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 sentence Complex sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value Unknown True
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Predicate Conjunction
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause Conjunction
Words in sentence 買公路單車 的話

 

Predicate of that sentence

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

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun Particle
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
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 structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate 1 Cognate object Predicate 2
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun Verb
Words in sentence / 與其 美國 旅行

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Cognateobject Particle
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun Particle
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
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 structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech / Adverb Sentence
Words in sentence / 與其 喺屋企煮飯咁麻煩

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Pro-adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 喺屋企煮飯 麻煩

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure  Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speech / Preposition Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence / 屋企

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate 1 Object 1 Predicate 2 Particle
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun Verb Particle
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
Words in sentence 佢手車咁渣 坐巴士返屋企好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Pro-adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 佢手車

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 手車

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure  Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Predicate 2 Object 2 Particle
Part of speech / Verb Noun Verb Noun Particle
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Sentence Pro-adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 放工時間搭地鐵

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 放工時間 地鐵

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure  Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Predicate 2 Object 2 Particle
Part of speech / Verb Noun Verb Noun Particle
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
Words in sentence 嗰本教科書又貴又廢 唔買好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of composite sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
Words in sentence 嗰本教科書又貴 又廢

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial conjunction Predicate
Part of speech Noun Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 嗰本教科書

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 嗰本
Head 教科書

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial conjunction Predicate
Part of speech / Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence /

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Particle
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Particle
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
Words in sentence 啲嘢咁難食 食屎好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Pro-adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 啲嘢 難食

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech / Verb Noun Particle
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 sentence Compound sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value True True
Words in sentence 今日咁熱 唔出街好過

 

Sentence 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Pro-adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 今日

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech / Adverb Verb Noun Particle
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 sentence Complex sentences
Components Sentence 1 Sentence 2
True value Unknown True
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 structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Conjunction Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Conjunction Noun Verb Clause
Words in sentence 如果 要收錢

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech / Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence / 收錢

 

Predicate of that sentence

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

 

Sentence 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Particle
Part of speech / Adverb Sentence Particle
Words in sentence / 不如 你自己維修 好過

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Adverb Verb
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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