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Course Assignment The Tenses System the Hardest Part of the English Language to Master

Name Matrix No Contact No

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January 2014



1. Introduction 2. The Description From the Recording 3. The Problems of Tense System among the Second Language Speakers 4. Analysis of the sentences 5. A report on the differences between the Standard English language rules 6. Conclusions References


Introduction Many English learners worry too much about tenses. English is use as a second language

in our country. There are teaching and learning of the English language happens in every school throughout the country. For the student, they have to learn it to pass the English paper on purpose. Meanwhile, for the teachers they have to study it in and out, concrete and abstract of it in order for them to cater the students in classroom. There are different elements or parts in studying English language. As an educator of the language, ones need to master the language morphology, syntax and language semantics. They have to know the tacit and focal knowledge of the language. Furthermore, when the teacher wanted to introduce one part of the language they must know how to explain the use of it and why it is preferable to be use in such situation. Morphology refers to a study of word formation, teachers of the language need to learn to analyse words formation such as morphemes, the smallest unit of meaning in English Language. Morpheme is a division of a word into parts where it have its own meaning and function and occurs with similar meaning or function as part of other words in the language. Meanwhile syntax refers to the study of the technical term for sentence structure. Teacher need to master syntax in order to analyse the groupings and relationship of words, phrase and clauses in a sentence. The needs to learn syntax is important to all the English language teachers and learners because we need to get all the fact about the language to be right and the process involves learning grammar explicitly for tacit and focal knowledge.


The Description

Friend 1 : Where are you going Yesterday? Friend 2 : I go to cut my hair. Friend 1 : Thats why, when I pass by at the barber shop near the market and I think it is you. Friend 2 : Yes its me, where were you yesterday? Friend 1 : I go market buy some fishes, vegetables and meats for Hari Raya. Friend 2 : OhI see. Friend 1 : You are alone wasnt you? Friend 2 : Yes, my brother send me there and left to go for work. Friend 1 : Oh..thats why I dont see your motorcyle nearby. Friend 2 : I sell it to someone a month ago.

Friend 1 : Then, how are you going to work? Friend 2 : I just buy one a new Honda Civic. Friend 1 : Oh how why dont you come with your car? Friend 2 : I put it at the service centre because it already 1000 kilometer. It need to be the first service. Friend 1 : Do you still staying with your mother? Friend 2 : Not anymore and I ve got married but sometimes we sleep there during weekend. Friend 1 : Owh..what a surprise! Friend 2 : Its almost two years and we already got a daughter. Friend 1 : Owhhow lovely. How old is she now? Friend 2 : She is already 11 month. Friend 1 : Okay..Ive got to go now. So where are you going now? Friend 2 : Owh home. Friend 1 : How? Friend 2 : By taxi. Friend 1 : Come along, Ill send you home. Then we can talk all the way there. Friend 2 : Thanks.


The Problems Tense System Malaysian English language speakers often found that the tense system is the hardest part

of the English language to master. Sometimes the problems under laying the issue being ignorance since the messages sent between both parties the sender and the receiver were understood and received clearly and interaction occurs. The diagram below shown the process of communication.

Robert L. Heath and Jennings Bryant, Human Communication Theory and Research: Concepts, Contexts, and Challenges, 2nd ed. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2000 Sometimes the both party didnt realized about the mistakes or error in th e tense system during the communication process happened. The situation happened because both parties have had an experiences, attitudes, have gone through some language skills and clear perceptions toward the language they use to communicate by ignoring about the morphology, syntax and semantic or in other words the grammar rules of the language. Why one must has to know about the grammar rules? Lets those who were in line with the matter think about the problems. Communication happened everywhere, at the workplace, in every event, at the shop, in the street, at school and etc. The phenomenon of the tense system as shown in the conversation took place at one event of opening ceremony of a newly branding company. The conversation occurs between 2 and more peoples as shown in the dialogue. It is quite difficult to identify the tense system in informal situation when there were not much focusing point can be taken into considerations. Below is one of the English Tenses tables.

Tenses is use to show the time at which the action of a verb take place. In everyday use, at present and at the present time have a wider application than simply to the present moment of speech time A distinction can be made between the habitual present, which marks habitual or repeated action or recurring events and the stative present, which indicates something that is true at all times. Examples of habitual present include His novel invokes readers mind of romanticized picture of life in the countryside and She invokes the children of the scary ghost face. Examples of the stative tense include The world is round and Everyone must die eventually. The second phrase refers to the past perfect tense verb phrase. The tense were form from verb to have and past participle regular verb. The word potrayed is a regular verb where in the past perfect tense the past participle verb will be added ed to the base form. This mean that the action is already in the past and still being said and remember in the present. The past tense refers to an action or statement which has taken place before the present time. The word wiped in the text is a regular action verb that represent the action or statement that has been done before. The English past tense is the morphologically and semantically marked form. Morphologically, majority of the verbs have a distinctive past form and semantically in that the past tense wiped refers to an action that is visualized as remote either in time or as unreality.

