Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

David: Welcome to CantoneseClass101. I'm David.
Nicole: 大家好(daai6 gaa1 hou2), 我係 (ngo5 hai6) Nicole.
David: And I'm not Matt.
Nicole: Obviously not.
David: That's right. I'm filling in for Matt this week, but we still have lesson 8 for you.
Nicole: That's right. It's about getting the bill.
David: Right. So we've got a dialogue here that is between a waiter and a customer.
Nicole: Yes and it takes place in a restaurant.
David: And as you can guess someone is asking for the bill.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: So we've got the dialogue. We're going to take you to that right away.
Nicole: Okay.

Lesson conversation

小姐! (siu2 ze2!)
有咩可以幫到你? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?)
埋單,唔該。 (maai4 daan1, m4 goi1.)
好。 (hou2.)
David: One more time, a bit slower.
小姐!(siu2 ze2!)
有咩可以幫到你? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?)
埋單,唔該。 (maai4 daan1, m4 goi1.)
好。(hou2.)
David: And now with the English translation.
小姐!(siu2 ze2!)
Miss!
有咩可以幫到你? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?)
Is there anything I can help you with?
埋單,唔該。 (maai4 daan1, m4 goi1.)
Bill, please.
好。(hou2.)
Okay.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: So our dialogues are getting a bit longer.
Nicole: Just a bit, but they're still pretty easy.
David: Yeah. And there's one sentence in here I'm sure you guys heard it which is a real tongue-twister!
Nicole: Ah, 有咩可以幫到你? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?)
David: Yeah. Everything else is sure and then we hit you with that. That's the one.
Nicole: 有咩可以幫到你? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?) That's easy!
David: Yea. Well, it's going to be easy when we're done with today's lesson.
Nicole: Definitely. You guys are getting better and better.
VOCAB LIST
David: Okay. So let's get to the vocabulary section. We've got a lot of new words we're going to teach you today.
Nicole: That's right.
David: Okay.
Nicole: You'll end up using these all the time.
David: Let's go.
Nicole: 咩 (me1) [natural native speed]
David: What.
Nicole: 咩 (me1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 咩 (me1) [natural native speed].
可以 (ho2 ji5) [natural native speed]
David: Can.
Nicole: 可以 (ho2 ji5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 可以 (ho2 ji5) [natural native speed].
Nicole: 幫 (bong1) [natural native speed]
David: To help.
Nicole: 幫 (bong1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 幫 (bong1) [natural native speed].
有咩 (jau5 me1) [natural native speed]
David: Is there anything...
Nicole: 有咩 (jau5 me1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 有咩 (jau5 me1) [natural native speed]. 睇 (tai2) [natural native speed]
David: To watch.
Nicole: 睇 (tai2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 睇 (tai2) [natural native speed]. 做 (zou6) [natural native speed]
David: To do.
Nicole: 做(zou6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 做 (zou6) [natural native speed].
埋單 (maai4 daan1) [natural native speed]
David: To get the bill.
Nicole: 埋單 (maai4 daan1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 埋單 (maai4 daan1) [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
David: Okay. The first word we want to focus on is....
Nicole: 咩 (me1)
David: This means "what."
Nicole: 咩 (me1) [slowly]
David: "What."
Nicole: That's right. We hear this in the structure, 有咩 (jau5 me1)
David: Right, that's a simple question.
Nicole: 有咩... (jau5 me1...)
David: "Is there any...."
Nicole: Right. Like 有咩問題? (jau5 me1 man6 tai4?)
David: Is there a problem?
Nicole: Or 有咩情况? (jau5 me1 cing4 fong3?)
David: Is there a situation? That’s a bit weird, that's kind of like is there a problem as well. Let's hear those two again. Is there a problem?
Nicole: 有咩問題? (jau5 me1 man6 tai4)
David: And then, is there a situation?
Nicole: Right, 有咩情况? (jau5 me1 cing4 fong3?)
David: When do we use that last one? Is there anything going on, right?
Nicole: Exactly. It's very formal though.
David: Okay. So most of the time, we want to use the first one instead.
Nicole: 有咩問題? (jau5 me1 man6 tai4?)
David: Is there a problem. So, Nicole, what's the structure here?
Nicole: You first say 有咩 and then you add a noun after that.
David: Right. So as in, is there a problem?
Nicole: 有咩問題? (jau5 me1 man6 tai4?)
David: Right, but we can also add a verb.
Nicole: That's right, like 有咩食? (jau5 me1 sik6?)
David: Can we hear that again?
Nicole: 有咩食? (jau5 me1 sik6?)
David: Is there anything to eat?
Nicole: Or 有咩飲? (jau5 me1 jam2?)
David: Is there anything to drink?
Nicole: Exactly, 有咩飲? (jau5 me1 jam2?)
David: Okay. In our dialogue we heard this used in that really long sentence.
Nicole: Not that long, 有咩可以幫到你? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?)

