Introduction and Farewell

/Neih/ gwai sing a?

What is your (honorable) surname?


/Neih/ giu -mat-/yeh /mehng/ a?

What is your name?

(What are you called?)


/Ngoh/ sing ~

/Ngoh/ /siu/ sing ~

/Ngoh/ giu ~

My name is ~

Joi gin

See you


Baai /baai/.

bye bye


Formality and respect

In Cantonese it is polite and customary to first ask a person's surname. While the translation to English may appear overly formal, Chinese culture demands the honorific "gwai".

In Cantonese, "/Neih/ gwai sing a?" can be shortened to "Gwai sing?"

The Reply #2 in the pattern above, "/Ngoh/ /siu/ sing ____" is both polite and formal. The humble "/siu/" has the exact opposite meaning as "gwai". While using this answer may make a good impression in some situations, it is generally too formal and is not used much in modern society.

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