Love is a pretty inexplicable subject – it can make you feel happy, excited, and many other emotions. Considering the wide range of feelings you are experiencing, how can you properly express your love in Cantonese to that special someone?
In this article, we will not only cover the most common love phrases like "I miss you" and "I love you" in Cantonese, but we will also teach you how to express your care and affection in every phase of your life. Your relationship. As a bonus, we'll share some love quotes at the end (but we don't recommend using them in your love life unless you want to sound... cheesy).
Bear in mind that most Hong Kongers (and others who live in Cantonese-speaking areas) are more subtle and reserved when it comes tolove and datingcompared to Westerners. So pay attention to cultural differences, practice patience and be kind.
By the way: if you want to keep things casual at first, there are plenty ofdating appsout there for you to try.
Without further ado, our list of Cantonese love phrases for every stage of dating.
table of contents
- before a date
- on a date
- after a date
- Falling Deep: "I Love You" and More
- Go one step further: "Will you marry me?" and more
- Bonus: Cuddles and Love Quotes
- How CantoneseClass101.com can help you learn more Cantonese
1. Before an appointment
You just saw your crush! Now is the time to step up and talk to him or her.
We've compiled a list of phrases that can help you express your interest and finally invite your crush. You shouldn't feel too uncomfortable when making your move, as having lunch or dinner with someone of the opposite sex is quite normal in Hong Kong.
Are you free this weekend?
Chinese characters:Are you busy at the end of this week?
romanization:nei5 gam1 go3 lai5 baai3 mei5 dak1 m4 dak1 haan4
Would you like to go out with me?
Chinese characters:Let's Play?
romanization:ngo5 dei6 heoi3 waan2 hou2 m4 hou2
Would you like to go out to dinner with me?
Chinese characters:Would you like to eat with me?
romanization:soeng2 min2 tung4 ngo5 sik6 caan1 faan6 maa3
I know a good place.
Chinese characters:I know a good place.
romanization:ngo5 zi1 dou3 jat1 go3 hou2 dei6 fong1
What time will we meet tomorrow?
Chinese characters:What time do we hear the date?
romanization:ngo5 dei6 ting1 jat6 joek3 gei2 dim2
Where can we meet?
Chinese characters:Where are we waiting?
romanization:ngo5 dei6 hai2 bin1 dou6 dang2
- → Do you need more inspiration? Here they areTop 10 Cantonese romantic date ideas!
2. On a date
Live! You're on your first date and you're having a great time. And what better way to make a great dateEven betterthan offering her some genuine compliments? Here are some phrases you can use:
You are so Beautiful.
Chinese characters:Hello handsome.
romanization:nei5 hou2 len3 zai2
Additional note:This should only be said to men.
You are so beautiful.
Chinese characters:You're so beautiful
romanization:nei5 hou2 len3
Additional note:That's just to tell women.
You look great today.
Chinese characters:You are in a good mood today.
romanization:nei5 gam1 jat6 hou2 zing1 san4
That jacket suits you.
Chinese characters:A coat suits you.
romanization:gin6 ngoi6 tou3 hou2 can3 nei5
Has a great sense of humor.
Chinese characters:You're so funny.
romanization:nei5 hou2 jau1 mak6
Your smile is precious.
Chinese characters:Your smile is so beautiful.
romanization:nei5 ge3 siu3 jung4 hou2 leng3
It tastes good.
Chinese characters:It tastes good.
romanization:nei5 hou2 jau5 ban2 mei6
You have a way with words.
Chinese characters:You know what to say.
romanization:nei5 hou2 sik1 dak1 gong2 je5
You are beautiful.
Chinese characters:you are beautiful.
romanization:nei5 hou2 ho2 oi3
- → If you want a few more phrases up your sleeve, here are someCommon Cantonese Phrases You'll Need for a Dateand an article discussing20+ Most Useful Compliments in Cantonese!
3. After a date
You guys had so much fun! You want to end the date well and leave a good impression, and you look forward to seeing them more. Here are some phrases you can use:
That was a great night.
Chinese characters:Have fun tonight.
romanization:gam1 maan5 hou2 hoi1 sam1
I'll take you home.
Chinese characters:I will take you back home.
romanization:ngo5 ce1 nei5 faan1 uk1 kei2
What do you think of this place?
