Saudi EFL Learners’ Use of Alternative Forms to the English Past Tense: An Aspectual Analysis

Ahmed Yahya Almakrob


This study explores the alternative forms to simple past produced by Saudi learners of English across different proficiency levels, with a particular focus on the lexical aspect. Based on the analysis of 62 Saudi EFL learners’ responses to a cloze test, findings showed that learners’ alternative patterns were of six types: base and present, progressive, aux+ present/past, perfect, blank and other forms. The main competing patterns to simple past were the base and present, progressive and aux + present/past forms. The lexical aspect appeared to have a partial influence on the production of the alternative patterns in the past context, whereby progressive was highly used with activity, which is consistent with the Aspect Hypothesis, but it was also overused with states, which is not in line with the Aspect Hypothesis. Evidence of the learners’ L1 influence was displayed in their inaccurate use of progressive with states, overuse of base/present forms and their low frequency of the perfect.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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