Because of the significant and sensitive role of verb tenses in learning English, the current study examined the occurrence of the twelve verb tenses that native writers (NWs) utilized in their selected academic papers at the college level. In doing so, the study created a baseline of relative frequency of verb tense usage that may benefit further studies, especially those connected with the teaching grammar to English learners. The main linguistic items targeted for tabulation in this study were the 12 verb tenses, modals, perfect modals, and imperatives. These items were elicited from an original corpus of 31 research papers written by undergraduate students studying at UCF. The total size of this original corpus is 103,181 words, with the length of papers varying from 1,964 words to 6,676 words. In order to analyze the data and facilitate a more accurate counting process, the researchers used a code coloring method. The results revealed that the most frequently used tenses were present simple, past simple, modals, and present perfect, while future progressive, future perfect, and past and future perfect progressive were almost never used by NWs. These findings could contribute toward the development of the methodology of teaching verb tenses as well as help English learners to comprehend and master this important grammatical area. The pedagogical implication of these results is in improving the teaching of the verb tenses to English learners, as it accentuates the difference between which of the twelve verb tenses could be given more class time as well as those that could be given less attention.
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)
Alzuhairy, Uthman, "The Frequency of The Twelve Verb Tenses in Academic Papers Written by Native Speakers" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5282.