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 sentence Complex sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True False
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 呢個人 好聰明

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech / Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence / 聰明

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 呢個
Head

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Adverb Adjective
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 sentence Complex sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True False
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 sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Adverb Predicate 2 Predicate suffix Cognate object Object 2
Part of speech Noun Preposition Noun Adverb Verb Predicate suffix Noun Noun
Words in sentence 已經 十年

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Adverbial Predicate Predicative suffix Object
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Adverb Verb Predicative suffix Noun
Words in sentence 但係 都; 未 佢阿媽

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
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 sentence Complex sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True False
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 狗仔 好得意

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech / Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence / 得意

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 不過 中意 幫佢哋執屎

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speech / Preposition Noun Verb Noun
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 sentence Complex sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True False
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 炸雞脾 好好味

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech / Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence / 好味

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 之不過 我哋 可以 成日食

 

Object of that sentence

Types of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech / Adverb Verb
Words in sentence / 成日

 

Adverbial of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
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 structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 今日天氣

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 今日
Head 天氣

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Predicate Predicative suffix Object Particle
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Auxiliary verb Predicative suffix Clause Particle
Words in sentence 所以 決定 唔出門口

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
Words in sentence 因為你尋日冇交功課 我要罰你

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 因為 尋日 交功課

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech / Verb Noun
Words in sentence / 功課

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 依家 罰你

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech / Verb Noun
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 事關 我同佢 都; 唔 用電腦

 

Subject of the sentence

Type of sentence structure Coordination
Functions in sentence Subject 1 Conjunction Subject 2
Part of speech Noun Adverbial conjunction Noun
Words in sentence

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech / Verb Noun
Words in sentence / 電腦

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 教吓我哋

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Predicative suffix Object
Part of speech / Verb Predicative suffix Noun
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
Words in sentence 皆因我唔識捉棋 你要讓吓我喎

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 皆因 捉棋

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech / Verb Noun
Words in sentence /

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 讓吓我

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Predicative suffix Object
Part of speech / Verb Predicative suffix Noun
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。

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