Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Nicole: 大家好, 我係 Nicole. (daai6 gaa1 hou2, ngo5 hai6 Nicole.)
David: And I’m David.
Nicole: And we’re bringing you Absolute Beginner Season 2 lesson 2 - Where in Hong Kong have you been?
David: Here at CantoneseClass101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Cantonese. Nicole, we have a dialog here, what’s it about?
Nicole: It’s about… lying.
David: It’s about more than that, it’s about betrayal. It’s about friendship that falls on the ground because your friend lies to your face. So the conversation takes place at a campus.
Nicole: And it’s between two friends.
David: And they’re speaking casual Cantonese, as always.
DIALOGUE
你去咗邊呀? (nei5 heoi3 zo2 bin1 aa3?)
“Where did you go?”
幾時?(gei2 si4?)
“When?”
頭先。(tau4 sin1.)
“Just now.”
冇去邊呀。 (mou5 heoi3 bin1 aa3.)
“Nowhere.”
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: I hate it when people lie to your face!
Nicole: Where did you go? Nowhere.
David: And you saw them leaving... and saw them coming back!
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Anyway, our vocabulary session today, there is no general theme, but this is really useful stuff that you need to know. So, just get to the vocab session now.
VOCAB LIST
Nicole: 咗 (zo2) [natural native speed]
David: -ed(past tense marker)
Nicole: 咗 (zo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 咗 (zo2) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 幾時 (gei2 si4) [natural native speed]
David: when
Nicole: 幾時 (gei2 si4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 幾時 (gei2 si4) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 頭先 (tau4 sin1) [natural native speed]
David: just now
Nicole: 頭先 (tau4 sin1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 頭先 (tau4 sin1) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 冇去邊 (mou5 heoi3 bin1) [natural native speed]
David: nowhere
Nicole: 冇去邊 (mou5 heoi3 bin1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 冇去邊 (mou5 heoi3 bin1) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 食咗 (sik6 zo2) [natural native speed]
David: ate, to have eaten
Nicole: 食咗 (sik6 zo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 食咗 (sik6 zo2) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 做咗 (zou6 zo2) [natural native speed]
David: to have worked
Nicole: 做咗 (zou6 zo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 做咗 (zou6 zo2) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 講咗 (gong2 zo2) [natural native speed]
David: spoke, to have spoken
Nicole: 講咗 (gong2 zo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 講咗 (gong2 zo2) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 飲咗 (jam2 zo2) [natural native speed]
David: to have drank
Nicole: 飲咗 (jam2 zo2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 飲咗 (jam2 zo2) [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of these words and phrases from this lesson.
Nicole: The first phrase is 幾時 (gei2 si4).
David: “When”
Nicole: 幾時 (gei2 si4).
David: “When”
Nicole: 幾時 (gei2 si4).
David: And we use this in questions, like
Nicole: 幾時放假? (gei2 si4 fong3 gaa3?)
David: “When is the holiday?”
Nicole: 幾時放假?(gei2 si4 fong3 gaa3?)
David: When is the holiday. It’s a simple question, first we have “when” 幾時 (gei2 si4), and then we’ve got a verb 放假 (fong3 gaa3). Let’s replace this with an easier phrase, like, "to go to class". Which gives us a sentence “When is class?”
Nicole: 幾時上課 (gei2 si4 soeng5 fo3).
David: “When is class?“
Nicole: 幾時上課 (gei2 si4 soeng5 fo3).
David: Right. And the answer to that might be "just now".
Nicole: 頭先 (tau4 sin1).
David: “just now”.
Nicole: 頭先 (tau4 sin1).
David: “just now”.
Nicole: 我頭先去咗上課 (ngo5 tau4 sin1 heoi3 zo2 soeng5 fo3).
David: “I just went to class.”
Nicole: 我頭先去咗上課 (ngo5 tau4 sin1 heoi3 zo2 soeng5 fo3).
David: “I just went to class.”
Nicole: Right. Another example is 佢哋頭先走咗 (keoi5 dei6 tau4 sin1 zau2 zo2).
David: “They just left.”
Nicole: 佢哋頭先走咗 (keoi5 dei6 tau4 sin1 zau2 zo2).
David: That’s literally “they left, just now.”
Nicole: We also have a lot of verbs in this lesson.
David: Right. These are things everyone does.
Nicole: So we have to learn them.
David: The first is...
Nicole: 做 (zou6)
David: “to do”
Nicole: 做 (zou6)
David: “to do”
Nicole: although we hear this in the past tense 做咗 (zou6 zo2).
David: our second verb is
Nicole: 講 (gong2)
David: “to talk”
Nicole: 講 (gong2)
David: “to talk”
Nicole: although we hear this in the past tense 講咗 (gong2 zo2)
David: Our third verb is
Nicole: 飲 (jam2)
David: “to drink”
Nicole: 飲 (jam2)
David: “to drink”
Nicole: although we hear this in the past tense 飲咗 (jam2 zo2)
David: Right.
Nicole: Like in the sentence 佢飲咗我杯酒 (keoi5 jam2 zo2 ngo5 bui1 zau2).
David: “He drank my glass of wine.”
Nicole: 佢飲咗我杯酒 (keoi5 jam2 zo2 ngo5 bui1 zau2).
David: Right. And the past tense is actually the subject of our grammar point today.
Nicole: Right. So let’s get to it.

