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Declaration

I - Ngo Thi Thu Hien, hereby state that, this thesis is the result of my own research and the substance of the thesis has not, wholly or in part, been submitted for any degrees to another universities or institutions

Signature:……………………………
Date : August, 2007

Abstract

This paper focuses on English and Vietnamese negative questions in term of structures and word using. The author wishes only to concentrate on four types of negative questions: negative Yes/ No question, negative Tag- question, negative Wh- question, negative alternative question. The thesis is divided into three parts, the main content is presented in part two. The similarities and differences between English and Vietnamese negative questions have been analysed and pointed out. With an ambition to help teachers and learners have a clear understanding about the English and Vietnamese negative questions, the author also drawn out a survey questionnaire to find out the common mistakes made by Vietnamese students. And then the author has managed to suggest some ways to correct common those mistakes. Suggested exercises are also offered to help learners to practice and avoid committing mistakes. The thesis mainly focuses on the structures of four types of negative questions in English and Vietnamese, the negative words that are used in negative questions are also considered. However, the pragmatic and semantic features have been initially investigated; a deeper approach to the pragmatic and semantic feature is suggested for further study.

Acknowledgements

Writing a dissertation is not just a matter of getting the work done efficiently and with good input-output ratio, for me it has been much about finding my place in the matrix of different research traditions and people doing that research. I feel very fortunate to have come across and made friends with a large number of kind, bright and encouraging people during my research. This work would never have been possible without the encouragement and support from my supervisor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Do. I have been extremely lucky to have him as my mentor and guide in writing this thesis. I am also indebted to all my lecturers at University for their precious knowledge, useful lectures in linguistics, which lay the foundation for this study. Lastly, I would like to thank the most important people in my life, my family and friends. I am forever grateful for my parents, who have given me their unconditional support and provided me with the feeling that I am free and capable to pursue any goal in life that I set my mind.

Table of Contents
|Declaration…………………………………………………………………………………. |i |
|Abstract............................................................................................................................|ii |
|...... | |
|Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………… |iii |
|Contents……………………………………………………………………………………. |iv |
|List of tables……………………………………………………………………………….. |vi |
|Part 1: Introduction | |
|Rationale .................................................................................................................... |1 |
|Aims of the study........................................................................................................ |2 |
|Scope of the study…………………………………………………………………... |2 |
|Methods of the study………………………………………………………………... |2 |
|Design of the study…………………………………………………………………. |2 |
|Part 2: Development | |
|Chapter 1: Theoretical Background | |
|1. Negation in English and Vietnamese in brief………………………………………... |4 |
|1.1 Definition of negation…………………………………………………………... |4 |
|1.2 Scope of negation ………………………………………………………………. |4 |
|1.3 Focus of negation ………………………………………………………………. |6 |
|1.3.1 End – focus………………………………………………………………… |6 |
|1.3.2 Contrastive focus………………………………………………………….. |6 |
|1.4. Relationship between Scope and Focus of negation…………………………… |7 |
|2. Negative questions in English……………………………………………………….. |7 |
|2.1 What is a negative question?................................................................................. |7 |
|2.2 The semantic and pragmatic approach to English negative questions…………. |8 |
|Chapter 2: A contrastive analysis of the English and Vietnamese negative questions | |
|1. Negative forms and non- assertive forms in English………………………………… |11 |
|1.1 Negative forms…………………………………………………………………… |11 |
|1.2 Words with negative meaning…………………………………………………... |12 |
|1.3 Non – assertive forms…………………………………………………………... |12 |
|2. Negative orientation………………………………………………………………….. |13 |
|3. English negative questions……………………………………………………………. |14 |
|3.1 Negative Yes/ No questions…………………………………………………….. |14 |
|3.2 Negative Tag- questions………………………………………………………… |15 |
|3.3 Negative Wh- questions……………………………………………………….... |16 |
|3.4 Negative alternative questions………………………………………………….. |16 |
|4. A contrastive analysis of negative questions in English and Vietnamese equivalents. |17 |
|4.1 Introduction………………………………………………………………………. |17 |
|4.2 Structures..……………………………………………………………………….. |18 |
|4.2.1 Negative structures in Yes/ No questions………………………………….. |18 |
|4.2.2 Negative structures in Tag- questions……………………………………… |22 |
|4.2.3 Negative structures in Wh- questions……………………………………… |23 |
|4.2.4 Negative structures in alternative questions………………………………... |27 |
|4.3 Subclause ………………………………………………………………………... |29 |
|4.3.1 Use of “not” in English negative question and negative words in Vietnamese equivalents………………………………………………………… | |
|Chapter 3: Common errors made by Hanoi commercial and tourism college (HCTC) students in using English negative questions and |29 |
|suggested solutions | |
|Introduction……………………………………………………………………........ | |
|Research background and Methodology…………………………………………… |32 |
|2.1 The subjects……………………………………………………………………… |32 |
|2.2 Instrument………………………………………………………………............. |32 |
|2.3 Procedures……………………………………………………………………….. |33 |
|2.4 Findings………………………………………………………………………….. |33 |
|Some suggestions to correct common errors………………………………………. |33 |
|Part 3. Conclusion |35 |
|Summary of the findings……………………………………………………………. | |
|Implication for teaching and learning………………………………………………. |39 |
|Suggestion for further studies……………………………………………………… |39 |
|Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………. |40 |
|Appendix 1: Questionnaire..................................................................................................... |41 |
| |I |

List of tables

Table 1: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative Yes/ No question

Table 2: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative Tag- question.

Table 3: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative Wh- question

Table 4: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative alternative question

Part 1: Introduction 1. Rationale English is not the most widely spoken language in the world in terms of the number of native speakers--there are many more Chinese speakers than native English speakers--but Chinese is spoken little outside of Chinese communities, so English is the most widespread language in the world. It is difficult to estimate exactly how many English speakers there are, but according to one estimate there are more than 350,000,000 native English speakers and more than 400,000,000 speakers of English as a second language (a language used in everyday life, even though it is not the native language) or foreign language (a language studied but not used much in everyday life). However, even these numbers do not really indicate how important English is as a world language, because less than fifteen percent of the world population uses English. The importance of English is not just in how many people speak it but in what it is used for. English is the major language of news and information in the world. It is the language of business and government even in some countries where it is a minority language. It is the language of maritime communication and international air traffic control, and it is used even for internal air traffic control in countries where it is not a native language. In communicative process in English as well as in other languages, questions play an important role in our daily life. We are not able to keep communicating going on well without asking questions. We ask in order to exchange information, ideas, feeling and knowledge. On the other hand, we sometimes ask questions not for the above purposes but for confirmation, refusal irony or reply avoidance. It is undeniable that questions can not be missed in communication. There are a lot of types of question in English but in this paper I would like to devote all my interest in English negative questions in order to get more understanding of this type of questions and we can be able to use it flexibly and fluently. The contrastive analysis of English and Vietnamese negative questions also reveals the similarities and differences in both languages. From my experience and knowledge, I will go deep into this matter in a hope of assisting to help people who are interested in the subject matter. 2. Aims of the study The study is mainly aimed at: ✓ Examining how structures and negative words of English and Vietnamese negative questions are built and used in details ✓ Making a comparison of English negative questions with Vietnamese equivalents ✓ Exposing some common mistakes made by Vietnamese students and presenting some suggested solutions ✓ Heightening learner’s awareness in teaching and learning English and Vietnamese negative questions. 3. Scope of the study The study “English negative questions in English and Vietnamese - a contrastive analysis” focuses on English negative questions in English and Vietnamese equivalents within the frame of structures and using negative words. There are four types of questions will be focused: Yes-No question, tag question, wh-question, alternative question. Especially, only negative questions that use negator “not” will be discussed, other will be suggested for further study. Then the author also conducted two questionnaires to find out the mistakes made by Vietnamese students, and from these mistakes, some suggestions to improve are provided. 4. Methods of the study The study is conducted by carefully collecting materials from various sources to have full –blown information of English and Vietnamese negative questions. Moreover, I have consulted with my supervisor, and obtained much suggestion, instructions and encouragement from him. And lastly, the contrastive analysis is made intra- and interlingually: English negative questions with Vietnamese counterparts, contrastive analysis involves two stages: description of the structures and the use of negative words in both languages. 5. Design of the study This study is divided into three main parts: ✓ Part 1 is the Introduction of the study. It includes the rationale for choosing the topic, the aims, the scope, the methods and design of the study. ✓ Part 2 contains three chapters, in which Chapter 1 provides readers some theoretical background on negation, negative questions in English and Vietnamese in brief. Chapter 2 is also the main part of the study, provides the contrastive analysis of English and Vietnamese negative questions. Chapter 3 presents a small research of the author to find out some common mistakes made by Vietnamese students in using English negative questions and suggested solutions. ✓ Part 3 is the Conclusion of the study. It also gives out implication for teaching and learning Negative questions and some suggestions for further studies.

