Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: Welcome to cantoneseclass101.com. I am David.
Melody: 大家好,我係Melody。(daai6 gaa1 hou2, ngo5 hai6 Melody.)
David: And we are here today with upper beginner, season 1, Lesson 14. Talking About Your Age in Cantonese.
Melody: 關於歲數嘅問題。(gwaan1 jyu1 seoi3 sou3 ge3 man6 tai4.)
David: Right. So this is the lesson where we find out how old Melody is.
Melody: 我唔會同你講嘅。(ngo5 m4 wui5 tung4 nei5 gong2 ge3.)
David: Okay well it’s in casual Cantonese as always and it’s a conversation maybe taking place in a club. Right, we will let you decide. We are going to go to the dialogue now.
DIALOGUE
A:你今年幾多歲?(nei5 gam1 nin4 gei2 do1 seoi3? )
B:不如你估下? (bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5? )
A:我估你最多十八歲。 (ngo5 gu2 nei5 zeoi3 do1 sap6 baat3 seoi3. )
B:我睇起嚟咁後生? (ngo5 tai2 hei2 lai4 gam3 hau6 saang1? )
A:唔通你超過十八歲?(m4 tung1 nei5 ciu1 gwo3 sap6 baat3 seoi3? )
B:梗係啦!我二十八歲喇。(gang2 hai6 laa1 ! ngo5 ji6 sap6 baat3 seoi3 laa3.)
David: Once more, a bit more slowly.
A:你今年幾多歲? (nei5 gam1 nin4 gei2 do1 seoi3? )
B:不如你估下? (bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5? )
A:我估你最多十八歲。 (ngo5 gu2 nei5 zeoi3 do1 sap6 baat3 seoi3. )
B:我睇起嚟咁後生? (ngo5 tai2 hei2 lai4 gam3 hau6 saang1? )
A:唔通你超過十八歲? (m4 tung1 nei5 ciu1 gwo3 sap6 baat3 seoi3? )
B:梗係啦!我二十八歲喇。(gang2 hai6 laa1 ! ngo5 ji6 sap6 baat3 seoi3 laa3.)
David: And now, with the English translation.
A:你今年幾多歲? (nei5 gam1 nin4 gei2 do1 seoi3? )
A: How old are you?
B:不如你估下? (bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5? )
B: Why don't you guess?
A:我估你最多十八歲。 (ngo5 gu2 nei5 zeoi3 do1 sap6 baat3 seoi3. )
A: I guess you're no more than 18.
B:我睇起嚟咁後生? (ngo5 tai2 hei2 lai4 gam3 hau6 saang1? )
B: I look that young?
A:唔通你超過十八歲? (m4 tung1 nei5 ciu1 gwo3 sap6 baat3 seoi3? )
A: Can it be that you're over 18?
B:梗係啦!我二十八歲喇。(gang2 hai6 laa1 ! ngo5 ji6 sap6 baat3 seoi3 laa3.)
B: Of course! I'm 28!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Melody: 我覺得,直接咁樣問人唔係幾好。(ngo5 gok3 dak1, zik6 zip3 gam3 joeng6 man6 jan4 m4 hai6 gei2 hou2.)
David: Umm it’s a fine line Melody. Guessing young is good, guessing too young is not good.
Melody: 太假喇。(taai3 gaa3 laa3.)
David: Right. So our vocab today though is useful. It’s about guessing and how old are you when estimating things. So let’s get to it.
VOCAB LIST
Melody: 幾多歲 (gei2 do1 seoi3)
David: How old
Melody: 幾多歲 (gei2 do1 seoi3) [slow] 幾多歲 (gei2 do1 seoi3) [normal speed]。估下 (gu2 haa5)
David: To guess.
Melody: 估下 (gu2 haa5) [slow] 估下 (gu2 haa5) [normal speed]。最多 (zeoi3 do1)
David: At most.
Melody: 最多 (zeoi3 do1) [slow] 最多 (zeoi3 do1) [normal speed]。超過 (ciu1 gwo3)
David: To exceed.
Melody: 超過 (ciu1 gwo3) [slow] 超過 (ciu1 gwo3) [normal speed]。唔通 (m4 tung1)
David: Can it be.
Melody: 唔通 (m4 tung1) [slow] 唔通 (m4 tung1) [normal speed]。梗係 (gang2 hai6)
David: Of course.
Melody: 梗係 (gang2 hai6) [slow] 梗係 (gang2 hai6) [normal speed]。後生 (hau6 saang1)
David: Young.
Melody: 後生 (hau6 saang1) [slow] 後生 (hau6 saang1) [normal speed]。睇起嚟 (tai2 hei2 lai4)
David: To look like
Melody: 睇起嚟 (tai2 hei2 lai4) [slow] 睇起嚟 (tai2 hei2 lai4) [normal speed]。
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases. Our first word is, it’s sort of a phrase. It’s a question. It is how old are you.
Melody: 幾多歲 (gei2 do1 seoi3 )
David: How old.
Melody: 幾多歲 (gei2 do1 seoi3 )
David: And we use this in questions like how old are you?
Melody: 你幾多歲喇?(nei5 gei2 do1 seoi3 laa3?)
David: How old are you.
Melody: 你幾多歲喇?或者我哋可以話:估下我幾多歲。(nei5 gei2 do1 seoi3 laa3? waak6 ze2 ngo5 dei6 ho2 ji3 waa6: gu2 haa5 ngo5 gei2 do1 seoi3.)
David: Guess how old I am.
Melody: 估下我幾多歲。(gu2 haa5 ngo5 gei2 do1 seoi3.)
