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Complete Guide of Cantonese Conjunctions and Connecting Words

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Conjunctive adverbs are a crucial part of every language. They allow us to connect our thoughts, make comparisons, and string together sentences. There are various Cantonese conjunctions you can choose from to formulate your ideas. Trust us when we say that learning Cantonese conjunctions is one of the best things you’ll ever do for your language-learning!

Without further ado, let’s go through Cantonese conjunctions in detail below!

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Table of Contents

  1. Cantonese Conjunction Overview
  2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts (And)
  3. Conjunctions to Express Condition (If)
  4. Conjunctions to Express Causality (So)
  5. Conjunctions to Express Opposition (But)
  6. Conjunctions to Express Purpose (So that)
  7. Conjunctions to Express Progression (Not only)
  8. How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese


1. Cantonese Conjunction Overview

Sentence Patterns

“Conjunction” is 連接詞 (lin4 zip3 ci4) in Cantonese.

A conjunction, in grammar, is a part of speech that connects words, phrases, or clauses. It helps us to express our ideas and thoughts in a more coherent way. Like “but,” “and,” “so,” and “because” in English, there are specific words used to connect our thoughts in Cantonese. Below we have classified the Cantonese conjunctions into several categories based on their purposes and meanings.


2. Conjunctions to Correlate Similar Thoughts (And)

Connect

1- 和

Meaning: And
Romanization: wo4
Usage: Formal; usually used only in writing; interchangeable with 跟 and 與

  • Example Sentence: 我和Ron是好朋友。
  • Romanization: ngo5 wo4 “Ron” si6 hou2 pang4 jau5
  • Meaning: Ron and I are good friends.

2- 跟

Meaning: And
Romanization: gan1
Usage: Formal; usually used only in writing; interchangeable with 和 and 與

  • Example Sentence: 我跟Hermione是同學。
  • Romanization: ngo5 gan1 “Hermione” si6 tung4 hok6
  • Meaning: Hermione and I are classmates.

3- 與

Meaning: And
Romanization: jyu5
Usage: Formal; usually used only in writing; interchangeable with 和 and 跟

  • Example Sentence: 我與Tom是敵人。
  • Romanization: ngo5 jyu5 “Tom” si6 dik6 jan4
  • Meaning: Tom and I are enemies.

4- 及

Meaning: And
Romanization: kap6
Usage: Formal; usually used only in writing; unlike the more universal “and”s introduced above, we seldom use 及 with pronouns

  • Example Sentence: 我喜歡艾迪瑞德曼祖迪羅
  • Romanization: ngo5 hei2 fun1 ngaai6 dik6 seoi6 dak1 maan6 kap6 zou2 dik6 lo4
  • Meaning: I like Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law.

5- 同

Meaning: And
Romanization: tung4
Usage: Informal; more common in spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence: 今晚我同Hagrid食飯。
  • Romanization: gam1 maan5 ngo5 tung4 “Hagrid” sik6 faan6
  • Meaning: I will be having dinner with Hagrid tonight.

6- 或

Meaning: Or
Romanization: waak6
Usage: More common in written Cantonese

  • Example Sentence: 她希望和Ron或Viktor跳舞。
  • Romanization: taa1 hei1 mong6 wo4 “Ron” waak6 “Viktor” tiu3 mou5
  • Meaning: She is hoping to dance with Ron or Viktor.

7- 或者

Meaning: Or
Romanization: waak6 ze2
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 她可能被分到葛來分多、史萊哲林、雷文克勞或者赫夫帕夫。
  • Romanization: taa1 ho2 nang4 bei6 fan1 dou3 got3 loi4 fan1 do1, si2 loi4 zit3 lam4, leoi4 man4 hak1 lou4 waak6 ze2 hak1 fu1 paak3 fu1
  • Meaning: She might be assigned to Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, or Hufflepuff.

8- 還是

Meaning: Or
Romanization: waan4 si6
Usage: More common in written Cantonese

  • Example Sentence: 你喜歡Ginny還是Cho?
  • Romanization: nei5 hei2 fun1 “Ginny” waan4 si6 “Cho”
  • Meaning: Do you like Ginny or Cho?


3. Conjunctions to Express Condition (If)

1- 除非

Meaning: Unless
Romanization: ceoi4 fei1
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 除非你來,否則我是不會去的。
  • Romanization: ceoi4 fei1 nei5 loi4, fau2 zak1 ngo5 si6 bat1 wui5 heoi3 dik1
  • Meaning: I am not going unless you come with me.

2- 如果

Meaning: If
Romanization: jyu4 gwo2
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 如果Harry是“那個活下來的女孩”,結果會是甚麼?
  • Romanization: jyu4 gwo2 “Harry” si6 “naa5 go3 wut6 haa6 loi4 dik1 neoi5 haai4 ”, git3 gwo2 wui5 si6 sam6 mo1
  • Meaning: What would happen if Harry is “the girl who lived?”

3- 即使

Meaning: Even if
Romanization: zik1 si2
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 即使下雨我也要去。
  • Romanization: zik1 si2 haa6 jyu5 ngo5 jaa5 jiu3 heoi3
  • Meaning: I will still go even if it rains.

4- 只要

Meaning: If only
Romanization: zi2 jiu3
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 只要永不放棄就能成功。
  • Romanization: zi2 jiu3 wing5 bat1 fong3 hei3 zau6 nang4 sing4 gung1
  • Meaning: We can succeed if only we don’t give up.


4. Conjunctions to Express Causality (So)

Question Mark

1- 因為

Meaning: Since
Romanization: jan1 wai6
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese; interchangeable with 由於

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): Vincent和Gregory因為肚餓吃了蛋糕。
  • Romanization: “Vincent” wo4 “Gregory” jan1 wai6 tou5 ngo6 hek3 liu5 daan2 gou1
  • Meaning: Vincent and Gregory ate the cakes since they were hungry.

2- 由於

Meaning: Since
Romanization: jau4 jyu1
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese; interchangeable with 因為

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 由於他身體不好,所以不能上課。
  • Romanization: jau4 jyu1 taa1 san1 tai2 bat1 hou2, so2 ji5 bat1 nang4 soeng5 fo3
  • Meaning: He can’t make it to school since he’s ill.

3- 因此

Meaning: So
Romanization: jan1 ci2
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 情人節快到了,因此很多人買禮物。
  • Romanization: cing4 jan4 zit3 faai3 dou3 liu5, jan1 ci2 han2 do1 jan4 maai5 lai5 mat6
  • Meaning: Valentine’s Day is approaching, so a lot of people have bought presents.

4- 於是

Meaning: So
Romanization: jyu1 si6
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 他沒有準時出現,於是我們決定先出發。
  • Romanization: taa1 mut6 jau5 zeon2 si4 ceot1 jin6, jyu1 si6 ngo5 mun4 kyut3 ding6 sin1 ceot1 faat3
  • Meaning: He didn’t arrive on time, so we decided to head out first.


5. Conjunctions to Express Opposition (But)

A Woman Holding Her Mouth

1- 但是

Meaning: But
Romanization: daan6 si6
Usage: More common in written Cantonese; interchangeable with 可是

  • Example Sentence: 我想看電視,但是還沒有寫完作業。
  • Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 hon3 din6 si6, daan6 si6 waan4 mut6 jau5 se2 jyun4 zok3 jip6
  • Meaning: I want to watch TV, but I haven’t finished my homework.

2- 可是

Meaning: But
Romanization: ho2 si6
Usage: More common in written Cantonese; interchangeable with 但是

  • Example Sentence: 我跟Severus不熟,可是他一直針對我。
  • Romanization: ngo5 gan1 “Severus” bat1 suk6, ho2 si6 taa1 jat1 zik6 zam1 deoi3 ngo5
  • Meaning: I don’t know Severus well, but he has been picking on me.

3- 但係

Meaning: But
Romanization: daan6 hai6
Usage: Can be used in spoken Cantonese only

  • Example Sentence: 但係好貴喎。
  • Romanization: daan6 hai6 hou2 gwai3 wo3
  • Meaning: But that’s expensive.

4- 不過

Meaning: But
Romanization: bat1 gwo3
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Spoken Cantonese): 個手術好成功,不過病人未醒。
  • Romanization: go3 sau2 seot6 hou2 sing4 gung1, bat1 gwo3 beng6 jan4 mei6 seng2
  • Meaning: The surgery was successful, but the patient is still unconscious.

5- 雖然

Meaning: Although
Romanization: seoi1 jin4
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 他雖然年紀小,但是跑步卻很快。
  • Romanization: taa1 seoi1 jin4 nin4 gei2 siu2, daan6 si6 paau2 bou6 koek3 han2 faai3
  • Meaning: Although he is young, he runs fast.

Note: As opposed to English, it’s common to use both “although” and “but” in Cantonese, as demonstrated in the example sentence.


6. Conjunctions to Express Purpose (So that)

Improve Listening

1- 以

Meaning: So as to
Romanization: ji5
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 他正在積蓄金錢以備晚年。
  • Romanization: taa1 zing3 zoi6 zik1 cuk1 gam1 cin4 ji5 bei6 maan5 nin4
  • Meaning: He is saving up so as to prepare for retirement.

2- 為了

Meaning: To
Romanization: wai4 liu5
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 他積極準備是為了順利地通過考試。
  • Romanization: taa1 zik1 gik6 zeon2 bei6 si6 wai4 liu5 seon6 lei6 dei6 tung1 gwo3 haau2 si3
  • Meaning: He is working hard to pass the exam.


7. Conjunctions to Express Progression (Not only)

“Plus” Sign

1- 不但

Meaning: Not only
Romanization: bat1 daan6
Usage: More common in written Cantonese; interchangeable with 不僅

  • Example Sentence: Hedwig不但是我的信使,更是我的朋友。
  • Romanization: “Hedwig” bat1 daan6 si6 ngo5 dik1 seon3 si2, gang3 si6 ngo5 dik1 pang4 jau5
  • Meaning: Not only does Hedwig deliver my mail, but she is also my friend.

2- 不僅

Meaning: Not only
Romanization: bat1 gan2
Usage: More common in written Cantonese; interchangeable with 不但

  • Example Sentence: 不僅他一個人有這種想法。
  • Romanization: bat1 gan2 taa1 jat1 go3 jan4 jau5 ze2 zung2 soeng2 faat3
  • Meaning: He is not the only one who thinks like that.

3- 而且

Meaning: Also
Romanization: ji4 ce2
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Written Cantonese): 我的作業做完了,而且全部正確。
  • Romanization: ngo5 dik1 zok3 jip6 zou6 jyun4 liu5, ji4 ce2 cyun4 bou6 zing3 kok3
  • Meaning: Not only have I completed all my tasks, but they are also all correct.

4- 況且

Meaning: Additionally; not to mention
Romanization: fong3 ce2
Usage: Can be used in both written and spoken Cantonese

  • Example Sentence (in Spoken Cantonese): 送快件太貴喇,況且易碎品嚟㗎喎。
  • Romanization: sung3 faai3 gin2 taai3 gwai3 laa3, fong3 ce2 ji6 seoi3 ban2 lei4 gaa3 wo3
  • Meaning: Sending a package by carrier is too expensive, and not to mention, this object is very fragile.


8. How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Improve Listening Part 2

We hoped you enjoyed learning about Cantonese conjunctions with us. Did you learn something new? Let us know in the comments!

Want to level up your Cantonese after mastering Cantonese conjunctions? No worries. With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through mobile apps, desktop software, and our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning Cantonese now!

And keep in mind that if you prefer a one-on-one learning approach and want to further accelerate your Cantonese learning, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher program!

Know that your hard work will pay off, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Cantonese like a native!

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Guide to Cantonese Customs and Etiquette

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Some say manners and etiquette are outdated and no longer matter in this day and age—why bother to care about how others think or feel? Why don’t we just “be our true self” and “show our personality?”

However, decent manners and etiquette are never out of style. They’re the cornerstone of civilization. Without them, a society will become disorganized; its members will demonstrate disrespect for one another and ultimately lead to chaos, insults, falsehoods, and many more unpleasant consequences.

That’s why we’ve set out to help you learn Cantonese customs and etiquette in Hong Kong for your time here.

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Table of Contents

  1. Why Manners and Etiquette Matter to You
  2. Concepts Related to Manners in Hong Kong
  3. Dining Etiquette in Hong Kong
  4. Gift Giving Etiquette in Hong Kong
  5. Do’s and Don’ts - Transportation in Hong Kong
  6. Bonus: How to Greet in Hong Kong
  7. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese


1. Why Manners and Etiquette Matter to You

Thanks

Manners Maketh Man.

Manners tell who you truly are and represent your inner self, while etiquette sets out a guideline on how you’re expected to behave in public. They touch on every aspect of our lives.

Things like saying 多謝 (do1 ze6) or “thank you” when someone offers help, greeting a colleague with 早晨 (zou2 san4) or “good morning,” and offering your seat to the elderly show that you care about and respect others.

Understanding the social etiquette in Hong Kong will come in handy when you’re making a new friend or interacting with the locals. By demonstrating your respect and avoiding behaviors that are deemed “offensive,” your relationships with them will be more sound and smooth.


