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Lesson Transcript

nei5 ho2, ngo5 hai6 Olivia. Hi everybody! I’m Olivia.
Welcome to CantoneseClass101.com’s “saam1 fan1 zung1 gwong2 dung1 waa2”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Cantonese.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "When" questions in Cantonese.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "Who?"
Imagine you want to ask your friend who is the attractive girl behind him.
You can ask: nei5 hau6 min6 go3 leng3 neoi5 hai6 bin1 go3?
So let’s break it down:
First we had:
nei5 hau6 min6 → "behind you"
go3 leng3 neoi5 → “the pretty girl”
hai6 → "is”
And last, bin1 go3 → which is the basic translation of "Who?" in Cantonese.
All together it is nei5 hau6 min6 go3 leng3 neoi5 hai6 bin1 go3?
[slowly] nei5 hau6 min6 go3 leng3 neoi5 hai6 bin1 go3?
Notice that the sentence structure is totally opposite to English.
So in Cantonese, "Who" is mainly translated as bin1 go3 to ask about someone's identity.
For example, if you want to ask "Who are these people?" You will say keoi5 dei6 hai6 bin1 go3?
Opposite to English, the interrogative word “Who” is placed in the last position, while the subject “they”, keoi5 dei6 , is placed in first position, followed by the the verb.
So if you want to ask "Whose pen is it?" you will have to say zi1 bat1 hai6 bin1 go3 gaa3?
If we break down this question, it is:
zi1 bat1 → "this pen"
hai6 → “is”
bin1 go3 → ”who” or in this case “whom”
gaa3 → the final particle for making an assertion
The word bin1 go3 is also the translation for “whom”. You don’t need to make any changes. For example, “whom are you coming with?” in Cantonese is nei5 tung4 bin1 go3 lei4? ,
in which tung4 means ‘be with’. And we can see that bin1 go3 stays the same.
Now it’s time for Olivia’s Insights.
If someone that you didn't expect is knocking at your door, the common question you can ask is bin1 go3 aa3 ? before opening the door.
This means "Who is it?" in a very common way.
In this lesson, we learned how to correctly use the interrogative word for "Who" which is bin1 go3 in Cantonese, but also its variations.
Now you can easily know who is who!
Next lesson will be our last of this absolute beginner series.
We will deal with the last common interrogative word “Why”.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next saam1 fan1 zung1 gwong2 dung1 waa2 lesson! Haa6 ci3 gin3!