Prepositions are thoughts used to connect nouns or noun structures to additional structures in a sentence. They exist in both English and Vietnamese vocabulary systems. On the other hand, prepositions have different attributes and usage in each vocabulary. The utilization of prepositions may cause plenty of trouble for Vietnamese persons when learning English and vice versa. Consequently, this paper aims at analyzing English and Vietnamese prepositions in a contrastive view, especially in showing direction and location so that leaner’s can find it easier to find out them. This paper as well supplies some implications for coaching prepositions which may be useful for individuals who teaching English or Vietnamese. Through these implications, I am hoping they can help teachers understand how to help learners use prepositions correctly and appropriately.
Prepositions in English
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary, a preposition “is a expression or group of words and phrases employed before a noun or pronoun to show place, position, time or method”. Another definition is a preposition “may be defined as connecting expression exhibiting the relation of a noun or a noun substitute to some other text in the sentence (the squirrel in the tree; the preposition in shows the relationship between your squirrel and the tree.)” (“Prepositions: description and usage”, n.d). From these definitions, we are able to come to a bottom line about the function of a preposition which is it is used to connect nouns and noun structures with various other structures in a sentence. Prepositions that people often use in day-to-day life will be: with, at, by, to, in, for, from, of, on. It is estimated that these prepositions make up for ninety percent of preposition consumption.
The part following a preposition is called its object. The thing of a preposition can be a noun, a pronoun, a gerund or a noun clause. For instance, we have:
a noun: We offered a present to your secretaries.
a pronoun: We offered a present to them.
a gerund: We thought about giving a present to them.
a noun clause: We considered giving a present-day to whoever worked for all of us.
Prepositions tend to be in one-word form; even so, additionally, there are other prepositions with an increase of than one word. They are made up with several words. For example, we’ve on behalf of, in front of, in accordance with, consistent with, in relation to and so forth. Another form is called prepositional expression. Prepositional phrases are groups of words that start with a preposition and end with a noun or pronoun. Some phrases are being used commonly and in a variety of situations such as “acting as an adjective or an adverb, locating something with time and space, modifying a noun, or telling when or where or under what circumstances something occurred.” (“Prepositions: Locator in time and place”, n.d). Types of these prepositional phrases are unemployed, at any rate, by means of, personally, under orders, from now on and so forth. Besides, there are a few referred to as marginal prepositions which are verbal in forms, such as for example concerning, considering, incorporating, pending and more.
Prepositions are used with a whole lot of functions including time, location, manner, means, volume, purpose, and state or condition. Relating to to prepositions of time, there are several prepositions like at, on, in, from, since, for, during, to, till/until, after, afterwards, by.just before and so forth. For example, we’ve: at six o’clock, on Monday or in the evening. Another use of prepositions is showing location. Some belong to this category are in,at,on,next to,beside, behind,in front of,opposite,near,along with,under,above etc. For example, Jone lives at 55 Boretz Road in Durham, She lives in Durham or Mary can be sitting next if you ask me. Prepositions of activity include: from,to,in,into,out of,towards,on,onto,across,through,around,along,up. For example, he ran out of the room or Mary run towards the walls. Various other usages are listed below.
Means or agent:
by: He was strike by a ball.
from: His success results from careful planning .
in: He takes enjoyment in it.
on: They live on bread and water.
with: He chased the mongoose with a stay.
by: By carrying it out yourself
in: He kept in confusion.
like: He looks like a hero.
on: I swear it on my phrase of honor.
with: He ate it with a fork.
State or condition:
at: My friend reaches work.
by: They are by themselves
in: He’s in circumstances of confusion
on: He is on duty (scheduled to work).
for: I mistook you for someone else.
as: I discover her as a good person
. Volume or mesure:
for: We drove for twenty miles.
by: We bought them by the kilo
for: He bought it for an emergency.
She went to metropolis for sightseeing.
He loved her for her thoughtfulness.
(“Prepositions: definition and use”, n.d)
Like English, Vietnamese also offers a category of word which is comparable to prepositions. We may phone this category Vietnamese exact carbon copy of English preposition. To create it simple, some people prefer to use the name preposition. Nevertheless, the notion preposition in Vietnamese is usually a quite complicated concern because some linguists possess claimed that prepositions do not exist in Vietnamese. But, according to Tuc (2003), “although the distinction between prepositions and serial verbs in Vietnamese is not always clear-minimize, Vietnamese prepositions do are present” (p.69). In his book, he also gave various examples to prove his judgment. Moreover, nowadays, in lots of books of coaching Vietnamese for foreigners, the brand preposition can often be used. So, to be effortless, the brand Vietnamese preposition can be used for equivalent of English preposition in Vietnamese in this paper.
