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Difference between 點解 and 做咩?

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!

7 mar 2018 21:01
Comments · 5

點解 = Why

做咩 = Why on earth



Why do you learn Cantonese? (I'm curious to know the reason.)


Why on earth are you learning Cantonese? (Are you crazy? Cantonese is so difficult to learn.)
9 marca 2018
點解=Why ?
Why the sky is blue?

Why you choose Italki to learn english?

做咩= What 

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?

22 kwietnia 2018

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!


Feel free to send me a message regarding Chinese or visit

15 marca 2018

9 marca 2018

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 -

Hope this helps!

9 marca 2018
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, French, Japanese, Swahili
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), French, Japanese