Lesson focus

David: Okay. Don't get scared. We're going to look at this in more detail in the grammar section. Right now what we need to pay attention to is, this is a question.
Nicole: Right, because it's got the 有咩 (jau5 me1) structure, so it's obviously a question.
David: Right, can we hear it again?
Nicole: Sure, 有咩可以幫到你? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?)
David: Okay, is there anything I can help you with? Now, as we said, we're going to look at that more closely in the grammar section. Before we do, we've got two more really common words to focus on.
Nicole: That's right. The first one is 埋單 (maai4 daan1)
David: Which means, can I have the bill.
Nicole: Yeah or to get the bill, 埋單 (maai4 daan1)
David: Cheque please!
Nicole: Sometimes you'll say 小姐,埋單 (siu2 ze2, maai4 daan1)
David: If it's a waitress because then you're saying "Miss, can I have the cheque please!"
Nicole: Of course. Or if it's a guy or a mister, 先生,埋單 (sin1 saang1, maai4 daan1)
David: Right. That's "Hello, sir, the cheque." Let's hear those two again. If it's a woman we say…
Nicole: 小姐,埋單 (siu2 ze2, maai4 daan1)
David: And if it's a guy, we say.
Nicole: 先生,埋單 (sin1 saang1, maai4 daan1)
David: And if it's a man, we say.
Nicole: 先生,埋單 (sin1 saang1, maai4 daan1)
David: And Nicole, you've got a trick here for getting better service.
Nicole: That's right. Remember, you want to call the girls 靚女 (leng3 neoi5)
David: Which means “pretty girl”.
Nicole: Exactly, 靚女 (leng3 neoi5)
David: So, let's hear that, pretty girl, can I have the cheque?
Nicole: 靚女,埋單 (leng3 neoi5, maai4 daan1)
David: One more time.
Nicole: 靚女,埋單 (leng3 neoi5, maai4 daan1)
David: And what if it's a guy?
Nicole: You call them 靚仔 (leng3 zai2)
David: “Handsome guy”.
Nicole: Yeah, 靚仔 (leng3 zai2)
David: So, hey, pretty boy, can I please have the cheque?
Nicole: 靚仔,埋單唔該 (leng3 zai2, maai4 daan1 m4 goi1)
David: So this is really complimentary.
Nicole: Exactly.
David: And you want to please them at the end there. So they're going to run and get you the cheque, asap.
Nicole: Definitely, you'll get the bill faster.
David: Right and you might even get a telephone number too.
Nicole: Right.
David: Okay. With that though, let's move on to the grammar section.
Nicole: Okay.
David: Our grammar point today is all about asking questions....
Nicole: That's right. We've already learned 有咩... (jau5 me1...)
David: Right. Earlier in this podcast, we taught you to put nouns or verbs after this.
Nicole: Like 有咩問題? (jau5 me1 man6 tai4?)
David: Is there a problem.
Nicole: Or 有咩情況? (jau5 me1 cing4 fong3?)
David: Which is also is there a problem, but it's more formal and it's more like is there a situation, is something happening here?
Nicole: You're panicking.
David: Right. So this is our first way of asking questions.
Nicole: That's right. You ask 有咩 (jau5 me1)
David: And then you add a noun.
Nicole: Like 有咩問題?有咩情況? (jau5 me1 man6 tai4? jau5 me1 cing4 fong3?)
David: Great. Our second kind of question is asking "can I" or "can you".
Nicole: That's right. We hear this in the dialogue 你可唔可以幫我? (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 bong1 ngo5?)
David: Can you help me?
Nicole: 你可唔可以幫我? (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 bong1 ngo5?)
David: Can you help me. Now, listen carefully to this part.
Nicole: 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: Let's hear that again slowly.
Nicole: 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: This is the question bit. It's the part that makes us a question. Let's take a closer look.
Nicole: That's right. 可以 (ho2 ji5) means "can."
David: Right. And we've heard…
Nicole: 唔 (m4)
David: ...before, and that means “no” or “not.”
Nicole: That's right 唔 (m4), it's a negation word.
David: Right, so…
Nicole: 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: ….really means "can or cannot."
Nicole: That's right, 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: Can-not-can. It's how we're asking a question. So we can use this alone. We can say…
Nicole: 我可唔可以... (ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: And that's “can I do something?”
Nicole: That's very easy. You just add a subject before 你可唔可以 (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: Right, let's hear that again, I can-not-can.
