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ERIC Number: ED041911
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Pages: 195
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Verb System in the Writing of Children.
Nemanich, Donald Dean
Verbs (4800) from 1200 compositions written by Nebraska students (grades 3-6) were examined using the most sophisticated grammatical analysis available to determine children's use of the English verb system and to compare their use to recent studies of the verb in adult writing. Information obtained included the following items: Children used "will,""would,""can," and "could" for 90% of their modals while adults used such modals as "may,""might,""must," and "should" more often. Children used such catenative verbs as "have to" more than the modals. Children depended heavily on past tense; whereas adults made greater use of present tense. Adults used the passive verb forms twice as much and the perfect verb forms four times as much as children; the use of the perfect forms and progressive forms increased steadily from grades 3-6, although adults used the progressive less than children in any grade. Past participial phrases were used with about the same frequency in all grades, but the use of other verbal phrases increased. As a group, children in grades 3-6 use all of the major options in the English verb system; perfect verb forms and past participial phrases are acquired by many children after entering school. (Author/LH)
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Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Nebraska