2. Concepts Related to Manners in Hong Kong

1- 面 (min2)

(min2) is a unique concept in Chinese society. This concept of cultural etiquette in Hong Kong describes one’s status, dignity, and integrity. You can also refer to 面 (min2) as the feeling of being respected and honored by others.

This is a crucial concept in Hong Kong society. Further, a similar concept that will help you foster your relationships with the locals is 畀面 (bei2 min2), meaning:

  • The ability to hold back when criticizing someone to make that person feel respected.
  • Taking actions to demonstrate your admiration and regard for that person.

面 (min2) is closely tied to a number of unique concepts governing the culture of Hong Kong and Chinese communities:

  • 關係 (gwaan1 hai6) meaning “relationship.”
  • 中庸 (zung1 jung4) which is a prevailing mindset from Confucianism of not going for the extremes, both in terms of praise and criticism.
  • 人情 (jan4 cing4) which is a sense of human touch and affection/owing someone a favor. Feel free to click the above links if you want to know more.

2- Respect for Seniors

According to Hong Kong social etiquette, age usually determines seniority. In family settings, it’s expected that everyone will respect the elder ones in accordance with filial piety, a deeply rooted virtue in many Southeast Asian countries. HongKongers usually worship their ancestors at least twice a year, which stems from the belief that children are indebted to their parents forever.


3. Dining Etiquette in Hong Kong

Chinese Food

If you’re going to dine at a traditional Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong, tables will typically be large and round to accommodate a group of friends or family. Most dishes are shared instead of à la carte, and they’re placed in the center of the table where everyone gets to take a portion of the dishes.

General Food Manners & Restaurant Etiquette in Hong Kong

  • DON’T put your hand below or above someone else’s hand while taking the food from a serving plate.
    DO wait until the other person finishes grabbing his or her food before you start taking yours.
  • DON’T take food from the serving plates and put it into your mouth directly.
    DO put it into your bowl first before you eat.
  • If you like only a part of the dish, DON’T look for your favorite part on the serving plate.
    DO this only while it’s in your bowl.
  • DO leave bits of food on your plate to show that you were satisfied.
    DON’T leave your plate empty, because the host may think you didn’t have enough food.
  • DON’T spin your table counterclockwise; always spin it clockwise.

Hygiene

Chopsticks

  • DON’T point at someone or something with your chopsticks.
  • DON’T use your own chopsticks to grab food from the serving plate.
    DO use “public chopsticks” (chopsticks that are placed at the center of the table for grabbing the food).
  • DO place your chopsticks on the rest provided if you’re not using them.
  • DON’T shake your chopsticks if they’re wet from soup.
  • DON’T place your chopsticks across each other.
  • DON’T put your chopsticks in your rice bowl in an upright position; this is only done at funerals.

Tea

  • DO open the lid of the teapot or place the lid upside-down if you would like to request more tea.
  • DO tap your fingers several times by your cup to thank a person for pouring tea for you.
  • DON’T take the first sip; wait for the senior host to do so first.


4. Gift Giving Etiquette in Hong Kong

Gift

If you’re invited to someone’s house in Hong Kong, you’re expected to bring a gift with you. Check out the guidelines below:

  • DON’T present four gifts, as “four'’ sounds similar to “death” in Cantonese. If you would like to bring multiple gifts with you, try three (similar to “life” in Cantonese), eight (similar to “prosperity” in Cantonese) or nine (similar to “eternity” in Cantonese).
  • DO make sure you hand your gift over with both hands.
  • DO insist on handing over the gift. Sometimes the host may refuse the gift a couple of times before accepting it. This is part of the traditional Hong Kong culture.
  • DON’T wrap your gift in white or black, as they’re considered unlucky colors.
    DO try lucky colors like red or gold instead.
  • DON’T unwrap the gift on the spot.
  • DON’T pick clocks or watches as gifts. “Giving a clock” in Cantonese sounds like attending a funeral.
  • DON’T pick shoes as gifts, as the Cantonese word for “shoes” sounds like “rough,” which suggests bad luck.


5. Do’s and Don’ts - Transportation in Hong Kong

Bad Phrases

General Manners on Public Transportation (Bus, MTR, etc.)

  • DO keep quiet and be considerate. Avoid obstructive behavior and public displays of affection.
  • DON’T eat, drink, or smoke on public transportation.
  • DO give up your seat to the elderly, pregnant women, the disabled, and families with babies.
  • DON’T litter.
  • DON’T take up more than one seat.

MTR Map

MTR: Hong Kong’s Railway System

  • DO have your Octopus card or ticket ready before you go through the gate in the MTR station. MTR is one of the busiest train systems in the world. Trains come in every minute during rush hour and take on around 4.6-million passengers every day. If you only search for your ticket or card at the gate, you’ll definitely feel the pressure from other impatient commuters.
  • DO stand on the right side of the escalator to allow other commuters to walk on the left.
  • DO let passengers get off before entering the MTR carriage.
  • DON’T lean up against the poles, as other passengers will need to hold onto the poles.
  • Even if you’re yet to arrive at your destination, DO let people out when you’re at a stop and DON’T stand at the doorway.
  • DO pull your legs in to avoid tripping other commuters.
  • DO move inside the train compartment.


6. Bonus: How to Greet in Hong Kong

Business Phrases

When it comes to social etiquette in Hong Kong, there aren’t many special gestures (such as bowing) for when you greet someone in Hong Kong. Simply saying Cantonese greeting words will do:

  • Cantonese character: 你好
  • Romanization: nei5 hou2
  • Meaning: “Hello” (formal)
  • Cantonese character: 哈囉
  • Romanization: haa1 lo3
  • Meaning: “Hello” (informal)

If you would like to express your enthusiasm in meeting someone, you can wave your hands while saying hello to him or her. Avoid hugging, bowing, or kissing on the cheek.

To know more about how to appropriately greet someone in Hong Kong, check out our article on How to Say Hello in Cantonese!


7. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Want to level up your Cantonese and learn more Cantonese phrases? No worries. With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through mobile apps, desktop software, and our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

And keep in mind that if you prefer a one-on-one learning approach and want to further accelerate your Cantonese learning, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher program!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if you learned anything new about etiquette in Hong Kong. Are etiquette rules here similar or very different than those in your country? We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese

Talking About Tomorrow in Cantonese: Dates in Cantonese

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Although English is widely spoken in Hong Kong, learning how to describe dates in Cantonese would be of great benefit to you. Mastering Cantonese dates will not only help you communicate better with the locals, it will also ensure that you won’t miss out on any important meetings or fun events in town.

In this article, we’ll go over how to say dates in Cantonese, how it differs from how to write dates in Cantonese, and even give you some background information on the Chinese calendar.

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

Can’t wait to learn about Cantonese dates? Let CantoneseClass101.com give you a hand!

Table of Contents

  1. Traditional Chinese Calendar and Modern Calendar
  2. Cantonese Years
  3. Cantonese Months
  4. Cantonese Days
  5. Cantonese Date Format
  6. The Week in Cantonese
  7. Other Terms Related to Cantonese Dates
  8. Simple Sentences
  9. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

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1. Traditional Chinese Calendar and Modern Calendar

The traditional Chinese calendar, which can be referred to as either 農曆 (nung4 lik6), 舊曆 (gau6 lik6), or 陰曆 (jam1 lik6) in Cantonese, is a lunisolar calendar which reckons years, months, and days according to astronomical phenomena.

Although modern day Hong Kong uses the Gregorian calendar which aligns with most countries in the world, the traditional Chinese calendar still governs some of the holidays (e.g. the Chinese New Year) and guides people in selecting days for weddings, funerals, moving, or starting a business.


2. Cantonese Years

年 (nin4) is “year” in Cantonese. To express a year in Cantonese, simply convert the number to Chinese characters and add them in front of the character 年 (nin4). For example, the year “2009″ is 二零零九年 (ji6 ling4 ling4 gau2 nin4) in Cantonese.

Person Looking at a Calendar

More examples:

#      Chinese Characters      Romanization      Meaning
1      一八八零年      jat1 baat3 baat3 ling4 nin4      Year 1880
2      一九八四年      jat1 gau2 baat3 sei3 nin4      Year 1984
3      二零一九年      ji6 ling4 jat1 gau2 nin4      Year 2019
4      二零四七年      ji6 ling4 sei3 cat1 nin4      Year 2047
5      二零六六年      ji6 ling4 luk6 luk6 nin4      Year 2066


3. Cantonese Months

Months

月 (jyut6) is “month” in Cantonese. To express a month in Cantonese, simply add the appropriate number in front of the character 月 (jyut6). For example, December is the twelfth month, so “December” in Cantonese is 十二月 (sap6 ji6 jyut6).

#      Chinese Characters      Romanization      Meaning
1      一月      jat1 jyut6      January
2      二月      ji6 jyut6      February
3      三月      saam1 jyut6      March
4      四月      sei3 jyut6      April
5      五月      ng5 jyut6      May
6      六月      luk6 jyut6      June
7      七月      cat1 jyut6      July
8      八月      baat3 jyut6      August
9      九月      gau2 jyut6      September
10      十月      sap6 jyut6      October
11      十一月      sap6 jat1 jyut6      November
12      十二月      sap6 ji6 jyut6      December

You can also visit our vocabulary list to familiarize yourself with Cantonese months!


4. Cantonese Days

Weekdays

日 (jat6) is “day” in Cantonese. To express a day in Cantonese, simply add the appropriate number in front of the character 日 (jat6). For example, the eleventh day of the month is “11,” so 11th in the context of a date is 十一日 (sap6 jat1 jat6).

Note that 日 (jat6) is the formal, written form to express a date. If you want to express a date in spoken form, replace 日 (jat6) with 號 (hou6). For example, 一日 (jat1 jat6) becomes 一號 (jat1 hou6). Also, when there’s 二十 (ji6 sap6), replace it with 廿 (jaa6) when speaking. Take the 21st of the month as an example: 二十一日 (ji6 sap6 jat1 jat6) becomes 廿一號 (jaa6 jat1 hou6).

A Calendar

#      Chinese Characters      Romanization      Meaning
1      一日      jat1 jat6      1st
2      二日      ji6 jat6      2nd
3      三日      saam1 jat6      3rd
4      四日      sei3 jat6      4th
5      五日      ng5 jat6      5th
6      六日      luk6 jat6      6th
7      七日      cat1 jat6      7th
8      八日      baat3 jat6      8th
9      九日      gau2 jat6      9th
10      十日      sap6 jat6      10th
11      十一日      sap6 jat1 jat6      11th
12      十二日      sap6 ji6 jat6      12th
13      十三日      sap6 saam1 jat6      13th
14      十四日      sap6 sei3 jat6      14th
15      十五日      sap6 ng5 jat6      15th
16      十六日      sap6 luk6 jat6      16th
17      十七日      sap6 cat1 jat6      17th
18      十八日      sap6 baat3 jat6      18th
19      十九日      sap6 gau2 jat6      19th
20      二十日      ji6 sap6 jat6      20th
21      二十一日      ji6 sap6 jat1 jat6      21st
22      二十二日      ji6 sap6 ji6 jat6      22nd
23      二十三日      ji6 sap6 saam1 jat6      23rd
24      二十四日      ji6 sap6 sei3 jat6      24th
25      二十五日      ji6 sap6 ng5 jat6      25th
26      二十六日      ji6 sap6 luk6 jat6      26th
27      二十七日      ji6 sap6 cat1 jat6      27th
28      二十八日      ji6 sap6 baat3 jat6      28th
29      二十九日      ji6 sap6 gau2 jat6      29th
30      三十日      saam1 sap6 jat6      30th
31      三十一日      saam1 sap6 jat1 jat6      31st


5. Cantonese Date Format

Numbers

The date is written in the following format in Hong Kong: [year]年 [month]月 [day]日 (nin4 / jyut6 / jat6). Simply insert the appropriate numbers in front of 年 (nin4), 月 (jyut6), and 日 (jat6).

Again, if you would like to say the date out loud, change 日 (jat6) to 號 (hou6).

For example:

# Chinese Characters Romanization Meaning
1 一九七八年一月九日 jat1 gau2 cat1 baat3 nin4 jat1 jyut6 gau2 jat6 Jan 9, 1978
2 一九八四年十一月十五日 jat1 gau2 baat3 sei3 nin4 sap6 jat1 jyut6 sap6 ng5 jat6 Nov 15, 1984
3 二零一九年十二月二十八日 ji6 ling4 jat1 gau2 nin4 sap6 ji6 jyut6 ji6 sap6 baat3 jat6 Dec 28, 2019
4 二零三五年十月三十日 ji6 ling4 saam1 ng5 nin4 sap6 jyut6 saam1 sap6 jat6 Oct 30, 2035
5 三月六日 saam1 jyut6 luk6 jat6 Mar 6
6 八月二十七日 baat3 jyut6 ji6 sap6 cat1 jat6 Aug 27
7 十一月二十九日 sap6 jat1 jyut6 ji6 sap6 gau2 jat6 Nov 29
8 十二月三十一日 sap6 ji6 jyut6 saam1 sap6 jat1 jat6 Dec 31


6. The Week in Cantonese

Person Marking Something on a Calendar

#      Chinese Characters      Romanization      Meaning
1      禮拜      lai5 baai3      Week (casual)
2      星期      sing1 kei4      Week (both formal and casual)
3      星期一      sing1 kei4 jat1      Monday
4      星期二      sing1 kei4 ji6      Tuesday
5      星期三      sing1 kei4 saam1      Wednesday
6      星期四      sing1 kei4 sei3      Thursday
7      星期五      sing1 kei4 ng5      Friday
8      星期六      sing1 kei4 luk6      Saturday
9      星期日      sing1 kei4 jat6      Sunday

Make sure to check out our list on Cantonese weeks and days, too!