Part 2: Development
Chapter 1: Theoretical background This chapter focuses on some theoretical background on negation, negative questions in English and Vietnamese in brief. As negation is a complex part, many grammarians have studied on it. They also gave out ideas about negation and forms of it and I have consulted some grammar books before carrying out my study. 1. Negation in English and Vietnamese in brief. 1. Definition of negation. According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, published in 1994, negation is the act of stating that something does not exist or is untrue, and the Vietnamese Dictionary, published in 1998 by the Centre of dictionary and Da Nang Publishing House says that negation is the act of rejecting the existence, the necessity of something; is the opposition of affirmation. There also have been many definitions of negation made by many scholars so far: Frank, Marcela (undated; 205) states that negation shows disagreement, denial, absence of somebody or something, or an opposite idea or quality. Forming a negative clause means putting “not” directly after operator. Semantically speaking, Frank has pointed out the importance of negation in establishing “a counter–part” of affirmation. Grammatically speaking, the insertion of “not” in predicate of a sentence is a signal of negation. My research mainly bases on English Grammar book “A University Grammar of English” (R, Quirk.1973). According to him, the negation of a simple sentence is accomplished by inserting not, n’t between the operator and the predication. Although the definition of negation varies from scholar to scholar, from dictionary to dictionary, we can draw some main points as follows: Negation is a part of men’s cognition activity and communication process. It also a basic category of thinking, of formal logic. It is the opposition of the affirmative category. 2. Scope of negation The term scope of negation is introduced to refer to the stretch of language over which the negative has its effect. The relation between negative words and non-assertive words that they govern will happen in scope of negation (that is part of language that the negative meaning operates through). The scope of negation formally extents from the negative words to the end of the clause or to the beginning of a final adjunct. The subject and any adjuncts occur before a final predication often lies outside it. Thus, the operator can be within or outside the scope. Below are some examples to illustrate: E.g.: I completely did not agree with you. (1) Versus I did not completely agree with you. (2)
In (1), the scope of negation stretches from “not” to “you”, subject (I), adjunct (completely), operator (did) are excluded, the predication takes full negative effect 1) = It is complete that I did not agree with you or = that I did not agree with you is complete
Sentence (2) I did not completely agree with you, subject (I) and operator (did) are put outside while adjunct is inside, negative meaning extends from negative word to the end of the clause. (2)= I agree with you, but not always.
The scope of negation also extends to the beginning of a final adjunct. E.g.: He did not come back in the afternoon (3) Versus: He did not come back in the afternoon (4)
Two examples above, final adjunct as adverbial maybe within and outside scope: (3)= It is not true that he came back in the afternoon (4)= In the afternoon, he did not come back.
The adverbial is not always essential to the structure of a sentence, thus, it can move to the initial or final position of the sentence. Final adjunct in the negative sentence is to tell us the time that action happens.
Similarly, to take another example: E.g. 1: He doesn’t listen to you on purpose = That he listens to you on purpose is not true (implies, sometimes he does this) E.g. 2: He doesn’t listen to you on purpose = On purpose, he doesn’t listen to you (He never does this)
The negative clause that has adjunct is ambiguous to interpret. Because adjuncts are optional elements and have no fixed position that listeners understand in their own ways.
The scope of negation only works with non-assertive forms. In the negative with assertive forms, the scope does not include them. It is because assertive-forms do not exert negative effect. E.g.: He did not collect some stamps ≈ He collected some stamps He did not collect any stamps ≈ He collected no stamps
A negative with assertive-form implies another affirmative or is regarded as “partial negative”.
Apart from adverbials, the ambiguity is also made by an operator in a negative, here, operator is not a normal auxiliary expressing grammatical function, but a modal auxiliary. With a negative modal auxiliary, verb phrase falls into a situation that the negation belongs to main verb or auxiliary, the interpretation of the negative depends on the negative meaning of modal auxiliaries themselves. 3. Focus of negation We need to identify not only the scope, but the focus of negation. Focus of negation gives a stress on particular part of a negative clause, this not only indicates the contrast of meaning implicit in the negative but also implies the rest of the clause in the positive. The focus of negation is to place effect on single word, which belongs to either open-class item in clause. The grammarians divided focus of negation in English into two types: 1. End-focus Quirk (1974; 407) defines that end focus is the chief prominence on the last- open items (verbs, adjectives, nouns, adverbs) and proper noun. The end focus is used to withdraw hearer’s attention to information that speaker wants to convey; when a negative clause has end-focus, only last item is negated the rest is positive. E.g.: She wasn’t at home ≈ (She was at somewhere, not at home) They haven’t been to Paris ≈ (They have gone to somewhere, but not Paris) 2. Contrastive-focus Special or contrastive focus may be placed at earlier points and falls on any of the non-final elements of the clause or final item which belongs to closed-system items (prepositions, pronouns, etc...). Using contrastive focus, only one item is negated and the rest of clause is understood in positive sense. E.g.: `Peter did not send a postcard to Mary on Christmas ≈ (Someone sent a postcard to Mary on Christmas, not Peter) Peter did not send a `Postcard to Mary on Christmas ≈ (Peter sent something to Mary on Christmas, not postcard)
The contrastive focus points out which element is negated in a clause to contrast it with something or somebody already mentioned. Contrastive focus falls on a final item, but not end-focus. E.g.: She is not waiting for `me ≈ (She is waiting for someone, not me) His father was not `out ≈ (He was in)
Operator also gets a contrastive focus which places contrastive emphasis on tense. E.g.: She `didn’t study English two years ago (Now, she is learning English)
Operator is used in elliptical replies to concentrate attention on new information by avoiding repetition of given information. E.g.: Have you phoned your parents? No I ` haven’t ≈ (I haven’t phoned my parents) Did you go out last night? No, I `didn’t ≈ (I didn’t go out last night)
The participation of end focus and a contrastive focus makes the focus of negation not as ambiguous as the scope of negations they also have a certain contribution to finding appropriate account for ambiguity in the scope of negation. 4. The relationship between scope and focus of negation The scope and focus are interrelated in such as a way that the scope must include the focus. In an independent clause the scope of negation covers all the negative effect the extent of the scope is identified by the position of the focus. 2. Negative questions in English 2.1 What is a negative question? Negative questions differ in meaning from normal questions only in that the speaker expresses an implied assumption or hope for which he is requesting affirmation or denial. The structure calls for the speaker to state his/her assumption and then ask the question "do you" if his assumption is negative or "don't you" if his assumption is positive. E.g.: You (do) swim, don't you?
The speaker of this question is assuming and / or hoping that the other person does swim and requesting affirmation. The “do” in parentheses is optional. Conversely, one may also say this: E.g.: You don’t swim, do you?
In this version, the speaker suspects and /or hopes that the other person does not swim and is requesting affirmation. Thirdly, there’s also this version: E.g.: Don’t you swim?
This sentence also implies suspicion that the person at whom it is directed does not swim, but the connotation of doubt is not nearly as strong. But those are closed negative questions, it requires a yes/no answer and closed negative interrogatives are used when the answer is tentatively assumed by the speaker. However, there also exist open interrogatives, negative or positive, can have any answer so they don't generally show attitude or assumption on the part of the speaker 2.2 The semantic and pragmatic approach to English negative questions Ladd (1981) presents a first look at the semantics and pragmatics of negative questions. The first is a systematic ambiguity in negative questions, such as: E.g.1: Isn’t there a vegetarian restaurant around here? E.g.2: Didn’t he even vote for Reagan?
The ambiguity in these is remarkably hard to keep hold of, and the following elaboration may be helpful. E.g.3: (Situation: Kathleen and Jeff have just come from Chicago on the Greyhouse bus to visit Bob in Ithaca) Bob: You guys must be starving. You want to get something to eat? Kathleen: Yeah, isn’t there a vegetarian restaurant around here- Moosewood, or something like that Bob: Gee, you’ve heard of Moosewood all the way out in Chicago, huh? Ok, let’s go there.
Kathleen uses the negative question Isn’t there a vegetarian restaurant around here? to ask for confirmation of something she believes to be true. Compare this to the following case: E.g.4: (Situation: Bob is visiting Kathleen and Jeff in Chicago while attending a meeting) Bob: I’d like to take you guys out to dinner while I’m here, we’d have time to go somewhere around here before the evening session tonight, don’t you think? Kathleen: I guess, but there’s not really any place to go in Hyde Park. Bob: Oh, really, isn’t there a vegetarian restaurant around here? Kathleen: No, about all we can get is hamburgers and souvlaki.
Bob uses the negative question here for a very different reason: he had previously assumed the truth of the proposition there is a vegetarian restaurant around here, but has now inferred from what Kathleen says that this proposition is actually false, and is using the negative questions to check this new inference.
The ambiguity in (E.g.2) is between ‘left-wing’ and ‘right-wing’ readings as seen in (E.g.5) and (E.g.6). E.g.5: (Situation: A and B are former left-wing activists discussing the recent activities of a colleague.) A: Did you hear John’s decided to go to business school? B: Yeah, I can’t believe how much he’s changed these days, didn’t he even vote for Reagan? A: That’s what somebody told me. E.g.6: (Situation: A and B are staunch Republicans) A: What’s Dick been up to these days, I haven’t seen him at the Club for ages. B: Haven’t you heard? He says he’s disillusioned with two-party politics, he’s joined Common Cause, gave a lot of money to the Citizens’ Party… A: Didn’t he even vote for Reagan? B: Not as far as I know.
The situation in (E.g.5) is like that in (E.g.3), the negative question is being used to confirm something the speaker believes to be true, namely that John voted for Reagan. In (E.g.6), on the other hand, as in (E.g.4), the negative question is used to check on a new unexpected inference, namely that Dick didn’t vote for Reagan.
At first glance it might appear that the different implicatures and appropriateness conditions seen in (E.g.3) and (E.g.6) are purely pragmatic, and that apparent ambiguity results from different pragmatic inferences drawn by the hearer on the basis of knowledge about the speaker’s politics, eating habits, etc.

