Prepositions are words used to link nouns or noun constructions to other constructions in a sentence. They exist in both English and Vietnamese linguistic communication systems. However, prepositions have different features and use in each linguistic communication. The usage of prepositions may do tonss of problem for Vietnamese people when larning English and frailty versa. Therefore, this paper aims at analysing English and Vietnamese prepositions in a incompatible position, particularly in demoing way and location so that leaner ‘s can happen it easier to larn them. This paper besides supplies some deductions for learning prepositions which can be utile for those who learning English or Vietnamese. Through these deductions, I hope that they can assist instructors cognize how to assist pupils utilize prepositions right and suitably.

Literature Review

English And Vietnamese Prepositions Contrastive Analysis... TOPICS SPECIFICALLY FOR YOU

Prepositions in English


Harmonizing to Oxford Advanced Learner ‘s lexicon, a preposition “ is a word or group of words used before a noun or pronoun to demo topographic point, place, clip or method ” . Another definition is that a preposition “ may be defined as linking word demoing the relation of a noun or a noun replacement to some other words in the sentence ( the squirrel in the tree ; the preposition in shows the relationship between the squirrel and the tree. ) ” ( “ Prepositions: definition and use ” , n.d ) . From these definitions, we can come to a decision about the map of a preposition which is it is used to link nouns and noun constructions with other constructions in a sentence. Prepositions that we frequently use in mundane life are: with, at, by, to, in, for, from, of, on. It is estimated that these prepositions make up for 90 per centum of preposition use.

The portion following a preposition is called its object. The object of a preposition can be a noun, a pronoun, a gerund or a noun clause. For illustration, we have:

a noun: We gave a present to ourA secretaries.

aA pronoun: We gave a present toA them.

aA gerund: We thought aboutA givingA a present to them.

aA noun clause: We thought approximately giving a presentA to whoever worked for us.

( Lougheed, n.d )


Prepositions are frequently in one-word signifier ; nevertheless, there are besides other prepositions with more than one word. They are made up with two or three words. For illustration, we have on behalf of, in forepart of, in conformity with, in line with, in relation to and so on. Another signifier is called prepositional phrase. Prepositional phrases are groups of words that begin with a preposition and terminal with a noun or pronoun. Some phrases are used normally and in a figure of state of affairss such as “ moving as an adjectiveA or anA adverb, turn uping something in clip and infinite, modifying a noun, or stating when or where or under what conditions something happened. ” ( “ Prepositions: Locator in clip and topographic point ” , n.d ) . Examples of these prepositional phrases are out of work, at any rate, by agencies of, in individual, under orders, from now on and so forth. Besides, there are some called fringy prepositions which are verbal in signifiers, such as concerning, sing, including, pending and more.


Prepositions are used with a batch of maps including clip, location, mode, means, measure, intent, and province or status. Sing to prepositions of clip, there are some prepositions like at, on, in, from, since, for, during, to, till/until, after, afterwards, by.before and so forth. For illustration, we have: at six o’clock, on Monday or in the eventide. Another use of prepositions is to demo location. Some belong to this class are in, at, on, following to, beside, behind, in forepart of, opposite, close, on top of, under, above and so on. For illustration, JoneA lives at 55 Boretz Road in Durham, She lives in Durham or Mary is sitting following to me. Prepositions of motion include: from, to, at, into, out of, towards, on, onto, across, through, around, along, up. For case, he ran out of the room or Mary run towards the walls. Other uses are listed below.

Meanss or agent:

by: He was hit by a ball.

from: His success consequences from careful planning.

in: He takes pleasance in it.

on: They live on staff of life and H2O.

with: He chased the mongoose with a stick.


by: By making it yourself

in: He left in confusion.

like: He looks like a hero.

on: I swear it on my word of award.

with: He ate it with a fork.

State or status:

at: My friend is at work.

by: They are by themselves

in: He is in a province of confusion

on: He is on responsibility ( scheduled to work ) .

for: I mistook you for person else.

as: I see her as a good individual

. Measure or mesure:

for: We drove for 20 stat mis.

by: We bought them by the kg


for: He bought it for an exigency.

She went to the metropolis for sightseeing.

He loved her for her contemplation.

