I just recently learned in a lesson that 'zou6 me1' (做咩) can mean 'why?'. However, they didn't properly explain the difference between 'dim2 gaai2' (點解) and 'zou6 me1'. Up until now, I had always thought that 'dim2 gaai2' was the way to say why, so what's the difference between the two? When would be the best times to use 'zou6 me1', and when would be the best times to use 'dim2 gaai2'?
M4 goi1 saai3!
點解 = Why
做咩 = Why on earth
Why do you learn Cantonese? (I'm curious to know the reason.)
你做咩學廣東話呀?Why on earth are you learning Cantonese? (Are you crazy? Cantonese is so difficult to learn.)
Why you choose Italki to learn english?
你做咩事？=What are you doing ?做咩野？= What's going on? 你做咩工作?What job are you doing?
Your questions are good and I love the answers from Raymond and Rae. I have some additional points.
zou6 me1 (做咩) What? Are you ok? What's wrong?
dim2 gaai2 (點解) Why
If you want to ask someone "Are you ok? What's wrong?"
You can say "你做咩呀？"
It's usually used by boyfriends when they're in a fight :P
zou6 me1 (做咩) can be used when someone calls your name
For example, 小明: Grace 呀
You can respond: 做咩呀？ (what?)
I think 'zou6 me1' and 'dim2 gaai2' are sometimes interchangeable and convey negative meaning depending on the tone of voice.
For instance, 你點解唔溫書？死仔！
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For us, 'dim2 gaai2' (點解) is more frequently used as 'why'. We use it as a neutral question word and we expect to have the reason(s) in return.
'zou6 me1' (做咩) is used as 'what are you doing' but yes, it is used as 'why'. Though, it sounds a bit disapproving to me . Just a funny clip from a classic comedy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPqAXIHC6RQ.
Hope this helps!