Syntactic Errors in Descriptive Paragraphs by Native Indonesian-Speaking Students of English

Muhammad Basri D, Andi Tenri Ampa, Junaid Junaid


Syntax was very necessary to develop by the students in learning a language. This study aimed to identify the kinds and manners of syntactic errors about the English phrases in the students’ descriptive paragraphs. The English phrases dealt with categories and functions. The categories included noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase, adverb phrase, and prepositional phrase, and the functions included subject, predicate, object, complement, and adjunct. The research findings indicated that the native Indonesian-speaking students of English at Faculty of Letters UMI Makassar made 16 kinds of syntactic errors, such as identifier, be auxiliary, do auxiliary, word form, word class, and passive form. The findings also indicated that they made 18 manners of syntactic errors, such as misuse of verb form, omission of identifier, misuse of singular noun, omission of be, misuse of word order, misuse of identifier, and misuse of prepositional phrase as a subject. It was concluded that the phrases were the main problems in learning English because there were different strings of words from their Indonesian native language. The implications were that the syntactic structure became the parts of discussion in the teaching and learning process.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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