I have finished my audio course on Cantonese and was confused about one grammar point. Sometimes people in the conversations, referring to the past tense, would say something like this for "Did you drink tea?":


But then at other points they would say something like:


Which is correct? Is there a difference?

2 Answers 2


有冇 = 有沒有 = have or don't have (does it has)

咗 = 了 (indicate a verb is completed)

They do not always indicate past tense


你而家身上有冇錢? - do you have money on your person now? (present)

你尋日有冇飲茶 - did you drink tea yesterday? (past)

你聽日有冇工返 - do you have work tomorrow? (future)

尋日放工去咗睇戲 - went to watch movies yesterday after finished work (咗 indicates the verb 去 is completed and the sentence is in the past tense)

聽曰放咗工去睇戲 - go to watch movies tomorrow after finishing work (咗 indicates the verb 放工 is completed but the sentence is in the future tense)


well, the cantonese phrase in your course material is slightly . . .“odd” 😼

Did you drink tea?

a more natural, colloquial way to say it is:


the “飲茶” here, is referring to the activity of going to a restaurant, enjoying tea & dim sum 😸

or, “你有冇飲茶?”; maybe “你係咪飲咗茶?” these two are, more likely asking about drinking tea shortly beforehand.

have fun :)

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