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U3L1 Predicative expression in series(連謂式)

Introduction

In this Cantonese grammar lesson, predicative expression in series(連謂式)will be introduced.  Predicative expression in series is a sentence structure created by combining two or more predicates(謂語)together.  The usages of this structure are complicated and it can be divided into the following.  As preposition(介詞)is closely related with predicative expression in series, they will be explained in the upcoming lessons and those prepositions are given as an example in its corresponding usage.  This table should be used a summary to guide your learning.

Usages of predicative expression in series

Usage 1Using the first predicate to describe the manner or the mean for carrying out an action.

Example of related preposition: 用[jung6]靠[kaau3]好似[hou2 ci5]

Usage 2Using the first predicate to indicate the target for an action.

Example of related preposition: 同[tung4]

Usage 3Using the first predicate to indicate the purpose of an action

Example of related preposition: 為咗[wai6 zo2]

Usage 4Using the first predicate to indicate the location or time for carrying out an action.

Example of related preposition: 喺[hai2]响[hoeng2]

Usage 5Using the first predicate to indicate something has happened prior to the second action

 

Rules for using predicative expression in series

There are several rules of this structure.  First of all, two verbs need to share the same subject.  Meanwhile, they can use a different object respectively.

Secondly, the meaning created by that combination would be changed drastically if you change their order, thus the order cannot be changed; the focus of the structure is on the second predicate, which means that you the meaning of the sentence will not deviate greatly even if you have omitted the first predicate.

 

Usage 1

In this lesson, usage 1 will be first explained.  Under usage 1, the first predicate is used to describe the manner or the mean for carrying out an action, which is the second predicate.

keoi5 gam1 jat6 bat1 ting4 geoi2 sau2 man6 man6 tai4

佢今日不停舉手問問題。

He/she keeps raising hand to ask question today.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounNoun; AdverbVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence今日; 不停問題

 

When the object of the first verb is the same with the object of the second verb, it can be omitted.

aa3 baa4 hou2 zung1 ji3 maai5 bou3 zi2 tai2

阿爸好中意買報紙睇。

My dad likes buying newspaper to read.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence阿爸中意買報紙睇

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speech/VerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/報紙(報紙)

 

hai2 zik6 mok6 ge3 si4 hau6 ngo5 zung1 ji3 maai5 zau2 jam2

喺寂寞嘅時候,我中意買酒飲。

When I am lonely, I like buying drinks to drink.

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechNounClause
Words in sentence喺寂寞嘅時候我中意買酒飲

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier喺寂寞
Head時候

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence中意買酒飲

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/(酒)

 

go2 go3 siu2 pang4 jau5 soeng2 maai5 wun6 geoi6 waan2

嗰個小朋友想買玩具玩。

That kid wants to buy a toy to play.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence嗰個小朋友買玩具玩

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/玩具(玩具)

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier嗰個
Head小朋友

 

Go2 go3 jai5 ge3 hok6 saang1 ze3 zo2 jan4 dei6 fan6 gung1 fo3 caau1

嗰個曳嘅學生借咗人哋份功課抄。

That naughty student has borrowed someone’s homework to copy.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Predicative suffixObject 1Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbPredicative suffixNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence嗰個曳嘅學生人哋份功課(功課)

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination 1Subordination 2
Modifier嗰個曳人哋份
Head學生功課

 

Negating

Since there are two predicates in a single sentence, it is more confusing when you are going to negate the sentence.  Under the structure of predicative expression in series, negation is always done with and made according to the first predicate.

keoi5 gam1 jat6 mou5 bat1 ting4 geoi2 sau2 man6 man6 tai4

佢今日冇不停舉手問問題。

He/she keeps raising hand to ask question today.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence今日不停舉手問問題

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/不停問題

 

 

aa3 baa4 m4 hai6 hou2 zung1 ji3 maai5 bou3 zi2 tai2

阿爸唔係好中意買報紙睇。

My dad not really likes buying newspaper to read.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence阿爸唔係; 好中意買報紙睇

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence阿爸報紙(報紙)

 

hai2 zik6 mok6 ge3 si4 hau6 ngo5 m4 zung1 ji3 maai5 zau2 jam2

喺寂寞嘅時候,我唔中意買酒飲。

When I am lonely, I do not like buying drinks to drink.

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechNounClause
Words in sentence喺寂寞嘅時候我唔中意買酒飲

 

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence中意買酒飲

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/(酒)

 

 

go2 go3 siu2 pang4 jau5 m4 soeng2 maai5 wun6 geoi6 waan2

嗰個小朋友唔想買玩具玩。

That kid does not want to buy a toy to play.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence嗰個小朋友買玩具玩

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Object 2
Part of speechNounVerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/玩具(玩具)

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier嗰個
Head小朋友

 

Go2 go3 jai5 ge3 hok6 saang1 mou5 ze3 jan4 dei6 fan6 gung1 fo3 caau1

嗰個曳嘅學生冇借人哋份功課抄。

That naughty student has borrowed someone’s homework to copy.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence嗰個曳嘅學生借人哋份功課抄

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier嗰個曳
Head學生

 

Object of that Sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speech/VerbNounVerbNoun
Words in sentence/人哋份功課(功課)

 

Object 1 of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier人哋份
Head功課

 

That’s it for this Cantonese grammar lesson!  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!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have a question on the sentence “喺寂寞嘅時候,我中意買酒飲”。
    I have learnt that “喺” and “响” means “at somewhere”. In this context, does that have any other meaning? Thank you in advance for your explanation!

    我想要問一個問題。呢堂課嘅例文 “喺寂寞嘅時候,我中意買酒飲” 裏嘅”喺”係點解釋?我知原本嘅意思係”在某個地方”。好似呢例文中有另外嘅意思?請你多多指教。

    1. 你好!“喺”字呢,其實好似國語嘅“在”字噉,除咗可以表達某啲嘢喺某個地方之外,重可以表達某件事喺某個時間發生。希望你依家明啦!

      Other than denoting the location for something, 喺[hai2] can also be used to denote the time for something to happen. Therefore, in that sentence, it is used to denote “at the time of being lonely”. Hope this it helpful!

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