Chapter 2: A contrastive analysis of the English and Vietnamese negative questions 1. Negative forms and non-assertive forms in English 1. Negative forms
In English, besides inserting not, there are other words which have a negative meaning such as no+phrase; pronoun: no one, nobody, nothing… E.g.: There’s no money in my pocket ≈ (There is not any money in my pocket)
Here, we have no as negative determiner and it is one of the negative items in English with different function. ✓ No as a pronoun: E.g.: I saw no one in the room ≈ (I didn’t see anyone in the room). ✓ No as a determiner: (happens both singular and plural). Eg1: There are no students in the class ≈ (There are not any students in the class). Eg2: There is no money in my pocket ≈ (There isn’t any money in my pocket). ✓ We also use none and neither (of) to replace for pronouns and determiners: Eg1: None of them was absent. Eg2: We wanted to meet them, but there were none arrived. Eg3: Neither of them are dentists. Eg4: Neither class is opened.
Furthermore, negative words are various. Except for words above, there are some negative items such as: nowhere (adverb of place); never (adverb of time); no longer/ no more; neither….nor. Eg1: I have never seen such a tall man. Eg2: She is no longer a good student. Eg3: Jack neither arrived nor phoned me.
In addition to the negative words that gave out in the first part, there are some words, which exists the negative in meaning and behaviour such as: seldom; rarely; barely; scarcely, although they do not appear negative in form, but they bare negative meaning. Like “never”, an adverb of frequency, when they are put at initial position, the subject-operator inversion is required for the emphasis. Eg1: I have never seen such a tall man → Never have I seen such a tall man. Eg2: He hardly travels anymore → Hardly has he travel anymore. 1.2 Words with negative meaning In English, some verbs have negative meaning and make up negative sentences without using negative words, which is used to distinguish other verbs having negative meaning by adding negative prefixes, e.g.: dis, in, un, etc… These verbs are perceived as containing “negator” in it, including, “fail”, “stop”, “prevent”, “abstain from”, “avoid”, “deny”, “hesitate”, etc… Eg1: I have failed to sign a long-term contract. ≈ (We haven’t signed a long term contract) Eg2: The bad weather prevented us from going out. ≈ (We couldn’t go out because of the bad weather)
Apart form it, some verbs imply negative meaning because they are antonyms of the positive verbs. E.g.: forget=not remember; refuse=not accept; prohibit=not allow; oppose= not support
Like negative verb, there are some prepositions related to position and direction, expressing negative meaning. They include: away from, off, out of…..Preposition phrases have implied negative meaning which requires non-assertive forms including: without, against, instead of, beyond, etc…There are also adjectives that have negative meaning like: hard, unaware, difficult…
English negation is various and copious, it integrates into every aspect of language- negative items, negative pronouns, determiners or implied-negative of notional words. The structure of negative clause is made by many negative elements other negator “not”. 1.3 Non – assertive forms According to Quirk (1973; 184), there are numerous items that do not naturally occur outside negative, interrogative, and conditional clauses: Eg1: We haven’t seen any soldiers. Eg2: We have seen any soldiers.
Non-assertive forms are items having no negative meaning but mostly used in negative, not in affirmative. These forms include “any” series opposite to “some” and other items such as determiners, adverbs, or pronouns…These forms usually go with negator “not” or other phrase structures containing negative meaning, which distinguishes real negation using negative items “no” and “never”. English negation is diversified by using both negative items and non-assertive forms because there are consequently two negative equivalents of each positive sentence. E.g.: We have some lunch a. We have not any lunch b. We have no lunch
As example above, it is noted that there are always two negative sentences equivalent to affirmative, one employs non-assertive form and the other uses negative item. Both of them are negative and close paraphrases. The second sentence looks like an affirmative since it has no “not” or “n’t” following operator, but they have a negative element; the determiner “no”. The first sentence is obviously a negative sentence, but its effect is less strongly negative than the second. It seems that an ordinary negative sentence is weaker than the one in which the negative making is part of another word or phrase. 2. Negative orientation As we know, a question may be presented in a form which is referred to a negative orientation in questions. Here I want to refer the negative orientation in question. Negative orientation is found in questions which contain a negative form of one kind or another: E.g.: Can’t you give us any hope of success? ≈ (It is really true that you can’t…?)
Negative orientation is complicated, however, by an element of surprise or disbelief which adds implication of positive meaning. There is a combination of “positive and a negative attitude, which may distinguish as the “old assumption” (positive) and “new assumption” (negative). The “old assumption” tends to be identified with speaker’s hopes and wishes, so that, the negative oriented often express annoyance of disappointment. E.g.: Hasn’t he come here yet? ≈ (I’d hope he would have come here by now, but it seems that he hasn’t)
Another type of negative question combines not with the assertive items that are the formal signals of positive orientation. E.g.: Didn’t someone give you letters yesterday?
The question above is similar to tag- question ≈ Someone gave you letters yesterday, didn’t he? (I assumed that someone gave you letter, am I right?)
And such questions are also similar to statements showing disbelief: ≈ Surely someone gave you letters yesterday. 3. English negative questions Negative questions are used in many different situations. One of the most common is when you think the other person will answer in agreement with you. For example, if someone asked me, "Isn't it hot today?" I would understand that the person asking thinks it is hot and also expects that I think it is hot as well and will agree. In contrast, if the person asked me, "Is it hot today?" I would understand that the person actually does not know if it is hot or not (maybe they haven't been outside yet that day) and is asking me to provide that information.
Another function is to check information. Maybe you see someone at a party who looks really familiar and you feel like talking to them. You think they were in one of your classes last semester. You can ask, "Weren't you in Professor X's history class last semester?" or "Were you in Professor X's history class last semester?" The meaning is the same, but which one you use depends on how sure you are. If you are very sure, use the negative (you expect them to answer yes, similar to the example above). If you are less sure use the regular form. 1. Negative Yes/No questions
According to Alexander (1992; 255), negative Yes/No question can appear in a post subject position in its full form not , or in pre-subject position in its clinic-contracted form n’t. In other word, it has either contracted forms or uncontracted forms (negative full form and negative short form). According to Quirk et al (1980) the negator full form is rather formal while the short form is usually preferred in informal spoken English.
|Uncontracted form |Contracted form |
|Did John not eat? |Didn’t John not eat? |
|Do you not buy that book? |Don’t you buy that book? |

Uncontracted forms are normally used in formal questions when we require special emphasis to express anger, surprise, etc. And in rhetorical questions, not requiring an answer. E.g1: Can you not stop asking me for money? E.g2: Will you not apologize for me?
Contracted forms are used when speaker is expecting the answer “Yes”, it’s also used to express surprise, disbelief, annoyance or sarcasm. E.g1: Don’t you spend your holiday in France? E.g2: Can’t you shut the door behind you?
Also they are used for invitation and exclamation: E.g1: Won’t you come in for a few minutes? E.g2: Isn’t it a lovely day? 3.2 Negative Tag- questions The tag question consists of operator plus pronoun, with or without a negative particle, the choice and tense of the operator are determined by the verb phrase in the subordinate clause: E.g1: The football was exciting, wasn’t it? E.g2: They did not work all night, did they?
As the examples illustrate, if the subordinate clause is positive, the tag is negative, and vice versa. Both patterns are used to ask the hearer to agree that the statement in the main clause is true.
The nuclear tone of the tag occurs on the operator and is either a rise or fall. Four main types of tag question emerge from the observance of these rules:
| Type I |Positive +Negative |(Rising tone) |
| |E.g.: You can dance, `Can’t you? | |
| Type II |Negative + Positive |(Rising tone) |
| |E.g.: You can’t dance, `Can you? | |
| Type III |Positive +Negative |(Falling tone) |
| |E.g.: You can `Dance, can’t you? | |
| Type IV |Negative + Positive |(Falling tone) |
| |E.g.: You can’t `Dance, can you? | |

