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U1L10 Cantonese grammar 過 [gwo3]

In this lesson, grammar of 過[gwo3] in Cantonese will be introduced.

Grammar of 過 [gwo3] in Cantonese

過[gwo3] is a predicative suffix(謂詞詞尾)and it can be used to indicate that the subject had an experience of doing something.

Ngo5 hok6 gwo3 gwong2 dung1 waa2

我學過廣東話。

I have learnt Cantonese before. (I had the experience of learning Cantonese.)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence廣東話

 

Ngo5 lo2 gwo3 gwok3 zai3 zoeng6 kei4 sai3 gaai3 gun3 gwan1

我攞過國際象棋世界冠軍。

I have won world chess champion before. (I had the experience of winning world chess champion.)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence國際象棋世界冠軍

 

Ngo5 duk6 gwo3 daai6 hok6

我讀過大學。

I have studied in the university. (I had the experience of studying in university)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence大學

 

keoi5 waan2 gwo3 duk6 muk6 zau1

佢玩過獨木舟。

He has the experience of kayaking.

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

獨木舟

 

keoi5 sik6 gwo3 dim2 sam1

佢食過點心。

He has the experience of eating Dim Sum.

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

點心

 

ngo5 hok6 gwo3 tiu3 mou5

我學過跳舞。

I have the experience of dancing.

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

跳舞

 

keoi5 git3 gwo3 fan1

佢結過婚。

She has married. (She has the experience of getting married)

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

Negating sentences using 過 [gwo3] with 未 [mei6]

There are two ways to negate 過 [gwo3] in Cantonese grammar.  When you do not have the experience of doing something and you may do it in the future, you can add the adverb(副詞)未[mei6] into the sentence.  

Ngo5 mei6 zou6 gwo3 baa4 baa1

我未做過爸爸。

I have not been a dad yet.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence爸爸

 

Keoi5 mei6 hok6 gwo3 gwong2 dung1 waa2

佢未學過廣東話。

He/ She has not learnt Cantonese yet.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speechNounAdverbVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence廣東話

 

keoi5 mei6 haang4 gwo3 saan1

佢未行過山。

He has not hiked yet.

Type of sentence structure

Predicative-object

Functions in sentence

Subject

Adverbial

Predicate

Predicative suffix

Object

Part of speech

Noun

Adverb

Verb

Predicative suffix

Noun

Words in sentence

 

keoi5 mei6 co5 gwo3 fei1 gei1

佢未坐過飛機。

He has not taken a plane yet.

Type of sentence structure

Predicative-object

Functions in sentence

Subject

Adverbial

Predicate

Predicative suffix

Object

Part of speech

Noun

Adverb

Verb

Predicative suffix

Noun

Words in sentence

飛機

 

keoi5 mei6 paak3 gwo3 to1

佢未拍過拖。

My sister has not dated yet.

Type of sentence structure

Predicative-object

Functions in sentence

Subject

Adverbial

Predicate

Predicative suffix

Object

Part of speech

Noun

Adverb

Verb

Predicative suffix

Noun

Words in sentence

 

Negating sentences using 過 [gwo3] with 冇 [mou5]

For the second method, auxiliary verb(助動詞)冇[mou5] can be used to negate a sentence.  For the difference between negating with 冇[mou5] and 未[mei6], please refer to the previous lesson.

Ngo5 mou5 sik1 gwo3 dim2 sam1

我冇食過點心。

I have never eaten Dim Sum. (I did not have the experience of eating Dim Sum before)

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence食過點心

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence/點心

 

Ngo5 mou5 gong2 gwo3 daai6 waa6

我冇講過大話!

I have never told a lie!

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence講過大話

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence/大話

 

Using 過 [gwo3] with 有 [jau5]

Auxiliary verb(助動詞)有[jau5] can be added to the sentence constructed with 過 to emphasize the action that has been experienced.

Ngo5 jau5 lo2 gwo3 gwok3 zai3 zoeng6 kei4 sai3 gaai3 gun3 gwan1

我有攞過國際象棋世界冠軍。

I had won the world chess champion before.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence攞過國際象棋世界冠軍

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObject
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence/國際象棋世界冠軍

 

Reference

  1. 鄧思穎(2017)。粤語語法講義。香港:商務印書館,頁 77

That’s it for the lesson on the grammar of 過 [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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