Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com. I’m David.
Nicole: 大家好, 我係 Nicole. (daai6 gaa1 hou2, ngo5 hai6 Nicole.)
David: And we’re here at Absolute Beginner Season 2 lesson 4.
Nicole: “Are you Late for Work in Hong Kong Today?”
David: I’m never late. So in this lesson we’ll learn about time. We’ve got a dialog here that takes place at work, it’s between two colleagues; and they’re speaking casual Cantonese, as always.
DIALOGUE
我今朝遲到 (ngo5 gam1 ziu1 ci4 dou3.)
“I was late this morning.”
遲到幾耐? (ci4 dou3 gei2 noi6?)
“How late?”
少少啫。十點。 (siu2 siu2 ze1. sap6 dim2.)
“Just a little. 10 o'clock.”
一個鐘頭? (jat1 go3 zung1 tau4?)
“An hour?”
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: So Nicole, have you ever been late?
Nicole: No, although sometimes my watch is a bit fast in the morning.
David: Of course.... actually, It's common for people in Hong Kong to work until seven or eight in the evening.
Nicole: That’s because we work hard.
David: So maybe being a bit late in the morning it’s understandable.
Nicole: But it's not that common. Everyone in Hong Kong is very industrious.
David: And the economy is really good, so it's a great place to start a career.
Nicole: Definitely. Lots of opportunity.
David: Anyway, our vocabulary today is about time.
VOCAB LIST
Nicole: 遲到 (ci4 dou3) [natural native speed]
David: to be late
Nicole: 遲到 (ci4 dou3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 遲到 (ci4 dou3) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 幾耐 (gei2 noi6) [natural native speed]
David: how long
Nicole: 幾耐 (gei2 noi6) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 幾耐 (gei2 noi6) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 少少 (siu2 siu2) [natural native speed]
David: a little
Nicole: 少少 (siu2 siu2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 少少 (siu2 siu2) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 啫 (ze1) [natural native speed]
David: just (placed after an adjective)
Nicole: 啫 (ze1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 啫 (ze1) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 朝早 (ziu1 zou2) [natural native speed]
David: morning
Nicole: 朝早 (ziu1 zou2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 朝早 (ziu1 zou2) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 中午 (zung1 ng5) [natural native speed]
David: noon
Nicole: 中午 (zung1 ng5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 中午 (zung1 ng5) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 下晝 (haa6 zau3) [natural native speed]
David: afternoon
Nicole: 下晝 (haa6 zau3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 下晝 (haa6 zau3) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 日頭 (jat6 tau2) [natural native speed]
David: daytime
Nicole: 日頭 (jat6 tau2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 日頭 (jat6 tau2) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 夜晚 (je6 maan5) [natural native speed]
David: evening
Nicole: 夜晚 (je6 maan5) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 夜晚 (je6 maan5) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 今朝 (gam1 ziu1) [natural native speed]
David: this morning
Nicole: 今朝 (gam1 ziu1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 今朝 (gam1 ziu1) [natural native speed]
Nicole: 今晚 (gam1 maan1) [natural native speed]
David: tonight
Nicole: 今晚 (gam1 maan1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Nicole: 今晚 (gam1 maan1) [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let's have a closer look at some of these words and phrases. A lot of the new vocabularies are about times of the day. So the first word we have is....
Nicole: 朝早 (ziu1 zou2)
David: “early morning”
Nicole: 朝早 (ziu1 zou2)
David: So how early is this?
We’re talking about from 6am to 9 or 10ish am
David: So you can say “In the early morning, I had breakfast.”
Nicole: 朝早我食咗早餐 (ziu1 zou2 ngo5 sik6 zo2 zou2 caan1). It’s “In the morning, I had breakfast.”
David: So after the “morning”, here we’ve got...
Nicole: 中午 (zung1 ng5)
David: which is “noon”. What’s between 9 o’clock and noon?
Nicole: Nothing, we don’t have that in Cantonese. I guess you can say 朝早 (ziu1 zou2).
David: I see, so there’s no separate word for that. It’s just work time… We jump right from early morning to noon.
Nicole: 中午 (zung1 ng5)
David: “At noon, I have lunch”
Nicole: 中午我食午餐 (zung1 ng5 ngo5 sik6 ng5 caan1). Or normally, you’ll here people in Hong Kong say 中午我食lunch (zung1 ng5 ngo5 sik6 lunch).
David: So people actually say “lunch”.
Nicole: Yeah.
David: Let’s hear that again.
Nicole: 中午我食lunch (zung1 ng5 ngo5 sik6 lunch).
David: So the next 2 words are “afternoon”...
Nicole: 下晝 (haa6 zau3)
David: and “evening”...
Nicole: 夜晚 (je6 maan5)
David: So how do we use these in sentences
Nicole: You can say 下晝我做嘢 (haa6 zau3 ngo5 zou6 je5) “afternoon I work”; Or 夜晚我去酒吧 (je6 maan5 ngo5 heoi3 zau2 baa1).
David: “Evening I go to the bar”. Alright, so if you meet someone and you want to invite them out in the evening, how would you do that?
Nicole: 夜晚得唔得閒 (je6 maan5 dak1 m4 dak1 haan4)
David: “Do you have time in the evening?”
Nicole: 夜晚得唔得閒 (je6 maan5 dak1 m4 dak1 haan4)
David: Once again, “In the evening”...
Nicole: 夜晚 (je6 maan5)
David: “do you have time?”
Nicole: 得唔得閒 (dak1 m4 dak1 haan4)
David: Alright. Our last 2 words are “this morning”...
Nicole: 今朝 (gam1 ziu1)
David: and “tonight”...
Nicole: 今晚 (gam1 maan1)
David: As in the following sentences.
Nicole: 今朝我去飲茶 (gam1 ziu1 ngo5 heoi3 jam2 caa4) “I go to Cantonese restaurant this morning to have Cantonese brunch”; Or 今晚我去玩 (gam1 maan1 ngo5 heoi3 waan2) “this evening I’ll go to have some fun”.
David: Ok.
Nicole: Before we go, please pay attention to the tones of the 2 words 今朝 (gam1 ziu1) and 今晚 (gam1 maan1), all 4 sounds use the first tone.
David: Very high and flat. Ok. So those were a bunch of time words. We’re gonna run these again in our grammar section. We’ll talk about how to put them in sentences.

