U5L7 Superlative adjective 最[zeoi3]

 

In this Cantonese grammar lesson, superlative adjective in Cantonese will be introduced.  You can indicate an adjective as a superlative adjective(最高級), which is an adjective that describe the subject at the upper or the lower limit, by adding adverb(副詞)最[zeoi3] to the sentence.  The clause or the sentence that you add 最 in has to be in subject-predicative(主謂式).

ping4 si4 co5 fo2 ce1 faan2 hok6 zeoi3 faai3

平時坐火車返學最快。

It is usually the fastest to go to school by train.

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech Noun Sentence
Words in sentence 平時 坐火車返學最快

 

Predicate of the sentence

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Clause Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 坐火車返學

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence / 火車

 

fei1 gei1 hai6 zeoi3 faai3 ge3 gaau1 tung1 gung1 geoi6

飛機係最快嘅交通工具。

Plane is the fastest transportation.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 飛機 最快嘅交通工具

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 最快
Head 交通工具

 

ngo5 hai6 cyun4 sai3 gaai3 zeoi3 cung1 ming4 ge3 jan4

我係全世界最聰明嘅人。

I am the smartest person in the world.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 全世界最聰明嘅人

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 全世界最聰明
Head

 

lau4 lin4 hai6 zeoi3 hou2 mei6 ge3 seoi2 gwo2

榴槤係最好味嘅水果。

Durian is the most delicious fruit.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence 榴槤 最好味嘅水果

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 最好味
Head 水果

 

Negating

For negating sentences created with 最, you need to using adverb 唔[m4] with auxiliary verb(助動詞)係[hai6] to negate the sentence, as there is another adverb(i.e. 最) in the sentence.

ping4 si4 co5 fo2 ce1 faan2 hok6 m4 hai6 zeoi3 faai3

平時坐火車返學唔係最快。

It is usually not the fastest to go to school by train.

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate
Part of speech Noun Sentence
Words in sentence 平時 坐火車返學唔係最快

 

Predicate of the sentence

Type of sentence structure Subject-predicative
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate
Part of speech Clause Adverb Adjective
Words in sentence 坐火車返學 唔係; 最

 

Subject of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Predicative expression in series
Functions in sentence Subject Predicate 1 Object 1 Predicate 2 Object 2
Part of speech Noun Verb Noun Verb Noun
Words in sentence / 火車

 

fei1 gei1 m4 hai6 zeoi3 faai3 ge3 gaau1 tung1 gung1 geoi6

飛機唔係最快嘅交通工具。

Plane is not the fastest transportation.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Adverb Verb Noun
Words in sentence 飛機 最快嘅交通工具

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 最快
Head 交通工具

 

ngo5 m4 hai6 cyun4 sai3 gaai3 zeoi3 cung1 ming4 ge3 jan4

我唔係全世界最聰明嘅人。

I am not the smartest person in the world.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Adverb Verb Noun
Words in sentence 全世界最聰明嘅人

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 全世界最聰明
Head

 

lau4 lin4 m4 hai6 zeoi3 hou2 mei6 ge3 seoi2 gwo2

榴槤唔係最好味嘅水果。

Durian is not the most delicious fruit.

Type of sentence structure Predicative-object
Functions in sentence Subject Adverbial Predicate Object
Part of speech Noun Adverb Verb Noun
Words in sentence 榴槤 最好味嘅水果

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structure Subordination
Modifier 最好味
Head 水果

 

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 375

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