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U3L8 Cantonese grammar 趁 [can3]

In this lesson, the grammar of 趁 [can3] in Cantonese will be introduced.  趁[can3] is a preposition(介詞)and it can be used to indicate the subject takes advantage of a certain situation to do something; the desirable situation that facilitate the subject to do something is not controlled or created by the subject.  In order to describe that desirable situation, the object of 趁 [can3] is usually a complete sentence or a clause.

Grammar of using 趁 [can3] in Cantonese

Ngo5 can3 aa3 maa1 m4 hai2 uk1 kei2 daa2 gei1

我趁阿媽唔喺屋企打機。

I play video games when my mum is not at home. (I take advantage of mum away from home and play video games.)

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionSentenceVerbNoun
Words in sentence阿媽唔喺屋企

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbNoun
Words in sentence阿媽屋企

 

ngo5 can3 lou5 si1 ceot1 zo2 fo3 sat1 sik6 tong2

我趁老師出咗課室食糖。

I eat candies when teachers have left the classroom. (I take advantage of teachers leaving classroom and eat candies.)

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionSentenceVerbNoun
Words in sentence老師出咗課室

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence老師課室

 

caak6 zai2 can3 ngo5 dei6 fan3 gan2 gaau3 jap6 zo2 uk1 baau3 gaak3

賊仔趁我哋瞓𡁵覺入咗屋爆格。

A thief has burgled our house when we were sleeping. (A thief has taken an opportunity of which we were sleeping to burgle our house.)

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffix 2Object 2Predicate 3
Part of speechNounPrepositionSentenceVerbPredicative suffixNounVerb
Words in sentence賊仔我哋瞓𡁵覺爆格

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence我哋𡁵

 

Ngo5 tung4 uk1 kei2 jan4 can3 gam1 jat6 hou2 tin1 heoi3 zo2 haang4 saan1

我同屋企人趁今日好天去咗行山。

My family and I went hiking today due to the good weather. (My family and I took an opportunity of having good weather today and went hiking.)

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2Predicate 3Predicative suffixPredicate 4Object 4
Part of speechNounPrepositionSentencePrepositionSentenceVerbPredicative suffixVerbNoun
Words in sentence屋企人今日好天

 

Object 2 of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechNounAdjective
Words in sentence今日好天

 

Keoi5 can3 jau5 gei2 jat6 lin4 zuk6 ge3 gaa3 kei4 heoi3 zo2 leoi5 hang4

佢趁有幾日連續嘅假期去咗旅行。

He travelled when he has a consecutive holiday for few days. (He took the opportunity of which he had a consecutive holiday for few days to travel.)

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionClauseVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence有幾日連續嘅假期旅行

 

Object 1 of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/幾日連續嘅假期

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier幾日連續
Head假期

 

hou3 hok6 ge3 hok6 saang1 wui5 can3 lou5 si1 dak1 haan4 man6 man6 tai4

好學嘅學生會趁老師得閒問問題。

Students who dedicate in learning would ask questions when teachers are free. (Students who dedicate in learning would take the opportunity of which teachers are free to ask questions.)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence好學嘅學生趁老師得閒問問題

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier好學
Head學生

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speech/PrepositionSentenceVerbNoun
Words in sentence/老師得閒問題

 

Object 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechNounAdjective
Words in sentence老師得閒

 

Ngo5 m4 zung1 ji3 can3 jit6 jam2 tong1

我唔中意趁熱飲湯。

I don’t like to drink soup when it is hot. (I don’t like to take the opportunity of which soup is hot to drink soup.)

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence中意趁熱飲湯

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speech/PrepositionSentenceVerbNoun
Words in sentence/(湯)熱

 

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 407

That’s it for this lesson on the grammar of 趁 [can3] 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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