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U7L8 Cantonese grammar 好過 [hou2 gwo3]

In this lesson, the grammar of particle(助詞) 好過 [hou2 gwo3] in Cantonese will be introduced.  好過[hou2 gwo3] is a particle for persuading the listener by saying something is better than something else.  As particle 好過[hou2 gwo3] is created by combining adjective(形容詞)好[hou2] and phase complement(狀態補語)過[gwo3] together, its meaning is the combination of those two words.

Rules of using 好過 [hou2 gwo3] in Cantonese grammar

First of all, the predicate of sentences described by 好過 has to be a verb(動詞); the verb does not need to be done intentionally by the subject.

Secondly, unlike other particles used in imperative sentences(祈使句), there is no restriction for the subject of sentence described by 好過; it can be in 1st, 2nd and 3rd person.

Thirdly, sentences described by 好過 cannot be described by any predicative suffix(謂詞詞尾)except 咗[zo2].

Lastly, the recommendation proposed with 好過 has to be made with the context of a previously happened incident or constructed thought.

Usage 1 of 好過 [hou2 gwo3] in Cantonese grammar

好過[hou2 gwo3] can be used to recommend something that is better than something else to the listener.

nei5 soeng2 maai5 gung1 lou6 daan1 ce1 dik1 waa6,bat1 jyu4 maai5 din6 daan1 ce1 hou2 gwo3

你想買公路單車的話,不如買電單車好過。

If you want to buy a road bike, it is better to buy a motorcycle.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceComplex sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueUnknownTrue
Words in sentence你想買公路單車的話不如買電單車好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicateConjunction
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClauseConjunction
Words in sentence買公路單車的話

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/公路單車

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/不如電單車好過

 

jyu5 kei4 heoi3 mei5 gwok3 leoi5 hang4,bat1 jyu4 heoi3 taai3 gwok3 hou2 gwo3

與其去美國旅行,不如去泰國好過。

It is better to travel in Thailand rather than travel in USA.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence與其去美國旅行不如去泰國好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate 1Cognate objectPredicate 2
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounVerb
Words in sentence/與其美國旅行

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateCognateobjectParticle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/不如泰國好過

 

jyu5 kei4 hai2 uk1 kei2 zyu2 faan6 gam3 maa4 faan4,bat1 jyu4 jat1 cai4 ceot1 gaai1 sik6 hou2 gwo3

與其喺屋企煮飯咁麻煩,不如一齊出街食好過。

It is better to eat out rather than cooking at home.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence與其喺屋企煮飯咁麻煩不如一齊出街食好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speech/AdverbSentence
Words in sentence/與其喺屋企煮飯咁麻煩

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechNounPro-adverbAdjective
Words in sentence喺屋企煮飯麻煩

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speech/PrepositionNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/屋企

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Particle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounVerbParticle
Words in sentence/不如; 一齊好過

 

Usage 2 of 好過 [hou2 gwo3] in Cantonese grammar

好過[hou2 gwo3] can also be used to recommend something that may not be desirable but still better than something else for the listener.

keoi5 sau2 ce1 gam3 zaa2,co5 baa1 si6 faan1 uk1 kei2 hou2 gwo3

佢手車咁渣,坐巴士返屋企好過。

As his driving technique is so bad, it is better to just take bus to go home.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence佢手車咁渣坐巴士返屋企好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechNounPro-adverbAdjective
Words in sentence佢手車

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head手車

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2Particle
Part of speech/VerbNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/巴士屋企好過

 

fong3 gung1 si4 gaan3 daap3 dei6 tit3 gam3 bik1,hang4 lou6 faan1 uk1 kei2 hou2 gwo3

放工時間搭地鐵咁逼,行路返屋企好過。

As it is so crowded to take MTR during the rush hours, it will be better for me to just walk back to my home.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence放工時間搭地鐵咁逼行路返屋企好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechSentencePro-adverbAdjective
Words in sentence放工時間搭地鐵

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence放工時間地鐵

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2Particle
Part of speech/VerbNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/屋企好過

 

go2 bun2 gaau3 fo1 syu1 jau6 gwai3 jau6 fai3,m4 maai5 hou2 gwo3

嗰本教科書又貴又廢,唔買好過。

As that book is expensive and useless, you will be better off if you don’t buy it.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence嗰本教科書又貴又廢唔買好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence嗰本教科書又貴又廢

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbial conjunctionPredicate
Part of speechNounAdverbAdjective
Words in sentence嗰本教科書

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier嗰本
Head教科書

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbial conjunctionPredicate
Part of speech/AdverbAdjective
Words in sentence/

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateParticle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbParticle
Words in sentence/好過

 

di1 je5 gam3 naan4 sik6,sik6 si2 hou2 gwo3

啲嘢咁難食,食屎好過。

Those food are terrible. (Literal meaning: As those things are terrible, it is better off to just eat poop.) 

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence啲嘢咁難食食屎好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechNounPro-adverbAdjective
Words in sentence啲嘢難食

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/VerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/好過

 

gam1 jat6 gam3 jit6,m4 ceot1 gaai1 hou2 gwo3

今日咁熱,唔出街好過。

As today is so hot, it is better to not go out. 

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceCompound sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueTrueTrue
Words in sentence今日咁熱唔出街好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechNounPro-adverbAdjective
Words in sentence今日

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/好過

 

jyu4 gwo2 keoi5 waa6 jiu3 sau1 cin2,bat1 jyu4 nei5 zi6 gei2 wai4 sau1 hou2 gwo3

如果佢話要收錢,不如你自己維修好過。

If he says that he will charge you (for repairing that), it is better for you to just repair that by yourself.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceComplex sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueUnknownTrue
Words in sentence如果佢話要收錢不如你自己維修好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceConjunctionSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechConjunctionNounVerbClause
Words in sentence如果要收錢

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/Auxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence/收錢

 

Predicate of that sentence

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

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateParticle
Part of speech/AdverbSentenceParticle
Words in sentence/不如你自己維修好過

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate
Part of speechNounAdverbVerb
Words in sentence自己維修

 

Reference

  1. 鄧思穎(2017)。粤語語法講義。香港:商務印書館,頁 262-265

That’s it for this lesson on the grammar of 好過 [hou2 gwo3] 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!

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