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U3L3 Cantonese grammar 同 [tung4] and 幫 [bong1]

In this lesson, the grammar of preposition(介詞) 同 [tung4] and 幫 [bong1] in Cantonese will be introduced.  同 [tung4] can be used as a conjunction(連詞)or a preposition, and their difference is extremely easy to overlook.

同 [tung4] is a preposition when it is used to connect two nouns with a different function in the sentence (i.e. one being subject and one being an object) together to do something.  Otherwise, 同 functions as a conjunction and connects two or more nouns under the structure of coordination(並列式); the structure of coordination will be mentioned again in Unit 6 Lesson 1.

Usage 1 of using 同 [tung4] as a preposition in Cantonese grammar

If 同 [tung4] is used in the structure of predicative expression in series(連謂式), it would function as a preposition.  As a preposition, 同 [tung4] has two different usages.  For its first usage, 同 [tung4] indicates the subject does something with the object.

Ngo5 cam4 jat6 tung4 neoi5 pang4 jau5 naau6 zo2 gaau1

我尋日同女朋友鬧咗交。

I have fought with my girlfriend yesterday.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounNounPrepositionNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence尋日女朋友

 

Ngo5 tung4 pang4 jau5 jat1 cai4 tai2 gan2 hei3

我同朋友一齊睇𡁵戲。

I am watching a movie with my friend.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounAdverbVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence朋友一齊𡁵

Usage 2 of using 同 [tung4] as a preposition in Cantonese grammar

The second usage of 同 [tung4] is to provide help to or do something for the preposition object.

nei5 tung4 ngo5 sik6 faan6

你同我食飯。

Eat your meal (for me/ for my sake).

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence

 

nei5 tung4 ngo5 zou6 gaa1 mou6

你同我做家務。

Do the housework (for me/ for my sake).

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence家務

Using 幫 [bong1] as a preposition in Cantonese grammar

Another word that functions similarly with 同 is preposition 幫 [bong1]; when it is used in the structure of predicative expression in series, 幫 has a similar meaning with 同 [tung6] in its second usage.  幫 has an overlapped class(詞類重疊)and it can be used as a verb as well.

nei5 bong1 keoi5 maai5 zi1 seoi2

你幫佢買支水。

Help him buy a bottle of water.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence支水

 

Object 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

keoi5 bong1 ngo5 zou6 zo2 fan6 gung1 fo3

佢幫我做咗份功課。

He has helped me to do the homework.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounVerbNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence份功課

 

Object 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head功課

Reference

  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 406

That’s it for this lesson on the grammar of 同 [tung4] and 幫 [bong1] 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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