Contrastive Analysis of Aspectual Oppositions in English and Persian

Document Type: Research Paper


Shiraz University, Iran


This article aims at contrasting aspectual oppositions in English and Persian in the context of the novel The Old Man and the Sea, and its translation by Daryabandari (1983) as the data. Unlike English, in Persian perfective and imperfective forms are morphologically marked. While the vast majority of English simple past forms are translated into Persian by past perfective forms, only less than a quarter of them are translated into this language by past imperfective forms. Most English verbs translated into Persian by past perfectives mainly include past progressives, infinitives and gerunds. In translating English gerunds, simple present forms, prepositional phrases and infinitive forms one normally uses Persian past perfective forms. All Persian non-past forms take mi- obligatorily and they are used in translating a wide range of English non-past forms including simple present and infinitive forms.
English simple past forms are mainly used in expressing single events, habits, states and conditionals, whereas the vast majority of Persian past perfectives are used in expressing perfective situations. English simple present forms are mainly used in expressing habits, facts or perfective situations, whereas, Persian non-past forms are mainly used in expressing perfective or progressive situations either in present or future, as well as habits and facts. 


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