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The meaning of 上車[soeng5 ce1]

The meaning of 上車[soeng5 ce1]

Hong Kong’s property price is infamously expensive, ranking the highest in the world for consecutively since 2010.  Have you ever wondered if there is any word in Cantonese related with this unaffordable market?  In this lesson, we will introduce a phrase 上車[soeng5 ce1] to you.

Originally, 車[ce1] means a vehicle.  Do you know these vocabularies created with 車?

VocabulariesMeanings
馬車[maa5 ce1]Carriage
火車[fo2 ce1]Train
電車[din6 ce1]Tram
跑車[paau2 ce1]Racing car
人力車[jan4 lik6 ce1]Rickshaw

 

For 上, 上[soeng6] is a position words(方位詞)and it means“above”or“on top”; 上[soeng5] is a verb(動詞)and it means “going up”

Therefore, by combing the meaning of those two words, 上車[soeng5 ce1] means to “board a vehicle”.

 

nei5 soeng5 zo2 ce1 mei6 aa3

你上咗車未啊?

Have you boarded yet?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectParticle
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNounParticle
Words in sentence未; 啊

 

However, this sentence can also be translated as the following.

nei5 soeng5 zo2 ce1 mei6 aa3

你上咗車未啊?

Have you bought your first apartment yet?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectParticle
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNounParticle
Words in sentence未; 啊

 

上車[soeng5 ce1] can also mean buying your first apartment, usually one which is relatively cheaper and smaller.  Although there is no clear answer on the origin of this phrase, it is believed that it is related with the mindset of Hong-kongers.  People in Hong Kong generally believe that you can be rich and successful once you had bought an apartment; “the pathway of a successful life” can be reached after you have “boarded a car” by buying your apartment.

nei5 soeng5 m4 dou2 ce1 me1

你上唔倒車咩?

Can’t you buy your first apartment?

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speechNounClauseNounParticle
Words in sentence上唔倒

 

To learn more about particle(助詞)咩[me1], please refer to Unit 8 Lesson 7.

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-complement
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateComplement AdverbialComplement
Part of speech/VerbAdverb/
Words in sentence/

 

To learn more about phase complement(狀態補語)倒[dou2], please refer to Unit 10 Lesson 2.

 

ngo5 dei6 cou5 gau3 cin2 zau6 wui5 soeng5 ce1 gaa5 laa3

我哋儲夠錢就會上車㗎喇。

We will buy our first apartment once we have saved enough money.

Composite sentences

Type of composite sentenceComplex sentences
ComponentsSentence 1Sentence 2
True valueUnknownTrue
Words in sentence我哋儲夠錢就會上車㗎喇

 

Sentence 1 of the sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounClauseClause
Words in sentence我哋儲夠

 

Predicate of the sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-complement
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateComplement
Part of speech/VerbAdjective
Words in sentence/

 

夠[gau3] in 儲夠[cou5 gau3] is a resultative complement(結果補語)

Sentence 2 of the sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/AdverbAuxiliary verbClauseParticle
Words in sentence/上車㗎喇

 

Object of the sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/

 

keoi5 wai6 zo2 soeng5 ce1 mui5 jat6 dou1 faan1 saam1 fan6 gung1

佢為咗上車每日都返三份工。

He works three jobs every day in order to buy his first apartment.

Type of sentence structurePredicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Adverbial 2Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionClauseNoun; AdverbVerbNoun
Words in sentence為咗上車每日; 都三份工

 

To learn more about preposition(介詞)為咗[wai6 zo2], please refer to Unit 3 Lesson 9.

Adverbial 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head

 

每[mui5] is a specifying determinatives(特指性定詞).

Object 1 of the sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/

 

Object 2 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier三份
Head

 

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