stem
What does '才' truly mean, and could you give some example sentences? Can someone tell me what 才 (cai; Cantonese reading: choi) means? When I look it up in the dictionary, it says it means "talent" or "ability". But half the time I see this character, it seems to be in a context that couldn't have anything to do with "talent" or "ability" (I'm guessing, since I can only read like 300 Chinese characters in total). It appears like it functions as some sort of adverb/conjunction, i.e. it's some kind of grammatical word, and not "talent" or "ability". It appears to me that 才 doesn't exist in Cantonese (other than meaning "talent"), is there an equivalent expression or an approximate translation of this word into Cantonese?
May 20, 2010 7:27 AM
Answers · 3
才 can be noun. means: talent ( don't need explain here, because 你很有才。You are very talent.) can be adv. means: only ( here are some different function in the sentences) 1. (time) later than speaker expect E.g: 他10点才来。(tā shí diǎn cái lái.) He only comes at 10 o’clock. (later than I expect, I thought he comes 8 or 9…) 我们下午才开会。(wǒ mén xià wǔ cái kāi huì.) We will only have the meeting this afternoon. ( later than I expect, I thought this morning) 你怎么才来?(nǐ zěn me cái lái?) Why are you arriving now? ( I thought you should come half hour ago…) 2. (quantity) less than speaker expect E.g: 他才吃了半个面包。(tā cái chī le bàn gè miàn bāo.) He only eat half of the bread.( That’s not enough, I expect he ate more.) 他才50岁。(tā cái 50 suì.) He is only 50. ( OMG, he looks like 70 years old grandpa.) 3. (time) shorter then speaker expect E.g: 我才到家,电话就响了。(wǒ cái dài jiā, diàn huà jiù xiǎng le.) The phone ringed as soon as I got home. (I didn’t even have a break.) 她来这工作才两个月。(tā lái zhè gōng zuò cái liǎng gè yuè.) She has worked here only two months. ( I thought she came here long time ago.) 4. only (choice) (usually in phrase, means: that’s the only option. ) E.g: 只有他,才知道开会时间。(zhǐ yǒu tā, cái zhī dào kāi huì shí jiān.) Only he knows the meeting time. (no one else) 学生只有用功,才能取得好成绩。(xué shēng zhǐ yǒu yòng gōng, cái n éng qǔ de hǎo chéng jī.) Only studying hard, can let students get good marks. (don’t know whether cheating can help as well?:) 5. refute E.g: A: 你疯啦!(nǐ fēng la!) Are you mad? B:你才疯啦!(nǐ cái fēng la!) You are mad! Courtney said:5 really. This is wrong. You will hear lots of girls say this to the boyfriend: 我才不喜欢你呢!(wǒ cái bù xǐ huān nǐ ne!) I don't like you! ( In fact, means she loves the boyfriend, but too shy to say that. doesn't mean: don't like you.)
May 20, 2010
1) it's only in certain conditions or for some reason ①only…if 学生只有用功,才能取得好成绩。 Students will only be able to do well if they study hard. ② only after 他解释后,我才明白了他为什么那么难过。 It was only after he explained that I understood why he was so sad. 2)it can be a noun which means ability or talent 天才genius 3 ) just 我才到家,电话就响了。 Just as I arrived home, the phone rang. 4) not…until 路上堵车,我10点才到单位上班。 Because of the traffic jam, I did not arrive at work until ten. 5) really 他才不愿意见你呢! He really doesn't want to see you!
May 20, 2010
when 才 is a noun, it means talent, when 才 is a adverb or conjunction, it means just now. You are talented. 你很有才。 I just heard about it few minutes ago. 我几分钟前才听说。
May 20, 2010
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
stem
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), German