1

我哋使唔使同佢準備個生日蛋糕? The official translation is: “should we prepare a birthday cake for him?”

I was wondering why the preposition “for” is used instead of “with”, given that 同 is used.

My thought is: should we prepare a birthday cake WITH him? (He prepares the cake together with us)

2

Depend on the context, "同" as a preposition, can mean "with" or "for"

  1. "我哋使唔使[]佢準備個生日蛋糕" -- Do we need to prepare a birthday cake [for] him

  2. "我哋使唔使[]佢(一齊)準備個生日蛋糕" -- Do we need to prepare a birthday cake [with] him (together)

"同" strongly implies "for" in your example sentence. Birthday boy usually doesn't prepare the cake himself

More examples:

"[同]我打電話叫警察" = "make a phone call to the police [for] me" (You don't need two people to make one phone call)

"同我去釣魚" is ambiguous, it can mean "go fishing with me " or "go fishing for me". To eliminate the ambiguity, you can say "同我一齊去釣魚 (go fishing with me together) or "幫我去釣魚" (go fishing for me).

Again with the context: If it is a friend saying to you: "同我去釣魚好唔好?", it would clearly be an invitation to you to go fishing [with] him; If you are a slave and your master say to you:"快啲同我去釣魚!" , then it would clearly be an order to you to go fishing [for] him.

As you can see, when "同" means "for" you can replace it with "幫" (help/ for) e.g. "[幫]佢準備個生日蛋糕", "[幫]我打電話叫警察",

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