Cantonese grammar 好 [hou2]

U7L2 Cantonese grammar 好 [hou2]

In this lesson, the grammar of 好 [hou2] in Cantonese will be introduced.  Since Unit 1 Lesson 3, we have been using 好 [hou2] as an adverb(副詞), yet it can be used as an auxiliary verb(助動詞)too.  Its meaning is similar with 應該 [jing1 goi1] and they are interchangeable in following example sentences.  When 好 is used as an auxiliary verb, its object has to be a verb that describes an action being done intentionally by the subject.

Usage 1 of auxiliary verb 好 [hou2] in Cantonese grammar

好 [hou2] can be used in an imperative sentence(祈使句)to demand and order listeners to do something; the speaker usually expects that to be done in a very short period of time.

Under this usage, 好 [hou2] has to be used with a particle(助詞)喇 [laa3].  The particle 喇 [laa3] will be explained in a future lesson.

nei5 hou2 zau2 laa3

你好走喇。

You should go.

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

 

nei5 hou2 sau1 seng1 laa3

你好收聲喇。

You should shut up.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Verb Particle
Words in sentence 收聲

 

nei5 hou2 cung1 loeng4 laa3

你好沖涼喇。

You should bath.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Verb Particle
Words in sentence 沖涼

 

nei5 hou2 zou6 gung1 fo3 laa3

你好做功課喇。

You should do homework

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Noun Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 做功課

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

Usage 2 of auxiliary verb 好 [hou2] in Cantonese grammar

Besides, 好 can be used to demand and order listeners to do something after a designated situation has arose.   Under this usage as well, 好 has to be used with a particle 喇 [laa3].

nei5 dei6 bat1 zo2 jip6 zau6 hou2 wan2 gung1 laa3

你哋畢咗業就好搵工喇。

You should find a job after you had graduated.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Clause Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 你哋畢咗業 搵工

 

Subject of that sentence

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

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

git3 zo2 fan1 zau6 m4 hou2 zoi3 kau1 neoi5 laa3

結咗婚就唔好再溝女喇。

You should not flirt girls again after you were married.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Clause Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 結咗婚 就; 唔 再溝女

 

Subject 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 /

 

Object 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 /

 

soeng5 gan2 tong4 zau6 hou2 teng1 syu1 laa3

上𡁵堂就好聽書喇。

You should listen to the lecture when you are having lesson.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Clause Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 上𡁵堂 聽書

 

Subject 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 / 𡁵

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

Usage 3 of auxiliary verb 好 [hou2] in Cantonese grammar

好 [hou2] can also be used to blame the listener that he did not do something, even he himself knew that thing should be done(or the speaker perceived that the listener knew that thing should be done).

Under this usage, 好 has to be used with a particle 啦 [laa1].

nei5 soeng6 sing1 kei4 dak1 haan4 zau6 hou2 wan2 ngo5 laa1

你上星期得閒就好搵我啦。

You should find me when you were free last week.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Clause Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 你上星期得閒 搵我

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 上星期 得閒

 

Object of that sentence

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

 

nei5 fong3 zo2 gung1 zau6 hou2 faan1 uk1 kei2 laa1

你放咗工就好返屋企啦。

You should go home when you have finished working.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object Particle
Part of speech Clause Adverb Auxiliary verb Clause Particle
Words in sentence 你放咗工 返屋企

 

Subject of that sentence

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

 

Object of that sentence

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

Reference

  1. 蔣旻正(2015。粵語“好”的一些語言特點。

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