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Cantonese Short Lesson 9: ** Asking Questions! **

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Welcome to the ninth lesson of Cantonese! Note that each of the pronunciations is the formal Cantonese. For your interest, I have included a resource for the informal pronunciations.

Asking questions is one of the most important things in knowledge, so in this lesson, you will learn how to do this in Cantonese!

Let's start off with the five 'wh' words: who, what, where, when and why:

who = (seoi4)

what = 甚麼 (sam6 mo1)

where = 何處 (ho4 cyu3)

when = 甚麼時候 (sam6 mo1 si4 hau6, literally: what time)

why = 為甚麼 (wai6 sam6 mo1)

The slang versions of these are here

Important note that 'who' and 'what' come at the end of a question (or before the object of the question), 'when', 'where' and 'why' come after the subject of a question. This will be needed in the exercise that will follow this lesson shortly.

Some examples:

Who is this? = 這是誰? (ze5 si6 seoi4 ?),

What is this animal? = 這是什麼動物? (ze5 si6 sam6 mo1 dung6 mat6 ?) and

Why do you have to leave? = 你為什麼要離開? (nei5 wai4 sam6 mo1 jiu3 lei4 hoi1 ?).

Yes/No questions are of this format:

Do you have it/them etc. = 有沒有嗎? (jau5 mut6 jau5 maa1 ?)

Yes or no/true or false etc. = 是不是嗎? (si6 bat1 si6 maa1 ?)

If one wants to insert, for example, 'Do you have a jacket?', then the format would be 有沒有 + a jacket + 嗎?.

The slang versions of these are here

Thank you for reading this. Questions are welcome!

1 year ago

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