Chinese characters:What do you think?
romanization:nei5 gok3 dak1 ni1 dou6 dim2
Can I see you again?
Chinese characters:Can I ask you out again?
romanization:ngo5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 zoi3 joek3 nei5
When can I see you again?
Chinese characters:When can I see you again?
romanization:gei2 si4 ho2 ji5 zoi3 gin3 nei5
I will call you.
Chinese characters:I call you.
romanization:ngo5 daa2 bei2 nei5
4. Falling Deep: "I Love You" and More
Their relationship has progressed well since their first meeting. In fact, you have completely fallen in love with him or her! Try using the following Cantonese love expressions to show how much you love them.
Chinese characters:I like.
romanization:ngo5 zung1 ji3 nei5
I love you.
Chinese characters:I love you.
romanization:ngo5 ngoi3 nei5
Note that Cantonese speakers rarely use the exact phrase for "I love you" as it is considered too formal. Instead, we use the first sentence—我鍾意你 (ngo5 zung1 ji3 nei5), or “I like you”, to express our love. The word 鍾意 conveys a feeling of affection without sounding too strong. In fact, we can also use this phrase to talk about some of our favorite things. For example:
I like egg tart (ngo5 zung1 ji3 sik6 daan6 taat1) – “I like custard tarts.”
Chinese characters:I'm so attached to you.
romanization:ngo5 hou2 gwaa3 zyu6 nei5
You made me a better person.
Chinese characters:You make me a better person.
romanization:nei5 ling6 ngo5 sing4 wai4 jat1 go3 gang3 hou2 ge3 jan4
- → Find even sweeter words and phrases in our list of15 Love Quotes for Valentine's Day.
5. Take it a step further: "Will you marry me?" and more
Things are going so well, and yousabrethat he or she is the one. How do you tell them you want to spend your life with them? Check below the lines of the marriage proposal and other romantic phrases!
We're going to spend the rest of our lives together.
Chinese characters:I want to spend the rest of my life with you.
romanization:ngo5 soeng2 tung4 nei5 gwo3 maai4 haa6 bun3 sai3
I want to grow old with you.
Chinese characters:I want to grow old with you forever.
romanization:ngo5 soeng2 tung4 nei5 baak6 tau4 dou3 lou5
I can't imagine my life without you. / I can't afford to lose you.
Chinese characters:I can not live without you.
romanization:ngo5 m4 ho2 ji5 mou5 zo2 nei5
Would you do me the honor of becoming my wife?
Chinese characters:Would you like to be my wife?
romanization:nei5 jyun6 m4 jyun6 ji3 zou6 ngo5 lou5 po4
I wanna be with you forever.
Chinese characters:I wanna be with you forever.
romanization:ngo5 soeng2 wing5 jyun5 tung4 nei5 jat1 cai4
Will you marry me?
Chinese characters:Do you want to marry me?
romanization:nei5 jyun6 m4 jyun6 ji3 gaa3 bei2 ngo5
Having you by my side completes me.
Chinese characters:With you by my side, my world is complete at first.
romanization:jau5 nei5 hai2 ngo5 san1 bin1, ngo5 ge3 sai3 gaai3 sin1 syun3 jyun4 zing2
- → See moreCantonese marriage proposal linesand pick your favorites for the big time!
6. Bonus: Cuddles and Love Quotes
There are two common terms of endearment you can use to refer to your boyfriend or girlfriend:
- BED & BREAKFAST (bi4 bi1) – “Babe” [can be used in both text messages and face-to-face conversations]
- stupid pig (so4 zyu1) – "Tonto"
And if you two are married, you can call each other:
- wife (lou5 po4) - "Wife"
- husband (lou5 gung1) – "Husband"
To conclude the article, we would like to share our favorite love quotes in Cantonese:
love is great...
1 – All meetings in the world are reunions after a long absence.
romanization:jan4 sai3 gaan1 so2 jau5 ge3 soeng1 jyu6, dou1 hai6 gau2 bit6 cung4 fung4
Literal translation:All encounters in life are reunions after long periods apart.
More about the nomination
- Meaning:The quote explainsYuanfen, a similar concept to Karma. The message behind it is that we should cherish those we love, but if we try our best and still end up apart, all we can do is accept the fact.
- Elaboration:It's a famous quote fromThe director, a film directed by internationally renowned Hong Kong film directorWong Kar-Wai. We used the quote to comfort a friend who is having relationship issues.