From the dialogue we knew that both speakers were using present tense form instead of past tense because the action had happened yesterday. It has been done and should be in form of past tense. Refer to the words highlighted in black for verbs that reflected to the tenses problems.


Analysis of the sentences

Example sentences taken from the dialogue i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Where are you going yesterday? I go to cut my hair. when I pass by at the barber shop I think it is you I go market buy some fishes, vegetables I dont see your motorcycle I put it at the service centre because it already 1000 kilometer. It need to be the first service. viii. Do you still staying with your mother?

Those were the example of problematic sentences in the aspect of past-tense. Past tense reflected the used of verb in the sentences. The clue words that shown the sentences were in past tense are many such as yesterday, long time ago, last week and so on. The verbs included in the English language wer verb to be, verb to have, verb to do and action verb. Every verb consists of singular and plural. The verb to do consist of do, does, did and done for participle. The verb to have consisted of have has and had. Verb to be consists of is, are, am, was and were. Meanwhile, an action verb consists of both regular and irregular verb. The regular action verbs need to be added d, -ed or -ied at the end of the words for example verbs that end with e will be added d by the end of the word such as in die died, Action verbs root words that end with y will drop the y and added with ied such as in cry become cried. The action verbs that end with other consonant letter will be added with ed to the root words such as in walk become walked The irregular verbs refer to the action verbs that totally change the spelling of the words without changing the meaning. The words such as go went, ran ran and there is also irregular words that never change the spelling such as sit, beat, put and so on.

The first sentence (Where are you going yesterday?) refers to the use of verb to be. The sentence should be Where were you yesterday? The clue words yesterday made the sentence to form into past-tense. Were is a plural verb use together when the subject of the sentence is plural in past-tense form. The words pass and need in the iii and vii sentences were regular verbs. Those verbs need to be add with ed when the sentences was in the form of past-tense. The root words pass and need when change to past-tense form will be passed and needed without changing the meaning. The words go and think were irregular verbs and those verbs were totally changed in form of the spelling but not the meaning. The words go will change to went and the word think changed into thought in the past-tense form. The word put was also an irregular verb. This type of verb will never change it form and meaning whether in form of past and present tense. Some scholar would say this kind of verb is a jail verb or odd verbs. The forms of singular and plural subject dont seem to effect the sentences.


A report on the differences between the Standard English language rules of the language aspect and the way it is realized by the Malaysian speakers of the English language.

The problems in teaching English as second language among L2 learners is they are thinking in their first language and tend to translate in L2. The problems occur in the structure of Bahasa Malaysia and English. The structure of English language is different from Bahasa Malaysia. The second problem is the habit of L2 leaners where they intended to use the words which native speakers of the second language didnt use or even mention about it such as, when people invite them to a party, such as, L1 Will you come to the Thirsty Thursday tonight L2 will answer Can, can. The question is do English, Malaysian speakers end up attending to, understanding, and remembering their experiences differently simply because they speak different languages? These questions touch on all the major controversies in the study of mind, with important implications for politics, law and religion. Yet very little empirical work had been done on these

questions until recently. The idea that language might shape thought was for a long time considered untestable at best and more often simply crazy and wrong. Now, a flurry of new cognitive science research is showing that in fact, language does profoundly influence how we see the world. The question of whether languages shape the way we think goes back centuries; Charlemagne proclaimed that "to have a second language is to have a second soul." But the idea went out of favor with scientists when Noam Chomsky's theories of language gained popularity in the 1960s and '70s. Dr. Chomsky proposed that there is a universal grammar for all human languages essentially, that languages don't really differ from one another in significant ways. And because languages didn't differ from one another, the theory went; it made no sense to ask whether linguistic differences led to differences in thinking. The search for linguistic universals yielded interesting data on languages, but after decades of work, not a single proposed universal has withstood scrutiny. Instead, as linguists probed deeper into the world's languages (7,000 or so, only a fraction of them analyzed), innumerable unpredictable differences emerged. Of course, just because people talk differently doesn't necessarily mean they think differently. In the past decade, cognitive scientists have begun to measure not just how people talk, but also how they think, asking whether our understanding of even such fundamental domains of experience as space, time and causality could be constructed by language. For example, in Pormpuraaw, a remote Aboriginal community in Australia, the indigenous languages don't use terms like "left" and "right." Instead, everything is talked about in terms of absolute cardinal directions (north, south, east, west), which means you say things like, "There's an ant on your southwest leg." To say hello in Pormpuraaw, one asks, "Where are you going?", and an appropriate response might be, "A long way to the south-southwest. How about you?" If you don't know which way is which, you literally can't get past hello. About a third of the world's languages (spoken in all kinds of physical environments) rely on absolute directions for space. As a result of this constant linguistic training, speakers of such languages are remarkably good at staying oriented and keeping track of where they are, even in unfamiliar landscapes. They perform navigational feats scientists once thought were beyond human capabilities. This is a big difference, a fundamentally different way of conceptualizing space, trained by language. Differences in how people think about space don't end there. People rely on their spatial knowledge to build many other more complex or abstract representations including time,

