Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Introduction
Eric: Welcome to 3-Minute Cantonese Season 1, Lesson 12 - Asking What Someone is Doing. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask and answer the question What are you doing? in Cantonese.
Body
Eric: Here's the way to ask 'What are you doing?' in Cantonese.
Olivia: [Normal] 你做緊乜嘢?( nei5 zou6 gan2 mat1 je5)
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning ‘you'
Olivia: [Normal] 你 [Slow] 你 (nei5)
Eric: Next is the verb meaning 'do'
Olivia: [Normal] 做 [Slow] 做(zou6)
Eric: Next is the marker of continuous tense.
Olivia: [Normal] 緊 [Slow] 緊(gan2)
Eric: Next is the word meaning 'what'
Olivia: [Normal] 乜 [Slow] 乜(mat1)
Eric: Last is the noun meaning 'thing'
Olivia: [Normal] 嘢 [Slow] 嘢(je5)
Eric: Listen again to the question meaning 'What are you doing?'
Olivia: [Slow] 你做緊乜嘢? [Normal] 你做緊乜嘢?( nei5 zou6 gan2 mat1 je5)
Eric: Now, here's another way to ask, 'What are you doing?'
Olivia: [Normal] 你做緊咩?(nei5 zou6 gan2 me1)
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning 'You'
Olivia: [Normal] 你 [Slow] 你 (nei5)
Eric: Next is the verb meaning 'do'
Olivia: [Normal] 做 [Slow] 做(zou6)
Eric: Next is the continuous tense.
Olivia: [Normal] 緊 [Slow] 緊(gan2)
Eric: Last is the word meaning 'what'
Olivia: [Normal] 咩 [Slow] 咩(me1)
Eric: Listen again to the question meaning 'What are you doing?'
Olivia: [Slow] 你做緊咩? [Normal] 你做緊咩?(nei5 zou6 gan2 me1)
Eric: Here's a response meaning 'I’m studying.'
Olivia: [Normal] 我溫緊書。(ngo5 wan1 gan2 syu1)
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning 'I'
Olivia: [Normal] 我 [Slow] 我(ngo5)
Eric: Next is the verb meaning 'to review '
Olivia: [Normal] 溫 [Slow] 溫(wan1)
Eric: Next is the continuous tense.
Olivia: [Normal] 緊 [Slow] 緊(gan2)
Eric: Last is the noun meaning 'book'
Olivia: [Normal] 書 [Slow] 書(syu1)
Eric: Listen again to the response, 'I’m studying.'
Olivia: [Slow] 我溫緊書。 [Normal] 我溫緊書。(ngo5 wan1 gan2 syu1)
Eric: Here's a response meaning, 'I'm doing nothing special.'
Olivia: [Normal] 冇乜特別嘢。(mou5 mat1 dak6 bit6 je5)
Eric: First is a verb meaning 'Nothing'
Olivia: [Normal] 冇 [Slow] 冇(mou5)
Eric: Next is the word meaning 'what'
Olivia: [Normal] 乜 [Slow] 乜(mat1)
Eric: Next is the adjective meaning 'special'
Olivia: [Normal] 特別 [Slow] 特別(dak6 bit6)
Eric: Last is the noun meaning 'thing'
Olivia: [Normal] 嘢 [Slow] 嘢(je5)
Eric: Listen again to the response meaning 'I'm doing nothing special.'
Olivia: [Slow] 冇乜特別嘢。 [Normal] 冇乜特別嘢。(mou5 mat1 dak6 bit6 je5)
Cultural Insight
Eric: Now it's time for a quick cultural insight.
Olivia: Be careful because, in Cantonese, we don’t use hai6 meaning “to be” before verbs, only before nouns. For example, it’s wrong to say 我係溫緊書(ngo5 hai6 wan1 gan2 syu1) when you want to say “I’m studying”. It should be just 我溫緊書 (ngo5 wan1 gan2 syu1), literally “I studying”.

Outro

Eric: And that’s all for this lesson. Don’t forget to check out the lesson notes, and we’ll see you in the next lesson!
Olivia: 拜拜! (baai1 baai3)

4 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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What are you doing while listening this lesson?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 03:25 PM
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Hello Brendan Lee,


In Cantonese, we place a suffix 緊(gan2) after a verb to show that the action is taking place right now. You can consider it as "-ing".

There are more examples about the usage of 緊(gan2) in this lesson. 😉👍

https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-20-effortless-catonese/


If you still have questions, please feel free to let us know. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Brendan Lee
Friday at 10:22 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi,


I don't really understand the meaning of 'gan.' What do you mean by continuous tense?


Thank you for your help.


Kind regards,


Brendan

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:03 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Steven,


Thank you for your message.


We hope you liked the lesson! :wink:


Cristiane

Team CantoneseClass101.com