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

Nicole: Absolute Beginner, Season 2, Lesson 10 – “Renting an apartment in Hong Kong”.
David: Welcome to Cantoneseclass101.com. I’m David.
Nicole: 大家好,我係 (daai6 gaa1 hou2 , ngo5 hai6) Nicole.
David: And if you move to Hong Kong, you’re going to need a place to live. We’re finally going to get you around and talking about this, right?
Nicole: Finally.
David: So, we’re going to get you off the street in this lesson into a nice apartment, okay?
Nicole: Yay!
David: So, we’ve got a dialogue today that takes place in an apartment, a real estate rental agency.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: Right? There’re tons of these in Hong Kong, if you’re looking for a place to stay, you can look online or you can find an agent.
Nicole: Yeah, it’s just around the corner.
David: Yeah, and finding an agent is usually more expensive, but a bit easier.
Nicole: Less trouble.
David: Yeah. So, that’s our dialogue. Before we take you to it we want to remind you.
Nicole: Comments, comment, comment on our site.
David: Right. If you have any questions, if you have any suggestions, Nicole is reading them every day.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: Right?
Nicole: Basically.
David: And she’s writing down the one she likes and passing them along, so… if you’re getting good with Nicole, your ideas and suggestions are definitely given to me to put in the lesson.
Nicole: Mm-hmm. No hate mails, though.
David: Yeah. With that though, let’s get to the dialogue. This isn’t that big an apartment.
A: 我要租屋。 (ngo5 jiu3 zou1 uk1.)
B: 想要幾大? (soeng2 jiu3 gei2 daai6?)
A: 五百呎。 (ng5 baak3 cek3.)
B: 冇問題。(mou5 man6 tai4.)
A: I want to rent a house/apartment.
B: How big do you want?
A: Five hundred square feet.
B: No problem.
Nicole: No.
David: Right, that’s…
Nicole: It’s usually like one room, two bedroom.
David: Yes, that’s like what 60 square meters or…
Nicole: Yeah, approximately like that.
David: Okay, yeah.
Nicole: 50.
David: Yeah, one of the things you noticed about Hong Kong is that all of the rooms are smaller.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Because everyone is you know… if real estate is so expensive.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: You know, you go to a hotel and your hotel room is the size of a closet. That… Anyway, our vocab section today is all about renting apartment.
Nicole: Mm-hmm.
David: So, we’ve got key vocabs so that you can find the closet of your own.
Nicole: 租。(zou1.)
David: “To rent”
Nicole: 租, 租, 合租。(zou1, zou1, hap6 zou1.)
David: “To share an apartment”
Nicole: 合租, 合租, 屋。(hap6 zou1, hap6 zou1, uk1.)
David: “Apartment”
Nicole: 屋, 屋, 房。 (uk1, uk1, fong2.)
David: “Room”
Nicole: 房, 房, 屋租。(fong2, fong2, uk1 zou1.)
David: “Rent”
Nicole: 屋租, 屋租, 想要。(uk1 zou1, uk1 zou1, soeng2 jiu3.)
David: “To want”
Nicole: 想要, 想要, 幾大?(soeng2 jiu3, soeng2 jiu3, gei2 daai6?)
David: “How big?”
Nicole: 幾大? 幾大? 五百。(gei2 daai6? gei2 daai6? ng5 baak3.)
David: “500”
Nicole: 五百, 五百, 呎。(ng5 baak3, ng5 baak3, cek3.)
David: Measure word for “square feet”.
Nicole: 呎, 呎。(cek3, cek3.)
David: So, that’s the word for both apartment and house.
Nicole: Yeah, but if you want to rent specifically an apartment you may want to mention 公寓. (gung1 jyu6.)
David: That’s the formal word for an “apartment” or “condominium”.
Nicole: 公寓。(gung1 jyu6.)
David: And there’s another one for “house” or “villa”.
Nicole: 別墅。 (bit6 seoi6.)
David: “Villa”
Nicole: 別墅. (bit6 seoi6.) Those are for rich people. Beach houses.
David: In Hong Kong they’re totally for rich people.
Nicole: Totally.
David: So, when you go into the real estate agency, you’re going to want to tell them “I want an apartment.”
Nicole: 我要租屋。(ngo5 jiu3 zou1 uk1.)
David: That’s literally “I want to rent an apartment.”
Nicole: That’s right. 我要租屋。(ngo5 jiu3 zou1 uk1.)
David: If you want to be more specific, you can say “I want to rent a condominium.”
Nicole: 我要租公寓。 (ngo5 jiu3 zou1 gung1 jyu6.)
David: Or “I want to rent a villa.”
Nicole: 我要租別墅。 (ngo5 jiu3 zou1 bit6 seoi6.)
David: If you’re really wealthy.
Nicole: You can buy one. 我要買屋。(ngo5 jiu3 maai5 uk1.)
David: Yeah, but I think renting is better, especially if you’re going to stay on Hong Kong island.
Nicole: Yeah, that’s right. Beach houses.
David: Because if you’ve got the money, some of those condos are absolutely gorgeous.
Nicole: Great view.
David: Yeah. Anyway, the rest of our vocab here is really functional. If you’re student you’re just working your way up, you may want to share an apartment with someone.
Nicole: 合租。 (hap6 zou1.)
David: This literally means “together to rent”.
Nicole: 合租, 合租。(hap6 zou1, hap6 zou1.)
David: So you could tell the agent “I want to share an apartment.”
Nicole: 我要合租。(ngo5 jiu3 hap6 zou1.)
David: Although most of the time for this, you’re going to want to look online.
Nicole: Yeah, that’s right.
David: And the rest of our vocab is really functional as well. We’ve got the words for “rent”:
Nicole: 屋租. (uk1 zou1.) If you pay attention, you will find 屋租 (uk1 zou1) is just the same characters with 租屋 (zou1 uk1), so if you reverse the order…
David: They’re reversed.
Nicole: Yeah. 租屋 (zou1 uk1) becomes 屋租. (uk1 zou1.)
David: Right, it goes from “to rent an apartment” to “apartment rent”.
Nicole: Exactly. 租屋 (zou1 uk1) and 屋租. (uk1 zou1.)
David: There’s one more really important word and that’s “rooms”.
Nicole: 房。(fong2.)
David: “Rooms”
Nicole: 房。(fong2.)
David: When you rent an apartment, you’re going to want to ask for “two rooms”.
Nicole: 兩間房。(loeng5 gaan1 fong2.)
David: “Three rooms”
Nicole: 三間房。 (saam1 gaan1 fong2.)
David: Nicole, how does this work out? Does that include the living room?
Nicole: I don’t think so.
David: Right.
Nicole: We’re only referring to the bedrooms.
David: Right, so if you’re renting a “two-room apartment”:
Nicole: 兩房公寓。 (loeng5 fong2 gung1 jyu6.)
David: That’s going to be two bedrooms.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: Because a living room, and the kitchen and the bathroom don’t count.
Nicole: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
David: Okay? So, now you’ve got the vocab to rent, we’re going to take you to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