Nicole: 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: How about you, can you...?
Nicole: 你可唔可以... (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5...)
David: Can we...?
Nicole: 我哋可唔可以... (ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5...)
David: So Nicole, you were giving that to us pretty slowly. Let's do those three again at more natural speeds, okay?
Nicole: I like that idea.
David: So how about this, can I?
Nicole:我可唔可以... (ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5...)
David: Can you?
Nicole: 你可唔可以... (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5...)
David: Can we?
Nicole: 我哋可唔可以... (ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5...)
David: And if it's clear from the context what you're talking about, this is all you need to say.
Nicole: Exactly.
David: Right. However, if you need to be clearer you can put your verb at the end.
Nicole: That's right, for example 我哋可唔可以食嘢?(ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 sik6 je5?)
David: Can we eat?
Nicole: That's right. 我哋可唔可以食嘢? (ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 sik6 je5?)
David: Or if you've already eaten, you might want to ask someone out for drinks.
Nicole: That's right. 我哋可唔可以飲嘢? (ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 jam2 je5?)
David: Can we drink?
Nicole: Yeah, 飲嘢 (jam2 je5) means to drink something.
David: Or if you're at a restaurant, you can ask for the bill.
Nicole: That's right. It's like the only thing you can do in a restaurant, 我哋可唔可以埋單? (ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 maai4 daan1?)
David: Right. Can we get the bill?
Nicole:可以 (ho2 ji5)
David: Can I ask you a question.
Nicole: Sure.
David: If you're eating with someone and you want them to get the bill.
Nicole: Then you can say, 佢哋可唔可以埋單? (keoi5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 maai4 daan1?)
David: Can you get the bill? I don't have any money.
Nicole: 你可唔可以埋單? (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 maai4 daan1?) 我冇 (ngo5 mou5) money.
David: Yeah. So you've asked the question, what answer is someone going to give you.
Nicole: Probably, if we say 靚女 (leng3 neoi5) , she will probably say 可以 (ho2 ji5)
David: Right. So we're just using the verb, we're echoing that back.
Nicole: That's right, 可以 (ho2 ji5)
David: So you're asking, can-not-can and they're answering can.
Nicole: 可以 (ho2 ji5)
David: Of course. So this is a really plain way to ask a favor of someone.
Nicole: That's right. If you add in 唔該 (m4 goi1), it will be ever more politer.
David: Right. So if you meet someone that you'd like, you can ask them to have a drink with you.
Nicole: That's right. Remember we learned 一齊飲嘢 (jat1 cai4 jam2 je5) in our last lesson.
David: Right, that's “let's have a drink together”.
Nicole: That's right. Now you can ask a girl 我哋可唔可以一齊飲嘢?(ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 jat1 cai4 jam2 je5?) That means “shall we have a drink together?”
David: Right. And then the answer is going to be…
Nicole: 唔可以 (m4 ho2 ji5)
David: No?
Nicole: Or 可以 (ho2 ji5), if you call her 靚女 (leng3 neoi5) or call him 靚仔 (leng3 zai2), remember.
David: Okay.
Nicole: This is the trick part.
David: So this is very, very important in Cantonese.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Anyway, in review, we now know two ways to ask a question. The first is to use…
Nicole: 有咩 (jau5 me1)
David: And then put a noun after it.
Nicole: Like 有咩問題? (jau5 me1 man6 tai4?)
David: “Is there a problem” or..
Nicole: 有咩情況?(jau5 me1 cing4 fong3?)
David: “Is there a problem?”
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Tricky. And of course, we can also put a verb there.
Nicole: 有咩食? (jau5 me1 sik6?)
David: The second way we have of asking a question is to use this phrase.
Nicole: 可唔可以 (ho2 m4 ho2 ji5)
David: Can or cannot.
Nicole: Right, like 我哋可唔可以埋單? (ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 maai4 daan1?)
David: Can we get the bill.
Nicole: Or your favorite sentence, 你可唔可以埋單? (nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 maai4 daan1?)
David: Can you get the bill. So that's our lesson for today.
Nicole: That's right.
David: So that's our lesson for today.

