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A: Top 25 Cantonese Questions You Need to Know - Lesson 19: What's wrong? in Cantonese. In each lesson of this 25 part series, you'll master a common question for Cantonese learners, and then learn how to answer it like a native. You'll learn how these key phrases work by breaking them down into each component. Then through repetition and new vocabulary, you'll expand your understanding of the question, its answers, and any variations.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to respond to the common question “What's wrong?” In Cantonese this is
B: 咩事呀?
The first word in the question is
B: 咩
A: meaning “what” in English.
B: (Slow, by syllable) 咩
A: Listen again and repeat.
B: 咩
{Pause}
A: This pattern of first introducing a word at natural speed, providing the translation, breaking it down, and then giving it again at natural speed will be repeated throughout the series. Try to speak aloud as often as possible. The next word in the question is
B: 事
A: meaning “matter” or “happening.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 事
A: Now repeat.
B: 事
{Pause}
Listen to the the first 2 words of the question and repeat.
B: 咩事
{pause}
And next
B: 呀
A: the question marking particle.
B: (Slow, by syllable) 呀
A: Now repeat.
B: 呀
{Pause}
Listen to the entire question and repeat.
B: 咩事呀
{pause}
A: This literally means “what matter?”
A:You will hear this common question again and again throughout your studies. Master the following pattern and responses to the question What's wrong?
B: 我好攰。
A: "I'm tired.” Again, slowly. Repeat the phrase.
B: (Slow) 我好攰。
{pause}
A: Let's break it down from the beginning. The first word:
B: 我
A: means “I.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 我
A: Now repeat
B: 我
{Pause}
A: Next is
B: 好
meaning something like “very, quite, fairly.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 好
A:Now repeat.
B: 好
{Pause}
A: And next
B: 攰
meaning “tired.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 攰
A:Now repeat.
B: 攰
{Pause}
A: Listen to the speaker say, “I'm tired.” and then repeat.
B: 我好攰。
{pause}
A: To expand on the pattern, replace “tired” with “unwell.”
B: 唔舒服
A: unwell
B: (slow) 唔舒服 (regular) 唔舒服
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with “unwell”
B: 我唔舒服。
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace “tired” with “unwell.” Say “I'm unwell.”
{pause}
B: 我唔舒服。
A: To use a different phrase, replace “unwell” with “sleepy.”
B: 好眼瞓
A: sleepy
B: (slow) 好眼瞓 (regular) 好眼瞓
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with “sleepy.”
B: 我好眼瞓。
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace “unwell” with “sleepy.” Say “I'm sleepy.”
{pause}
B: 我好眼瞓。
A: To use a different phrase, replace “sleepy” with “worried.”
B: 擔心
A: “worried” or “to worry”
B: (slow) 擔心 (regular) 擔心
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with “worried.”
B: 我擔心。
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace “sleepy” with “worried.” Say “I'm worried.”
{pause}
B: 我擔心。
Now it's time for a quiz. Imagine you are visiting Hong Kong and someone asks you what's wrong. You want to answer “I'm tired.” Respond to the question.
B: 咩事呀? (five seconds) 我好攰。
A: Now you want to say “I'm unwell.” Respond to the question.
B: 咩事呀? (five seconds) 我唔舒服。
A: You want to say “I'm sleepy.” Answer the speaker's question.
B: 咩事呀? (five seconds) 我好眼瞓。
A: You want to say “I’m worried.”. Respond to the question.
B: 咩事呀? (five seconds) 我擔心。
A: Now you want to ask someone what's wrong. Ask the question.
(5 seconds)
B: 咩事呀?
{pause}
A: This is the end of Lesson 19

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What's Wrong? in Cantonese