A long time ago, I asked a Hong Kong colleague how to order food by saying "and" or "and then". She taught me the structure is basically something like "我要薯條同埋一個漢堡包." But I also listened to some audio from Pimsleur that used the word 然後 as "then" in a similar way. If I remember correctly it was something like "我去呢度,然後大學." When are both words usually used in Cantonese? I think when I used to speak Mandarin, 然後 was a pretty good catch-all for both situations, but I'm not sure it works that way in Cantonese.

1 Answer 1


if the sequence is not important, use “同埋” in lieu of “and”


what dim-sum did you eat?


i ate shrimp dumplings, steamed pork dumplings, and steamed beef balls

我食咗蝦餃,燒賣,同埋山竹牛肉 😻

the sequence of which one you tasted first is, unimportant to the asker 😺

“然後” use it as “afterward”, when the sequence is clear


where did you go this afternoon?


firstly, i wandered in the sogo (department store), afterward, i went to eslite (bookstore), then had afternoon tea at lee gardens [a shopping mall]

我先響 sogo 打個 round,然後去咗誠品,跟住响利舞臺食 tea 😹

this saying provide adequate info to reconstruct the routing

if, one answer: 我去咗 sogo, 誠品, 同埋利舞臺

the info provided is, . . . less precise

have fun :)

  • @ShawnHemelstrand, just curious, may i ask, why, you’re interested in cantonese 😸 Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 3:40
  • 1) I live in Hong Kong, so it is useful to learn (especially in my area). 2) It is important for my research to know the differences between "standard" Mandarin and Cantonese as spoken languages, even if that dichotomy isn't so neat.
    – user31212
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 3:58
  • @ShawnHemelstrand, imo, compare to mandarin, cantonese is more related to old chinese, and middle chinese. the most significance differences is: cantonese still has entering tone (入聲), that any rhyme books in the past are valid, and useable. further, cantonese preserves ancient terms used in classical / literary chinese. 😼 Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 4:17
  • Yeah I've read a bit on that. I think The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics and A History of the Chinese Language document this pretty well from what I remember.
    – user31212
    Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 4:28
  • @ShawnHemelstrand, great, if you can read chinese, have a look of books 廣府話救亡, 廣東俗語正字考, 粵語詞匯溯源 😺 btw, these’re not academic publications. further, if, and only if you’re able to read literary chinese, i may recommend a book list 🙀 Commented Sep 14, 2022 at 4:37

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