Some Cantonese questions Here are some question's from my Cantonese lesson today: 1. a village named "sek6 lung4" I assume the lung4 is 龍, but does anybody known what character the sek6 is? 2. it says that in Cantonese, the measure word for bridges 橋 is "dou6". Is that 道? 3. 開車啦! what does this sentence mean? 4. 停車啦. I understand this means the car stopped, but grammatically how does the construction work: is it "they/he stopped the car", or "the car was stopped", or is the car somehow the subject, but placed after the intransitive verb? 5. 佢起手講我就知佢係外國人 what does the 就 stand for here? does it indicate the immediacy (as soon as he started speaking, I knew he was a foreigner)? If so, would it not be better to say 佢一起手講我就知佢係外國人? 6. 六十岁几 Over sixty years old Is this construction correct? Thanks!
Feb 16, 2017 2:44 PM
Answers · 5
1. I also think it is 石龍. 2. 一道橋 has a literary feel. We usually write and say 一條橋. 3. If 啦 is pronounced laa1, it means "Drive off!" Somebody must be yelling at the driver. If 啦 is pronounced laa3, in which case I would write 喇, then it means "The car is driving off". Depending on the context, somebody is either happy or sad to see that the car is driving off. 4. This is just the opposite of (3). I agree with what KaChon said about the three possibilities of interpretation. Regarding the grammar, yes, sometime it's illogical. It's like 落雨啦(It's raining). 落 means "fall". 雨 means "rain". Then why don't we say 雨落啦? We just don't say it that way. I think you can only memorize them as fixed expressions. It is not that you can place any verb before any subject, though. 5. Your interpretation of 就 is correct and adding 一 would sound better, but the difference is not very big. However, I would like to highlight that 起手 meaning to start is very old fashioned (as usual, I mean in Hong Kong). We would say 開始 instead. In your example, I would say 佢一開口我就知佢係外國人 instead. 開口 means to start speaking (literally, open the mouth). 6. Have you heard of the saying 無三不成幾(If the quantity is less than three, it cannot be described as several)? Although this is not the hard and fast criteria, you can interpret 六十幾 as somewhere between 64 and 69. Instead, 六十零(leng4) is closer to 60, probably 61 to 63.
February 17, 2017
1.I think you are looking for 石龍. 2.Measure word for bridges 橋 is 條 3.There will be many meanings just from those 3 character. -Just drive it. -The vehicle is about to move(depart). 4.This question is interesting, it's similar to question 3. There will be many meanings just from those 3 character too. -You are asking driver for stopping driving. -The vehicle is about to stop -The vehicle is already stopped Sometimes, you do not have to have a subject in a sentence, particularly in a situation that you supposed everyone to know the subject what it is. 5.You are right,'一' dont has to stand here but '就' has to. 6.It should be 六十幾歲
February 16, 2017
(posted wrong place)
February 16, 2017
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!