Dialogue

Vocabulary

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

A: Top 25 Cantonese Questions You Need to Know - Lesson 4: “What do you do?” in Cantonese. In each lesson of this 25 part series, you'll master a common question for Cantonese learners, and then learn how to answer it like a native. You'll learn how these key phrases work by breaking them down into each component. Then through repetition and new vocabulary, you'll expand your understanding of the question, its answers, and any variations.
In this lesson, you'll learn how to respond to the common question What do you do? In Cantonese this is
B: 你做咩㗎?
The first word in the question is
B: 你
A: meaning “you” in English.
B: (Slow, by syllable) 你
A: Listen again and repeat.
B: 你
{Pause}
A: This pattern of first introducing a word at natural speed, providing the translation, breaking it down, and then giving it again at natural speed will be repeated throughout the series. Try to speak aloud as often as possible. The next word in the question is
B: 做
A: meaning “to do.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 做
A: Now repeat.
B: 做
{Pause}
Listen to the the first 2 words of the question and repeat.
B: 你做
{pause}
And next
B: 咩
A: meaning “what.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 咩
A: Now repeat.
B: 咩
{Pause}
Listen to the the first 3 words of the question and repeat.
B: 你做咩
{pause}
And next
B: 㗎
A: a particle that indicates question or doubt
B: (Slow, by syllable) 㗎
A: Now repeat.
B: 㗎
{Pause}
Listen to the entire question and repeat.
B: 你做咩㗎
{pause}
A: It literally means “You do what?”
A: (You will hear this common question again and again throughout your studies.) Master the following pattern and responses to the question What do you do?
B: 我係教師。
A: "I'm a teacher.” Again, slowly. Repeat the phrase.
B: (Slow) 我係教師。
{pause}
A: Let's break it down from the beginning. The first word:
B: 我
A: meaning “I.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 我
A: Now repeat
B: 我
{Pause}
A: And after that
B: 係
meaning “to be.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 係
A:Now repeat.
B: 係
{Pause}
A: And after that
B: 教師
meaning “teacher.”
B: (Slow, by syllable) 教師
A:Now repeat.
B: 教師
{Pause}
A: Listen to the speaker say, “I'm a teacher.”, and then repeat.
B: 我係教師。
{pause}
A: To make another phrase, replace “teacher” with “police.”
B: 警察
A: police officer
B: (slow) 警察 (regular) 警察
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with police officer
B: 我係警察。
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace teacher with police. Say “I'm a police officer.”
{pause}
B: 我係警察。
A: To use a different phrase, replace police officer with nurse.
B: 護士
A: nurse
B: (slow) 護士 (regular) 護士
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with nurse
B: 我係護士。
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace police with nurse. Say “I'm a nurse.”
{pause}
B: 我係護士。
A: To make another phrase, replace “nurse” with “driver”.
B: 司機
A: driver
B: (slow) 司機 (regular) 司機
A: Listen to the phrase again, this time with driver
B: 我係司機。
A: It mostly stays the same. Simply replace nurse with driver. Say “I'm a driver.”
{pause}
B: 我係司機。
Now it's time for a quiz. Imagine you are visiting Hong Kong and someone asks what you do. You are a teacher. Respond to the question.
B: 你做咩㗎? (five seconds) 我係教師。
A: Imagine you are a police officer. Respond to the question.
B: 你做咩㗎? (five seconds) 我係警察。
A: Imagine you are a nurse. Answer the speaker's question.
B: 你做咩㗎? (five seconds) 我係護士。
A: Imagine you're a driver. Respond to the question.
B: 你做咩㗎? (five seconds) 我係司機。
A: Now you want to learn what that person does. Ask the question
(5 seconds)
B: 你做咩㗎?
{pause}
A: Now it's time to answer the question with actual information about yourself.
B: 你做咩㗎?
A: This is the end of Lesson 4

13 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What Do You Do? in Cantonese

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 07:20 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Evan,


Thanks for your question. 😉

stagehand ~ 舞台工作人員 (mou5 toi4 gung1 zok3 jan4 jyun4)

theatre technician ~ 舞台技術人員 (mou5 toi4 gei6 seot6 jan4 jyun4)

electrician ~ 燈光技術人員 (dang1 gwong1 gei6 seot6 jan4 jyun4)


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Evan
Monday at 06:07 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello,

How would I say 'stagehand', 'theatre technician', or 'electrician'?


Thanks much!

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 04:27 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Kim,


Thanks for your question.

You can say 我喺汽車公司做嘢 (ngo5 hai2 hei3 ce1 gung1 si1 zou6 je5) ~ I work in car company. 😉 It would be too general if only saying "company".

會社員 is not a correct term in Cantonese. I think it is the direct translation from Japanese (会社員).


Ada

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Kim
Tuesday at 08:04 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

How can I say " I work in company " or " I work in car company " ?

Is 我係會社員 correct Cantonese expression ?

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Sunday at 11:48 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Owen Pearson,


Thank you for your question.


音樂老師(jam1 ngok6 lou5 si1) ~ Music teacher

音樂家(jam1 ngok6 gaa1) ~ Musician


Siuling

Team Cantoneseclass101.com

Owen Pearson
Wednesday at 10:54 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

How would you say musician or music teacher?

Cantoneseclass@101.com
Sunday at 12:26 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Joe,


Thank you so much for pointing this out. 教師(gaau3 si1) means teacher and the 教(gaau3) means "teach" and it should be in the 3rd tone. We will fix it as soon as possible.


我係教師。(ngo5 hai6 gaau3 si1.) ~ I'm a teacher.


Siuling

Team Cantoneseclass101.com

Joe
Friday at 05:27 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

In the recording, where she says, "ngo5 hai6 gaau1 si1", "gaau" sounds like it's 6th tone. Can this be different tones?

Cantoneseclass101.com Verified
Sunday at 03:28 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Sara/穎雪,


You can say.....

我係做翻譯嘅。(ngo5 hai6 zou6 faan1 jik6 ge3.)


Siuling

Team Cantoneseclass101.com

Sara/穎雪
Saturday at 06:24 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi!


How do you say "I'm a translator"? Meaning someone who translates texts such as documents or books, not an interpreter.

Thanks!