Lesson focus

David: So Nicole, in Cantonese time words are really easy.
Nicole: That’s right, just put it at the beginning of the sentences
David: We basically just take the time words and put it at the beginning of the sentences. Let’s have some examples.
Nicole: 朝早去飲茶 (ziu1 zou2 heoi3 jam2 caa4)
David: “In the morning, to have Cantonese brunch.”
Nicole: 朝早去飲茶 (ziu1 zou2 heoi3 jam2 caa4)
David: And the subject there is probably “I”, we don’t state it, but it’s “I’m going to have lunch.”
Nicole: That’s right, or depend on the context.
David: So our next one is...
Nicole: 中午好熱 (zung1 ng5 hou2 jit6)
David: “It's hot at noon.”
Nicole: Next we have 下晝好忙 (haa6 zau3 hou2 mong4)
David: “I'm busy in the afternoon.”
David: Pay attention to the time words in these sentences, these are the time words we reviewed a bit earlier in the last session.
Nicole: And in the lesson we just mentioned, the time word is 下晝 (haa6 zau3).
David: “afternoon”
Nicole: 下晝 (haa6 zau3)
David: Okay, for our last 3 sentences we’re going to reverse things. We’re going to give you the English first, if you can’t translate the whole sentence, try to at least translate the time phrases. “To go out at night”
Nicole: 夜晚去玩 (je6 maan5 heoi3 waan2)
David: “To go out at night”
Nicole: 夜晚去玩 (je6 maan5 heoi3 waan2)
David: So the time word there is “night”.
Nicole: 夜晚 (je6 maan5).
David: How about “I wasn't late this morning.”
Nicole: 今朝冇遲到 (gam1 ziu1 mou5 ci4 dou3)
David: “I wasn't late this morning.”
Nicole: 今朝冇遲到 (gam1 ziu1 mou5 ci4 dou3)
David: And the time word there is “morning”.
Nicole: 今朝 (gam1 ziu1). And if you want to add the subject, you can add it at the very beginning of the sentence, even before the time phrase. So “I wasn't late this morning.” can be said as: 我今朝冇遲到 (ngo5 gam1 ziu1 mou5 ci4 dou3).
Right, it’s like lego, we just put the subject at the beginning, and we don’t need to change anything else.
David: We’ve got one more sentence for you, and that would be an answer if someone asks you out, it’s “I'll be free tonight.”
Nicole: 今晚得閒 (gam1 maan1 dak1 haan4)
David: “I'll be free tonight.”
Nicole: 今晚得閒 (gam1 maan1 dak1 haan4)
David: Again there’s no subject here, we can add it.
Nicole: 我今晚得閒 (ngo5 gam1 maan1 dak1 haan4)
David: “I, tonight, to be free.”
Nicole: Actually the word order in Cantonese is very free and loose. If you want to stick in 我 (ngo5) after 今晚 (gam1 maan1), that’s okay too.
David: So you can choose, you can either put the subject before the time phrase, or after the time phrase.
Nicole: Right.

