Learn the way of telling time in Cantonese

U2L6 Telling time in Cantonese

In this lesson, the way of telling time in Cantonese will be introduced.  You can tell time in Cantonese by putting numbers(數詞) in front of time words(時間詞)according to the structure of subordination(偏正式).

Telling time in Cantonese with time words(時間詞)

Time words Meanings
秒 [miu5] second
分鐘 [fan1 zung1] minute
點 [dim2] hour
號 [hou6] day
月 [jyut6] month
年 [nin4] year
世紀 [sai3 gei2] century

 

Structure
Modifiers + Head
Number Time words

 

Ngo5 jat1 gau2 gau2 cat1 nin4 ceot1 sai3

我一九九七年出世。

I was born in 1997.

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Noun Verb
Words in sentence 一九九七年 出世

 

Adverbial of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 一九九七
Head

Ngo5 saang1 jat6 hai6 sei3 jyut6 sap6 hou6

我生日係四月十號。

My birthday is on 10th of April.

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 生日 四月十號

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 生日

Keoi5 dei6 ji6 ling4 jat1 sei3 nin4 bat1 jip6

佢哋二零一四年畢業。

They graduated from school in 2014.  

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Noun Noun Verb
Words in sentence 佢哋 二零一四年 畢業

 

Adverbial of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 二零一四
Head

Ngo5 dei6 saam1 jyut6 wui5 git3 fan1

我哋三月會結婚。

We will marry in March.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Noun Auxiliary verb Clause
Words in sentence 我哋 三月 結婚

 

Adverbial of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head

 

Object of that sentence

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

Counting time in Cantonese with time words(時間詞)

Time words for counting time is different with telling time in Cantonese.

Time words Meanings
秒 [miu5] second
分鐘 [fan1 zung1] minute
個鐘 [go3 zung1] hour
日 [jat6] day
個月 [go3 jyut6] month
年 [nin4] year
個世紀 [go3 sai3 gei2] century

When you want to count time in Cantonese, time words need to be used as a cognate object(同指賓語).  The grammar of cognate object will be introduced in Unit 2 Lesson 14.

ngo5 paau2 zo2 loeng5 go3 zung1 bou6。

我跑咗兩個鐘步。

I have jogged for 2 hours.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Predicative suffix Cognate object Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Predicative suffix Noun Noun
Words in sentence 兩個鐘

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head 個鐘

ngo5 hok6 zo2 sap6 nin4 gwong2 dung1 waa2。

我學咗十年廣東話。

I have learnt Cantonese for 10 years.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Predicative suffix Cognate object Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Predicative suffix Noun Noun
Words in sentence 十年 廣東話

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier
Head

Ngo5 wan2 zo2 keoi5 bun3 go3 zung1

搵咗佢半個鐘。

I have spent half an hour finding him.

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

 

Cognate object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 半個
Head

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 327-331。

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