David: Our grammar focus this lesson is learning how to ask about sizes.
Nicole: Mm-hmm.
David: In the dialogue we heard this line:
Nicole: 想要幾大? (soeng2 jiu3 gei2 daai6?)
David: “How big do you want?”
Nicole: 想要幾大? (soeng2 jiu3 gei2 daai6?)
David: And literally that’s “To want how big?”
Nicole: 想要幾大? (soeng2 jiu3 gei2 daai6?)
David: So, our patter here is the word “how”.
Nicole: 幾。(gei2.)
David: Plus an adjective.
Nicole: 大。 (daai6.)
David: And that’s big.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: So, “How big do you want?”
Nicole: 想要幾大? (soeng2 jiu3 gei2 daai6?)
David: “You want how big?”
Nicole: 想要幾大?幾 大? (soeng2 jiu3 gei2 daai6? gei2 daai6?)
David: Is not only asking how big.
Nicole: Yeah, it can be also how old.
David: Right.
Nicole: Asking for age.
David: So, if you meet someone you can be really abrupt with them and say “How old are you?”
Nicole: 你幾大? (nei5 gei2 daai6?)
David: “How old are you?”
Nicole: 你幾大? (nei5 gei2 daai6?) so you’re not asking about the size.
David: Yeah, you don’t want to know their name, just tell me right away how old are you. But, this is a pattern we see everywhere. It’s “how”:
Nicole: 幾。 (gei2.)
David: Plus an adjective. If you’re shopping you’d often be asked “How many?”
Nicole: 幾多? (gei2 do1?)
David: Or “How much?”
Nicole: 幾多? (gei2 do1?)
David: As in “How many do you want?”
Nicole: 你要幾多? (nei5 jiu3 gei2 do1?)
David: “How much do you want?”
Nicole:你要幾多? (nei5 jiu3 gei2 do1?)
David: And so you can tell them and then you can ask them in return “How much?”
Nicole: 幾多錢? (gei2 do1 cin2?)
David: Which is literally “How much money?”
Nicole: 幾多錢? (gei2 do1 cin2?)
David: A couple of other examples. You can ask “How fast?”.
Nicole: 幾快? (gei2 faai3?)
David: “How fast?”
Nicole: 幾快?(gei2 faai3?)
David: “This car is how fast?”
Nicole: 部車幾快? (bou6 ce1 gei2 faai3?)
David: How about “How tall?”
Nicole: 幾高? (gei2 gou1?)
David: “How tall?”
Nicole: 幾高? (gei2 gou1?)
David: “How tall are you?”
Nicole: 你幾高? (nei5 gei2 gou1?)
David: So this is a really useful grammar pattern. We’ve got “how”:
Nicole: 幾。(gei2)
David: Plus an adjective:
Nicole: In this lesson it’s 大. (daai6.)
David: “How big?”
Nicole: 幾大? (gei2 daai6?)
David: So, a quick review. “How big?”
Nicole: 幾大? (gei2 daai6?)
David: “How old?”
Nicole: 幾大? (gei2 daai6)
David: “How many?”
Nicole: 幾多? (gei2 do1?)
David: “How much?”
Nicole: 幾多? (gei2 do1?)
David: “How fast?”
Nicole: 幾快? (gei2 faai3?)
David: “How high?”
Nicole: 幾高? (gei2 gou1?)
David: One final point before we go. You noticed the measure word in this lesson that we used for “square feet” is:
Nicole: 呎。(cek3.)
David: This is short for:
Nicole: 平方呎。 (ping4 fong1 cek3.)
David: “Square feet” in Hong Kong.
Nicole: Yeah. If you just say 呎 (cek3) can refers to both length and size.
David: Right. However, if you are in 廣東 (gwong2 dung1), you’re going to hear something different.
Nicole: 平方米。 (ping4 fong1 mai5.)
David: Right. So, be warned. Although in both cases if you say:
Nicole: 呎。 (cek3.)
David: People are going to understand you.
Nicole: That’s right.


