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Cantonese Adverb List: 100+ Useful Cantonese Adverbs


Adverbs are vital in any language—they help the audience picture how something is done. Fancy learning some Cantonese adverbs but don’t know where to go? Let give you a helping hand!

Below, we’ve listed 100 of the most common Cantonese adverbs. Note that both written and spoken example sentences or phrases will be provided throughout the article. We’ve used symbols to help you identify which one is written (w), spoken (s), or applicable to both (ws).

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. What is an Adverb?
  2. Adverbs of Time
  3. Adverbs of Frequency
  4. Adverbs of Place
  5. Adverbs of Manner
  6. Adverbs of Degree
  7. Adverbs for Connecting Thoughts
  8. How to Use Adverbs in a Sentence
  9. How Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. What is an Adverb?

paper clips

An adverb is a part of speech that serves as a modifier for verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. It can also modify determiners, clauses, prepositions, and even sentences. Adverbs typically describe how or to what extent something was done, and they answer questions such as: “How?” / “In what way?” / “When?” / “Where?” / “To what extent?”

Now that you understand what an adverb is, let’s take a look at some useful adverbs in Cantonese, categorized by what question they answer.

2. Adverbs of Time

solar clock
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1已經ji5 ging1“already”



naam4 si6 ji5 ging1 kap1 si6 jing3 tip1 si2

“The gentleman already tipped the waiter.”
2馬上maa5 seong6“immediately”(w) 

fong4 gaan1 maa5 soeng6 bin3 dak1 ngam3 taam6 mou4 gwong1

“The room immediately got dim.”
3最近zeoi3 gan6“lately”(w) 


zeoi3 gan6 si2 jung6 dik1 dong2 ngon3

“Files that are used lately”
4下星期haa6 sing1 kei4“next week”(w) 


haa6 sing1 kei4 jau1 sik1

“Will be taking a break next week”
5而家ji4 gaa1“now”(s)


ngo5 ji4 gaa1 taai3 mong4

“I am too busy now.”
6好快hou2 faai3“soon”(s)


ngo5 hou2 faai3 fei1 dai2 ou3 zau1

“I will be arriving in Australia soon.”
7仍然jing4 jin4“still”(ws)


ngo5 jing4 jin4 soeng1 seon3 nei5 

“I still trust you.”
8今朝早gam1 ziu1 zou2“this morning”(s)


ngo5 gam1 ziu1 zou2 heoi3 zo2 caam1 gun1 daai6 hok6

“I visited the university this morning.”
9今日gam1 jat6“today”(s)


gam1 jat6 daap3 dik1 si2

“Take a taxi today.”
10聽日ting1 jat6“tomorrow”(s)


nei5 ting1 jat6 wui5 m4 wui5 ceot1 gaai1?

“Will you go out tomorrow?”
11今晚gam1 maam5“tonight”(s)


gam1 maan5 sik6 mat1 sung3

“What are we having tonight?”
12噚日cam4 jat6“yesterday”(s)


cam4 jat6 heoi3 zo2 bin1 dou6 waan2 aa3

“Where did you go yesterday?”
13仲未zung6 mei6“yet”(s)


ngo5 zung6 mei6 sau1 dou2 cin2

“I haven’t received the money yet.”
14遲啲ci4 di1“later”(s)


wui5 ci4 di1 faan1

“Will be back later.”
15近排gan6 paai2“recently”(s)


ngo5 gan6 paai2 hou2 mong4

“I am quite busy recently.”
16本來bun2 loi4“originally”(s)


ngo5 bun2 loi4 m4 soeng2 heoi3 taai3 gwok3 ge3

“I originally didn’t want to go to Thailand.”
17曾經cang4 ging1“once upon a time”(s)


keoi5 cang4 ging1 hai6 ji1 sang1 ge3

“He was a doctor once upon a time.”
18初初co1 co1“in the beginning”(s)


ngo5 co1 co1 hou2 zang1 laai1 siu2 tai4 kam4, daan6 hai6 jyut6 laai1 jyut6 jau5 feel

“In the beginning, I hated playing the violin, but the more I played, the more it grew on me.”
19嗰陣時go2 zan6 si6“at that time”(s)


keoi5 dei6 go2 zan6 si6 m4 sik1 deoi3 fong1

“They didn’t know each other at that time.”
20前嗰排cin4 go2 paai2“a while ago”(s)


keoi5 dei6 cin4 go2 paai2 sin1 zi3 heoi3 jyun4 taai3 gwok3, m4 soeng2 zoi3 heoi3 lo1

“We just went to Thailand a while ago; I don’t want to go again.”
21暫時zaam6 si4“temporarily”(s)


go3 project zaam6 si4 gok3 zi3 

“The project is put on hold temporarily.”
22到時dou3 si4“then”(s)


dou3 si4 zoi3 din6 lyun4

“I will give you a call then.”
23上星期soeng6 sing1 kei4“last week”(w)


soeng6 sing1 kei4 dik1 zung1 man4 fo3

“the Chinese class last week”

3. Adverbs of Frequency

Top verbs
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
24成日seng4 jat6“always” / “all the time”(s) 


nei5 dei6 seng4 jat6 dou1 heoi3 jam2 caa4, m4 mun6 gaa3 me1? 

