Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Introduction
Eric: Welcome to 3-Minute Cantonese Season 1, Lesson 17 - Why? In this lesson, you’ll learn how to ask and answer ‘why’ questions in Cantonese.
Body
Eric: We’ll start off with how to ask 'Why are you late?' in Cantonese.
Olivia: [Normal] 點解你遲到?(dim2 gaai2 nei5 ci4 dou3)
Eric: First is an adverb meaning 'Why'
Olivia: [Normal] 點解 [Slow] 點解 (dim2 gaai2)
Eric: Next is the pronoun meaning 'you'
Olivia: [Normal] 你 [Slow] 你(nei5)
Eric: Next is the adjective meaning 'late'
Olivia: [Normal] 遲 [Slow] 遲(ci4)
Eric: Last is the verb meaning 'to arrive'
Olivia: [Normal] 到 [Slow] 到(dou3)
Eric: Listen again to the question meaning 'Why are you late?'
Olivia: [Slow] 點解你遲到? [Normal] 點解你遲到?(dim2 gaai2 nei5 ci4 dou3)
Eric: Now, imagine you're speaking to your co-worker. Here's how to say, 'I missed the train.'
Olivia: [Normal] 我走咗班車。(ngo5 zau2 zo2 baan1 ce1)
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning 'I'
Olivia: [Normal] 我 [Slow] 我 (ngo5)
Eric: Next is the verb meaning 'to miss'
Olivia: [Normal] 走 [Slow] 走 (zau2)
Eric: Next is the adverb meaning 'already'
Olivia: [Normal] 咗 [Slow] 咗(zo2)
Eric: Last is the noun meaning 'the train'
Olivia: [Normal] 班車 [Slow] 班車(baan1 ce1)
Eric: Listen again to the sentence meaning 'I missed the train.'
Olivia: [Slow] 我走咗班車。 [Normal] 我走咗班車。(ngo5 zau2 zo2 baan1 ce1)
Eric: Here's a question meaning 'Why do you leave so early?'
Olivia: [Normal] 點解你咁早走?(dim2 gaai2 nei5 gam3 zou2 zau2)
Eric: First is an adverb meaning 'Why'
Olivia: [Normal] 點解 [Slow] 點解(dim2 gaai2)
Eric: Next is the pronoun meaning 'you'
Olivia: [Normal] 你 [Slow] 你(nei5)
Eric: Next is the adverb meaning 'so'
Olivia: [Normal] 咁 [Slow] 咁(gam3 )
Eric: Next is the adverb meaning 'early'
Olivia: [Normal] 早 [Slow] 早(zou2)
Eric: Last is the verb meaning 'to leave'
Olivia: [Normal] 走 [Slow] 走(zau2)
Eric: Listen again to the question meaning 'Why do you leave so early?'
Olivia: [Slow] 點解你咁早走? [Normal] 點解你咁早走?(dim2 gaai2 nei5 gam3 zou2 zau2)
Eric: Here's a response meaning, 'I don’t want to miss the train.'
Olivia: [Normal] 我驚趕唔切搭車。(ngo5 geng1 gon2 m4 cit3 daap3 ce1)
Eric: First is a pronoun meaning 'I'
Olivia: [Normal] 我 [Slow] 我(ngo5)
Eric: Next is the verb meaning 'to be wary of'
Olivia: [Normal] 驚 [Slow] 驚(geng1)
Eric: Next is the phrase meaning 'cannot make it'
Olivia: [Normal] 趕唔切 [Slow] 趕唔切(gon2 m4 cit3)
Eric: Last is the verb meaning 'to take a train'
Olivia: [Normal] 搭車 [Slow] 搭車(daap3 ce1)
Eric: Listen again to the response meaning 'I don’t want to miss the train.'
Olivia: [Slow] 我驚趕唔切搭車。 [Normal] 我驚趕唔切搭車。(ngo5 geng1 gon2 m4 cit3 daap3 ce1)
Cultural Insight
Eric: Now it's time for a quick cultural insight.
Olivia: To avoid the question 點解你遲到? (dim2 gaai2 nei5 ci4 dou3) or “Why are you late” in Hong Kong, make sure to report to work on time. Things in Hong Kong usually take significantly longer than you'd expect, even without major delays. If you do arrive late for a meeting, apologize profusely for inconveniencing your counterparts. However, punctuality for social events in Hong Kong is slightly more relaxed. It is acceptable to arrive up to half an hour later than the official start time of an event.

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)

6 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Listeners! Why are you studying Cantonese?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 11:57 PM
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Hi Dany Tran,


Thanks for your question.

我走咗班車 (ngo5 zau2 zo2 baan1 ce1.) is the most common way to say " I missed the train.".

You can also say 我錯過咗班車 (ngo5 co3 gwo3 zo2 baan1 ce1). 👍


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Dany Tran
Thursday at 07:30 AM
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我走咗班車


For this above sentence, can I say "我錯咗班車" instead?


Thanks

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:24 PM
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Hello Vincent,


Thanks for the question. 😉

趕唔切(gon2 m4 cit3), there is no need to consider the literal meaning of 切 (cit3), because we should take it as a whole phrase to understand. So you can just memorize it as "cannot make it". 😉

In more details, 〇唔切(〇 m4 cit3) is a common expression of "cannot get something done in a period of time", while you can replace 〇 with a verb (an action).

For example,

我做唔切啲功課 (ngo5 zou6 m4 cit3 di1 gung1 fo3) ~ I cannot finish my homework. (Implication: I cannot finish my homework on time)


Ada

Vincent
Wednesday at 12:34 AM
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Can you explain how the words in the phrase 趕唔切(gon2 m4 cit3) come together to mean "cannot make it?" I understand that

趕(gon2) usually means "to hurry" or "to rush" and that 切(cit3) usually means "to cut," so I'm curious if 趕(gon2) or 切(cit3) has a different meaning in 趕唔切(gon2 m4 cit3) or if that phrase can still be explained somehow with those meanings? Thank you, again, for your helpful explanations!

Cantoneseclass101.com Verified
Thursday at 02:52 AM
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Hi Steven,


Can`t agree more.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com