Title: Aspects of teaching and learning verbs of perception


Vol. 11(1), 2023, pp. 100-113.



Author: Tsvetalina Aneva

About the author: Tsvetalina Georgieva Aneva, PhD is a Senior assistant professor at the Department of English Studies at Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, Bulgaria. Her academic interests are in the field of Cognitive Linguistics, Comparative Studies and Second-language acquisition research. She teaches grammar and vocabulary practice, academic reading and writing skills.

e-mail: ;                    

ORCID iD:   


Citation (APA style): Аneva, Ts. (2023). Aspects of teaching and learning verbs of perception. Studies in Linguistics, Culture, and FLT, 11(1), 100-113.




Abstract: The present research takes a practical and methodological approach to verbs of perception with a focus on some specific characteristics of the basic perception verbs, paying special attention to the difference between active and passive perception. It aims at investigating the difficulties that students face when studying perception verbs and applying grammar rules. The study applies qualitative and quantitative analysis to examine learners’ deviations in the use of perception verbs. The analysis of students’ errors reveals that it is difficult for learners to identify the main differences between the three types of perception verbs: those denoting actions, perceptions and properties.

Key words: perception verbs, classification, active and passive perception, language teaching



  1. Aneva, Ts. (2020). Practical aspects in teaching dynamic and stative verbs. Studies in Linguistics, Culture and FLT. Sofia: Asenevtsi, 35-44.
  2. Evans, V. (2014). FCE use of English 1. Newbury: Express Publishing.
  3. Evans, V., & Dooley, J. (2011). Enterprise Grammar 3. Newbury: Express Publishing.
  4. Felser, C. (1998). Perception and control: A Minimalist analysis of English direct perception complements. Journal of Linguistics, 34(2), 351-385.
  5. Galac, Á. (2020). Semantic change of basic perception verbs in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hungarian. Argumentum, 16(1), 125-146.
  6. Hall, S. (2003). Representation: Cultural representation and signifying practices. London: Sage Publications/ The Open University.
  7. Hewings, M. (2005). Advanced grammar in use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  8. Hopkins, D., & Cullen, P. (2007). Grammar for IELTS. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  9. Ibarretxe-Antuñano, I. (1997). Smelling and perception: A cross-linguistic study. In A. Barcelona (ed.), Cuadernos de Filología Inglesa, 6(2), 113-21.
  10. Ibarretxe-Antuñano, I. (1999). Polysemy and metaphor in perception verbs: A crosslinguistic study. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Edinburgh).
  11. Jumaah, R., Md Rashid, S., Abdul Jabar, M. A., & Ali, A. M. (2020). A cognitive semantic analysis of Arabic verb of visual perception رأى (ra’a) in fiction writing. SAGE Open, 10(3).
  12. Li, Z. (2013). A comparative survey of vision metaphors based on the corpus in English and Chinese. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3(7), 1232-1242.
  13. MacArthur, F., Krennmayr, T., & Littlemore, J. (2015). How basic is “UNDERSTANDING IS SEEING” when reasoning about knowledge? Asymmetric uses of sight metaphors in office hours consultations in English as academic Lingua Franca. Metaphor and Symbol, 30(3), 184-217.
  14. Mihailova, N. (2001). Metodat na komponenten analiz i glagolite za zritelno vazpriyatie v balgarskiya i polskiya ezik, Sapostavitelno ezikoznanie (Методът на компонентен анализ и глаголите за зрително възприятие в българския и полския език, Съпоставително езикознание), (1), 48-67.
  15. Neagu, M. (2013). What is universal and what is language specific in the polysemy of perception verbs? Revue roumaine de linguistique LVIII 3, 329- 343. Bucureşti.
  16. Norris, R. (2013). Ready for first. London: Macmillan Education.
  17. Oanch, T. (2016). A semantic study on verbs of human senses in English under cognitive linguistics (versus Vietnamese). Paper presented at the Asian Conference on English learning, Japan. Art Center of Kobe.
  18. Richards, J.C. et al. (1992). Dictionary of language teaching and applied linguistics. Essex: Longman.
  19. Rojo, A., & Valenzuela, J. (2005). Verbs of sensory perception. Languages in Contrast, 5(2), 219-243.
  20. Rylina, G. (2013). Contrastive study of a perception verbs in English and Russian: Feel vs chuvstvovat. (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). Ghent University, Russia.
  21. Santos, D. (2006). Perception verbs in English and Portuguese. Retrieved on April 22, 2023 from
  22. Scovel, T. (1971). A look-see at some perception verbs. Language Learning, 21(1).
  23. Van der Meer, G. (1994). Verbs of perception and their complementation. English Studies, 75(5), 468-480.
  24. Viberg, Å. (1983). The verbs of perception: A typological study. Linguistics, 21(1), 123-162.
  25. Viberg, Å. (1984). The verbs of perception: A typological study. In B. Butterworth, B. Comrie & Ö. Dahl (Eds.), Explanations for language universals, (pp.123-162). Berlin: Mouton.
  26. Vince, M. (1998). Intermediate language practice. London: Macmillan Education.
  27. Vince, M. (2003). First certificate language practice. Oxford: Macmillan Education.
  28. Vince, M. (2008). MacMillan English Grammar in Context Advanced. Oxford: Macmillan Education.
  29. Vince, M., & French, A. (2017). IELTS language practice. London: Macmillan Education.
  30. Yu, N. (2004). The eyes for sight and mind. Journal of Pragmatics, 36(4), 663-686.
  31. Yu, N. (2008). The relationship between metaphor, body and culture. In R. Frank, R. Dirven, T. Ziemke & E. Bernárdez (Eds.), Sociocultural Situatedness, (pp. 387-404), Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.