“Don’t you get tired of eating dim sum all the time?”
25永遠唔會wing5 jyun5 m4 wui5“never”(s) 


lau4 gaa3 wing5 jyun5 m4 wui5 dit3

“The housing price is never going to fall.”
26好少hou2 siu2“rarely”(s) 


ngo5 hou2 siu2 jam2 zau2

“I rarely drink.”
27有時jau5 si4“sometimes”(w) 


haa6 tin1 jyu5 hau6, wai6 sam6 mo1 jau5 si4 wui5 ceot1 jin6 coi2 hung4

“Why does a rainbow appear after rain in the summer sometimes?”
28頻密pan4 mat6“frequently”(w) 


gu3 zyu2 jing6 wai4 zyun3 gung1 taai3 pan4 mat6 si6 doi6 biu2 bat1 ding6 sing3

“Employers think that changing jobs too frequently symbolizes instability.”
29平時ping4 si4“usually”(s) 


keoi5 ping4 si4 zou6 si6 hou2 gan2 san6

“He is usually meticulous in his work.”
30間中gaan3 zung1“occasionally”(ws) 


gaan3 zung1 jau5 joeng4 gwong1

“There will be sunshine occasionally.”
31不常bat1 soeng4“seldom”(w) 


bat1 soeng4 si2 jung6

“seldom in use”


zoi3 soeng4 si3

“try again”


keoi5 mui5 saam1 go3 jyut6 dou1 wui5 ceot1 gwok3 heoi3 leoi5 hang4 jat1 ci3

“He travels abroad once every three months.”

4. Adverbs of Place

subway station
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
34呢度ni1 dou6“here”(s) 


ni1 dou6 jau5 jan4 dit3 can1 aa3

“Someone fell over here.”
35嗰度go2 dou6“there”(s) 


go2 dou6 hou2 leng3 gaa3, jau5 gei1 wui6 nei5 jat1 ding6 jiu3 heoi3 tai2 haa5

“It’s beautiful there. You should go and take a look if you have the chance.”
36在那裏zoi6 naa5 leoi5“over there”(w) 


ngo5 kok3 sat6 si6 zoi6 naa5 leoi5

“I was really over there.”
37四周圍sei3 zau1 wai4“everywhere”(s) 


sei3 zau1 wai4 dou1 mou5 saai3 wai2

“It’s full everywhere.”
38任何地方jam6 ho4 dei6 fong1“anywhere”(w) 


nei5 ho2 ji5 heoi3 jam6 ho4 dei6 fong1

“You can go anywhere.”
39無地方mou4 dei6 fong1“nowhere”(s) 


mou4 dei6 fong1 zyu6

“nowhere to live”
40離開lei4 hoi1“away”(w) 


daai3 ngo5 lei4 hoi1

“Take me away.”
41外面ngoi6 min6“out”(w) 


zoi6 ngoi6 min6 hek3 dung1 sai1

“Dine out.”

5. Adverbs of Manner

a Thai lady bowing
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
42好大聲hou2 daai6 seng1“loudly”(s) 


ngo5 gong2 dak1 hou2 daai6 seng1

“I speak really loudly.”
43真係zan1 hai6“really”(s) 


ngo5 zan1 hai6 hou2 pou5 hip3

“I am really sorry.”
44好快hou2 faai3“fast”(s) 


sam1 tiu3 dak1 hou2 faai3

“My heart beats fast.”


ngo5 gwo3 dak1 hou2 hou2

“I am doing very well.”
46好腍hou2 nam6“soundly” (while asleep)(s) 


zek3 maau1 fan3 gaau3 fan3 dak1 hou2 nam6

“The cat slept soundly.”
47嗱嗱聲naa4 naa2 seng1“quickly”(s) 


naa4 naa2 seng1 ceot1 mun4 hau2 laa3, m4 hai6 jau6 ci4 dou3 laa3

“Quickly head out or else you’re going to be late again.”
48好慢hou2 maan6“slowly”(ws) 


ngo5 zou6 gung1 fo3 hou2 maan6

“I do homework slowly.”
49小心siu2 sam1“carefully”(w) 