Outro

Nicole: But before we go, we want to remind our listeners there's a very powerful tool in our website.
David: Right. If you come to CantoneseClass101.com, take a look at the premium learning center. You're going to see tons of stuff. You're going to see quizzes, vocabulary sections, grammar points, all of these really, really great stuff that's going to teach you the basics of Cantonese.
Nicole: Yeah. You will find them very useful.
David: Yeah. They are really fantastic and they're going to help you ramp up the fluency very, very quickly. And with that said, if you have any questions about how to use the premium materials, just send us an email. You can get us at contact us at CantoneseClass101.com.
Nicole: Or even easier, just leave us a comment in CantoneseClass101.com.
David: Right. Leave us a comment on the site, we would love to hear from you. With that though, that's all the time we have today. I'm David.
Nicole: I'm Nicole.
David: Thanks a lot for listening and we'll see you next time.
Nicole: 拜拜 (baai1 baai3)

47 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Taking a note from the British, service industries do accept tips in Hong Kong. However in Guangdong, tipping is not necessary.

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 04:31 PM
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Hello Charlotte Lam,


Thanks for posting! 👍😆


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Charlotte Lam
Monday at 07:59 AM
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Hi, I'm Charlotte.😄😆😉😜😇😴❤️️👍😁😒😒😒😅😳😳😳😒

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 12:41 PM
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Hi Kuroda,


Thanks for your question.

Of course, you can say 我冇錢 (ngo5 mou5 cin2) ~ I don't have any money.


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Kuroda
Thursday at 08:22 PM
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Hi. Thank you for the great lesson.


Can I say "I don't have any money" as "我冇錢" in Cantonese? Nicole just said "money" in English and that makes me very curious.

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 05:49 PM
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Hello Amulya,


Thanks for your question.

可以 (ho2 ji5) is a special case in which the verb is a two-character word. You repeat the first character, 可 (ho2). The second half of the phrase is 唔 (m4), a negation, followed by the repetition of the entire verb 可以 (ho2 ji5). 👍

You can find more explanations in this lesson:

https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/lesson/survival-phrases-13-cantonese-restaurant-part-3-smoking/


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 05:46 PM
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Hello Adam,


Thanks for your question.

Yes, 有咩食啊? (jau5 me1 sik6 aa3) = 有咩可以食啊? (jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 sik6 aa3) ~ Is there anything to eat?

It depends on your preference. They're interchangeable. 😄

可以 (ho2 ji5) means "can". In the literal translation, that's "What can eat?", it emphasizes that "Is there anything I CAN eat?".


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Amulya
Wednesday at 07:46 AM
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Hi,


Could you please explain why we say "ho2 m4 ho2 ji5" instead of "ho2 ji5 m4 ho2 ji5" in the sentence "ngo5 dei6 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 maai4 daan1" (Can we get the bill?)


Thanks!

Adam
Wednesday at 07:37 AM
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Hi there,


I noticed that both "jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 sik6 aa3?" and "jau5 me1 sik6?" are translated as "is there anything to eat?"


In which case would you use one vs. the other and what purpose does the "ho2 ji5" play in the sentence?


Thanks!

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 07:13 PM
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Hi Joshua,


Thanks for your question.

Yes, you can say like this. 😉👍


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Joshua
Saturday at 10:08 PM
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Can we say 有咩可以幫你 instead of 有咩可以幫到你 ? If not, would you mind explaining the grammar rule?


Thank you