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Lesson Transcript


Hi, everybody! Olivia here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Cantonese questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: How do you use the possessive particle ge3?
嘅 (ge3) is a possessive particle, and, when combined with a pronoun, is similar to " 's " in English, as well as the possessive pronouns “my,” “mine,” “your,” “yours,” “ours,” “his,” “hers,” “theirs,” and “its.”
Let's see how to use it. “Your” or “yours” in Cantonese is 你嘅 (nei5 ge3). For example, you can say 呢本書係唔係你嘅?(ni1 bun2 syu1 hai6 m4 hai6 nei5 ge3?) which means “Is this your book?”
“My” or “mine” is 我嘅 (ngo5 ge3), “his” or “hers” is 佢嘅 (keoi5 ge3) and so on.
Now, why is ge3 omitted in some cases?
嘅 (ge3) usually can be omitted when it is used after the adjective to convert a descriptive phrase into a simple phrase. For example, you can say 高山 (gou1 saan1), "tall mountain" instead of 高嘅山 (gou1 ge3 saan1) “a mountain that is tall”. You may want to say 開心人 (hoi1 sam1 jan4) "happy person/people" instead of 開心嘅人 (hoi1 sam1 ge3 jan4) which means "person/people who is happy".
There also other usages.
嘅(ge3) in some cases acts like the relative pronoun “that” or “which”. For example, 請問有冇去上海嘅火車飛? (cing2 man6 jau5 mou5 heoi3 soeng6 hoi2 ge3 fo2 ce1 fei1?) "Are there any tickets left on the train to Shanghai?"
The phrase 去上海(heoi3 soeng6 hoi2) "going to Shanghai" is to modify the noun “train ticket”. 去上海嘅火車飛 (heoi3 soeng6 hoi2 ge3 fo2 ce1 fei1) "The train ticket for going to Shanghai."


How was it? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!
"See you next time!", 下次見! (haa6 ci3 gin3!)