U7L1 Imperative sentence(祈使句)

In this Cantonese grammar lesson, imperative sentence(祈使句)will be introduced.  Imperative sentence is a sentence that gives out an order or a suggestion.  There are a few rules you can follow for creating an imperative sentence.  First of all, you have to use a verb(動詞)as the predicate of that sentence and it has to be a verb that can be executed intentionally by the subject.

Secondly, you have to use a human being as the subject of an imperative sentence, however, you may also omit the subject, if the context allows that sentence to be understandable even the subject is omitted.  The subject is generally in 2nd person, with some exceptions that resulted from a few specific particle(助詞).

Thirdly, no predicative suffix(謂詞詞尾)can be used in an imperative sentence except 咗[zo2].

M4 hou2 paau2

唔好跑!

Don’t run!

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech / Adverb Auxiliary verb Verb
Words in sentence /

 

On1 zing6

安靜!

Silent!

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech / Verb
Words in sentence / 安靜

 

Paai4 deoi2

排隊!

Line up!

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech / Verb
Words in sentence / 排隊

 

Sai2 sau2

洗手!

Wash your hand!

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

 

You can create imperative sentences without omitting subjects as well.  The subject of imperative sentence is always in 2nd person.

nei5 m4 hou2 paau2

你唔好跑!

Don’t run!

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

 

nei5 on1 zing6

你安靜!

Silent!

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech Noun Verb
Words in sentence 安靜

 

nei5 paai4 deoi2

你排隊!

Line up!

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech Noun Verb
Words in sentence 排隊

 

nei5 sai2 sau2

你洗手!

Wash your hand!

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

 

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 270

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