7. Other Terms Related to Cantonese Dates

#      Chinese Characters      Romanization      Meaning
1      今日      gam1 jat6      Today (casual)
2      今天      gam1 tin1m      Today (formal)
3      尋日      cam4 jat6      Yesterday (casual)
4      昨天      zok3 tin1      Yesterday (formal)
5      聽日      ting1 jat6      Tomorrow (casual)
6      明天      ming4 tin1      Tomorrow (formal)
7      前日      cin4 jat6      The day before yesterday
8      後日      hau6 jat6      The day after tomorrow
9      閏年日      jeon6 nin4 jat6      Leap year day
10      閒日      haan4 jat2      Weekday
11      週末      zau1 mut6      Weekend
12      日期      jat6 kei4      Date


8. Simple Sentences

Want to learn some simple sentences related to dates? We have examples in both written and spoken form—familiarize yourself with the examples below!

Pencil and Paper

1- 我昨天請假一天

Romanization: ngo5 zok3 tin1 ceng2 gaa3 jat1 tin1
Meaning: I took a day off yesterday.
Form: written form

2- 今天是九月十日星期六

Romanization: gam1 tin1 si6 gau2 jyut6 sap6 jat6 sing1 kei4 luk6
Meaning: Today is September 10th, Saturday.
Form: written form

3- 二月二十九日是閏年日

Romanization: ji6 jyut6 ji6 sap6 gau2 jat6 si6 jeon6 nin4 jat6
Meaning: Leap year day is February 29th.
Form: written form

4- 你幾時得閒?

Romanization: nei5 gei2 si4 dak1 haan4
Meaning: When will you be free?
Form: spoken form

5- 五月三十一日是世界無煙日

Romanization: ng5 jyut6 saam1 sap6 jat1 jat6 si6 sai3 gaai3 mou4 jin1 jat6
Meaning: May 31st is World No Smoking Day.
Form: written form

6- 邊日方便你?

Romanization: bin1 jat6 fong1 bin6 nei5?
Meaning: Which day is good for you?
Form: spoken form

7- 唔好意思,我星期五唔得閒

Romanization: m4 hou2 ji3 si1, ngo5 sing1 kei4 ng5 m4 dak1 haan4
Meaning: I’m sorry, but I’m not available on Friday.
Form: spoken form

8- 學校於八月暫停開放

Romanization: hok6 haau6 jyu1 baat3 jyut6 zaam6 ting4 hoi1 fong3
Meaning: The school is closed in August.
Form: written form

9- 我哋可唔可以約下星期開會?

Romanization: ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 joek3 haa6 sing1 kei4 hoi1 wui2
Meaning: Can we set up a meeting next week?
Form: spoken form

10- 我們在六月結婚

Romanization: ngo5 mun4 zoi6 luk6 jyut6 git3 fan1
Meaning: We are getting married in June.
Form: written form

11- 星期五方唔方便?

Romanization: sing1 kei4 ng5 fong1 m4 fong1 bin6
Meaning: Does Friday work for you?
Form: spoken form

12- 三月在北半球及南半球分別代表春季及秋季的來臨

Romanization: saam1 jyut6 zoi6 bak1 bun3 kau4 kap6 naam4 bun3 kau4 fan1 bit6 doi6 biu2 ceon1 gwai3 kap6 cau1 gwai3 dik1 loi4 lam4
Meaning: March marks the start of spring in the northern hemisphere and fall in the southern hemisphere.
Form: written form

13- 明天見

Romanization: ming4 tin1 gin3
Meaning: See you tomorrow!
Form: written form

14- 十二月三十一日是除夕

Romanization: sap6 ji6 jyut6 saam1 sap6 jat1 jat6 si6 ceoi4 zik6
Meaning: December 31st is New Year’s Eve.
Form: written form

15- 星期一、星期二、星期三、星期四及星期五都是平日

Romanization: sing1 kei4 jat1, sing1 kei4 ji6, sing1 kei4 saam1, sing1 kei4 sei3 kap6 sing1 kei4 ng5 dou1 si6 ping4 jat2
Meaning: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are weekdays.
Form: written form

16- 今日係星期日

Romanization: gam1 jat6 hai6 sing1 kei4 jat6
Meaning: Today is Sunday.
Form: spoken form

17- 你今個禮拜得唔得閒?

Romanization: nei5 gam1 go3 lai5 baai1 dak1 m4 dak1 haan4?
Meaning: Are you free this week?
Form: spoken form

18- 今日全部堂都取消

Romanization: gam1 jat6 cyun4 bou6 tong4 dou1 ceoi2 siu1
Meaning: All classes for today got cancelled.
Form: spoken form


9. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Want to level up your Cantonese and learn more Cantonese phrases? No worries. With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through mobile apps, desktop software, and our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

And keep in mind that if you prefer a one-on-one learning approach and want to further accelerate your Cantonese learning, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher program!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about dates in Cantonese now. We hope you feel more comfortable about how to write dates in Cantonese—to practice, be sure to include today’s date in Cantonese in your comment! We look forward to hearing from you.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Cantonese

Must-Know Cantonese Travel Phrases

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Even though English is widely spoken in Hong Kong, learning Cantonese travel phrases can still be of great benefit to you. Not only will it help you navigate through the world’s greatest city better, but it can also serve as a conversation starter with the locals and help you understand the culture better. That’s why we’ve put together this guide about Cantonese travel phrases for those who speak English.

Can’t wait to put some Cantonese travel phrases in your pocket? Read below and let CantoneseClass101.com give you a hand with our Hong Kong travel words list! Here, you’ll find Cantonese travel phrases and words translated to English to help you navigate the country.

Table of Contents

  1. Basic Expressions
  2. Transportation
  3. Shopping
  4. Restaurants
  5. Asking for and Giving Directions
  6. Emergencies
  7. Flattery Phrases
  8. Useful Phrases to go through Language Problems
  9. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Log


1. Basic Expressions

Preparing to Travel

These are the travel phrases in Cantonese that you should know to have basic conversations with people while in Hong Kong.

1. 唔該

Romanization: m4 goi1.
Meaning: Thank you. (When someone offers help to you.)

2. 多謝

Romanization: do1 ze6
Meaning: Thank you. (When someone presents a gift.)

Additional Notes:
You should always say 多謝 (do1 ze6) when you receive a gift, regardless of the person’s age or seniority. Being polite will help you fit in and be appreciated by your peers. Thus, this is one of the most important travel phrases in Cantonese for you to learn.

3. 對唔住

Romanization: deoi3 m4 zyu6.
Meaning: Sorry.

Additional Notes:
This phrase literally means “sorry” and can be used in both formal and informal settings. Note that we only use this phrase when we want to express our apology and remorse. If you want to say that you’re sorry in the sense of expressing your regret or sadness over a news story or an incident, 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3) is more suitable.

4. 唔好意思

Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3
Meaning: Excuse me. / Sorry.

Additional Notes:
There are, broadly, three scenarios where you can use 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3):

  • To grab someone’s attention (e.g. “excuse me”).
  • To express your regret or sadness over bad news or an incident.
  • To apologize for minor incidents.

Comparatively, 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) is more formal and is mainly reserved for serious offenses. When you’re speaking informally with friends, the most common apology is 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si3).

5. 好

Romanization: hou2.
Meaning: Good. / Fine. / Yes.

6. 再見

Romanization: zoi3 gin3.
Meaning: Bye.

Learn how to greet others in Cantonese with our article on Greetings!


2. Transportation

Airplane Phrases

Knowing these Cantonese language travel phrases will prove beneficial once you find yourself in need of transportation. Let’s take a look.

1. 呢班車去邊度㗎?

Romanization: ni1 baan1 ce1 heoi3 bin1 dou6 gaa3
Meaning: Where does this bus go?

2. 我可以點去__呀?

Romanization: ngo5 ho2 ji5 dim2 heoi3 __ aa3
Meaning: How do I get to __?

Additional Notes:
You fill in the blank with the place you want to get to, like 車站 (ce1 zaam6) meaning “bus stop,” 機場 (gei1 coeng4) meaning “the airport,” or 酒店 (zau2 dim3) meaning “hotel.” Learning this sentence will definitely help you navigate through and explore the city—if you don’t know how to get to an attraction or a restaurant that you’d like to try out, use this!

3. 一張去__嘅飛, 唔該

Romanization: jat1 zoeng1 heoi3 __ ge3 fei1, m4 goi1.
Meaning: A ticket to __ please, thanks.

Additional Notes:
You can fill in the blank with the place or town you want to go to, such as 元朗 (jyun4 long5), 銅鑼灣 (tung4 lo4 waan1), and 西貢 (sai1 gung3). You may want to check in advance to discover what each town in Hong Kong has to offer.

4. 班火車會幾點到呀?

Romanization: baan1 fo2 ce1 wui5 gei2 dim2 dou3 aa3
Meaning: When will the train arrive?

Additional Notes:
The railway systems in Hong Kong are some of the most efficient, where trains come in every other minute during peak hour. But still, time is limited for travelers, and it wouldn’t hurt to learn this phrase and put it in your pocket.

5. __領事館喺邊呀?

Romanization: __ling5 si6 gun2 hai2 bin1 aa3
Meaning: Where is __ Consulate?

Additional Notes:
You can fill in the blank with the name of the country:

  • Italy: 意大利 (ji3 daai6 lei6)
  • Brazil: 巴西 (baa1 saai1)
  • Japan: 日本 (jat6 bun2)
  • UK: 英國 (jing1 gwok3)
  • Denmark: 丹麥 (daan1 mak6)
  • France: 法國 (faat3 gwok3)
  • The Netherlands: 荷蘭 (ho4 laan1)
  • US: 美國 (mei5 gwok3)

Many countries have set up a consulate in Hong Kong. You may find more information if you need help from the consulate of your country.


3. Shopping

Basic Questions

A trip to Hong Kong wouldn’t be complete without a little shopping! Study these Hong Kong travel words’ translation to pave the way for a more enjoyable shopping experience.

1. 幾多錢呀?

Romanization: gei2 do1 cin2 aa3
Meaning: How much is this?

2. 太貴喇

Romanization: taai3 gwai3 laa3.
Meaning: It’s too expensive.

Additional Notes:
This phrase will help you a lot when you negotiate for cheaper prices in the Ladies Market.

3. 我俾唔起

Romanization: ngo5 bei2 m4 hei2.
Meaning: I can’t afford it.

4. 我可唔可以退貨?

Romanization: ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 teoi3 fo3?
Meaning: Can I get a refund?

5. 我可以去邊度唱錢呀?

Romanization: ngo5 ho2 ji5 heoi3 bin1 dou6 coeng3 cin2 aa3?
Meaning: Where can I exchange foreign currency?

6. 可唔可以俾個袋我呀?

Romanization: ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 bei2 go3 doi2 ngo5 aa3?
Meaning: Can I have a bag?

Additional Notes:
Hong Kong has implemented the Environmental Levy Scheme on Plastic Shopping Bags. Now a plastic shopping bag costs HKD0.5.

7. 你找錯錢

Romanization: nei5 zaau2 co3 cin2.
Meaning: You gave me the wrong change.

8. 我可唔可以用信用卡找數?

Romanization: ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 jung6 seon3 jung6 kaat1 zaau2 sou3?
Meaning: Can I pay with a credit card?

9. 可唔可以換細一個碼?

Romanization: ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 wun6 sai3 jat1 go3 maa5?
Meaning: Can you exchange it for a smaller size?

Check out this link to learn Cantonese numbers!


4. Restaurants

Eating out and enjoying local cuisine—maybe the best part of traveling to a new country. Take some time to study these Cantonese travel phrases in English, and practice them in Cantonese. This will make your dining experience superb!

Empty Restaurant Table

1. 唔該俾張餐牌我睇

Romanization: m4 goi1 bei2 zoeng1 caan1 paai4 ngo5 tai2 .
Meaning: Please bring me the menu.

2. 呢度有乜嘢食出名呀?

Romanization: ni1 dou6 jau5 mat1 je5 sik6 ceot1 ming2 aa3?
Meaning: What’s your house specialty?

3. 我食素

Romanization: ngo5 sik6 sou3.
Meaning: I’m a vegetarian.

4. 我想要___

Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 jiu3 ___.
Meaning: I want ___.

Additional Notes:
You can fill in the blank with the food that you’d like to get, like 牛 (ngau4) meaning “beef,” 蔬菜 (so1 coi3) meaning “vegetables,” and 多士 (do1 si2) meaning “toast.”

5. 唔該埋單

Romanization: m4 goi1 maai4 daan1.
Meaning: Check, please.


5. Asking for and Giving Directions

Survival Phrases

When studying travel phrases to learn Cantonese, you absolutely can’t forget about directions. Here are the most basic travel phrases in Hong Kong local language to help you get around without getting lost!

1. 可唔可以喺張地圖度指俾我睇呀?

