Get 30% Off With The Epic Sale. Ends Soon!
Get 30% Off With The Epic Sale. Ends Soon!
CantoneseClass101.com Blog
Learn Cantonese with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Team CantoneseClass101' Category

The Top 10 Most Common Cantonese Questions and Answers

Thumbnail

Just imagine: You’re going out with a group of native Cantonese-speakers. This is the perfect opportunity to make friends and practice your Cantonese in a real-life situation! But how do you break the ice? What should you say if you run out of topics or if your Cantonese isn’t solid enough to fuel the conversation?

The universal answer is: ask questions! 

Among countless benefits, being able to ask questions in Cantonese will help you avoid awkward silences by keeping the conversation going. It will also make the other person feel like you want to know more about them and value their opinion, thus making you more likeable. Asking questions opens a world of new information and cultural insight!

And one more perk: you don’t have to talk too much, just sit back and listen. Don’t think about your next question or how to steer the conversation back toward yourself. Just enjoy the ride and dive into whatever the other person has to say.

Convinced yet?

In this guide, you’ll not only learn how to ask questions in Cantonese, but also how to answer them. Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. What’s your name?
  2. Where are you from?
  3. Do you speak Cantonese?
  4. How long have you been studying ?
  5. Have you been to [country/city]?
  6. How are you?
  7. What time is it?
  8. What are you doing?
  9. What’s wrong?
  10. How much is it?
  11. How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. What’s your name?

First Encounter

Q: 你叫咩名?

“What’s your name?” has to be the most common conversation starter of all. Make sure you keep it in your pocket list!

Romanization: nei5 giu3 me1 meng2

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
nei5 You
giu3 Call
me1 What
meng2Name

A: 我叫。

The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. You either state your name directly, or add the words 我叫before your name and make it “我叫.”

Romanization: ngo5 giu3 .

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
ngo5I
giu3 Call

See some examples of how to answer this question in Cantonese below!

Example 1

Chinese Characters: 我叫欣怡。
Meaning: My name is Yan-yee.
Romanization: ngo5 giu3 jan1 ji4

Example 2

Chinese Characters: 我叫俊傑。
Meaning: My name is Chun-kit.
Romanization: ngo5 giu3 zeon3 git6

Example 3

Chinese Characters: 我叫詠珊。
Meaning: My name is Wing-shan.
Romanization: ngo5 giu3 wing6 saan1

Example 4

Chinese Characters: 我叫偉文。
Meaning: My name is Wai-man.
Romanization: ngo5 giu3 wai5 man4

2. Where are you from?

Q: 你邊度嚟㗎?

This Cantonese question opens up a lot of possible conversation topics, such as cultural differences and must-see places, for you and your new Cantonese friends!

Romanization: nei5 bin1 dou6 lei4 gaa3

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
nei5 You
邊度bin1 dou6Where
lei4Come
gaa3a Cantonese question particle that indicates question or doubt

A: 我嚟嘅。

There are two ways you can answer this question. The first is by answering directly with your city or country: 

  • 香港 (hoeng1 gong2) – “Hong Kong”

You may also add the word 我 before “Hong Kong,” and 嚟嘅 after it: 我香港嚟嘅.

Romanization: ngo5 lei4 ge3

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
ngo5I
lei4To come
ge3a final particle that implies assertion with emphasis

Here are some examples:

Example 1

Chinese Characters: 我美國嚟嘅。
Meaning: I’m from the U.S.
Romanization: ngo5 mei5 gwok3 lei4 ge3

Example 2

Chinese Characters: 我英國嚟嘅。
Meaning: I’m from England.
Romanization: ngo5 jing1 gwok3 lei4 ge3

Example 3

Chinese Characters: 我中國嚟嘅。
Meaning: I’m from China.
Romanization: ngo5 zung1 gwok3 lei4 ge3

Example 4

Chinese Characters: 我德國嚟嘅。
Meaning: I’m from Germany.
Romanization: ngo5 dak1 gwok3 lei4 ge3



3. Do you speak Cantonese?

Books of Different Languages

Q: 你識唔識講?

This is one of those basic Cantonese questions that you may be asked when you meet new friends in Hong Kong!

Romanization: nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
nei5 You
識唔識sik1 m4 sik1To know or not
gong2Speak

Here’s an example:

Chinese Characters: 你識唔識講廣東話?
Meaning: Do you speak Cantonese?
Romanization: nei5 sik1 m4 sik1 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2

A: Varies

Depending on how well you know the language, you can answer with one of the below phrases!

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
識少少。sik1 siu2 siu2Yes, I speak a little.
識一啲。sik1 jat1 di1Yes, I speak some.
識啲啲。sik1 di1 di1Yes, I speak a little bit.
識大部分。sik1 daai6 bou6 fan6Yes, I speak quite a lot.

4. How long have you been studying ?

Introducing Yourself

Q: 你學咗幾耐?

Once your new Cantonese friends find out that you speak at least a little bit of their language, you may very likely be asked this question!

Romanization: nei5 hok6 zo2 gei2 noi6

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
nei5 You
學咗hok6 zo2 To have learned
幾耐gei2 noi6How long

Here’s an example:

Chinese Characters: 你學咗廣東話幾耐?
Meaning: How long have you been studying Cantonese?
Romanization: nei5 hok6 zo2 gwong2 dung1 waa2 gei2 noi6

A: Varies

Here are a few examples of how you can answer this question. 

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
一個月。jat1 go3 jyut6For one month.
一年。jat1 nin4For one year.
三個月。saam1 go3 jyut6For three months.
兩年。loeng5 nin4For two years.

5. Have you been to [country/city]?

The Globe

Q: 你有冇去過?

Another great conversation starter. You can share your travel stories and learn more about your Cantonese friends’ adventures!

Romanization: nei5 jau5 mou5 heoi3 gwo3

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
nei5 You
有冇jau5 mou5 To have or to not have
去過heoi3 gwo3Have been

Here’s an example:

Chinese Characters: 你有冇去過香港?
Meaning: Have you been to Hong Kong?
Romanization: nei5 jau5 mou5 heoi3 gwo3 hoeng1 gong2

A: Varies

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
有呀,去過兩次。jau5 aa3, heoi3 gwo3 loeng5 ci3Yes, I’ve been twice.
有呀,去過四次。jau5 aa3, heoi3 gwo3 sei3 ci3Yes, I’ve been four times.
有呀,去過一次。jau5 aa3, heoi3 gwo3 jat1 ci3Yes, I’ve been once.
冇呀。mou5 aa3No. (I have never been.)

6. How are you?

Q: 你好嗎?

This is one of the most useful Cantonese questions to know, especially once you’ve made some good friends and want to inquire about their well-being.

Romanization: nei5 hou2 maa3

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
nei5 You
hou2Good
maa3a Cantonese question particle

A: Varies 

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
我幾好。ngo5 gei2 hou2I’m fine.
我好好。ngo5 hou2 hou2I’m great.
我非常好。ngo5 fei1 soeng4 hou2I’m very good.
我唔係幾好。ngo5 m4 hai6 gei2 hou2I’m not so well.


7. What time is it?

A Clock

Q: 而家幾點?

A great question to ask when you don’t have your watch with you!

Romanization: ji4 gaa1 gei2 dim2

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
而家ji4 gaa1Now
gei2How long / How many / How much
dim2Time

A: Varies

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
十二點。sap6 ji6 dim2It’s twelve o’clock.
九點。gau2 dim2It’s nine o’clock.
六點。luk6 dim2It’s six o’clock.
兩點。loeng5 dim2It’s two o’clock.

8. What are you doing?

Q: 你做緊咩?

Are you curious what your new bestie is up to? Ask them in Cantonese! 

Romanization: nei5 zou6 gan2 me1

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
nei5 You
做緊zou6 gan2 Doing
me1What

A: Varies 

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
我諗緊嘢。ngo5 lam2 gan2 je5I’m thinking.
我食緊嘢。ngo5 sik6 gan2 je5I’m eating.
我做緊嘢。ngo5 zou6 gan2 je5I’m working.
我畫緊嘢。ngo5 waak6 gan2 je5I’m drawing.

9. What’s wrong?

Emotions

Q: 咩事呀?

Does your friend seem down today? Ask them what’s wrong, and lend a listening ear! 

Romanization: me1 si6 aa3

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
me1What
si6Matter
aa3a Cantonese question particle

A: Varies 

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
我好攰。ngo5 hou2 gui6I’m tired.
我唔舒服。ngo5 m4 syu1 fuk6I’m unwell.
我好眼瞓。ngo5 hou2 ngaan5 fan3I’m sleepy.
我擔⼼。ngo5 daam1 sam1I’m worried.

10. How much is it?

Q: 呢個幾錢?

You have to know this question if you plan on shopping in Hong Kong! 

Romanization: ni1 go3 gei2 cin2

Breakdown:

Character RomanizationMeaning
呢個ni1 go3This
gei2How long / How many / How much 
cin2Money

A: Varies 

AnswerRomanizationMeaning
五十蚊。ng5 sap6 man1$50
一百蚊。jat1 baak3 man1$100
二千蚊ji6 cin1 man1$2000
兩百蚊。loeng5 baak3 man1$200


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

By now, you should have a better idea of how to ask and answer the most common Cantonese questions. Are there any important questions or answers we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to help.

Fancy learning more Cantonese after familiarizing yourself with the questions and answers above?

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 by upgrading your account!

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

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

An Introduction to Cantonese Language Proficiency Tests

Thumbnail

Do you fancy studying or working abroad in Hong Kong, but don’t speak Cantonese as your first language? Or maybe you want to know how good your Cantonese is after months of hard work? No worries, we’ve got you covered! 

Today on CantoneseClass101.com, we’ll be providing you with a summary of the most popular Cantonese language exams—so read on!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Taking a Cantonese Language Exam
  2. What Cantonese Language Exams are There?
  3. COPA (CUHK)
  4. ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)
  5. Other Exams: GCSE Cantonese & HKDSE Chinese
  6. Bonus: Tips on Preparing for Your Cantonese Proficiency Exam
  7. How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Benefits of Taking a Cantonese Language Exam

A Golden Egg

There are lots of reasons why taking a Cantonese test can be good for you (and your studies)! In the following sections, we’ll go over the top benefits you can expect from doing so.

