Cantonese Vocabulary

The Cantonese vocabulary is the backbone for learning. Below we picked 70% of the most commonly used words. Therefore memorizing them will give you a 70% boost in the language. This is the smarter way of online learning. Learn only what you need. We start with commonly used numbers.

One:   [jat1] Audio Two:   [ji6 ] Audio
Three:   [saam1] Audio Four:   [sei3  ] Audio
Five:   [ng5] Audio Six:   [luk6] Audio
Seven:   [cat1 ] Audio Eight:   [baat3 ] Audio
Nine:   [gau2  ] Audio Ten:   [sap6  ] Audio
First: 第一  [dai6 jat1 ] Audio Second: 第二  [dai6 ji6] Audio

Time Expressions

Days of the week and time expressions:

Monday: 星期一  [seng1 gei1 jat1] Audio Tuesday: 星期二  [seng1 gei1 ji6  ] Audio
Wednesday: 星期三  [seng1 gei1 saam1] Audio Thursday: 星期四  [seng1 gei1 sei3] Audio
Friday: 星期五  [seng1 gei1 ng5  ] Audio Saturday: 星期六  [seng1 gei1 luk6] Audio
Sunday: 星期日  [seng1 gei1 jat6  ] Audio Now: 現在  [jin6 zoi6  ] Audio
Yesterday: 昨天  [zok3 tin1] Audio Today: 今天  [gam1 tin1] Audio
Tonight: 今晚  [gam1 maan5  ] Audio Tomorrow: 明天  [ming4 tin1] Audio


Most popular fruits and vegetables:

Fruits: 生果  [saang1 gu2] Audio Apples: 蘋果  [pan4 gu2 ] Audio
Bananas: 香蕉  [hoeng1 ziu1 ] Audio Tomatoes: 蕃茄  [faan4 gaa1] Audio
Potatoes: 薯仔  [syu4 zai2  ] Audio Onions: 洋葱  [joeng4 cung1] Audio

Colors that we think are very important to remember:

Red: 紅色  [gung1 sik1] Audio Green: 綠色  [luk6 sik1] Audio
Blue: 藍色  [laam4 sik1] Audio White: 白色  [baak6 sik1] Audio
Black: 黑色  [haak1 sik1] Audio Grey: 灰色  [fui1 sik1] Audio

Some words related to food:

Breakfast: 早餐  [zou2 caan1] Audio Lunch: 午餐  [ng5 caan1 ] Audio
Dinner: 晚餐  [maan5 caan1  ] Audio Milk: 牛奶  [ngau4 naai1] Audio
Coffee: 咖啡  [gaa1 fe1] Audio Bread: 麵包  [min6 baau1  ] Audio


Weather terms and sensations:

Sunny: 天晴  [tin1 ceng4] Audio Windy: 有風  [jau5 fung1] Audio
Rainy: 正在下雨  [zeng3 zoi6 haa5 jyu5] Audio Snowy: 正在下雪  [zeng3 zoi6 haa5 syut3] Audio
Cold:   [laang5  ] Audio Hot:   [jit6] Audio

Words related to family and relatives:

Boy: 男孩  [naam4 haai4 ] Audio Girl: 女孩  [jyu5 haai4 ] Audio
Son: 兒子  [ji4 zi2] Audio Daughter: 女兒  [jyu5 ji4  ] Audio
Brother: 兄弟  [hing1 dai6  ] Audio Sister: 姐姊妹  [ze2 mui6 ] Audio
Man: 男人  [naam4 jan4] Audio Woman: 女人  [jyu5 jan4 ] Audio
Father: 爸爸  [baa1 baa1 ] Audio Mother: 媽媽  [maa1 maa1 ] Audio
Grandfather: 祖父, 外祖父  [zou2 fu2 ngoi6 zou2 fu2] Audio Grandmother: 祖母, 外祖母  [zou2 mou5 ngoi6 zou2 mou5] Audio

Locations in the house which are talked about more during the day:

House:   [nguk1] Audio Toilet: 廁所  [cak1 so2 ] Audio
Room: 房間  [fong2 gaan1 ] Audio Bedroom: 睡房  [seoi6 fong2 ] Audio
Kitchen: 廚房  [ceoi4 fong2 ] Audio Table:   [coek3 ] Audio

Animals and pets popular to everyone:

Cat:   [maau1  ] Audio Dog:   [gau2 ] Audio
Mouse: 老鼠  [lou5 syu2] Audio Bird:   [niu5] Audio
Cow:   [ngau4  ] Audio Horse:   [maa5 ] Audio

The clothes most worn by most people:

Socks: 襪子  [maat6 zi2  ] Audio Shoes:   [haai4  ] Audio
Trousers:   [fu3  ] Audio Shirt: 恤衫  [seot1 saam1] Audio
Sweater: 汗衫  [hon4 saam1] Audio Coat: 外套  [ngoi6 tou3  ] Audio

Most popular languages in the world:

English: 英文  [jing1 man4  ] Audio French: 法文  [faat3 man4] Audio
German: 徳文  [dak1 man4 ] Audio Spanish: 西班牙文  [sai1 baan1 ngaa4 man4  ] Audio
Italian: 意大利文  [ji3 daai6 lei6 man4] Audio Portuguese: 葡萄牙文  [pou4 tou4 ngaa4 man4] Audio
Greek: 希臘語  [hei1 laap6 jyu5  ] Audio Russian: 俄語  [ngo4 jyu5] Audio
Arabic: 阿拉伯語  [aa2 laa1 baa3 jyu5  ] Audio Hindi: 印度語  [jan3 dok6 jyu5] Audio
Chinese: 中文  [zung1 man4  ] Audio Japanese: 日文  [jat6 man4 ] Audio


Travel Vocabulary

Most popular terms when traveling:

Taxi: 的士  [di1 si6 ] Audio Bus: 巴士  [baa1 si6] Audio
Hotel: 酒店  [zau2 dim3 ] Audio Reservation: 訂位  [deng6 wai2 ] Audio
Airport: 機場  [gei1 coeng4] Audio Passport: 旅行證件  [leoi5 haang4 zing3 gin6 ] Audio

Words you can use in class or talking about school:

Student: 學生  [hok6 saang1 ] Audio Teacher: 老師  [lou5 si1 ] Audio
Pen:   [bat1 ] Audio Books:   [] Audio
Page:   [jip6 ] Audio Dictionary: 字典  [zi6 din2 ] Audio

Body parts which are talked about more often:

Hand:   [sau2  ] Audio Feet:   [goek3  ] Audio
Hair: 頭髮  [tau4 faat3  ] Audio Eye: 眼睛  [ngaan5 zing1  ] Audio
Mouth:   [hau2] Audio Nose:   [bei6  ] Audio

Emergency vocabulary to ask for help or offer help when needed:

Ambulance: 救護車  [gau3 wu6 ce1 ] Audio Doctor: 醫生  [ji1 saang1] Audio
Hospital: 醫院  [ji1 jyun2 ] Audio Pharmacy: 藥房  [joek6 fong2 ] Audio
Police: 警察  [ging2 caat3] Audio Stomach Ache: 胃痛  [wai6 tung3 ] Audio

As you can see, this Cantonese vocabulary is something you will need every day. You can use our Vocabulary Trainer to help you memorize these words.

Learn Cantonese

Cantonese Phrases


Did you know? People use only a small amount of their vocabulary on a daily basis. The rest of the words are either unused or not used often.