Romanization: ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 hai2 zoeng1 dei6 tou4 dou6 zi2 bei2 ngo5 tai2 aa3?
Meaning: Can you show me on the map?

When you ask for directions, you may get a short answer: 向南行 (hoeng3 naam4 hang4), which means “Walk in the direction of south.” But of course, “south” is just one example, and the direction can be replaced by most of the words below.

2. 北

Romanization: bak1
Meaning: North

3. 南

Romanization: naam4
Meaning: South

4. 東

Romanization: dung1
Meaning: East

5. 西

Romanization: sai1
Meaning: West

6. 左

Romanization: zo2
Meaning: Left

7. 右

Romanization: jau6
Meaning: Right

8. 直行

Romanization: zik6 hang4.
Meaning: Go straight.


6. Emergencies

In an emergency, knowing these travel phrases in Hong Kong local language may just save the day!

Police Station Sign

1. 救命!

Romanization: gau3 ming6!
Meaning: Help!

Additional Notes:
You can call either 112 or 999 when you encounter an emergency. These are the most common emergency telephone numbers that can be dialed, free of charge, from most mobile telephones, even if they’re locked.

2. 小心!

Romanization: siu2 sam1!
Meaning: Watch out!

3. 唔好搞我!

Romanization: m4 hou2 gaau2 ngo5!
Meaning: Leave me alone!

4. 唔該幫我叫醫生.

Romanization: m4 goi1 bong1 ngo5 giu3 ji1 saang1.
Meaning: Please call a doctor for me.

5. 我唔舒服.

Romanization: ngo5 m4 syu1 fuk6.
Meaning: I’m not feeling well.

6. 我唔見咗個銀包.

Romanization: ngo5 m4 gin3 zo2 go3 ngan4 baau1.
Meaning: I lost my wallet.


7. Flattery Phrases

When you learn Cantonese travel phrases, it’s always good to have some flattery phrases up your sleeve. Everyone loves a compliment!

Group with a Woman Giving a Thumbs Up

1. 你好叻!

Romanization: nei5 hou2 lek1!
Meaning: You are so smart!

2. 你好靚!

Romanization: nei5 hou2 leng3!
Meaning: You are so beautiful!

3. 件外套好襯你.

Romanization: gin6 ngoi6 tou3 hou2 can3 nei5.
Meaning: The jacket looks good on you.

4. 你好有品味.

Romanization: nei5 hou2 jau5 ban2 mei6.
Meaning: You have good taste.

5. 你好搞笑.

Romanization: nei5 hou2 gaau2 siu3.
Meaning: You have a great sense of humor.


8. Useful Phrases to go through Language Problems

World Map

1. 我唔識講廣東話.

Romanization: ngo5 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2.
Meaning: I can’t speak Cantonese.

2. 你識唔識講英文呀?

Romanization: nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2 aa3?
Meaning: Do you speak English?

3. 我唔識講普通話.

Romanization: ngo5 m4 sik1 gong2 pou2 tung1 waa2.
Meaning: I can’t speak Mandarin.

4. 我唔明.

Romanization: ngo5 m4 ming4.
Meaning: I don’t understand.

5. 呢度有冇人識講英文呀?

Romanization: ni1 dou6 jau5 mou5 jan4 sik1 gong2 jing1 man2 aa3?
Meaning: Anyone here speak English?


9. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

We went over a lot of useful Cantonese travel phrases, didn’t we? We hope you can see why travel phrases in Cantonese language learning are so vital, and how they can help you have a much better visit to Hong Kong.

Want to level up your Cantonese? No worries. With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through mobile apps, desktop software, and our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

And keep in mind that if you prefer a one-on-one learning approach and want to further accelerate your Cantonese learning, you can take advantage of our MyTeacher program when you upgrade to Premium Plus!

Log

Cantonese Numbers from 1-100 and Beyond

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Numbers are essential in our daily lives—whether we use them to express time, negotiate prices, record dates, or count. Learning Cantonese numbers will definitely help you navigate Canto-speaking cities better, and that’s what our Cantonese lessons about numbers hope to achieve. So let CantoneseClass101 guide you through the world of Cantonese numbers.

Below are different categories of Cantonese numbers and relevant phrases, including the basic Cantonese numbers 1-10. Are you ready to learn Cantonese numbers and practice these Cantonese numbers in English?

Table of Contents

  1. Cantonese Numbers 0-9
  2. Cantonese Numbers 10-100
  3. Cantonese Numbers up to 1000
  4. How to Give Your Phone Number
  5. Shopping: How to Use Numbers when Shopping
  6. Bonus: Refresh Your Memory with a Cantopop Song
  7. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Count to One Billion in Cantonese


1. Cantonese Numbers 0-9

Cantonese Numbers

You can use both digits or Cantonese characters to express numbers. For example, if you want to express “zero,” you can either use 0 or 零 (ling4). Also, as you can see below, when it comes to Cantonese numbers, tones are still important.

  • 0: 零 (ling4)
  • 1: 一 (jat1)
  • 2: 二 (ji6)
  • 3: 三 (saam1)
  • 4: 四 (sei3)
  • 5: 五 (ng5)
  • 6: 六 (luk6)
  • 7: 七 (cat1)
  • 8: 八 (baat3)
  • 9: 九 (gau2)

You can check out our website to learn the pronunciation of these Cantonese numbers (Cantonese numbers 1-10 pronunciation).


2. Cantonese Numbers 10-100

十 (sap6) is equivalent to “ten” in English. If you want to express twenty, thirty, and so on, just add the Cantonese equivalent of the first digit in front of 十 (sap6).

Take twenty for example:
Twenty is “20,” and the Cantonese equivalent of the first digit “2″ is 二 (ji6). Adding 二 (ji6) in front of 十 (sap6), we have 二十 (ji6 sap6) for “twenty.”

When the number reaches one-hundred, 十 (sap6) turns to 百 (baak3), and we have 一百 (jat1 baak3) for “100.”

  • 10: 十 (sap6)
  • 20: 二十 (ji6 sap6)
  • 30: 三十 (saam1 sap6)
  • 40: 四十 (sei3 sap6)
  • 50: 五十 (ng5 sap6)
  • 60: 六十 (luk6 sap6)
  • 70: 七十 (cat1 sap6)
  • 80: 八十 (baat3 sap6)
  • 90: 九十 (gau2 sap6)
  • 100: 一百 (jat1 baak3)

Expressing eleven, twelve, thirteen, all the way up to ninety-eight and ninety-nine in Cantonese is easy and similar to English.

For example, if you want to express “twenty-one,” you only need to combine “20″ (二十 [ji6 sap6]) and “1″ (一 [jat1]), and you have 二十一 (ji6 sap6 jat1) in Cantonese.

The same rule applies for Cantonese numbers 11 to 99. If you want to express “eleven,” you can combine “10″ (十 [sap6]) and “1″ (一 [jat1]), and you’ll get 十一 (sap6 jat1).

  • 11: 十一 (sap6 jat1)
  • 22: 二十二 (ji6 sap6 ji6)
  • 33: 三十三 (saam1 sap6 saam1)
  • 44: 四十四 (sei3 sap6 sei3)
  • 55: 五十五 (ng5 sap6 ng5)
  • 66: 六十六 (luk6 sap6 luk6)
  • 77: 七十七 (cat1 sap6 cat1)
  • 88: 八十八 (baat3 sap6 baat3)
  • 99: 九十九 (gau2 sap6 gau2)

Once again, you can check out our website to learn the Cantonese numbers’ pronunciation.


3. Cantonese Numbers up to 1000

Now that we’ve basically covered numbers in Cantonese 1-100, it’s time to count even higher!

百 (baak3) is equivalent to “hundred” in English. If you want to express “two-hundred,” “three-hundred,” and so on, just add the Cantonese equivalent of the first digit in front of 百 (baak3).

Take “two-hundred” for example:
“Two-hundred” is “200,” and the Cantonese equivalent of the first digit “2″ is 二 (ji6). Adding 二 (ji6) in front of 百 (baak3), we have 二百 (ji6 baak3) for “two-hundred.”

When the number reaches a thousand, 百 (baak3) turns to 千 (cin1), and we have 一千 (jat1 cin1) for “1000.”

Counting by hundreds, here are Cantonese numbers from 200-1000:

  • 200: 二百 (ji6 baak3)
  • 300: 三百 (saam1 baak3)
  • 400: 四百 (sei3 baak3)
  • 500: 五百 (ng5 baak3)
  • 600: 六百 (luk6 baak3)
  • 700: 七百 (cat1 baak3)
  • 800: 八百 (baat3 baak3)
  • 900: 九百 (gau2 baak3)
  • 1000: 一千 (jat1 cin1)

Again, expressing “one-hundred and one” up to “nine-hundred and ninety-nine” in Cantonese is simple and similar to English.

For example, if you want to express “one-hundred and twenty-one,” you just need to combine “100″ (一百 [jat1 baak3]) and “21″ (二十一 [ji6 sap6 jat1]), and you have 一百二十一 (jat1 baak3 ji6 sap6 jat1) in Cantonese.

Note that if the second digit of a three-digit number is “0,” we need to add 零 (ling4) in the middle.

Take “207″ as an example. In addition to “200″ (二百 [ji6 baak3]) and “7″ (七 [cat1]), we also need to include “0″ (零 [ling4]) in the middle. Hence, “207″ is 二百零七 (ji6 baak3 ling4 cat1).

Here are some more examples of triple-digit Cantonese numbers:

  • 108: 一百零八 (jat1 baak3 ling4 baat3)
  • 166: 一百六十六 (jat1 baak3 luk6 sap6 luk6)
  • 230: 二百三十 (ji6 baak3 saam1 sap6)
  • 344: 三百四十四 (saam1 baak3 sei3 sap6 sei3)
  • 456: 四百五十六 (sei3 baak3 ng5 sap6 luk6)
  • 550: 五百五十 (ng5 baak3 ng5 sap6)
  • 612: 六百一十二 (luk6 baak3 jat1 sap6 ji6)
  • 722: 七百二十二 (cat1 baak3 ji6 sap6 ji6)
  • 805: 八百零五 (baat3 baak3 ling4 ng5)
  • 910: 九百一十 (gau2 baak3 jat1 sap6)


4. How to Give Your Phone Number

Vintage Phone

If you want to ask for someone’s phone number, you can say: 可唔可以比你個電話我呀 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 bei2 nei5 go3 din6 waa2 ngo5 aa3), meaning “Could you please give your phone number to me?”

To give your number to someone else, you can simply say the digits of your number in Cantonese. If your number is 91234567, you can say 九一二三四五六七 (gau2 jat1 ji6 saam1 sei3 ng5 luk6 cat1).

A typical Hong Kong phone number has eight digits. Mobile numbers usually start with 5, 6, or 9, and fixed landline numbers start with 2 or 3. Hong Kong’s country code is 852, and we don’t have an area code.

Numbers that aren’t eight digits are usually reserved for carrier/operator services or special services, such as 999 (gau2 gau2 gau2) for emergency services.

Ambulance


5. Shopping: How to Use Numbers when Shopping

Now, here are some useful phrases for an activity that you may not be able to resist, especially when you’re in Hong Kong: Shopping!

It’s easy to express prices in Hong Kong. You just have to say the number directly in Cantonese and add the word 蚊 (man1) to the end. For example:

  • $3 is 三蚊 (saam1 man1)
  • $18 is 十八蚊 (sap6 baat3 man1)
  • $100 is 一百蚊 (jat1 baak3 man1)
  • $612 is 六百一十二蚊 (luk6 baak3 jat1 sap6 ji6 man1)
  • $1000 is 一千蚊 (ljat1 cin1 man1)

Couple Shopping

You can use the below phrases to inquire about the price of something:

  • 呢個幾錢?
    • Romanization: ni1 go3 gei2 cin2
    • Translation: How much is this?
  • 嗰個幾錢?
    • Romanization: go2 go3 gei2 cin2
    • Translation: How much is that?

You can use the below phrases to bargain for lower prices:

  • 平啲啦!
    • Romanization: peng4 di1 laa1!
    • Translation: Cheaper please!
  • 可唔可以平啲呀?
    • Romanization: ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 peng4 di1 aa1?
    • Translation: Can you lower the price?
  • 太貴喇!
    • Romanization: taai3 gwai3 laa3!
    • Translation: It’s too expensive!
  • 我唔買喇.
    • Romanization: ngo5 m4 maai3 laa3.
    • Translation: I’m not buying it.

To practice the above phrases, especially the ones for bargaining prices, you can visit 女人街 (neoi3 jan2 gaai1). 女人街 (neoi3 jan2 gaai1) literally translates as “ladies market,” and is one of the most popular Hong Kong street markets and tourist destinations.

Even though it’s called the “ladies market,” the market actually sells everything, including the latest fashion for men and women, electronics, records, and even dairy products.


6. Bonus: Refresh Your Memory with a Cantopop Song

Woman Wearing Pink Headphones

Need some help refreshing your memory of Cantonese numbers? No worries. We’ve got you covered.

In case our vocabulary list isn’t enough, you can also check out this Cantopop song sung by the veteran Cantopop singer George Lam. The name of the song is 數字人生 (sou3 zi6 jan4 saang1), meaning “A Number of Life.” As the name of the song suggests, it’s about numbers.

