A Comparative Corpus-based Study on the Use of Phrasal Verbs by Turkish EFL Learners and L1 English Speakers

Nebahat Badem, Tuğba Şimşek


This quantitative study aims to reveal the most frequently used phrasal verbs (PVs) by L1 speakers of English and Turkish EFL learners in written and spoken registers. With the purpose of spotting any overuse and/or underuse by Turkish EFL learners, it compares their usage to L1 English speakers’ through four corpora – two learner corpora and two native corpora. Additionally, the study investigates the most frequent adverbial verb particles (AVPs) and lexical verbs (LVs) in phrasal constructions comparing learners and native speakers. The results show that although LV types differ to a large extent, Turkish EFL learners display a similar profile to L1 English speakers in terms of types of PVs and AVPs. However, these verbs and particles are significantly underused, especially in spoken register – a result that contradicts previous research. Specifically, within the scope of this study, regardless of the register Turkish learners tend to favour few AVPs out of the mostly used ten while leaving out the others. The findings might be of use to EFL teachers regarding raising their students’ awareness on the contextual use of PVs in different registers with a combination of both implicit and explicit teaching in mind. In addition, learners can benefit from the ready-made PV lists to enhance their prospective usage in meaningful contexts.


Phrasal Verbs, Learner Corpora, Native Corpora, Turkish EFL Learners, L1 English Speakers, Spoken Register, Written Register

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.alls.v.12n.6.p.55


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