According to Tran (2007) there are two primary types of preposition in Vietnamese: prepositions of period and location. Furthermore, there are some other prepositions called miscellaneous kinds. Prepositions of time are vГ o (in, on, at), trong or suГЎВ»вЂt (during), trГ†В°ГЎВ»вЂєc (before), sau (after), kГЎВ»Ж’ tГЎВ»В« khi (since) and cho tГЎВ»вЂєi khi (until). In conditions of prepositions of area, there will be trГЄn (on, over, over), trong (in, inside), chung quanh (around), bГЄn phГЎВєВЈi (on the right of), cГЎВєВЎnh (subsequent to) etc. Finally, miscellaneous prepositions conclude cho (for), vГЎВ»вЂєi (with), vГЎВ»ВЃ (about), nhГЎВ»Вќ (because of), bГЎВ»Еёi (by) etc.
Here are a few examples about how precisely these prepositions are used in sentences. Their utilization in Vietnamese is similar to in English.
TГґi thГ†В°ГЎВ»Вќng dГЎВєВy vГ o sГЎu giГЎВ»Вќ sГЎng (I usually get up at six am)
Trong bГЎВ»ВЇa tiГЎВ»вЂЎc cГґ ГЎВєВҐy khГґng nГіi gГ¬ cГЎВєВЈ. (She said nothing during the party)
BГЎВєВЎn tГґi sГЎВ»вЂng ГЎВ»Её SГ i GГІn (My friend lives in Saigon)
ViГЎВ»вЂЎn bГЎВєВЈo tГ ng nГЎВєВ±m bГЄn phГЎВєВЈi tiГЎВ»вЂЎm sГЎch cГ…В© (The museum is located on the right of the utilized bookstore)
LГЎВєВЎi Г„вЂГўy ngГЎВ methodology sample»вЂњi vГЎВ»вЂєi tГґi just! (Come and sit down with me)
NhГЎВ»вЂє mua hoa cho tГґi nhГ©.
(Be sure you buy flowers for me, OK?)
Г„ВђГЎВ»вЂi vГЎВ»вЂєi tГґi just, chuyГЎВ»вЂЎn Г„вЂГі khГґng quan trГЎВ»ВЌng (That issue doesn’t matter to me)
The notion preposition is quite an interesting issue. There can be so many things to say if we do a comparison of prepositions in English with those in Vietnamese in a sizable scale. Nevertheless, within this paper, I simply make a contrast between English and Vietnamese prepositions in two elements: prepositions of motion with directional verbs and locative prepositions because they often cause challenges for Vietnamese persons when learning English and vice versa.
The 1st difference between English and Vietnamese prepositions is related to directional verbs. In English, directional verbs like come, go and arrive cannot take direct objects. This means they need to have got a preposition (or a prepositional expression), bare particle or deictic verbial (“bare noun expression adverb”). Since prepositions happen to be being talked about in this paper, the good examples with bare particle and deictic verbial are not mentioned. Here are the examples of directional verbs with prepositions
Sally has truly gone to NY.
Catrin should come to Sheffield next month.
They arrived at the airport.
(“Vietnamese online grammar”,n.d)
In Vietnamese, in comparison, you don’t have to make use of prepositions with these directional verbs because these verbs may take direct objects independently. We have these examples:
TuГЎВєn trГ†В°ГЎВ»вЂєc cГґ Г„вЂi LuГўn Г„ВђГґn (Last week she visited London)
Bao giГЎВ»Вќ cГґ ГЎВєВҐy Г„вЂГЎВ»вЂ№nh sang ViГЎВ»вЂЎt Nam? (When does she plan to come to Vietnam?)
MГЎy.bay xuГЎВ»вЂng phi-trГЎВ»В«Г†ВЎng LiГЄn-khang. (The plane landed at Lien khang airport terminal)
(“Vietnamese online grammar”,n.d)
Actually, in Vietnamese, there is no preposition which is similar to preposition “to” in English. The verb Г„вЂГЎВєВїn (reach, reach) is utilized instead as the next examples:
TГґi khГґng cГі thГЎВ»Вќi giГЎВ»Вќ Г„вЂi (Г„вЂГЎВєВїn) bГ†В°u Г„вЂiГЎВ»вЂЎn
I don’t have time to go to the post-office
In English, space prepositions condition the positioning of an object without watching the position of the speakers. For example, English people sometimes say: “the plane is “in” the sky, the child is playing “in” your kitchen, cars run “in” the road”. (McCarty, PГ©rez, Torres-Guzman, To, & Watahomigie, 2004, p. 150). On the contrary, in Vietnamese, people have a tendency to consider the positioning of the speakers. They state: mГЎy bay ГЎВ»Её trГЄn trГЎВ»Вќi (the plane is above her or him), Г„вЂГЎВ»В©a trГЎВєВ» Г„вЂang chГ†ВЎi trong nhГ bГЎВєВїp (the kid is inside the kitchen), nhГЎВ»ВЇng chiГЎВєВїc xe hГ†ВЎi chГЎВєВЎy ngoГ i actually Г„вЂГ†В°ГЎВ»Вќng (cars are external). Therefore, preposition in can be translated three ways into Vietnamese with three several meanings: trГЄn, trong, ngoГ i.
