Iraqi EFL Learners' Performance on Middle Verbs

  • Hawraa Hasan Oraibi


While almost all passive sentences contain transitive verbs, not all transitive verbs can participate in passive constructions, e.g. middle verbs. Middle verbs are a group of transitive verbs followed by object, but they can't be passive. The present paper aims, first, to know whether the fourth-year students have the ability to recognize and distinguish which transitive verbs can be turned into passive and which ones cannot.  Second, to show why the sentence of middle verbs cannot be passive? And finally, do the learners know the semantic effect of transitivity on the passive construction?      

     In view of the preceding aims, it can be hypothesized that: most the fourth year students suppose that all the active transitive sentences can be converted into passive ones. They are unable to differentiate the middle verbs from other types of transitive verbs.

     This study is limited to fourth year students, Department of English,

College of Education, University of Thiqar for Humanities during the academic year (2015-2016).The fourth year students have been selected because they have been taught this topic during the second and fourth years of study.

     The research has adopted the following steps in order to achieve the objectives of this paper.

1- Producing, as far as possible, a comprehensive exposition of English middle verbs, depending on the literature available in this field.

2- A test has been submitted to fourth year students in order to pinpoint the problems and difficulties that may face in using English middle verbs.

3- Analyzing the results of the test, on the bases of which conclusions

have been presented.