David: Right. So the question again is
Melody: 幾多歲 (gei2 do1 seoi3)
David: And we can use this with adults, we can use this with kids, you can use this with anyone.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: There is even a short form version of it.
Melody: 幾歲 (gei2 seoi3)
David: So if you are in a real hurry, you can just say
Melody: 你幾歲呀?(nei5 gei2 seoi3 aa3?)
David: How old are you?
Melody: 你幾歲呀?(nei5 gei2 seoi3 aa3?)
David: There is actually another word some people may have heard too.
Melody: 譬如話:幾大?(pei3 jyu4 waa6: gei2 daai6?)
David: And that’s also how old are you.
Melody: 幾大?(gei2 daai6?)
David: The difference is this is only used with kids.
Melody: 冇錯,比你細嘅人你先可以話 (mou5 co3, bei2 nei5 sai3 ge3 jan4 nei5 sin1 ho2 ji3 waa6)
David: Right. So as soon as someone is maybe 13 or 14, it starts getting rude to ask with this question.
Melody: 冇錯,有少少唔禮貌,但係都可以用。(mou5 co3, jau5 siu2 siu2 m4 lai5 maau6, daan6 hai6 dou1 ho2 ji3 jung6.)
David: Right. So in general, if it’s a child, you can say
Melody: 幾大 (gei2 daai6)
David: But most of the time, you are going to want to say
Melody: 幾多歲,或者「幾歲」。(gei2 do1 seoi3, waak6 ze2 「 gei2 seoi3 」.)
David: Right. Now in our dialogue, the girl asks the man
Melody: 不如你估下? (bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5?)
David: Why don’t you guess?
Melody: 估下 (gu2 haa5)
David: To guess.
Melody: 估下 (gu2 haa5)
David: So you can use this to ask people questions to give them riddles like
Melody: 譬如話,估下我係邊度人?(pei3 jyu4 waa6, gu2 haa5 ngo5 hai6 bin1 dou6 jan4?)
David: Guess where I am from?
Melody: 估下我係邊度嘅人?(gu2 haa5 ngo5 hai6 bin1 dou6 ge3 jan4?)
David: Or
Melody: 你估下,我唔會同你講。(nei5 gu2 haa5, ngo5 m4 wui5 tung4 nei5 gong2.)
David: Guess I won’t tell you.
Melody: 你估下,我唔會同你講。(nei5 gu2 haa5, ngo5 m4 wui5 tung4 nei5 gong2.)
David: Right. Now we also see really interesting word in this dialogue. It’s the word for can it be.
Melody: 唔通 (m4 tung1)
David: Can it be.
Melody: 唔通 (m4 tung1)
David: In the dialogue, we heard it in this line.
Melody: 唔通你超過十八歲?(m4 tung1 nei5 ciu1 gwo3 sap6 baat3 seoi3?)
David: Can it be that you are over 18?
Melody: 唔通你超過十八歲?(m4 tung1 nei5 ciu1 gwo3 sap6 baat3 seoi3?)
David: Right. So we are expressing surprise.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: And shock.
Melody: 通常會話「嘩!唔通你超過十八歲呀?」(tung1 soeng4 wui5 waa6 「 waa1! m4 tung1 nei5 ciu1 gwo3 sap6 baat3 seoi3 aa4?」)
David: I can’t believe it. Can’t it possibly be? So to use this, just put it at the beginning of a statement.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: Right. A couple more examples for you. Melody
Melody: 譬如話,唔通你係英國人?(pei3 jyu4 waa6, m4 tung1 nei5 hai6 jing1 gwok3 jan4?)
David: Can it be that you are British?
Melody: 唔通你係英國人?(m4 tung1 nei5 hai6 jing1 gwok3 jan4?)
David: Can it be that you are from the UK?
Melody: 或者話,唔通你唔知我係邊個?(waak6 ze2 waa6, m4 tung1 nei5 m4 zi1 ngo5 hai6 bin1 go3?)
David: Can it be that you don’t know who I am?
Melody: 唔通你唔知我係邊個?(m4 tung1 nei5 m4 zi1 ngo5 hai6 bin1 go3?)
David: Right. Melody, you use that line when you are getting into clubs.
Melody: 邊有?(bin1 jau5?)
David: Right. So that’s our vocab for today. The really important thing to remember today is really those – those words for how old are you.
Melody: 冇錯,幾多歲 (mou5 co3, gei2 do1 seoi3)
David: And
Melody: 幾歲 (gei2 seoi3)
David: Which you can use for anyone, adults or kids and then you just have third one.
Melody: 幾大 (gei2 daai6)
David: Which you only want to use with young children.
Melody: 冇錯,或者細過你嘅人。(mou5 co3, waak6 ze2 sai3 gwo3 nei5 ge3 jan4.)
David: Yeah. With that, let’s get to our grammar point for today.

