Want to learn Cantonese? In this series for absolute beginners to Cantonese, we teach some of the most high-frequency adjectives in the language. In this lesson we learn how to say "right" and "wrong", and how to use these two words in simple sentences. Listen up, and in another five minutes you'll be able to tell others they're right, or take advantage of your newfound Cantonese to assert alpha pack-dominance.

In future lessons in this series, we'll review the words we've already learned, and cover more critical adjectives you'll use every day. We'll be keeping our sentences very simple though - so that you can swap in new adjectives as quickly as you learn them. So get listening and don't forget to try out all of our premium features too. And if you have any questions, leave them in the discussion section below, or write us anytime at service@popupcantonese.com.
 said on
January 5, 2011
Besides 啱嘞(ngaam1 laak3) for "That's right", we also have 冇錯(mou5 co3, "not wrong").

For "That's wrong", we have 錯嘞(co3 laak3) and 唔啱(m4 ngaam1, "not right").

It's interesting how Cantonese expresses an idea by denying the opposite.
 said on
February 7, 2011
Thanks for sharing, Nicole!
 said on
February 7, 2011
nicole oh ...so she was the one on ipod popup cantonese i'm hearing the voices all over my head NICOLE ..how fascinating the voice that lures the listener to learn more lol..hehehe really that was much more helpful tools and i already learned a lot......i even started writing on chinese damn....its like why i was not wood cutter every things is built with small sticks lol...learning chinese needs to be passionate i guesss,,hmmmmm
 said on
February 27, 2011
Hi, Nicole!

Just a quick question: if 'I am right' is ngo5 ngaam1 and 'I am wrong' is ngo5 co3, how do you ask 'am I right' and 'am I wrong'? Would you put the two together in a question like you do with jau5 mou5 for 'do you have'? Something like this, maybe - ngo5 ngaam1 co3?

Thanks a lot,

Kim
 said on
February 28, 2011
@ambergurung

Thank you very much for your support. Glad that we helped:) Learning Chinese characters needs patience and passion indeed. I remember when I started, I started with the 火(fo2, fire) 水(water, seoi2) and 山(saan1, mountain), which are basically drawings of fire and mountain, and are a lot easier to remember than 你好 or 佢哋. Good luck:)

@kim_h

Good question. But the answer is no. We don't put them together but we use ngaam1 to make the simple question:

啱唔啱 ngaam1 m4 ngaam1 (Am I right? Is it right?)

This is the most common one, I guess.

"Am I wrong" would be 我有冇錯, ngo5 jau5 mou5 co3, because like I said earlier in the comment, the negation of "wrong" or another way to say "right" is 冇錯 mou5 co3. 有冇錯 jau5 mou5 co3 means 'wrong or not wrong'.

Hope it answers your question
 said on
February 28, 2011
@nicole Thanks a lot for the answer - I hope it didn't seem like a silly question. It's just Cantonese is so different from English that I get a bit confused sometimes.

I actually found out the answer to that from my Cantonese-speaking friend who is helping me (before I checked back on here) but thanks for replying! :)

Kim
 said on
February 28, 2011
@kim_h

Not at all. Thanks for raising that question. I didn't think about that before. It's a great one:)
 said on
September 7, 2011
Hi Nicole!

Just wondering...If "I'm not right" is Ngo5 m4 ngaam1" Why is "you're not wrong" Nei5 mou5 co3, and not Nei5 m4 co3. I don't understand why one uses m4 and the other uses mou5. I know that they both mean "not" but I thought mou5 meant to "not have something".

I hope this makes sense!

Thanks, Karen
 said on
October 12, 2011
Hi, Karen!

Thanks for the question and for pointing out the confusion that others might have. And here is the clarification; hope that it can be of help.

You are right that both m4 and mou5 can mean "not" and that mou5 typically means "not have something". However, in Cantonese, if you say "Nei5 m4 co3", it has a different meaning from "You are not wrong."

Actually, "m4 co3" is a set phrase meaning "not bad" and/or "fairly good". "m4" here means "not", as you have said, and "co3" would be best translated as "bad". Typically, Cantonese would use this set phrase to express their opinions and feelings. Thus, the sentence "Nei5 m4 co3" actually means "You are not bad" and/or "you are fairly good".

In order to avoid confusions and misunderstandings, we use "mou5 co3"(not wrong) instead of "m4 co3"(not bad/fairly good) to mean "ngamm1" (right).

Hope that it can help answer your question!

Lotus
 said on
October 23, 2011
Thanks for the explanation, it makes perfect sense now!

Karen