In fact, most of its lyrics are numbers that appear to be random and don’t make sense. Though it was released two decades ago, the “number song” is still well-known among Hongkongers. The government even decided to use it for promoting the 2012-2013 Budget Consultation.


7. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

We hope you now see how important Cantonese numbers in language learning are! With basic Cantonese numbers, you can now exchange phone numbers and enjoy shopping in Hong Kong!

Now that you’ve mastered Cantonese numbers, it’s time to move up to the next level! With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through our mobile apps, desktop software, and website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

Until now, we’ve delivered more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons, delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts. We also have detailed PDF lesson notes, an abundance of vocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

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How to Say Sorry in Cantonese

How to say sorry is one of the first things that a traveler or a language learner should learn—knowing how to say sorry helps us better communicate and maintain relationships with new friends, especially in Hong Kong where we are famous for our politeness. That said, it’s quite important to learn how to say sorry in Cantonese culture.

There are various ways to say sorry in English, such as “I am sorry,” My apologies,” and many more. It’s the same for Cantonese; we have different phrases to express our apologies for formal, informal, and specific occasions. Let’s go through some of the most widely-used phrases for apology in Cantonese below together! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Cantonese Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

  1. The Two Most Common Phrases
  2. Formal Apologies
  3. Other Phrases
  4. How to Answer to Sorry
  5. Manner & Gesture when You Say Sorry
  6. Written Form of “I am Sorry”
  7. Bonus: Hot Topic of the City
  8. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 can Help You Learn More Cantonese

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1. The Two Most Common Phrases

3

The two most common Cantonese phrases for saying sorry are 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) and 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3). They’re applicable to a wide range of circumstances, so learning how to use them to say sorry in learning Cantonese is vital. When learning how to say sorry in Cantonese, these words and phrases may just be your saving grace in various situations.

1- 對唔住

  • Romanization: deoi3 m4 zyu6
  • Meaning: Sorry

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 對唔住,我打爛咗你部電腦。
  • Romanization: deoi3 m4 zyu6, ngo5 daa2 laan6 zo2 nei5 bou6 din6 nou5.
  • Meaning: Sorry, I broke your computer.

Explanation / Notes:
This phrase literally means “sorry” and can be used in both formal and informal settings. Note that we only use this phrase when we want to express our apology and remorse. If you want to say that you’re sorry in the sense of expressing your regret or sadness over a news story or an incident, 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3) is more suitable.

We usually put 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) at the start of the sentence. As it’s a phrase rather than a word, we seldom use it in the middle of a sentence unless we’re quoting it as a noun phrase.

2- 唔好意思

  • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3
  • Meaning: Excuse me / Sorry

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,剩返七碼咋。
  • Romanization: m4 hou2 ji3 si3, zing6 faan1 cat1 maa5 zaa3.
  • Meaning: I’m sorry, we only have size 7 left.

Explanation / Notes:
This phrase is applicable to a wider range of contexts compared to 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) and can be used both formally and informally. There are, broadly, three scenarios where you can use 唔好意思 (m4 ho2 ji3 si3), including grabbing someone’s attention (i.e. “excuse me”), expressing your regret or sadness over bad news or an incident, and apologizing for minor incidents.

  • To grab someone’s attention:
    • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,閘口喺邊?
    • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3, zaap6 hau2 hai2 bin1?
    • Meaning: Excuse me, where is the entrance?
  • To express your regret over bad news:
    • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,無貨喇。
    • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3, mou5 fo3 laa3.
    • Meaning: I’m sorry, it is out of stock.
  • To apologize for a minor incident:
    • Cantonese character: 唔好意思,唔小心踩到你。
    • Romanization: m4 ho2 ji3 si3, m4 siu2 sam1 caai2 dou2 nei5.
    • Meaning: I’m sorry for stepping on your shoes accidentally.

Comparatively, 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) is more formal and is mainly reserved for serious offenses. When you’re speaking informally with friends, the most common apology is 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si3). You can use both apologies to make your way through a crowd.


2. Formal Apologies

There are some phrases we reserve for serious and formal apologies, which are usually used in business settings.

Woman Bowing

1- 我衷心道歉

  • Romanization: ngo5 cung1 sam1 dou6 hip3.
  • Meaning: I sincerely apologize.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 對於今日發生嘅事故,我衷心道歉。
  • Romanization: deoi3 jyu1 gam1 jat6 faat3 sang1 ge3 si6 gu3, ngo5 cung1 sam1 dou6 hip3.
  • Meaning: I sincerely apologize for the incident that happened today.

2- 我想道歉

  • Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 dou6 hip3.
  • Meaning: I would like to apologize.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 我匯報得唔好,我想道歉。
  • Romanization: ngo5 wui6 bou3 dak1 m4 hou2, ngo5 soeng2 dou6 hip3.
  • Meaning: I would like to apologize for my poor presentation.


3. Other Phrases

Say Sorry

There are other phrases related to apology in Cantonese too. The phrases we’re introducing below, as well as the ones above, can sometimes be used together at the same time, depending on the situation. For example, if you want to admit that you’re the one at fault, apologize, and then beg for forgiveness, you could say: 係我唔啱,對唔住,求下你唔好嬲我 (hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1, deoi3 m4 zyu6, kau4 haa5 nei5 m4 hou2 nau1 ngo5).

1- 係我唔啱

  • Romanization: hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1.
  • Meaning: It is my fault.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 我唔應該對你發火,係我唔啱。
  • Romanization: ngo5 m4 jing1 goi1 deoi3 nei5 faat3 fo2, hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1.
  • Meaning: I should not be mad at you, it is my fault.

2- 我唔會再咁做

  • Romanization: ngo5 m4 wui5 zoi3 gam2 zou6.
  • Meaning: I won’t do it again.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 如果你唔鍾意嘅話,我唔會再咁做。
  • Romanization: jyu4 gwo2 nei5 m4 zung1 ji3 ge3 waa2, ngo5 m4 wui2 zoi3 gam2 zou6.
  • Meaning: If you don’t like this, I won’t do it again.

3- 我要為對你咁衰而道歉

  • Romanization: ngo5 jiu3 wai6 deoi3 nei5 gam3 seoi1 ji4 dou6 hip3.
  • Meaning: I apologize for being mean to you.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 我唔應該笑你,我要為對你咁衰而道歉。
  • Romanization: ngo5 m4 jing1 goi1 siu3 nei5, ngo5 jiu3 wai6 deoi3 nei5 gam3 seoi1 ji4 dou6 hip3.
  • Meaning: I should not have laughed at you, I apologize for being mean to you.

4- 我希望你可以原諒我

  • Romanization: ngo5 hei1 mong6 nei5 ho2 ji3 jyun4 loeng6 ngo5.
  • Meaning: I hope you will forgive me.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 係我唔啱,我希望你可以原諒我。
  • Romanization: hai6 ngo5 m4 aam1, ngo5 hei1 mong6 nei5 ho2 ji3 jyun4 loeng6 ngo5.
  • Meaning: It is my fault and I hope you will forgive me.

5- 我一早就唔應該咁做

  • Romanization: ngo5 jat1 zou2 zau6 m4 jing1 goi1 gam2 zou6.
  • Meaning: I should not have done it.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 我知道你覺得難受,我一早就唔應該咁做。
  • Romanization: ngo5 zi1 dou3 nei5 gok3 dak1 naan4 sau6, ngo5 jat1 zou2 zau6 m4 jing3 goi1 gam2 zou6.
  • Meaning: I know it hurts you badly, I should not have done it.

6- 我無咁嘅意思

  • Romanization: ngo5 mou4 gam2 ge3 ji3 si1.
  • Meaning: I did not mean that.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 可能中間有啲誤會,我無咁嘅意思。
  • Romanization: ho2 nang4 zung1 gaan1 jau5 di1 ng6 wui6, ngo5 mou4 gam2 ge3 ji3 si1.
  • Meaning: I did not mean that, I guess there could be some misunderstanding.

7- 我保證唔會再犯呢個錯

  • Romanization: ngo5 bou2 zing3 m4 wui5 zoi3 faan6 ni1 go3 co3.
  • Meaning: I will make sure I do not make the same mistake again.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 我唔應該咁做,我保證唔會再犯呢個錯。
  • Romanization: ngo5 m4 jing3 goi1 gam2 zou6, ngo5 bou2 zing3 m4 wui5 zoi3 faan6 ni1 go3 co3.
  • Meaning: I should not have done this and I promise I will not make the same mistake again.

8- 求下你唔好嬲我

  • Romanization: kau4 haa5 nei5 m4 hou2 nau1 ngo5.
  • Meaning: Please do not be mad at me.

Example:

  • Cantonese character: 我唔會再咁做,求下你唔好嬲我。
  • Romanization: ngo5 m4 wui5 zoi3 gam2 zou6, kau4 haa5 nei5 m4 hou2 nau1 ngo5.
  • Meaning: I won’t do it again. Please don’t be mad at me.


4. How to Answer to Sorry

Man Asking for Forgiveness

If someone apologizes to you, you can reply with the below phrases:

  • 唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3) - no worries / never mind
  • 無問題 (mou5 man6 tai4) - no problem
  • 無所謂 (mou5 so2 wai6) - doesn’t matter

唔緊要 (m4 gan2 jiu3) is the standard way to reply to an apology, but you can use the other two phrases as well depending on the scenarios.


5. Manner & Gesture when You Say Sorry

Woman Apologizing

In general, you should be polite and sincere when you apologize. Keep your tone flat and slightly tilt your head down. You can either look into the eyes of the person you’re saying sorry to or look down. We don’t have any common gesture that signifies “sorry.” We just say the words without any hand gesture or further body posture, such as bowing, as is common in some other cultures.


6. Written Form of “I am Sorry”

As you may know, there are two forms of Cantonese, one in spoken form and the other in written form. We speak slightly differently than we write. The above phrases are all in spoken form. So what about the written form of “I am sorry” in Cantonese?

  • Chinese character: 對不起
  • Romanization: deoi3 bat1 hei2
  • Meaning: Sorry

對不起 (deoi3 bat1 hei2) is the written form of 對唔住 (deoi3 m4 zyu6) and they have literally the same meaning. Although more and more Hong Kongeses write in the spoken form of Cantonese, it’s still impermissible to write spoken Cantonese in schools and formal writings. Also, we never speak written Cantonese in our daily lives.


7. Bonus: Hot Topic of the City

Have you ever pissed off your significant other? How would you apologize? How far would you go to ask for his or her forgiveness? Check out the video below to see how a man begged for his girlfriend’s forgiveness in Hong Kong:

If you’re not up for the extreme measures of saying sorry, like many of us do, read Common Ways to Say Sorry in Cantonese to learn more alternative ways to apologize.


8. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 can Help You Learn More Cantonese

If you’re eager to know more common Cantonese phrases and words on top of saying sorry, please do visit CantoneseClass101.com, where you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through either your mobile apps, desktop software, or even our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

We’ve delivered until now more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, abundance of vocabulary learning tools and spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

In the meantime, continue practicing how to say “I apologize” in Cantonese, along with all the other phrases we went over. You’ll be glad you did next time you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation in Hong Kong. Best of luck to you!

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How to Find a Job in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has been a popular destination for those seeking opportunities to work abroad. As a renowned international financial center often described as New York City on steroids, Hong Kong has not only attracted an abundance of travellers each year—it has also attracted many specialists and talents around the globe. Due to its location, low taxation, and vibrant city life, the number of expats working in Hong Kong has remained high since the handover in 1997.

Hong Kong City

Although English is one of the official languages of Hong Kong, Cantonese is the most widely spoken language in Hong Kong. Many local businesses and companies prefer candidates who can speak Cantonese, and several expats have reported that their Chinese language skills have helped them in their career advancement or job search. It’s a good idea to learn Cantonese, whether to open up more opportunities during your job search, or to enrich your experience in Hong Kong. If you want to know more about Cantonese or want to start learning the language itself, visit CantoneseClass101.com to find out more. When finding a job in Hong Kong, it’s always a good idea to have a good grasp of the culture and language.

Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Without further ado, here’s our guide on how to find a job in Hong Kong.

Table of Contents

  1. Working in Hong Kong
  2. Hong Kong Job Market Landscape
  3. Different Types of Jobs You Can Find in Hong Kong
  4. Bonus: A Hong Kong Work Day
  5. How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Working in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Causeway Bay

As an international financial and cultural hub, Hong Kong has various job opportunities that can benefit your career development and advancement. Many well-known multinational companies have established regional offices in Hong Kong. HSBC reported in 2015 that expats in Hong Kong have the best career progression and greatest earning potential.

Temple

Hong Kong is also famous for its low taxation and ample support for foreigners. As it’s home to many expats and talents from around the world, the city has many expat communities that offer guidance on things from where to live, what to do with spare time, and how to pick the right school for your children.

Here are some examples of sites that may be helpful for foreigners finding jobs in Hong Kong:

Bus

Convenience is also a key that sets Hong Kong apart from other large cities. Hong Kong has extremely modern and functional transportation systems, including one of the largest international airports operated on a 24-hour basis, an efficient massive subway system where trains arrive every minute during rush hour, as well as taxis, buses, minibuses, ferries, and trams. It’s easy to go anywhere at anytime, be it a lavish restaurant by the seashore or a club after midnight. If you need to buy daily necessities, convenience stores are always around the corner and many are open 24/7.