( “ Prepositions: definition and use ” , n.d )

Vietnamese Prepositions


Like English, Vietnamese besides has a class of word which is similar to prepositions. We may name this class Vietnamese equivalent of English preposition. To do it simple, some people prefer to utilize the name preposition. Nevertheless, the impression preposition in Vietnamese is a rather complicated issue because some linguists have claimed that prepositions do non be in Vietnamese. Yet, harmonizing to Tuc ( 2003 ) , “ although the differentiation between prepositions and consecutive verbs in Vietnamese is non ever clear-cut, Vietnamese prepositions do be ” ( p.69 ) . In his book, he besides gave many illustrations to turn out his sentiment. Furthermore, presents, in many books of learning Vietnamese for aliens, the name preposition is frequently used. Therefore, to be convenient, the name Vietnamese preposition is used for equivalent of English preposition in Vietnamese in this paper.

Types of prepositions in Vietnamese

Harmonizing to Tran ( 2007 ) there are two chief types of preposition in Vietnamese: prepositions of clip and location. In add-on, there are some other prepositions called assorted 1s. Prepositions of clip are vao ( in, on, at ) , trong or sua»‘t ( during ) , tr?°a»›c ( before ) , sau ( after ) , ka»? ta»« chi ( since ) and cho ta»›i chi ( until ) . In footings of prepositions of location, there are tren ( on, above, over ) , trong ( in, indoors ) , chung quanh ( around ) , ben pha??i ( on the right of ) , ca??nh ( following to ) and so on. Finally, assorted prepositions conclude cho ( for ) , va»›i ( with ) , va»? ( about ) , nha»? ( thanks to ) , ba»Yi ( by ) and so forth.

Here are some illustrations about how these prepositions are used in sentences. Their use in Vietnamese is similar to in English.


Toi th?°a»?ng da?­y vao sau gia»? sang ( I normally get up at six am )

Trong ba»?a tia»‡c co a??y khong noi gi ca?? . ( She said nil during the party )


Ba??n toi sa»‘ng a»Y Sai Gon ( My friend lives in Saigon )

Via»‡n ba??o tang na?±m ben pha??i tia»‡m sach cA© ( The museum is located on the right of the used bookshop )


La??i A‘ay nga»“i va»›i toi! ( Come and sit with me )

Nha»› mua hoa cho toi nhe . ( Remember to purchase flowers for me, OK? )

A?a»‘i va»›i toi, chuya»‡n A‘o khong quan tra»?ng ( That issue does n’t count to me )

( Tran, 2007 )

Contrast between English and Vietnamese prepositions

The impression preposition is rather an interesting issue. There may be so many things to state if we compare prepositions in English with those in Vietnamese in a big graduated table. However, within this paper, I merely make a contrast between English and Vietnamese prepositions in two facets: prepositions of motion with directional verbs and locative prepositions because they frequently cause jobs for Vietnamese people when larning English and frailty versa.

Prepositions of motion with directional verbs

The first difference between English and Vietnamese prepositions is related to directional verbs. In English, directional verbs like semen, travel and get can non take direct objects. This means they must hold a preposition ( or a prepositional phrase ) , au naturel atom or deictic verbial ( “ bare noun phrase adverb ” ) . Since prepositions are being discussed in this paper, the illustrations with au naturel atom and deictic verbial are non mentioned. Here are the illustrations of directional verbs with prepositions

Sally has goneA toA New York.

Catrin will comeA toA Sheffield following month.

They arrived at the airdrome.

( “ Vietnamese online grammar ” , n.d )

In Vietnamese, by contrast, there is no demand to utilize prepositions with these directional verbs because these verbs can take direct objects by themselves. We have these illustrations:

Tua?§n tr?°a»›c co A‘i Luan A?on ( Last hebdomad she went to London )

Bao gia»? co a??y A‘a»‹nh sang Via»‡t Nam? ( When does she mean to come to Vietnam? )

May.bay xua»‘ng phi-tra»«??ng Lien-khang. ( The plane landed at Lien khang airdrome )

( “ Vietnamese online grammar ” , n.d )

Actually, in Vietnamese, there is no preposition which is similar to preposition “ to ” in English. The verb A‘a??n ( range, arrive at ) is used alternatively as the undermentioned illustrations:

Toi khong co tha»?i gia»? A‘i ( A‘a??n ) b?°u A‘ia»‡n

I do n’t hold clip to travel to the post-office

Locative prepositions

In English, infinite prepositions province the location of an object without paying attending to the place of the talkers. For illustration, English people frequently say: “ the plane is “ in ” the sky, the kid is playing “ in ” the kitchen, autos run “ in ” the street ” . ( McCarty, Perez, Torres-Guzman, A To, & A ; Watahomigie, 2004, p. 150 ) . On the contrary, in Vietnamese, people tend to see the place of the talkers. They say: may bay a»Y tren tra»?i ( the plane is above him or her ) , A‘a»©a tra?» A‘ang ch??i trong nha ba??p ( the kid is inside the kitchen ) , nha»?ng chia??c xe h??i cha??y ngoai A‘?°a»?ng ( autos are outside ) . Therefore, preposition in can be translated three ways into Vietnamese with three different significances: tren, trong, ngoai.

In add-on, Tran ( 2010 ) mentioned several differences between English and Vietnamese prepositions in footings of semantics and pragmatics. First, when depicting the higher place, they take the contact significance between trajector ( A‘a»‘i t?°a»?ng A‘a»‹nh va»‹ ) and landmark ( A‘a»‘i t?°a»?ng qui chia??u ) into consideration.For illustration, they distinguish the significance of on, above and over. Meanwhile, Vietnamese people about do non pay attending to this facet. They merely use the lone word tren. Second, when speaking about the relation between above ( tren ) and under ( d?°a»›i ) , English people are ever cognizant of whether or non trajector ( A‘a»‘i t?°a»?ng A‘a»‹nh va»‹ ) is in the perpendicular mention ( vung quy chia??u tha??ng A‘a»©ng ) of the landmark ‘s ( A‘a»‘i t?°a»?ng qui chia??u ) country. That is the ground why they have these words: above / over / on and under / below / beneath. In contrast, Vietnamese people merely devide the infinite into two portion “ above/under ” ( tren/d?°a»›i ) .To indicate the in-between place, English has in the center of / between ( for 2 objects ) and among ( for 3 objects and more ) while Vietnamese use the word gia»?a for all these instances. Examples of this sort are summarized in the tabular array below.


English prepositions

Vietnamese prepositions


in, inside



out, outdoors, out of



on, upon, above, on top of, over, atop



under, underneath, beneath, below



before, in forepart of, in front of, predating



behind, following, at the dorsum of ( Br ) , in the dorsum of ( ame )



by, near, following to, near to, beside, aboard, to the right/left

ben, ca??nh, sat, ga?§n, ka»? , ben pha??i, ben trai


within, among, between, in the center of, in the thick of


( Tran, 2010 )

Deductions for learning

After holding contrasted English and Vietnamese prepositions in two facets as above, I would wish to advert the deductions for learning English at high school in our state.

Since scholars tend to interpret everything into their female parent lingua, instructors should be really careful when learning English, particularly prepositions. They need to recognize that there is no exact one-to-one interlingual rendition from English to Vietnamese and frailty versa. Mentioning to the treatment “ prepositions with directional verbs ” , we know that when interpreting a sentence from English to Vietnamese or Vietnamese to English, sometimes we may add or exclude the prepositions. For case, we may non utilize preposition “ to ” with directional verbs in Vietnamese. Furthermore, as discussed in the subdivision Locative prepositions above, we can recognize that a Vietnamese preposition may hold several prepositions which are tantamount to them in English. Therefore, instructors should inquire scholars to take notice of this issue and cognize when to utilize the most appropriate preposition. In amount, to do certain the exact preposition is used, scholars should detect how a preposition is used in a certain context. They should non interpret straight utilizing prepositions in their linguistic communication since prepositions can be used otherwise in different linguistic communication.

Furthermore, the difference between Vietnamese and English prepositions is chiefly due to semantics and the impression of mention ( quan nia»‡m quy chia??u ) , so it is critical that instructors have adequate cognition of these Fieldss to explicate to pupils wholly. Culture difference and the wont of utilizing prepositions in each linguistic communication are besides the things that instructors should bear in head. If instructors are really careful about these things, pupils may cut down doing errors when utilizing prepositions.


In decision, preposition is an interesting class in linguistics. There are so many things to discourse about preposition. However, sometimes scholars may experience confused about how to utilize prepositions right, particularly when Vietnamese prepositions have something different from English prepositions. That is the ground why scholars frequently make errors when covering with prepositions. A incompatible analysis in this country is necessary and of import because it shows difference between English and Vietnamese prepositions in relation to way and location. Directional and locative prepositions are the 1s that frequently causes problem to pupils more than other types. After holding contrasted them, we can see that English prepositions are more complex than those in Vietnamese. Furthermore, the research besides suggest some deductions for learning prepositions in Vietnamese high school, so I hope that this research paper will be a piece of utile referent stuff for those who are interested in learning a linguistic communication facet, peculiarly preposition.

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