I would like to ask about the function of 得 in this sentence:


I understood the sentence as: "Tomorrow I still have an interview (additionally, on top of something else that might not have been mentioned)."

My question is why is there a "得"? I think the statement "我聽日仲有面試添。" without the "得" might have been perfectly fine?

2 Answers 2


得 here is part of an auxiliary verb: 有得 /冇得 in Cantonese.

  • 有得 = (Mandarin: 能/ 可以) = able to (qualified to)/ can

  • 冇得 = (Mandarin: 不能/ 不可以) = unable to (not qualified to)/ cannot

我聽日仲面試添 = I also have an interview tomorrow (notice: 面試 here is a noun for "an interview")

我聽日有得面試添 I can (qualified to) do an interview tomorrow (notice: 面試 here is a verb for "to do an interview")

我聽日冇得面試 = I can't (not qualified to) do an interview tomorrow

More examples of 有得 /冇得:

考試合格有得去旅行 - pass the exam and you can go on the field trip

考試唔合格冇得去旅行 - fail the exam and you can't go on the field trip

六十五歲或以上有得攞養老金 - A person 65 years old or older can receive an old-age pension

六十五歲以下冇得攞養老金 - a person under 65 years old can't receive an old-age pension


In Mandarin, the auxiliary verb 得 means 要 = "have to; must" e.g. 我明天還面試 (I still have to do an interview tomorrow).

  • extremely clear discussions, as always. thank you.
    – cgo
    Mar 30, 2022 at 9:52

Intuitively, I would say the two sentences are somewhat different in meaning. With 得 you frame the interview positively, so you could alternatively translate the sentence as "Tomorrow I still get to have an interview" which implies that you are happy to do the interview. Whereas without 得 you frame the interview neutrally/negatively, i.e. it could imply that you are not looking forward to the interview.

Example: 如果你坐定定,可能有得食糖啊!("If you sit still, you might get to have candy/a sweet!")

With 添 at the end, as you rightly mentioned, suggests the interview is additional on top of something else, so the sentence with 得 might imply that 'the other thing' is good, whereas without 得 might imply that it is not. However I'm not sure how these bits of colloquial language might be formalised in terms of linguistics/grammar terminology.

  • adding 得 to 有 to make it "有得" doesn't necessarily frame the verb positively, for example, 有得震冇得瞓 (can only get scared, but can't get any sleep); 監都有得你坐 ( you can go to jail for that). You are using Mandarin grammar to interpret a Cantonese term. Please read my answer, The 有(have) in Mandarin has a different meaning in the Cantonese term 有得 (able + get = can)
    – Tang Ho
    Mar 30, 2022 at 10:15
  • @TangHo "有得震冇得瞓" - There's a bit of sarcasm here. You don't get to sleep but you "get to" tremble. Same with 有得坐監.
    – monalisa
    Mar 30, 2022 at 15:19

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