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Lesson Transcript


Nicole: 大家好(daai6 gaa1 hou2), I'm Nicole.
Matt: And I'm Matt. Welcome back to CantoneseClass101.com. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 17.
Nicole: Okay, Matt, what are we looking at today?
Matt: In this lesson we're going to be learning how to bargain.
Nicole: That's very important. This conversation takes place in the Women Street in Hong Kong.
Matt: Now, this is between a customer and a shopkeeper.
Nicole: They're speaking casual Cantonese as always.
Matt: So is it really that easy, Nicole?
Nicole: What easy?
Matt: You just say too expensive and the shopkeeper will cut the price in half?
Nicole: Pretty much. Just remember to make the face when you're saying 太貴喇 (taai3 gwai3 laa3).
Matt: What face is that?
Nicole: The, I know the market and it's so overpriced face.
Matt: Okay. So while our listeners are thinking about that face, let's move on to our dialogue.

Lesson conversation

呢個幾錢?(ni1 go3 gei2 cin2?)
一百蚊。(jat1 baak3 man1).
太貴喇。(taai3 gwai3 laa3).
五十。(ng5 sap6).
English Host: One more time, a bit slower.
呢個幾錢?(ni1 go3 gei2 cin2?)
一百蚊。(jat1 baak3 man1).
太貴喇。(taai3 gwai3 laa3).
五十。(ng5 sap6).
English Host: And now with the English translation.
呢個幾錢?(ni1 go3 gei2 cin2?)
Matt: How much is this?
一百蚊。(jat1 baak3 man1).
Matt One hundred HKD.
太貴喇。(taai3 gwai3 laa3).
Matt: Too expensive.
五十。(ng5 sap6).
Matt: Fifty HKD.
Matt: So while our listeners are thinking about this face, let's take a look at our vocabulary.
Nicole: Okay. 幾錢(gei2 cin2) [natural native speed]
Matt: How much...?
Nicole: 幾錢(gei2 cin2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 幾錢(gei2 cin2) [natural native speed].蚊(man1) [natural native speed]
Matt: This is the word for Hong Kong dollars.
Nicole: 蚊(man1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 蚊(man1) [natural native speed]. 貴(gwai3) [natural native speed]
Matt: Expensive.
Nicole: 貴(gwai3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 貴(gwai3) [natural native speed]. Nicole: 平(peng4) [natural native speed]
Matt: Cheap.
Nicole: 平(peng4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 平(peng4) [natural native speed]. Nicole: 買(maai5) [natural native speed]
Matt: To buy.
Nicole: 買(maai5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 買(maai5) [natural native speed]. Nicole: 賣(maai6) [natural native speed]
Matt: To sell.
Nicole: 賣(maai6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 賣(maai6) [natural native speed]. 講價 (gong2 gaa3)[natural native speed]
Matt: To bargain.
Nicole: 講價(gong2 gaa3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 講價(gong2 gaa3) [natural native speed]. Nicole: 太(taai3) [natural native speed]
Matt: Too.
Nicole: 太(taai3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 太(taai3) [natural native speed]
Matt: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of these words and phrases from this lesson.
Nicole: All right. The first phrase is 幾錢(gei2 cin2)
Matt: How much.
Nicole: 幾錢(gei2 cin2)
Matt: How much. Now, this is not a new word actually. If we break it down, the first sound is….
Nicole: 幾(gei2)
Matt: For how many.
Nicole: 幾(gei2). As we learned the word 幾時(gei2 si4) when, and 幾好(gei2 hou2) pretty good. It's the same 幾(gei2).
Matt: That's right. Now the second is sound is?
Nicole: 錢 (cin2)
Matt: That's the word for money.
Nicole: 錢(cin2). So together it's 幾錢 (gei2 cin2)
Matt: How much.
Nicole: When talking about money we need to know how to say 蚊 (man1)
Matt: This is the measure word for the Hong Kong dollars.
Nicole: 蚊(man1). For instance 一蚊(jat1 man1)
Matt: That's one Hong Kong dollar.
Nicole: 兩蚊(loeng5 man1)
Matt: That's two HKD or Hong Kong dollars.
Nicole: 一百蚊 (jat1 baak3 man1)
