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Learning English difficulties for Vietnamese | Tense, time, aspect

Verb tenses used in English language are extremely difficult to be comprehended by Vietnamese learners. That is because Vietnamese language employs aspect rather than tense. It is possible to express time very precisely in Vietnamese (when that is necessary), although the language doesn’t use complex structure of tenses like other languages (such as English or many other western tongues).

In order to express whether the action of the verb is past, future, or present continuous, Vietnamese language uses one of the following three words:

Although time is not directly expressed in Vietnamese language, it is understood from the context or because time expressions are used (such as: today, yesterday, tomorrow, next year, etc.)

When it comes to tenses expressed by auxiliary verbs, Vietnamese learners of English find them impossible to master.

Example:
En = I’ll be going to school tomorrow.
Vn = lit. Tomorrow – I – go – study.

Another persistent mistake made by Vietnamese learners of English is the incorrect use of the infinitive in places where a gerund is required.

Example:
He suggested to go on holiday.

This is a mistake made by many learners of English (not only Vietnamese). Even those who have spoken English fluently for years continue to be confused by this use of the gerund and continue using the infinitive.


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