1. It will improve the way you learn.

Taking tests and exams will give you a better idea of your current Cantonese proficiency level. This knowledge will allow you to see if there are any gaps between reality and your expectations. If so, you can do some reflection to figure out the best way to improve your studies and learning habits.

When you sit for an exam, you’ll have to recall and apply what you’ve learned. So making your studies more targeted allows you (or forces you) to remember useful information. It also improves your ability to apply what you’ve learned in new contexts. 

2. It will increase your motivation.

Before an exam, people tend to study harder than ever. With a goal or target in mind (and the exam fees you paid), you’ll have a greater urge to study and improve your Cantonese.

3. It will demonstrate your Cantonese abilities to others.

If you’re looking to work in Hong Kong and want to impress your potential employer, getting a good Cantonese exam score will help a lot. Not only does it prove that you know Cantonese, but it also proves that you’re resilient and a great learner. Afterall, Cantonese is one of the hardest languages in the world!

2. What Cantonese Language Exams are There?

A Question Mark

Unlike IELTS for English-learners or JLPT for Japanese-learners, there are no government-administered Cantonese language tests in Hong Kong. However, we do have some oral tests designed for Cantonese language learners. The two most common tests are COPA (offered by the Chinese University of Hong Kong [CUHK]) and OPI (offered by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages [ACTFL]).

There are also two more comprehensive Cantonese examinations: GCSE Cantonese and HKDSE Chinese. They’re actually part of the public examination designed for secondary school students. 

GCSE is a test that fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds must pass in order to graduate from the Key Stage 4 phase of their secondary education in either England, Northern Ireland, or Wales. HKDSE is Hong Kong’s university entrance examination, administered upon completion of a three-year senior secondary education.

3. COPA (CUHK)

1. Introduction

The COPA Cantonese exam is an adaptation of the Chinese Speaking Test (CST) developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics in the United States. 

Duration: 30-45 minutes

The examinee hears the test instructions and questions in their mother tongue (English, Japanese, or Korean) from a master tape, and then responds in the foreign language he or she is learning (Cantonese or Putonghua). Tasks cover a wide range of topics and speech functions, and responses are evaluated by two specially trained COPA raters.

The rationale in scoring the COPA is to find the level at which the examinee consistently fulfills the speaking functions. Each COPA task presents the examinee with a speaking task of a defined level of difficulty, based on the Proficiency Guidelines developed by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The ACTFL Guidelines describe aspects of speech that characterize speakers as having a given level of proficiency. These guidelines were developed in response to a movement in the language-teaching community, stressing the importance of meaningful communication in the foreign language classroom.

All assessment tools are made available to the public so that learners who want their speaking proficiency in Cantonese assessed may obtain an objective evaluation based on testing and linguistic principles. Currently, English-speakers are able to take the COPA in Cantonese and Putonghua. Students will be notified when the Japanese and Korean versions are available.

2. Score reporting

A certificate will be issued with a description of the proficiency level attained by the examinee. The possible levels are: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Superior. This certificate will serve as an indication of his/her speaking ability and can be used for various purposes.

The official reports will be sent to the examinee two months after the testing date. Two additional reports will be sent free of charge to institutions designated by the examinee at the time of the evaluation. All subsequent requests to send the official report directly will be charged HK$50 per copy.

3. Fees and application procedure

  • Application fee: HK$100
  • Examination fee: HK$800 

The following groups can take the exam at a special rate of HK$600:

  • Current CUHK and CLC students
  • Students from CUHK university division Advanced Putonghua course
  • Current CLC TCFL Advanced Diploma Programme students

You may download the application form on the official website and bring a check (payable to “Chinese University of Hong Kong”) with you on exam day.

4. ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

1. Introduction

Duration: 15-30 minutes

The OPI test takes the form of a phone call, during which the candidate and tester have a guided conversation. After a short introduction, the tester will ask the candidate personalized questions and adapt the conversation depending on the candidate’s language skills, interests, and comfort level. 

As this is a standardized test, it’s a reliable way of measuring a person’s speaking ability in a given language. This Cantonese proficiency test is designed to reveal patterns of weaknesses and strengths that the candidate possesses. 

The OPI tests the candidate’s ability to speak Cantonese effectively in everyday situations. The test does not base its grading on specific curriculum content, and because each interview is adapted for the individual candidate, a candidate’s score or performance is not compared to that of other candidates. 

2. Score reporting

The OPI is graded according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines (2012), the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) guidelines, or the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) guidelines. The scoring guidelines are determined based on the type of certification the candidate is looking to attain. 

Here’s a quick breakdown of how each rating scale works:

  • ACTFL – A candidate may be rated anywhere between Novice and Superior.
  • ILR – A candidate may be rated anywhere from ILR 0 (no proficiency) to ILR 5 (functionally native).
  • CEFR – A candidate may be rated anywhere from A1 to C2.

3. Fees and application procedure

  • Examination fee: US$159.00 

You may schedule a test online.

5. Other Exams: GCSE Cantonese & HKDSE Chinese

College Students

Now we’ll briefly introduce the GCSE Cantonese and HKDSE Chinese tests. As explained earlier, these two are actually part of the public exams, and are therefore much more difficult. We do advise that language-learners, especially beginners, aim for the two exams mentioned above (COPA and OPI) rather than the following two!

1. GCSE Cantonese

GCSE in Chinese (spoken Cantonese) consists of four parts to assess your Cantonese listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills: 

  • Part 1: Listening & Understanding in Chinese (Cantonese)
    • Length: 45 minutes, including 5 minutes of reading time
    • Weighting: 25% / 50 Marks
  • Part 2: Speaking in Chinese
    • Length: 10-12 minutes plus 12 minutes of preparation time
    • Weighting: 25% / 70 Marks
  • Part 3: Reading & Understanding in Chinese
    • Length: 1 hour 5 minutes
    • Weighting: 25% / 50 Marks
  • Part 4: Writing in Chinese
    • Length: 1 hour 25 minutes
    • Weighting: 25% / 60 Marks

You may find out more about the exam on the official university website

2. HKDSE Chinese

HKDSE Chinese is designed for very advanced Cantonese speakers—even local secondary school students tend to find it difficult!

  • Part 1: Reading
    • Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Weighting: 24% 
  • Part 2: Writing
    • Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Weighting: 24%
  • Part 3: Listening and Integrated Skills
    • Length: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Weighting: 18%
  • Part 4: Speaking
    • Length: 25 minutes
    • Weighting: 14%

School-based assessment (SBA) will account for the final 20%. For those who aren’t sitting for the exam as secondary school students, an average SBA score will be applied instead.

You may find out more about the exam here.

6. Bonus: Tips on Preparing for Your Cantonese Proficiency Exam

Light Bulbs
  • Do as many mock tests as you can.
  • Study the vocabulary required for the test.
  • Study the sample answers to the questions.
  • Speak more with native Cantonese-speakers.

Remember, practice makes perfect!

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

Language Skills

Planning to take a Cantonese exam soon? Come and practice your Cantonese with CantoneseClass101.com! 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 we forgot to include anything, or if you still have some questions about these tests. We look forward to hearing from you, and will be glad to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Cantonese

The 10 Most Useful Cantonese Sentence Patterns

Thumbnail

Struggle to express yourself in Cantonese? No worries—we’ve got you covered! Today at CantoneseClass101.com, we’re covering the ten most basic and useful sentence patterns. Memorize these patterns, and you’ll be able to generate hundreds of natural sentences and converse with ease and confidence.

Without further ado, let’s go through the ten most useful Cantonese sentence patterns together!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B
  2. Using Adjectives to Describe: A is [Adjective]
  3. Expressing “Want”
  4. Expressing “Need”
  5. Expressing “Like” or “Love”
  6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something
  7. Asking for Permission
  8. Asking for Information About Something
  9. Asking About Time
  10. Asking About Location or Position

1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B

Sentence patterns

You can use this Cantonese sentence structure to say that one noun is also another noun. 

Sentence Pattern: [A] 係 [B]。

Romanization: [A] hai6 [B]

Meaning: [A] is [B].

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 我係學生。

Romanization: ngo5 hai6 hok6 saang1

Meaning: “I am a student.”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 佢係醫生。

Romanization: keoi5 hai6 ji1 sang1

Meaning: “He is a doctor.”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 雖然佢係其中一個示威者,但係佢無做出任何暴力行為。

Romanization: seoi1 jin4 keoi5 hai6 kei4 zung1 jat1 go3 si6 wai1 ze2, daan6 hai6 keoi5 mou4 zou6 ceot1 jam6 ho4 bou6 lik6 hang4 wai4

Meaning: “Although he was one of the demonstrators, he did not commit any violence.”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 香港係我嘅家。

Romanization: hoeng1 gong2 hai6 ngo5 ge3 gaa1Meaning: “Hong Kong is my home.”

2. Using Adjectives to Describe: A is [Adjective]

This Cantonese sentence list provides examples of common sentences using adjectives to describe nouns. To create your own sentences, you may find it useful to visit our vocabulary list on the fifty most common adjectives in Cantonese.

Sentence Pattern: [A] 好 [B]。

Romanization: [A] hou2 [B]

Meaning: [A] is very [B (adjective)].

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 綺拉好靚女。

Romanization: ji2 laai1 hou2 leng3 neoi2

Meaning: “Kiera is very good-looking.”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 彭定康係英國人。

Romanization: paang4 ding6 hong1 hai6 jing1 gwok3 jan4

Meaning: “Patten is British.”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 香港好靚。

Romanization: hoeng1 gong2 hou2 leng3

Meaning: Hong Kong is beautiful.”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 佢好得意。

Romanization: keoi5 hou2 dak1 ji3

Meaning: “It is cute.”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 我好傻,竟然信佢。

Romanization: ngo5 hou2 so4, ging2 jin4 seon3 keoi5

Meaning: “I am foolish enough to have trusted him.”

Example sentence 6

Chinese Characters: 佢好煩,不停懷疑我到底係咪鍾意佢。

Romanization: keoi5 hou2 faan4, bat1 ting4 waai4 ji4 ngo5 dou3 dai2 hai6 mai6 zung1 ji3 keoi5

Meaning: “He is so annoying—he kept questioning whether I love him or not.”

3. Expressing “Want”

a lady raising her hand

Some of the most useful Cantonese phrases are those for letting others know what you want. Here are some examples of how you can do this. 