Lesson focus

David: As we promised, we’re going to talk about past tense.
Nicole: The past tense marker 咗 (zo2).
David: The good news is, past tense in Cantonese is really easy, we add that 咗 (zo2) at the end of our verb, it’s super easy.
Nicole: Verb + 咗 (zo2) / Verb + 咗 (zo2)...
David: Let's hear some examples.
Nicole: 做 (zo6)
David: “to do”
Nicole: And the past tense is 做咗 (zou6 zo2)
David: “to have done”
Nicole: 講 (gong2)
David: “to speak”
Nicole: And the past tense is 講咗 (gong2 zo2)
David: “to have spoke”
Nicole: 飲 (jam2)
David: “to drink”
Nicole: And the past tense is 飲咗 (jam2 zo2)
David: “to have drunk”
David: As in “He drank my glass of wine.”
Nicole: 佢飲咗我杯酒 (keoi5 jam2 zo2 ngo5 bui1 zau2).
David: See how easy Cantonese is.
Nicole: That’s right! There's no conjugation, no adding extra verbs like "have" in front of these.
David: Yeah, it’s much much easier than English. Anyways, it’s really easy. You just add 咗 (zo2) to the end of your verbs. Let's hear some sample sentences to really drive this stuff home.
Nicole: The first sentence is 我隻狗死咗 (ngo5 zek3 gau2 sei2 zo2).
David: “My dog died.”
Nicole: 我隻狗死咗 (ngo5 zek3 gau2 sei2 zo2).
David: “My dog died.”
Nicole: 佢哋頭先走咗 (keoi5 dei6 tau4 sin1 zau2 zo2).
David: “They just left.”
Nicole: 佢哋頭先走咗 (keoi5 dei6 tau4 sin1 zau2 zo2).
David: “They just left.”
Nicole: 我食咗飯 (ngo5 sik6 zo2 faan6).
David: Finally... a happy one. That's "I ate dinner".
Nicole: 我食咗飯 (ngo5 sik6 zo2 faan6).
David: "I ate dinner". So, a useful point we can make here, we have the verb and the object, we split them apart to put 咗 (zo2) right after the verb. So “to have eaten dinner” is…
Nicole: 食咗飯 (sik6 zo2 faan6).

Outro

David: Perfect! So that does it for today.
Nicole: Thank you for listening.
David: And we’ll see you on the site.

14 Comments

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CantoneseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Hello CantoneseClass101.com listeners!

Where did you go last week? Try to answer in Cantonese!

CantoneseClass101
Sunday at 4:58 pm
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Hi theo,


而家 (ji4 gaa1) means "now", "at this moment"

頭先 (tau4 sin1) means "awhile ago", "just now (eg. few minutes ago)"


We always use present tense with 而家, and past tense with 頭先 :wink:


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

theo
Saturday at 6:34 am
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hi

what is difference on usage of 而家 and 頭洸?

aloha

CantoneseClass101.comVerified
Thursday at 12:06 pm
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Hello theo,


That is a nice advise to our listeners! Many clarifications are made in the comments section so everyone should check it out too. Listeners will also find helpful study tips.


Thanks for posting and have a great day!

Erica

Team CantoneseClass101.com

theo
Saturday at 5:23 am
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starting ABs2. i like reading comments to clear up confusions. also season 2 has vocabulary expansion and it helps to be more specific and to practice and reenforce lesson.

aloha

CantoneseClass101
Monday at 3:53 pm
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Hi Emily,


Yes, 課 is correct, we often use 堂 also, it sounds more colloquial. In formal situations 課 is more appropriate.

For example: 上芭蕾舞堂 "to attend a ballet class"

And "going to class" in Cantonese is 上堂 (soeng2 tong4). :wink:


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Emily (旭怡)
Saturday at 11:25 am
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尋日我去咗大學,今日我去咗跆拳道嘅課.我鍾意跆拳道!:sunglasses:


Is 課 the correct term for class/session? I'm just guessing from the Mandarin this time :flushed: 唔好意思!


Is there actually a specific verb for 'going to class'? I thought there was but I can't remember if I'm making that up or not!

CantoneseClass101
Monday at 12:21 pm
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Hi Zhaoyang,


Thanks for pointing that out, it’s fixed now :sweat_smile:


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Zhaoyang
Monday at 7:52 am
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For 講咗 in the vocab list, do you mean "spoke, to have spoken"?

CantoneseClass101
Tuesday at 10:24 pm
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Hi Stephen,


Thanks for your comment and continuing support!

你講咗成晚 is literally "you've been speaking (for) whole night", 成晚 is the time frame of the action, hence located at the end of the sentence.

More examples:

我行咗兩日 "I've been walking (for) 2 days"

佢餓咗成個禮拜 "He's been starving (for) whole week"


If we put 成晚 at the beginning of the sentence, it has to be restructured as: 成晚你都喺度講嘢 "During the whole night, you kept speaking", in which the tone and message is a bit altered.


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Stephen
Sunday at 9:20 am
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Awesome! The answer to my question is already answered below! Another question though about sentence structure. How come 成晚 is at the end of the sentence for 你講咗成晚 and not near the start of the sentence?