Learn Cantonese

Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. The dominant spoken language used in daily communications is Cantonese, a variant of Chinese commonly spoken in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR and the Province of Guangdong in Mainland China. It is always fun and useful to learn some basic Cantonese before you visit Hong Kong.

Learning Cantonese

Cantonese slang and trending colloquial expressions are delightful to learn. Check out the funny videos by our partner Eureka and popular YouTuber Carlos Douh, who has previously worked with us and taught English as a Native English Teacher in Hong Kong!

Do you know there are TWO different words that translate as Thank You with TWO different usage?! Learn the two distinct ways to say “Thank You” in Cantonese for specific contexts.

We all make mistakes, don’t we? Let’s learn from a sincere apology to a more casual, everyday expression. We’ll break down the pronunciation, tone, and usage of each phrase so you can start sounding native.

Knowing numbers is immensely helpful when you’re navigating daily life, shopping, dining, or even just making friends in a new place. Let’s learn how to count from 1 to 99 in Cantonese in under 2 minutes!

How to say Hello, Good Morning and Goodbye in Cantonese

Wave goodbye to awkward encounters through leaning how to greet like a local and avoid common mistakes second language learners make.

聖誕快樂! 🎅🏼 🎁 Tis the season: learn how to say Merry Christmas and other Christmas words in Cantonese 🎄


This slang is suitable for everyone; situations like when you are late for work or when you are in pain! (We all have experiences in running late for work, don’t we?)


This slang has been widely used among people of Hong Kong. You can use this in a lot of different situations, have a look at the video and learn the slang!


Carlos’ impression for a Hong Kong girl is impressive. This slang is used to describe a condition of narcissism, egocentrism and materialism. Interested in learning this slang? Check this video out.


Depending on context, if somebody says you are ‘chok’ or trying to ‘chok’, they probably mean you are looking cool (or acting cool, rather). Check out Carlos’ video and see how you can ‘compliment’ someone with the word ‘chok’!


This slang is used to describe the jaw-dropping look on your face when you are really surprised at something that your mouth literally forms an ‘O’ shape.


Don’t you think ‘eating a lemon’ is a very accurate analogy of the feeling you get when someone (especially your love interest) rejects you? Well, watch Carlos’ interpretation and judge for yourself.

Survival Phrases

Before you travel to Hong Kong, learn the basic phrases below to impress the locals and help yourself navigate the city more easily! Click the audio player beneath each phrase and listen to their correct pronunciation.


"Hello" in Chinese: 你好
Cantonese pronunciation: Nei-hou.

How are you?

"How are you" in Chinese: 你好嗎
Cantonese pronunciation: Nei hou ma?

Thank you/Please/Excuse me.

"Thank you/Please/Excuse me" in Chinese : 唔該
(used when someone does you a favour/
when you want to politely get someone's attention)
Cantonese pronunciation: Mm-goi.

Thank you.

"Thank you" in Chinese: 多謝
(used when you accept a gift/compliment)
Cantonese pronunciation: Doh-jeh.

You're welcome.

"You're welcome" in Chinese: 唔駛客氣
Cantonese pronunciation: Mm sai hak hei.


"Sorry" in Chinese: 對唔住
Cantonese pronunciation: Deui-mm-jyu.


"Good-bye" in Chinese: 再見
Cantonese pronunciation: Joi-geen.

Help! (Save me!)

"Help" in Chinese: 救命呀
(used in case of emergency)
Cantonese pronunciation: Gau-meng ah!

How much (does it cost)?

"How much" in Chinese: 幾多錢
Cantonese pronunciation: Gei doh cheen?

Where is the toilet?

"Where is the toilet" in Chinese: 請問廁所喺邊度
Cantonese pronunciation:
Ching-man chee-soh hai been-dou?

I'm hungry.

"I'm hungry" in Chinese: 我肚餓
Cantonese pronunciation: Ngoh tou-ngoh.

I don't know.

"I don't know" in Chinese: 我唔知
Cantonese pronunciation: Ngoh mm jee.

I'm ill.

"I'm ill" in Chinese: 我唔舒服
Cantonese pronunciation: Ngoh mm syu-fook.

I'm (very) happy!

"I'm happy" in Chinese: 我好開心
Cantonese pronunciation: Ngoh hou hoi-sam!

Please drop me off at the next stop.

"Please drop me off at the next stop" in Chinese: 下站有落唔該
(only used when you're taking a minibus)
Cantonese pronunciation: Haa jaam yau-lok mm goi.

Excuse me, do you speak English?

"Excuse me, do you speak English"
in Chinese: 唔好意思, 你識唔識講英文?
Cantonese pronunciation: Mm-hou-yee-see, nei sik mm sik gong ying-man?

Cantonese Pronouns

Cantonese pronouns work rather differently from English pronouns. Cantonese pronouns are not inflected to indicate whether they are the subject or object of a sentence. Also, gender is not reflected in spoken Cantonese. See the list of Cantonese pronouns below.

Singular Pronouns

I/Me: 我 ngoh
You: 你 nei
He/She/It/His/Her: 佢 kui

Plural Pronouns

We/Us: 我哋 ngoh-dei
You (plural): 你哋 nei-dei
They/Them: 佢哋 kui-dei

Basic Cantonese Grammar

As different as Cantonese and English may seem, the two languages share a a number of similarities in terms of grammar and sentence structures. A basic Cantonese statement is in the form of SVO, i.e. a subject is followed by a verb then by an object. However, unlike a typical English question, a Cantonese question also keeps the SVO form. This is similar to English when we state a fact while using a rising intonation. Check out the example sentences below to learn more.

Example Sentences


Cantonese: 我ngoh(My) 個gohmeng (name)係hai(is) Sally

 English: My name is Sally

Cantonese: 我ngoh(I)嚟自lai-ji(come from)英國ying-gwok(Britain)。

English: I come from Britain.

Cantonese: 你nei(you)係hai(are)邊個been-goh(who)?

English: Who are you?

Cantonese: 你nei(your)屋企uk-kei(home)係hai(is)邊度been-dou(where)?

English: Where is your home?

Cantonese:  你nei(you)鍾唔鍾意jung mm jung-yee(like or not like)足球juk-kau(football)?

English: Do you like football?

Cantonese: 你nei(you)想唔想seung mm seung(want or not want)跳舞tiu-mou(dance)?

English: Do you want to dance?