kin-á-jit lí bô-êng mā? - Are you busy today?

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Lesson 2 contains a dialogue of two students discussing their classes for the day.

The Han characters provided below are for reference and are consistent with the Taiwanese Minnan Recommended Hanzi Usage (台灣閩南語推薦用字) which has been promoted by the government of Taiwan. Individual usage may vary from speaker to speaker based on preference.

Dialogues 1 & 2: Characters[edit]

Dialogue 1

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
Tony: Amy,爻早。 (早安) Tony: Amy,爻早。 (早安)
Amy: 爻早。你好无? (早安。你好吗?) Amy: 爻早。你好無? (早安。你好嗎?)
Tony: 我真好,多谢。你呢? Tony: 我真好,多謝。妳呢?
Amy: 我嘛真好。今仔日你无闲吗? (我也很好。今天你有空吗?) Amy: 我嘛真好。今仔日你無閒嗎? (我也很好。今天你有空嗎?)
Tony: 今仔日我真无闲。我有五节课。 (今天我没空,我有五节课。) Tony: 今仔日我真無閒。我有五節課。 (今天我沒空,我有五節課。)
Amy: 五节?!伤济啦!今仔日我干单有一节。 (五节?! 这么多!今天我只有一节。) Amy: 五節?!傷濟啦!今仔日我干單有一節。 (五節?! 這麼多!今天我只有一節。)
Tony: 一节?!伤少啦! (一节?!太少了啦!) Tony: 一節?! 傷少啦! (一節?!太少了啦!)

Dialogue 2

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters

Dialogues 1 & 2: POJ/English[edit]

Dialogue 1

POJ English
Tony: Amy, gâu-chá. Tony: Good morning, Amy.
Amy: Gâu-chá. Lí hó-bò·? Amy: Good morning. How are you?
Tony: Góa chin-hó, to-siā. Lí neh? Tony: I'm fine, thanks. How about you?
Amy: Góa mā chin-hó. Kin-á-jit lí bô-êng mā? Amy: I'm also fine. Are you busy today?
Tony: Kin-á-jit góa chin bô-êng. Góa ū ngó·-chiat-khò. Tony: I'm very busy today. I have five classes.
Amy: Ngó·-chiat?! Siuⁿ-chē la! Kin-á-jit góa kan-nā ū chi̍t-chiat. Amy: Five?! That's too many! Today I only have one.
Tony: Chi̍t-chiat?! Siuⁿ-chió la! Tony: One?! That's too few!


Dialogue 2

POJ English

Vocabulary[edit]

Note: Visit this lesson's Stroke Order subpage to see images and animations detailing how to write the following characters. Audio files of the words are linked from the POJ when available. Problems listening? See media help.

Simplified (traditional in parentheses) POJ Part of speech English [‍m.‍]
1. chi̍t (num) one
2. () nn̄g (num) two
3. saⁿ (num) three
4. (num) four
5. ngó· (num) five
6. la̍k (num) six
7. chhit (num) seven
8. peh (num) eight
9. káu (num) nine
10. cha̍p (num) ten
11. 爻早 gâu-chá (phrase) good morning
12. chin (adv) very
13. 多谢 (多謝) to-siā (v) thanks
14. 今仔日 kin-á-jit (n) today
15. 无闲 (無閒) bô-êng (adj) busy
16. bò· (part) (question particle)
17. (part) (question particle)
18. ū (v) to have, possess
19. () (adv) to lack; to not have
20. () chiat (m) (measure word for sections of things)
21. () khò (n) class []
22. siuⁿ (adv) too, extremely
23. la (part) (combines with siuⁿ - see grammar)
24. chē (adj) many
25. chió (adj) few
26. 干单 (干單) kan-nā, kan-ta, kan-taⁿ (adv) only, merely

Grammar[edit]

La [啦] as emphasizer[edit]

The particle la [啦] as used here serves to add emphasis to the verb or adjective of the sentence. It is often seen paired with siuⁿ to express excessiveness.


Affirmative-negative questions[edit]

A sentence can be made into a question by having both affirmative and negative options together. To answer in the affirmative, the verb or adjective is repeated. (An affirmative adjective in this case is usually preceded by chin [真] to avoid a comparitive tone.) Responding in the negative is simply saying "not verb" or "not adjective".


S + V 不 V + O?



Example:

sī (是: to be) always uses "m̄" to negate.

Q: 伊是 毋是Tony?

I sī m̄-sī Tony?
Is he Tony?

A: 是。or 毋是。

Sī. or M̄-sī.
Yes (he is). or No (he isn't).


S + adj.嘛?



Example:
Q:

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
今仔日Amy无闲嘛? 今仔日Amy無閒嘛?
Kin-á-jit Amy bô-êng mā?
Is Amy busy today?

A:

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
伊真无闲。or 伊有闲。 伊真無閒。or 伊有閒。
I chin bô-êng. or I ū-êng.
Yes, she's busy. or No, she's not busy.
This is a special case because the word for busy (bô-êng) literally means "to not have leisure time," whereas ū-êng literally means "to have leisure time."

Sentences using ū [有][edit]

ū [有] means to have and indicates possession.


S + 有 + O



Example:

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
我有三节课。 我有三節課。
Góa ū saⁿ-chiat-khò.
I have three classes.

Using [无/無] to negate ū [有][edit]

ū is negated when replaced by [无/無].


S + 无/無 + O



Example:

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
今仔日怹无一节课。 今仔日怹無一節課。
Kin-á-jit in bô chi̍t-chiat-khò.
They don't have any class today.

More about bô and m̄[edit]

More about bô and m̄



  • m̄ is used to negate verbs in present and future tense.
    Example: i m̄ lâi - he does not come or he will not come
  • the exception to this rule are helping verbs such as:
    beh - want to + verb; will + verb
    ài - must + verb
    èng-kai - should + verb
    kah-ì - like to + verb
    Example: i bô beh lâi - he is not going to come
  • for all other verbs, bô is used to indicate past tense negative
    Example: i bô lâi - he did not come
  • bô is also used to negate adjectival nouns
    Example: i bô súi - she is not beautiful
  • An exception can be made for hó (good), m̄-hó = bô-hó - not good.