Sentence Pattern: [A] 想 [B]。

Romanization: [A] soeng2 [B]

Meaning: [A] wants [B].

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 我想去廁所。

Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 heoi3 ci3 so2

Meaning: “I want to go to the toilet.”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 佢想開party。

Romanization: keoi5 soeng2 hoi1 party 

Meaning: “He wants to throw a party.”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 我想喊。

Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 haam3

Meaning: “I want to cry.”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 佢想一腳踏兩船。

Romanization: keoi5 soeng2 jat1 goek3 daap6 loeng5 syun4

Meaning: “He wants to two-time.”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 我都想開心,但係日日見到呢啲咁sad嘅新聞好難開心喎。

Romanization: ngo5 dou1 soeng2 hoi1 sam1, daan6 hai6 jat6 jat6 gin3 dou2 ni1 di1 gam3 sad ge3 san1 man2 hou2 naan4 hoi1 sam1 wo3

Meaning: “I want to be happy too, but it’s very difficult to do so given that we are hearing sad news stories every day.”

4. Expressing “Need”

Sentence components

Learning Cantonese sentences for expressing what you need is even more important than learning those for expressing want. Take a look at these examples.

Sentence Pattern: [A] 要 [B]。

Romanization: [A] jiu3 [B]

Meaning: [A] needs [B].

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 我要休息一陣。

Romanization: ngo5 jiu3 jau1 sik1 jat1 jan6

Meaning: “I need to rest for a bit.”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 佢要道歉。

Romanization: keoi5 jiu3 dou6 hip3

Meaning: “She needs to apologize.”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 我要食朱古力。

Romanization: ngo5 jiu3 sik6 zyu1 gu2 lik2

Meaning: “I need to eat chocolate.”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 佢要再攞多兩日假。

Romanization: keoi5 jiu3 zoi3 lo2 do1 loeng5 jat6 gaa3

Meaning: “He needs two more days off.”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 佢同第二個拍拖,我知你好傷心,但係你要振作,咁你先可以喺你嘅真命天子出現時俾最好嘅你佢。

Romanization: keoi5 tung4 dai6 ji6 go3 paak3 to1, ngo5 zi1 nei5 hou2 soeng1 sam1, daan6 hai6 nei5 jiu3 zan3 zok3, gam2 nei5 sin1 ho2 ji5 hai2 nei5 ge3 zan1 ming6 tin1 zi2 ceot1 jin6 si4 bei2 zeoi3 hou2 ge3 nei5 keoi5

Meaning: “I know he’s dating someone else and you’re sad, but you need to stay strong, only that you will be able to show your best self when your true love comes into your life.”

5. Expressing “Like” or “Love”

Facebook likes

Now let’s go over some Cantonese sentence examples for expressing your likes! 

Sentence Pattern: [A] 鍾意 [B]。

Romanization: [A] zung1 ji3 [B]

Meaning: [A] likes/loves [B].

Note: 鍾意 (zung1 ji3) can mean “like,” “love,” or “enjoy.”

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 我鍾意多啦A夢。

Romanization: ngo5 zung1 ji3 do1 laa1 A mung6

Meaning: “I like Doraemon.”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 胖虎鍾意唱歌。

Romanization: bun6 fu2 zung1 ji3 coeng3 go1

Meaning: “Gian likes singing.”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 大雄鍾意靜香。

Romanization: daai6 hung4 zung1 ji3 zing6 hoeng1

Meaning: “Nobita loves Shizuka.”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 靜香鍾意拉小提琴。

Romanization: zing6 hoeng1 zung1 ji3 laai1 siu2 tai4 kam4

Meaning: “Shizuka likes playing violin.”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 小夫鍾意曬命,但係大雄、胖虎同靜香都仍然肯同佢做朋友。

Romanization: siu2 fu1 zung1 ji3 saai3 meng6, daan6 hai6 daai6 hung4, bun6 fu2 tung4 zing6 hoeng1 dou1 jing4 jin4 hang2 tung4 keoi5 zou6 pang4 jau5

Meaning: “Even though Suneo likes showing off, Nobita, Gian, and Shizuka are still willing to be friends with him.”

6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something

The next type of Cantonese phrases we’ll look at are those for asking someone to do something in a polite way. Check it out:

Sentence Pattern: 請 [A]。

Romanization: cing2 [A]

Meaning: Please [A (verb)].

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 請坐。

Romanization: cing2 co5

Meaning: “Please take a seat.”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 請等等。

Romanization: cing2 dang2 dang2

Meaning: “Please wait.”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 請注意。

Romanization: cing2 zyu3 ji3

Meaning: “Please pay attention.”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 請停一停。

Romanization: cing2 ting4 jat1 ting4

Meaning: “Please stop for a while.”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 請選擇語言。

Romanization: cing2 syun2 zaak6 jyu5 jin4

Meaning: “Please select the language.”

7. Asking for Permission

a question mark

Knowing how to ask for permission is important in every culture and language. Following are some examples of how to do this in Cantonese.

Sentence Pattern: [A] 可唔可以 [B]?

Romanization: [A] ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 [B]

Meaning: Can [A] [B (verb)]?

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 我哋可唔可以食嘢?

Romanization: ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 sik6 je5

Meaning: “Can we eat?”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 我哋可唔可以做個朋友?

Romanization: ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 zou6 go3 pang4 jau5

Meaning: “Can we be friends?”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 你可唔可以唔好控制慾咁強?

Romanization: nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 m4 hou2 hung3 zai3 juk6 gam3 koeng4

Meaning: “Can you be less controlling?”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 爸爸,我哋可唔可以唔搭地鐵啊?

Romanization: baa4 baa1, ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 m4 daap3 dei6 tit3 aa3 

Meaning: “Dad, can we not take the MTR?”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 你可唔可以將你個女嫁畀我啊?

Romanization: nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 zoeng1 nei5 go3 neoi2 gaa3 bei2 ngo5 aa3

Meaning: “Can I marry your daughter?”

8. Asking for Information About Something

At some point, you’ll need to ask someone a question about something. Here’s the Cantonese sentence structure you should use to ask for information while in Hong Kong.

Sentence Pattern: [A] 係唔係 [B]?

Romanization: [A] hai6 m4 hai6 [B]

Meaning: Is [A] [B]?

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 你係唔係偉仔?

Romanization: nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 wai5 zai2

Meaning: “Are you Tony Leung?”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 你係唔係學生?

Romanization: nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 hok6 saang1

Meaning: “Are you a student?”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 佢係唔係傻㗎?

Romanization: keoi5 hai6 m4 hai6 so4 gaa3

Meaning: “Is she out of her mind?”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 我係唔係好靚呢?

Romanization: ngo5 hai6 m4 hai6 hou2 leng3 ne1

Meaning: “Am I pretty?”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 你係唔係未食lunch?

Romanization: nei5 hai6 m4 hai6 mei6 sik6 lunch 

Meaning: “You haven’t had lunch, have you?”

9. Asking About Time

a clock

Learn this simple Cantonese sentence pattern, and never be late for a meeting again! 

Sentence Pattern: [A] 幾點 [B]?

Romanization: [A] gei2 dim2 [B]

Meaning: When [A]  [B (verb)]?

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 我哋幾點食?

Romanization: ngo5 dei6 gei2 dim2 sik6

Meaning: “When should we eat?”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 你幾點收工?

Romanization: nei5 gei2 dim2 sau1 gung1

Meaning: “When will you be off?”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 你幾點瞓覺?

Romanization: nei5 gei2 dim2 fan3 gaau3

Meaning: “When do you sleep?”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 你幾點方便?

Romanization: nei5 gei2 dim2 fong1 bin6

Meaning: “When will be convenient for you?”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 我想見下你呀,你幾點得閒?

Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 gin3 haa5 nei5 aa3, nei5 gei2 dim2 dak1 haan4

Meaning: “I want to see you—when are you free?”

10. Asking About Location or Position

Have you ever been lost in a big city, or gotten turned around in an unfamiliar building? Learning this Cantonese sentence structure will be very helpful for your travels in Hong Kong! 

Sentence Pattern: [A] 喺邊度?

Romanization: [A] hai2 bin1 dou6

Meaning: Where is [A]?

Example sentence 1

Chinese Characters: 廁所喺邊度?

Romanization: ci3 so2 hai2 bin1 dou6

Meaning: “Where is the toilet?”

Example sentence 2

Chinese Characters: 車站喺邊度?

Romanization: ce1 zaam6 hai2 bin1 dou6

Meaning: “Where is the bus station?”

Example sentence 3

Chinese Characters: 餐廳喺邊度?

Romanization: caan1 teng1 hai2 bin1 dou6

Meaning: “Where is the restaurant?”

Example sentence 4

Chinese Characters: 商場喺邊度?

Romanization: soeng1 coeng4 hai2 bin1 dou6

Meaning: “Where is the shopping mall?”

Example sentence 5

Chinese Characters: 我見唔到你,你喺邊度?

Romanization: ngo5 gin3 m4 dou2 nei5, nei5 hai2 bin1 dou6

Meaning: “I can’t see you. Where are you?”

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

Did you know any of these Cantonese sentence patterns already, or are they new to you? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to reach out with any questions! 

Now that we’ve gone through the ten most useful Cantonese sentence patterns, try to express your thoughts in Cantonese! To better your Cantonese even further, we advise you to invest your time in CantoneseClass101.com!

With us, 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!

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

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

100 Cantonese Verbs Just for You!

Thumbnail

Verbs are essential in a language—they describe actions or talk about something that happens. 
The more Cantonese verbs you know, the easier it will be for you to master the Cantonese language as a whole. Can’t wait to learn the most common Cantonese verbs? Check out our short guide to verbs in Cantonese below, study our Cantonese verbs list, and let CantoneseClass101.com give you a helping hand!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. Cantonese Verbs Overview
  2. Action Verbs
  3. Helping Verbs
  4. Linking Verbs
  5. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Cantonese Verbs Overview

a woman holding magnifying glasses

Unlike many other languages around the globe, Cantonese verbs by themselves indicate no tense. Generally, the timing of a particular event is expressed through the addition of time-establishing adverbs, though there are some situations when the timing is expressed largely through contextual clues and other indicators reliant on the interpretation of the meaning. By adding particles to the sentence, it can be turned into a question or more clearly demonstrate the mood, attitude, and intention of the speaker.

