Language Transfer Issues Chart
|Grammar Point||Type of Transfer Error in English||Cause of Transfer or Transfer Difficulty|
Avoidance of 's to describe possession.
The children of my sister instead of my sister's children
|The use of a preposition reflects the more common structure in the primary language.|
Omission of articles in certain contexts such as to identify profession.
He is teacher
|The article is not used in Spanish in this context.|
Use of pronouns with inappropriate gender.
He is my sister
Use of inappropriate gender, particularly with neuter nouns.
The house is big. She is beautiful.
|In Spanish, subject pronouns are dropped in everyday speech and the verb conveys third-person agreement. Inanimate nouns have feminine and masculine gender in the primary language.|
Omission of the pronoun one.
I saw two nice cars, and I like the small.
|Adjectives can be used on their own primary language, whereas English often requires a noun or one.|
The avoidance of -er and -est endings.
I am more old than my brother
|Comparative and superlative are usually formed with separate words in the primary language, the equivalent of more and more in English.|
Confusion of present form and simple past of regular verbs.
I give it to him yesterday
|Speakers of the L1 have difficulty recognizing that a vowel shift in the middle of the verb, is sufficient to produce a change of tense in irregular verbs.|
|In negative statements||
Omission of helping verbs in negative statements.
I no understand.
|Helping verbs are not used in negative statements in the primary language.|
Use of past continuous for recurring actions in the past.
When I was young, I was studying a lot.
|In the L1, the past continuous form can be used in the contexts in which English uses the expressions used to the simple past.|
Confusion of related phrasal verbs.
I look after the word in the dictionary instead of I look up the word in the dictionary.
|Phrasal verbs do not exist in the primary language. There is often confusion over their meaning in English.|
|To have versus to be||
Use of to have instead of to be.
I have hunger
I have right
|Some Spanish constructions use have where English uses a form of to be.|