Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com. I'm David.
Gimmy: 大家好, 我係 Gimmy (daai6 gaa1 hou2, ngo5 hai6 Gimmy).
David: And we're here with Beginner Season 1, Lesson 4.
Gimmy: Running Late in Hong Kong.
David: Right. So if you scramble every morning to make to the office on time, this is the lesson for you, and Gimmy is smiling. She knows we're talking about her.
Gimmy: Really?
David: So anyway, we've got a dialogue. Casual Cantonese as always, between two friends who are scrambling to make it to work on time.
Gimmy: Let's get to the dialogue.

Lesson conversation

哎呀,就遲到喇。(aai1 jaa3, zau6 ci4 dou3 laa3.)
而家幾點呀?(ji4 gaa1 gei2 dim2 aa3?)
就快兩點喇。(zau6 faai3 loeng5 dim2 laa3.)
咁就要快啲啦!(gam2 zau6 jiu3 faai3 di1 laa3!)
David: Once again, a bit slower.
哎呀,就遲到喇。(aai1 jaa3, zau6 ci4 dou3 laa3.)
而家幾點呀?(ji4 gaa1 gei2 dim2 aa3?)
就快兩點喇。(zau6 faai3 loeng5 dim2 laa3.)
咁就要快啲啦!(gam2 zau6 jiu3 faai3 di1 laa3!)
David: And now, with the English translation.
哎呀,就遲到喇。(aai1 jaa3, zau6 ci4 dou3 laa3.)
Ar, we are going to be late!
而家幾點呀?(ji4 gaa1 gei2 dim2 aa3?)
What time is it?
就快兩點喇。(zau6 faai3 loeng5 dim2 laa3.)
Almost two.
咁就要快啲啦!(gam2 zau6 jiu3 faai3 di1 laa3!)
Then we have to hurry.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: This is what happens when you let people out of the office for lunch.
Gimmy: Well, in Hong Kong, you only got one hour lunch.
David: Right. So these people, if they show up at two, they're going to lose their job. They really do have to hurry. Anyway, our vocab today is about being late and being on time.
Gimmy: Right.
VOCAB LIST
Gimmy: 遲到 (ci4 dou3) [natural native speed]
David: To be late.
Gimmy: 遲到 (ci4 dou3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 遲到 (ci4 dou3) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 準時 (zeon2 si4) [natural native speed]
David. To be on time.
Gimmy: 準時 (zeon2 si4) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 準時 (zeon2 si4) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 而家 (ji4 gaa1) [natural native speed]
David: Now.
Gimmy: 而家 (ji4 gaa1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 而家 (ji4 gaa1) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 幾點 (gei2 dim2) [natural native speed]
David. What time.
Gimmy: 幾點 (gei2 dim2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 幾點 (gei2 dim2) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 就快 (zau6 faai3) [natural native speed]
David: Almost.
Gimmy: 就快 (zau6 faai3) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 就快 (zau6 faai3) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 咁 (gam2) [natural native speed]
David: Well.
Gimmy: 咁 (gam2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 咁 (gam2) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 快啲 (faai3 di1) [natural native speed]
David: Quicker.
Gimmy: 快啲 (faai3 di1) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 快啲 (faai3 di1) [natural native speed]
Gimmy: 兩點 (loeng5 dim2) [natural native speed]
David: Two o'clock.
Gimmy: 兩點 (loeng5 dim2) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Gimmy: 兩點 (loeng5 dim2) [natural native speed]
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
David: Let's take a closer look at some of these words and phrases. The first word to highlight is the word "to be late."
Gimmy: 遲到 (ci4 dou3)
David: To be late.
Gimmy: 遲到 (ci4 dou3)
David: It literally means "to arrive late."
Gimmy: Yes, and it's something that you don't want to do at work.
David: No, especially in Hong Kong.
Gimmy: For example, if you're meeting a friend and he's late again.
David: Yes.
Gimmy: You can say this 你又遲到。(nei5 jau6 ci4 dou3.)
David: You're late again.
Gimmy: 你又遲到。(nei5 jau6 ci4 dou3.)
David: "You again to be late." And people get angry at that, but they never get excited when you're there on time.
Gimmy: 準時 (zeon2 si4)
David: To be on time.
Gimmy: 準時 (zeon2 si4)
David: Right. So you never hear someone say, "You, you're on time again! It's great."
Gimmy: Yeah, they usually just say, "You better be on time" 你最好準時. (nei5 zeoi3 hou2 zeon2 si4.)
David: You better be on time.
Gimmy: 你最好準時. (nei5 zeoi3 hou2 zeon2 si4.) The next vocabulary that we want to look at is 就快.(zau6 faai3.)
David: Almost.
Gimmy: 就快 (zau6 faai3)
David: Almost. Now, this isn't adverb.
Gimmy: Right.
David: So we're going to put it in front of verbs.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: So you can be almost late.
Gimmy: 就快遲到. (zau6 faai3 ci4 dou3.)
David: But you can't be almost on time.
Gimmy: No, we don't say that.
David: Yeah, because it really means something is happening soon.
Gimmy: Yes. If you're on time, there's no almost.
David: Yes, you're already on time.
Gimmy: Yeah. But you can say it's almost time to go. For example, "It's time to get off work" 就快放工. (zau6 faai3 fong3 gung1.)
David: It's almost time to leave work.
Gimmy: 就快放工. (zau6 faai3 fong3 gung1.)
David: And you can be specific with hours too.
Gimmy: Right.
David: So you can say "It's almost two o'clock."
Gimmy: Yes. 就快兩點 (zau6 faai3 loeng5 dim2).
David: It's almost four o'clock.
Gimmy: 就快四點. (zau6 faai3 sei3 dim2.)
David: It's almost eight o'clock. I'm really hungry.
Gimmy: 就快八點,我好肚餓. (zau6 faai3 baat3 dim2, ngo5 hou2 tou5 ngo6.)
David: Right. So, very versatile. You can throw this into conversations right away.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: So three key words to remember.
Gimmy: 遲到. (ci4 dou3.)
David: To be late.
Gimmy: 準時. (zeon2 si4.)
David: To be on time.
Gimmy: 就快. (zau6 faai3.)
David: Almost. And with that, it's time for our grammar point.

