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Lesson Transcript


Hi, everybody! Olivia here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Cantonese questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What do you say when picking up the phone?
You usually say 喂(wai2) first when picking up the phone.
Can you use 喂(wai2) for greetings in person as well?
Although 喂 (wai2) means "Hello", we do not use it for greetings in person. And you have to remember the 喂 (wai2) has to be in the second tone when you answer the phone. If you pronounce the 喂 (wai3) in the third tone, it is similar to the English word "hey" which is usually used to get other people's attention.
There are some other expressions used only on the phone.
The most common phrase to say when picking up the phone is 喂, 搵邊位呀? (wai2, wan2 bin1 wai2 aa3?) It literally means "Hello, whom are you looking for?” If the person who they want to talk to is not available, you can say 佢唔喺度, 你遲啲再打嚟啦! (keoi5 m4 hai2 dou6, nei5 ci4 di1 zoi3 daa2 lei4 laa1!) which means "He or she is not here, would you call back a little bit later.”
Making a phone call is 打電話 (daa2 din6 waa2).
Here are some sample sentences:
搵邊位呀? (wan2 bin1 wai2 aa3? ) meaning "Whom do you want to talk to?"
打電話 (daa2 din6 waa2 ) meaning "making phone call".


How was it? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
"See you next time!", 下次見! (haa6 ci3 gin3!)