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Lesson Transcript

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 ask "What" questions in Cantonese.
This time, we are going to ask questions using the interrogative word "Where?"
In lesson 12, we learned how to ask "Where are you?" Do you still remember how to say it? It’s:
nei5 hai2 bin1?
[slowly] nei5 hai2 bin1?
literally “you are where?”
So let’s break down this question:
nei5 is "You"
hai2 means "are”
And bin1 is “where?”
All together it is nei5 hai2 bin1?
[slowly] nei5 hai2 bin1?
So in Cantonese, "Where" is mainly translated as bin1.
So for example, if you want to ask "Where do you live?" You will say nei5 zyu6 bin1?
literally “You live where?”
[slowly] nei5 zyu6 bin1?
And if you want to ask “Where are you going?”, it is nei5 heoi3 bin1?
literally “You go where?”
[slowly] nei5 heoi3 bin1?
But be careful, in some questions it’s more natural to say bin1 dou6 instead of just bin1.
For example, if you want to ask "Where do you come from?" you will use nei5 hai6 bin1 dou6 lei4 gaa3? instead of just nei5 hai6 bin1 lei4 gaa3 ?
Let’s break this question down:
nei5 → “you”
hai6 → “are”
bin1 dou6 → “where”
lei4 → “come”
gaa3→ ending particle that emphasizes interrogative words
[slowly] nei5 hai6 bin1 dou6 lei4 gaa3 ?
Now it’s time for Olivia’s insights.
There is no solid rule on when you need to use bin1 dou6 instead of bin1, but usually for longer questions, using bin1 dou6 would be safer. And of course, you can always substitute bin1 with bin1 dou6, and it would not be wrong. It’s just a habit that Cantonese speakers have – they tend to shorten their speech!
So, nei5 hai2 bin1? can become nei5 hai2 bin1 dou6?
nei5 zyu6 bin1? can become nei5 zyu6 bin1 dou6?
nei5 heoi3 bin1? can become nei5 heoi3 bin1 dou6?
In this lesson, we learned how to use the interrogative Cantonese word for "Where", bin1, or bin1 dou6.
Now you can avoid getting lost!
In the next lesson we’ll learn more about asking questions, this time using "When" in Cantonese.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next saam1 fan1 zung1 gwong2 dung1 waa2 lesson! Haa6 ci3 gin3!