number, musical pitch, kinship relations, morality and emotions. So if Pormpuraawans think differently about space, do they also think differently about other things, like time? In morphology, syntax and semantics aspect, sentences consist of words, but not every line of words constitutes a sentence. The network of relations between the words of a sentence is called structure. There are many aspects that influence the structure of a sentence. We can affirm that the most important one is a word order. The different order of the words in a sentence can change the meaning of the sentence. A different in words order does not imply a different in meaning; sometimes it simply entails a difference in emphasis. The structure of the sentence also depends on the individual meaning of the words or group words to make up the sentence. The run an analysis to the concept of the sentence given, the following analysis can be done.

i. ii.

Words can be grouped into lower constituents. Words can be represented in diagrammatic form.

We take a look at this example The long eight-wheeled truck overturned unexpectedly and hit the wall with a bang and burned. We can group words into lower constituents, for example long eight-wheeled modified truck, so the sequence (long eight-wheeled truck) is a phrasal constituent of the sentence. Following the analysis, unexpectedly modified overturned so the sequence (overturned unexpectedly) forms a single structural unit, a constituent of the sentence. The same happens in the sequence (a bang). Furthermore, also the sequence (hit the wall and with a bang) are another constituent. The transformational grammar, the phrase (overturned unexpectedly), (hit the wall) and (with a bang and burned) all modify truck, then the whole sequence (overturned unexpectedly and hit the wall with a bang and burned) is also a constituent. The explanation on the second analysis, the information can be represented in a diagrammatic form. Each point in the tree-diagram is called a node, each node represented a constituent. Since nodes are predictable, later they suppressed in subsequent tree-diagrams. The tree diagrams did not provide any representation of the intuition about which constituent is constituent of the same type. The former way in describing the similarities and differences between constituent is to say that they belong to categories of various types. The same happens to the phrase. Lastly, the whole sequence (The long eight-wheeled truck overturned unexpectedly

and hit the wall with a bang and burned) is a special type of constituent formerly termed a clause or sentence. There are four levels can be use to analyze sentences, the word-level, phrase-level, clause-level and sentence-level which is called the rank scale. We can analyze the sentence using labeled tree-diagram which represents the categorical constituent structure of the sentence. The diagram provides visual presentation of categorical of the sentence. It shows how sentence is structure out of its constituent phrases, and how each phrases is structured out of its component words and also it provides a visual presentation of phrase structure of sentence. The type of treediagram used is referred to as a Phrase-marker (P-marker) because it marks the hierarchical group of words to phrase and phrase into sentence. The tree-diagram represent the fact that (the long eight-wheeled truck) and (the wall) are noun phrase, that (overturned unexpectedly) and (hit the wall) are verb phrase. That (with a bang and burned) is a prepositional phrase and (The long eight-wheeled truck overturned unexpectedly) is a clause (S). The sentence is of a compound sentence. The use of sentence connector or conjunction and helps two or more sentence combine together making a sentence. For example, we can assume that The long eight-wheeled truck overturned unexpectedly is the first sentence and The truck hit the wall with a bang and The truck hit the wall and burned. The long eight-wheeled truck is a noun phrase and also called the subject of the sentence, and (overturned unexpectedly) and (hit the wall) is a verb phrase and one of it is the adverbial phrase. (with a bang and burned) is a prepositional phrase. Verb phrase and prepositional phrase do not have head. In the verb phrase all the constituents are always verbs and none of them can replace with other. Finally, as the most important idea in relation with the phrase is that they are usually constituents of sentences but they are also being constituents of other phrases.


Conclusions The study of morphology, syntax and semantic include the study of how words are

combined to make up the larger units, such as sentences. Like words, sentences are difficult to define rigidly and objectively. Yet we all have the intuitive knowledge of what a sentence is. As

an appreciation on this teacher needs to master the tacit and focal knowledge of the language in order to be a good presenter and guidance.


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