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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2024, 7(1); doi: 10.25236/FER.2024.070115.

Computer-Aided Analysis of Tense Errors in Undergraduates’ Texts


Ronggen Zhang

Corresponding Author:
Ronggen Zhang

School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Publishing and Printing College, Shanghai, China


This paper made a computer-aided analysis of tense errors in 775 texts written online by the vocational college undergraduates in Shanghai. The data processing is composed of scoring, concordancing, tagging and editing, by utilizing software like PatCount, AntConc, TreeTagger3, SPSS 20, and so on. The following findings are that, first, the subject-predicate agreement error is the most frequently committed tense error by the Chinese English learners, followed by the tense choice error, and finally the tense agreement error. Second, most frequently the learners neglect the rule of the subject of the third person singular in present simple tense, either overgeneralizing this rule or misusing it. Third, the Chinese English learners neglect the connection between the tense and the adverbial of time, resulting in the wrong choice of tense with time adverbials. Fourth, the learners tend to forget to use the past tense in the object clause or in the coordinate clause, or even misuse he past tense. In adverbial clauses, they often mistake the present tense for the past tense. In the end, based on the findings, some pedagogical implications are made for the learners to reduce the occurences of the tense errors.


Computer-Aided; Data processing; Text analysing; Error analysis

Cite This Paper

Ronggen Zhang. Computer-Aided Analysis of Tense Errors in Undergraduates’ Texts. Frontiers in Educational Research (2024) Vol. 7, Issue 1: 107-112. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2024.070115.


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