廣東話動詞後綴、語氣助詞及副詞 Cantonese Suffixes, Particles, and Adverbs
so, collectively, the "phrase ending" words like 咗、過、晒、埋 are called "後綴" and the translation for the term is "suffixes"; there are some overlaps with adverbs 副詞 in terms of usage, and i'm not going to be too anal about separating them out. the point is to understand the usage of the term itself. particles 助詞 are just another set of what i deem "helper" words/terms that give nuanced meanings to a sentence; i'm going to focus on the ones related to emotions/reactions/attitude.
through the site coursehero, i found some groupings of commonly used suffixes 後綴:
video on commonly used adverbs 副詞 as related to frequency:
there are a ton of particles 助詞 in common everyday use, and you'll have seen many of these in my other post about common expressions. the chinese term is literally "helper word/phrase". here's a list of some of the most popular as related to expressions/reactions/attitude:
廣東話動詞後綴、語氣助詞及副詞 Cantonese Suffixes, Particles, and Adverbs (Part 2)
the previous post was getting a bit crowded. below, i'm going to select a few of the most common "helper words" used in everyday speech. beware that there are a lot of nuances that can't really be delineated without going into whole essays, but i do want to at least give a gist of what to do with these words.
咗 (zo2) - suffix for past tense of "to do" (i.e., did) - the word is used after the verb to indicate that the action is complete/done/finished; usually indicates that the action has just been done in the recent past and often is used to indicate that the action done is a one-time/one-off thing.
examples: 佢中午食咗個熱狗。 at noon, s/he ate a hot dog - the verb is "to eat" - the sentence indicates that the action of eating is done
佢結咗婚㗎啦。 s/he's already married. - the verb is "to be married" - the sentence indicates that the act of marrying is done and implies that it's a done deal
過 (gwo3) - suffix for "has been done" - the word is used after the verb to indicate that the action has been completed/done/finished; the nuance is that this is a past experience and can be repeated in future.
example: 我今早跑過步。 i went for a jog this morning. - the verb is "to run" - the sentence indicates that the action has been done, that it was an experience that happened.
晒 / 哂 (saai3) - suffix for "entirely done" - the word is used after the verb to indicate that the action is absolutely complete/done/finished; can be used to indicate that the action will never be repeated in future.
example: 食晒喇。 finished eating. - again, the verb is "to eat" - the sentence indicates that the act of eating is entirely completed.
咗 vs 過 vs 晒 - given that all three are used to express an action being completed, what's the difference? well, obviously context. and nuance. and intention. ah, the complexity of language! - i'll try using the following sentence of "s/he ate dinner already" to give an idea of the nuances:
佢食咗飯。 the act of eating has recently been completed; usually a statement of fact 佢食過飯。 the act of eating was experienced sometime in the past 佢食晒飯。 the act of eating has (recently) been completed in its entirety; there's a bit of emphasis on the fact that the action has been done
埋 (maai4)- the helper word for an action in the process of happening/being done
食埋飯先走啦。 finish your dinner first before you leave. - the verb is again "to eat" - the sentence indicates that the action of eating is in progress, that it hasn't been completed
好 (hou2) - "very" - instead of using 很, canto speakers use this term
好好味啊! it's delicious! (i.e., it's very good tasting)
咁 (gam3) - in such a way as to...; how (something) is so (adjective) - the mandarin would be 如此 or 這麼
廣東話咁鬼難學㗎! Cantonese is such a difficult language to learn!
咁鬼熱㗎。 it's so hot!
啦 (la1) - plea, suggestion, command, resignated agreement, matter of fact, exclamatory ending word, etc - this is an extremely versatile word - the mandarin 了 and 吧 sort of encompass a large part of its usage, but not all - in english, sentiments like "ok already" or "just do/accept that..." also sort of encompass a large part of its usage
係噉先啦! that's it for now!
我中獎啦！ i won an award!
算罷啦。 forget it! OR give it up already!
我知啦！ i know (already, geez)!
唔好咁嗲啦。 stop being so clingy!
咩 (me1) / 乜嘢 (mat1 je5) - for questions/queries, incredulity in the form of a question - while you can use this to politely ask about something, it's generally used in a more aggressive/demanding tone
呢啲係咩嚟㗎？ what's this (stuff)? OR what the hell IS this?!
做咩啊？ what's going on? what's up? OR what the hell do you want? what the hell do you think you're doing?
咩事啊。 what's the matter? OR what the hell is going on here?
啩 (gua3) - "maybe/perhaps", "i guess", suspicious/uncertain circumstances
唔會啩? it's not going to happen, is it?
唔係啩。 i don't think so. are you sure? OR it can't be!
好啲喇啩。 things are a bit better, aren't they?
之嘛 (ji1 ma3) - "i only...", "it's only...", "it's not really", "it's not a big deal"
幾缗之嘛。 it's only a few bucks (what's the big deal?).
我差佢五百蚊之嘛。 i only owe him/her five hundred dollars (quit worrying).
咋 (zaa3) - a reminder that; can be interchangeable with 之嘛 using that term's meaning
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