How to Say Please in Cantonese

There are two words that means “Please” in Cantonese:

  1. ? ? ? ?    (this may also mean ask or invite)
  2. ??    (this phrase can also mean “Thank you”. Literately it means “not deserved” or “should not (bother you). ”  )

We can use them interchangeably.   The first form is more formal.


1. Please open your books:   ???????cing2 daa2 hoi1 nei5 ge3 syu1

2. Please say that again ?once more ?:  ???????? m4 goi1 nei5 gong2 do1 jat1 ci3

or we can also say  ???????cing2nei5 gong2 do1 jat1 ci3

3. Could you say that again, please?:  ????????????  m4 goi1 nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 gong2 do1 jat1 ci3

or we can say: ???????????     ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 cing2nei5gong2 do1 jat1 ci3

?? = can ; could

???? = could or could not; can or cannot

Other Usage of ?

  • ??   verb.   invite    ;  noun.  invitation.
    e.g.   May I ask/invite you to come to my home?
    ?????????????ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 jiu1 cing2 nei5 loi4 ngo5 nguk1 kei5
  • ??  ask for leave
    e.g. ???????   I want to ask for (sick) leave.  ngo5 soeng2 cing2 beng6 gaa3
    ? = sick
  • ??  Could you please tell (me/us) ..?
    e.g.  Could you tell me where is the toilet?  ????????   cing2 man6 ci3 so2 hai2 bin1 dou6
    … ????  = where is … ?







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