Becoming Emotional

In basic conversation feelings are quite important. People ask how you are usually within the first portion of a conversation.

I think in politically correct form you’d use 我係。。。but people seem to miss out the 係. Also, 好 is used before the feeling or emotion which means “very”. I guess it’s the emphasis you put on 好 which implies the degree of the feeling, or use the work. You can also use 幾 (gei2) to imply a state of “alright”, as in “幾好”. I think this can be used to replace 好。

As a general rule you can place 唔 infront of a feeling in order to imply the opposite.


ngo5 gok3 dak1

I feel



hoi1 sam1









syu1 fuk6


I use this all of the time when we go for a massage in Shenzhen. Its vertially the only thing I can say apart from 好疼 (tang4) which means that “it hurts”. Use 唔舒服 to imply that you are not well, you are in theory not comfortable, but you wouldn’t say this to mean you are ill in English. There are a lot of little things like this that sometimes through you, and it means you can’t just translate English directly to Cantonese, or vice versa.



faat3 haau4








I’ve also seen it written 癐 in the dictionary, but none of my local friends recognise it.


There are a lot more, but these are the main ones I use. I should probably come up with a more comprehensive list in the future as something to learn and widen my vocabulary.  Have a look here.

What I noticed about the characters themselves is the way in which they are comprised. Look at 嬲- two boys 男 either side of a girl 女.  HK Cantonese brought this up in a Facebook post a while back:


“Chinese languages maybe the most “sexist” in this world. Let’s count how many negative meaning characters with woman radical 女!

妨(interfere), 妒(jealous), 嫉(jealous) 女姦(rape) , 奸(cunning), 妖(evil), 婪(greed)…

What is “jealous” in Chinese?

1 .女+戶 a woman and a house! XD

2. 女+疾 a woman with disease (who knows what disease? bipolar)


Chinese language is a “sexist” language. What’s “marriage”?

姻 = 女(woman) + 因 (a man on a mat. The picture skews the meaning like putting a man into a jail. XD)

Marriage = woman + a man on a mat (on a bed? XD)


‎”Sexist Chinese Language” continue…So there’s a character called 嫐 (female+male+female) meaning “to flirt/play with” but its pronunciation is same as 惱 (frustration).


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