Check Out 37 Important Cantonese Pronouns To Learn

August 3, 2021

Are you starting to learn Cantonese? Well, then Cantonese pronouns (代詞 |doi6 ci4) are one of the basic things you need to know. It is important in studying the grammar structure of Cantonese language and other languages too. If you can recall your lesson about pronouns when you were young, a pronoun is defined as a word that is used instead of a noun or noun phrase. If you want to widen your vocabulary about Cantonese pronouns, here's a free lesson for you. But, if you want to learn more about how you can use Cantonese pronouns in a sentence with audio recordings, you can check out Ling App.

 

Cantonese And Mandarin Are Not The Same

Before we go any further about Cantonese pronouns, let us clarify some things about the Cantonese and Mandarin language. First, they are both Chinese and tonal languages. But, these two Chinese languages have differences. For starters, Cantonese is spoken in Hong Kong, Guangdong Province in China, Macau, and different Chinese diaspora worldwide.

The next thing you need to learn is they differ in written and spoken language. For example, Mandarin has fewer tones compared to Cantonese. In addition, Mandarin often changes based on the subject and emotional meaning in terms of grammatical structure, while Cantonese follows patterns.

There are many things that you should still learn about the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, but for now, this information is enough for you to get going.

 

Personal Pronouns In Cantonese

Cantonese Pronouns

Now that you have learned a little bit about Cantonese let us proceed to the main lesson in this blog, the Cantonese pronouns. So, let's start with the personal pronouns. A personal pronoun is a word used as a substitute for the proper name of a person. These personal pronouns will also be helpful when you are introducing yourself in Cantonese.

Here's a list of personal Cantonese pronouns. Examples and English translations are also available to guide you throughout this lesson. Please remember that these pronouns are divided into singular and plural pronouns, and these are all in spoken form.

Singular

1. 我 (ngo5)

English Translation: I

Example Sentence:  I love you. - 我愛你。(ngo5 oi3 nei5.)

2. 你 (nei5)

English Translation: You

Example Sentence: You are an awesome friend. - 你係一個好好嘅朋友。(nei5 hai6 jat1 go3 hou2 hou2 ge3 pang4 jau5.)

3. 佢 (keoi5)

English Translation: she / he / it

Example Sentence:  She just won the award for "best director." - 佢啱啱贏咗最佳導演獎。(keoi5 aam1 aam1 jeng4 zo2 zeoi3 gaai1 dou6 jin2 zoeng2.)

4. 你嘅 (nei5 ge3)

English Translation: your / yours  

Example Sentence: I want to see right through your heart. - 我好想睇穿你嘅心。( ngo5 hou2 soeng2 tai2 cyun1 nei5 ge3 sam1)

5. 我嘅 (ngo5 ge3)

English Translation: my / mine

Example Sentence:  Here are my questions. - 以下係我嘅問題。(ji5 haa6 hai6 ngo5 ge3 man6 tai4.)

6. 佢嘅 (keoi5 ge3)

English Translation: her / his / its / hers

Example Sentence:  It’s not his / hers. - 唔係佢嘅。(m4 hai6 keoi5 ge3)

Plural

1.  我哋 (ngo5 dei6)

English Translation: we / us

Example Sentence:  Are we all agreed? - 全部人都同意?(cyun4 bou6 jan4 dou1 tung4 ji3)

2. 佢哋 (keoi5 dei6)

English Translation: they/them

Example Sentence:  They're both okay. -  都得 (dou1 dak1)

3. 你哋 (nei5 dei6)

English Translation: you guys

Example Sentence:   You guys didn’t do anything wrong. - 你哋無做錯到。 (nei5 dei6 mou4 zou6 co3 dou3)

4. 你哋嘅 (nei5 dei6 ge3)

English Translation: your / yours (plural)

Example Sentence: Let your imagination go wild. - 發揮你哋嘅創意。(faat3 fai1 nei5 dei6 ge3 cong3 ji3)

5. 我哋嘅 (ngo5 dei6 ge3)

English Translation: our / ours

Example Sentence: Can you help us find our seats? - 你可唔可以幫我哋搵我哋個位?(nei5 ho2 m4 ho2 ji5 bong1 ngo5 dei2 wan2 ngo5 dei6 go3 wai2)

6. 佢哋嘅 (keoi5 dei6 ge3)

English Translation: their / theirs

Example Sentence: Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness. - 友誼係一齊共患難嘅時侯先睇到,而唔係吃喝玩樂嘅時侯。(jau5 ji4 hai6 jat1 cai4 gung6 waan6 naan6 ge3 si4 hau4 sin1 tai2 dou2, ji4 m4 hai6 hek6 hot6 wun6 lok6 ge3 si4 hau6.)

 Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.

 

Demonstrative Pronouns In Cantonese

Now that you have learned the personal Cantonese pronouns let us move to Cantonese demonstrative pronouns. A demonstrative pronoun indicates an object or item in time and space. It is also used to point to something specific within a sentence.

If you are traveling to Hong Kong, you'll be using a lot of demonstrative pronouns like looking at the menu and shopping. So, if you want to learn the common Cantonese demonstrative pronouns, here's a list that may be useful for you.

1. 嗰個 (go2 go3)

English Translation: that

Example Sentence: That was a great evening. - 今晚好開心。(gam1 maan1 hou2 hoi1 sam1.)

2. 呢個 (ni1 go3)

English Translation: this

Example Sentence: You won't believe this! - 你唔會信㗎喇!(nei5 m4 wui5 seon3 gaa3 laa3)

3. 呢啲 (ni1 di1)

English Translation: these

Example Sentence:  I'd like ten of these. - 我要十個呢個。(ngo5 jiu3 sap6 go3 ni1 go3.)

4. 嗰啲 (go2 di1)

English Translation: those

Example Sentence:  None of those dates work for me, but I would love to see you another time. - 全部撞期,但係我好想再見你。 (cyun4 bou6 zong3 kei4, daan6 hai6 ngo5 hou2 soeng2 zeoi3 gin3 nei5.)

5. 嗰度 (go2 dou6)

English Translation: there

Example Sentence:  There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. 世界上冇嘢比友誼更加珍貴。(sai3 gaai3 soeng6 mou5 je5 bei2 jau5 ji4 gang3 gaa1 zan1 gwai3.)

6. 呢度 (ni1 dou6)

English Translation:  here

Example Sentence:  Are you from around here? - 你係咪本地人呀?(nei5 hai6 mai6 bun2 dei6 jan4 aa3)

 

Indefinite Pronouns

So, what exactly indefinite pronoun is? Indefinite pronouns refer to people or things without exactly saying what or who or they are. If you found yourself in situations where you need to say indefinite Cantonese pronouns, you should know these words:

1.  所有人 (so2 jau5 jan4)

English Translation: everybody

Example Sentence: Hello, everybody. - 大家好。(daai6 gaa1 hou2.)

2. 所有嘢 (so2 jau5 je5)

English Translation: everything

Example Sentence:  I completely understood everything you said. - 你講嘅嘢我完全明白。(nei5 gong2 ge3 je5 ngo5 jyun4 cyun4 ming4 baak6.)

3. 邊度 (bin1 dou6 )

English Translation: everywhere

Example Sentence: Everywhere I look I am reminded of your love. You are my world. - 到處都令我諗起你嘅愛。你係我嘅一切。(dou3 cyu3 dou1 ling6 ngo5 lam2 hei2 nei5 ge3 oi3. nei5 hai6 ngo5 ge3 jat1 cai3.)

4. 一啲人 (jat1 di1 jan4)

English Translation: somebody

Example Sentence: You’re everywhere. - 邊度都見到你 (bin1 dou6 dou1 gin3 dou2 nei5)

5. 一啲嘢 (jat1 di1 je5)

English Translation: something

Example Sentence: I want to try something different today. - 我今日想試啲特別嘅嘢。(ngo5 gam1 jat6 soeng2 si3 di1 dak6 bit6 ge3 je5)

6. 某啲地方 (mau5 di1 dei6 fong1)

English Translation: somewhere

Example Sentence: There will be sacrifices somewhere. - 某啲地方一定有所犧牲。(mau5 di1 dei6 fong1 jat1 ding6 jau5 so2 hei1 sang1)

