Here is a sentence: 有時我唔開心會喊。之後我就心情好啲。

I don't understand the function of the word 就. In my mind, it is supposed to be 嘅, for possessive, considering the context and that 心情 (feelings) would be a noun. Why is 就 used here?

  • "就" has the following meanings - then, at once, right away.
    – r13
    Mar 24, 2021 at 23:27

6 Answers 6



You think there is something wrong with this sentence because 我嘅心情 (my mood) is a noun; 好啲 (better) is an adjective. A verb is seemingly missing in this sentence

It would be easier to rewrite the sentence as '有時我唔開心會喊,之後我嘅心情就會好啲。' (Sometimes I cry when I am unhappy. Afterward, my mood would become better) or '有時我唔開心會喊,之後我就會開心番' (Sometimes I cry when I am unhappy. Afterward, I would become happy again)

However, if you must use 之後我就, you have to treat 心情好啲 as a verb phrase


'有時我唔開心會喊,之後我就(會變得)心情好啲。' --> Sometimes I cry when I am unhappy. Afterward, I (would become) in a better mood


in this sentence the character “就” means “will”,it is short for “就会”。sometimes“就”is a logical conjunction,which followed by the result. For example,the sentence"if you study hard enough, your grade will get better"translates into Chinese as “如果你认真学习,你的成绩就(会)变好。”


This seems somehow incomplete, unfinished (although, I know nothing of Guangdonghua):


Rewrite it:

(When I'm unhappy), (then) I scream,

(after screaming) my mood is (then) better.

This is 2 instances of the subjunctive, each with 2 clauses:

when ... then, or condition ... result

shout, shout, let it all out!


I don't know of Cantonese. But in Mandarin, 我就心情好了 is a topic-comment structure. 我: topic. 就心情好了: comment. 就 here means then. 我就心情好了 means then I'm lighthearted.


This Cantonese sentence is perfectly fine (judging from a native Cantonese speaker).

You can understand the word 就 as 'turn into the state of ...'

and '心情好啲' being an adjective phrase.

So the sentence means, 'after that, I turn into the state of "being in a better mood"',

which could be rephrased into 'after that, my mood becomes better.'


In Cantonese and in Mandarin, 就 has more or less the same syntactic behaviour and function. For my convenience, I use Mandarin sentences here as examples (it is easier for me to type in Hanyu Pinyin).

In the construction "X 就 Y", 就 indicates that X is a minimum value that validates Y. For example:

  1. 他吃两个饺子就饱了。("吃两个饺子" is a small amount)
  2. 火车三点钟就到了。("三点钟" is considered early because of 就)
  3. 我不开心的时候会哭,然后心情就会好一点。("哭" is a minimum requirement for me to get over it.)

For 就 to work properly, X must be interpretable as a minimum value in the first place. Let's compare (3a) with (3b):

3a. 我不开心的时候会哭一阵子,然后心情就会好一点。

3b. ??我不开心的时候会几天不吃饭,然后心情就会好一点。

In normal circumstances, "几天不吃饭" is difficult to be interpreted as a minimum value, though it is not impossible. Indeed, it is more common to see people use 才(or 至 in Cantonese) instead of 就 in this case:

3c. 我不开心的时候会几天不吃饭,然后心情才会好一点。

Incidentally, 才 indicates that X is a maximum value that validates Y.

The opposition of minimum/maximum values can take the form of quantity (less/more), time (early/late), scale (low/high), sequence (first/last)... etc. In the example below, it takes the form of sequence:

A woman is talking to two kids. They are twin brothers:

The woman: 你们谁是哥哥?

Brother A: 我就是。(The first one to answer)

Brother B: 你乱讲!我才是哥哥。(The last one to answer)

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