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U6L5 Because and but in Cantonese 但係 [daan6 hai6];因為 [jan1 wai6]

In this lesson, conjunctions(連詞) meaning because and but in Cantonese will be introduced.

But in Cantonese: 但係 [daan6 hai6], 不過 [bat1 gwo3], 之不過 [zi1 bat1 gwo3] and 之但係 [zi1 daan6 hai6]

The following conjunctions mean but in Cantonese.

But in Cantonese

但係[daan6 hai6]不過[bat1 gwo3]之不過[zi1 bat1 gwo3]之但係[zi1 daan6 hai6]

When using these conjunctions to contrast a sentence that uses an adjective as the predicate in subject-predicative(主謂式), auxiliary verb(助動詞)係[hai6] has to be used to emphasize the adjective.  This will change the sentence structure to predicative-object(謂賓式).

ni1 go3 jan4 hai6 hou2 cung1 ming4,zi1 bat1 gwo3 keoi5 zan1 hai6 hou2 mou5 lai5 maau6

呢個人係好聰明,之不過佢真係好冇禮貌。

This person is smart, but he is really rude.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceComplex sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueFalse
Words in sentence呢個人係好聰明之不過佢真係好冇禮貌

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence呢個人好聰明

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speech/AdverbAdjective
Words in sentence/聰明

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier呢個
Head

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechConjunctionNounAdverbAdjective
Words in sentence之不過真係; 好冇禮貌

 

ngo5 tung4 keoi5 ji5 ging1 paak3 zo2 sap6 nin4 to1,daan6 hai6 ngo5 dou1 mei6 gin3 gwo3 keoi5 aa3 maa1

我同佢已經拍咗十年拖,但係我都未見過佢阿媽。

She and I have been dating for 10 years, but I haven’t seen her mum yet.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceComplex sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueFalse
Words in sentence我同佢已經拍咗十年拖但係我都未見過佢阿媽

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1AdverbPredicate 2Predicate suffixCognate objectObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounAdverbVerbPredicate suffixNounNoun
Words in sentence已經十年

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectAdverbialPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechConjunctionNounAdverbVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence但係都; 未佢阿媽

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head阿媽

 

gau2 zai2 hai6 hou2 dak1 ji3,bat1 gwo3 ngo5 m4 zung1 ji3 bong1 keoi5 dei2 zap1 si2

狗仔係好得意,不過我唔中意幫佢哋執屎。

Puppies are cute, but I do not like to clean up their shit for them.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceComplex sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueFalse
Words in sentence狗仔係好得意不過我唔中意幫佢哋執屎

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence狗仔好得意

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speech/AdverbAdjective
Words in sentence/得意

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechConjunctionNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence不過中意幫佢哋執屎

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speech/PrepositionNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/佢哋

 

zaa3 gai1 bei2 hai6 hou2 hou2 mei6,zi1 bat1 gwo3 ngo5 dei6 m4 ho2 ji5 seng4 jat6 sik6

炸雞脾係好好味,之不過我哋唔可以成日食。

Deep-fried chicken thigh is very delicious, but we cannot eat that all the time.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceComplex sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueFalse
Words in sentence炸雞脾係好好味之不過我哋唔可以成日食

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence炸雞脾好好味

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speech/AdverbAdjective
Words in sentence/好味

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechConjunctionNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence之不過我哋可以成日食

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speech/AdverbVerb
Words in sentence/成日

 

Adverbial of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

Because in Cantonese: 因為 [jan1 wai6], 事關 [si6 gwaan1], 皆因 [gaai1 jan1]

Clause of cause are compound sentences(並列句)that express a cause-and-effect relationship.  The first sentence is always used to explain the cause and the second sentence is always used to explain the result.  The following conjunctions mean because and therefore in Cantonese.

Because in Cantonese

Conjunctions

Meanings
事關[si6 gwaan1]Because…
因為[jan1 wai6]Because…
皆因[gaai1 jan1]Because…

 

You may not need to use these conjunctions to form a clause of cause; it is grammatically correct even if you don’t use them, as long as you put the cause in the first sentence and the result in the second sentence.

gam1 jat6 tin1 hei3 hou2 caa1,so2 ji5 ngo5 kyut3 ding6 zo2 m4 ceot1 mun4 hau2 laa3

今日天氣好差,所以我決定咗唔出門口喇。

The weather of today is bad, therefore, I have decided to not go out.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence今日天氣好差所以我決定咗唔出門口喇

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechNounAdverbAdjective
Words in sentence今日天氣

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier今日
Head天氣

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectParticle
Part of speechConjunctionNounAuxiliary verbPredicative suffixClauseParticle
Words in sentence所以決定唔出門口

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNoun
Words in sentence/門口

 

jan1 wai6 nei5 cam4 jat6 mou5 gaau1 gung1 fo3,ngo5 ji1 gaa1 jiu3 fat6 nei5

因為你尋日冇交功課,我依家要罰你。

Because you did not hand in your homework yesterday, I am going to punish you now.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence因為你尋日冇交功課我要罰你

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechConjunctionNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence因為尋日交功課

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/功課

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence依家罰你

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/

 

si6 gwaan1 ngo5 tung4 keoi5 dou1 m4 sik1 jung6 din6 nou5,nei5 jiu3 gaau3 haa5 ngo5 dei6 laa3

事關我同佢都唔識用電腦,你要教吓我哋喇。

Because both he and I do not know how to use computer, you have to teach us a bit.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence事關我同佢都唔識用電腦你要教吓我哋喇

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechConjunctionNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence事關我同佢都; 唔用電腦

 

Subject of the sentence

Type of sentence structureCoordination
Functions in sentenceSubject 1ConjunctionSubject 2
Part of speechNounAdverbial conjunctionNoun
Words in sentence

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/電腦

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClauseParticle
Words in sentence教吓我哋

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence/我哋

 

gaai1 jan1 ngo5 m4 sik1 zuk1 kei2,nei5 jiu3 joeng6 haa5 ngo5 wo5

皆因我唔識捉棋,你要讓吓我喎。

Because I don’t know how to play chess(or any kind of board game), you have to deliberately throw a bit.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence皆因我唔識捉棋你要讓吓我喎

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechConjunctionNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence皆因捉棋

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClauseParticle
Words in sentence讓吓我

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence/

Reference for conjunctions meaning because and but in Cantonese

  1. 張洪年(2007)。香港粤語語法的研究(增訂版)。香港:中文大學出版社,頁 417-418。

That’s it for this lesson on because and but in Cantonese!  If you appreciate our work, sign up now and give us a LikeCoin by clicking the LikeCoin button below 5 times.  It will empower us to create more useful contents for you in the future!

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