Outro

David: That’s our podcast for today, we hope you like it.
Nicole: Bye-bye.

Grammar

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32 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Hello listeners!

What are you planning to do today? Try to answer in Cantonese!

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:49 PM
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Hi Mateus,


You started developing an instinct for Cantonese! 😳


啫 [ze1] - used in the end of a sentence to suggest "it's only that easy/little/convenient" or taking something lightly.

So, you can't say 好啫 [hou2 ze1] "(it's only) good" as it would also sound odd in English. Some correct examples are 少少啫 [siu2 siu2 ze1] - "It's only a little" & 小事啫 [siu2 si6 ze1] - "It's only a piece of cake".


啱啱 [ngaam1 ngaam1] has a different usage - means "just now" or "just right".

When paired with adjectives for example, 啱啱好 [ngaam1 ngaam1 hou2] - "It's just enough (of an amount/a degree/a portion)". So, in your example, 啱啱小小 [ngaam1 ngaam1 siu2 siu2] would not mean anything.


Arnold

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Mateus
Wednesday at 11:19 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好! What's the difference between 啫(ze1) and 啱啱(ngaam1 ngaam1) when paired with adjectives?


Can you say: 好啫(hou2 ze1)? or 啱啱小小(ngaam1 ngaam1 siu2 siu2)? 唔該晒

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 04:18 PM
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Hello William Liao,


Thanks for your question.

晚上 (maan5 soeng6) is only used in written language.


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

William Liao
Monday at 06:56 AM
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Can't je6 maan5 and maan5 soeng6 both mean night also?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 02:18 PM
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Hi William,


Thanks for your question. 👍

It can be pronounced in these two tones. Just depends on your preference.


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

William
Thursday at 11:12 PM
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Why is it sometimes 'gam1 maan5' and sometimes 'gam1 maan1?'

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 04:19 PM
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Hello Jo,


Thanks for your question. 😉

Your understanding is correct. The tone "tau4" remains the same, but at the end of interrogative sentence, we should use the rising intonation. It is still different from "tau2".


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Jo
Wednesday at 11:41 AM
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As far as I understand, "hour" is "zung1 tau4". But in the dialogue "tau" was pronounced with a rising tone. Why so? Is it because it was at the end of interrogative sentence? Can one change the tone of the last word in interrogative sentences?

Vincent
Wednesday at 09:24 PM
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In the second vocabulary sentence for "morning," what does "dou3 zo2" and "jing4 jin4" mean literally and in that sentence? ("dou3 zo2 ni1 go3 si4 hau6 ziu1 zou2 dou1 jing4 jin4 jau5 di1 dung3."At this time of the year it is still cold in the morning." ) (Neither "dou3 zo2" nor "jing4 jin4" appear in your on-line Dictionary.) Thank you!

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Sunday at 09:05 AM
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Hello Jeff,


Thank you for your question.


You are right that the meaning is different in a two-syllable compound word. Changing a low tone to tone 2 will slightly alter the meaning of the original concept. Tone change in spoken Cantonese occurs as a result of phonological, morphological, semantic, and grammatical environments. Generally speaking, there are some basic rules or general guidelines on where and how such a change would occur. But those rules are not hard and fast ones, and there are always exceptions to the rules. It is habitual usages that really matter.


頭先 (tau4 sin1)~ a moment ago

日頭 (jat6 tau2)~ day time


Tone Change in Cantonese

https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/lesson/ultimate-cantonese-pronunciation-guide-9-tone-change-in-cantonese/


Cantonese Tone Change Rules

https://www.cantoneseclass101.com/lesson/pronunciation-3-cantonese-tone-change-rules/


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com