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U8L9 Cantonese grammar 嘅 [ge2]

U8L9 Cantonese grammar 嘅 [ge2]

In this lesson, the grammar of particle(助詞) 嘅 [ge2] in Cantonese will be introduced.  嘅 [ge2] is used for asking why in Cantonese.

嘅 [ge2] is used in specified interrogative sentences(特指問句) and it can only be used with interrogative pronoun(疑問代詞)點解 [dim2 gaai2] and 做乜 [zou6 mat1].  Do not confuse this 嘅 [ge2] with 嘅 [ge3], which is used in subordination(偏正式)for modifying a noun.

Grammar of using 嘅 [ge2] with interrogative pronoun in Cantonese

Although 嘅[ge2] can be used with 點解[dim2 gaai2] and 做乜[zou6 mat1], only 點解 can be used to form a sentence alone with 嘅[ge2].

做乜嘅?(X)

dim2 gaai2 ge2

點解嘅?(O)

Why?

nei5 dim2 gaai2 gam1 jat6 m4 sik6 faan6 ge2

你點解今日唔食飯嘅?

Why don’t you eat today?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverb; Noun; AdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence點解; 今日; 唔

 

bou6 ce1 dim2 gaai2 waai6 zo2 ge2

部車點解壞咗嘅?

Do you know why that car has broken down?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePredicative suffixParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbAdjectivePredicative suffixParticle
Words in sentence部車點解

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

ngo5 bun2 syu1 dim2 gaai2 m4 gin3 zo2 ge2

我本書點解唔見咗嘅?

Do you know why my book has disappeared?

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePredicative suffixParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbAdjectivePredicative suffixParticle
Words in sentence我本書點解唔見

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier我本
Head

 

hoeng1 gong2 jan4 dim2 gaai2 m4 zung1 ji3 daai6 luk6 jan4 ge2

香港人點解唔中意大陸人嘅?

Why Hongkongers do not like Mainlanders?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverb; AdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence香港人點解; 唔中意大陸人

 

nei5 zou6 mat1 m4 faan1 hok6 ge2

你做乜唔返學嘅?

Why don’t you go to school?

 

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence做乜; 唔

 

nei5 zou6 mat1 m4 coi2 ngo5 ge2

你做乜唔睬我嘅?

Why don’t you talk with me?

 

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence做乜; 唔

go2 go3 neoi5 zai2 dim2 gaai2 soeng2 zou6 ming4 sing1 ge2

嗰個女仔點解想做明星嘅?

Why does that girl want to be a star?

 

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClauseParticle
Words in sentence嗰個女仔點解做明星

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier嗰個
Head女仔

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

keoi5 zou6 mat1 m4 tung4 nei5 gong2 je5 ge2

佢做乜唔同你講嘢嘅?

Why doesn’t he talk with you?

 

Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbial 1Predicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2Particle
Part of speechNounAdverbPrepositionNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence做乜; 唔

 

hon4 gwok3 jan4 zou6 mat1 gam3 zung1 ji3 sik6 paau3 coi3 ge2?

韓國人做乜咁中意食泡菜嘅?

Why do Korean like eating Kimchi to that extent?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClauseParticle
Words in sentence韓國人做乜; 咁中意食泡菜

 

Object of that sentence

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

Grammar of using 嘅 [ge2] alone in Cantonese

嘅[ge2] can also be used alone to express the same meaning of above sentences.  However, 點解 and 嘅 are not interchangeable; 嘅 cannot be used alone to form a sentence.

A: 我好憎你。

B: 點解嘅?(correct)

點解?(correct)

嘅?(Incorrect)

nei5 gam1 jat6 m4 sik6 faan6 ge2

你今日唔食飯嘅?

Why don’t you eat today?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounNoun; AdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence今日; 唔

 

bou6 ce1 waai6 zo2 ge2

部車壞咗嘅?

Do you know why that car has broken down?

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixParticle
Part of speechNounAdjectivePredicative suffixParticle
Words in sentence部車

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

ngo5 bun2 syu1 m4 gin3 zo2 ge2

我本書唔見咗嘅?

Do you know why my book has disappeared?

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixParticle
Part of speechNounAdjectivePredicative suffixParticle
Words in sentence我本書唔見

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier我本
Head

 

hoeng1 gong2 jan4 m4 zung1 ji3 daai6 luk6 jan4 ge2

香港人唔中意大陸人嘅?

Why Hongkongers do not like Mainlanders?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence香港人中意大陸人

 

nei5 m4 faan1 hok6 ge2

你唔返學嘅?

Why don’t you go to school?

 

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence

 

nei5 m4 coi2 ngo5 ge2

你唔睬我嘅?

Why don’t you talk with me?

 

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence

 

keoi5 m4 tung4 nei5 gong2 je5 ge2

佢唔同你講嘢嘅?

Why doesn’t he talk with you?

 

Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbial 1Predicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2Particle
Part of speechNounAdverbPrepositionNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence

 

hon4 gwok3 jan4 gam3 zung1 ji3 sik6 paau3 coi3 ge2

韓國人咁中意食泡菜嘅?

Why do Korean like eating Kimchi to that extent?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClauseParticle
Words in sentence韓國人中意食泡菜

 

Object of that sentence

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

Reference

  1. 鄧思穎(2017)。粤語語法講義。香港:商務印書館,頁 237-240

That’s it for this lesson on the grammar of 嘅 [ge2] 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!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. 한국말은 한마디면 돼요 왜?

    1. 천재 씨 안녕하세요!

      미안하는데, 한국말로 한 마디 하면 안 돼냐고요? 우리 한국말로 쓸수가 있기 있는데 아직 멀어서 정확히 번역하는지 모르거든요 그래서 아직 영어로만 설명해 드리는 거이에요. 또 우리의 수업을 참고해서 감사합니다!

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