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

nei5 ho2, ngo5 hai6 Olivia. Hi everybody! I’m Olivia.
Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com’s “saam1 fan1 zung1 gwong2 dung1 waa2”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Cantonese.
In our previous lessons, we learned how to use the verbs hai6 and hai2. In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to turn these two verbs into their negative forms in order to say "I'm not".
So let's take an example. Imagine you met someone in party, and you ask if he is American, and he answers ngo5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4. “I’m not American”
Then, you ask him if his wife is in Hong Kong, he answers keooi5 m4 hai2 hoeng1 gong2. “She’s not in Hong Kong”
Let’s look at these two negative sentences:
ngo5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4
[slowly] ngo5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4
keooi5 m4 hai2 hoeng1 gong2
[slowly] keooi5 m4 hai2 hoeng1 gong2
Did you catch any similar word in these two sentences?
Right! In each sentence, you have a little word, m4. This is the special word used to make a verb negative in Cantonese.
So let's have a look at the way to switch from affirmative to negative.
First with the verb hai6. If your friend *was* American, he would say ngo5 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4, “I am American.” But he actually said ngo5 m4 hai6 mei5 gwok3 jan4.
So basically, you just have to put the word m4 before the verb.
Now let's look at an example with the verb hai2, "to be (at a location)":
"She is in Hong Kong" is keooi5 hai2 hoeng1 gong2, and "She is not in Hong Kong" is keooi5 m4 hai2 hoeng1 gong2.
So now, how would you say "I don't eat meat?" For reference, “I eat meat” is “ngo5 sik6 juk6”. So, just put m4 in front of the verb “to eat” sik6, and you’ll get ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6.
[slowly] ngo5 m4 sik6 juk6
Easy, don't you think? So now you can turn many sentences into negative form just by adding this little words m4.
Now it’s time for Olivia’s tips.
If you want to answer negatively but without being too direct, you can add hai6 hou2 after the m4. This will mean "I don't really...."
So if you want to say "I don't really eat meat," it will be ngo5 m4 hai6 hou2 sik6 juk6.
Next time we’ll learn how to talk about possessions using the verb jau5, which is "to have" in Cantonese.
I'll be waiting for you in the next “saam1 fan1 zung1 gwong2 dung1 waa2”.
Haa6 ci3 gin3!