7.  冇人 (mou5 jan4 )

English Translation: no one

Example Sentence: No one is perfect. - 冇人係完美。 (mou5 jan4 hai6 jyun4 mei5)

8. 冇地方 (mou5 dei6 fong1)

English Translation: nowhere

Example Sentence: I got nowhere to live. 冇地方住 (mou5 dei6 fong1 zyu6)

9. 冇嘢 (mou5 je5)

English Translation: nothing

Example Sentence: There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. 世界上冇嘢比友誼更加珍貴。(sai3 gaai3 soeng6 mou5 je5 bei2 jau5 ji4 gang3 gaa1 zan1 gwai3.)

10. 乜人 (mat1 jan4)

English Translation: anyone

Example Sentence: Anyone can apply. - 乜人都可以申請。 (mat1 jan4 dou1 ho2 ji5 san1 cing2)

11. 乜嘢地方 (mat1 je5 dei6 fong1)

English Translation: anywhere

Example Sentence: I can fall asleep anywhere. - 我乜嘢地方都可以瞓得着。(ngo5 mat1 je5 dei6 fong1 dou1 ho2 ji5 fan3 dak1 zoek6)

12. 乜嘢 (mat1 je5)

English Translation: anything

Example Sentence:  Anything is possible. - 乜嘢都有可能。 (mat1 je5 dou1 jau5 ho2 nang4)

 

Interrogative Pronouns

We're down to the last group of pronouns, and that is the interrogative pronouns. These pronouns are used to ask questions, which will be useful when traveling around Hong Kong. Upon learning these pronouns, make sure to learn additional words and phrases for travel to help you in different situations. Asking around is one of the first things you'll do when you are going around. So, here are the interrogative pronouns in Cantonese:

1.  邊個 (bin1 go3)

English Translation: who

Example Sentence: Who do you think you are? - 你以為你係邊個呀?(nei5 ji5 wai4 nei5 hai6 bin1 go3 aa3?)

2. 乜嘢 (mat1 je5)

English Translation: what

Example Sentence: What is inflation? - 乜嘢係通貨膨脹呀?(mat1 je5 hai6 tung1 fo3 paang4 zoeng3 aa3)

3. 幾時 (gei2 si4)

English Translation: when

Example Sentence:  A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. -  當全世界都離棄你嘅時候,會走埋嚟嘅先至係真正嘅朋友。(dong1 cyun4 sai3 gaai3 dou1 lei4 hei3 nei5 ge3 si4 hau6, wui5 zau2 maai4 lei4 ge3 sin1 zi3 hai6 zan1 zing3 ge3 pang4 jau5.)

4. 邊度 (bin1 dou6 )

English Translation: where

Example Sentence:  Where do you live? - 你住邊度 (nei5 zyu6 bin1 dou6?)

5.  點解 (dim2 gaai2)

English Translation: why

Example Sentence:  Why are you leaving your job? - 之前份工點解離職?(zi1 cin4 fan6 gung1 dim2 gaai2 lei4 zik1?)

6.  邊個嘅 (bin1 go3 ge3)

English Translation: whose

Example Sentence:  Whose phone is it? - 部電話係邊個嘅 (bou6 din6 waa6 hai6 bin1 go3 ge3)

7. 點樣 (dim2 joeng2)

English Translation: how

How should I prepare? - 應該點樣準備呢?( jing1 goi1 dim2 joeng2 zeon2 bei6 ne1)

 

Wanna Learn Cantonese? Check This Out.

Learning Cantonese is not that easy at first. This will be a challenge for you if you are not used to tonal languages and characters with different strokes. However, it is still not impossible to learn Cantonese. There is a fun and exciting way to learn Cantonese easily at your own phase, which is through Ling App.

Learning Cantonese should not stop learning the Cantonese pronouns. You should go further and deeper because the Cantonese language is an exciting language to learn. With Ling App, you will be able to learn both written and spoken language through language lessons with audio recordings. It is designed in a game-like feature so that learning could be fun.

Do not waste your free time, do yourself a favor and start learning Cantonese with Ling App now!

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