Cantonese/Lesson 5

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Introduction to measuring words[edit]

Unlike English, measuring words are needed when you need to say an object. For example we only need to say a book in English, but in Cantonese, when have to put a measuring word in front of the object, like 一本書. Here is a table of some measuring words:

Measuring word Pronunciation When to use Example
bun2 a flat object, but not very thin Book書
go3 an irregular object Apple蘋果, orange橙
faai3 an irregular, flatten object cookie曲奇餅
zoeng1 a very thin and flat object paper紙, ticket飛
zek3 an animal that is not flat; non-elongated object chicken雞, cow牛, egg雞蛋, watch錶
tiu4 an animal that is flat; an elongated object fish魚, crocodile鱷魚, rope繩, belt皮帶, trousers褲, straw飲管
bou6 machine computer電腦
deoi3 pair of shoes鞋, socks (NOT trousers)
zo6 building high-rise building大廈, tower塔
嚿(正字係䊆) gau6 A piece of Use for wood 木, rice 飯 etc.

Practice[edit]

Imagine you are doing shopping and need to get some grocery from a shopkeeper. Study the following dialogues and make your own version with the above examples of measuring words:

店員:你想買乜嘢?

我:我想買一隻雞

Translation:

Shopkeeper: What would you like?

Me: I want to buy a chicken.