To answer ‘YES’ and ‘NO’ in Cantonese is a very common response when you are living in Hong Kong and want to communicate with people around you. However, many learners confuse if they say the answer of Yes correctly. Then they realize that there really No Cantonese words that directly translate as “yes” or “no.”
In Chinese, the words you will use to express the meaning of “yes” or “no” depend entirely on the context of the yes-no question.
In Cantonese Chinese, yes-no questions formed by stating both the positive and negative form of a verb, then adding a particle “aa3” to the end of the sentence. For instance, the question “are you a teacher?”
You would say “nei5 hai6-m4-hai6 lou5si1 aa3?” literally “you are-not-are teacher?”
- To say the affirmative or negative answer, you would repeat the positive or negative form of the verb. If you are indeed Chinese, you would say “hai6” (am). If you are not, say “m4 hai6” (am not).
You’ll see how this all works through the examples that mentioned in the video by Miss Kini.