A long-lived entrepot and once a colony of the British empire, Hong Kong has a diverse mix of culture that has fascinated travellers from around the globe. The interesting cultural dynamics here is rare and worth trying out yourself, through working and living in Hong Kong. The robust and cosmopolitan nightlife has also seduced the hearts of many foreigners. Read more at CNN Travel and Time Out Hong Kong to see what the vibrant city has to offer.

2. Hong Kong Job Market Landscape

Hong Kong has a low unemployment rate of 2.8% (Feb. to Apr., 20 8) and a diversified workforce. There are a lot of expats and non-native speakers working in Hong Kong, but the job market for expats has tightened recently due to work permit regulations and increasing competition from local and mainland Chinese employees. In order to be competitive, you’ll need to demonstrate specialties and skills, a high degree of professionalism, and ample experience. It’s a plus if you know Cantonese.

Below are some Cantonese CV, resume, and interview tips to help you navigate through your job hunting:

  • Ensure that your CV is up to date and is tailored for the job you’re applying for.
  • If you’re not experienced in writing CVs and cover letters, you can seek professional services and advice. Check out Purple CV, The CV Centre, or CV Lizard for more information.
  • Prepare for more than one round of interviews in Hong Kong. Two to four, or even more, rounds of interviews are common.
  • Your prospective employer may know a lot about you—so don’t lie. Some Hong Kong employers research job applicants before the interview.
  • Don’t whine or criticize your former employers, bosses, or colleagues. Stay positive in interviews.

A visa is required for non-residents to work in Hong Kong. In order to get an employment visa, you’ll need a confirmed job offer and a sponsor. The sponsoring company must also prove that the job position cannot be filled by a local. Hence, the easiest way to start working in Hong Kong is via internal transfer with your current employer to its branch in Hong Kong. This not only saves you the difficulties that arise in searching for a new overseas job, but it also increases your chances of getting a work visa. To understand more about working in Hong Kong, visit the Hong Kong’s Government website.

The salary you will be getting varies widely depending on the job you are landing, ranging from around HKD 30K per month as an English teacher to around HKD50K per month for a mid-level manager role. The paycheck can go even higher if you are looking for a more senior position or a job that requires highly specialized skills. According to the HSBC Expat survey in 2016, expats in Hong Kong earned nearly USD 170,000 a year, which is much higher than the global average of USD 97,000. Read more about Hong Kong salary at Expat Arrivals.

3. Different Types of Jobs You Can Find in Hong Kong

There are four different types of foreigners-friendly jobs in Hong Kong. The most common one is being a language teacher or a coach (e.g. for football). The professional services fields, such as banks, financial institutions, and consultancies, have also enticed a huge amount of expats. A growing demand for professionals in both the Multimedia & Creative Industries and the Science, Technology & Innovation Industries suggests there are more vacancies available for expats in these fields.

1- Teaching

Teaching

You can either teach a language or a special skill in Hong Kong. The languages in highest demand are English, Japanese, and Spanish, but demand for other languages isn’t thin either. As for skills, the skills that you can teach in Hong Kong vary, but the ones in highest demand are usually sports-related, such as football or rugby coaches.

Vacancies in institutions such as local schools, international schools, language centers, etc., are the ones you should start looking for first, as it’s much easier to get a visa sponsorship from them.

There are many popular Cantonese job hunting sites you can leverage to find a language teaching job:

If visa isn’t a concern, you can also be a private or online tutor. Hong Kong has a robust private tutor market and the remuneration is usually quite satisfactory. Referral is more common in the private tutor market, but you can also check out the following websites:

2- Professional Services

Skyscrapers

While trying to find employment in Hong Kong, it may be helpful for you to know that the sector that hires the most expats is probably the financial services sector. Hong Kong is a renowned international financial center and many financial institutions have established offices in Hong Kong to gain a foothold in the region, and also as a gateway to the Mainland Chinese market. Large banks and multinational corporations are usually willing to hire expats for their expertise and experience. Other sectors such as accountancy, sales and marketing, consultancies, human resources, legal, logistics, and engineering welcome expats as well.

There are many search portals online to help you look for a suitable position in these fields:

You can also search for jobs directly at your targeted companies’ job search portals. Usually large corporations in Hong Kong have their own job search engines with user-friendly interfaces.

3- Multimedia and Creative Industries

Creative

Graphic designers, interior designers, and other positions in the multimedia and creative industries are in high demand as well. As both the Hong Kong marketplace and educational world tilt towards the business field, talents in the multimedia and creative industries are highly sought after.

To look for opportunities in this area, check out these Cantonese job search websites:

4- Science, Technology, and Innovation

Robot

As Hong Kong is repositioning itself as a smart city, there’s a growing demand for talents in the science, technology, and innovation industries.

You can visit the following Cantonese job seeking websites:

These portals not only list jobs that are technology-related, but they are also popular job search portals for other industries in Hong Kong in general.

4. Bonus: A Hong Kong Work Day

Want to have a glimpse of what a work day in Hong Kong will be like? Check out the video below to learn more about working and living in Hong Kong:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN-mjcgYGj4

5. How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

Knowing Cantonese will certainly lead to a more fulfilling experience in Hong Kong. It helps you to communicate with the locals effectively and opens up doors to cross-cultural friendships, or even romance. Read the articles below at CantoneseClass101.com to learn basic Cantonese knowledge now.

We also offer MyTeacher program where you can improve your Cantonese language skills to find a job and prepare for the interview under our teachers’ guidance.

With CantoneseClass101.com, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, either through your mobile apps, desktop software, or even our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

We’ve delivered until now more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, abundance of vocabulary learning tools and spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

We hope you’ve learned plenty about jobs in Hong Kong for English speakers, as well as helpful information on the Hong Kong job market landscape. Happy job hunting, and good luck on your future Cantonese endeavors!

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How to Say I Love You in Cantonese - Romantic Word List

Do you often feel lonely and sad? Do you long for romance and are willing to do whatever it takes to meet that special person? Speaking another language could revolutionize your love life! So, why wait? Learning how to say ‘love’ in Cantonese could be just what you need to find it.

Or perhaps you were lucky, and have found your Cantonese partner already. Fantastic! Yet, a cross-cultural relationship comes with unique challenges. Learning how to speak your lover’s language will greatly improve your communication and enhance the relationship. At CantoneseClass101, our team will teach you all the words, quotes and phrases you need to woo your Cantonese lover with excellence! Our tutors provide personal assistance, with plenty of extra material available to make Cantonese dating easy for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date
  2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date
  3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary
  4. Cantonese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day
  5. Cantonese Quotes about Love
  6. Marriage Proposal Lines
  7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
  8. Will Falling in Love Help You Learn Cantonese Faster?

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1. Common Phrases You’ll Need for a Date

So, you have met your Cantonese love interest. Congratulations! Who knows where this could take you…?! However, the two of you have just met and you’re not ready to say the Cantonese word for love just yet. Great, it is better to get to know him/her first. Wow your prospective love by using these Cantonese date phrases to set up a spectacular first date.

Cantonese Date Phrases

Would you like to go out to dinner with me?

  • 賞面同我食餐飯嗎?
  • soeng2 min2 tung4 ngo5 sik6 caan1 faan6 maa3?

The important question! In most cultures, this phrase indicates: ‘I’m romantically interested in you’. Flirting in Cantonese is no different, so don’t take your date to Mcdonald’s!

Are you free this weekend?

  • 你今個禮拜尾得唔得閒?
  • nei5 gam1 go3 lai5 baai1 mei5 dak1 m4 dak1 haan4?

This is a preamble to asking your love interest on a date. If you get an immediate ‘Yes’, that’s good news!

Would you like to hang out with me?

  • 我哋一齊去玩好嗎?
  • ngo5 dei6 jat1 cai4 heoi3 waan2 hou2 maa3?

You like her/him, but you’re not sure if there’s chemistry. Ask them to hang out first to see if a dinner date is next.

What time shall we meet tomorrow?

  • 我哋聽日幾點見?
  • ngo5 dei6 ting1 jat6 gei2 dim2 gin3?

Set a time, and be sure to arrive early! Nothing spoils a potential relationship more than a tardy date.

Where shall we meet?

  • 我哋喺邊度等?
  • ngo5 dei6 hai2 bin1 dou6 dang2?

You can ask this, but also suggest a place.

You look great.

  • 你好靚。
  • nei5 hou2 leng3.

A wonderful ice breaker! This phrase will help them relax a bit - they probably took great care to look their best just for you.

You are so cute.

  • 你好可愛。
  • nei5 hou2 ho2 oi3.

If the two of you are getting on really well, this is a fun, flirtatious phrase to use.

What do you think of this place?

  • 你鍾唔鍾意呢度?
  • nei5 zung1 m4 zung1 ji3 ni1 dou6?

This another good conversation starter. Show off your Cantonese language skills!

Can I see you again?

  • 我可唔可以再約你?
  • ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 zoi3 joek3 nei5?

So the date went really well - don’t waste time! Make sure you will see each other again.

Shall we go somewhere else?

  • 不如我哋去第二度?
  • bat1 jyu4 ngo5 dei6 heoi3 dai6 ji6 dou6?

If the place you meet at is not great, you can suggest going elsewhere. It is also a good question to follow the previous one. Variety is the spice of life!

I know a good place.

  • 我識一個好地方。
  • ngo5 sik1 jat1 go3 hou2 dei6 fong1.

Use this with the previous question. However, don’t say if you don’t know a good place!

I will drive you home.

  • 我車你返屋企。
  • ngo5 ce1 nei5 faan1 uk1 kei5.

If your date doesn’t have transport, this is a polite, considerate offer. However, don’t be offended if she/he turns you down on the first date. Especially a woman might not feel comfortable letting you drive her home when the two of you are still basically strangers.

That was a great evening.

  • 今晚好開心。
  • gam1 maan1 hou2 hoi1 sam1.

This is a good phrase to end the evening with.

When can I see you again?

  • 幾時可以再見你?
  • gei2 si4 ho2 ji3 zoi3 gin3 nei5?

If he/she replied ‘Yes’ to ‘Can I see you again?’, this is the next important question.

I’ll call you.

  • 我打畀你。
  • ngo5 daa2 bei2 nei5.

Say this only if you really mean to do it. In many cultures, this could imply that you’re keeping the proverbial backdoor open.

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2. The Most Romantic Ideas for a Date

You learned all the Cantonese phrases to make a date - congratulations! Now you have to decide where to meet, which can be tricky. Discuss these options with your lover to gauge whether you like the same things. Check out romantic date ideas in Cantonese below!

Date Ideas in Cantonese

museum

  • 博物館
  • bok3 mat6 gun2

If you’re looking for unique date ideas that are fun but won’t break the bank, museums are the perfect spot! You won’t be running out of things to say in the conversations.

candlelit dinner

  • 燭光晚餐
  • zuk1 gwong1 maan5 caan1

A candlelit dinner is perhaps best to reserve for when the relationship is getting serious. It’s very intimate, and says: “Romance!” It’s a fantastic choice if you’re sure you and your date are in love with each other!

go to the zoo

  • 去動物園
  • heoi3 dung6 mat6 jyun4

This is a good choice for shy lovers who want to get the conversation going. Just make sure your date likes zoos, as some people dislike them. Maybe not for the first date, but this is also a great choice if your lover has children - you’ll win his/her adoration for inviting them along!

go for a long walk

  • 去散步
  • heoi3 saan3 bou6

Need to talk about serious stuff, or just want to relax with your date? Walking together is soothing, and a habit you can keep up together always! Just make sure it’s a beautiful walk that’s not too strenuous.

go to the opera

  • 去睇歌劇
  • heoi3 tai2 go1 kek6

This type of date should only be attempted if both of you love the opera. It can be a special treat, followed by a candlelit dinner!

go to the aquarium

  • 去水族館
  • heoi3 seoi2 zuk6 gun2

Going to the aquarium is another good idea if you need topics for conversation, or if you need to impress your lover’s kids! Make sure your date doesn’t have a problem with aquariums.

walk on the beach

  • 喺沙灘散步
  • hai2 saa1 taan1 saan3 bou6

This can be a very romantic stroll, especially at night! The sea is often associated with romance and beauty.

have a picnic

  • 野餐
  • je5 caan1

If you and your date need to get more comfortable together, this can be a fantastic date. Spending time in nature is soothing and calms the nerves.

cook a meal together

  • 一齊煮飯
  • jat1 cai4 zyu2 faaan6

If you want to get an idea of your date’s true character in one go, this is an excellent date! You will quickly see if the two of you can work together in a confined space. If it works, it will be fantastic for the relationship and create a sense of intimacy. If not, you will probably part ways!

have dinner and see a movie

  • 食飯睇戲
  • sik6 faan6 tai2 hei3

This is traditional date choice works perfectly well. Just make sure you and your date like the same kind of movies!

3. Must-know Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

Valentine's Day Words in Cantonese

Expressing your feelings honestly is very important in any relationship all year round. Yet, on Valentine’s Day you really want to shine. Impress your lover this Valentine’s with your excellent vocabulary, and make his/her day! We teach you, in fun, effective ways, the meanings of the words and how to pronounce them. You can also copy the characters and learn how to write ‘I love you’ in Cantonese - think how impressed your date will be!