However, negative tag questions have been discussed. An affirmative statement is often followed by a negative tag question, in order to ask for confirmation of the affirmative statement. In the following examples, the negative tag questions are underlined. Contractions are usually used in negative tag questions. E.g1: You are coming with me, aren't you? E.g2: You like coffee, don't you? 3.3 Negative Wh- questions Wh-questions are another common kind of question. They are also called information questions because the answer to the question requires more than just a Yes- or- No answer. Most Wh-questions begin with words that start with the letters “Wh”, and they usually end with falling intonation. Negative Wh-questions can be formed by putting Wh-element before a negative operator “not” followed by a subject. Or like negative Yes/No questions negator “not” can be put in a post-subject position in its full form or pre-subject position in its short form. E.g1: What do you not like to eat? E.g2: What don’t you like to eat?
This kind of question is not merely a means of requesting information, it has much more sense than other questions when going with “why”: E.g1: Why don’t they give her a lift? (Surprise) E.g2: Why didn’t you tell me about that problem? (Complaint)
Negative question with “why” contains much sense to express speaker’s attitude. Meanwhile, “who”, “what”, “which”….etc. are only used for requesting information. E.g3: Who didn’t attend in the meeting yesterday? E.g4: Which colour didn’t our daughter like? 3.4 Negative alternative questions An alternative question is a question that presents two or more possible answers and presupposes that only one is true. In form, alternative questions are similar to yes/no interrogatives, in starting with the finite operator and not containing a question word. Alternative questions offer two or more options for responses. Alternative questions, like Yes/No questions, ask on the whole idea expressed by the clauses as options. A positive Yes/No question can be converted into an alternative question by adding or not or a matching of a negative clause: E.g.1: Are you coming or aren’t you coming? E.g.2: Are you coming or not?
The first form is not common. The example above might be used if the speaker was impatient because the addressee was hesitating too long. Even so, the form that has undergone conjunction reduction would be more likely: → Are you coming or aren’t you?
However, sometimes alternative questions may be concentrated on part of the whole clause. E.g1: Did John drink coffee or tea? a. “Is it the case that John drank any of these two things, coffee or tea?” b. “Which of these two things did John drink: coffee or tea?”
When we turn to negative questions, we often add “not” after subject E.g2: Did John not drink coffee or tea? ≈(Didn’t John drink coffee or tea?) →John did not drink coffee. →John did not drink tea. E.g.3: Which car wouldn’t you like, the black one or the white one? →you wouldn’t like the black car →you wouldn’t like the white car 4. A contrastive analysis of negative questions in English and Vietnamese equivalents 1. Introduction What distinguishes a negative clause from a positive clause is the presence or absence of a negative marker. Negative can be defined as a state in which a negative marker is present, whereas positive can be said to be a state of having no negative marker. Huddleston (1984) identifies two types of negation: clausal and subclausal. Clausal negation, sometimes called sentence negation, produces a clause which is both syntactically and semantically negative, as in "She isn't happy". In this sentence, negation is marked by "n't", one of the two most common markers in English, the other being "not". Subclause negation, by contrast, is often called word negation, since it is negation within the limit of a word or phrase. Within the scope of this study, the writer only wants to focus on the analysis of structures (sentence negation) of four types English negative questions (Yes/No questions, tag- questions, wh- question and alternative questions), other types of questions will be ignored. We also would like to give the comparison of the use of “not” (Subclause negation) in English negative question and negative words in Vietnamese equivalents. 4.2 Structures 4.2.1 Negative structure in Yes/No questions As mentioned above we can also state Yes/No questions in the negative by using subject operator “not”. And they have two forms: negative full form or negative short form. In order to form a negative question, the auxiliary is placed before the subject, and the word not is placed after the subject. However, when contractions are used, the contracted form of not follows immediately after the auxiliary. Questions in Vietnamese are usually formed by adding the negators: “không”, “chưa”, “chẳng” or “chả” which are normally place after the subject and before the predicate in combination with “ à/ ư/ sao/ hả/ hử/ chứ/ gì/ hay sao/chớ/ chứ gì/ được sao/ được ư/ phải không/ đấy chứ” which occur in final position. Sometimes “chẳng phải/ không phải/ chả phải/phải chăng/ chẳng phải là / không phải là / chả phải là” in presubject position is used in combination with “à/ sao/ hay sao/ là gì/ đó sao” in final position. “Chẳng lẽ (nào)/(có) lẽ nào”/ có đúng là in presubject position can be used in combination with negator “không/ chẳng/ chưa/ chả” before the predicate.
|E.g.1: Didn’t you come there? |Bạn chẳng đến đó là gì? |
|E.g.2: Hasn’t she left? |Cô ấy chưa đi à? |
|E.g.3: Have I not asked you again and again to be here on time? |Chả phải là tôi đã nhiều lần đề nghị anh đến đây đúng giờ hay sao? |

It should be noted that there is no universally accepted contraction for am not. In spoken English, am I not? is often contracted to aren't I?. However, although the expression aren't I? is considered acceptable in informal English, it is not considered to be grammatically correct in formal English. In formal English, no contraction should be used for am I not.
In several negative Yes/ No questions, the negative particles and the non assertive form can combine to produce a negative form (any, anything, anyone, ever, etc.) it can be replaced by a structure with a nuclear negator (no, nothing, no one, none, never, etc.) in which the predicator remains positive in form (without not) and non-assertive words are replaced by nuclear negator in the same positions. This form of negative questions is rendered into Vietnamese in the same way as the form with not plus non-assertive words.
|E.g.1: Haven’t you ever been to HCM city? |Cậu chưa bao giờ tới thành phố HCM sao? |
|= Have you never been to HCM city? | |
|E.g.2: Didn’t anybody attend the meeting? |Không /Chẳng có ai tham dự buổi họp cả hay sao? |
|= Did nobody attend the meeting? | |

Yes/ No questions expressed by interrogative structures can be oriented according to the kind of answer the speaker expects and are said to have neutral, positive or negative orientation. Negative Yes/No interrogative without non-assertive or assertive forms can be used with a negative orientation, he or she assumes that the answer also negative
|E.g1: Aren’t you going to study tonight? | Tối nay anh không học chứ gì/ sao? |
|(speaker assumes the answer is no – the listener is not going to | |
|study tonight) | |
|E.g.2: Won’t he teach her how to drive? |Anh sẽ không dạy cô ấy lái xe chứ? |
|(speaker assumes the answer is no- he won’t teach her how to drive) | |

Negative Yes/No interrogative without non-assertive or assertive forms can also be used with a positive orientation, when the speaker is expecting or hoping for the answer “Yes”
|E.g.: Don’t you remember that girl we met in New York? |Anh không nhớ cô gái mà chúng ta gặp ở New York sao/ à ? |

The functions of English negative Yes/No questions have been discussed above. Sometimes we use negative questions with “be” and “do” for emphasis, especially with descriptions. These kinds of questions are “exclamatory questions” with these, the speaker expects agreement instead of a negative answer
|E.g.1: Wasn’t that a lovely play? |Vở kịch ấy mà không hay ư/ sao? |
|(speaker expects the listener to agree- Yes, it was a lovely play) |(which means :Đó là một vở kịch thật hay! |
| |or: Vở kịch hay đến thế còn gì!) |
|E.g2: Doesn’t the bribe look beautiful? |Cô dâu trông vậy mà không xinh ư? |
|(speaker expects the listener to agree- Yes, the bribe looks |(which means: Cô dâu trông xinh nhỉ/ quá! |
|beautiful) |or: Cô dâu xinh quá còn gì nữa! |

Negative questions can express feelings surprised and suggestions lobbying, criticizing others, admirers or invitation.
|E.g.1: Haven’t you done your homework? (the deadline is close) |Mày vẫn chưa làm bài tập về nhà à/ hay sao? | |
|(You have not done your homework? The deadline is approaching!) |(Tao cũng đến lạy mày!) | |
| | |(Surprised) |
|E.g.2: Don’t you think we should try again? (We may not win this |Cậu không nghĩ là chúng ta nên thử lại à/ sao? |(Recommendation) |
|time) |(Sao cậu không nghĩ là chúng ta nên thử lại nhỉ?) | |
|(You don’t think we should try one more time? Perhaps this time we |Anh không giúp tôi sao?=Anh hãy giúp tôi nhé | |
|will win.) | | |
|E.g.3. Won’t you help me? (=Please help me) | | |
|E.g.4: Wouldn’t it be better to find out what has happened first? |Liệu tìm ra chuyện gì xảy ra trước tiên có tốt hơn không? | |
|(First identify what happened is not a good point?) | | |
| | |(Lobbying) |
|E.g.5: Can’t you see that your work is below standard? |Cậu không thấy là công việc của cậu dưới mức yêu cầu à? | |
|(Do you not know that your work substandard) | | |
| | |(Criticism) |
|E.g.6: Isn’t this a wonderful concert? |Đây là buổi hòa nhạc tuyệt vời đấy chứ? |(Amazing) |
|(This concert is wonderful) | | |
|E.g.7: Won’t you come in for a few minutes? |Anh sẽ vào trong một lát chứ? | (Invitation) |
| |Anh không vào được một chút hay sao? (Thôi vào đi!Tôi thực| |
| |sự muốn anh vào) | |

According to Quirk (1980) negative orientation is complicated, this negative orientation is a combining of a positive and a negative attitude, which may be distinguished as old assumption (positive) and new assumption (negative). Because the old assumption tends to be identified with the speaker’s hopes or wishes, negatively orientated questions often express disappointment or annoyance.
|E.g.: Can’t you answer the questions? |Mày (thực sự) không trả lời những câu hỏi đó được sao/ ư? |
|(I’d have thought you’d be able to, but apparently you can’t) | |

Negative Yes/ No questions with assertive forms are used with a positive orientation:
|E.g.1: Didn’t someone call last night? |Tối qua không có ai gọi đến ư? (Tôi nghĩ là có) |
|E.g.2: Hasn’t the boat left already? |Thuyền rời bến rồi à/ ư ? |