Lesson focus

David: So, Gimmy, what's our grammar point for today?
Gimmy: Today we're going to learn how to say how.
David: Right, with the question word…
Gimmy: 幾. (gei2)
David: How.
Gimmy: 幾. (gei2)
David: In the dialogue, we see this in the following question.
Gimmy: 而家幾點呀? (ji4 gaa1 gei2 dim2 aa3?)
David: What time is it now?
Gimmy: 而家幾點呀?(ji4 gaa1 gei2 dim2 aa3?)
David: What time is it now?
Gimmy: Right. You don’t really have to throw in the word "now." You can just ask 幾點呀?(gei2 dim2 aa3?)
David: Which literally means "How many o'clocks?"
Gimmy: Right. But then in Cantonese…
David: How many hours?
Gimmy: 幾點? (gei2 dim2?)
David: Right. So this is a simple question, but it's like a lot of other questions in Cantonese that use the word "how."
Gimmy: Yes. For example, if you want to ask "How old a person is?"
David: Right.
Gimmy: 幾歲. (gei2 seoi3.)
David: How many years.
Gimmy: 幾歲. (gei2 seoi3.)
David: "How old are you?" Right. So if you see a family with a baby, you might want to ask the parents, "How old is your child?"
Gimmy: 你個細路幾歲? (nei5 go3 sai3 lou6 gei2 seoi3?)
David: How old is your child?
Gimmy: 你個細路幾歲? (nei5 go3 sai3 lou6 gei2 seoi3?)
David: Or if a friend is having a birthday party, you might want to say "Happy birthday. How old are you?"
Gimmy: 生日快樂!你幾歲啊?(saang1 jat6 faai3 lok6! nei5 gei2 seoi3 aa3?)
David: Happy birthday. How old are you?
Gimmy: 生日快樂!你幾歲啊?(saang1 jat6 faai3 lok6! nei5 gei2 seoi3 aa3?)
David: So the way we're making these questions is to use the question particle…
Gimmy: 幾. (gei2)
David: And follow this by either a noun or an adjective.
Gimmy: Right.
David: In our first two examples, we followed it by a noun.
Gimmy: 幾點. (gei2 dim2.)
David: How, hours. Or…
Gimmy: 幾歲. (gei2 seoi3.)
David: How, age. How, years.
Gimmy: Right.
David: We can do this with adjectives too though.
Gimmy: Absolutely. I'm going to give you an example. Say, you want to ask how tall someone is.
David: Right. Then you would ask…
Gimmy: 你幾高呀?(nei5 gei2 gou1 aa3?)
David: How tall are you?
Gimmy: 你幾高呀?(nei5 gei2 gou1 aa3?)
David: Right. How tall are you?
Gimmy: Yes.
David: So either an adjective or a noun following.
Gimmy: 幾 (gei2)
David: As with our examples…
Gimmy: 幾點, 幾歲, 幾高. (gei2 dim2 , gei2 seoi3 , gei2 gou1.)

