Learning Cantonese? Today Brendan and Nicole introduce four key verbs you'll need to talk about speaking Cantonese. You'll have heard some of these before, which is why we move fairly quickly through the basics and throw some more difficult sentences your way. These review putting statements into the negative and asking questions, and then move on to the present progressive tense. This is the tense you'll use to tell someone what you are studying, or in any other situation where the action is ongoing.

If you're completely new to Cantonese, chances are this lesson is too difficult for you. Start instead with our four Critical Phrases lessons and come back when you've covered the materials there. Our goal with this series is to introduce some basic sentences structures you'll hear again and again when using verbs in Cantonese. And by the time this series is done, you'll be ready to move on to our more advanced dialogue-based lessons.
 said on
November 8, 2011
what's the difference between saying 'ngo theng m menh' and 'ngo m menh pa'?
 said on
November 9, 2011

Thanks for your question and it is a great one!

First, about the Jyuping, I think ‘ngo theng m menh'(我聽唔明) should be 'ngo5 teng1 m4 ming4', and 'ngo m menh pa'(我唔明白) should be 'ngo5 m4 ming4 baak6'.

In terms of their differences, “我聽唔明” means "I can't understand what I heard"; and “我唔明白” simply means 'I don't understand'. The former is used when you cannot make sense of what you are listening to, say, a lecture, a professor's class, a English/Cantonese podcast and so on. The latter one can be used more broadly; you can use it virtually whenever you cannot figure out something, something you read, you hear, you watch, and the like.

Hope that these can clear your doubt :)

 said on
August 4, 2012
So does 唔好 mean "don't" in this case?
 said on
August 8, 2012

Thanks for your question at first.

In this case,"唔好" means "don't", and sometime, it also means "bad", like “呢張紙唔好” means "this paper is bad".

Hope that these can help you understand more!

 said on
August 16, 2012
what is the character for the present progressive? gan2?
 said on
September 12, 2012