4 ways to ask for someone’s name in Twi | Common Twi Expressions

To ask for someone’s name in English, you simply use ‘what is your name?’, and the person should respond; unless he/she has a problem with you. Well, fortunately for us, in Twi, we have four ways of asking the same thing. And those would be our focus for today’s lesson.

If you’d prefer watching a video version instead, please find one below. If not, you may continue reading beneath the video.

Video Lesson

4 ways to ask for someone’s name in Twi

  1. Wo din de sɛn?

  your name is what?

  ‘what is your name?’

  1. yɛfrɛ wo sɛn?

  we-call you what?

  ‘what is your name?’

  1. wɔfrɛ wo sɛn?

  they-call you what?

  ‘what is your name?’

  1. wode sɛn?

  you-are what?

  ‘what is your name?’

And with those, you can ask the names of any Twi speaker you meet. And, you can be nice by starting out your questions with, for example:

a. onua, wo din de sɛn?

  ‘brother/sister, what is your name?’

b. me nua, yɛfrɛ wo sɛn?

  ‘my brother/sister, what is your name?’

c. Ɔhemaa, wɔfrɛ wo sɛn?

  ‘Queen, what is your name?’

d. Ahoɔfɛ, wode sɛn?

  ‘Beauty, what is your name?’

Notes

  1. There are no rules regarding when to use any of the four. They can be used interchangeably, irrespective of the place, time, or whom you’re asking the name of. I would quickly add, though, that if the person you’re asking the name of is someone that you consider to be of high repute, e.g. an elderly person, then you would sound respectful if you began your question with mepa wo kyɛw (please)’ or the short form mepaakyɛw’. So, you can have, for instance:
  • mepa wo kyɛw, wo din de sɛn?

  please, what is your name?’

  • mepaakyɛw, yɛfrɛ wo sɛn?

  ‘please, what is your name?’

  • mepa wo kyɛw, wɔfrɛ wo sɛn?

  ‘please, what is your name?’

  • mepaakyɛw, wode sɛn?

  ‘please, what is your name?’

  1. Per my personal experiences in Ghana, the most commonly used among the four questions are:
  • wo din de sɛn?

  your name is what?

  ‘what is your name?’

  • yɛfrɛ wo sɛn?

  we-call you what?

  ‘what is your name?’

You’re likely going to hear more of the two above than the other two. But, you never know, so I’d suggest you arm yourself with all four, so you have a variety to choose from in every communicative situation you find yourself.

We end here. Join me same day next week for another lesson under the Common Twi Expressions series. Please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. And if you need to look up a word in Twi, you can always visit MyTwiDictionary.Com and we’ll have you covered.

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Tikya Yaw
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