Lesson focus

David: Our grammar point today is about a special pattern we can use to make comparisons. It’s based on this line in the dialogue.
Melody: 不如你估下?(bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5?)
David: Why not guess?
Melody: 不如你估下?(bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5?)
David: Now that’s not really a great translation but it’s the best way of translating into English.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: Literally what we are saying is, it’s not as good as you guessing.
Melody: 不如你估下?(bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5?)
David: What’s not as good as guessing, it’s my telling you.
Melody: 我話俾你知,不如你估下。(ngo5 waa6 bei2 nei5 zi1, bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5.)
David: My telling you is not as good as guessing.
Melody: 我話俾你知,不如你估下。(ngo5 waa6 bei2 nei5 zi1, bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5.)
David: Right. So the pattern here is, A
Melody: 不如 (bat1 jyu4)
David: B
Melody: 係比較A同埋B。(hai6 bei2 gaau3 A tung4 maai4 B.)
David: Right. They’ve got to be the same kind of things either both verbs or nouns.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: But this is super useful because you can use it to describe what you’d like to do.
Melody: 係呀。(hai6 aa3.)
David: For instance, if you are going out with friends, you could say
Melody: 食飯不如睇戲先。(sik6 faan6 bat1 jyu4 tai2 hei3 sin1.)
David: Going out and eating isn’t as good as watching a movie.
Melody: 食飯不如睇戲先。(sik6 faan6 bat1 jyu4 tai2 hei3 sin1.)
David: Eating isn’t as good as watching a film.
Melody: 所以你係想睇戲多過於想食飯。(so2 ji3 nei5 hai6 soeng2 tai2 hei3 do1 gwo3 jyu1 soeng2 sik6 faan6.)
David: Right. So you are talking with an implicit choice and you are expressing a preference for B, second.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: You are saying literally the first is not up to or as good as the second.
Melody: 係呀。(hai6 aa3.)
David: Now that was the case with verbs but we could use this with nouns as well. So let’s say, you are stuck in the fast food concourse and you’ve got a choice between McDonald's and KFC right?
Melody: 你想要麥當勞吖,定係KFC先?(nei5 soeng2 jiu3 mak6 dong1 lou4 aa1, ding6 hai6 KFC sin1?)
David: Right, where do you line on this choice?
Melody: 我諗我會話,食KFC?不如食麥當勞啦。(ngo5 lam2 ngo5 wui5 waa6, sik6 KFC? bat1 jyu4 sik6 mak6 dong1 lou4 laa1.)
David: So Melody, you are on the side of McDonald’s.
Melody: 冇錯。食KFC, 不如食麥當勞啦。(mou5 co3. sik6 KFC , bat1 jyu4 sik6 mak6 dong1 lou4 laa1.)
David: Right and note that just then, you gave us two sentences. In the first, we had just the nouns.
Melody: KFC不如麥當勞。(KFC bat1 jyu4 mak6 dong1 lou4.)
David: Right. And in the second one, you turned it into a verb phrase by adding the verb to eat
Melody: 食KFC不如食麥當勞。(sik6 KFC bat1 jyu4 sik6 mak6 dong1 lou4.)
David: Both are acceptable.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: Right. Let’s have one more example.
