Cantonese: How Do You Say “Tired”

by | Mar 14, 2019 | Cantonese, Cantonese - How Do You Say

Listen to Podcast | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Tired”

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New Words

EnglishCantoneseJyutpingOur Romanization
Until / ReachDou3Dou
I’m very tired from work我做工做到好癐Ngo5 zou6 gung1 zou6 dou3 hou2 gui6Ngor zou gung zou dou hou gui
Sleep瞓覺(睡觉)Fan3 gaau3Fan gaau
I am going to sleep我要瞓覺喇
Ngo5 jiu3 fan3 gaau3 laa1Ngor yiu fan gaau laa

Podcast Transcript | Cantonese: How Do You Say “Tired”

Hi everyone and welcome back to our Cantonese – How Do You Say Podcast. Last week, we learnt about how to join an ongoing conversation. This week, we will learn how to excuse yourself – either from an event or a conversation – in Cantonese.

If you were invited to an event that you don’t want to join due to exhaustion from a long day at work, you can say 我做工做到好癐, 我要瞓覺喇. In the first part of the phrase, the word – 癐 – means “tired” and the word 好, as we have learnt in our previous podcast, can mean “good” or “very”. As such, 我做工做到好癐 means “I was at work and worked until very tired”. This is followed by 我要瞓覺喇 which means “I am going to sleep”.

Now, if you are already in the middle of a conversation and you would like to express that you have to leave, another handy phrase would be 我有工要做, 我走先喇. Wait… did you realise that this phrase contains words that we have all learnt in our previous podcasts? I encourage you to pause the audio now and see if you understand what this phrase expresses. I’ll repeat, 我有工要做, 我走先喇. What does it mean?

So did you get it right? The meaning of this phrase is “I have work to do, I will make a move first“.

Once again, the 2 phrases today are:

我做工做到好癐, 我要瞓覺喇 and

我有工要做, 我走先喇.

Hope our podcast today is helpful for you in managing conversations in Cantonese. My name is Eugene from and see you at our next podcast.

Love what you are reading? We’ve got lots more to share during our Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese express workshops. Join us to pick up words and phrases for everyday use in Singapore. More importantly, you can help to keep these languages alive!

Our Philosophy for Learning Cantonese in Singapore

At, we want to make learning Cantonese fun, easy and practical for daily conversations in Singapore. As such, rather than figuring out which of the 10 or more Cantonese romanization system to use (e.g. Jyutping, Yale or Cantonese Pinyin etc.), we encourage you to form your own phonics, so that you make an association with these Cantonese words in the quickest way possible. To illustrate, the romanization of the English word, “eat”, is “Sik” using Jyutping and “Sihk” using Yale. However, in our “Have You Eaten?” podcast transcript, you’ll find that we use “sek”, which we think relates to us better. That said, you may use other romanization (e.g “sake”, “xig”, etc), as long as it helps you to make sense of what you hear.


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