啩 in Cantonese grammar

U12L2 Cantonese grammar 啩 [gwaa3]

In this lesson, the grammar of particle(助詞) 啩 [gwaa3] in Cantonese will be introduced.  It is believed that the pronunciation of 啩 [gwaa3] is created by combining verb 估 [gwu2] with particle 啊 [aa3] and the meaning of 啩 [gwaa3] is derived from the verb 估 [gwu2].

Grammar of particle 啩 [gwaa3] in Cantonese

Particle 啩 [gwaa3] is used to express the doubt of speaker on the sentence that he is saying.  Particle 啩 [gwaa3] has implied that the speaker is guessing, thus you can add 我估 [ngo5 gwu2] to all sentences using 啩 without changing its meaning.

keoi5 gam1 nin4 sap6 baat3 seoi3 gwaa3

佢今年十八歲啩。(我估佢今年十八歲啩)

I guess he is 18 years old this year.

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Particle
Part of speech Noun Noun Noun Particle
Words in sentence 今年 十八歲

 

ngo5 gu2 ni1 go3 ngoi6 gwok3 jan4 sik1 jung6 faai3 zi2 gwaa3

我估呢個外國人識用筷子啩。

I guess this foreigner knows how to use chopsticks.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Verb Sentence Particle
Words in sentence 呢個外國人識用筷子

 

Object 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 呢個外國人 用筷子

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 呢個
Head 外國人

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

ting1 jat6 m4 wui5 lok6 ju5 gwaa3

聽日唔會落雨啩。(我估聽日唔會落雨啩)

I guess tomorrow would not rain.

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Particle
Part of speech Noun Noun Particle
Words in sentence 聽日 唔會落雨

 

Predicate of that sentence

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

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

keoi5 hai6 hoeng1 gong2 jan4 gwaa3

佢係香港人啩。(我估佢係香港人啩)

I guess he is a Hongkonger.

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Linking verb Noun Particle
Words in sentence 香港人

 

hoeng1 gong2 jan4 zi1 hau6 wui5 hok6 sik1 tyun4 git3 gwaa3

香港人之後會學識團結啩。(我估香港人之後會學識團結啩)

I guess Hongkongers would learn how to be united later.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Noun Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 香港人 之後 學識團結

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-complement
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Complement
Part of speech / Verb Verb
Words in sentence /

 

ni1 go3 mo1 seot6 si1 m4 wui5 sat1 sau2 gwaa3

呢個魔術師唔會失手掛。(我估呢個魔術師唔會失手掛)

I guess this magician won’t fail.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 呢個魔術師 失手

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 呢個
Head 魔術師

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

ngo5 naam4 pang4 jau5 m4 wui5 tau1 sik6 gwaa3

我男朋友唔會偷食啩。(我估我男朋友唔會偷食啩)

I guess my boyfriend won’t cheat.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 我男朋友 偷食

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 男朋友

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

Reference

  1. 鄧思穎(2017)。粤語語法講義。香港:商務印書館,頁 220-222, 329-330
  2. 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 193

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