Melody: 再俾你最後一個例子,譬如話,去disco不如去酒吧。(zoi3 bei2 nei5 zeoi3 hau6 jat1 go3 lai6 zi2, pei3 jyu4 waa6, heoi3 disco bat1 jyu4 heoi3 zau2 baa1.)
David: Going to a disco is not as good as going to a bar.
Melody: 去disco不如去酒吧啦。(heoi3 disco bat1 jyu4 heoi3 zau2 baa1 laa1.)
David: Is this Melody’s opinion.
Melody: 應該係,我想去酒吧多啲。(jing3 goi1 hai6, ngo5 soeng2 heoi3 zau2 baa1 do1 di1.)
David: You prefer bars to clubs. Okay so the important thing though is just this pattern.
Melody: A不如B。(A bat1 jyu4 B.)
David: Which we use to make a comparison between A and B.
Melody: 冇錯。(mou5 co3.)
David: And then suggest we like B better.
Melody: 可以係動詞或者名詞。(ho2 ji3 hai6 dung6 ci4 waak6 ze2 ming4 ci4.)
David: Right and that’s what we see in the dialogue too. The only difference is that in the dialogue, option A is implied. So we don’t need to say it.
Melody: 我地省略咗前面嘅條件,直接話「不如你估下。」(ngo5 dei6 saang2 loek6 zo2 cin4 min6 ge3 tiu4 gin2, zik6 zip3 waa6 「 bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5. 」)
David: Why don’t you guess or my telling you is not as good as your guessing.
Melody: 我唔話俾你知,不如你估下。(ngo5 m4 waa6 bei2 nei5 zi1, bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5.)

Outro

David: Right. So that’s our lesson for today. As always, before we go, let us remind you that we’ve written up this grammar point and stuck it in our premium lesson transcript.
Melody: 上我哋嘅網站CantoneseClass101.com下載佢哋,一定好有用。(soeng2 ngo5 dei6 ge3 mong5 zaam6 CantoneseClass101.com haa6 zoi3 keoi5 dei6, jat1 ding6 hou2 jau5 jung6.)
David: Right. For now though, that is all the time we have. If you have questions or comments, come and leave them on our site and we will make sure you get an answer.
Melody: 希望喺上面可以見到你哋。我係Melody。(hei1 mong6 hai2 soeng6 min6 ho2 ji3 gin3 dou3 nei5 dei6. ngo5 hai6 Melody.)
David: And I am David.
Melody: 我哋下次再見 (ngo5 dei6 haa6 ci3 zoi3 gin3 ),Bye bye.

Grammar

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30 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Do you know how to tell people your age in Cantonese?

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:08 AM
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Hello robert groulx,


You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.


Kind regards,

利凡特

Team CantoneseClass101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 10:25 PM
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thanks for the lesson


my favorite phrase is 唔通你超過十八歲?


robert

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 08:44 AM
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Hello Vincent,


佢比起我印象中仲要後生。

keoi5 bei2 hei2 ngo5 jan3 zoeng6 zung1 zung6 jiu3 hau6 saang1.

He looked very young, younger than I remembered.


比起(bei2 hei2) ~ compared with

比 (bei2)~ compare

起 (hei2)~ - rise, up (the word 起 (hei2) in this case is similar to the preposition "with" or "to".)