Note that there are written and spoken Cantonese verbs. We’ve used symbols to help you identify which ones are written (w), spoken (s), or applicable to both (ws).

2. Action Verbs

Top verbs
#MeaningChinese CharactersRomanizationExample
1go(ws)heoi3直去

zik6 heoi3

go straight ahead
2eat(s)sik6一家人食早餐。

jat1 gaa1 jan4 sik6 zou2 caan1

The family eats breakfast.
3(w)hek3一家人吃早餐。

jat1 gaa1 jan4 hek3 zou2 caan1

The family eats breakfast.
4drink(s)jam2飲樽裝飲品

jam2 zeon1 zon1 jam2 ban2

drink from a plastic bottle
5(w)hot3喝樽裝飲品

hot3 zeon1 zon1 jam2 ban2

drink from a plastic bottle
6walk(s)haan4女孩行近攝錄機。

neoi5 haai4 haan4 kan5 sip3 luk6 gei1

The girl walks towards the video camera.
7(w)zau2女孩走近攝錄機。

neoi5 haai4 zau2 gan6 sip3 luk6 gei1

The girl walks towards the video camera.
8sleep瞓覺 (s)fan3 gaau3BB喺氈上瞓覺。

bi4 bi1 hai2 zin1 soeng6 fan3 gaau3

The baby sleeps on the blanket.
9睡覺 (w)seoi6 gaau3嬰兒在氈上睡覺。

jing1 ji4 zoi6 zin1 soeng6 seoi6 gaau3

The baby sleeps on the blanket.
10understand(s)ming4我明。

ngo5 ming4

I understand.
11理解 (w)lei5 gaai2我理解。

ngo5 lei5 gaai2

I understand.
12ask(ws)man6大學生問教授問題。

daai6 hok6 sang1 man6 gaau3 sau6 man6 tai4

The university student asks the professor a question.
13run(ws)paau2我跑。

ngo5 paau2

I run.
14think(s)lam2女人諗答案。

neoi5 jan2 lam2 daap3 on3

The woman thinks about the answer.
15(w)soeng2女人想答案。

neoi5 jan2 soeng2 daap3 on3

The woman thinks about the answer.
16know認識 (ws)jing6 sik1認識自己

jing6 sik1 zi6 gei2

know yourself
17help(ws)bong1我幫媽媽洗碗。

ngo5 bong1 maa4 maa1 sai2 wun2

I help my mum wash the dishes.
18take(s)ling1啲人拎咗士多啤梨。

di1 jan4 ling1 zo2 si6 do1 be1 lei2

The people took the strawberries.
19(w)naa4人們拿了士多啤梨。

jan4 mun4 naa4 liu5 si6 do1 be1 lei2

The people took the strawberries.
20use(ws)jung6程式設計員用電腦。

cing4 sik1 cit3 gai3 jyun4 jung6 din6 nou5

The programmer uses the computer.
21work做嘢 (s)zou6 je5女人喺辦公室做緊嘢。

neoi5 jan2 hai2 baan6 gung1 sat1 zou6 gan2 je5

The woman is working at the office.
22工作 (w)gung1 zok3女人正在辦公室工作。

neoi5 jan2 zing3 zoi6 baan6 gung1 sat1 gung1 zok3

The woman is working at the office.
23give(s)bei2老豆畀硬幣個仔。

lou5 dau6 bei2 ngaang6 bai6 go3 zai2

The father gives coins to his son.
24(w)kap1父親給兒子硬幣。

fu6 can1 kap1 ji4 zi2 ngaang6 bai6

The father gives coins to his son.
25talk(s)gong2你講咩?

nei5 gong2 me1

What are you talking about?
26(w)syut3你說甚麼?

nei5 syut3 sam6 mo1

What are you talking about?
27begin開始 (ws)hoi1 ci2重新開始

cung4 san1 hoi1 ci2

begin again
28watch(s)tai2遊客睇日落。

jau4 haak3 tai2 jat6 lok6

The tourists watch the sunset.
29(w)hon3遊客看日落。

jau4 haak3 hon3 jat6 lok6

The tourists watch the sunset.
30leave離開 (ws)lei6 hoi1離開公司

lei6 hoi1 gung1 si1

leave a company
31become變為 (ws)bin3 wai4變為蝴蝶

bin3 wai4 wu4 dip2

become a butterfly
32hear(s)*

*same character but different pronunciation
teng1我聽到。

ngo5 teng1 dou2

I heard.
33(w)*

*same character but different pronunciation
ting3我聽見。

ngo5 ting3 gin3

I heard.
34wait(ws)dang2遊客等火車。

jau4 haak3 dang2 fo2 ce1

The traveler waits for the train.
35play(s)*

*same character but different pronunciation
waan2我要玩。

ngo5 jiu3 waan2

I need to play.
36(w)*

*same character but different pronunciation
wun6我要玩。

ngo5 jiu3 wun6

I need to play.
37call(ws)daa2打電話

daa2 din6 waa2

make a phone call
38remember記得 (ws)gei3 dak1我記得你。

ngo5 gei3 dak1 nei5

I remember you.
39believe相信 (ws)soeng1 seon3我相信你。

ngo5 soeng1 seon3 nei5

I believe you.
40like鍾意 (s)zung6 ji3我鍾意睇日落。

ngo5 zung1 ji3 tai2 jat6 lok6 

I like watching the sunset.
41喜歡 (w)hei2 fun1我喜歡看日落。

ngo5 hei2 fun1 hon3 jat6 lok6

I like watching the sunset.
42cancel取消 (ws)ceoi2 siu1取消會議

ceoi2 siu1 wui6 ji5

cancel the meeting
43arrive(ws)dou3到了公園

dou3 liu5 gung1 jyun2

arrive at the park
44die(s)sei2佢舊年因為意外死咗。

keoi5 gau6 nin2 jan1 wai6 ji3 ngoi6 sei2 zo2

He died in an accident last year.
45去世 (w)heoi3 sai3他去年在意外中去世。

taa1 heoi3 nin4 zoi6 ji3 ngoi6 zung1 heoi3 sai3

He died in an accident last year.
46rest休息 (ws)jau1 sik1我要休息。

ngo5 jiu3 jau1 sik1

I need to rest.
47cook(ws)zyu2廚房煮食

cyu4 fong2 zyu2 sik6

cook in a kitchen
48feel覺得 (ws)gok3 dak1男孩覺得難過。

naam4 haai4 gok3 dak1 naan4 gwo3

The boy is feeling sad.
49draw畫畫 (ws)waat6 waa2我要畫畫。

ngo5 jiu3 waat6 waa2

I need to draw.
50answer回答 (ws)wui4 daap3回答問題

wui4 daap3 man6 tai4

answer questions
51receive(ws)sau1男人收錢。

naam4 jan2 sau1 cin2

The man receives money.
52plan計劃 (ws)gai3 waak6計劃預算

gai3 waak6 jyu6 syun3

plan the budget
53explain解釋 (ws)gaai2 sik1教授解釋圖表。

gaau3 sau6 gaai2 sik1 tou4 biu2

The professor explains the diagram.
54jump(ws)tiu3能跳過

nang4 tiu3 gwo3

can jump over
55teach(ws)gaau3老師教英文。

lou5 si1 gaau3 jing1 man2

The teacher taught English.
56close(s)saan1大學生閂門。

daai6 hok6 saan1 saan1 mun4

The university student closes the door.
57(w)gwaan1大學生關門。

daai6 hok6 saan1 gwaan1 mun4

The university student closes the door.
58buy(ws)maai5情侶買衣服。

cing4 leoi5 maai5 ji1 fuk6

The couple buys clothes.
59read(ws)duk6讀雜誌

duk6 zaap6 zi3

read a magazine
60wake up(s)*

*same character but different pronunciation
seng2我醒啦。

ngo5 seng2 laa1

I woke up.
61(w)*

*same character but different pronunciation
sing2我醒來。

ngo5 sing2 loi4

I woke up.
62return(s)faan2我返屋企。

ngo5 faan2 uk1 kei2

I return home.
63(w)wui4我回家。

ngo5 wui4 gaa1

I return home.
64kick(ws)tek3踢波

tek3 bo1

kick the ball
65sell(ws)maai6賣電腦

maai6 din6 nou5

sell the computer
66invite邀請 (ws)jiu1 cing2我想邀請你。

ngo5 soeng2 jiu1 cing2 nei5

I want to invite you.
67write(ws)se2我寫。

ngo5 se2

I will write.
68study(ws)hok6我學廣東話。

ngo5 hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2

I learn Cantonese.
69find(s)wan2我搵你。

ngo5 wan2 nei5

I will find you.
70(w)zaau2我找你。

ngo5 zaau2 nei5

I will find you.
71solve解決 (ws)gaai2 kyut3解決問題

gaai2 kyut3 man6 tai4

solve problems
72introduce介紹 (ws)gaai3 siu6介紹廣東話

gaai3 siu6 gwong2 dung1 waa2

introduce Cantonese
73share分享 (ws)fan1 hoeng2分享意見

fan1 hoeng2 ji3 gin3

share one’s view
74sit(s)*

*same character but different pronunciation
co5我坐。

ngo5 co5

I will sit.
75(w)*

*same character but different pronunciation
zo6我坐。

ngo5 zo6

I will sit.
76participate參加 (ws)caam1 gaa1參加比賽

caam1 gaa1 bei2 coi3

participate in a competition
77sing(ws)coeng3唱歌

coeng3 go1

sing a song
78smile(ws)siu3我笑緊。

ngo5 siu3 gan2

I am smiling.
79cry(s)haam3我喊緊。

ngo5 haam3 gan2

I am crying.
80(w)huk1我在哭。

ngo5 zoi6 huk1

I am crying.
81make(s)zing2我整鞋。

ngo5 zing2 haai4

I make shoes.
82製造 (w)zai3 zou6我製造鞋。

ngo5 zai3 zou6 haai4

I make shoes.
83lie(s)aak1我知道你呃我。

ngo5 zi1 dou3 nei5 aak1 ngo5

I know you lied to me.
84欺騙 (w)hei1 pin3我知道你欺騙我。

ngo5 zi1 dou3 nei5 hei1 pin3 ngo5

I know you lied to me.
85hate(ws)zang1我憎你。

ngo5 zang1 nei5

I hate you.
86afraid(ws)paa3我怕你。

ngo5 paa3 nei5

I am afraid of you.

3. Helping Verbs

More Essential Verbs
#MeaningChinese CharactersRomanizationRomanization
87have(ws)jau5我有三隻狗。

ngo5 jau5 saam1 zek3 gau2

I have three dogs.
88not have(s)mou5我冇錢。

ngo5 mou5 cin2

I don’t have money.
89沒有(w)mut6 jau5我沒有錢。

ngo5 mut6 jau5 cin2

I don’t have money.
90can(s)sik1我識彈琴。

ngo5 sik1 taan4 kam4

I can play the piano.
91need(ws)jiu3我要去夏威夷。

ngo5 jiu3 heoi3 haa6 wai1 ji4

I need to go to Hawaii.
92want(ws)haan4我想飲咖啡。

ngo5 soeng2 jam2 gaa3 fe1

I want to drink coffee.
93do(ws)zou6做功課 

zou6 gung1 fo3

do homework
94should應該 (ws)jing1 goi1我應該問問題。

ngo5 jing1 goi1 man6 man6 tai4

I should ask questions.
95willing to(s)hang2我肯講廣東話。

ngo5 hang2 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2

I am willing to speak Cantonese.
96願意 (w)jyun6 ji3我願意講廣東話。

ngo5 jyun6 ji3 gong2 gwong2 dung1 waa2

I am willing to speak Cantonese.

4. Linking Verbs

Negative verbs
#MeaningChinese CharactersRomanizationExample
97be(s)hai6我係Olivia。

ngo5 hai6 Olivia

I am Olivia.
98(w)si6我是Olivia。

ngo5 si6 Olivia

I am Olivia.
99not be唔係 (s)m4 hai6我唔係男人。

ngo5 m4 hai6 naam4 jan2

I’m not a guy.
100不是 (w)bat1 si6我不是男人。

ngo5 bat1 si6 naam4 jan2

I’m not a guy.

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

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 there’s a verb in Cantonese you still want to know, or if you’re still struggling with anything we covered in this article. We look forward to hearing from you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Cantonese

Your Ultimate Guide to Cantonese Pronouns

Thumbnail

Pronouns can help you better articulate and express your ideas by allowing you to avoid repeating the same nouns over and over again. There are various pronouns in English, such as personal pronouns like “he,” “she,” “it,” “our,” and “theirs”; demonstrative pronouns like “this” and “that”; and indefinite pronouns like “somebody” and “nowhere.” 

These pronouns are very useful when it comes to facilitating communication—think how clumsy it would sound to say “Peter really likes Peter’s own voice and Peter’s own appearance,” and “Sharon and Sharon’s sister are looking for Sharon’s mother!” 

Have you ever wondered what Cantonese pronouns there are? Are you curious to learn how you can use them to communicate your thoughts more effectively? We’ve prepared a list of Cantonese pronouns and respective examples for you. Read on to find out more!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. Cantonese Personal Pronouns
  2. Demonstrative Pronouns
  3. Interrogative Pronouns
  4. Indefinite Pronouns
  5. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Cantonese Personal Pronouns

A Group of People

We’ve divided the pronouns into singular (e.g. “I,” “you,” “he,” “she”) and plural (e.g. “we,” “they”) for your easy reference. Note that there isn’t an honorific version of pronouns in Cantonese, and both the words and example phrases below are in spoken form:

1- Singular

Introducing Yourself

1- 你

Meaning: you

Romanization: nei5

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 你鐘意咖啡。
  • Romanization: nei5 zung1 ji3 gaa3 fe1
  • Meaning: You like coffee.

2- 我

Meaning: I

Romanization: ngo5

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 我想改變世界。
  • Romanization: ngo5 soeng2 goi2 bin3 sai3 gaai3
  • Meaning: I want to change the world.

3- 佢

Meaning: she / he / it

Romanization: keoi5

Note: There are no differences between “he,” “she,” or “it” in Cantonese. You can use 佢 for all circumstances.

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 佢好得意。
  • Romanization: keoi5 hou2 dak1 ji3
  • Meaning: She / He / It is cute.

4-  你嘅

Meaning: your / yours   

Romanization: nei5 ge3

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 我好想睇穿你嘅心。
  • Romanization: ngo5 hou2 soeng2 tai2 cyun1 nei5 ge3 sam1
  • Meaning: I want to see right through your heart.

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 係你嘅。
  • Romanization: hai6 nei5 ge3
  • Meaning: It’s yours.

5-  我嘅

Meaning: my / mine

Romanization: ngo5 ge3

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 我嘅天堂
  • Romanization: ngo5 ge3 tin1 tong4
  • Meaning: My paradise

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 你係我嘅。
  • Romanization: nei5 hai6 ngo5 ge3
  • Meaning: You are mine.

6-  佢嘅

Meaning: her / his / its / hers

Romanization: keoi5 ge3

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 佢嘅答覆
  • Romanization: keoi5 ge3 daap3 fuk1
  • Meaning: His / her reply

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 唔係佢嘅。
  • Romanization: m4 hai6 keoi5 ge3
  • Meaning: It’s not his / hers.

2- Plural

7- 你哋

Meaning: you guys

Romanization: nei5 dei6

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 你哋無做錯到。
  • Romanization: nei5 dei6 mou4 zou6 co3 dou3
  • Meaning: You guys didn’t do anything wrong.

8- 我哋

Meaning: we / us

Romanization: ngo5 dei6

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 我哋係香港人。
  • Romanization: ngo5 dei6 hai6 hoeng1 gong2 jan4
  • Meaning: We are Hong Kongers.

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 佢同我哋講佢係警察。
  • Romanization: keoi5 tung4 ngo5 dei6 gong2 keoi5 hai6 ging2 caat3
  • Meaning: He told us he is a cop.

9-  佢哋

Meaning: they / them

Romanization: keoi5 dei6

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 佢哋係醫生。
  • Romanization: keoi5 dei6 hai6 ji1 sang1
  • Meaning: They are doctors.

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 你其實都好關心佢哋。
  • Romanization: nei5 kei4 sat6 dou1 hou2 gwaan1 sam1 keoi5 dei6
  • Meaning: Actually, you care about them.

10- 你哋嘅

Meaning: your / yours (plural)

Romanization: nei5 dei6 ge3

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 發揮你哋嘅創意。
  • Romanization: faat3 fai1 nei5 dei6 ge3 cong3 ji3
  • Meaning: Let your imagination go wild.

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 呢啲係你哋嘅。
  • Romanization: ni1 di1 hai6 nei5 dei6 ge3
  • Meaning: These are yours.

11- 我哋嘅

Meaning: our / ours

Romanization: ngo5 dei6 ge3

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 我哋嘅字典
  • Romanization: ngo5 dei6 ge3 zi6 din2
  • Meaning: Our dictionary

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 字典係我哋嘅。
  • Romanization: zi6 din2 hai6 ngo5 dei6 ge3
  • Meaning: The dictionary is ours.

12-  佢哋嘅

Meaning: their / theirs

Romanization: keoi5 dei6 ge3

Example 1 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 佢哋嘅文化
  • Romanization: keoi5 dei6 ge3 man4 faa3
  • Meaning: Their culture

Example 2 – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 可能係佢哋嘅。
  • Romanization: ho2 nang4 hai6 keoi5 dei6 ge3
  • Meaning: Maybe it’s theirs.

2. Demonstrative Pronouns

Image Gallery

1- 呢個

Meaning: this

Romanization: ni1 go3

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 呢個係我嘅電話。
  • Romanization: ni1 go3 hai6 ngo5 ge3 din6 waa2
  • Meaning: This is my cell.

2- 嗰個

Meaning: that

Romanization: go2 go3

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 嗰個人
  • Romanization: go2 go3 jan4
  • Meaning: That person

3- 呢啲

Meaning: these

Romanization: ni1 di1

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 呢啲珍珠好韌㗎。
  • Romanization: ni1 di1 zan1 zyu1 hou2 jan6 gaa3
  • Meaning: These bubbles are very chewy.

4- 嗰啲

Meaning: those

Romanization: go2 di1

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 嗰啲蟬嘅聲音, 我覺得好好聽㗎。
  • Romanization: go2 di1 sim4 ge3 sing1 jam1, ngo5 gok3 dak1 hou2 hou2 teng1 gaa3
  • Meaning: I love the sound of those cicadas. 

5- 呢度

Meaning: here

Romanization: ni1 dou6   

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 呢度係香港。
  • Romanization: ni1 dou6 hai6 hoeng1 gong2
  • Meaning: Hong Kong is here.

6- 嗰度

Meaning: there

Romanization: go2 dou6

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 嗰度好靚。
  • Romanization: go2 dou6 hou2 leng3
  • Meaning: It’s beautiful there.

3. Interrogative Pronouns

Basic Questions

1- 乜嘢

Meaning: what

Romanization: mat1 je5

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 乜嘢係通貨膨脹呀?
  • Romanization: mat1 je5 hai6 tung1 fo3 paang4 zoeng3 aa3
  • Meaning: What is inflation?

2- 邊個

Meaning: who

Romanization: bin1 go3

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 邊個超級英雄係最強㗎呢?
  • Romanization: bin1 go3 ciu1 kap1 jing1 hung4 hai6 zeoi3 koeng4 gaa3 ne1 
  • Meaning: Who is the strongest superhero?

3- 邊個嘅

Meaning: whose

Romanization: bin1 go3 ge3

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 部電話係邊個嘅?
  • Romanization: bou6 din6 waa6 hai6 bin1 go3 ge3
  • Meaning: Whose phone is it?

4- 幾時

Meaning: when

Romanization: gei2 si4

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 幾時得閒呀?
  • Romanization: gei2 si4 dak1 haan4 aa3
  • Meaning: When are you free?

5- 邊度

Meaning: where

Romanization: bin1 dou6 

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 邊度有廁所呀? 
  • Romanization: bin1 dou6 jau5 ci3 so2 aa3
  • Meaning: Where is the toilet?

6- 點樣

Meaning: how

Romanization: dim2 joeng2

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 應該點樣準備呢?
  • Romanization: jing1 goi1 dim2 joeng2 zeon2 bei6 ne1
  • Meaning: How should I prepare?

7- 點解

Meaning: why

Romanization: dim2 gaai2 

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 點解想做呢份工?
  • Romanization: dim2 gaai2 soeng2 zou6 ni1 fan6 gung1
  • Meaning: Why do you want this job?

4. Indefinite Pronouns

A Blank Paper

As opposed to English, there isn’t a set of pronouns in Cantonese with the fixed prefixes of “every-,” “any-,” or “some-.” As such, we’ve instead included the Cantonese equivalents of common indefinite pronouns below:

1- 所有嘢

Meaning: everything

Romanization: so2 jau5 je5

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 所有嘢都會同老婆交代。
  • Romanization: so2 jau5 je5 dou1 wui3 tung4 lou5 po4 gaau1 doi6
  • Meaning: I will tell my wife everything.

2- 所有人

Meaning: everybody

Romanization: so2 jau5 jan4

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 所有人都鐘意你。
  • Romanization: so2 jau5 jan4 dou1 zung1 ji3 nei5
  • Meaning: Everybody likes you.

3- 邊度

Meaning: everywhere

Romanization: bin1 dou6 

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 邊度都見到你。
  • Romanization: bin1 dou6 dou1 gin3 dou2 nei5
  • Meaning: You’re everywhere.

4- 一啲嘢

Meaning: something

Romanization: jat1 di1 je5

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 如果二零一九年要捨棄一啲嘢,我最想捨棄一啲壞習慣。
  • Romanization: jyu4 gwo2 ji6 ling4 jat1 gau2 nin4 jiu3 se2 hei3 jat1 di1 je5, ngo5 zeoi3 soeng2 se2 hei3 jat1 di1 waai6 zaap6 gwaan3
  • Meaning: If I must let go of something in 2019, I want to let go of my bad habits.

5- 一啲人

Meaning: somebody

Romanization: jat1 di1 jan4   

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 係一啲人嘅問題。
  • Romanization: hai6 jat1 di1 jan4 ge3 man6 tai4
  • Meaning: That’s somebody’s problem.

6- 某啲地方

Meaning: somewhere

Romanization: mau5 di1 dei6 fong1 

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 某啲地方一定有所犧牲。
  • Romanization: mau5 di1 dei6 fong1 jat1 ding6 jau5 so2 hei1 sang1
  • Meaning: There will be sacrifices somewhere.

7- 冇嘢

Meaning: nothing

Romanization: mou5 je5

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 我冇嘢講。
  • Romanization: ngo5 mou5 je5 gong2
  • Meaning: I have nothing to say.

8- 冇人

Meaning: no one

Romanization: mou5 jan4  

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 冇人係完美。
  • Romanization: mou5 jan4 hai6 jyun4 mei5
  • Meaning: No one is perfect.

9- 冇地方

Meaning: nowhere

Romanization: mou5 dei6 fong1

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 冇地方住
  • Romanization: mou5 dei6 fong1 zyu6
  • Meaning: I got nowhere to live.

10- 乜嘢

Meaning: anything

Romanization: mat1 je5 

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 乜嘢都有可能。
  • Romanization: mat1 je5 dou1 jau5 ho2 nang4
  • Meaning: Anything is possible.

11- 乜人

Meaning: anyone

Romanization: mat1 jan4   

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 乜人都可以申請。
  • Romanization: mat1 jan4 dou1 ho2 ji5 san1 cing2
  • Meaning: Anyone can apply.

12- 乜嘢地方

Meaning: anywhere

Romanization: mat1 je5 dei6 fong1

Example – 

  • Sentence / Phrase: 我乜嘢地方都可以瞓得着。
  • Romanization: ngo5 mat1 je5 dei6 fong1 dou1 ho2 ji5 fan3 dak1 zoek6
  • Meaning: I can fall asleep anywhere.

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

Improve Listening

Cantonese pronouns are extremely useful in our daily conversations, and we hope by now you’ve memorized some Cantonese pronouns and are ready to use them. Do check out our articles on Cantonese nouns and Cantonese adjectives as well, and be sure to let us know in the comments if you have any questions! 

Want to level up your Cantonese after mastering Cantonese pronouns? 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
Know that your hard work will pay off, and before you know it, you’ll be speaking Cantonese like a native!

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

Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

Thumbnail

Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Cantonese quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Cantonese tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like JapanesePod101.com, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. CantoneseClass101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Cantonese teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by CantoneseClass101.com in Cantonese Language, Cantonese Online, Feature Spotlight, Learn Cantonese, Site Features, Speak Cantonese, Team CantoneseClass101

100 Cantonese Nouns Just for You!

Thumbnail

Nouns are vital in our everyday conversations. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to talk about people, objects, places, or ideas—or communicate effectively.

The more Cantonese nouns you know, the easier it will be for you to master the Cantonese language. Can’t wait to learn the most common Cantonese nouns? Keep reading and let CantoneseClass101.com give you a hand!

Note that we’ll provide both written and spoken example sentences or phrases throughout the article. This way, you can learn Cantonese nouns in both formats. We’ve used symbols to help you identify which ones are written (w), spoken (s), or applicable to both (ws).

Okay. Now, let’s learn some nouns in Cantonese!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Cantonese Table of Contents
  1. Nouns for Appliances
  2. Nouns for Technology
  3. Nouns for Transportation
  4. Nouns for Dining
  5. Nouns for School Essentials
  6. Nouns for Occupation
  7. Nouns for Family Members
  8. Nouns for Body Parts
  9. Nouns for Time
  10. Nouns for Hobbies
  11. How CantoneseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Nouns for Appliances

Nouns 1
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1微波爐mei4 bo1 lou4microwave oven(s) 

我買咗不鏽鋼微波爐。

ngo5 maai5 zo2 bat1 sau3 gong3 mei4 bo1 lou4

I bought a stainless steel microwave oven.
2吸塵機kap1 can4 gei1vacuum cleaner(s) 

呢部係直立式吸塵機。

ne1 bou6 hai6 zik6 laap6 sik1 kap1 can4 gei1

This is an upright vacuum cleaner.
3雪櫃syut3 gwai6refrigerator(s) 

雪櫃係嗰度。

syut3 gwai6 hai2 go2 dou6

The refrigerator is over there.
4風扇fung1 sin3fan(ws) 

我有風扇。

ngo5 jau5 fung1 sin3

I got a fan.
5lou4stove(w) 

茶壺在爐上。

caa4 wu2 zoi6 lou4 soeng6

The kettle is on the stove.
6電視din6 si6TV(w) 

電視機在客廳裡。

din6 si6 gei1 zoi6 haak3 teng1 leoi5

The television is in the living room.
7DVD機DVD gei1DVD player(w) 

我們每個星期三晚用DVD機看電影。

ngo5 mun4 mui5 go3 sing1 kei4 saam1 maan5 jung6 DVD gei1 hon3 din6 jing2

We watch movies on the DVD player every Wednesday night.
8洗衣機sai2 ji1 gei1washing machine(w) 

我用洗衣機洗衣服保持衣服乾淨。

ngo5 jung6 sai2 ji1 gei1 sai2 ji1 fuk6 bou2 ci4 ji1 fuk6 gon1 zeng6

I use the washing machine to keep my clothes clean.
9冷氣機laang5 hei3 gei1air conditioner(w) 

在炎炎夏日,冷氣機為我們整天送涼風。

zoi6 jim4 jim4 haa6 jat6, laang5 hei3 gei1 wai6 ngo5 mun4 zing2 tin1 sung3 loeng4 fung1

On a hot summer day, the air conditioner works all day to keep us cool.
10筆記型電腦bat1 gei3 jing4 din6 nou5laptop(w) 

筆記型電腦讓我隨時隨地都可以工作。

bat1 gei3 jing4 din6 nou5 joeng6 ngo5 ceoi4 si4 ceoi4 dei6 dou1 ho2 ji5 gung1 zok3

The laptop computer allows me to work almost anywhere.

2. Nouns for Technology

Laptop and tablets
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1Wi-Fi routerWi-Fi routerWi-Fi router(s) 

Wi-Fi router 喺邊?

Wi-Fi router hai2 bin1

Where is the Wi-Fi router?
2blogblogblog(s) 

你睇我嘅blog啦。

nei2 tai2 ngo5 ge3 blog laa1

You can read my blog.
3互聯網wu6 lyun4 mong5InternetThis example includes all the words below as well:

(w) 


市民可在互聯網(#3)流覽網頁(#7)網站(#8)社交媒體(#9)電子郵件(#10),亦有搜尋(#4)上載(#5)下載(#6)服務。

si5 man4 ho2 zoi6 wu6 lyun4 mong5 lau4 laam5 mong5 jip6, mong5 zaam6, se5 gaau1 mui4 tai2 kap6 din6 zi2 jau4 gin2, jik6 jau5 sau2 cam4, soeng6 zoi3 kap6 haa6 zoi3 fuk6 mou6

Citizens can browse the webpage, website, social media, and email on the Internet. There are also search, upload, and download functions.
4搜尋 sau2 cam4search
5下載haa6 zoi3download
6上載 soeng6 zoi3upload
7網頁mong5 jip6webpage
8網站mong5 zaam6website
9社交媒體se5 gaau1 mui4 tai2social media
10電子郵件din6 zi2 jau4 gin2email

3. Nouns for Transportation

#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1飛機fei1 gei1airplane(s) 

我會搭___。

ngo5 wui5 daap3 ___

I will take ______.

*Note: #1-#7 are similar and share the same grammatical features. The above example phrase applies to all #1-#7 – you can simply fill in the blanks.
2地鐵dei6 tit3subway
3小巴siu2 baa1minibus
4巴士baa1 si2bus
5渡輪dou6 leon4ferry
6電車din6 ce1tram
7的士dik1 si2taxi
8巴士站baa1 si2 zaam6bus stop(s) 

我要去____。

ngo5 jiu3 heoi3 ____

I need to get to the ______.

*Note: #8-#9 are similar and share the same grammatical features. The above example phrase applies to all #8-#9 – you can simply fill in the blanks.
9機場gei1 ceong4airport
10車費ce1 fai3(transportation with wheels) fare(s) 

幾多錢車費係?

gei2 do1 cin2 ce1 fai3

How much is the fare?

4. Nouns for Dining

A chef cooking
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1貼士tip1 si2tip(w) 

男士正在给侍應貼士。

naam4 si6 zing3 zoi6 kap1 si6 jing3 tip1 si2

The gentleman is tipping the waiter.
2侍應si6 jing3waitress / waiter(w) 

穿著制服的侍應。

cyun1 zoek6 zai3 fuk6 dik1 si6 jing3

waitress/waiter in uniform
3晚餐maan5 caan1dinner(w) 

我和家人每晚都一起吃晚餐。

ngo5 wo4 gaa1 jan4 mui5 maan5 dou1 jat1 hei2 hek3 maan5 caan1

My family eats dinner together every night.
4中菜zung1 coi3Chinese food(w) 

中菜很美味!

zung1 coi3 han2 mei5 mei4

Chinese food is delicious!
5筷子faai3 zi2chopsticks(w) 

筷子在碗上。

faai3 zi2 zoi6 wun2 soeng6

The chopsticks are on the bowl.
6餐單caan1 daan1menu(w) 

從餐單裡選擇

cung4 caan1 daan1 leoi5 syun2 zaak6

Select from the menu.
7帳單zoeng3 daan1bill(w) 

不貴的帳單

bat1 gwai3 dik1 zoeng3 daan1

inexpensive bill
8seoi2water(w) 

可以給我一些水嗎?

ho2 ji5 kap1 ngo5 jat1 se1 seoi2 maa1

Can I have some water, please?
9廚師cyu4 si1chef(s) 

廚師喺度煮嘢食。

cyu4 si1 hai2 dou6 zyu2 je5 sik6

The chef is making a meal.
10信用卡seon3 jung6 kaat1credit card(s) 

你嘅信用卡號碼係咩?

nei2 ge3 seon3 jung6 kaat1 hou6 maa5 hai6 me1

What is your credit card number?

5. Nouns for School Essentials

A student
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1作業zok3 jip6homework(w) 

作業是學習中重要的一環。

zok3 jip6 si6 hok6 zaap6 zung1 zung6 jiu3 dik1 jat1 waan4

Your homework is one important part of the learning experience.
2筆記簿bat1 gei3 bou2notebook(w) 

白色單行筆記簿

baak6 sik1 daan1 hong4 bat1 gei3 bou2

white lined notebook
3同學tung4 hok6classmate(w) 

同學們是朋友。

tung4 hok6 mun4 si6 pang4 jau5

The classmates are friends.
4大學daai6 hok6university(w) 

他從有名的大學得到了獎學金。

taa1 cung4 jau5 meng2 dik1 daai6 hok6 dak1 dou3 liu5 zoeng2 hok6 gam1

He received a full scholarship from a famous university.
5背囊bui3 nong4backpack(s) 

黑紅色背囊

hak1 hung4 sik1 bui3 nong4

red-and-black backpack
6鉛筆jyun4 bat1pencil(s) 

我可唔可以借支鉛筆嗎?

ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 ze3 zi1 jyun4 bat1

Can I borrow a pencil?
7原子筆jyun4 zi2 bat1pen(s) 

我可唔可以借支原子筆?

ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 ze3 zi1 jyun4 zi2 bat1

Can I borrow a pen?
8數學sou3 hok6math(s) 

我最鍾意嘅學校科目係數學。

ngo5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 ge3 hok6 haau6 fo1 muk6 hai6 sou3 hok6

My favorite subject in school is Math.
9考試haau2 si3exam(s) 

我唔鍾意考試。

ngo5 m4 zung1 ji3 haau2 si3

I don’t like exams.
10學生hok6 sang1student(s) 

我係學生。

ngo5 hai6 hok6 sang1

I am a student.

6. Nouns for Occupation

A family
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1醫生ji1 sang1doctor(s) 

佢係_____。

keoi5 hai6 _____

He/she is ______.

*Note: #1-#10 are similar and share the same grammatical features. The above example phrase applies to all #1-#10 – you can simply fill in the blanks.
2律師leot6 si1lawyer
3護士wu6 si6nurse
4經理ging1 lei5manager
5商人soeng1 jan4businessman
6警察ging2 caat3police
7消防員siu1 fong4 jyun4firefighter
8工程師gung1 cing4 si1engineer
9公務員gung1 mou6 jyun4civil servant
10作家zok3 gaa1writer

7. Nouns for Family Members

Nouns 3
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1媽媽maa4 maa1mother(s) 

佢係_____。

keoi5 hai6 _____

He/she is ______.

*Note: #1-#10 are similar and share the same grammatical features. The above example phrase applies to all #1-#10 – you can simply fill in the blanks.
2爸爸baa4 baa1father
3老婆lou5 po4wife
4老公lou5 gung1husband
5家長gaa1 zoeng2parent
6細路sai3 lou6child
7neoi5daughter
8zai2son
9叔叔suk1 suk1uncle
10syun1grandchild

8. Nouns for Body Parts

A belly
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1goek3foot(ws) 

左腳

zo2 goek3

left foot
2teoi2leg(ws) 

長腿

coeng4 teoi2

long legs
3tau4head(w) 

頭及頸

tau4 kap6 geng2

head and neck
4手臂sau2 bei3arm(ws) 

兩條手臂

loeng5 tiu4 sau2 bei3

two arms
5sau2hand(ws) 

右手

jau6 sau2

right hand
6手指sau2 zi2finger(ws) 

五隻手指

ng5 zek3 sau2 zi2

five fingers
7身體san1 tai2body(ws) 

人類身體

jan4 leoi6 san1 tai2

human body
8tou5stomach(ws) 

我肚痛。

ngo5 tou5 tung3

I have a stomachache.
9背脊bui3 zek3back(w) 

我整天搬重物,傷了背脊。

ngo5 zing2 tin1 bun1 cung5 mat6, soeng1 liu5 bui3 zek3

I hurt my back by lifting heavy things all day.
10hung1chest(ws) 

我胸口痛。

ngo5 hung1 hau2 tung3

I have chest pain.

9. Nouns for Time

Nouns 2
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1星期sing1 kei4week(s) 

一個星期有七日。

jat1 go3 sing1 kei4 jau5 cat1 jat6

There are seven days in a week.
2nin4year(ws) 

一個年度

jat1 go3 nin4 dou6

one calendar year
3今天gam1 tin1today(w) 

今天是九月十日星期六。

gam1 tin1 si6 gau2 jyut6 sap6 jat6 sing1 kei4 luk6

Today is Saturday, September 10th.
4明天ming4 tin1tomorrow(w) 

明天見!

ming4 tin1 gin3

See you tomorrow!
5昨天zok3 tin1yesterday(w) 

我昨天請假。

ngo5 zok3 tin1 ceng2 gaa3

I took a day off yesterday.
6日曆jat6 lik6calendar(s) 

我搵唔到日曆。

ngo5 wan2 m4 dou2 jat6 lik6

I can’t find the calendar.
7miu5second(w) 

秒錶到數只剩下五十八秒。

miu5 biu1 dou3 sou2 zi2 sing6 haa6 ng5 sap6 baat3 miu5

There are fifty-eight seconds left on the stopwatch.
8小時siu2 si4hour(w) 

一小時有六十分鐘。

jat1 siu2 si4 jau5 luk6 sap6 fan1 zung1

There are sixty minutes in an hour.
9分鐘fan1 zung1minute(ws) 

三分鐘

saam1 fan1 zung1

three minutes
10dim2o’clock(s) 

依家幾點?

yi1 gaa1 gei2 dim2

What time is it now?

10. Nouns for Hobbies

A piano
#Chinese CharactersRomanizationMeaningExample
1書法syu1 faat3calligraphy(s) 

我鍾意寫書法

ngo5 zung1 ji3 se2 syu1 faat3

I like writing calligraphy.
2結他git3 taa1guitar(w) 

你的____彈得很好。

nei5 dik1 _____ taan4 dak1 han2 hou2

You play the _____ very well.

*Note: #2-#3 are similar and share the same grammatical features. The above example phrase applies to all #2-#3 – you can simply fill in the blanks.
3鋼琴gong3 kam4piano
4喇叭laa3 baa1trumpet(s) 

我鍾意_____。

ngo5 zung1 ji3 _____

I like ______.

*Note: #4-#7 are similar and share the same grammatical features. The above example phrase applies to all #4-#7 – you can simply fill in the blanks.
5小提琴siu2 tai4 kam4violin
6音樂jam1 ngok6music
7搖滾音樂jiu4 gwan2 jam1 ngok6rock music
8相片soeng3 pin2photo(w) 

這是我家人的相片。

ze5 si6 ngo5 gaa1 jan4 dik1 soeng3 pin2

This is a photo of my family.
9kei2chess(s) 

我鍾意捉棋。

ngo5 zung1 ji3 zuk1 kei2

I like playing chess.
10syu1book(s) 

我鍾意睇書。

ngo5 zung1 ji3 tai2 syu1

I like reading (books).

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

Nouns 4

We hope you’ve learned some useful nouns in Cantonese by now, and can describe your hobbies or home appliances with friends at ease! 

Let us know in the comments any new words you learned, or Cantonese nouns you still want to know! We look forward to hearing from you! 

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!

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

Hong Kong Life Events: Happy New Year in Cantonese and More!

Thumbnail

Important life events are a great opportunity to practice Cantonese. Not only do they give you an opportunity to express your friendliness and caring to your native friends, but they can also serve as very good conversation starters.

Can’t wait to learn Happy New Year in Cantonese, and more? Keep reading for a comprehensive guide to Cantonese life events and messages!

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

Table of Contents

  1. Birthday
  2. Chinese New Year
  3. New Year
  4. Other Holidays
  5. Graduation
  6. New Job/Promotion
  7. Retirement
  8. Wedding
  9. Injured/Sick
  10. Pregnancy and Birth
  11. Conclusion: How CantoneseClass101.com Can Help You Learn More Cantonese

1. Birthday

Happy Birthday

Most Hong Kongers have two birthdays: one expressed in Gregorian format, and the other one based on the lunar calendar. Nowadays, most natives only celebrate their Gregorian birthday, but the older generation may still treat their lunar birthday as the “real birthday,” and hence celebrate that one instead.

If you’re to celebrate a birthday for a local friend, you may want to learn a few birthday messages to say, on top of bringing presents and cake. Here at CantoneseClass101.com, we hope to make learning about Cantonese life event messages both fun and informative!