Matt: 100 HKD
Nicole: 五十蚊 (ng5 sap6 man1)
Matt: 50 HKD, that's the final price in the dialogue. The girl here knows how to bargain. Now how do we day 'bargain'?
Nicole: 講價 (gong2 gaa3).
Matt: To bargain.
Nicole: 講價 (gong2 gaa3)
Matt: So we can ask, "Can I bargain?"
Nicole: Sure, 可唔可以講價?(ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 gong2 gaa3?) So in this phrase, in this sentence, we first say 可唔可以(ho2 m4 ho2 ji3), which means “can I”. And then you add 講價(gong2 gaa3). So together it's 可唔可以講價? (ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 gong2 gaa3?)
Matt: Can I bargain?
Nicole: 可唔可以講價?(ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 gong2 gaa3?)
Matt: But you have to say it like you know that you can.
Nicole: You'll often hear the sales girl says 唔好講價啦 (m4 hou2 gong2 gaa3 laa1).
Matt: Which means, please don't bargain.
Nicole: 唔好講價啦 (m4 hou2 gong2 gaa3 laa1)
Matt: Please don't bargain. Now this sounds familiar, if we break that down the first part is?
Nicole: 唔好 (m4 hou2).
Matt: Don't.
Nicole: As in 唔好意思 (m4 hou2 ji3 si1).
Matt: For excuse me.
Nicole: And then 講價 (gong2 gaa3).
Matt: Which is to bargain.
Nicole: 唔好講價啦 (m4 hou2 gong2 gaa3 laa1)
Matt: Please don't bargain.
Nicole: But don't listen to her. Just keep saying 太貴喇 (taai3 gwai3 laa3), 太貴喇 (taai3 gwai3 laa3).
Matt: Can you say that phrase again, with a little bit more attitude, Nicole?
Nicole: 太貴喇, 太貴喇, 太貴喇!!!(taai3 gwai3 laa3, taai3 gwai3 laa3, taai3 gwai3 laa3 !!!)
Matt: You got to make sure you use the attitude. The way you'll get the best price and this means, that's way too expensive!
Nicole: Let's break that down. The first sound is 太(taai3).
Matt: Which means too.
Nicole: 太(taai3)
Matt: Too.
Nicole: Followed by 貴(gwai3)
Matt: Expensive.
Nicole: 貴(gwai3)
Matt: Expensive.
Nicole: And then last but not least 喇 (laa3).
Matt: Now this is just the sound. 喇 (laa3).
Nicole: 太貴喇 (taai3 gwai3 laa3).
Matt: Too expensive! We want it cheaper.
Nicole: 平啲啦 (peng4 di1 laa1)
Matt: Cheaper 啦 (laa1)
Nicole: 平啲啦(peng4 di1 laa1)
Matt: Cheaper 啦 (laa1). The first sound is?
Nicole: 平(peng4)
Matt: Which is the word for cheap.
Nicole: 平(peng4)
Matt: Cheap.
Nicole: Followed by 啲 (di1).
Matt: Now, this is just the suffix -er.
Nicole: Yeah. This one's easy. It sounds exactly like the English letter D.
Matt: So cheaper is...
Nicole: 平啲 (peng4 di1)
Matt: All right. This is a pair of our important bargaining vocabulary, expensive.
Nicole: 貴(gwai3)
Matt: And cheap.
Nicole: 平(peng4)
Matt: Can you get it cheaper?
Nicole: 可唔可以平啲?(ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 peng4 di1?)
Matt: Or we can use the magic word
Nicole: 唔該, 可唔可以平啲?(m4 goi1, ho2 m4 ho2 ji3 peng4 di1?)
Matt: Please, can I get it cheaper.
Nicole: or 唔該,平啲啦。(m4 goi1, peng4 di1 laa1).
Matt: Cheaper please.
Nicole: Or even better, 靚女,唔該平啲啦。 (leng3 neoi5, m4 goi1 peng4 di1 laa1).
Matt: Yes, trying to get her with flattery, pretty girl, can I get it cheaper please?
Nicole: That usually works out pretty well.
Matt: And how do we say to buy or to sell?
Nicole: 買 and 賣 (maai5 and maai6)
Matt: Those are pretty close, to buy and to sell. Make sure you watch the tones.
Nicole: 買(maai5). To buy 買(maai5), it's a low rising tone, it starts from the low level and rises to the middle. And the other word to sell is 賣(maai6). It's is a mid flat tone.
Matt: Let's hear them both again for comparison.
Nicole: 買(maai5)
Matt: To buy.
Nicole: 賣(maai6)
Matt: To sell.
Nicole: 買賣(maai5 maai6)
Matt: Buy and sell.
Nicole: And if you put them together to make a word, 買賣(maai5 maai6) means to trade or trading.
Matt: All right, that makes sense. Okay I think we've had enough vocabulary. Let's move on to the grammar section.
Nicole: Okay.

