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How to say thank you in Cantonese?
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How to say thank you in Cantonese?

Are you confused with how to say thank you in Cantonese?  As both verb(動詞)唔該 [m4 goi1] and 多謝 [do1 ze6] mean “thank you”, do you know when to use 唔該 [m4 goi1] and when to use 多謝 [do1 ze6]?  In this lesson, two basic ways for saying thank you in Cantonese will be introduced.

Thank you in Cantonese: 唔該 [m4 goi1]

The first way to say thank you in Cantonese is 唔該 [m4 goi1].  You should use 唔該 [m4 goi1] if someone has done you a favor.

m4 goi1 saai3 nei5 aa3

唔該晒你啊。

Thank you very much.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixObjectParticle
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNounParticle
Words in sentence/唔該

 

Particle(助詞)啊 [aa3] can be used to soften a sentence.  To learn more about particle 啊 [aa3], you may refer to Unit 7 Lesson 9, Unit 8 Lesson 5 and Unit 12 Lesson 1.

To learn more about predicative suffix(謂詞詞尾)晒 [saai3], you may refer to Unit 4 Lesson 3.

m4 goi1 saai3 nei5 bong1 ngo5 aa3

唔該晒你幫我啊。

Thank you for helping me.

Type of sentence structurePivotal construction
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicatePredicative suffixPivotPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/VerbPredicative suffixNounVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/唔該

 

Pivotal construction(兼語式)is used here to indicate that the second predicate is the reason for the action of the first predicate to happen.  To learn more about pivotal construction(兼語式), you may refer to Unit 9 Lesson 1.

zan1 hai6 m4 goi1 saai3 nei5 aa3

真係唔該晒你啊。

Thank you so much.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePredicative suffixObjectParticle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbPredicative suffixNounParticle
Words in sentence/真係唔該

Thank you in Cantonese: 多謝 [do1 ze6]

Another way to say thank you in Cantonese is 多謝 [do1 ze6].  You should use 多謝 [do1 ze6] to say thank you if someone has given you something out of generosity.  Nevertheless, you can also use 多謝 [do1 ze6] if someone has done you a great and remarkable favor; the extent of appreciation using 多謝 [do1 ze6] in this usage is greater than using 唔該 [m4 goi1].

zan1 hai6 hou2 do1 ze6 nei5 aa3

真係好多謝你啊。

Thank you so much.

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicateObjectParticle
Part of speech/Adverb; adverbVerbNounParticle
Words in sentence/真係; 好多謝

 

hou2 do1 ze6 nei5 sung3 fan6 lai5 mat6 bei2 ngo5 aa3

好多謝你送份禮物畀我啊。

Thank you for giving me that present.

Type of sentence structurePivotal construction
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePivotPredicateComplementParticle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounClauseClauseParticle
Words in sentence/多謝送份禮物畀我

 

Again, pivotal construction(兼語式)is used here to indicate that the second predicate is the reason for the action of the first predicate to happen.

Predicate of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/份禮物

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier
Head禮物

 

份 [fan6] is a counter(量詞)and you can use a counter as a modifier(修飾語)in subordination(偏正式).

Complement of that sentence

Type of sentence structurePredicative-object
Functions in sentenceSubjectPredicateObject
Part of speech/VerbNoun
Words in sentence/

 

hou2 do1 ze6 nei5 gau3 zo2 ngo5 tiu4 meng6 aa3

好多謝你救咗我條命啊。

Thank you for saving my life.  (Saving one’s life is a great favor to one, thus 多謝 is used here)

Type of sentence structurePivotal construction
Functions in sentenceSubjectAdverbialPredicatePivotPredicatePredicative suffixObjectParticle
Part of speech/AdverbVerbNounVerbPredicative suffixNounParticle
Words in sentence/多謝我條命

 

Object of that sentence

Type of sentence structureSubordination
Modifier我條
Head

Reference

  1. 粵典。「唔該
  2. 粵典。「多謝

That’s it for this lesson for saying thank you in Cantonese.  Check out our next lesson and learn how to say sorry in Cantonese too!  If you appreciate our work, sign up now and give us a LikeCoin by clicking the LikeCoin button below 5 times.  It will empower us to create more useful contents for you in the future!

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