My grammar could be wrong, but it feels like in Cantonese you would typically say something like 食多啲 to mean eat more.

But this Mandarin grammar page says you should usually put 多 before the verb, not after:

In English we like to say things like "eat more" and "drink more beer" and "I need to exercise more." Notice that in every one of these cases, the word "more" (equivalent to this use of 多) comes after the verb in English. In Chinese, it's more natural to put the 多 before the verb.

1) Is my Cantonese grammar wrong?

2) If not, does this mean Cantonese grammar and Mandarin grammar differ regarding 多?

1 Answer 1


Actually, 多(more) functions the same in both Cantonese and Mandarin


"Eat fish more often "= "吃鱼" (Mandarin) = "食鱼" (Cantonese)


The Cantonese term "多啲"(more) is equal to "多些"(more) in Mandarin. It can be placed before or after the verb.

For example:


  • 多些吃鱼 = eat fish more often

  • 多些鱼 = eat more fish


  • 多啲食鱼 = eat fish more often

  • 多啲鱼 = eat more fish

(The real difference between Cantonese and Mandarin here are '食' vs.'吃' ; '多啲' vs. '多些')

  • This makes so much sense! For both Cantonese and Mandarin, 多 precedes the verb usually, and it's 多啲 that can be used before/after a verb.
    – Crashalot
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 19:23
  • To clarify, are you saying 多吃鱼 is simply an abbreviation for 多些吃鱼 since they both mean eat fish more often? Does this mean 吃多鱼 could be an abbreviation for 吃多些鱼?
    – Crashalot
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 4:55
  • "多些(adv) 吃(v) 鱼(n) = eat fish more often" ; "吃(v) 多些(determiner ) 鱼(n) = eat a lot of fish"
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:24
  • Thanks! However, the question was more if 吃多鱼 is an appropriate abbreviation for 吃多些鱼 in the same way you said 多吃鱼 is a shorter form of 多些吃鱼? Basically, is it okay to drop 些 and just say 多吃鱼 and 吃多鱼?
    – Crashalot
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:29
  • 吃多鱼 is not an appropriate abbreviation for 吃多(些)鱼. Because 吃多鱼 could also be interpreted as 吃多(了)鱼, meaning 'have eaten too much fish', therefore we always say "吃多些鱼" or "吃多了鱼" instead of "吃多鱼" ; on the other hand "多吃鱼" can only mean "多些吃鱼", therefore you can reduce it to "多吃鱼" without creating ambiguity.
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Nov 20, 2018 at 5:45

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