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Another major difficulty experienced by ESL Chinese students are the topic-comment structure of sentences. It could be noted that the value of the subject is not as important as it is with Chinese, it is often the case that Chinese sentences has a topic but seldom has a subject. As such ESL Chinese students often find themselves using the Topic-Comment structure rather than the Subject-Verb-Object/Complement structure of sentences. Examples are the following: My father he always get my mother’s money. Hong Kong in the year 2047, it will have a lots of things become better. The most important event in my thirteen years life.
It was in my eight years old. The use of relative pronouns has also been a source of problems as the Chinese language does not contain relative pronouns (Chan, 2004, p. 41). For example: She is my mother which is the most important person in my life. I can get new friend from church whom are nice to me. They brought her to playground, swimming pool and various places where is interesting. (p. 41) Relative clauses in the Chinese language are also often found to have its pronouns repeated. Example: She is the teacher that she taught me grammar last year. There is one thing which I can remember it very clearly.
Did you remember the person you met him yesterday? (p. 41) On the other hand, some sentences are not found to have repetitive pronouns, but rather lack of it. For instance: You are the first person came to Hong Kong. There is only one people look after my whole life. One obvious symptom can be detected is insomnia. (p. 42). Some ESL Chinese students tend to remove pronouns that often result in a serial verb construction. A serial verb construction is two or more overlapping verb phrases or clauses which doe not signify any relationship between them (Li & Thompson, 1981, 594, as cited from Chan 2004, p. 42).
Missing verbs are also a problem in reduced relative clauses. Examples are: I have a large family which including grandmother, grandfather, uncle, my parents and also my younger sister. After enjoying our delicious food which cooked by my mum, we went to school together. The negative consequence that brought by its growth was. . . (p. 42). of Chinese Students The study of Fei-Yu (2005) was done using a corpus linguistics based error analysis (EA) among 50 student essays which is made of 88,000 words.
These essays for studied for formal errors in which a total of 5,232 errors were identified. The errors of the participants were categorized in broad categories in which the top ten sources of error seen were: … determiners (23. 7%), nouns (15. 3%), verbs (7. 6%), grammatical prepositions (6. 9%), lexical misconceptions (5. 8%), punctuation (5. 1%), sentence parts (4. 1%), tenses and aspects (3. 8%), modals (3. 5%) and lexical-grammatical prepositions and syntactic complementation of a word (3. 3%) (Fei-Yu, 2005, p. 27).