1- 祝你生日快樂,心想事成

Meaning: I wish you a happy birthday, and that all your wishes come true!
Romanization: zuk1 nei5 saang1 jat6 faai3 lok6, sam1 soeng2 si6 sing4
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

2- 牛一快樂!

Meaning: Happy B-day!
Romanization: ngau4 jat1 faai3 lok6
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

3- 青春常駐,年年廿八!

Meaning: Wishing you always (stay) young, like 28 years old, every year!
Romanization: cing1 ceon1 soeng4 zyu3, nin4 nin4 jaa6 baat3
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

2. Chinese New Year

There are two new years in Hong Kong: the New Year that everyone celebrates (based on the Gregorian calendar) and the Chinese New Year (based on the lunar calendar). Chinese New Year is a very important holiday in Hong Kong, as well as the Greater China area. We usually greet relatives and friends with the below greetings for Chinese New Year. Familiarize yourself with the common expressions below in exchange for some red packets (if you’re entitled to them)!

Red Packet

1- 恭喜發財!

Meaning: May you have a prosperous New Year!
Romanization: gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

2- 年年有餘!

Meaning: Wishing you prosperity through the years!
Romanization: nin4 nin4 jau5 jyu4
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

3- 身體健康!

Meaning: Wishing you good health!
Romanization: san1 tai2 gin6 hong1
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

4- 萬事如意!

Meaning: Best wishes for the new year!
Romanization: maan6 si6 jyu4 ji3
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

5- 大吉大利!

Meaning: May good fortune be with you!
Romanization: daai6 gat1 daai6 lei6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

6- 快高長大!

Meaning: May you grow up fast and strong!
Romanization: faai3 gou1 zoeng2 daai6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

7- 青春常駐!

Meaning: May your youth always be with you!
Romanization: cing1 ceon1 soeng4 zyu3
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

8- 龍馬精神!

Meaning: May you be as energetic as dragons and horses!
Romanization: lung4 maa5 zing1 san4
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

9- 學業進步!

Meaning: May you excel in your studies!
Romanization: hok6 jip6 zeon3 bou6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

10- 心想事成!

Meaning: May all your wishes come true!
Romanization: sam1 soeng2 si6 sing4
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

3. New Year

We also celebrate the universal New Year in Hong Kong (and with fireworks!). See below for some Cantonese congratulations you can say to your native friends for the New Year!

Fireworks

1- 新年快樂,恭喜發財!今年煙花勁靚!

Meaning: May you have a happy and prosperous New Year! This year’s fireworks are breathtaking!
Romanization: san1 nin4 faai3 lok6! gung1 hei2 faat3 coi4! gam1 nin4 jin1 faa1 ging6 leng3
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

2- 新年快樂!

Meaning: Have a happy New Year!
Romanization: san1 nin4 faai3 lok6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

3- 祝你新一年健康、快樂。

Meaning: Wishing you health and happiness in the new year.
Romanization: zuk1 nei5 san1 jat1 nin4 gin6 hong1, faai3 lok6
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

4. Other Holidays

Basic Questions

As the city where East meets West, Hong Kong has both Chinese and Western holidays. For example, we celebrate Easter, Christmas, Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. Below are some sentences for you to express your joy and holiday wishes in Cantonese to your friends!

1- 聖誕快樂!

Meaning: Merry Christmas!
Romanization: sing3 daan3 faai3 lok6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

2- 假期愉快!

Meaning: Happy holidays!
Romanization: gaa3 kei4 jyu6 faai3
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

3- 享受你嘅假期!

Meaning: Enjoy the holidays!
Romanization: hoeng2 sau6 nei5 ge3 gaa3 kei4
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

5. Graduation

Most people consider graduation to be a huge milestone—learn the phrases below to wish your friend or loved one a happy graduation!

Graduation Hat

1- 祝福你一路上擁有許多光明美好的機會,且能一一成功把握住它們!

Meaning: Wishing that brighter opportunities come your way and you achieve success in all of them!
Romanization: zuk1 fuk1 nei5 jat1 lou6 soeng6 jung2 jau5 heoi2 do1 gwong1 ming4 mei5 hou2 dik1 gei1 wui6, ce2 nang4 jat1 jat1 sing4 gung1 baa2 aak1 zyu6 taa1 mun4
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

2- 展翅高飛吧!

Meaning: Spread your wings and fly!
Romanization: zin2 ci3 gou1 fei1 baa3
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

3- 恭喜你畢業,亦都祝福你下一場旅程!

Meaning: Congratulations on your graduation, and best wishes for your next adventure!
Romanization: gung1 hei2 nei5 bat1 jip6, jik6 dou1 zuk1 fuk1 nei5 haa6 jat1 coeng4 leoi5 cing4
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

6. New Job/Promotion

New jobs and promotions are worth celebrating! And in Hong Kong, if your close friends or your boss get promoted, they may treat you to lunch—so be prepared and learn some wise words of congratulations in Cantonese!

Celebration

1- 恭喜恭喜,鴻圖大展,步步高升!

Meaning: Congratulations! Wish you more advancement and progress in the near future!
Romanization: gung1 hei2 gung1 hei2, hung4 tou4 daai6 zin2, bou6 bou6 gou1 sing1
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

2- 祝您在新的仕途上再創輝煌!

Meaning: Hope you will make great success in your new position!
Romanization: zuk1 nei5 zoi6 san1 dik1 si6 tou4 soeng6 zoi3 cong3 fai1 wong4
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

3- 升職快樂!

Meaning: Happy promotion!
Romanization: sing1 zik1 faai3 lok6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

7. Retirement

Hong Kongers typically retire between the ages of fifty-five to sixty-five. Do you know what to say when your friend or colleague retires?

Retirement Party

1- 祝您光榮退休!

Meaning: Best wishes as you retire!
Romanization: zuk1 nei5 gwong1 wing4 teoi3 jau1
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

2- 退休也許能改變您生活方式的許多方面,但無法改變您這位非凡的人物。

Meaning: Retirement may change many things in your lifestyle, but nothing can change the wonderful person you are.
Romanization: teoi3 jau1 jaa5 heoi2 nang4 goi2 bin3 nei5 saang1 wut6 fong1 sik1 dik1 heoi2 do1 fong1 min6, daan6 mou4 faat3 goi2 bin3 nei5 ze2 wai2 fei1 faan4 dik1 jan4 mat2
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

3- 希望您很快找出新方式,使您每天能享受當自己老闆的愉快。

Meaning: Hope you’ll soon discover new ways to enjoy each day with all the pleasure of being your own boss.
Romanization: hei1 mong6 nei5 han2 faai3 zaau2 ceot1 san1 fong1 sik1, si5 nei5 mui5 tin1 nang4 hoeng2 sau6 dong1 zi6 gei2 lou5 baan2 dik1 jyu4 faai3
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

8. Wedding

Marriage Proposal

Did you know that guests attending a wedding banquet are expected to give at least HK$800 in the form of red packets at the dinner reception? Further, the newlyweds often give out sweet favors, such as chocolates, before their guests go home.

1- 祝你哋白頭到老,永結同心!

Meaning: May you enjoy every happiness and success during your long life together!
Romanization: zuk1 nei5 dei6 baak6 tau4 dou3 lou5, wing5 git3 tung4 sam1
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

2- 恭喜晒!祝你哋幸福!

Meaning: Congratulations! I wish you happiness!
Romanization: gung1 hei2 saai3! zuk1 nei5 dei6 hang6 fuk1
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

3- 新婚快樂,早生貴子!

Meaning: Happy marriage and may you have a lovely baby early!
Romanization: san1 fan1 faai3 lok6, zou2 saang1 gwai3 zi2
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

9. Injured/Sick

Instead of saying “take care” when someone is ill, a more local way to express your concern and care is “Have you went to the doctor’s yet?” See below how to express this in Cantonese, and learn more Cantonese condolences for someone who’s not feeling well.

Little Girl Got Sick

1- 睇咗醫生未?

Meaning: Have you went to the doctor’s yet?
Romanization: tai2 zo2 ji1 sang1 mei6
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

2- 早日康復。

Meaning: Get well soon.
Romanization: zou2 jat6 hong1 fuk6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

3- 保重。

Meaning: Take care.
Romanization: bou2 zung6
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

10. Pregnancy and Birth

Talking about Age

How do you congratulate your friend’s newborn? Read below for some Cantonese congratulations you can use!

1- 恭喜添丁!

Meaning: Congratulations on the new baby!
Romanization: gung1 hei2 tim1 ding1
Format: Applicable to both written/formal and spoken/informal scenarios

2- 天大喜訊呀!

Meaning: That’s wonderful news.
Romanization: tin1 daai6 hei2 seon3 aa3
Format: Applicable to spoken/informal scenarios

3- 恭喜!祝你們的小寶貝帶來幸福

Meaning: Congratulations! May your baby bring you happiness.
Romanization: gung1 hei2! zuk1 nei5 mun4 dik1 siu2 bou2 bui3 daai3 loi4 hang6 fuk1
Format: Applicable to written/formal scenarios

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

We hope you still remember how to express Happy Birthday and Happy New Year in Cantonese!

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! Before you go, let us know in the comments which of these Cantonese life event messages you’ll be able to practice first! We look forward to hearing from you!

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

Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

Learning A Language on Your Own

Can You Really Learn Cantonese Alone?

Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn Cantonese or any language without traditional classroom instruction: CantoneseClass101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is CantoneseClass101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning Cantonese or any language alone.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!

Also, don’t forget to download your free cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Language Skills too!

3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

Learning Alone

1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn Cantonese alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn Cantonese alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study Cantonese and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

3. Learning Cantonese Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

How to Learn a Language on Your Own with CantoneseClass101

Learning with CantoneseClass101

1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of Cantonese Audio & Video Lessons

The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual Cantonese conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. CantoneseClass101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real Cantonese instructors and every lesson is presented by professional Cantonese actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

2. “Learning Paths” with Cantonese Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

Although CantoneseClass101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, CantoneseClass101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

When you have the right tools and Cantonese learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, CantoneseClass101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

  • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
  • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
  • Review Quizzes
  • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
  • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
  • Cantonese Dictionary with Pronunciation
  • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
  • And Much More!

Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn Cantonese alone and reach your goals!

Conclusion

Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn Cantonese on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

CantoneseClass101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, CantoneseClass101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

And the best part is: With CantoneseClass101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - How to Improve Your Language Skills!