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Why-lah Use Lah For Everything?

by Stefanie | 4 Aug 2022

‘Lah’ is every Malaysian’s favourite and most frequently used suffix. This simple slang term is used to express affirmation, dismissal, exasperation or even exclamation in different contexts, and has become a permanent fixture in our everyday lingo.

Here are some examples of using ‘lah in our daily lives:

• “Can lah!” or “Okay lah!” = Saying yes to a request.
• “What lah!” or “Why lah!” = Expressing frustration.
• “Come here lah!” or “Sit down here lah!” = Softening a command.
• “Cannot lah” or “Tak boleh lah” = Softening a rejection.

‘Lah’ does not necessarily have to come at the end of a sentence, for example:

• No fun-lah, you! = You’re really no fun at all!
• You see-lah, like that also you cannot do! = Can’t you even complete a simple task?
• Why-lah you go and do that? = Why did you have to do that?

The overuse of ‘lah’ at the end of every other word in a phrase is a typical blunder. Knowing where to apply the suffix correctly can give your speech a nuance that Malaysians would enjoy. With enough time and practice, you will soon be able to use it properly lah!



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