What time is it?

Telling time is a great way to teach numbers.  Here’s the most basic way to tell time. 點 (dim2) means o’clock  and 分 (fan1) means minutes.  

  • What time is it right now? = 而家幾多點 = ji4 gaa1 gei2 do1 dim2
  • Right now, it is 8:24 = 而家八點二十四分 =  ji4 gaa1 baat3 dim2 ji6 sap6 sei3 fan1

Make it fun

Ask your kids what time it is throughout the day! 


I discovered that these numbers represent the 6 different tones in  Cantonese.  If you can say these 6 numbers in Cantonese, you can learn to pronounce any Cantonese word properly with the jyutping system.
1 = 一 = jat1
9 = 九 = gau2
4 = 四 = sei3
0 = 零 = ling4
5 = 五 = ng5
2 = 二 = ji6

Make it fun:

Practise making these tones with any word and tell your kids what each word means.  My kids had a blast with the ‘syu’ sound.
書 = syu1 = book
鼠 = syu2 = mouse
薯 = syu4 = potato
樹 = syu6 = tree

What do you want to eat?

We usually 3 meals a day so teach your kids how to answer this question!  Even if they don’t know how to say the specific food in Chinese, they can still say the rest of the sentence in Chinese.

What do you want to eat?  = 你想食乜嘢?= nei5 soeng2 sik6 mat1 je5 ?
I want to eat ____. = 我想食 ____. = ngo5 soeng2 sik6 ____.

Make it fun:

You can practise this question every morning before breakfast.  Teach your kids how to say the basics (cereal, toast, eggs, oatmeal, etc…) and they can respond to this question.