Subscribe to our Newsletter and get informed about new publication regulary and special discounts for subscribers!

ILSHS > Volume 69 > Use of Single- vs. Multi-Word Verbs in the Written...
< Back to Volume

Use of Single- vs. Multi-Word Verbs in the Written Discourse of Iranian EFL Learners

Full Text PDF


Age is being evermore complained as an impediment to language competency, either given as a pretext or raised as a real challenge, taken for granted by foreign language learners. This study seeks to prod about the verb choices among EFL learners. In so doing, the two completely different radiuses of EFL learners, a group of university students in distance education, with part-time class participation and another from a private language institute in Qom province were recruited and compared on their choices of verbs in respect of single- and multi-word forms put into the written tasks. The results of the rating of the students’ assignments showed that adult Iranian EFL learners’ written language was deprived of phrasal verbs, even in informal writing assigned the use of informal language were scarcely captured. The study corroborates the former studies for the avoidance and incompetency of EFL learners in the use of phrasal verbs.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 69)
H. Abdulhay "Use of Single- vs. Multi-Word Verbs in the Written Discourse of Iranian EFL Learners", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 69, pp. 85-92, 2016
Online since:
May 2016

[1] Abdul Rahman, Z. A. & Abid, R. Z, Rarity or non-existence of phrasal verbs in the written discourse of Omani student-teachers of English. SAGE Open, 4 (4) (2014) 1-10. DOI: 10. 1177/2158244014556988.

DOI: 10.1177/2158244014556988

[2] Brooke, Julian, Tong Wang, & Graeme Hirst, Inducing Lexicons of Formality from Corpora. In Proceedings of Workshop on Methods for the Automatic Acquisition of Language Resources and their Evaluation Methods, 7th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference, pages 605–616. Valetta, Malta. 17-22 May, (2010).

[3] Condon, N, How cognitive linguistic motivations influence the learning of phrasal verbs, In F. Boers & S. Lindstomberg (Eds. ). Cognitive Linguistics Approaches to Teaching Vovabulary and Phraseology, (2008) 133-158. Berin, KG: Mouton de Grruyter.

DOI: 10.1515/9783110199161.2.133

[4] Dempsey, K. B., P. M. McCarthy, & D. S. McNamara, Using phrasal verbs as an index to distinguish text genres. In D. Wilson and G. Sutcliffe, eds., Proceedings of the twentieth International Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference, pages 217–222. Menlo Park, California: The AAAI Press, (2007).

[5] El-Dakhs, Dina Abdel Salam, The lexical knowledge and avoidance of phrasal verbs: The case of Egyptian learners of English. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 5 (1) (2016) 132-144.

DOI: 10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.1p.132

[6] Fadi, Abu Sheikha & Inkpen, Diana, Automatic classification of documents by formality. In Interntional Conference on Natural Language Processing and Knowledge Engineering (NLP-KE), (2010) 1-5. IEEE.

DOI: 10.1109/nlpke.2010.5587767

[7] Flege, J. E., Birdsong, D., Bialystok, E., Mack, M., Sung, H., & Tsukada, K, Degree of foreign accent in English sentences produced by Korean children and adults. Journal of Phonetics, 34 (2) (2006) 153-175.

DOI: 10.1016/j.wocn.2005.05.001

[8] Garcı́a Mayo, M. P., & Garcı́a Lecumberri, M. L. (Eds. ), Age and the acquisition of English as a foreign language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd, (2003).

[9] Heylighen, Francis & Jean-Marc. Dewaele, Formality of language: definition and measurement. Internal Report, Center Leo Apostel, Free University of Brussels, (1999).

[10] Houshyar, Sara and Talebinezhad, Mohammadreza, Study on avoidance behavior among Persian EFL learners: Phrasal verbs in focus. Greener Journal of Educational Research, 3 (6) (2013) 238-248.

DOI: 10.15580/gjer.2013.6.061713680

[11] Karlgren, Jussi, Textual stylistic variation: Choices, genres and individuals. In S. Argamon, K. Burns, and S. Dubnov, eds., The Structure of Style, (2010) 129–142. Springer Verlag.

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-12337-5_6

[12] MacKay, I., Flege, J., & Imai, S., Evaluating the effects of chronological age and sentence duration on degree of perceived foreign accent. Applied Psycholinguistics, 27(2006), 157-183.

DOI: 10.1017/s0142716406060231

[13] Morillas, M. D. P. E., An overview of the age factor and its pedagogical implications for vocabulary acquisition. Retrieved in 2012, from 4 Thttp: /digibug. ugr. es/bitstream4T acquisition. pdf.

[14] Nikolov, Marianne & Mihaljevic Djigunovic, Jelena, Recent research on age, second language acquisition, and early foreign language learning, ARAL, 26 (2006) 234-260.

DOI: 10.1017/s0267190506000122

[15] Nikolov, Marianne and Mihaljevic Djigunovic, Jelena, All shades of every color: An overview of early teaching and learning of foreign languages. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31(2011) 95-119.

DOI: 10.1017/s0267190511000183

[16] Park, David, Identifying & using formal & informal vocabulary. IDP Education, the University of Cambridge and the British Council, the Post Publishing Public Co. Ltd, (2007).

[17] Riguel, Emilie, Phrasal Verbs: Usage and Acquisition. Athens Journal of Philology, 1 (2) (2014) 111-125.

[18] Sinclair, John, The search for units of meaning. TEXTUS, 9(1) (1996), 75-106.

[19] Siyanova, Anna & Schmitt, Norbert, Native and nonnative use of multi-word vs. one-word verbs. IRAL 45 (2007) 119–139.

DOI: 10.1515/iral.2007.005

[20] Uchida, T, Use of multiword verbs by non-advanced EFL learners: Focusing on common verb + particle combinations (NBER Working Paper No. 8). Tokyo, Japan: Global COE program, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, 2012. Retrieved from http: /cblle. tufs. ac. jp/assets/files/publications/working_papers_08/section/303-323. pdf.

Show More Hide