Negative sentence 1
Running head: NEGATIVE SENTENCE- ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE.
Constructing and Using Negation in
English and Vietnamese
Phan Trần Hoài Phương
University of Pedagogy
Negative sentence 2
In Oliver Cromwell's letter in the 1600s, dated July 5, 1644, to his brother-in-law,
Valentine Walton, informing him of the death of Walton's son at the battle of Marston Moor,
quoting the boy's last words: "A little after, he said one thing lay upon his spirit. I asked him
what it was. He told me it was that God had not suffered him to be no more the executioner
of his enemies."This particular letter of Cromwell's has often been reprinted, but with the
"not ... no" double negative amended to read "not ... any".
This is an example of using negation in English which causes many troubles to
Vietnamese students because Vietnamese people never says like that. Vietnamese can not
understand the implication of the English writer to use this structure.
We all know that negation is one of the most basic grammatical matter in English and
Vietnamese; we use it very often and naturally in our daily life. When a foreigner asks us to
explain the reason why we use this instead of that, sometimes, we can not give them a
fulfilled answer. Why? That is just because of the differences between two languages in
constructing and using negation.
In the first part of this paper, we will discuss these four types of English negative
sentence and make a comparison between English and Vietnamese to find out whether
Vietnamese has the same ways of forming negation.
The second part focuses on the use of negation in English, comparing with
Vietnamese, indicating the similarities and the differences which will conduct the teaching
English negation to Vietnamese students.
According to a Vietnamese linguist Le Quang Thiem, "In daily communication,
negative sentence is used to confirm the absence of an object, a phenomina or an event"
Negative sentence 3
(239). In particular, Tran Trong Kim,another writer gives us another definition of Vietnamese
one, he states that negative sentence is one which has the negative auxilary such as "không",
"chẳng", "chớ", "đừng", "chưa" placed before an adjective or a verb" (as cited in Le, 2004, p.
240). Actually, like other abstract things, no one can give the accurate definition that satisfies
the others but we all know that a negative sentence (or statement) states that something is not
true or incorrect.
Construction of English and Vietnamese negation
Based on the methods and means of constructing a negation, negative sentence in
English can be classified as four types:
1. Auxilary negation
2. Noun phrase negation
3. Adverb negation
4. Morphological negation
We will step by step analyze them with examples and make an inferrence of negation
English and Vietnamese have the same rule to form a negation in their...