Want to find the best Cantonese word to describe Hong Kongers or their country? Why not learn these Cantonese adjectives 形容詞 (jing4 jung4 ci4) today?
Adjectives describe the characteristics or states of a noun. It basically modifies or describes a noun. Whenever we use adjectives, they elevate the visual quality of what we are describing and give them a more recognizable identity.
The Cantonese word for the adjective is 形容詞 (jing4 jung4 ci4). Learning Cantonese adjectives will be useful in different situations. For example, if you want to go shopping, you’ll use adjectives to describe the item you want to buy or what you’re looking for.
Adjectives can also be useful when you’re traveling. If you’re looking for a specific place or destination that you don’t know the name of, you can use words to describe it so that locals will understand what you’re talking about.
In dining or exploring Cantonese cuisine, adjectives can help you to express your food preference. Do you want your food to be spicy or not? Is it too sweet? Is your food delicious? The list goes on.
Want to learn more about Cantonese adjectives? Keep reading below!
Adjectives In Cantonese Grammar
Before we know different Cantonese adjectives, you’ll first have to learn how adjectives are used in Cantonese sentences. Here are three basic ways:
- Adjective + 嘅 + Noun
- In Cantonese, 嘅 (ge3) is usually added between an adjective and a noun. Example: 高嘅小朋友 (gou1 ge3 siu2 pang4 jau5), which means “a tall kid.” The Cantonese word means 高 (gou1) means “tall” and 小朋友 means “kid.”
- Adjective + Noun
- Sometimes, we can use a noun and an adjective together without adding 嘅 (ge3). This means that the adjective and the noun should be thought of as a single unit. Example: 高山 (gou1 saan1), which means “tall mountain” in written Cantonese. You can notice that this doesn’t contain the word 嘅 (ge).
- Noun + Be Verb + Adjective + 嘅
- Another way is putting the noun at the front when using adjectives. Example: 屋係白色嘅 uk1zi2 hai6 baak6 sik1 ge3, which means “The house is white.” The Cantonese word 屋 means “house”, 係 means “is,” and 白色 means “white”.
Basic Adjectives In Cantonese
Now, let’s learn Cantonese adjectives starting with the basic one. The following examples of adjectives will give you a basic knowledge of Cantonese adjectives. It is also a pretty good start in learning about Cantonese sentence structures. There are also provided examples of Cantonese sentences and phrases to guide you.
1. Beautiful – 靚 (Leng3)
Example Sentence: 你好靚。nei5 hou2 leng3. – You’re so beautiful.
With the tall skyscrapers and bright night lights, you’ll easily fall in love with the beauty of Hong Kong. So, the adjective that fits this is, of course, beautiful. To say beautiful in Cantonese, you can say 靚 (Leng3). You can also say that to a beautiful person you’ve met in Hong Kong.
2. Good – 好 (Hou2)
Example Sentence: 好開心見到你。(hou2 hoi1 sam1 gin3 dou2 nei5.) – Good seeing you.
The next common adjective to learn is good. The Cantonese word for that is 好 (Hou2). You can use this to describe your meal, overall condition, or a person’s characteristic. Well, most of all, being a good person is really important in their culture.
3. Red – 紅色 (Hung4 Sik1)
Example Sentence: 红色喺中国文化中好重要。(hung4 sik1 hai2 zung1 gwok3 man4 faa3 zung1 hou2 cung4 jiu3.) – Red is very important in Chinese culture.
The word “red” is translated as 紅色 (Hung4 Sik1) in Cantonese. Colors are also important adjectives, and one of the most significant colors in Chinese culture is the color red. In fact, you might be familiar with the red envelopes of Chinese, which are called 利是 (lei6 si6) and are usually seen on special occasions like weddings and Chinese New Year.
4. Tall – 高 (Gou1)
Example Sentence: 摩天大楼真系好高。(mo1 tin1 daai6 lau4 zan1 hai6 hou2 gou1.) – The skyscrapers are really tall.
When it comes to tall buildings and skyscrapers, Hong Kong is known for them. In fact, having a night view of these skyscrapers is one of the highlights of a trip to Hong Kong. So, if you have seen these tall buildings, the Cantonese word for that is 高 (Gou1).
5. Sunny – 曬 (Saai3)
Example Sentence: 今天很曬 (gam1 tin1 han2 saai3) – It is sunny today.
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate; that’s why the weather is one of the weather that locals usually experience is sunny. In Cantonese, the word for sunny is 曬 (Saai3). If you want learn more about Cantonese weather vocabulary, you can check this blog out.
6. Delicious – 好食 (Hou2 Sik6)
Example Sentence: 啲嘢好好食. (di1 je5 hou2 hou2 sik6) – The food is delicious.
You couldn’t miss tasting the Cantonese cuisine when you go to Hong Kong. So, you might need to learn how to say delicious in Cantonese. The Cantonese word for delicious is 好食 (Hou2 Sik6).
7. Right/Correct – 正確 (Zing3 Kok3)
Example Sentence: 呢个系正确嘅咩? (ne1 go3 hai6 zing3 kok3 ge3 me1?)- Is this correct?
The next Cantonese adjective that you should learn is “right or correct” or 正確 (Zing3 Kok3) in Cantonese. This is really helpful, especially when you’re learning Cantonese when you wanna know if you’ve got the right meaning of the words or phrases.
