What's the right context in which to say, "三九唔識七"? Would like to know how to properly use this phrase.


The phrase is used when you want to stress that some two people are complete strangers to each other. Examples:

  1. 我同佢三九唔識七,點敢叫佢幫忙呀?(I am a complete stranger to him. How can I bother him for help?)
  2. 阿仔,你同人三九唔識七,唔好咁易信佢呀!(My son, you know nothing about him. Don't trust him so easily.)

However, please note that the phrase is used essentially in spoken form but not in formal writings.

  • cool. thanks! is this an old phrase or do people still use it today? – Crashalot Mar 2 '14 at 17:14
  • @Crashalot People still use it, although fewer and fewer do so. – user4086 Mar 2 '14 at 19:56
  • awesome, thanks! i have a hunch you'll be answering more of my canto questions in the future. :) – Crashalot Mar 3 '14 at 1:07
  • By the way, it's now more customary to say 三唔識七 rather than 三九唔識七. – user4086 Mar 3 '14 at 3:14
  • This words came from Majon. If you get 三万 or 九万 on the table, 七万 usually is useless. – mikespook Mar 6 '14 at 0:34

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