In addition, Tran (2010) mentioned several dissimilarities between English and Vietnamese prepositions in terms of semantics and pragmatics. First, when describing the bigger location, they take the contact meaning between trajector (Г„вЂГЎВ»вЂi tГ†В°ГЎВ»ВЈng Г„вЂГЎВ»вЂ№nh vГЎВ»вЂ№) and landmark (Г„вЂГЎВ»вЂi tГ†В°ГЎВ»ВЈng qui chiГЎВєВїu) into consideration.For instance, they distinguish the meaning of on, above and over. Meanwhile, Vietnamese people almost do not focus on this aspect. They merely use the only phrase trГЄn. Second, when discussing the relation between above (trГЄn) and under (dГ†В°ГЎВ»вЂєi), English persons are always alert to whether or not trajector (Г„вЂГЎВ»вЂi tГ†В°ГЎВ»ВЈng Г„вЂГЎВ»вЂ№nh vГЎВ»вЂ№) is in the vertical reference (vГ№ng quy chiГЎВєВїu thГЎВєВіng Г„вЂГЎВ»В©ng) of the landmark’s (Г„вЂГЎВ»вЂi just tГ†В°ГЎВ»ВЈng qui chiГЎВєВїu) area. That is the reason why they include these thoughts: above / over / on and under / below / beneath. On the other hand, Vietnamese persons only devide the area into two component “above/under” (trГЄn/dГ†В°ГЎВ»вЂєi).To indicate the center position, English has in the middle of / between (for 2 items) and among (for 3 objects and more) while Vietnamese use the word giГЎВ»ВЇa for each one of these cases. Examples of this kind are summarized in the desk below.
out, outside, out of
on, upon,above,along with, over,atop
under, underneath, beneath, below
before,in front of, ahead of, preceding
behind, following, behind (br), in the back of (ame)
by, near, up coming to, near, beside, alongside, to the best suited/left
bГЄn, cГЎВєВЎnh, sГЎt, gГЎВєn, kГЎВ»ВЃ, bГЄn phГЎВєВЈi actually, bГЄn trГЎi
within, among, between, in the center of, in the midst of
After having contrasted English and Vietnamese prepositions in two elements as above, I’d like to mention the implications for instructing English at high school in our country.
Since learners tend to translate everything to their mother tongue, teachers should be very careful when teaching English, specifically prepositions. They have to realize that there surely is no precise one-to-one translation from English to Vietnamese and vice versa. Discussing the dialogue “prepositions with directional verbs”, we know that when translating a sentence from English to Vietnamese or Vietnamese to English, in some cases we may put or omit the prepositions. For example, we may not work with preposition “to” with directional verbs in Vietnamese. Additionally, as talked about in the section Locative prepositions above, we can realize a Vietnamese preposition may have got some prepositions which are equivalent to them in English. Accordingly, teachers should ask learners to cherish this issue and find out when to utilize the most appropriate preposition. In sum, to make certain the exact preposition can be used, learners should observe a preposition can be used in a certain context. They shouldn’t translate immediately using prepositions in their language since prepositions can be utilised differently in various language.
Moreover, the difference between Vietnamese and English prepositions is principally because of semantics and the notion of reference (quan niГЎВ»вЂЎm quy chiГЎВєВїu), so that it is essential that teachers have enough understanding of these fields to clarify to students completely. Culture difference and the behavior of employing prepositions in each language are also things that teachers should bear in mind. If teachers are extremely careful about these things, learners may reduce making mistakes when working with prepositions.
In conclusion, preposition can be an interesting category in linguistics. There are so a lot of things to go over about preposition. However, sometimes learners may feel baffled about how to use prepositions appropriately, specially when Vietnamese prepositions have something different from English prepositions. That is the reason why learners sometimes make mistakes when coping with prepositions. A contrastive analysis in this area is necessary and important since it reveals difference between English and Vietnamese prepositions in relation to direction and location. Directional and locative prepositions are the types that often causes difficulty to students more than other styles. After having contrasted them, we are able to look at that English prepositions will be more technical than those in Vietnamese. Moreover, the research also suggest some implications for instructing prepositions in Vietnamese high school, so I hope that this research paper is a piece of useful referent material for many who are thinking about teaching a language aspect, particularly preposition.