8. Easy – 易 (Ji6)
Example Sentence: 廣東話好得意，又易學! (gwong2 dung1 waa2 hou2 dak1 ji3, jau6 ji6 hok6!) – Cantonese is fun and easy to learn!
The adjective easy 易 (Ji6) is also a common word that you’ll hear every day. It can be used when you want to try doing something for the first time, like learning Cantonese.
9. Expensive – 貴 (Gwai3)
Example Sentence: 太貴喇. (taai3 gwai3 laa3.) – It was too expensive.
The Cantonese word for expensive is 貴 (Gwai3). With Hong Kong being an economic powerhouse, it’s not surprising that there are lots of great stuff that you can buy, but it can be too expensive. So, if you’re in Hong Kong and you’re into buying expensive designer items or branded items, you’ll surely love it.
10. Smart – 聰明 (Cung1 Ming4)
Example Sentence: 你好叻! (nei5 hou2 lek1!) – You’re smart!
The adjective smart 聰明 (Cung1 Ming4) is also one of the most commonly used adjectives. This word does not just describe people with high IQ, but it can also be used to describe people who are street smart or other kinds of smart.
11. Fast – 快 (Faai3)
Example Sentence: 我諗我哋進展得太快。(ngo5 lam2 ngo5 dei6 zeon3 zin2 dak1 taai3 faai3.) – I think we’re moving too fast.
Hong Kong cities are one of the busiest and fast-moving cities in the world. Everything is fast-moving, like the people, the transportation, and even transactions. So, it would be ideal to learn the Cantonese word for fast. In Cantonese, they say 快 (Faai3).
12. Friendly – 親切 (Can1 Cit3)
Example Sentence: 當地人好友善。(dong1 dei6 jan4 hou2 jau5 sin6) – The local people are very friendly.
If you visit Hong Kong and you don’t have any friends yet, it’s better to be friendly 親切 (Can1 Cit3). Making friends with the locals is really one of the most amazing things that can happen.
13. Tired – 攰 (Gui6)
Example Sentence: 我好攰。ngo5 hou2 gui6 – I’m tired.
Traveling around Hong Kong can be tiring and exhausting. So, you should also learn how to say the adjective for “tired.” In Cantonese, they say 攰 (Gui6) for the adjective. You can use it to have a rest when you’re tired.
14. Clean – 乾淨 (Gon1 Zing6)
Example Sentence: 呢個國家好乾淨。(ni1 go3 gwok3 gaa1 hou2 gon1 zing6) – This country is very clean.
Did you know that in 2021, Hong Kong ranked 3rd for health security in the world? When we talk about adjectives, it’s impossible not to include the word clean, and the Cantonese word for that is 乾淨 (Gon1 Zeng6).
15. Happy – 開心 (Hoi1 Sam1)
Example Sentence: 我好開心. (ngo5 hou2 hoi1 sam1.) – I’m happy.
We will end this list of basic adjectives in Cantonese with the adjective happy. At the end of the day, we all want to see ourselves and the people around us happy. A survey done in Hong Kong at the end of 2021 showed that about 29% of the people who lived there said they were happy in the past year. This showed that people were much happier than they had been in the previous two years.
List Of Adjectives In The Cantonese Language
After learning the basic Cantonese adjectives, let’s now learn some more. Here are lists of Cantonese adjectives by category. You can write them on your notes and practice their pronunciation.
Cantonese Adjectives For Numbers, Values, And Sizes
In a place as developed as Hong Kong, it’s important that you learn Cantonese adjectives with connections to numbers, values, and sizes. Here are some of them:
Cantonese Adjectives For Characteristics, Appearance, And Conditions
The main purpose of adjectives is o describe a noun, so here are the Cantonese adjectives with connections to characteristics, appearance, and conditions:
|強壯||koeng4 zong3||strong (physically)|
Cantonese Adjectives For Weather And Temperature
When traveling, weather and temperature are a big deal. So, here are some Cantonese adjectives that you can use to describe weather and temperature.
Cantonese Adjectives For Colors
Colors are important in our daily lives. Aside from improving the visual appearance of everything, it also makes everything alive. Here are the Cantonese effects for colors. You can also read this blog if you want to learn more about Cantonese colors.
|粉紅色||fan2 hung4 sik1||pink|
Cantonese Adjectives For Taste And Flavors
Who doesn’t love food? Well, traveling to different countries and places will let you taste their local cuisine. So, learn these Cantonese adjectives for tastes and flavors.
Cantonese Adjectives For Feelings And Emotions
One of the hardest things when you’re in a foreign land, is expressing how you feel. That’s why learning Cantonese adjectives for feelings and emotions is important.
|有同情心||jau5 tung4 cing4 sam1||compassionate|
|有活力||jau5 wut6 lik6||energetic|
|有想像力||jau5 soeng2 zoeng6 lik6||imaginative|
|有耐性||jau5 noi6 sing3||patient|
Start Your Cantonese Lesson Now!
You have now learned different Cantonese adjectives. It’s a pretty good start to learning more about the Cantonese adjectives. With that, why not start your first Cantonese lesson now and understand more about Cantonese sentence structure and more? Good thing when it comes to learning languages, Ling App can help you with that.
There’s so much to learn when learning a new language like Cantonese, not just adjectives. You need to develop all your language skills like listening, speaking, reading, and more. Ling App has a lot of features that can help you improve these skills. You can also read blog posts like this on the website. With these features and resources, language learning would be a lot easier.
So, if you want to speak and use Cantonese like a native speaker, learn Cantonese with Ling App now!