Negative Yes/No questions with non assertive forms or nuclear negators are often used with negative orientation:
|E.g: Hasn’t the boat left yet? |Thuyền vẫn chưa rời bến ư? |

Table 1: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative Yes/ No question
|English structure |Vietnamese equivalents |
| |S + “không”/ “chưa”/ “chẳng”/ “chả” + …..+ à/ ư/ sao/ hả/ hử/ chứ/ |
|Auxiliary + S + not + …. ? (uncontracted form) |gì/ hay sao/chớ/ chứ gì/ được sao/ được ư/ phải không/ đấy chứ ? |
|Auxiliary + n’t + S + C …...? (contracted form) | |
| |Chẳng phải/ không phải/ chả phải/phải chăng/ chẳng phải là / không |
| |phải là / chả phải là + S +…+ à/ sao/ hay sao/ là gì/ đó sao? |
| |Chẳng lẽ (nào)/(có) lẽ nào/ có đúng là + S+ “không”/ “chưa”/ “chẳng”/|
| |“chả” +…..+ à/ ư/ sao/ hả/ hử/ chứ/ gì/ hay sao/chớ/ được sao/ được |
| |ư/ đấy chứ ? |

4.2.2 Negative structures in Tag- questions An affirmative tag questions is formed by a negative statement which is often followed by an affirmative tag question, in order to ask for confirmation of the negative statement, or in order to ask for more information. On the contrary, negative Negative tag questions are formed by an affirmative statement which is often followed by a negative tag question, in order to ask for confirmation of the affirmative statement. In the following examples, the tag questions are underlined. Contractions are usually used in negative tag questions. For example:

|Affirmative statement |Affirmative statement with tag question |
| I am awake. | I am awake, am I not? |
| You are awake. | You are awake, aren't you? |
| She is awake. | She is awake, isn't she? |
| We are awake. | We are awake, aren't we? |
| They are awake. | They are awake, aren't they? |

These examples illustrate how the subjects and verbs of the preceding statements are repeated in tag questions. For instance, in the first example, the subject I and the verb am is repeated in the tag question. In the second example, the subject you and the verb are are repeated in the tag question. In spoken English, the expression aren't I? is often used as a tag question. However, this is not considered to be grammatically correct in formal, written English. In Vietnamese, tag questions are used to confirm speaker’s belief, sometimes, the fixed expression can be substituted by “(có) đúng không”, “(có) phải không”, “không phải”, “không đúng” combining with particles like à/ cơ à/ hả/ nhỉ/ đấy hả/ đấy nhỉ/ chứ/ ư/ vậy sao.
For the Simple Present and the Simple Past of the verb to be, tag questions are formed using the verb itself. For instance, in the following examples, the verbs is and were are used in negative tag questions.
|E.g.1: She is very beautiful, isn't she? |Cô ấy đẹp, phải không? |
|E.g.2: They were ready, weren't they? |Họ đã sẵn sàng, đúng không? |

For the Simple Present and the Simple Past of verbs other than the verb to be, the auxiliary to do is used in tag questions. For instance, in the following examples, the auxiliaries does and did are used in negative tag questions.
|E.g.1: He rides a bicycle, doesn't he? |Anh ta đi xe đạp (có) phải không? |
|E.g.2: They ordered pizza, didn't they? |Họ gọi bánh Piza, phải không nhỉ? |

For all other tenses and conjugations, the first auxiliary is used in tag questions. For instance, in the following examples, the first auxiliaries have, would, should and can are used in negative tag questions.
|E.g.1: You have worked all night, haven't you? |Cậu đã làm việc cả đêm, phải không? |
|E.g.2: He would have helped us, wouldn't he? |Anh ấy đã có thể giúp chúng ta, phải không nào? |
| |Họ nên có nhiều bài tập hơn, đúng không? |
|E.g.3: They should get more exercise, shouldn't they? |Cô ta có thể nói năm ngoại ngữ,không đúng vậy sao? |
|E.g.4: She can speak five languages, can't she? | |

This type of the question also expresses speaker’s doubt or emotive value by adding “phải chăng” or “sao”
|E.g.1: John sent me a postcard, didn’t he? |Phải chăng John gửi bưu thiếp cho tôi? |
|E.g.2: Marry marries James, doesn’t she? |Mary cưới James không phải vậy sao? |

Table 2: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative Tag- question.
| |English structure |Vietnamese equivalents |
| |Positive statement, negative tag? |Positive statement, +“(có) đúng không”/ “(có) phải không” + à/ cơ|
| | |à/ hả/ nhỉ/ đấy hả/ đấy nhỉ/ chứ/ ư.? |
| | |Positive statement, + “chăng” / “sao”? |
|Doubt or emotive value |Positive statement, negative tag? | |

4.2.3 Negative structures in Wh- questions Wh- questions usually begin with Wh- word. As Quirk, R et al (1973:196) pointed out: “Wh- questions are formed with the aid of one of the following interrogative words (or Q-words): who/ whom, whose, what, which, when, where, how and why.” The speaker hopes to have the answer according to the kind of questions. In Vietnamese, this type of questions is formed with interrogative pronouns such as: ai (who/ whom), của ai (whose), gì (what), cái nào (which), khi nào (when), đâu, ở đâu (where), như thế nào, bằng cách nào (how), vì sao, tại sao, thế nào (why), bao nhiêu (how much, how many), bao lâu (how long)… In Vietnamese questions, interrogative pronouns are located in the place of the word, which it replaces. It is not necessary to invert it to the beginning of the sentence like in English. In some cases, the interrogative pronoun is inverted to the beginning of the sentence, or the word, which the interrogative pronoun replaces, is also inverted to the beginning of the sentence to emphasize. As discussed above, negative wh- questions are rare except for Why- questions, “who”, “what”, “which”….etc. are only used for requesting information, such kind of question is formed by adding “n’t” after auxiliary verb, all come after wh-words. However, negator “not” can be put in a post - subject position in its full form or pre- subject position in its short form. (wh- words can operate in various functions, however, within the scope of this study, the author only focus on wh- questions that play as objects in sentences)
|sE.g.1: What can’t you forget? |Điều gì mà cậu không thể quên? |
|E.g.2: Which book doesn’t he want to read? |Anh ấy không muốn đọc sách nào? |
|E.g.3: Who isn’t the member of class AV6B |Ai không phải là thành viên của lớp AV6B? |

In the previous chapter, it is said that this kind of question is not merely a means of requesting information, it has much more sense than other questions when going with “why”. This kind of question can be rendered into Vietnamese by putting Q-element “tại sao”, “vì sao( mà)”, “tại làm sao”, “tại vì sao” “thế nào (mà)”, “bởi vì sao”, “sao mà”, “là sao”, “là thế nào” these words can combine with “vì, do, tại, bởi” to show reasons. And in Vietnamese questions, we usually use particles “nhỉ, hả, sao, ư, ạ” at the end of the questions to show the relationship between the speaker and the addressee or to express our attitude towards something.
|E.g.1: Why didn’t you go to work? |Vì sao cậu không đi làm? |
| |Tại sao cậu không đi làm? |
| |Bởi vì sao cậu không đi làm? |
|E.g.2: Why haven’t you finished the report yet? |Sao mà cậu vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo? |
| |Vì sao mà anh vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo |
| |Thế nào mà anh vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo |
| |Vì thế nào mà anh vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo |
| |Anh vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo là vì sao? |
| |Anh vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo là thế nào? |
| |Anh vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo là sao nhỉ? |
| |Anh vẫn chưa hoàn thành bản báo cáo là sao ạ? |

As you can see from above examples, in English questions wh- words often have to come initially, however, in Vietnamese ones, it is not necessary to invert interrogative words to the beginning or at the end of the questions.
Besides, “why” in negative question can be used to express surprise or complaint:
|E.g.1: Why don’t they give her a lift? |Vì sao họ không cho cô ấy đi nhờ nhỉ? |Surprise |
| |/Họ không cho cô ấy đi nhờ là sao? | |
|E.g.2: Why can’t you be quiet? |Tại sao mày lại không yên lặng được nhỉ? |Complaint |

“Why don’t”/ “why doesn’t”/ “why not” + S + bare infinitive can express suggestion or advice:
|E.g.1: Why don’t you go there by taxi? |Sao bạn không đi taxi đến đó? |
|(implied: You should go there by taxi) | |
|E.g.2: Why don’t we take a break now? |Sao bây giờ chúng ta không nghỉ đi nhỉ? |
|(implies: Let’s take a break now) | |

“Why didn’t” conveys criticism, showing that what work should have done but it didn’t:
|E.g: Why didn’t you apply for that job? |Sao mày không xin làm việc đó? |
|(you should have applied for that job) |Tại sao mày không xin làm việc đó? |
| |(Lẽ ra mày đã phải nộp đơn xin làm việc đó rồi) |

