Someone said the following in Mandarin to express not taking good care of you: 沒有把你照顧好.

In Cantonese, it seems more natural to drop 把 and say something like 沒有好好照顧你.

  1. What's the correct grammar?

  2. Are Cantonese and Mandarin grammar different for this phrase?

2 Answers 2


Both are correct and natural in Mandarin, but have slightly different meanings.

沒有把你照顾好 is equivalent to 没有照顾好你, which means "the result is not good", while 没有好好照顾你 means "the effort is not enough".

  • 1
    @Crashalot 把 is a depositive marker that marks the object (you) to be deposited by the verb (take care of). More example: 他卖了车= He sold a car (emphasize what he does) ; 他把车卖了= he took the car and sold it= he sold the car (emphasize what happens to the car)
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 22:37
  • 1
    沒有把你照顾好 (emphasize what happens to you - not being well took care of) ; 没有照顾好你 (emphasize what I do - not properly take care of )
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 22:39
  • @TangHo thanks so much for the clarification! this feels like it merits its own answer since 把 is a common grammatical structure and its presence changes the emphasis of the sentence. if you agree, i'll post a separate question.
    – Crashalot
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 6:03
  • @TangHo 把 doesn't feel as common in cantonese. is this a valid perception, or is it also commonly used in cantonese? if not, what is the canto equivalent?
    – Crashalot
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 6:06
  • @Crashalot '將' is used in both Cantonese and Mandarin as a depositive marker, e.g.冇將你照顾好; 佢將架车卖咗
    – Tang Ho
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 7:03

As @JasonSwift said, both are valid in Mandarin. The difference is between 照顾好 and 好(好)照顾. The first 好 is a "result complement", the second two - simply an adjective. With 没有 it's more of "the caring taken didn't have a good result" vs. "the caring taken itself was not good".

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