U2L4 Cantonese grammar 嘅 [ge3] Part 1

In this lesson, the grammar of using 嘅 [ge3] in Cantonese will be introduced.  In the previous lesson, we have learnt how to use counters(量詞)and numbers(數詞)to modify and indicate the amount of a noun according to the structure of subordination(偏正式).  In this lesson, we are going learn how to use a noun to modify another noun to indicate their social relationship with the use of [ge3].

Describing a noun with another noun with 嘅 [ge3] in Cantonese grammar

A noun can be used as a modifier to modify another noun for indicating the social relationship between these two nouns.  Under this usage, 嘅 [ge3] has to be used to connect the head and the modifier together.

keoi5 hai6 siu2 ming4 ge3 baa4 baa1

佢係小明嘅爸爸。

He is the dad of Siu Ming.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Linking verb Noun
Words in sentence 小明嘅爸爸

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 小明
Head 爸爸

 

keoi5 hai6 daai6 ming4 ge3 siu2 pang4 jau5

佢係大明嘅小朋友。

She is the kid of Daai Ming.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Linking verb Noun
Words in sentence 大明嘅小朋友

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 大明
Head 小朋友

 

keoi5 dei6 hai6 can4 lou5 si1 ge3 hok6 saang1

佢哋係陳老師嘅學生。

They are the students of Mrs. Can.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Linking verb Noun
Words in sentence 佢哋 陳老師嘅學生

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 陳老師
Head 學生

Describing a noun with a personal pronoun with 嘅 [ge3] in Cantonese grammar

As stated in the previous lesson, personal pronouns(人稱代詞)cannot be used as the head.  Nevertheless, it can still act as a modifier and you can use it to describe another noun.  When personal pronoun is used to modify a noun for indicating a social relationship, 嘅 [ge3] can be omitted.

Ngo5 dei6 sin1 saang1 hai6 ngoi6 gwok3 jan4

哋先生係外國人。

Our teacher is a foreigner.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Linking verb Noun
Words in sentence 哋先生 外國人

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 先生

 

keoi5 pang4 jau5 hai6 ngo5 go4 go1 

朋友係我哥哥。

Her friend is my brother.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Linking verb Noun
Words in sentence 朋友 我哥哥

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 朋友

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 哥哥

 

ngo5 baa4 baa1 hai6 lou5 si1

我爸爸係老師。

My dad is a teacher.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Linking verb Noun
Words in sentence 我爸爸 老師

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 爸爸

 

Ngo5 neoi5 pang4 jau5 ge3 uk1 kei5 jan4 soeng2 gin3 ngo5.

我女朋友嘅屋企人想見我。

My girlfriend’s family want to meet me.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 我女朋友嘅屋企人 見我

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 我女朋友
Head 屋企人

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 94-96

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