We can see that in both languages, Vietnamese and English Q- words are the main elements in questions and other are pre- suppositions. Contexts play important roles in questions because they can limit the content of Q-words. But in English questions, wh- words always come first, on the other hand in Vietnamese ones, they can come first, jump in the middle or come at the end of the questions. (However, in some situations, the different positions of interrogative pronouns in Vietnamese are accepted according to traditional grammar which focuses on structure, the modern or funtional grammar that focuses on meaning sometimes does not accept it)
Givón (1990) observes that languages employ at least three, non-exclusive, devices to signal a question: (i) intonation; (ii), the addition of morphology or independent lexical items ("Q-markers"); (iii), a different word-order. This final device, whereby the questioned constituent appears in a position different from that in which it is interpreted thematically, is usually referred to in the generative literature as 'wh-movement'. This is because most English question words (who, why, what, where, when etc.) begin with the sequence 'wh..' and because, on many generative analyses, the questioned constituent is considered to have been "moved" from some underlying, thematic position.
Crosslinguistically, one observes at least four different types of language. First, there are languages without any obvious surface movement (these no movement languages are also known as wh-in-situ languages in more technical literature); in such languages, questioned constituents exhibit the same distribution as their non-interrogative counterparts. A second type of language (full movement) is that in which the wh-phrase is fronted to the beginning of the highest clause in direct questions: English is such a language. Third, there are languages where the wh-phrase is fronted to the beginning of its own clause, but no higher (these are also known as partial movement languages). Finally, there are languages in which the wh-phrase appears in a focus position immediately to the left of the verb. This last kind of wh-movement (focus movement) is found only in strict SOV languages. In this general taxonomy, Vietnamese seems to belong to the first category (no movement), since with only two types of exception involving adjuncts, wh-phrases invariably appear in the same position as their non-interrogative counterparts.
And one English question word may refer to more than one Vietnamese question word (Why- “tại sao”, “vì sao( mà)”, “tại làm sao”, “tại vì sao” “thế nào (mà)”, “bởi vì sao”, “sao mà”, “là sao”, “là thế nào”, “do đâu”, “vì đâu”, “vì cái gì”). In English questions, auxiliaries are obligatory, but they are not in Vietnamese ones. Furthermore, there is subject- verb agreement in English questions while it is not necessary in Vietnamese ones because Vietnamese verbs have no inflection. In English questions, time expression are very necessary, they are closely related to verb forms (tenses), according to Quirk (1973) “ Time is a universal, non-linguistic concept with three divisions: past, present, and future; by tense we understand the correspondence between the forms of the verb and our concept of time”, whereas, in Vietnamese they are optional according to the context (this point will be discussed in the next part). In Vietnamese questions, modal particles “ạ, hử, hả, nhỉ, ấy, đó, thế..” are often used to express the familiarity and different attitude between the speaker and the addressee. In Vietnamese questions, people tend to use modal particles in the final position of the sentence. But in English, they can use intonation and stress to express attitude in the way that Vietnamese use end particles. They also have intonation and stress patterns for meaning and questions etc. According to some traditional grammar views, in English questions, correct grammar and order of the words are very important, on the contrary, in Vietnamese ones meaning is more important than grammar.
Table 3: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative Wh- question
|(who/ whom): ai, (whose): của ai, (what): gì, (which): cái nào (when): khi nào, (where): đâu, ở đâu, (how): như thế nào, bằng cách nào, |
|(why): vì sao, tại sao, thế nào, (how much, how many): bao nhiêu, (how long): bao lâu …... |
|Vietnamese modal particles : à/ cơ à/ hả/ nhỉ/ đấy hả/ đấy nhỉ/ chứ/ ư… |
|English structure and example |Vietnamese equivalents |
|Q-word + auxiliary+not+ S +V + O? |Q-word + S + không /chẳng/ chả +V+ O+ (particle)? |
|Q-word + auxiliary+ S + not+V + O? |S + không /chẳng/ chả +V+ O+ Q-word +(particle)? |

4.2.4 Negative structures in alternative questions English alternative question gives more than one alternative choice already presented in the question. According to Quirk (1973), there are two types of alternative question, the first resembling a Yes/No question, and the second a wh-question. The first type differs from Yes/No question only in intonation, instead of the final rising tone, it contains a separate nucleus for each alternative, a rise occurs on each item in the list, except the last, on which there is a fall, indicating that the list is complete. These alternative choices in the list which are separated by conjunction “or”. And there are also these kinds of questions in Vietnamese. Instead of using “or”, the Vietnamese use conjunctions like: hay, hay là, hoặc.
|E.g: Did John not drink coffee or tea? |John không uống trà hay cà phê? |
|≈ (Didn’t John drink coffee or tea?) | |

The second type of alternative question is wh- alternative questions, in this type of questions the part of the whole clause is focused too.
|E.g: Which car wouldn’t you like, the black one or the white one? |Cậu không thích chiếc xe nào, chiếc màu trắng hay chiếc màu đen? |
| |Chiếc xe nào cậu không thích, chiếc màu trắng hay chiếc mầu đen? |

In Vietnamese, the order of words in alternative questions is similar to the order of word in statement, however the Vietnamese usually use one of the connections like: hay, hay là, hoặc, before the last alternative in this kind of sentence. However, in English the question subject operator or Q- words is a must. They always come first while they may be at the beginning or in the middle of the question before the last alternative. Alternative choices, which are limited, usually refer to all the need of the speaker, which is expected to reply by the addressee.
Table 4: Structures of English and Vietnamese negative alternative question
|English structure |Vietnamese equivalents |
| | |
|Negative Yes/ No question, a OR b? |S + không /chẳng/ chả +…… +a hay/ hay là/ hoặc b? |
| |Q-word + S + không /chẳng/ chả +V+ a+ hay/ hay là/ hoặc b? |
|Negative wh- question, a OR b? |S + không /chẳng/ chả +…….+ Q-word, a+ hay/ hay là/ hoặc b? |

4.3 Subclause In the previous part, we have just presented a contrastive analysis of the structure (clausal negation) between English negative questions and Vietnamese equivalents. And in this part we would like to discussed the Use of “not” in English negative question and negative words in Vietnamese equivalents 4.3.1 Use of “not” in English negative question and negative words in Vietnamese equivalents Negation is a process of sentence. In English, the negative sentences involve the operator, requiring the insertion of “not” (or the affixed contraction –n’t) between operator and predication. However, the negation happens not only by inserting “not” between the operator and the predication, but also includes negative pronouns such as: no one, nobody, nothing etc, or simply “not + subject phrase or negative adverbs (scarcely, hardly, seldom, rarely, etc)”. We can also use some verbs, prepositions or prepositional phrases, determiners which have negative meaning and make up negative sentences without using negative words. However, in this study the writer wishes only focus on the use of “not” in English and make a comparison between “not” in English negative questions and other negative adjuncts in Vietnamese ones. “Not” is equivalent to “không” in Vietnamese, both show their negative when used.
The position of “not” and “không” in English and Vietnamese negative sentence is often similar, they are both placed before the verbs. But in negative questions, they are different “không” in Vietnamese is not placed before the subject meanwhile “not” can be place before or after subject (negative full form and negative short form)
|E.g.1: Isn’t she beautiful? |Cô ấy không xinh à? |
|E.g.2: Do you not remember them? |Bạn không nhớ họ sao? |
|E.g.3: Why don’t you open the windows? |Tại sao cậu lại không mở cửa sổ ra nhỉ? |

Vietnamese speakers never use “không” before subject as English : Không cô ấy xinh à?, “không” can be only placed before verbs in Yes/ No questions when it has to go with “phải là”
|E.g.1: Didn’t you love him? |Không phải là mày đã yêu hắn ta đấy chứ? |

In English “not” can be contracted to “n’t” and added to the operators but “không” in Vietnamese is not contracted at all.
In Vietnamese negative questions, “không” usually go with “ à/ ư/ sao/ hả/ hử/ chứ/ gì/ hay sao/chớ/ chứ gì/ được sao/ được ư/ đấy chứ/ phải không” which occur in final position to form questions. Sometimes “không” can also combine with “phải/ phải là” in presubject position is used on with “à/ sao/ hay sao/ là gì/ đó sao” in final position.
|E.g.1: Don’t you drink coffee? |Cậu không uống cà phê phải không? |

So, in Vietnamese we have to use “không” with other particles to form questions but it is not necessary in English. However, to some extend “không” differ from “not” when it used in negative polarity question
|E.g.1: Họ biết cô ta không? (neutral polarity) |Do they know her? |
|E.g.2: Họ không biết cô ta à? ( negative polarity) |Don’t they know her? |

In the (e.g.1), “không” is a negative particle used for Yes/ No question.
The most common marker of lexical or sentential negation in Vietnamese is “không”, when it appears in final position, where it indicates a question, other negative elements with near-parallel distribution and function include (more literary) “chẳng” “chả” (‘no, not’) and “chưa” (‘not yet’). Sometimes in order to emphasize the negative aspects, the word “hề” is added after “không”, “chẳng”, “chả”, “chưa” However, there are some differences between “không” and “chưa”. According to Diep Quang Ban (1987), “chưa”, is related to time and regarded as “incompleted negation” while “không” refers to “completed negation”. Besides, in conversational language some negative words that imply impoliteness like “đếch”, “cóc” are also used.
|E.g.1: Hasn’t she come yet? |Cô ấy chưa đến à? |
|E.g.2: Why haven’t you done your homework? |Tại sao em lại chưa làm bài tập? |
|E.g.3: Why didn’t you do your homework? |Tại sao em không làm bài tập? |