Lesson focus

Matt: The main focus of this lesson is how to say 'too...' as in too much.
Nicole: 太(taai3)
Matt: Too.
Nicole: 太(taai3)
Matt: This is "too" as in "too much", or "excessive."
Nicole: 太好喇(taai3 hou2 laa3)
Matt: This means great. Now to make this sentence, we say 太(taai3)... then our adjective... then 喇(laa3).
Nicole: That's right. 太(taai3)... adjective... 喇(laa3)
Matt: Like too expensive.
Nicole: 太貴喇(taai3 gwai3 laa3)
Matt: Too expensive.
Nicole: 太貴喇(taai3 gwai3 laa3)
Matt: How about, I'm too tired!
Nicole: 太攰喇(taai3 gui6 laa3)
Matt: Pretty close. Too tired.
Nicole: 太攰喇(taai3 gui6 laa3)
Matt: Make sure you pay attention to the tones there. What about that's great!
Nicole: 太好喇(taai3 hou2 laa3)
Matt: That literally mean. "too good."
Nicole: 太好喇 (taai3 hou2 laa3).
Matt: So this is a really simple sentence structure.
Nicole: That's right.
Matt: One thing to note is that in all the examples that we've given you…
Nicole: 太貴喇(taai3 gwai3 laa3), 太好喇(taai3 hou2 laa3), 太攰喇(taai3 gui6 laa3).
Matt: There isn't any subject. So it has to be clear what you're talking about.
Nicole: That's right.
Matt: If you want to be a bit more specific, you can say "this is too expensive."
Nicole: 呢個太貴喇 (ni1 go3 taai3 gwai3 laa3)
Matt: Or "that is too expensive."
Nicole: 嗰個太貴喇 (go2 go3 taai3 gwai3 laa3)
Matt: Or "I am too tired"
Nicole: 我太攰喇 (ngo5 taai3 gui6 laa3)
Matt: So an easy grammar point, just remember, first you say 太(taai3) then your adjective.
Nicole: 貴(gwai3), 攰(gui6) or 好(hou2)
Matt: Then you add on the 喇 (laa3)
Nicole: Right. Remember this 喇(laa3) is important. It gives you all the attitude.
Matt: And the attitude is what gives you cheaper stuff. So make sure you don't forget it!
Nicole: That's right. And that's our lesson for the day.
Matt: But before we go premium members, don't forget to subscribe to the Premium Feed.
Nicole: One of our most powerful Web 2.0 features to date,
Matt: ...and the Premium Feed gives you the power to easily and effortlessly get all of the content,
Nicole: ...audio files, PDFs, videos, get everything we have!
Matt: Everything with just a click of a button, and you can get it through iTunes.
Nicole: Not a premium member and want to test it out?
Matt: Get the Sample Feed at CantonesePod101.com!


Nicole: That's very easy. So I'm Nicole.
Matt: And I'm Matt.
Nicole: See you next time.


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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The most effective tool in lowering the price of anything is to simply walk away. Around the 3rd step the seller will automatically drop the price.

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:24 PM
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Hi Hugh,

Thank you for your question.

