Future, corpus, time, grammar, frequency, esl, efl, tesol, english, sitcom, analysis, verb, gonna, will, expressions
Far from being simply will, a survey of English grammar textbooks revealed that a multitude of expressions exists in the English language to express the future time. These expressions include, but are not limited to, will, be going to, the simple present tense, modals, the future perfect tense, and the present progressive tense. With so many choices and with a lack of direct relationship between tense and time, a language learner may certainly have difficulties in choosing which expression to use when attempting to produce a future utterance. A corpus-based approach to analyzing real language has been demonstrated to be quite useful for the field of TESOL (Biber, Conrad, & Reppen, 1996; Biber & Conrad, 2001; Biber & Reppen, 2002) and numerous studies on the frequency of lexical and grammatical items of language have revealed salient features that otherwise would have remained unknown. Adding to this body of knowledge, the current study was an analysis of future expressions in spoken conversational English using the television sitcom Friends as a corpus. A careful analysis of 349,106 words from transcripts of 117 randomly selected episodes revealed that the most common expression of the future in the English language is the contracted form of be going to – gonna. The results of the study also revealed that only six future expressions emerged in this spoken conversational English from this corpus: will, be going to, the simple present tense, the present progressive tense, modals, and be about to.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Harris, Brandon, "Expressing Future Time In Spoken Conversational English: A Corpus-based Analysis Of The Sitcom Friends" (2013). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2917.