Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

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)

35 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.

CantoneseClass101.com
Tuesday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Taking a note from the British, service industries do accept tips in Hong Kong. However in Guangdong, tipping is not necessary.

CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 11:42 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Melissa,


Thanks for your subscription! 😉

If you would like to send a message to your teacher with a voice recording, you can do so by clicking on the paperclip icon at the bottom right corner of the chat window.


Let us know if you still cannot find it. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Melissa
Sunday at 1:13 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I just subscribed to the Premium level, and I can’t find the voice-recording tool that you’ve talked about. Can you please tell me where to find it on your website?

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Sunday at 5:06 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Lily,


Thank you so much for your advice and comment.

About the detail explanation of the sentence 有咩可以幫到你?(jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?) is in the Vocabulary section. The meaning of the word 咩(me1) is "what" which is written under the audio file icon. If you click the example icon on the right hand side you will see several example sentences showing how to use the word {咩(me1)~what}. Sorry for not providing the explanation of the word {到(dou2)~arrive, reach}. About the missing of the word 我(ngo5) , actually it is quite common not to use 我(ngo5) when you use this sentence. I think either way is fine and without the use of 我(ngo5) sounds even more natural and colloquial.


有咩可以幫到你?(jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5?) ~ Is there anything I can help you with?

有(jau5)~have ,there is

咩(me1)~what

可以(ho2 ji5)~ can

幫(bong1)~help

到(dou2)~arrive, reach

你(nei5)~you


Thank you for your advice again which is great help for improving the lesson. Feel free to send us any other questions.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Lily
Tuesday at 3:29 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

A bit disappointed with this lesson.

First it would have been nice if 有咩可以幫到你? was explained in more details. It's not quite easy to understand the sentence structure especially since 我 is omitted, and 到 isn't explained either. Also, after checking a Cantonese speaker, I was told that 有咩 is better translated as "what is there", which is very different question than "is there". I understand that in some situation, "is there" might be a more natural translation in English, but in a beginner lesson, I'd rather stick to the very literal meaning, so I don't get confused for now.

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Saturday at 3:48 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Jamie,


The correct jyutping for 唔該 is (m4 goi1)。


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Jamie
Monday at 11:55 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

'Um goy' => thank you

Cantoneseclass101.comVerified
Saturday at 4:05 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi KB,


Thank you for your question.


In the phrase 幫到你 (bong1 dou2 nei5), 到(dou2) means "arrive, reach or get to". It is also a particle used after a verb to indicate attainment.


幫你 (bong1 nei5) just means "help you".

幫到你 (bong1 dou2 nei5) emphasizes the "help that can reach you". It`s kind of similar to the meaning of "succeed in doing something......"


So besides 幫到 (bong1 dou2), you can also say 聽到 (teng1 dou2) have heard, 睇到 (tai2 dou2) can see or

收到 (sau1 dou2) succeed in receiving it.


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

KB
Tuesday at 5:03 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

In jau5 me1 ho2 ji5 bong1 dou2 nei5? What does dou mean after bong? Thanks

CantoneseClass101
Wednesday at 4:18 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Sean,


Good question! :)

jau5 mou5 is literally "have, not have", meaning "is there any?"

While jau5 me1 is literally "have, what", meaning"what is there?" or "is there anything"


For example, in the lesson dialogue "Is there anything I can help you with?" we can only use jau5 me1, not jau5 mou5 :wink:


Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Sean
Wednesday at 12:37 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What is the difference between jau5 mou5 and jau5 me1? They both can mean Is there any?.