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[AN INVESTIGATION INTO SEMANTIC FEATURES OF WISHING VERBS iN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE]- [2016]
DE THI BTL KTL HK CUOI 2021, CA of wishing verbs


ISSN 1859-1531 - THE UNIVERSITY OF DANANG, JOURNAL OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, NO. 12(109).2016 
85 
AN INVESTIGATION INTO SEMANTIC FEATURES OF WISHING VERBS 
IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE 
Luu Quy Khuong¹, Ngo Thi Truc Mai
2
¹University of Foreign Language Studies, The University of Danang; lqkhuong@cfl.udn.vn 
2
Master Student Course 30, English Language Major, The University of Danang; trucmaidx@gmail.com 
Abstract - The studies of the semantics of volitional verbs show 
that these verbs have their own characteristics with diversified 
structures and meaning nuances. Based on the descriptive and 
contrastive methods, this paper aims to provide a detailed 
description of semantic features of wishing verbs in English and 
Vietnamese. The English samples and Vietnamese ones of 
wishing verbs are collected from novels and short stories by 
English, American and Vietnamese writers for the analysis to find 
out their semantic features. Based on the theories of some 
researchers such as Lock [7], Halliday [4], Di
ệp Quang Ban and 
Hoàng V
ăn Thung [1], a contrastive analysis has been carried out 
to explore the similarities and differences between English 
volitional verbs of wishes and Vietnamese ones in terms of 
semantics. The paper also shows the distributions as well as the 
frequency of these verbs in both languages. The findings then 
serves as a foundation to put forward a number of implications for 
English language teaching and learning to help Vietnamese 
learners of English have effective communication. 
Key words - semantic features; mental process; volition; 
volitional verbs; wishing verbs; wishes. 
1. Rationale
Volition is the speaker’s mental process associated with 
the process of sensing, different from verbal process 
involved in actions. The mental process of volition, which 
means wanting, ordering, demanding, preferring, wishing 
and telling someone else to do something, can be expressed 
by many different means such as modal verbs, lexical 
verbs, adjectives, adverbs, nouns... In many cases, verbs are 
preferable because verbs occur in English sentences as the 
most important critical component of sentence meaning 
and completeness. Therefore, volitional verbs have so far 
been an interesting issue for linguists to investigate. 
As a mental state, wishes have their own importance. 
The states of emotions like hopes, dreams and desires 
express the inner perception and cognition utterance. The 
subgroup of wishing verbs is considered as the most 
common one with high frequency. They express the 
subjective idea of speakers and purposes of utterance. Let 
us look at the following examples: 
(1) The manager wants to talk to the workforce. 
[6, p.596] 
(2) Miss Garbo wishes to be alone. 
[6, p.596] 
Both “want” and “wish” in (1) and (2) are used to 
express desires. “Wish + to infinitive”, however, is a 
more formal way of saying “I want to...” or “I would like 

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