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U3L2 Prepositions in predicative expression in series 喺[hai2]/ 响[hoeng2]

Introduction

In this Cantonese grammar lesson, preposition(介詞)will be introduced.  Despite being similar with verb(動詞), prepositions(介詞)is a type of word that can only be used in predicative expression in series(連謂式).  The following prepositions will be explained clearly in the upcoming lessons.

Prepositions that can be used in predicative expression in series

喺[hai2];响[hoeng2]同[tung4];幫[bong1]
用[jung6];靠[kaau3]除咗[ceoi4 zo2];連[lin4]
畀[bei2];由[jau4]趁[can3]
將[zoeng1]向[hoeng3]
為咗[wai6 zo2]好似[hou2 ci5]
跟住[gan1 zyu6]/ 照住[ziu3 zyu6]/ 根據[gan1 geoi3]/ 依照[ji1 ziu3]

Difference between verb and preposition

For the difference between verb(動詞)and preposition(介詞), you cannot use any predicative suffix(謂詞詞尾)with prepositions while you can use them freely with verb.

Besides, preposition has to take an object and that object cannot be omitted under all circumstances.  Meanwhile, it is not necessarily for a verb to take an object and its object may be omitted if needed.

Lastly, preposition can never be used as the focus of a sentence, thus it cannot be the only predicate(謂語)of a sentence and it cannot be used as the last predicate of the predicative expression in series.  Meanwhile, verb can be the only predicate of a sentence and it can be used as the last predicate of the predicative expression in series.

You may have come across sentences using preposition as its only predicate.  These sentences still follow the rules mentioned above, as they are resulted from overlapped class(詞類重疊), which a word has multiple part of speech.  For example, 喺[hai2] is a verb and a preposition, therefore, when it is being used alone to form a sentence, which we did in Unit 2 Lesson 1, the 喺 there is actually a verb.

Being the exception of the above rules, preposition can be used as the only predicate of a clause(分句)if that clause is used as the subject(主語)of a sentence or as the modifier(修飾語)used in the structure of subordination(偏正式).

hai2 zou6 je5 ge3 dei6 fong1,nei5 m4 jing1 goi1 tau1 laan5

喺做嘢嘅地方,你唔應該偷懶。(Using preposition as the only predicate in a clause that being used as a subject)

You should not slack off at workplace.

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechNounSentence
Words in sentence喺做嘢嘅地方你唔應該偷懶

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/PrepositionNoun
Words in sentence/做嘢嘅地方

 

Object of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier做嘢
Head地方

 

Predicate of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence應該偷懶

 

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

 

hai2 tou4 syu1 gun2 ge3 si4 hau6,ngo5 dei6 m4 jing1 goi1 gong2 je5

喺圖書館嘅時候,我哋唔應該講嘢。(Using preposition as the only predicate in a clause that being used as a modifier)

We should not speak in library.

Type of sentence structureSubject-predicative
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate
Part of speechNounSentence
Words in sentence喺圖書館嘅時候我哋唔應該講嘢

 

Predicate of that sentence
Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObject
Part of speechNounAdverbAuxiliary verbClause
Words in sentence我哋應該講嘢

 

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

 

Subject of that sentence
Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier喺圖書館
Head時候

Preposition 喺[hai2] and 响[hoeng2]

In Unit 2 Lesson 1, you have learnt how to use verb 喺[hai2] to indicate the location of the subject.  In this lesson, we are going to use preposition 喺[hai2] in predicative expression in series to indicate where or when for an action to carry out.

Ngo5 dei6 ji1 gaa1 hai2 uk1 kei2 sik6 gan2 faan6

我哋依家喺屋企食𡁵飯。

We are now having meal at home.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounAdverbPrepositionNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence我哋依家屋企𡁵

 

siu2 hok6 saang1 hai2 hok6 haau3 ge3 kau4 coeng4 tek3 gan2 bo1

小學生喺學校嘅球場踢𡁵波。

Primary students are playing football in school playground.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence小學生學校嘅球場𡁵

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier學校
Head球場

 

Keoi5 hai2 syu1 fong2 zou6 gan2 gung1 fo3

佢喺書房做𡁵功課。

He/She is doing homework in study.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence書房𡁵功課

 

maa4 maa1 hai2 cyu4 fong4 zyu2 gan2 faan6

媽媽喺廚房煮𡁵飯。

My mum is cooking in kitchen.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence媽媽廚房𡁵

 

For all of the above sentences, 喺 can be replaced with 响[hoeng2] without changing any meaning.

Keoi5 hoeng2 syu1 fong2 zou6 gan2 gung1 fo3

佢响書房做𡁵功課。

He/She is doing homework in study.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence書房𡁵功課

 

maa4 maa1 hoeng2 cyu4 fong4 zyu2 gan2 faan6

媽媽响廚房煮𡁵飯。

My mum is cooking in kitchen.

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicate 1Object 1Predicate 2Predicative suffixObject 2
Part of speechNounPrepositionNounVerbPredicative suffixNoun
Words in sentence媽媽廚房𡁵

 

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 401-403

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