can lah!

something i came across on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singlish

haha, cant believe someone actually posted that! and its that comprehensive!

Function Example Meaning
(Nothing) Can. “It can be done.”  
Solidarity Can lah. “Rest assured, it can be done.”  
Seeking attention Can hor / huh? “It can be done, right?”  
Characteristic Can one / do. “This can be accomplished.”  
       
Acceptance /
Resignation
Can lor. “It can be done.”  
Assertion Can wat. “It can be done… shouldn’t you know this?”  
Assertion (strong) Can mah. “See?! It can be done!”  
Assertion (softened) Can leh. “Can’t you see that it can be done?”  
Yes / No question Can or not? “Can it be done?”  
Yes / No question
(confirmation)
Can is it? “It can be done, right?”  
Yes / No question
(skepticism)
Can meh? “Um… are you sure it can be done?”  
Confirmation Can ar (low tone). “So… it can really be done?”  
Rhetorical Can ar (rising). “Alright then, don’t come asking for help if problems arise.”  
Change of state (finished) Can already / liao. “It’s done!”  
(Indifference?) Can huh (low tone). “It can be done…”
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One response to “can lah!

  1. lifecreativitycoach Friday, 17th August 2007 at 9:12

    I am sure you have courage and are just not giving yourself enough credit. We all have difficulties that we have had to manage.

    Terri

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