A Corpus-based Study of the Infinitive Errors Made by Chinese College Students

Lixin XIA


The paper discusses the infinitive errors made by Chinese college students. From the CLEC, all infinitive errors tagged as [vp5] are collected, and then the general distribution of the errors among 4 groups of college students is shown. Moreover, these errors are classified into 12 categories according to the characteristics of the usage. After manual classification, we can see the main distribution features of these errors clearly. The most common infinitive errors fall into the category of “doing?do”, i.e. misuses of a gerund where a base verb should be used. It is surprised to find that the category of “do?did/done” ranks the second in the number of errors in the CLEC in which case Chinese learners use the structure of “to + the past tense or past participle of a verb” in their written works. Finally, possible causes of these errors are given and ways to avoid them are suggested.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v5n6p154

Copyright (c) 2012 Lixin XIA

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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