Eh, eh & eh! 欸 

āiê(2) / ê(3)

When I was younger, I was mystified as to why my parents kept on adding this 'eh' sound to every other word when they were speaking Hakka. "... Yinguêd loiyeh... tai moiyeh... laiyeh... suneh..." After about 12 years I finally found out the answer in the 4-way dictionary I bought in Moiyan!

Common uses of 欸

1. To indicate a finished action, pronounced ê(2):

佢话 gi(2) va(4) - s/he says

佢话欸 gi(2) va(4) ê(2) - s/he said

佢到 gi(2) dau(4) - s/he arrives

佢到欸 gi(2) dau(4) ê(2) - s/he arrived

Similar to the use of 了 le in Standard (Mandarin) Chinese.


2. Often used to 'complete' a noun, pronounced ê(3):

狗欸 gêu(3) ê(3) dog

杯欸 bi(1) ê(3)cup

Similar to the use of 子 zi in Standard (Mandarin) Chinese.


3. Meaning 'this', pronounced ê(3): 

欸只碗 ê(3) zag(5) von(3)this bowl

Similar to the use of 这 zhè in Standard (Mandarin) Chinese.