- Additional Notes:The directorit is Wong's most expensive production to date. Watch the movie trailer.here!
…and yes, you can get hurt sometimes…
2 – There are a lot of people in the world, and you will always fall in love with some naughty ones.
romanization:seng4 sai3 ene4 lau4 lau4 coeng4, zung2 wui5 oi3 soeng5 gei2 go3 ene4 zaa1
Literal translation:Life is long, no wonder we fall for a few scoundrels in our lives.
More about the nomination
- Elaboration:It's a famous quote from the movie.love in the breath. We used this quote to comfort a friend who was betrayed by her lover.
- Additional Notes:You can learn more about love and relationships in Hong Kong by watching the sequel to this film,love in the chandelier- you can see his trailerhere!
- Equivalent citation:"We are all fools in love." (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen)
…but you have to be brave, because love is the greatest thing in the world!
3 - The greatest distance in the world is not between life and death, but when I'm in front of you, but you don't know that I love you.
romanization:sai3 gaai3 soeng6 zeoi3 jiu4 jyun5 ge3 keoi5 lei4, m4 hai6 sang1 tung4 sei2, ji4 hai6 ngo5 kei5 hai2 nei5 min6 cin4, nei5 koek3 m4 zi1 dou3 ngo5 oi3 nei5
Literal translation:The greatest distance in this world is not life and death. It's just that I'm in front of you, but you don't know that I love you.
More about the nomination
- Elaboration:This quote is from the Hong Kong authorAmy Cheung. We use this quote to encourage a friend to express their love.
- Additional Notes:Amy Cheung is one of Hong Kong's most popular writers and is well known in Chinese communities for her books on love and relationships. She was named one of the top ten richest Chinese authors in 2013!
- Equivalent citation:If you love someone, tell them. Because hearts are often broken by unspoken words. (Stephanie Roogle)
7. How CantoneseClass101.com can help you learn more Cantonese
By now, you should be well equipped to express your love in the Cantonese language! Which of these phrases or quotes is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!
After mastering these love phrases, would you like to learn even more Cantonese to better communicate with your lover?
SwindlerCantoneseClass101.com, you can take your daily dose of Cantonese whenever and wherever you like throughmobile apps, desktop software eOur site. We offer fun, engaging and effective classes in various aspects of the Cantonese language.and culture.
So far, we have taught over 750,000,000 lessons to thousands of satisfied students around the world. You can learn Cantonese with over 1060 audio and video lessons taught by our experienced and energetic hosts, detailed PDF lesson notes, a wealth ofvocabulary learning tools, spaced repetition flashcards and alively communityto discuss the lessons with colleagues. What are you waiting for? Download our lessons, enjoy our audio and video files and start learning now!
Please note that if you prefer a one-to-one approach to learning and want to speed up your Cantonese learning even further, you can take advantage ofour My Teacher program!
Know that your hard workwillpowerit's worth it and before you know it, you'll be speaking Cantonese like a native!
1. I love You: 我愛你 (Ngo5 Oi3 Nei5) This is the common way to say I love you in Cantonese. Ngo5 Oi3 Nei5 (我愛你) literally means “I love you” in English.What is Cantonese slang for girlfriend? ›
女朋友 (neoi5 pang4 jau5) girlfriend (noun)How do Chinese people say I love you? ›
Or you can use the number to convey your feelings,
520 (wǔ èr líng) = 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ) “I love you.”
初戀 (co1 lyun2 | chu1 lian4) : first love; puppy love - CantoDict. This term is used in both Cantonese and Mandarin/Standard written Chinese.What is Cantonese Hou Sai Lei? ›
Hou Sai Lei (You are awesome) | First Cantonese Workshop.What does Hai La mean in Cantonese? ›
It is similar to saying “Do you agree?” or “What do you think?”. Then there is “lor”, a subtle way to express doubt but being non-committal at the same time. You can also inject “hai lah”, which means “yes, I agree” or “OK” and “si dan” (whatever) but do make sure you end it with a drawl to sound convincingly native.How do you say love at first sight in Cantonese? ›
一見鍾情 (Jat1 Gin3 Zung1 Cing4) – Love At First Sight.What is beautiful lady in Cantonese? ›
(chiefly Cantonese, Hakka) beautiful woman or girl; beauty; lovely lady (Classifier: 個／个; 位)How do you say you are so beautiful in Cantonese? ›
你好靚。 You're beautiful. 好。How do you call someone beautiful in Cantonese? ›
美麗 (mei5 lai6)
English Translation: Beautiful. This is the common and easiest Cantonese word to say beautiful in Cantonese. 美麗 (mei5 lai6) can be used in almost any situation, both formal and informal.
