Cantonese Grammar: Simple Sentences

  1. Dead! (Adj/Adv.)
    sei2 la3  死啦! (“死” means die; “啦” has not much meaning but can mean something just happened.)
  2. So cute! (Adv + Adj)
    ho2 dak1 yi3 a3 好得意呀! (“好” means well or good or well; “得意” means cute)
  3. You are well (subject + to be + Adj)
    lei4 ho2 你好 (“你” means you; this is a statement not a question, unlike how are you “你好嗎?”)
  4. You are very beautiful (subject + to be + Adv + Adj)
    lei4 ho2 leng3 你好靚 (“靚” means beautiful)
  5. He/She has two dogs (subject + V + N)
    kui4 yau4 leung4 jek3 gau2 佢有兩隻狗 (“佢” means he/she; “有” means has/have; “兩” means two; “隻” is a quantifying unit; “狗” means dog)
  6. He is a guy. (subject + V + object)
    kui4 hai5 naam6 yan6 佢喺男人 (“男人” means guy)
  7. I ate a lot。
    ngoh4 sik5 joh2 ho2 doh1 我食咗好多 (“我” denotes past tense; “好” means very or good; “多” mean much)
  8. I love you very much. (subject + V + object + Adv + Adv)
    ngoh4 ho2 oi3 lei4 我好愛你 (“愛” means love)
  9. Did you do your homework?
    lei4 jo5 joh2 gon1 foh3 mei5 你做咗功課未?(“你” means you; “做” means do; “咗” denotes past tense and specifies that something is finished; “功課” means homework; “未” means not yet)Notice the Cantonese grammar for a question here, namely, (subject + V + past tense + object + Adv).
  10. Why does she like me?
    dim2 gaai2 kui4 chung1 yi3 ngoh4 點解佢鍾意我? (“點解” means why or what reason; “鍾意” means love; “我” means I/me)(interrogative pronoun + subject + V + object)
Card Set
Cantonese Grammar: Simple Sentences
Cantonese Grammar is extremely flexible and yet extremely complicated. Therefore, it is sometimes easy and yet sometimes different for a beginner to master Cantonese grammar. A simple Cantonese sentence can often be spoken in more than one way and hence is kind of flexible. However, that doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want without following any kind of grammatical rules. Some Cantonese grammar rules are very subtle and yet rigid, whereas others are flexible and even ambiguous. Some Cantonese grammar rules are very different from those of English as will be seen later on.