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U7L3 Cantonese grammar 啦 [laa1]

In this lesson, the grammar of particle(助詞)and particle 啦 [laa1] in Cantonese will be introduced. 

What is particle in Cantonese?

Particle(助詞)is always located at the very end of a sentence and independent from all sentence structure.  It is the most difficult grammar concept for foreigner to master due to its complexity and the need of understanding context when using them.  Below are particles that can be used in imperative sentence(祈使句)and we will cover them one by one.

Particles for imperative sentence

啦[laa1]咧[le4]
喎[wo5]噃[bo3]
啊[aa3]罷啦[baa2 laa1]
好過[hou2 gwo3]好喎[hou2 wo3]
係啦[hai2 laa1]吖嗱[aai laa4]
喇喂[la3 wei3]啊嗄[a3 haa2]
先[sin1]

Usage 1 of particle 啦 [laa1] in Cantonese grammar

Particle 啦[laa1] can be used to soften a sentence that asks for a favor.  Compare with sentences without using any particle, it sounds softer and politer.

bong1 ngo5 laa1

幫我啦。

Help me.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/VerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/

 

nei5 gaau3 haa5 ngo5 laa1

你教吓我啦。

Teach me.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectParticle
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNounParticle
Words in sentence

 

bei2 fan6 gung1 fo3 ngo5 caau1 laa1

畀份功課我抄啦。

Give me your homework for me to copy.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Indirect objectPredicate 2Object 2Particle
Part of speech/VerbNounNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/份功課(功課)

 

bong1 ngo5 sai2 wun2 laa1

幫我洗碗啦。

Help me wash dishes.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2Particle
Part of speech/VerbNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/

 

 

Usage 2 of particle 啦 [laa1] in Cantonese grammar

啦[laa1] can also be used to urge the listener to do something.  Comparing with sentence without particle, it sounds softer and politer.

m4 hou2 king1 gai2 laa1

唔好傾偈啦!

Stop talking!

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/AdverbAuxiliary verbVerbParticle
Words in sentence/傾偈

 

sik6 faan6 laa1

食飯啦!

Eat your meal!

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/VerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/

 

paai4 deoi2 laa1

排隊啦!

Line up!

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/VerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/

 

Reference

  1. 鄧思穎(2017)。粤語語法講義。香港:商務印書館,頁 249

That’s it for this Cantonese grammar lesson!  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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