David: Okay. That just about does it for our lesson for today. As always we want to remind you that instant access to all of our lessons with any subscription.
Nicole: That’s right.
David: That’s our entire library of audio and video lessons, really inexpensive and it’s really worth the money to get yourself to fluency.
Nicole: That’s right. You can put them on your IPhone and listen to us anytime.
David: Right. And you’ll have access to the website as well.
Nicole: Mm-hmm.
David: With that though, we are done for today. Thanks a lot for listening and we will see you on the site.
Nicole: See you!
David: Bye Bye.


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

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi listeners!

How big is the ideal house for you?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 04:15 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi David Coloma García,

Thanks for your question.

屋租 (uk1 zou1) = rent, 屋 (uk1) = apartment. 😉


Team CantoneseClass101.com

David Coloma García
Wednesday at 02:35 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


What is the difference between 屋租 uk1 zou1 and 屋 uk1 ?

When is better used each word.


Sunday at 03:07 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Vincent,

平方(ping4 fong1) - square

呎(cek3) - feet

For example:

平方根(ping4 fong1 gan1) is "square root" because 根(gan1) means "root".


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Thursday at 10:10 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

The transcript for this lesson said that "cek3" is short for "ping4 fong1 cek3." Does "ping4" literally mean "feet"? (I'm guessing that "fong1" means "square" there?) Thank you!

Cantoneseclass101.com Verified
Thursday at 02:35 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Alex,

Great to hear that you love the lessons and thank you so much for your encouragement. :thumbsup:

洗 (sai2 ) means "wash" and it is a verb. 乾淨 (gon1 zeng6) is "clean" as an adjective.

晒 ( saai3 ) means "completely" or "entirely".

If you want to say "clean everything", you can use 洗乾淨晒! (sai2 gon1 zeng6 saai3) or just 乾淨晒! ( gon1 zeng6 saai3) to show the state of being clean. 洗 成 is a bit strange to use in this situation.


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Saturday at 06:58 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


I love all of your lessons. Thank you so much for these!

My question is about cleaning a house or apartment. If I wanted to say clean everything, could I say, "sai2 sing4 a3" ( 洗 成). Or would "sai2 sing4" mean always clean - Would that mean "always keep it clean"? Or maybe none of the above :smile:

Thank you

Tuesday at 01:24 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Joy Araneta,

Thank you for your comment! We'll let them know! We love their voices too! :grin:


Team CantoneseClass101.com

Joy Araneta
Monday at 03:20 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi, Nicole and David! I love your voices.

Wednesday at 05:42 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Benny,

We have several other lessons about apartments, and each of them covers some terms on apartments or housing, check them out and add them to your Word Bank or Flashcards ;)

Culture Class - Places to Live

Intermediate - tenants’ requests

Listening comprehension (Intermediate) - Looking at apartments

Upper Intermediate - Hong Kong apartments

Upper Intermediate - Buying an HK apartment

Advanced - Apartment hunting


Team CantoneseClass101.com</a>

Tuesday at 12:59 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Andreas,

想 (soeng2) “to want” is usually followed by verb [eg. 我想去旅行 (ngo5 soeng2 heoi3 leoi5 hang4) “I want to travel”]

想要 (soeng2 jiu3) “to want; to desire for” is usually followed by noun [eg. 我想要一架車 (ngo5 soeng2 jiu3 gaa3 ce1) “I want a car”]

要 (jiu3) “to want; to need; to have to; must” is more aggressive comparatively [eg. 我要可樂 (ngo5 jiu3 ho2 lok6) “I want (to order) coke” // 你要返學 (nei5 jiu3 faan1 hok6) “You must go to school; you have to go to school”]


Team CantoneseClass101.com