Particles and Prefixes in English and Serbian


  • Nataša Milivojević University of Novi Sad



contrastive analysis, aspect, aktionsart, telicity, modal aorist


The paper attempts to, by means of contrastive analysis, prove that particles belonging to phrasal verbs in English are in their linguistic essence equivalent to Serbian perfective verbal prefixes. This hypothesis has been backed up by a brief study based on 40 translation equivalents, which has shown that phrasal verb particles in English and perfective prefixes in Serbian are both markers of telic aktionsart on the lexical level of the verb. Also, the particles and the prefixes alike affect the ‘aspectual use’ of verbs in their respective languages: while the particles in English do not block their use with the progressive, the prefixes in Serbian block their use with imperfective aspect. Both semantically and grammatically, the appropriate solution for translating the English progressive of phrasal verbs into Serbian is modal aorist of Serbian perfective verbs. On the lexical and grammatical level alike, Serbian and English seem to have a convergent relationship, hence there exists a contrast between Serbian and English, the analyzed language elements are also similar with respect to distribution and equivalent with respect to meaning.


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22. 06. 2005

How to Cite

Particles and Prefixes in English and Serbian. (2005). ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 2(1-2), 65-75.