I always catch a syllable sounds like mai between 喺 and 一齊. I could get the exact syllable wrong but it should sound similar. The whole thing means 在一起, and 喺 means 在, 一齊 is 一起. So 1) what's the meaning or function of mai? 2) Is it necessary or optional? 3) Does it have other usages?


Using the information from the answers, I found an entry in 《香港粵語大詞典》that clears my first and third questions. From there I get its basic verbal meanings, particle functions that are grammaticalized from the verbal meanings, as well as how the meanings and functions developed.

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  • If you don't have them, I recommend looking into the cantonese pleco dictionaries. both the chinese english and chinese chinese ones are phenomenal. here is the most basic entry for this character: (verb) 1. to complete; 2. to settle; (verb) to join in (a group); (adverb) 1. as well; 2. also; 3. and 1 to bury 2 to conceal 3 to hide 4 to settle (an account) 5 to close out 6 to finish up 7 to move closer to 8 closer together 9 as well
    – zagrycha
    Mar 26 at 8:21
  • As others said what you mention is leaning into the 7 or 8 definition above. To address your question 2.) It depends on your exact definition of necessary. Let's say necessary means that not having it or an alternate to serve the same purpose changes the meaning/connotation: Yes it is needed often (but not always as usual context is king).
    – zagrycha
    Mar 26 at 8:24

2 Answers 2



喺埋一齊 = close in together/ cluster together

一齊 = together

Meaning: [(1) [v] move nearer to; close in; cluster together. (2) [v] finish sth off; close up; settle (an account). (3) [adv] even; too; as well.

  • Thanks for identifying the word. It seems very subtle from the examples on the page of the link you provide. Still hard for me to get the gist of it.
    – lilysirius
    Mar 25 at 3:42

Since you mentioned it was hard to get the gist of, I thought I'd add the entry from ABC:

ABC Cantonese

hai2 maai4 jat1 cai4

to be together with someone, get together with someone

ngo5 dei6 jau5 mou5 ho2 nang4 hai2 maai4 jat1 cai4, ngo5 soeng2 zi1 dou3 nei5 dim2 nam2
Do we have a chance to be together? I want to know what you think

Notes: can have a sexual connotation

The entry for 𠹺[maai4] in ABC Cantonese is quite extensive.

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