印象中(jan3 zoeng6 zung1)~ in my impression

印 jan3 - print

象 zoeng6 - image (sometimes it means "elephant" too)

中 zung1 - middle, centre

仲要(zung6 jiu3) ~ even more

仲(zung6)~ even more

要(jiu3) ~ need, have to , necessary


省略(saang2 loek6)~ omit

省 saang2 - omit, economize

略 loek6 - brief account


條件(tiu4 gin2)~ condition, requirement

條 tiu4 - long narrow piece, strip

件 gin2 - item, piece


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Vincent
Tuesday at 08:39 PM
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In the vocabulary sentence for "hau6 saang1: young" ("keoi5 bei2 hei2 ngo5 jan3 zoeng6 zung1 zung6 jiu3 hau6 saang1.

He looked very young, younger than I remembered."), what is the meaning of "bei2"比, "hei2"起, "jan3"印 "zoeng6"象 "zung1"中, "zung6"仲 and "jiu3" 要, individually and together if any of these characters form a word together there?


When Melody says in the transcript 我地省略咗前面嘅條件,直接話「不如你估下。」(ngo5 dei6 saang2 loek6 zo2 cin4 min6 ge3 tiu4 gin2, zik6 zip3 waa6 「 bat1 jyu4 nei5 gu2 haa5. 」), what does "saang2"省, "loek6"略, "tiu4"條 and "gin2"件 mean individually, and together if they form a word together? Thank you, again, for your helpful explanations!

CantoneseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 08:55 PM
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Hello Christian,


On behalf of Siuling, you're welcome!


Should you have any questions, please let us know.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Christian
Wednesday at 08:10 PM
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Thanks Siuling! 👍

cantoneseclass101.com
Saturday at 12:10 AM
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Hello Christian,


About the meaning of the word 於 (jyu1), your explanation is excellent!! 👍

And you are right that it is quite difficult to translate the word 先 (sin1). The word has many different meanings in the different context.



Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Christian
Sunday at 11:31 PM
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Thanks for responding so thoroughly Siuling!


I just realized the 於 (jyu1) is the same 於 as in 關於 which I know means "regarding; concerning". So here it's just the abbreviated version of that right?


Oh gotcha! Yes that's right 先 (sin1) a lot of times mean "before". It's a difficult word to translate because I don't feel we really have an equivalent in English per se. Like "in lei5 sap6 ji6 jyu6 sin1 hoi1 ci2 hok6 gwong2 dung1 waa2!?" - it puts emphasis on "you have ONLY been learning Cantonese since December!?".


cantoneseclass101.com
Sunday at 01:11 PM
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Hello Christian,


You are right again! 👍

Because David said that guessing young was good, guessing too young was not good. Melody agreed with him and believed that it would be too fake if you intentionally told someone the age younger than her real age. So she said....

太假喇。(taai3 gaa3 laa3.)

太(taai3) ~ very, so

假(gaa3) ~ fake

喇(laa3) ~ final particle


於(jyu1) ~ in, at

所以你係想睇戲多過於想食飯。(so2 ji3 nei5 hai6 soeng2 tai2 hei3 do1 gwo3 jyu1 soeng2 sik6 faan6.)

所以你係想睇戲多過想食飯。(so2 ji3 nei5 hai6 soeng2 tai2 hei3 do1 gwo3 soeng2 sik6 faan6.)

You are right that you can delete the word 於(jyu1) and you still keep the same meaning of the sentence.


你想要麥當勞吖,定係KFC先?(nei5 soeng2 jiu3 mak6 dong1 lou4 aa1,ding6 hai6 KFC sin1?)

先(sin1) has many different meanings. Most of the time it means "before". But here it means "for now".


Siuling

Team CantoneseClass101.com

Christian
Wednesday at 05:06 AM
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"taai3 gaa3 laa3" - does it mean: someone is being fake in this context?


"so2 ji5 nei5 hai6 soeng2 tai2 hei3 do1 gwo3 jyu1 soeng2 sik6 faan6"

Why is the "hai6" and "jyu1" in this sentence and how does it change the meaning? Couldn't it also just be: "so2 ji5 nei5 soeng2 tai2 hei3 do1 gwo3 soeng2 sik6 faan6"?


"nei5 soeng2 jiu3 mak6 dong1 lou4 aa1, ding6 hai6 KFC sin1?"

What does "sin1" mean in this context? Didn't fully get it. I know it can mean "only" and "later than expected" but what about in this sentence?