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In the sentence: 我諗聽日先買飛嘅話一定買唔到。

What is the function of “先”?

The original translation from a reference is “I don’t think you’ll be able to buy a ticket tomorrow.”

I do not understand the role of “先”, and can it be discarded?

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先 here is short for 先至

  • 先(first)

  • 至(then)

先至 (first then)= till... then

我諗等到聽日()買飛嘅話一定買唔到

I think if we wait (till) tomorrow (then) to buy ticket we will certainly fail to buy any

The word "等到" (wait) is implied

Example of difference between "先至/ 先" (till...then) and "先" (first/ for now)

做好功課(先至/先)准睇電視 - (Till) finish all the homework (then) allowed to watch TV.

你地坐吓等陣(先) - you guys sit for a while and wait (first/ for now)

  • When "...先" is followed by a verb phrase, it is a short form of 先至, meaning "till ... then"

  • When 先 is at the end of a words clause, it means "first" or "for now"

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Yes, it can be discarded. You can say 我諗聽日買飛嘅話一定買唔到 and the meaning is the same. I'm not sure if it's "until", but I feel it's similar to "才“

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I don’t think (you/we)’ll be able to buy a ticket tomorrow.
我諗聽日買飛嘅話一定買唔到。

I don’t think (you/we)’ll be able to buy a ticket if (you/we) wait until tomorrow.
我諗聽日買飛嘅話一定買唔到。

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