1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Cantonese Short Lesson 3: ✎ B…


Cantonese Short Lesson 3: ✎ Basic Verbs! ✎

Welcome to the third lesson of this amazing language! Today, you will be taught some very frequently used verbs in everyday usage.

In Cantonese, the same verb is used for every single pronoun! There is no infinitive, as it is the same verb! For example, the verb 'to eat' is (hek, but without the 'k' sound). So, ‘the man eats' is 這個男人, 'Eat faster!' is 得快!, and 'Eating ice-cream is good' is 冰淇淋是好的

Other common verbs include:

-> 'to drink' (hok, but without the 'k' sound)

-> 'to do' (jo)

-> 'to have' (yow)

-> 'to go' (houi)

喜歡 -> 'to like' (hay foon)

-> 'to be' (se:)

需要 -> 'to need' (soui yeew)

Thank you for reading this. Questions are welcome!

January 26, 2017



I thought to eat 食 was pronounced "sihk" (using Yale transliteration) was more commonly used. My wife is from Kowloon and that is the word she uses. I think 吃 (hek) might be more formal and more often used in writing.


Yes, and I agree that that is the more commonly used term in everyday conversations. But the Cantonese concerned in this course is the written version. Many people have suggested putting the pronunciation for each word, and thus I have done so.


The reality is, if you teach the written form, people just need to learn Mandarin. They should learn how to speak and listen before reading. This is an opinion from a Cantonese native speaker.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.