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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Cantonese Top Words. Today, we are going to talk about 10 phrases for surviving back to school. Are you excited for school? I know I am. Here we go!
1. 背囊 (bui3 long4) “backpack”
我今日冇帶背囊。 (ngo5 gam1 jat6 mou5 daai3 bui3 long4.) “I did not bring my backpack today.”
In another sentence...啲學生孭住好重嘅背囊返學。 (di1 hok6 saang1 me1 zyu6 hou2 cung5 ge3 bui3 long4 faan1 hok6.) “Students carry very heavy backpacks to go to school.”
In Hong Kong, we don’t have a locker so we just bring everything with us every day, all the textbooks and stationery and notebooks and what not. So it’s always very heavy, not very good for our backs.
2. 同學 (tung4 hok6) “classmate”
我會約埋同學一齊溫書。 (ngo5 wui5 joek3 maai4 tung4 hok6 jat1 cai4 wan1 syu1.) “I will ask my classmates to study together.”
同學 (tung4 hok6), 同 (tung4) means like “together”, 學 (hok6) is “to learn”, so someone we learn things together are classmates. Do you usually study with your classmates? I usually study by myself because if I’m with my classmates, we’d just monkey around, we’d just play. We hardly will ever study.
3. 功課 (gung1 fo3) “homework”
點解啲功課做極都做唔完? (dim2 gaai2 di1 gung1 fo3 zou6 gik6 dou1 zou6 m4 jyun4?) “Why do I never finish the homework, no matter how hard I try?”
In some schools in Hong Kong, it’s famous for having a lot of homework. It’s pretty tough for the kids because they don’t even have enough time to sleep so they are always tired. I’m glad I did not go to those schools.
4. 考試 (haau2 si3) “exam”
我最驚係考試肥佬。 (ngo5 zeoi3 geng1 hai6 haau2 si3 fei4 lou2.) “The thing I'm worried the most is to fail an exam.”
So 肥佬 (fei4 lou2) is the transliteration of “fail”, fail, 肥佬 (fei4 lou2), 肥佬 (fei4 lou2), 肥佬 (fei4 lou2), 肥佬 (fei4 lou2). It also means a fat guy, 肥佬 (fei4 lou2), so a fat guy and failing is the same term, no offense, but it’s a very slang term so you don’t really use it in writing. You usually use it when you talk.
So...考試肥佬 (haau2 si3 fei4 lou2) “to fail in an exam”. 我最驚 (ngo5 zeoi3 geng1) “I’m most scared of”. My most terrifying thing is 考試肥佬 (haau2 si3 fei4 lou2) “to fail in an exam”.
5. 暑假 (syu2 gaa3) “summer break”
暑假 (syu2 gaa3) “summer holiday / summer break”
好多學生都喺暑假做兼職。 (hou2 do1 hok6 saang1 dou1 hai2 syu2 gaa3 zou6 gim1 zik1.) “Many students work a part-time job during the summer holiday.”
喺暑假做兼職 (hai2 syu2 gaa3 zou6 gim1 zik1), we also call it 暑假工 (syu2 kei4 gung1). 暑假 (syu2 kei4) is like during the summertime and 工 (gung1) means “work” so the work you do during summer time is 暑假工 (syu2 kei4 gung1).
6. 讀書 (duk6 syu1) “to study”
讀 (duk6) literally means “to read”, 書 (syu1) is “book” so to read a book. You can also say, “I’m reading a book.” 我喺度讀書。 (ngo5 hai2 dou6 duk6 syu1.) or “I’m studying.” 我喺度讀書。 (ngo5 hai2 dou6 duk6 syu1.). So they are the same words,讀書 (duk6 syu1)
我會畀心機讀書,唔會令父母失望。 (ngo5 wui5 bei2 sam1 gei1 duk6 syu1, m4 wui5 ling6 fu6 mou5 sat1 mong6.) “I will study very hard so as not to let my parents down.”
唔會令父母失望 (m4 wui5 ling6 fu6 mou5 sat1 mong6) “not to let my parents down / not to let them be disappointed”. 畀心機讀書 (bei2 sam1 gei1 duk6 syu1) “to study very hard / to try my best”.
7. 今日係新學期嘅第一日。 (gam1 jat6 hai6 san1 hok6 kei4 ge3 dai6 jat1 jat6.) “It's the first day of class.”
今日係新學期嘅第一日。 (gam1 jat6 hai6 san1 hok6 kei4 ge3 dai6 jat1 jat6.) “Today is the first day of class.”
So 學期 (hok6 kei4) means “semester”. In this case, it’s the first day of class or first day of semester. So “today” 今日 (gam1 jat6), 係新學期嘅第一日。 (hai6 san1 hok6 kei4 ge3 dai6 jat1 jat6.) “It’s the first day of the new semester.” so today is the first day of school. Yay! You get to meet all your new classmates and teachers So excited!
8. 我哋喺同一班! (ngo5 dei6 hai2 tung4 jat1 baan1!) “We're in the same class!”
It’s always happy to have someone you know in the same class so you can study together or you can hang out a lot.
9. 你上邊啲堂? (nei5 soeng5 bin1 di1 tong4?) “What classes are you taking?”
So in Hong Kong, it’s not very common to use this phrase because everybody just sit in the same classroom and you wait for the teacher to come and teach you different classes. So basically, you guys all have the same class.
But for someone that is not in the same class, you can ask them… 你上邊啲堂? (nei5 soeng5 bin1 di1 tong4?), because they might have a different class than you especially when after form 3 like grade 9, usually, students will split into science or literature, 文科 (man4 fo1) “literature, 理科 (lei5 fo1) “science. So you can also ask... 你讀文科定理科? (nei5 duk6 man4 fo1 ding6 lei5 fo1?) “Are you studying literature or science?” Which faculty are you in?
10. 你做晒功課未? (nei5 zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3 mei6?) “Did you finish your homework?”
Yes I did, we can go play! 我做晒功課啦,可以去玩。 (ngo5 zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3 laa3, ho2 ji3 heoi3 waan2.)
做晒功課 (zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3) is “to have completed / to have done the homework” so 你做晒功課未? (nei5 zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3 mei6?) “Have you finished your homework?” 我做晒功課啦。 (ngo5 zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3 laa3.) “I’ve finished my homework.” Let’s go play.
So that’s it for today. Today, we learned about 10 phrases for surviving back to school. I hope you enjoy your new semester and I’ll see you next time. My name is Olivia. Please subscribe and check out the work list on CantoneseClass101.com. See you next time! Bye!


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CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Which word or phrase do you like the most?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:11 PM
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Hello robert groulx,

You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.

Kind regards,


Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 10:58 PM
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thanks for the lesson

my favorite is 你做晒功課未?


CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 03:46 PM
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Hi Dany Tran,

Thanks for your questions. 😉

You can find more details about the usage of 極都..唔 (gik6 dou1... m4) in this lesson:


There is no difference between 做晒功課 (zou6 saai3 gung1 fo3) and 做完功課 (zou6 jyun4 gung1 fo3). You can use either of them to indicate a finished action. But there is an emphasis on finishing a group of things for verb + 晒 (saai3).


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Dany Tran
Friday at 07:34 AM
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what does 做極 mean?

the other question is, is there any difference when I say 做晒功課 or 做完功課 ?

Thanks for your helps.