4. Cantonese Love Phrases for Valentine’s Day

So, you now have the basic Valentine’s Day vocabulary under your belt. Well done! But, do you know how to say ‘I love you’ in Cantonese yet? Or perhaps you are still only friends. So, do you know how to say ‘I like you’ or ‘I have a crush on you’ in Cantonese? No? Don’t worry, here are all the love phrases you need to bowl over your Cantonese love on this special day!

Valentine's Day Words in Cantonese

I love you.

  • 我愛你。
  • ngo5 oi3 nei5.

Saying ‘I love you’ in Cantonese carries the same weight as in all languages. Use this only if you’re sure and sincere about your feelings for your partner/friend.

You mean so much to me.

  • 你喺我心目中好重要。
  • nei5 hai2 ngo5 sam1 muk6 zung1 hou2 zung6 jiu3.

This is a beautiful expression of gratitude that will enhance any relationship! It makes the receiver feel appreciated and their efforts recognized.

Will you be my Valentine?

  • 你願意做我嘅愛人嗎?
  • nei5 jyun6 ji3 zou6 ngo5 ge3 oi3 jan4 maa3?

With these words, you are taking your relationship to the next level! Or, if you have been a couple for a while, it shows that you still feel the romance. So, go for it!

You’re so beautiful.

  • 你好靚。
  • nei5 hou2 leng3.

If you don’t know how to say ‘You’re pretty’ in Cantonese, this is a good substitute, gentlemen!

I think of you as more than a friend.

  • 我當你係朋友咋。
  • ngo5 dong3 nei5 hai6 pang4 jau5 zaa3.

Say this if you are not yet sure that your romantic feelings are reciprocated. It is also a safe go-to if you’re unsure about the Cantonese dating culture.

A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.

  • 一百個心都裝唔晒我對你嘅愛。
  • jat1 baak3 go3 sam1 dou1 zong1 m4 saai3 ngo5 deoi3 nei5 ge3 oi3.

You romantic you…! When your heart overflows with love, this would be the best phrase to use.

Love is just love. It can never be explained.

  • 愛就係愛。解釋唔到。
  • oi3 zau6 hai6 oi3. gaai2 sik1 m4 dou2.

If you fell in love unexpectedly or inexplicably, this one’s for you.

You’re so handsome.

  • 你好靚仔。
  • nei5 hou2 leng3 zai2.

Ladies, this phrase lets your Cantonese love know how much you appreciate his looks! Don’t be shy to use it; men like compliments too.

I’ve got a crush on you.

  • 我暗戀你。
  • ngo5 am3 lyun5 nei5.

If you like someone, but you’re unsure about starting a relationship, it would be prudent to say this. It simply means that you like someone very, very much and think they’re amazing.

You make me want to be a better man.

  • 你令我想成為一個更好嘅人。
  • nei5 ling6 ngo5 soeng2 sing4 wai4 jat1 go3 gang3 hou2 ge3 jan4.

Gentlemen, don’t claim this phrase as your own! It hails from the movie ‘As Good as it Gets’, but it is sure to make your Cantonese girlfriend feel very special. Let her know that she inspires you!

Let all that you do be done in love.

  • 令一切都由愛出發。
  • ling6 jat1 cai3 dou1 jau4 oi3 ceot1 faat3.

We hope.

You are my sunshine, my love.

  • 你係我嘅陽光,我嘅愛人。
  • nei5 hai6 ngo5 ge3 joeng4 gwong1, ngo5 ge3 oi3 jan4.

A compliment that lets your lover know they bring a special quality to your life. Really nice!

Words can’t describe my love for you.

  • 冇辦法用言語嚟形容我對你嘅愛。
  • mou5 baan6 faat3 jung6 jin4 jyu5 lei4 jing4 jung4 ngo5 deoi3 nei5 ge3 oi3.

Better say this when you’re feeling serious about the relationship! It means that your feelings are very intense.

We were meant to be together.

  • 我哋注定喺埋一齊。
  • ngo5 dei6 zyu3 ding6 hai2 maai4 jat1 cai4.

This is a loving affirmation that shows you see a future together, and that you feel a special bond with your partner.

If you were thinking about someone while reading this, you’re definitely in love.

  • 如果你讀緊呢句嘅時候諗緊某個人,你肯定已經墮入愛河。
  • jyu4 gwo2 nei5 duk6 gan2 ni1 geoi3 je5 ge3 si4 hau6 lam2 gan2 mau5 go3 jan4, nei5 hang2 ding6 ji5 ging1 do6 jap6 oi3 ho4.

Here’s something fun to tease your lover with. And hope he/she was thinking of you!

5. Cantonese Quotes about Love

Cantonese Love Quotes

You’re a love champ! You and your Cantonese lover are getting along fantastically, your dates are awesome, your Valentine’s Day together was spectacular, and you’re very much in love. Good for you! Here are some beautiful phrases of endearment in Cantonese that will remind him/her who is in your thoughts all the time.

6. Marriage Proposal Lines

Cantonese Marriage Proposal Lines

Wow. Your Cantonese lover is indeed the love of your life - congratulations! And may only happiness follow the two of you! In most traditions, the man asks the woman to marry; this is also the Cantonese custom. Here are a few sincere and romantic lines that will help you to ask your lady-love for her hand in marriage.

7. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines

Cantonese Break-Up Lines

Instead of moving towards marriage or a long-term relationship, you find that the spark is not there for you. That is a pity! But even though breaking up is never easy, continuing a bad or unfulfilling relationship would be even harder. Remember to be kind to the person you are going to say goodbye to; respect and sensitivity cost nothing. Here are some phrases to help you break up gently.

  • We need to talk.
    • 我哋有啲嘢要傾下。
    • ngo5 dei6 jau5 di1 je5 jiu3 king1 haa5.

    This is not really a break-up line, but it is a good conversation opener with a serious tone.

    I’m just not ready for this kind of relationship.

    • 我未有心理準備發展呢種關係。
    • ngo5 mei6 jau5 sam1 lei5 zeon2 bei6 faat3 zin2 ni1 zung2 gwaan1 hai6.

    Things moved a bit fast and got too intense, too soon? Painful as it is, honesty is often the best way to break up with somebody.

    Let’s just be friends.

    • 我哋做朋友算啦。
    • ngo5 dei6 zou6 pang4 jau5 syun3 laa1.

    If the relationship was very intense, and you have sent many ‘i love u’ texts in Cantonese, this would not be a good breakup line. Feelings need to calm down before you can be friends, if ever. If the relationship has not really developed yet, a friendship would be possible.

    I think we need a break.

    • 我諗我哋要分開下。
    • ngo5 lam2 ngo5 dei6 jiu3 fan1 hoi1 haa5.

    This is again honest, and to the point. No need to play with someone’s emotions by not letting them know how you feel. However, this could imply that you may fall in love with him/her again after a period of time, so use with discretion.

    You deserve better.

    • 你應該可以搵到好過我嘅人。
    • ngo5 jing1 goi1 ho2 ji3 wan2 dou2 hou2 gwo3 ngo5 ge3 jan4.

    Yes, he/she probably deserves a better relationship if your own feelings have cooled down.

    We should start seeing other people.

    • 我們應該試下同其他人拍拖。
    • ngo5 dei6 jing1 goi1 si3 haa5 tung4 kei4 taa1 jan4 paak3 to1.

    This is probably the least gentle break-up phrase, so reserve it for a lover that doesn’t get the message!

    I need my space.

    • 我需要啲私人空間。
    • ngo5 seoi1 jiu3 di1 si1 jan4 hung1 gaan1.

    When a person is too clingy or demanding, this would be an suitable break-up phrase. It is another good go-to for that lover who doesn’t get the message!

    I think we’re moving too fast.

    • 我諗我哋進展得太快。
    • ngo5 lam2 ngo5 dei6 zeon3 zin2 dak1 taai3 faai3.

    Say this if you want to keep the relationship, but need to slow down its progress a bit. It is also good if you feel things are getting too intense for your liking. However, it is not really a break-up line, so be careful not to mislead.

    I need to focus on my career.

    • 我要專注喺我嘅事業。
    • ngo5 jiu3 zyun1 zyu3 hai2 ngo5 ge3 si6 jip6.

    If you feel that you will not be able to give 100% in a relationship due to career demands, this is the phrase to use. It’s also good if you are unwilling to give up your career for a relationship.

    I’m not good enough for you.

    • 我配你唔起。
    • ngo5 pui3 nei5 m4 hei2.

    Say this only if you really believe it, or you’ll end up sounding false. Break-ups are usually hard for the receiving party, so don’t insult him/her with an insincere comment.

    I just don’t love you anymore.

    • 我已經唔再愛你喇。
    • ngo5 ji5 ging1 m4 zoi3 oi3 nei5 laa3.

    This harsh line is sometimes the best one to use if you are struggling to get through to a stubborn, clingy lover who won’t accept your break up. Use it as a last resort. Then switch your phone off and block their emails!

    We’re just not right for each other.

    • 我哋唔係好適合對方。
    • ngo5 dei6 m4 hai6 hou2 sik1 hap6 deoi3 fong1.

    If this is how you truly feel, you need to say it. Be kind, gentle and polite.

    It’s for the best.

    • 咁樣其實最好。
    • gam2 joeng2 kei4 sat6 zeoi3 hou2.

    This phrase is called for if circumstances are difficult and the relationship is not progressing well. Love should enhance one’s life, not burden it!

    We’ve grown apart.

    • 我哋已經冇共同嘅目標。
    • ngo5 dei6 ji5 ging1 mou5 gung6 tung4 ge3 muk6 biu1.

    Cross-cultural relationships are often long-distance ones, and it is easy to grow apart over time.

    It’s not you. It’s me.

    • 唔關你事,係我嘅問題。
    • m4 gwaan1 nei5 si6, hai6 ngo5 ge3 man6 tai4.

    As long as you mean it, this can be a kind thing to say. It means that there’s nothing wrong with your Cantonese lover as a person, but that you need something different from a relationship.

  • 8. Will Falling in Love help you Learn Cantonese faster?

    Most people will agree that the above statement is a no-brainer - of course it will! Your body will be flooded with feel-good hormones, which are superb motivators for anything. CantoneseClass101 is one of the best portals to help help make this a reality, so don’t hesitate to enroll now! Let’s quickly look at the reasons why falling in love will speed up your learning of the Cantonese language.

    Three Reasons Why Having a Lover will Help you Learn Cantonese Faster!

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    1- Being in a love relationship with your Cantonese speaking partner will immerse you in the culture
    CantoneseClass101 uses immersive methods and tools to teach you Cantonese, but having a relationship with a native speaker will be a very valuable addition to your learning experience! You will gain exposure to their world, realtime and vividly, which will make the language come alive even more for you. The experience is likely to expand your world-view, which should motivate you to learn Cantonese even faster.

    2- Having your Cantonese romantic partner will mean more opportunity to practice speaking
    Nothing beats continuous practice when learning a new language. Your partner will probably be very willing to assist you in this, as your enhanced Cantonese language skills will enhance the relationship. Communication is, after all, one of the most important pillars of a good partnership. Also, you will get to impress your lover with the knowledge gained through your studies - a win/win situation!

    3- A supportive Cantonese lover is likely to make a gentle, patient teacher and study aid!
    With his/her heart filled with love and goodwill for you, your Cantonese partner is likely to patiently and gently correct your mistakes when you speak. This goes not only for grammar, but also for accent and meaning. With his/her help, you could sound like a native in no time!

    Three Reasons Why CantoneseClass101 helps you learn Cantonese Even Faster when you’re In Love

    Start with a bonus, and download the ‘How To be a Good Lover Cheat Sheet’ for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

    Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to be a Good Lover in Cantonese

    1- All the Resources and Materials Will Help Both of You
    Falling in love with a man or woman speaking Cantonese is an opportunity for both of you to learn a new language! For this reason, every lesson, transcript, vocabulary list, and resource at CantoneseClass101 is translated into both English and Cantonese. So, while your partner can help you learn Cantonese faster, you can potentially also help him/her learn and master English!

    2- Lessons Are Designed to Help You Understand and Engage with Cantonese Culture
    At CantoneseClass101, our focus is to help our students learn practical vocabulary and phrases used by everyday people in China. This means that, from your very first lesson, you can apply what you learn immediately! So, when your Cantonese partner wants to go out to a restaurant, play Pokemon Go, or attend just about any social function, you have the vocabulary and phrases necessary to have a great time!

    3- Access to Special Resources Dedicated to Romantic Cantonese Phrases
    You now have access to CantoneseClass101’s specially-developed sections and tools to teach you love words, phrases, and cultural insights to help you find and attract your Cantonese soul mate. A personal tutor will assist you to master these brilliantly - remember to invite him/her to your wedding!

    How to Say Hello in Cantonese

    How to Say Hello in Cantonese

    Are you travelling to Hong Kong, Macau, or Guangdong soon? Do you want to put some basic Cantonese phrases in your pocket? Learning how to say hello is the first thing to do when you’re planning for your next travel or when you start learning a new language. What are you waiting for? Let’s go through the different ways to say hello in Cantonese below now in our Cantonese greetings guide! We’ll take you through some of the most common Cantonese greetings with English translations.