Bao Bao (Chinese: 宝宝; pinyin: Bǎobǎo, meaning "treasure"; colloquially meaning "baby") is a female giant panda cub who was born at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. She lived at the Zoo for four years until February 2017.What do Chinese call their lovers? ›
One of the most common Chinese nicknames that Chinese couples use for their significant other is 亲爱的 qīn'ài de. It is used the same way as the English term “darling” or “dearest.” You can call your loved one 亲爱的 regardless of gender, and the term is used not only by dating couples but also by married couples.What does bao bei mean? ›
The meanings of the word Baobei in Chinese. 1. Treasure, precious things. 2. Baby, little children.How do Chinese confess love? ›
我喜欢你(wǒ xǐhuān nǐ): I like you. 我爱你(wǒ ài nǐ): I love you. Both of these are very direct and commonly used ways to express love, but, “我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ) I love you” of course conveys a stronger and deeper feeling than, “我喜欢你 (wǒ xǐhuān nǐ) I like you”.What is the strongest way to say I love you? ›
- I love you to the moon and back again.
- We fit together like puzzle pieces.
- You are the best thing that has ever happened to me.
- You complete me.
- I can't believe you're mine.
- You are a beautiful person inside and out.
- I am here for you… always.
- I'm yours.
Traditional Chinese: 你想出去散散步嗎？(nǐ xiǎng chūqù sàn sànbù ma?) 5) “I love you.” This is the Chinese word/phrase for I love you. The same as in English, you only say this when you are in a serious relationship and in love.What does Lay Ho Ma mean Cantonese? ›
LAY HO MA!! That's “how's it going” in Cantonese 👋🏻What is Long Ma Jing Sun Cantonese? ›
8. 龍馬精神 Lung Ma Jing Sun. More about it: “Lung ma jing sun” is often used to greet the elderly at Chinese New Year to bless them with energy and vigour despite their old age. Any elderly person would love to be greeted with this– it might just be your ticket to receiving lai see (利是, red envelopes containing money)!What does Lou Hei mean Cantonese? ›
And it's SUPER popular in Singapore during Chinese New Year. Lo hei translates in Cantonese to 'tossing good fortune', so you're expected to throw that salad as high as possible before eating it.What does Fei Jai mean in Cantonese? ›
Fei Jai, meaning Fatboy in Cantonese is a traditional but contemporary Chinese eatery.
Puk gai (踣街, more commonly idiomatically written as 仆街; pūk gāai) literally means "falling onto street", which is a common curse phrase in Cantonese that may be translated into English as "drop dead". It is sometimes used as a noun to refer to an annoying person that roughly means a "prick".What does Pok mean Cantonese? ›
Pok gai (PK) is a very flexible Cantonese swear that is both used as a verb or noun. “Pok” means “trip and fall forward” and “gai” = street. You can also customize by adding extra words before/in between the words to adjust emphasis and severity of insult. 2:47 AM · Mar 18, 2021. 1.What does ma ma ho ho mean in Chinese? ›
In Mandarin, ma means horse and hu means tiger; the idiom mamahuhu literally translates, then, as “horse horse tiger tiger.” In one of the fables that explains its origins, a slapdash artist paints a tiger's head but changes his mind midway and completes the creature with a horse's body.What is meh ah in Cantonese? ›
Meh ah is a versatile phrase in Cantonese, allowing you to express everything from “Howdy”, to your annoyance or even share your sense of excitement.How do you say so cute in Cantonese? ›
好 (hǎo) means “so” or “very” that can be used to modify the word 可愛/可爱 and make a new phrase – so cute 好可愛/好可爱 (hǎo kě ài).What does Bao Mei mean? ›
bǎo méi. to act as go-between (between prospective marriage partners etc)What does Mei Wan Ti mean? ›
Méi wèn tí roughly translated means no problem. That is exactly what we aim to do, to help you with your challenges in China and in Germany, to solve your problems.What is Moi Moi in Cantonese? ›
(informal) bye-bye.What does Leng Zai mean in Cantonese? ›
Leng Zai is derived from Cantonese which means handsome – for boys. Meanwhile, Leng Lui means beautiful – for girls.How do you say love in Cantonese Chinese? ›
|I love you (formal)||我愛你 (我爱你)||Ngo5 ngoi3 nei5|
|I love you (subtle)||我鍾意你 (我钟意你)||Ngo5 zung1 ji3 nei5|
|Egg tart||蛋撻 (蛋挞)||Daan2 daat3|
Jo san (pronounced: Joe Sun!)
