An Investigation of the Problems Jordanian EFL Learners Encounter in Presupposition Triggered by Certain Factive Verbs

Hamzah Saleh Ghammaz


This study aimed at investigating the problems that Jordanian EFL learners encounter in presupposition triggered by certain factive verbs. Specifically, it sought to find out whether there is a relationship between the subjects’ proficiency level in English and their correct recognition of presupposition triggered by certain factive verbs. It also aims at identifying which factive verbs are much more difficult than others in terms of the presupposed meaning. The subjects of the study were 70 adult learners of English at the University of Jordan. They belong to two different proficiency levels: Intermediate and Advanced. A special test was prepared to elicit the data needed for investigation. The test required the subjects to circle the best choice that presupposes a given sentence. The results showed that the Advanced Group outperformed the Intermediate Group on all the target factive verbs, and the factive verb “ be aware of ” proved to be the most difficult one followed by “forget”. The importance of this study lies in that it invistigates the semantic behaviour of some verbs in English language what contributes to understanding the general semantic system of the language, and this is the main tast of linguists. The study recommended that further investigation should be made in the area of presupposition and factive verbs in order to pinpoint the sources of difficulty for learners. The results of those investigations can be used to improve EFL learning and teaching in Jordan.


Presupposition, entailment, factive verbs, lexical relations, semantics

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