Basic Cantonese : A Grammar and Workbook book cover
2nd Edition

Basic Cantonese
A Grammar and Workbook

ISBN 9780415815598
Published February 3, 2017 by Routledge
190 Pages

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USD $52.95

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Book Description

Basic Cantonese introduces the essentials of Cantonese grammar in a straightforward and systematic way.

Each of the 28 units deals with a grammatical topic and provides associated exercises, designed to put grammar into a communicative context. Special attention is paid to topics which differ from English and European language structures.

This new edition features:

clear, accessible format

• lively examples to illustrate each grammar point

• informative keys to all exercises

• glossary of grammatical terms

Basic Cantonese is ideal for students new to the language. Together with its sister volume, Intermediate Cantonese, it forms a structured course of the essentials of Cantonese grammar.

Table of Contents


1 Consonants

2 Vowels and diphthongs

3 Tone

4 Pronouns

5 Possession: ge

6 Possession and existence: yáuh

7 Being: haih

8 Noun classifiers

9 Adjectives

10 Adverbs of manner

11 Adverbs of time, frequency and duration

12 Comparison: gwo and

13 Prepositions: space and time

14 Negation

15 Verbs of motion: heui and làih

16 Verbs of giving: béi

17 Verbs and particles

18 Actions and events: and gwo

19 Activities: gán and jyuh

20 Auxiliary verbs

21 Passives

22 Word order and topicalization

23 Yes/no questions

24 Wh-questions

25 Sentence particles

26 Imperatives

27 Requests and thanks

28 Numbers, dates and times

Key to exercises

Glossary of grammatical terms

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Virginia Yip is Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Stephen Matthews is Professor at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong. They are the authors of Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar (1994, 2nd edition 2011), The Bilingual Child: Early Development and Language Contact (2007, Cambridge University Press), and co-directors of the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre.