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As the question states, how do you say, "Did you hold your cellphone close to your face?" in Cantonese?

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The English doesn't really make any sense – user3306356 Apr 20 '14 at 12:05
It's in the context of someone explaining how she got a ticket for texting and driving while in America. Another way of phrasing the question could be, "Were you holding the cellphone close to your face?" – Crashalot Apr 20 '14 at 23:24

I suppose that you mean "Were you holding your phone to your ear?" Then you can say "你 lik 住部手机来打啊?" I don't know the character for "lik", which means "to hold".

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The character for lik1 is 搦. It's a nasal-stop alternant of ling1 拎. – Claw Apr 22 '14 at 18:24
@Claw: shouldn't 住 be 著 or 着 (same character, different strokes)? (I could be wrong; I don't have that much experience writing Cantonese, but "intuitively" speaking it sounds more "correct" to me.) – user3410 Apr 28 '14 at 3:45
@user3410 I think you meant to address your question to @abcs, but I can answer this anyway. In Cantonese, the continuous aspect is expressed using the zyu3 verb suffix. This is indeed cognate with Mandarin's zhe suffix, written as 著 or 着. In Cantonese though, 著/着 is typically pronounced with the literary pronunciation zoek6. In order to indicate that the zyu3 pronunciation is intended, 住 is often written instead. – Claw Apr 28 '14 at 22:33
@Claw: thanks for the clarification. While I'm more or less a native Cantonese speaker, my writing skills for Putonghua are substantially better, so I wasn't really sure about this. – user3410 Apr 28 '14 at 22:42
Oops, I meant zyu6 instead of zyu3. It's too late to edit my original comment unfortunately. – Claw Apr 28 '14 at 22:51

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