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nei5 ho2, ngo5 hai6 Olivia. Hi everybody! I’m Olivia.
Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com’s “saam1 fan1 zung1 gwong2 dung1 waa2”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Cantonese.
In the last lesson, we learned how to use the interrogative word “How”, dim2.
In this lesson, we will talk about the next interrogative word “What”.
So imagine you want to ask your friend "What is he doing?" How would you do it?
You will ask: keoi5 zou6 mat1 aa6 ?
[slowly] keoi5 zou6 mat1 aa6 ?
So let’s break down this answer:
keoi5 can refer to "he”, “she”, or ”it"
zou6 is the verb “to do”
And then mat1, which is “what”.
Finally, the aa6 is a question particle.
This phrase, keoi5 zou6 mat1 aa6 ?, literally “he do what?” can also mean “What’s wrong with him?”
Let’s look at another example. This phrase is very common in restaurants:
nei5 sik6 mat1 aa6 ?
“What are you eating?”
[slowly] nei5 sik6 mat1 aa6 ?
literally “you eat what?”
The rule is simple: every time you want to ask a “What” question with a verb, remember to put the verb IN FRONT OF mat1.
And if there is a noun in the question, place it AFTER mat1. For example:
mat1 ngaan4 sik1 → “what color”
mat1 lam1 baa2 → “what number”
Let’s see some sample sentences:
nei5 zung1 ji3 mat1 ngaan4 sik1? → literally “you like what color?”
nei5 soeng5 maai5 mat1 lam1 baa2? → literally “you want to buy what number?”
Now it’s time for Olivia’s insights
Sometimes you might hear me1 instead of mat1 when people are asking “What” questions. These two words are interchangeable.
[slowly] mat1 and me1
keoi5 zou6 mat1 aa6 ?
keoi5 zou6 me1 aa6 ?
“what is he doing?”
nei5 sik6 mat1 aa6 ?
nei5 sik6 me1 aa6 ?
“What are you eating?”
In this lesson, we learned how to use the word mat1 to ask "What" questions.
Next lesson, we will talk about the Cantonese for the interrogative word "Where".
Do you know it already? I’ll be waiting for you in the next saam1 fan1 zung1 gwong2 dung1 waa2 lesson.
haa6 ci3 gin3.

7 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Hi listeners! So, what's your favorite food?

CantoneseClass101.com
Thursday at 2:32 pm
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Hi Craig,


You are welcome! 😄

Leave us a message if you have more questions. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Craig
Wednesday at 8:29 am
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Thanks Ada!

CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 2:13 pm
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Hello Craig,


Thanks for your question! 😉

“You want to buy what number?” is the literal meaning in English. It means "What number do you want to buy?" in English, usually in the scenario of asking someone who is going to buy Mark Six (a popular 6-out-of-49 lottery-style game in Hong Kong).


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Craig
Sunday at 9:35 pm
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What does “You want to buy what number?” mean in English?

CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 1:53 am
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Hi Jet,


Thank you for posting.


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team CantoneseClass101.com

jet
Friday at 11:26 am
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Food😆