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U3L10 Cantonese grammar 好似 [hou2 ci5]

In this lesson, the grammar of preposition(介詞)好似 [hou2 ci5] in Cantonese will be introduced.  好似 [hou2 ci5] is a word with overlapped classes and it can be used as a verb(動詞)or a preposition(介詞).

Grammar of using 好似 [hou2 ci5] as a verb in Cantonese

When 好似 [hou2 ci5] is used as a verb, it means something looks like something.

keoi5 bou6 din6 waa6 hou2 ci5 ngo5 bou6 din6 waa6

佢部電話好似我部電話。

His phone looks like my phone.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence佢部電話好似我部電話

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier佢部
Head電話

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier我部
Head電話

 

go2 gau6 wan4 hou2 ci5 zek3 joeng4

嗰嚿雲好似隻羊。

That cloud looks like a sheep.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence嗰嚿雲好似隻羊

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier嗰嚿
Head

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

hai2 haa6 tin1,hoeng1 gong2 hou2 ci5 go3 zing1 lou4

喺夏天,香港好似個蒸爐。

In summer, Hong Kong is like a steamer.

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechClauseSentence
Words in sentence喺夏天香港好似個蒸爐

 

Predicate of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence香港好似個蒸爐

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head蒸爐

 

Grammar of using 好似 [hou2 ci5] as a preposition in Cantonese

When 好似 is used as a preposition(介詞), it is used in the structure of predicative expression in series(連謂式)with a pro-adverb(代副詞)噉[gam2].  噉 can be translated as “like that”.

ngo5 hou2 ci5 so4 zai2 gam2 sing1 kei4 jat6 faan1 zo2 hok6 haau6 。

我好似傻仔噉星期日返咗學校。

I went to school on Sunday like a fool.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounPro-adverb; nounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence好似傻仔噉; 星期日學校

 

 

ngo5 dei6 hok6 haau6 cyun4 kap1 dai6 jat1 ming4 go2 go3 jan2 hou2 ci5 tin1 coi4 gam2 m4 sai2 wan1 syu1

我哋學校全級第一名嗰個人好似天才噉唔使溫書。

The one who gets the highest overall score in our form does not need to study like a genius.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounPro-adverb; adverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence我哋學校全級第一名嗰個人好似天才噉; 唔使溫書

 

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

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier我哋學校全級第一名嗰個
Head

 

You can also use a clause instead of a noun as the object of 好似.

keoi5 hou2 ci5 m4 sik1 ngo5 gam2 mou4 si6 ngo5

佢好似唔識我噉無視我。

He ignores me as if he does not know me.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionClausePro-adverbVerbNoun
Words in sentence好似唔識我無視

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNoun
Words in sentence/

 

You can also imply what you mean in that context by omitting the second predicate when using 噉[gam2].

keoi5 dei6 hou2 ci5 mou5 fan3 gwo3 sap6 jat6 gaau3 gam2

佢哋好似冇瞓過十日覺噉。

They look like they haven’t slept for 10 days.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionClausePro-adverb/
Words in sentence佢哋好似冇瞓過覺十日/

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/瞓過十日覺

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixCognate objectObject
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNounNoun
Words in sentence/十日

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

Keoi5 gam1 jat6 hou2 ci5 mei6 sik6 joek6 gam2

佢今日好似未食藥噉。

He/ she looks like he/ she hasn’t taken his pills yet.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2
Part of speechNounNounPrepositionClausePro-adverb/
Words in sentence今日好似未食藥/

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNoun
Words in sentence/

 

Gam1 ziu1 ngo5 lou5 sai3 hou2 ci5 sik6 zo2 si2 gam2

今朝我老世好似食咗屎噉。

My boss looks like he has gotten into trouble today.

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechNounSentence
Words in sentence今朝我老世好似食咗屎噉

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2
Part of speechNounVerbClausePro-adverb/
Words in sentence我老世好似食咗屎/

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence/

 

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 408

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