Always answer back “Jo san” – Good morning as a sign of respect.
Literally meaning sub-par firewood — abandoned for its low value — the term feichai is an old Cantonese term. Just like the useless wood tossed outside the house, feichai (sometimes shortened to FC) refers to the unfortunate members of society who are cast away because of their low value.What does leng nui mean? ›
You may know what is '靚仔 (leng sai) 靚女 (leng nui)', which means handsome guys and pretty woman~ if you said too much leng sai and leng nui already~ let's try to say some new Cantonese slangs~ which have similar meanings~What does bei bei mean in Chinese? ›
Bei Bei means "precious, treasure" in Mandarin Chinese and is complementary to his sister's name, Bao Bao.What does bao chicka bao bao mean? ›
Bow-chika-bow-wow: Verbal means of referencing a sexual encounter, act or deed.What is Liu Sha Bao in Cantonese? ›
Liu sha bao literally translates to "flowing sand bun". These are made from salted duck egg yolks, butter, and custard powder to form a sweet and savoury custard that is runny and slightly grainy when steamed.What is darling in Cantonese? ›
心肝 (sam1 gon1 | ) : conscience; darling - CantoDict. This term is used in both Cantonese and Mandarin/Standard written Chinese.Why do Chinese say dear? ›
The word "亲 (qīn) dear" helps the sellers create a friendly image, and some customers may call the sellers "亲 (qīn) dear" back. Now, you may hear people say "亲 (qīn) dear" in daily greetings. For example: "亲，能帮我个忙吗？(Qīn, néng bāng wǒ ge máng ma?)What is Chinese marriage called? ›
Traditional Chinese marriage (Chinese: 婚姻; pinyin: hūnyīn) is a ceremonial ritual within Chinese societies that involves not only a union between spouses but also a union between the two families of a man and a woman, sometimes established by pre-arrangement between families.What does bao mean in love? ›
Love you, my bao 💕 In Chinese, the word bao can mean "steamed bun" or "precious treasure" – so you can say, "love you my bao" to express your love, whether it's to a steamy pork bun, or to your kids!
Chinese name, combination of the names Xiao - "young children" + Bao - "treasure; brilliant"What does bao Hu mean in Chinese? ›
bǎo hù to protect to defend to safeguard protection CL:種|种[zhong3]What does Lei Ho Ma mean in Chinese? ›
LAY HO MA!! That's “how's it going” in Cantonese 👋🏻What is bo zai fan in Cantonese? ›
Clay Pot - East Village
This is the literal translation from the Cantonese dish called “Bao Zai Fan” (煲仔饭). The traditional style of cooking clay pot rice is over an open-flame setting.
aiya; ah; oh; ugh; ouch (expressing surprise, annoyance, pain, frustration, sarcasm, etc.)What does Bo Ying mean Cantonese? ›
Bàoyìng (Chinese: 報應) is a concept of cosmic and moral reciprocity in the Chinese folk religion. It implies that people dwell in a moral universe, a universe that is kept ordained by mores, good actions, thus moral retribution is in fact a cosmic retribution.What is Tong Ho in Cantonese? ›
Tong Ho – Edible Chrysanthemum (茼蒿)
Edible Chrysanthemum—tóng hāo (茼蒿) in Mandarin or “tong ho” in Cantonese—comes in two main varieties. One variety is a small or medium leaf tong ho, pictured above with serrated leaves.
In Mandarin, ma means horse and hu means tiger; the idiom mamahuhu literally translates, then, as “horse horse tiger tiger.” In one of the fables that explains its origins, a slapdash artist paints a tiger's head but changes his mind midway and completes the creature with a horse's body.What does Ho Mei mean? ›
a Cantonese phrase that means delicious, and is commonly used to compliment how good food tastes.