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Lesson Transcript

Assalam u Alaikum mera naam Afrah hai.
Hi, My name is Afrah. Welcome to UrduPod101.com’s “3 minat mein Urdu”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Urdu.
In the last lesson, you learned how to ask "When" questions in Urdu.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the word for "Who?"
Imagine you want to ask your friend about the new girl at school.
Here, the question you can ask is yah nayii ladkii kaun hai?
“Who is that new girl?”
[slowly] yah nayii ladkii kaun hai
Let’s break down this question:
First we have yah, which means “that”.
Then comes nayii ladkii meaning “new girl”. Remember, adjectives change depending on whether it is connected to a masculine or feminine noun. Since it is referring to a girl we use nayii. It becomes naya when the subject is masculine.
After this we have kaun which is the basic translation of "Who" in Urdu.
Finally, hai is the word for “is”.
All together it is vah nayii ladkii kaun hai?
It means “Who is that new girl?”
So in Urdu, "Who" is kaun. You can use it whenever you want to ask about someone's identity. For example, if you want to ask "Who are these people?" You will say yah log kaun hain? when talking about a group of unknown persons. Unlike in English, the subject here is followed by the question word Who which is then followed by the verb.
kaun only works for people, so you can't use it to ask information about things or places, like when asking who did something, for example.
In these cases, we use the question word kis with added postpositions to it. For example, you can ask yah tasviir kisne banaayii? This means "Who made this picture?
Another phrase with kis that is used very often, is kis ki? In this case, the meaning is different as it can be translated to "whose"
So if you want to ask "Whose pencil is it?" you will have to say yah kiskii pencil hai?
You can also use the word kis to ask "for which person is it?" In Urdu, we use the phrase kiske liye.
So if you want to know "For whom is this cake?" It will be yah cake kiske liye hai?
Before ending this lesson, let’s go back and look at all the ways to translate "Who" in Urdu:
- kaun is the basic "Who" as in yah log kaun hain? meaning “Who are these people?”
- kiskii is the equivalent of "Whose" and is used to ask about ownership as in yah kiskii pencil hai? meaning "Whose pencil is it?"
- kiske liye is the direct translation of "For who?" As in yah cake kiske liye hai? meaning "For whom is this cake?"
Now it’s time for Afrah’s Advice.
If someone you didn't expect is knocking at your door in Pakistan, the common question you can ask is kaun hai? before opening the door. This literally means "Who is it?" in a really polite way. A very casual way to ask it is kaun? which simply means “who”, but if your tone is questioning, it means the same thing as kaun hai?
In this lesson, you learned how to use the word for "Who" which is kaun in Urdu, and also its variations. Now you can easily know who is who! The next lesson will be the last of this series. We will deal with the last but not least common question word kyun. Do you know what this means? I'll be waiting for you with the answer in the next 3 minat mein Urdu lesson. Phir milenge.