In (e.g.1) we must use “chưa”, but in (e.g.2 and e.g.3) “không” is acceptable in both situations.
However, in more traditional treatments of Vietnamese grammar, it is often denied that Vietnamese has tense at all. This is made quite explicit in Nguyễn Đức Dân’s assertion “Trong Tiếng Việt không có phạm trù thì (‘There is no tense in Vietnamese.’)” (Nguyễn Đức Dân 1998: 116). Moreover, verbs in Vietnamese do not change their forms according to person or tense like in English. Normally, tenses in Vietnamese are distinguished by an adverb of time, a time-marker or by the context. In Vietnamese some words : “ sẽ/ sắp/ sắp sửa (future/ near future), “đã/ vừa/ mới/ vừa mới/ mới vừa (past/ recent past)”, “đang (progressive) are subcomponents (time-markers) in the verb phrase. They are always placed before the verb. They belong to the group of subcomponents expressing the time of action. However, the time-marker can be omitted when the meaning of a sentence is clearly indicated by an adverb of time. As said above, English people tend to express time and attitude in tenses. Vietnamese does it with time expressions like "at that time" and "nowadays". It doesn’t need these much in English because the tense tells us all. Presumably, what is meant here is that tense-marking is almost always optional in Vietnamese; this contrasts with its obligatory presence in independent clauses in English languages.

|Chapter 3: Common mistakes made by Hanoi commercial and tourism college (HCTC) students in using English negative questions and suggested |
|solutions |

1. Introduction Learning a foreign language is very difficult because of its complication. Each country has their own cultures so the way they speak is different from people in foreign countries. To use a foreign language well while communicating with foreigners is not an easy work because learners tend to make questions as in their native language that leads to a lot of mistakes. As Lado (1957:2) puts it “Individuals tend to transfer their forms and meanings and their distribution of forms and meaning of their native language and culture to the foreign language and culture”. However making mistakes is very common in the learning process. A long time ago, teachers were often afraid of their students making mistakes. They tried to make their students remember correct forms by heart and use language accurately. However, it is now widely agreed that language is no longer learnt by this method. Nowadays learners have to obtain the rules, try them out naturally in everyday communicative activities. Therefore, making mistakes is natural and unavoidable. Teachers should not be afraid of mistakes made by students. On the other hand, mistakes can make us recognize what they have and have not learnt. Also, from these mistakes we can be sure what our students really need to know. More importantly, teachers can apply the most suitable method to help them achieve their own targets. 2. Research background and Methodology 2.1 The subjects The study is conducted at the Hanoi commercial & tourism college (HCTC) where English is a compulsory subject in the curricula. During a two year course, English major students have 1045 formal classes of English for Business I, II, III (Business Basic, Business Objectives, Business Opportunities) and a variety of syllabuses for ESP such as English for Tourism, English for Business World, English in Correspondence, Secretarial English, …all of which is taught in a formal setting. Within the scope of this study, the subjects of this study were 50 first year students who were learning English as their major. All of these students belonged to the same class (AV6B) of which I was in charge. 2.2 Instrument This study makes full use of questionnaire as its main instrument for two reasons. On the one hand, it is the quickest way to collect the data. On the other hand, the questionnaire can be administered to all of our students at the same time that enables us to carry the study on the whole class.
As for the content, the questionnaire (See appendix for the complete questionnaire) are carefully designed which best meet our purpose of study. The first two questions are designed in order to find out the frequency and the aim of using negative questions of students. In the next question, we ask students to form negative questions using suggested words (there are four types of negative questions are presented). And the last question, students are requested to translate the negative questions into English and Vietnamese. Those questions are designed with the only aim to find out the cognitive ability (reaction) in using negative questions in English and Vietnamese in term of structures and word using. Grammar mistakes also analysed but translation skills will not be mentioned. 3. Procedures The study underwent the following steps: ✓ Sheets of survey questionnaire were delivered to the subjects ✓ The finished sheets were collected ✓ The collected data were analyzed and synthesized to yield results ✓ Conclusion were drawn from the results 4. Findings For the first questions, only 10% of students often use negative question, it seems to be reasonable, because in Vietnamese the negative questions are not popular as other types of questions, and as discussed above Vietnamese people tend to transfer their forms and meanings of their native language to English. For question “In which situation(s) do you use English negative questions?”, 72% of students use negative questions when they think the other person will answer in agreement with them, 64% of students use negative questions when they are very sure and only want to check information, 28 % use negative questions to ask for confirmation, and 18% for the last choice. There is 20% students use negative question for other purposes, they can be used for lobbying or invitation…
For all questions that are requested to form negative, no students use the full form negative. Only 30 students (60%) can form the tag negative questions, the other make mistake in distinguishing the negative tag question and positive tag question, there are 3 students who only put question mark after negative sentences when they are asked to form negative tag questions (they probably confuse between tag question and declarative question). The most common mistake in negative wh-question is that the students put “auxiliary + not” after subject (wrong word order). This mistake is also repeated in alternative questions. Especially, there are two students who can not do the fourth type of negative question. Forming negative questions by using subject operator inversion may probably be hard work since the word-order for questions in Vietnamese is almost the same as that for statements. Sometimes, “không” is not a negator but a words used for question. Learners are inclined to omit the operator or dis-order:
For example: “What he doesn’t like?” instead of “What doesn’t he like?” or “Why you didn’t come to work last week?” instead of “Why didn’t you come to work last week?”
The biggest mistake for learners of English is subject- verb concord:
For example: “She like coffee, don’t she?” instead of “She likes coffee, doesn’t she?”
As mentioned above, in the last part of the questionnaire - translation, the author only wish to find out whether students can form the negative questions in English and Vietnamese as well. For those students who did the first part of the questionnaire correctly, it is not very difficult to do the second part. However, there exist some mistakes for students who have not understood about English and Vietnamese negative questions thoroughly. In the first part, English-Vietnamese translation, almost students use right structures. But in Vietnamese-English translation, the mistakes are the same as the previous questions such as: wrong word order and subject- verb concord.
However, because of limited time and scope of the study, the author can not carry out a bigger survey to figure out all the mistakes that students made. There still exist more mistakes of the students when they practise and use English negative questions. We do expect that we will have an opportunities to make further investigation on this topic in further studies. 3. Some suggestions to correct common mistakes Generally, during the process of learning English, Vietnamese learners may face with some problems and difficulties when dealing with English negative questions. Vietnamese students are very much influenced by their mother tongue. However, it is obviously known that mastering a language is a great problem, so making error is not our fault, but our developmental process. By realizing the mistakes, we will know what we still need to improve. Language teacher should not be disappointed when their students make mistakes. On the other hand, we should try to find reasons for these problems. Teachers should pay particular attention to structural, usage similarities and differences. We should make learners aware of the contrastive analysis between the two languages so that they can avoid and correct their mistakes. In the hope of assisting Vietnamese students to overcome the above mentioned mistakes and avoid making mistakes, some types of exercises are suggested below. Teachers can ask students to do these kinds of exercise and then give them the feedback, at the same time teachers should emphasize the forms, structures and situational meanings when we use English negative questions.
Exercise 1: Following the model of the examples, rewrite the following affirmative statements as questions, negative statements, negative questions without contractions, negative questions with contractions, and affirmative statements followed by negative tag questions. For example: I have read this book. Have I read this book? I have not read this book. Have I not read this book? Haven't I read this book? I have read this book, haven't I? He has found the answer. Has he found the answer? He has not found the answer. Has he not found the answer? Hasn't he found the answer? He has found the answer, hasn't he?
1. They have eaten the cookies.
2. She has told the truth.
3. He has run fast.
4. We have watered the plants.
5. You have hurried.
Exercise 2: Change the following affirmative statements into negative questions. Do not use contractions in this exercise. For example: He must be at work now. Must he not be at work now? They might call us later. Might they not call us later?
1. You should be wearing a warm hat.
2. He could have decided to stay at home.
3. They might have forgotten the message.
4. She will see you again next week.
5. They would enjoy riding on the ferry.
6. He may decide to go camping.
7. They could have been playing football yesterday.
8. We shall visit our friends.
9. She must have wanted to join us.
10. He should be getting more sleep.
Exercise 3: Use suggested words to form negative Yes/No-questions.
1. She/ can/ work?
2. Would/ working/ he?
3. They/ awake?
Exercise 4: Use suggested words to form negative Tag-questions.
1. She/ like/ coffee?
2. She/ very/ nice?
3. They/ should/ get/ more exercise?
Exercise 5: Use suggested words to form negative Wh-questions.
1. What/ he/ like?
2. Why/ you/ come/ work/ last week?
3. Who/ tell/ the truth/ in the previous court?
Exercise 6: Use suggested words to form negative alternative-questions.
1. Would/ he/ like/ chocolate/ vanilla/ icecream?
2. Which colour/ would/ she/ like/ black/ white?
3. You/ come/ party tonight?
Exercise 7: Add negative tag questions to the following affirmative statements. For example: They are lucky. They are lucky, aren't they? You know what I mean. You know what I mean, don't you? We will tell him the truth. We will tell him the truth, won't we? She could try harder. She could try harder, couldn't she?
1. You are cold.
2. They passed the test.
3. I can do this well.
4. You live near the school.
5. He went downtown.
6. We should call them.
7. She likes coffee.
8. They could help us.
9. I won the race.
10. You were reading.
11. He rides a bicycle.
12. We would need more time.
Exercise 8: Translate these sentences into English
1. Anh không nói được Tiếng Anh à?
2. Họ không đến dự sinh nhật cậu sao?
3. Tại sao anh ta lại không đến thăm vợ của mình nhỉ?
4. Cô ấy không nói được Tiếng Anh hay Tiếng Pháp
5. Mẹ James không đồng ý cho anh ta cưới Mary phải không?
Exercise 9: Translate these sentences into Vietnamese
1. Won’t you help me?
2. Did he not like tea or coffee?
3. They should get more exercise, shouldn't they?
4. Which ice cream wouldn’t you like, chocolate, vanilla or strawberry?
5. Where can’t we go to?
Exercise 10: Make a situational dialogue
Situation: A is an owner of a shoes shop, A is persuading a customer B to try and buy a pair of shoes. Make a conversation between A & B, remember to use as many negative questions as possible. (Teachers can give the appropriate situational dialogue, and then ask students to work in pairs. After practising, teachers can ask some pairs to present their conversations and ask for comments from other students. Finally, they can give their own remark)

