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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 佢部電話 好似 我部電話

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 佢部
Head 電話

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 嗰嚿雲 好似 隻羊

 

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

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
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 structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech Clause Sentence
Words in sentence 喺夏天 香港好似個蒸爐

 

Predicate of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 香港 好似 個蒸爐

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
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 sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Adverbial 2 Predicate 2 Predicative suffix Object 2
Part of speech Noun Preposition Noun Pro-adverb; noun Verb Predicative suffix Noun
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 sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Adverbial 2 Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speech Noun Preposition Noun Pro-adverb; adverb Auxiliary verb Clause
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 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 sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Adverbial 2 Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speech Noun Preposition Clause Pro-adverb Verb Noun
Words in sentence 好似 唔識我 無視

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun
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 sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Adverbial 2 Predicate 2
Part of speech Noun Preposition Clause Pro-adverb /
Words in sentence 佢哋 好似 冇瞓過覺十日 /

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech / Verb Noun
Words in sentence / 瞓過十日覺

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Predicative suffix Cognate object Object
Part of speech / Verb Predicative suffix Noun Noun
Words in sentence / 十日

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
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 sentence Subject Adverb Predicate 1 Object 1 Adverbial 2 Predicate 2
Part of speech Noun Noun Preposition Clause Pro-adverb /
Words in sentence 今日 好似 未食藥 /

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun
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 structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech Noun Sentence
Words in sentence 今朝 我老世好似食咗屎噉

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Adverbial 2 Predicate 2
Part of speech Noun Verb Clause Pro-adverb /
Words in sentence 我老世 好似 食咗屎 /

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Predicative suffix Object
Part of speech / Verb Predicative suffix Noun
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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