Grammatical Positions of Focuser Like Among Native English-Speaking Undergraduate Students

Basim Alamri


Discourse markers (DMs) are used in everyday conversations to serve different meanings and functions. The present exploratory study investigated grammatical positions of focuser like among 60 undergraduate native-English-speaking students at a midwestern university in the United States. Students were asked to read and place focuser like in this sentence: “We have to read five chapters for the final exam”. Then students were required to indicate a degree of acceptability of the placement of like at every possible position in sentences that contained the discourse marker like in 10 different grammatical positions. The results showed that students preferred inserting the DM like before a noun phrase, at the beginning of a sentence, and before a verb phrase, respectively. In terms of gender, females frequently posited focuser like before a sentence, whereas males placed it before a noun phrase. Also, the discourse marker like does not occur within auxiliary. Finally, this study draws conclusions about different grammatical positions and broader usages of discourse marker focuser like among younger students. 

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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