siu2 sam1 bou2 wu6 man5 gam2 go3 jan4 zi1 liu2

“Carefully protect your personal information.”
50一齊jat1 cai4“together”(s) 


jat1 cai4 maai5 haai4

“buy shoes together”
51自己一個zi6 gei2 jat1 go3“alone”(ws) 


zi6 gei2 jat1 go3 gang3 hoi1 sam1

“I am happier alone.”
52唔小心m4 siu2 sam1“accidentally”(s) 


m4 siu2 sam1 dit3 zo2

“fell accidentally”
53基本上gei1 bun2 soeng6“basically”(w) 


taa1 gei1 bun2 soeng6 jyun4 sing4 liu5 zi6 gei2 dik1 gung1 zok3

“He basically finishes his job.”
54橫掂waang4 dim6“seeing that you’re”(s) 


ngo5 dei6 waang4 dim6 dou1 jiu3 heoi3 saa1 tin4, bat1 jyu4 heoi3 taam3 maai4 maa4 maa4 laa1

“Seeing that we’re going to ShaTin anyway, let’s go and pay meemaw a visit.”
55特登dak6 dang1“deliberately”(s) 


keoi5 m4 hai6 dak6 dang1 zong6 nei5 ge3

“He didn’t deliberately run into you.”
56一步一步jat1 bou6 jat1 bou6“one step at a time”(s) 


hok6 zaap6 jiu3 jat1 bou6 jat1 bou6 lei4, m4 ho2 ji5 gap1

“We should learn one step at a time, we can’t hurry it.”
57一大啖jat1 daai6 daam6“in a big mouthful”(s) 


ngo5 jat1 daai6 daam6 sik6 zo2 saam1 fan6 zi1 jat1 wun2 faan6

“I gulped down a third of the bowl of rice in a big mouthful.”
58靜靜雞zing6 zing2 gai1“quietly”(s) 


zing6 zing2 gai1 jung6 sau2 gei1 cin4 geng3 tau4 jing2 nei5 soeng2

“Took a picture of you using his front phone camera quietly”
59好易hou2 ji6“easily”(s) 


hou2 ji6 dang1 gei3

“easily registered”
60確確實實地kok3 kok3 sat6 sat6 dei6“literally”(w) 


taa1 mun4 kok3 kok3 sat6 sat6 dei6 zing2 maan5 dou1 zoi6 tiu3 mou5 

“They literally danced all night.”
61簡直gaan2 zik6“simply”(s) 


gaan2 zik6 bat1 ho2 lei5 jyu6

“It’s simply unreasonable.”
62好努力hou2 nou5 lik6“diligently”(s) 


ngo5 mui5 jat6 dou1 hou2 nou5 lik6 duk6 syu1

“I study hard every day.”
63好認真hou2 jing6 zan1“seriously”(s) 


keoi5 hou2 jing6 zan1 zou6 wan6 dung6

“He exercises seriously.”
64乖乖咁gwaai1 gwaai1 gam2“obediently”(s) 


nei5 jiu3 gwaai1 gwaai1 gam2 hei2 san1 faan1 gung1

“You have to wake up and go to work obediently.”
65好開心hou2 hoi1 sam1“happily”(s) 


gun1 zung3 siu3 dak1 hou2 hoi1 sam1

“The audience laughed happily.”
66唔開心m4 hoi1 sam1“sadly”(s) 


gwo3 dak1 m4 hoi1 sam1

“I am living sadly.”
67好嬲hou2 nau1“angrily”(s) 


keoi5 dei6 gan1 bun2 m4 zyun1 zung6 di1 haak3 jan4, sik6 dou3 hou2 nau1

“They didn’t respect their clients at all. I ate angrily.”

6. Adverbs of Degree

More essential verbs
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample


ngo5 gwo3 dak1 hou2 hou2

“I am doing very well.”
69相當soeng1 dong1“quite”(ws) 


soeng1 dong1 do1

“quite a lot”
70好少hou2 siu2“hardly”(ws) 


hou2 siu2 lyun4 lok3

“hardly get in touch”
71幾乎不gei2 fu4 bat1“barely”(ws) 


gei2 fu4 bat1 zi1 dou3

“barely know”
72大部分daai6 bou6 fan6“mostly”(ws) 


daai6 bou6 fan1 zi1 ci4

“mostly support”
73幾乎gei1 fu4“almost”(w) 


gei1 fu4 zong6 dou2

“almost got hit”
74一定jat1 ding6“absolutely”(ws) 


jat1 ding6 jiu3 jeng4

“absolutely need to win”
75一啲jat1 di1“a bit”(s) 


ngo5 jau5 jat1 di1 gan2 zoeng1

“I am a bit nervous.”
76好多hou2 do1“a lot”(s) 


zou6 jan4 wui5 hoi1 sam1 hou2 do1

“You will be a lot happier.”