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    There are different types of “hello” phrases in Cantonese: the non time-sensitive ones (e.g. “hello” in English), the time-sensitive ones (e.g. “good morning” in English), and also one we use for phone calls specifically. We don’t have any special gestures or manners when we greet someone—simply saying the Cantonese greeting words will do. If you would like to express your enthusiasm in meeting someone, you can wave your hands while saying hello to him or her. We seldom hug, bow, or kiss on the cheek in greetings.

    Now, let’s get on with the lesson—you’ll know all about Cantonese greetings in no time! You’ll also learn about other aspects of how Cantonese greet each other, such as body language and voice inflection. Enjoy!

    1. Non Time-Sensitive Hello in Cantonese

    • Cantonese character: 你好
    • Romanization: nei5 hou2
    • Meaning: Hello (formal, for both speech and writings)

    The universal greeting in Cantonese is 你好, which literally translates as “you good.” Both of the syllables should be pronounced using rising tones, with the second tone slightly higher than the first. If someone says 你好 to you, you can simply respond with 你好 as well.

    In addition to meaning “Hello,” you can use 你好 to introduce yourself to a new acquaintance or to draw attention from somebody. Oftentimes you can hear waiters and waitresses in Canton restaurants saying 你好 when they’re bringing you food.

    • Cantonese character: 哈囉
    • Romanization: haa1 lo3
    • Meaning: Hello (informal, for speech)

    哈囉 is “hello” with a Cantonese pronunciation. We use it to greet people casually, just like you would use “hi” in English. If someone says 哈囉, you can reply by repeating 哈囉.

    Even though 哈囉 and 你好 are essentially the same, it’s possible to use them together. 哈囉,你好呀 (haa1 lo3,nei5 hou2 aa3), meaning “hello,” is usually used when you want to greet someone that you aren’t close with in a friendly way. It’s a more formal Cantonese greeting.

    • Cantonese character: 你好嗎?
    • Romanization: nei5 hou2 maa3
    • Meaning: How are you? (formal, for both speech and writings)

    你好嗎?is the Cantonese version of “How are you?” It serves as a conversation starter. If someone asks you 你好嗎? you can respond by saying 好好 (hou2 hou2) meaning “very well,” 幾好 (gei2 hou2) meaning “quite well”, 唔錯 (m4 co3) meaning “not bad,” or longer sentences depending on how you want the conversation to go.

    Cantonese Greetings

    However, unlike in English, we seldom add “thank you” at the end of our responses. Even if it’s perfectly normal to reply with “very well, thank you” in English, it would be quite odd if you reply with 好好,多謝 (hou2 hou2, do1 ze6) meaning “very well, thank you.” Instead, we usually supplement our reply with a question: 你呢? (nei5 ne1) meaning “how about you?”

    • Cantonese character: 最近點呀?
    • Romanization: zeoi3 gan6 dim2 aa3
    • Meaning: How’s everything? (informal, for speech)

    If you bump into a friend you haven’t seen for a bit, you can greet him or her with 最近點呀. 最近 is “recently” and 點呀 means “how.” Combining both, 最近點呀 stands for “how’s everything?” It’s a friendlier conversation starter and a more informal Cantonese greeting—in fact, an excellent Cantonese greeting between friends under the right circumstances. Further, there are no common responses. The reply varies depending on how well you know the person and whether you would like to keep the conversation going.

    There are a few variations of 最近點呀?:

    • 點呀? (dim2 aa3)
    • 你最近點呀?(nei5 zeoi3 gan6 dim2 aa3)
    • 你近排點呀?(nei5 gan6 paai2 dim2 aa3)

    All of these variations essentially mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably with 最近點呀?.

    • Cantonese character: 食咗飯未呀?
    • Romanization: sik6 zo2 faan6 mei6 aa3
    • Meaning: Have you had your meal? (informal, for speech)

    An interesting way to say hello in Cantonese is to ask the person 食咗飯未呀? which translates as “have you had your meal yet?” Hong Kongers love to eat and we put great emphasis on dining. Asking a person 食咗飯未呀? is a great way to inquire after a person in Hong Kong; it’s like “how are you?” but with a local touch. Even though we classified it as a non time-sensitive Cantonese greeting here, it’s best to use this greeting only around meal time, or if you think that the person you’re greeting may not have had his or her meal yet.

    To respond to this unique Cantonese greeting, you can say “yes” or “no.” Depending on your answer, the person may continue the conversation by asking questions such as “where did you have your meal?” or “what is blocking you from having your meal?”

    • Cantonese character: 好耐冇見
    • Romanization: hou2 noi6 mou5 gin3
    • Meaning: Long time no see (informal, for speech)

    好耐冇見 literally translates as “long time no see.” It’s typical to greet someone you haven’t seen for quite a while with 好耐冇見. And if you do so, the usual response you’ll get is 係呀,好耐冇見 (hai6 aa3,hou2 noi6 mou5 gin3) meaning “Yes, it’s been quite a while.”

    You can also put the phrases introduced above together to enrich your greetings. For example, you can say 哈囉,好耐冇見,最近點呀? (haa1 lo3,hou2 noi6 mou5 gin3,zeoi3 gan6 dim2 aa3) meaning “Hi, long time no see, how’s everything?” or 哈囉,最近點呀? (haa1 lo3,zeoi3 gan6 dim2 aa3) meaning “Hi, how’s everything?” to an acquaintance you haven’t met for some time.

    2. Time-Sensitive Hello in Cantonese

    Clock

    So, first things first—how do you say “good morning” in Cantonese?

    • Cantonese character: 早晨
    • Romanization: zou2 san4
    • Meaning: Good morning (formal, for both speech and writing)

    早 means “early” and 晨 means “dawn,” but together, 早晨 means “good morning.” We use this phrase excessively in the morning. Whether it’s greeting the security guard, the cab driver, waiters and waitresses, coworkers, classmates, or even a random stranger on the street, you cannot go wrong with 早晨. The ordinary reply to 早晨 is repeating 早晨.

    • Cantonese character: 午安
    • Romanization: ng5 on1
    • Meaning: Good afternoon (formal, for both speech and writing)

    午安 is equivalent to “good afternoon” in English, with 午 suggesting “noon” and 安 suggesting “good.” However, we seldom use 午安 in daily conversations nowadays, not even in formal settings. It can still be seen in writings, but to greet someone in the afternoon, we recommend using the non time-sensitive Cantonese greetings introduced above instead, such as 你好 and 哈囉.

    • Cantonese character: 晚安
    • Romanization: maan5 on1
    • Meaning: Good evening (formal, for both speech and writing)

    晚 is “evening” and 晚安 is the Cantonese expression for “good evening.” Similar to 午安, we rarely use 晚安 to greet someone in daily conversations, yet you can still see 晚安 in writings. On top of using it at the start of a conversation, 晚安 can be put in at the end as a way to say goodbye.

    In daily conversations, we suggest using the universal Cantonese greetings such as 你好 and 哈囉 instead of 晚安.

    • Cantonese character: 早唞
    • Romanization: zou2 tau2
    • Meaning: Good night (informal, for speech)

    早唞 is the informal way to say “good night” in Cantonese, where 早 means “early” and 唞 means “rest.” Even though both 早唞 and 晚安 are related to evening, they cannot be used interchangeably. We should only say 早唞 when we plan to sleep soon—it’s like “good night, sleep tight” in English. The common way of replying to 早唞 is repeating the phrase “早唞.”

    3. Phone Call Hello

    Phone Call

    • Cantonese character:
    • Romanization: wai2
    • Meaning: Yo / Hello (informal, for speech)

    Another interesting thing about “hello” in Cantonese is that we have a phrase specifically for greeting someone over the phone. When we pick up the phone, the first thing we say is 喂. 喂 is “hello” and is mainly used for answering the phone in Cantonese. It should be pronounced with a rising tone.

    Note that it’s quite inappropriate and actually impolite to greet someone with 喂 in person, unless you’re very close with him or her. If you really want to use 喂 in person, you should pronounce the word in a slightly falling tone instead.

    If someone says 喂 to you, you can simply answer with 喂.

    Bonus: Want to Know More about Greetings in Cantonese?

    Thinking

    From the special greetings like 食咗飯未呀? and 喂 to the universal ones like 你好 and 哈囉, you should be quite familiar now with the basics of expressing hello in Cantonese. If you want to advance and practice further or gain deeper insights into Cantonese greetings, check out the below sites at CantoneseClass101!

    Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

    After mastering greetings in Cantonese, it’s time to move up to the next level! With CantoneseClass101, you can have your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you want, through either your mobile apps, desktop software, or even our website. We offer entertaining, engaging, and effective lessons on various aspects of the Cantonese language and culture.

    We’ve delivered until now more than 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of happy students from all around the globe. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons delivered by our knowledgeable and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, abundance of vocabulary learning tools and spaced repetition flashcards, and a lively community to discuss the lessons with fellow learners. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files, and start learning now!

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    How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in Cantonese

    How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in Cantonese!

    Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

    However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

    Table of Contents

    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
    2. Cantonese Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
    4. How Can CantoneseClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

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    1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

    Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in Cantonese? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million Cantonese words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

    1. joke - 開玩笑 - hoi1 wun6 siu3
    2. funny - 有趣 - jau5 ceoi3
    3. sneaky - 鬼鬼鼠鼠 - gwai2 gwai2 syu2 syu2
    4. prankster - 惡作劇者 - ok3 zok3 kek6 ze2
    5. prank - 惡作劇 - ok3 zok3 kek6
    6. play a joke - 整蠱人 - zing2 gu2 jan4
    7. humor - 幽默 - jau1 mak6
    8. fool - 傻瓜 - so4 gwaa1
    9. deceptive - 呃人 - aak1 jan4
    10. April 1st - 四月一日 - sei3 jyut6 jat1 jat6
    11. lie - 講大話 - gong2 daai6 waa6
    12. surprise - 驚喜 - ging1 hei2

    2. Cantonese Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

    Cantonese Phrases for April Fools' Day

    Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in Cantonese to prank your favorite Cantonese speaking friend or colleague!

    1. I learned Cantonese in 1 month.
      • 我一個月內學識廣東話。
      • ngo5 jat1 go3 jyut6 noi6 hok6 sik1 gwong2 dung1 waa2.
    2. All classes for today got canceled.
      • 今日全部堂都取消。
      • gam1 jat6 cyun4 bou6 tong4 dou1 ceoi2 siu1.
    3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
      • 對唔住,我啱啱整爛咗你最鐘意嗰副眼鏡。
      • deoi3 m4 zyu6, ngo5 aam1 aam1 zing2 laan6 zo2 nei5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 go2 fu3 ngaan5 geng2.
    4. Someone has just hit your car.
      • 頭先有人撞你架車。
      • tau4 sin1 jau5 jan4 zong6 nei5 gaa3 ce1.
    5. I’m getting married.
      • 我結婚喇。
      • ngo5 git3 fan1 laa3.
    6. You won a free ticket.
      • 你贏咗張免費機票。
      • nei5 jeng4 zo2 zoeng1 min5 fai3 gei1 piu3.
    7. I saw your car being towed.
      • 我見到你架車被人拖走咗。
      • ngo5 gin3 dou2 nei5 gaa3 ce1 bei2 jan4 to1 zau2 zo2.
    8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
      • 佢哋喺大廈前面送免費禮品卡。
      • keoi5 dei6 hai2 daai6 haa6 cin4 min6 sung3 min5 fai3 lai5 ban2 kaat1.
    9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
      • 出面有個靚仔等緊你。
      • ceot1 min6 jau5 go3 leng3 zai2 dang2 gan2 nei5.
    10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
      • 有個靚女叫我俾呢個電話冧巴你。
      • jau5 go3 leng3 neoi5 giu3 ngo5 bei2 ni1 go3 din6 waa2 lam1 baa2 nei5.
    11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
      • 你可唔可以落嚟?我有啲特別嘢送俾你。
      • nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 lok6 lei4? ngo5 jau5 di1 dak6 bit6 je5 sung3 bei2 nei5.
    12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
      • 多謝你今朝俾我嘅情信。我一直都冇諗過你有咁嘅感覺。
      • do1 ze6 nei5 gam1 ziu1 gei2 ngo5 ge3 cing4 seon3. ngo5 jat1 zik6 dou1 mou5 lam2 gwo3 nei5 jau5 gam2 ge3 gam2 gok3.

    Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

    3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

    Choose Bad or Good

    Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in Cantonese, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

    Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

    Cockroach prank

    1- Infestation

    This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

    2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

    Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

    3- Something Weird in the Restroom

    At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

    Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

    Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

    Funny Face

    4- Call Me Funny

    Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - 123-456-7890 - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

    5- Minty Cookies

    This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

    6- Wild Shopping

    At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

    7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

    Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

    8- Sneeze On Me

    Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

    9- Word Play Repairs

    Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

    10- Scary Face

    Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

    11- Wake Up To Madness

    Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

    Computer Prank

    12- Computer Prank

    This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

    Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

    13- Monster Under the Cup

    This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

    Door Prank

    14- Prank Door

    Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

    4. How Can CantoneseClass101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

    If you happen to visit China, or if you work for any Cantonese speaking company, knowing the above Cantonese prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core Cantonese words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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    Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in Cantonese - bone up your Cantonese language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, CantoneseClass101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

    Thank you for helping CantoneseClass101! We’re serious about making learning Cantonese fun.