Part 3: Conclusion

1. Summary of the study The study has analyzed and discussed a contrastive analysis of negative questions in English and Vietnamese. The main contents of the topic are presented in three chapters in part two. The structures of English negative questions ( negative Yes/No-question, negative Tag-questions, negative Wh-questions, and negative alternative-questions) have been described and compared with Vietnamese equivalents to find out the similarities and differences to help learners fully understand them in both languages. Moreover, the information status and some semantic aspects have been investigated to certain extent to lay the foundation for the work of contrastive analysis. And another more important part in my study is to find how to use “not” in English negative questions and “không”, “chưa”, “chẳng”, “chả” in Vietnamese equivalents. The position of “not” and “không” in English and Vietnamese negative sentence is often similar, they are both placed before the verbs. However, in negative questions, “không” in Vietnamese is not placed before the subject meanwhile “not” can be place before or after subject (negative full form and negative short form). The differences in position of “not” and “không” in two languages sometimes lead students to commit mistakes. To help learners to avoid these mistakes, some solutions are suggested for both teachers and learners. The author also drawn out some forms of exercises to practice. I hope that my study on the contrastive analysis of English and Vietnamese equivalents can help other learners and I myself know how to use English negative questions correctly and profoundly. Moreover, this study also helps us to improve the language competence in order to avoid mistakes and have a deep understanding about negative questions as well.
However, because of limited time and experience, I am not being able to give more details for my subject, the mistakes and shortcomings are unavoidable. All the constructive criticism and valuable comments are highly appreciated. 2. Implication for teaching and learning Teaching and learning English, to some people, is an easy task, but to some others, it is really a hard-solving problem. The reason for any difficulties facing these people can be various, may be they lack a “natural ability” or they do not have suitable methods for teaching and learning. Generally speaking English negative questions are not the same as its Vietnamese equivalents, so for students, they must be aware of the structures and know how to use English negative questions for different purposes. Therefore a lot of practice is needed to master in order to be successful and effective in using English. Besides, mistakes are inevitable during the learning process. However, those mistakes are not strange, the important thing is that students can find the causes of those mistakes to correct them and try their utmost to avoid them.
The responsibilities of language teachers are giving lectures and helping students to understand and use the language correctly and effectively. For each type of lessons, teachers can apply different teaching methods. It is a must to focus on structures and lexical devices when introducing English negative questions to Vietnamese learners. Moreover, teachers should not worry about the mistakes of their students, on the contrary, they should let their students know that the mistakes are common and unavoidable. Because no one can master everything, so do our students. Guiding students to correct the mistakes is more important and helpful. However, in order to achieve the success, it is necessary to have attempts of both teachers and learners. 3. Suggestions for further studies This paper has investigated the contrastive analysis of English and Vietnamese negative questions, and the author has subjectively drawn out some findings about the structures and lexical devices that are used in English and Vietnamese negative questions. The author has put a lot of efforts on this study and also got much help from teachers, friends and family. However, for such a large topic as this, it requires much more efforts, time and knowledge to cover, therefore, the study can not avoid imperfection and limitation. Though, for further research, the author hopes this study to be a useful reference material and suggest that: ➢ A study on the semantic and pragmatic approach to English and Vietnamese negative questions ➢ A study on the lexical devices used in English negative questions and Vietnamese equivalents
Bibliography

Vietnamese
Diệp Quang Ban (2002), Ngữ pháp Tiếng Việt (tập 2), NXB Giáo dục.
Diệp Quang Ban (2004), Ngữ pháp Việt Nam- phần câu, NXB Đại học Sư phạm Hà nội.
Nguyễn Tài Cẩn (1999), Ngữ pháp Tiếng Việt, NXB ĐHQG Hà nội.
Nguyễn Đức Dân (1998), Logic và Tiếng Việt, NXB Giáo dục.
Cao Xuân Hạo (2003), Câu trong Tiếng Việt- Ngữ pháp chức năng quyển 2, NXB Giáo dục
Cao Xuân Hạo (2004) Tiếng Việt – Sơ thảo ngữ pháp chức năng, NXB Giáo dục.
Nguyễn Phú Phong (2002), Những vấn đề ngữ pháp Tiếng Việt, NXB ĐHQG Hà nội.
Nguyễn Thị Thìn (1994), Câu nghi vấn tiếng Việt: Một số kiểu câu nghi vấn thường không dùng để hỏi : Luận án PTS KH ngữ văn Trường ĐHSP Hà nội I
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English
Alexander, L. G (1975), English Grammatical Structure- A General Syllabus for Teachers, Longman
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Frank, M, (undated), Modern English, A practical reference guide, New Jersy: Prentice Hall.
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Huddleston, R( 1984), Introduction to the Grammar of English, Cambridge U.P.
James, C (1980), Contrastive analysis, Essex: Longman
Lado, R (1957) Linguistics across cultures, University of Michigan Press.
Lê Thị Ánh Tuyết (2001), Graduation Paper: English Wh- Questions and their equivalents in Vietnamese, VNU-CFL, Hanoi.
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Websites http://en.allexperts.com/q/English-Second-Language-1815/English-negative-questions-1.htm http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/19011-responding-negative-questions.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/flatmates/episode66/languagepoint.shtml http://www.perfectyourenglish.com/usage/negative-forms.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrogative_word http://www.fortunecity.com/bally/durrus/153/gramind.html http://www.globaledu.com.vn/vietnam/show_page.php?pageID=grammarOnline&IDGrm=NP1106573203&IDGrmSub=&type=CB&nop=1 http://vietnamese-grammar.group.shef.ac.uk/index.php

Appendix 1
SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE
This questionnaire is conducted with a view to investigating the common mistakes made by Vietnamese students in using English negative questions. The information is to use for research purpose only and your responses are completely anonymous. Thank for your cooperation Your name (optional)………………………………..
Part 1: Please answer the following items. We would urge you to be as accurate as possible since the success of this investigation depends upon it. 1. How often do you use English negative questions? □ very often □ often □ not very often □ never 2. In which situation(s) do you use English negative questions? □ when you think the other person will answer in agreement with you □ when you are very sure and only want to check information □ when you want to ask for confirmation □ when you want to request information □ other (Please list here and give examples):……………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………….... ……………………………………………………………………………………… 3. Use suggested words to form negative questions. a) She/ can/ work? (Negative Yes/ No questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… b) Would/ working/ he? (Negative Yes/ No questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… c) They/ awake? (Negative Yes/ No questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… d) She/ like/ coffee? (Negative Tag- questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… e) She/ very/ nice? (Negative Tag- questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… f) They/ should/ get/ more exercise? (Negative Tag- questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… g) Why/ you/ come/ work/ last week? (Negative Wh- questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… h) Who/ tell/ the truth/ in the previous court? (Negative Wh- questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… i) What/ he/ like? (Negative Wh- questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… j) Would/ he/ like/ chocolate/ vanilla/ ice cream?(Negative alternative questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… k) Which colour/ would/ she/ like/ black/ white? (Negative alternative questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… l) You/ come/ party tonight? (Negative alternative questions) ………………………………………………………………………………… 4. Translation 4.1 English-Vietnamese translation a) Didn’t you tell the truth? ………………………………………………………………………………… b) You like coffee, don't you? ………………………………………………………………………………… c) Why didn't you come to work this week? ………………………………………………………………………………… d) Wouldn’t you like tea or coffee? ………………………………………………………………………………… 4.2 Vietnamese-English translation a) Cậu sẽ không giúp đỡ cô ấy sao? ………………………………………………………………………………… b) Anh đã làm việc cả đêm phải không? ………………………………………………………………………………… c) Cô ấy không thể trả lời câu hỏi nào? ………………………………………………………………………………… e) Jane không thích chiếc áo sơ mi nào, cái mầu xanh hay cái mầu đỏ? …………………………………………………………………………………

Thank you very much for your cooperation!

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