ngo5 gau3 jung5 gam2

“I am brave enough.”
78tai3“too,” “excessively”(s) 


ngo5 taai3 gan2 zoeng1

“I am too nervous.”
79唔係太m4 hai6 tai3“not really”我唔係太中意佢。

ngo5 m4 hai6 taai3 zung1 ji3 keoi5

“I don’t really like him.”
80凈係zing6 hai6“only”(s) 


ji4 gaa1 zing6 hai6 dak1 faan1 zyu1 paa2 laa3

“There are only pork chops left.”
81dak1“only … left”(s) 


dak1 jat1 go3

“There is only one left.”
82特別dak6 bit6“exceptionally”(s) 


ni1 go3 neoi5 jan2 dak6 bit6 lo1 so1

“This woman is exceptionally annoying.”
83零舍ling4 se3“particularly”(s) 


go2 go3 aa3 suk1 ling4 se3 coeng4 hei3

“That middle-aged man is particularly long-winded.”


ngo5 neoi5 pang4 jau5 ciu1 sing3 gam2

“My girlfriend is super sexy.”

7. Adverbs for Connecting Thoughts

two fuses being connected
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
85不過bat1 gwo3“however”(s) 


_____, keoi5 hou2 jing6 zan1 zou6 wan6 dung6

“______, he exercises seriously.”
86所以so2 ji3“therefore”
87另一方面ling6 jat1 fong1 min6“on the other hand”
88終於zung1 yu1“finally”
89最終zeoi3 zung2“eventually”
90但係daan6 hai6“nevertheless”
91於是jyu1 si6“consequently”
92確實kok3 sat6“indeed”
93反而faan2 yi4“instead”
94同樣地tung4 joeng6 dei6“likewise”
95而且ji4 ce2“moreover”
96與此同時jyu5 ci2 tung4 si4“meanwhile”
97況且fong3 ce2“besides”
98毫無疑問地hou4 mou4 ji4 man6 dei6“certainly”
99再者zoi3 ze2“in addition”
100然後jin4 hau6“and then”
101其實kei4 sat6“in fact”
102忽然間fat1 jin4 gaan1“suddenly”

8. How to Use Adverbs in a Sentence

There are many ways to use an adverb in Cantonese, and today, we’ll be introducing the three most common structures:

1. Cantonese adverbs with 得 (dak1):

Sentence Structure: Verb + 得 + Adjective

Example 1 –

Character: 佢行得好快。

Romanization: keoi5 haang4 dak1 hou2 faai3

Meaning: “He walks very quickly.”

Example 2 –

Character: 我講得好大聲。

Romanization: ngo5 gong2 dak1 hou2 daai6 seng1

Meaning: “I speak really loudly.”

Example 3 –

Character: 隻貓瞓覺瞓得好腍。

Romanization: zek3 maau1 fan3 gaau3 fan3 dak1 hou2 nam6

Meaning: “The cat slept soundly.”

2. Cantonese adverbs with 咁 (gam2):

Sentence Structure: Adjective + 咁 + Verb

Example 1 –

Character: 佢好快咁食曬啲嘢。

Romanization: keoi5 hou2 faai3 gam2 sik6 saai3 di1 je5

Meaning: “She quickly gobbled up everything.”

Example 2 –

Character: 佢好快咁做曬功課。

Romanization: keoi5 hou2 faai3 gam2 zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3

Meaning: “He quickly finished their homework.”

Example 3 –

Character: 佢好勤力咁溫書。

Romanization: keoi5 hou2 kan4 lik6 gam2 wan1 syu1

Meaning: “He studies diligently.”

3. Cantonese adverbs with 哋 (dei2):

Sentence Structure: Adjective + 哋 + Verb

Example 1 –

Character: 隻狗偷偷哋食咗檯面條香腸。

Romanization: zek3 gau2 tau1 tau1 dei2 sik6 zo2 toi2 min2 tiu4 hoeng1 coeng2

Meaning: “The dog sneakily ate the sausage on the table.”

Example 2 –

Character: 你靜靜哋做功課。

Romanization: nei5 zing6 zing2 dei2 zou6 gung1 fo3.

Meaning: “Do your homework quietly.”

Example 3 –

Character: 我偷偷哋去佢個Party。

Romanization: ngo5 tau1 tau1 dei2 heoi3 keoi5 go3 party

Meaning: “I am sneakily going to his party.”

9. How Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

We hope by now you can use Cantonese adverbs to enrich your conversations! Let us know in the comments any new words you learned, or if there are still more common Cantonese adverbs you want to know. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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