Arab World English Journal – (November 2013)

Theses / Dissertation

Abstract PDF
Full Paper PDF

Name of researcher: Dalal A. Al Dubib

Title of the thesis/dissertation:  Error Analysis of Subject-Verb Agreement in the Writing of EFL Saudi Female Students: A Corpus-Based Study

University name, department name: Department of English,  College of Languages and Translation, Imam Mohammad bin Saud University

Degree: M.A

Year of award: 2013

Advisor: Dr. Abdel-Hamid Eliwa



The objective of this study is to investigate the written English errors of level four students at the Languages and Translation College of princess Noura University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Error analysis technique was used in this research to find their errors, identify them, and explain their sources. The corpus of this study was collected from the writing courses of 20 Saudi female students of EFL (level four) at princess Noura University. Each student has her own folio that consists of 6–7 essays, divided into different types designed by the teacher. The students’ teachers used the Writing Process Approach to teach writing skills. The study was designed to explore whether students are facing problems with subject-verb agreement in terms of the present tense of the verb to be in their writing and identify the causes of these problems. The findings are as follows: firstly, EFL Saudi female students at princess Noura University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, do have problems in applying this rule in their written production. There were 103 total errors found relating to subject-verb agreement of the present verb to beis (82 errors), are (17), and am (4). Secondly, the study reveals that a lack of knowledge of English grammar is the main source of students’ errors, accounting for 63.2% of the total errors found. Thus, it was concluded that students are still facing problems in applying SVA rules in their writing and their lack of knowledge of the rules of the target language is the main factor causing the written production errors.

Keywords: Error Analysis, Corpus, Subject-verb Agreement