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

大家好(daai6 gaa1 hou2)! Hello and welcome to Cantonese Survival phrases brought to you by cantoneseclass101.com, my name is Nicole and I will be your language teacher and culture guide throughout this course. This course is designed to equip you with the language skills and knowledge to enable you to get the most out of your visit to Hong Kong or anywhere else in the Cantonese world. You will be surprised at how far a little Cantonese will go. Now before we jump in, remember to stop by cantoneseclass101.com and there you will find the accompanying PDF and additional info in this post. If you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment.
Today’s phrase will help you take matters into your own hands. In today’s lesson, we will look at the word please which will be very important when you need to ask for something. In the Cantonese, please is 唔該(m4 goi1). Note that this is the same phrase used for thank you as seen in the previous chapter 唔該(m4 goi1). Now let’s break it down by syllable 唔 該(m4 goi1), 唔 該(m4 goi1). As we’ve said before 唔(m4) is the lowest tone. 唔(m4) Like you are thinking about something 唔(m4). And 該(goi1) is the highest flat tone. 該(goi1) together it sounds like 唔該(m4 goi1) . The easiest way to use Please is to point at something and say 唔該(m4 goi1), but let’s try to build this up a little bit, shall we? Now let’s start with the expression, this one please which in Cantonese is 呢個(ni1 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1). In English, this comes before please. In Cantonese, the order is the same. 呢個(ni1 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1) or you can say, please this one 唔該(m4 goi1), 呢個(ni1 go3). It also makes sense in Cantonese. So let’s break this long phrase down. 呢個(ni1 go3) is this one. 呢(ni1) is the high flat tone. 呢 個(ni1 go3) is the measure word. 個( go3), 呢個(ni1 go3) this one. 呢個(ni1 go3) this one. 個( go3) is the measure word but remember, you have to use this measure word when you are pointing at something and you want to order or you want something. You cannot just say this please 呢(ni1) , 唔該(m4 goi1). That doesn’t make sense in Cantonese. You have to say 呢個(ni1 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1). That’s something you should remember. 呢個(ni1 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1) This one please. This one please 呢個(ni1 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1). Now we’ve learned a word for this. Let’s take a look at the word, for that which is 嗰個(go2 go3), 嗰個(go2 go3).
Now as we notice, they sound very familiar. This is a two syllable word but the two syllable have different tones. 嗰(go2) is the rising tone, that’s the first syllable 嗰(go2) and the second syllable 個( go3) is the mid flat tone個( go3). Together it sounds like 嗰個(go2 go3),嗰個(go2 go3). And the phrase, that one please is 嗰個(go2 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1), 嗰個(go2 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1). You can just point and say this one 嗰個(go2 go3). You can just point and say this 嗰個(go2 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1). You can just point and say 嗰個(go2 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1). That means I want that one please 嗰個(go2 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1). Now let’s hear this one and that one together for comparison. 呢個(ni1 go3) this one. 嗰個(go2 go3) that one. Once again 呢個(ni1 go3) this one 嗰個(go2 go3) that one. And adding please to the end 唔該(m4 goi1). So 呢個(ni1 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1) this one please. 嗰個(go2 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1) that one please and please remember that it is also a little rude to point at things and especially at people in Hong Kong even though Cantonese people are known to be direct. If it is necessary to point to something in order to explain better what one wants, then it is accepted however pointing at a direction of someone and especially to a person’s face is very, very aggressive. Furthermore when pointing, it’s better to have one’s arm, hand and finger pointing in a relaxed way. Pointing with a stiff finger may seem intimidating.
Now final use for the word 唔該(m4 goi1) is when answer – a final use for the word 唔該(m4 goi1) is when you want to say excuse me. For example, if you go to a shop and no clerks are around, you can say 唔該(m4 goi1) and hope that someone will come and serve you or when you are in the restaurant and you want to order but the waitress or waiter is not there, you can shout 唔該(m4 goi1) and that should call their attention and they will come and serve you. 唔該(m4 goi1) I am sure you will hear this a lot in Hong Kong or in a Cantonese restaurant. Okay to close out today’s lesson, we’d like you to practice what you’ve just learned as always. I will provide you with the English equivalent of the phrases and you are responsible to shouting it out loud. You have a few seconds before I give you the answers. So 加 油(gaa1 jau2)! Okay the first one, please 唔該(m4 goi1) . This one please 呢個(ni1 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1) or 唔該(m4 goi1), 呢個(ni1 go3). That one please 嗰個(go2 go3), 唔該(m4 goi1) or 唔該(m4 goi1), 嗰個(go2 go3). All right, I hope you all get it right. That about that’s it for today. Remember to stop by cantoneseclass101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF and when you stop by, be sure to leave us a comment. Bye bye.