Outro

David: And with that, we've reached the end of our podcast today. Before we leave you, we want to remind you, if you have any questions or comments…
Gimmy: Visit our website at CantoneseClass101.com.
David: Right. And you can leave your question on this lesson itself, and we'll get back to you within the day.
Gimmy: Yes.
David: Okay? With that, thanks for listening, I'm David.
Gimmy: I'm Gimmy.
David: And we'll see you on the site.
Gimmy: 下次見. (haa6 ci3 gin3.)

Grammar

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45 Comments

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Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.

CantoneseClass101.comVerified
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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What is your usual excuse for being late? Share it with us!

CantoneseClass101.com
Friday at 2:49 am
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Hi Penny,


Thank you for your question.

Basically, 就快 (zau6 faai3) and 就嚟 (zau6 lai4) ~ almost/soon are interchangeable.

Taking your first sentence as an example,

火車就快嚟喇 (fo2 ce1 zau6 faai3 lai4 laa3)/火車就嚟嚟喇 (fo2 ce1 zau6 lai4 lai4 laa3)~ The train is coming soon

=> here 就快 (zau6 faai3) and 就嚟 (zau6 lai4) function as an adverb

火車就嚟喇 (fo2 ce1 zau6 lai4 laa3) means as same as the above sentences, but here you should comprehend 就 (zau6) ~ soon and 嚟 (lai4) ~ come separately. In other words, 就嚟 (zau6 lai4) does not equal to 就 (zau6) + 嚟 (lai4).


Let us know if it is still unclear. 😉


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

penny
Tuesday at 9:19 pm
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there seems to be a subtle difference between zau6 faai3 and zau6 lai4

zau6 lai4 does it mean soon come

i.e.

fo2 ce1 zau6 lai4 laa3 the train is coming soon

leon4 syun4 zau6 lai4 hoi1 laa3 the ferry is about to leave

m4 goi1saai3 thank you

CantoneseClass101.comVerified
Sunday at 1:01 pm
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Hello Nicks,


咁就要快啲啦!

gam2 zau6 jiu3 faai3 di1 laa3!

Then we have to hurry.


咁(gam2) ~ So, in this way

就(zau6) ~ right away, about to


就快 (zau6 faai3) ~ soon, it is quite close to the meaning you mentioned,"immediately after something is mentioned." 👍


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com



Nick
Saturday at 7:45 am
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Hi Suiling,

I was wondering about a word in the phrase "gam2 zau6 jiu3 faai3 di1 laa3." What does the word "gam2" mean? I read that zau6 means "immediately after something is mentioned." Is that correct? Can't make sense on this sentence.

Thanks.

Nick

cantoneseclass101.com
Sunday at 2:18 pm
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Hello Vincent,


You are right! 👍


而家兩點正。

Ji4 gaa1 leong5 dim2 zing3.

It's exactly two o'clock now.


正(zing3)~ exactly, correct, precisely


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Vincent
Wednesday at 10:45 pm
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Does "zing3" mean "exact[ly]" in the vocabulary sentence for "two o'clock?" ("Ji4 gaa1 leong5 dim2 zing3. It's exactly two o'clock now.") Thank you, again!

CantoneseClass101
Saturday at 3:42 am
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Hi Grace,

Good question! Cantonese people like to shorten sentences, especially when you're in a casual situation or talking to someone younger or someone you know (well enough). So in those cases, 'nei5 gei2 do1 seoi3?' is interchangeable with 'nei5 gei2 seoi3?'


Olivia

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Grace
Friday at 3:14 am
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But I thought that how to say 'how old are you?' was 'nei5 gei2 do1 seoi3?'

Why was the 'do1' omitted?

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Sunday at 11:38 am
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Hello Megan,


In the sentence 就遲到喇。(zau6 ci4 dou3 laa3)~we are going to be late!

就(zau6) means "about to"


咁就要快啲啦!(Gam2 zau6 jiu3 faai3 di1 laa3!)~Then we have to hurry.

就(zau6) means "thereupon, immediately after something that is mentioned"


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Megan
Thursday at 9:01 pm
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Hi Olivia,


what does 'zau6' mean? (In "zau6 ci4 dou3", and "Gam2 zau6 jiu3 faai3 di1 laa3")?


thanks!