Past Tense

Cantonese Lesson 14 (Past Tense & Colors)

Duration: 30 mins

This 14th lesson deals with the past tense in Cantonese. In addition I included a vocabulary list about colors, as well as some basic phrases. I will try to give examples using both vocabulary and grammar. That way it will be easy for you to see the words when they are separate and when they are in a sentence. Going through the whole page should take about 30 min. Make sure to read the pronunciation and hear the audio as well. If you have any question about this course, please email me directly at Cantonese Classes.


The past is one of the 3 tenses (present, past, and future) we will be discussing in the next 3 lessons. So it is recommended not to skip any of them because they are all related.

Below is a list of 15 sentences conjugated into the past tense. I focused on the examples you might come across or use very often. The table contains 3 columns (English, Cantonese, and Audio). Make sure you repeat each word after hearing it by either clicking on the audio button or by reading the pronunciation. That should help with memorization as well as improving your pronunciation.

Past Tense in Cantonese

Past Cantonese
I saw you我(之前)見過你
ngo5 (zi1 cin4 )gin3 gwo3 nei5 
I wrote with a pen我(以前)用枝筆寫字。
ngo5 (ji5 cin4 )jung6 zi1 bat1 se2 zi6 。
You loved apples你(以前)鍾意蘋果
nei5 (ji5 cin4 )zung1 ji3 ping4 gwo2 
You gave money你(以前)俾過錢
nei5 (ji5 cin4 )bei2 gwo3 cin2 
You played tennis你(以前)打過網球
nei5 (ji5 cin4 )daa2 gwo3 mong5 kau4 
He read (past tense) a book佢(以前)睇過本書
keoi5 (ji5 cin4 )tai2 gwo3 bun2 syu1 
He understood me佢(以前)明白我
keoi5 (ji5 cin4 )ming4 baak6 ngo5 
She had a cat佢(以前)有隻貓
keoi5 (ji5 cin4 )jau5 zek3 maau1 
She knew my friend佢(以前)識我嘅朋友
keoi5 (ji5 cin4 )sik1 ngo5 ge3 pang4 jau5 
We wanted to learn我哋(以前)想學
ngo5 dei2 (ji5 cin4 )soeng2 hok6 
We thought Spanish is easy我哋(以前)覺得西班牙文好易
ngo5 dei2 (ji5 cin4 )gok3 dak1 sai1 baan1 ngaa4 man4 hou2 ji6 
You (plural) worked here你哋(以前)喺度做野
nei5 dei2 (ji5 cin4 )hai2 dou6 zou6 je5 
You (plural) spoke French你哋(以前)講法文
nei5 dei2 (ji5 cin4 )gong2 faat3 man4 
They drove a car佢哋(以前)揸車
keoi5 dei2 (ji5 cin4 )zaa1 ce1 
They smiled佢哋(以前)笑
keoi5 dei2 (ji5 cin4 )siu3 


If you have any questions, please contact me using the Cantonese contact form on the header above.

List of Colors in Cantonese

Below is a list of 18 words and expressions related to colors.

Colors in Cantonese

Colors Cantonese
hak1 sik1 
laam4 sik1 
fe1 sik1 
ngaan4 sik1 
Dark color深色
sam1 sik1 
fui1 sik1 
luk6 sik1 
Light color淺色
cin2 sik1 
caang2 sik1 
hung4 sik1 
baak6 sik1 
wong4 sik1 


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Daily Conversation in Cantonese

Finally, here are some common sentences to strengthen your conversation skills. For a complete list of commonly used sentences, please visit our Cantonese Phrases page. Enjoy!

Common Expressions in Cantonese

English Cantonese
Black is his favorite color佢最鍾意黑色
keoi5 zeoi3 zung1 ji3 hak1 sik1 
I have black hair我嘅頭髮係黑色嘅
ngo5 ge3 tau4 faat3 hai6 hak1 sik1 ge3 
Red is not his favorite color紅色唔係佢鍾意嘅顏色
hung4 sik1 m4 hai6 keoi5 zung1 ji3 ge3 ngaan4 sik1 
She drives a yellow car佢揸一架黃色車
keoi5 zaa1 jat1 gaa3 wong4 sik1 ce1 
The sky is blue天空係藍色嘅
tin1 hung1 hai6 laam4 sik1 ge3 
Your cat is white你隻貓係白色嘅
nei5 zek3 maau1 hai6 baak6 sik1 ge3 
I enjoyed myself very much我好鐘意自己一個
ngo5 hou2 zung1 ji3 zi6 gei2 jat1 go3 
I agree with you我同意你嘅睇法
ngo5 tung4 ji3 nei5 ge3 tai2 faat3 
Are you sure?你肯定?
nei5 hang2 ding6 ?
Be careful!小心
siu2 sam1 
siu3 haak3 laa1 !
Would you like to go for a walk?你想唔想去散步?
nei5 soeng2 m4 soeng2 heoi3 saan3 bou6 ?

Fun Facts

Language Quote: ❝To have another language is to possess a second soul.❞ ‒Charlemagne

Congratulations! You finished your 14th lesson in Cantonese about the past tense, and a vocabulary list about colors. Are you ready for the next lesson? We recommend Cantonese Lesson 15. You can also simply click on one of the links below or go back to our Learn Cantonese homepage.