (lit. He-wait-in-room-guests) He is waiting in the sitting room.

However, the problem appears in sentences with "There is/are". In "There is/are" sentences the word order changes to "adverb of place + have + object" as is shown in the example below.

Example:
Vn: Trong phòng có nhiều cô gái.
En lit.: Inside – room – have – many – girls
En: There are many girls in the room.

These mistakes that occur in "There is/are" sentences are very hard to fix and they usually persist.

Adverbial expressions of time

In English, adverbial expressions of time are usually placed at the end of the sentence. In Vietnamese language adverbial expressions are placed at the beginning of the sentence as you can see in the example below.

Example:
Vn: Ngày mai tôi đi nghỉ mát.
En lit.: Day – tomorrow – I – go – rest – cool.
En: I go on my holiday tomorrow.


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