Volume 6, Issue 3, May 2018, Page: 61-69
The English Modal “can” and Its Vietnamese Counterpart “có thể
To Minh Thanh, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hoa Sen University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Received: Mar. 29, 2018;       Accepted: May 2, 2018;       Published: Jun. 2, 2018
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijll.20180603.12      View  1231      Downloads  95
Considering modality as whatever that lies out of the lexis (also called the dictum) of the proposition of a declarative sentence, I have considered the meanings conveyed by the modal verb “ can” as well as its English alternative modal expressions, in comparison with those conveyed by its so-called Vietnamese counterpart “ có thể”, if possible. If not, other translated versions into Vietnamese are suggested. The English modal verb can is translated into Vietnamese in a number of different ways, and có thể is one of these ways, however frequent and thus prominent it is; in other words, besides có thể, among other Vietnamese counterparts of “ can are “ được”, “ mớiđược”, “ có thểđược”, “ có thể sẽ”, “ biết”, and “ thường”. The alternative modal expressions of “ can” as shown in the English declaratives in this paper have plenty of Vietnamese equivalents, as identified in their suggested translated versions. Although these inevitable differences cause both Vietnamese learners of English and native speakers of English who do a course in Vietnamese a lot of trouble, their potential similarities are the objective bases for successful practice in translating or interpreting. There is no doubt that the interesting and fruitful research on modal expressions in Vietnamese and English declarative sentences is of undeniably practical significance in the current time of world-wide explosion of information and cross-cultural communication.
Declaratives, Modality, The Realis Modality, The Capacity Modality, Physical or Mental Capacities, Possibility, Permission, General Characteristics
To cite this article
To Minh Thanh, The English Modal “can” and Its Vietnamese Counterpart “có thể”, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 6, No. 3, 2018, pp. 61-69. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20180603.12
Copyright © 2018 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Alexander, L. G., Longman English Grammar Practice for Intermediate Students, New York: Longman Inc, 1990.
Bybee, J. and Fleischman, S., “An Introductory Essay” in J. Bybee and S. Fleischman (Eds.) Modality in Grammar and Discourse, 1-14, Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins, 1995.
Brown, H. D., Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (3rd ed.), Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall Inc, 1994.
Bui Phung, Tiếng Việt cho người nước ngoài. Tập 1 (The Vietnamese Language for Foreigners. Volume one), Hanoi: Education Press, 1993.
Cao Xuan Hao, Tiếng Việt: Sơ thảo ngữ pháp chức năng (The Vietnamese Language: A Rough Draft on Functional Grammar) (2nd ed.), Hanoi: Social Sciences Press, 2017.
Cao Xuan Hao, Tiếng Việt: Mấy vấn đề ngữ âm, ngữ pháp, ngữ nghĩa (The Vietnamese Language: A number of Phonetic, Grammatical and Semantic Issues), Hanoi: Education Press, 1999.
Cao Xuan Hao, Hoang Xuan Tam, Nguyen Van Bang and Bui Tat Tuom, Ngữ pháp chức năng tiếng Việt. Quyển 1. Câu trong tiếng Việt (The Vietnamese Functional Grammar. Volume one. Sentences in the Vietnamese Language) (2nd ed.), Hanoi: Education Press, 1998.
Coates, J., “The Expression of Root and Epistemic Possibility in English” in J. Bybee and S. Fleischman (Eds.) Modality in Grammar and Discourse, 55-66, Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins, 1995.
Eastwood, J., Oxford Guide to English Grammar (4th ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Hayden, R. E.; Pilgrim, D. W. and Haggard, A. Q. Mastering American English. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1972.
Hofmann, Th. R., Realm of Meaning. An Introduction to Semantics, London and New York: Longman, 1993.
Hoang Trong Phien, Ngữ pháp tiếng Việt: câu (The Grammar of the Vietnamese Language: Sentences), Hanoi: Higher Education and Vocational Training Press, 1980.
Hurford, J. R.; Heasley, B. and Smith, M. B., Semantics: a Coursebook, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Jorden, E. H.; Sheehan, C. R. and Nguyen Hy Quang, Vietnamese. Basic Course. Volume one, Washington, D.C.: Foreign Service Institute, 1967.
McKay, I. S., Intermediate Interactive Grammar, Boston: Heinle & Heinle Publishers, 1995.
Nguyen Minh Thuyet and Nguyen Van Hiep, Thành phần câu tiếng Việt (Components of Vietnamese Sentences), Hanoi: Hanoi National University Press, 1998.
Oller, J. W. and Ziahosseiny, S. M., The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis and Spelling Errors, Language Learning, 20: 25-36, 1970.
Phan Van Giuong, Vietnamese for Beginners 1. Asian Languages Project, Canberra: National Distance Education Conference, 1990.
Stockwell, R., Bowen. J. D., and Martin, J. W., The Grammatical Structure of English and Spanish, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.
Thanh Minh To, The English adverbial of time vs. the Vietnamese range topic of time, International Journal of Language and Linguistics, 2(6), 348-355, 2014.
Thomson, A. J. and Martinet, A. V., A Practical English Grammar (4th ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Tuan Duc Vuong and Moore, J., Colloquial Vietnamese. A Complete Language Course, London and New York: Routledge, 1994.
Vu Van Thi, Tiếng Việt cơ sở (Vietnamese for Beginners), Hanoi: Social Sciences Press, 1996.
Browse journals by subject