Please note that our app doesn't currently have all the functionality that our desktop version website offers. In the app, you can follow specific series and download lessons but the "My Feed" in the same form as on the website is, unfortunately, not yet accessible. Please also check out our Help Center page, maybe it will help too : https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/learningcenter/account/myfeed

Kind regards,


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Saturday at 03:38 PM
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Where is the premium feed on Android mobile platform?


CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:43 PM
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Hi AR,

Thanks for your questions. 😄

a) As we have a well-known noun 新車 (san1 ce1) for "new car", but no specific noun for "fast car", we need to add an adjective "fast" before "car", i.e. 好快嘅車 (hou2 faai3 ge3 ce1).

b) For the same reason, we don't need to add the possessive 嘅 (ge3) between 新車 (san1 ce1).


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Sunday at 09:37 AM
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For the sentences:

ngo5 soeng2 maai5 gaa3 san1 ce1. (I want to buy a new car) vs

keoi5 soeng2 maai5 bou6 hou2 faai3 ge3 ce1. (He wants to buy a fast car)

Could you please explain why:

a) faai3 is pre-fixed with hou2 (which makes sense since faai3 is an adjective) but san1 is not?

b) the ce1 is pre-fixed with the possesive ge3 in the second sentence versus not in the first sentence?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:56 PM
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Hello Derek,

Thanks for your question. 😉

Yes, they are interchangeable when using as the measure word for car.


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Wednesday at 05:16 AM
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In the sample sentences, the measure for ce1 (car) is shown as gaa3 in one sentence and as bou6 in another sentence. Is there any difference in usage for these two measures, or are they interchangeable in this case? Thanks!

Saturday at 01:16 PM
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Hello Vincent,


maai6 je5 seoi1 jiu3 dak6 bit6 gei6 haau2.

You need a special skill to sell something.

技 gei6 - skill

巧 haau2 - skillful; artful


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Monday at 07:36 AM
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What is the literal translation and meaning of " gei6" and "haau2" in the vocabulary sentence for "to sell?" ("maai6 je5 seoi1 jiu3 dak6 bit6 gei6 haau2. You need a special skill to sell something.") Thank you!

Cantoneseclass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:56 AM
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Hi Sarah,

Thank you so much for your great patience and help again.

The two characters for la 了 and 啦. I think 啦(laa1) should be used instead of 了 ( liu5) in the transcript. Nichole is saying 啦(laa1) instead of 了 ( liu5) in the conversation.

In the vocab section 平/便 , I think only 平 should be used here because it was pronounced as 平(peng4) in the lesson. 便宜 (pin4 ji4) means "cheap" too but it is more often used in Mandarin or as the written formal way in Cantonese.

We’re currently working on fixing the issue with higher priority.

Thank you so much for your help again.


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Sunday at 03:52 PM
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In the lesson transcript, p.1 the words are overlapping again on the second line. p.2 Nicole is missing her Chinese characters for her greeting. p.3 in the translation it says that Matt is saying HKD but he isn't. Just remove those. p.4 instead of giving the characters for 50 it was just written as 50. I think it would be a good idea to switch it. p.6 when Nicole is pretty girl can we get cheaper please. The characters are in the wrong order. Nicole literally says pretty girl, please cheaper. Not 靓女,便啲啦唔该 which is pretty girl, cheaper please. Later, they are talking about to buy and to sell. The characters are not the same ones used in the vocab section. The vocab section are the characters that I recognize that mean to buy and to sell not the ones shown this time. Are they the wrong characters? Or are they just another way character for those words. p.7 the characters are changing again to say too tired. Which one is the correct one? Also when Nicole says 太贵啦... 太好啦... 太好啦 the last one is wrong, I think it was tired that was said not good. At the bottom of the page there is simple no more characters for Nicole. It is only ....

Also, there was two characters for la 了 and 啦. Though 啦 was used more by far. Which one is correct or are they interchangeable?

Last point, in the vocab section when cheap was said: 平/便 was written. I am assuming that they are both correct but I just want to be sure. What would be the difference between the two if both are correct?

Thank you!