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Learning Vietnamese from English

Level 6 · 509 XP

Crowns: 6/420

Skills: 2

Lessons: 8

Lexemes: 44

Strength: 100%

Created: 2020-07-19
Last Streak: 1 · lost 22 days ago
Last Goal: 2021-11-14
Daily Goal: 20 XP
Timezone: UTC+7

Last update: 2021-12-06 15:24:17 GMT+3


653045944

Vietnamese Skills by StrengthCrownsNameOriginal Order

  • 32 Basics 111 @ 100% 0 •••
    anh ấy · bánh mì · bé gái · bạn · cô gái · cô ấy · cậu bé · học · là · muốn · một · người · nước · nước ép · phụ nữ · táo · tôi · uống · ăn · đàn ông · đứa trẻ
    21 words

    Welcome to the Vietnamese course!

    Here are some basic grammar rules for you to get started with:

    Word Order

    Like most languages, word order in Vietnamese is simple:

    • For sentence: Subject + Verb + Object
    • For single word: Noun + Modifiers (Adjectives).

    Word Conjugation/Modification

    There is no conjugation or modification at all. Words with different tones (for example, ga and ) are not considered conjugation/modification but two different words. In general, the meaning of sentence changes when we add or remove word(s), or change their order.

    Articles (a/an/the) (featured in lesson 4)

    In Vietnamese, there are no articles similar to those in English. You use the word một to represent a quantity of “1” and that is all.

    For the learning purpose throughout the skill tree, you should follow this pattern of using articles:

    • In a Vietnamese sentence, if you see the word một, then your English answer should contain a/an. If not, then your English answer should contain the.
    • In an English sentence, if you see a/an, then your Vietnamese answer should contain một. If you see the instead, then your Vietnamese answer should not have anything before the noun (except for classifiers which will be taught later).

    For the sake of this course, all pronouns used in answers will be simplified as in this table:

    English Pronoun Vietnamese Pronoun
    I Tôi
    You (singular) Bạn
    He Anh ấy
    She Cô ấy
    It
    We Chúng tôi
    You (plural) Các bạn
    They Họ
    • Important: Due to the almost unlimited combinations of pronouns, we cannot add them all to the database. Therefore, do not try to enter different pronouns other than those above or your answer will be marked wrong.
    • Important: In the Vietnamese language, subject pronouns and object pronouns are the same.

    Vietnamese classifier system

    In Vietnamese, there are words that are used to accompany other nouns in order to "classify" them based on physical/non-physical appearance or quantity.

    You will learn about these classifiers in latter skills. In this skill, a few classifiers are introduced:

    • Cái: used to accompany almost every object.
    • Con: used to accompany "animal".
    • Người: used to accompany "human".
  • 32 Alphabet Introduction 113 @ 100% 0 •••
    an · ca · con · cà phê · cá · cái · có · cắn · dê · dì · dơ · dơi · gà · găng tay · một · nhà ga · ong · và · ô · ăn · đu quay · đu đủ · ở
    23 words

    Welcome to the Vietnamese course!

    This skill is for you to get started with the Vietnamese alphabet and the way the meaning of a word changes with different tones.

    For basic grammar rules, please refer to skill Basics 1

    There are six tones in Vietnamese language:

    Name Diacritic Example
    flat (no mark) me (tamarind)
    grave \ mè (sesame)
    acute / mé (to cut off)
    hook ? mẻ (fermented)
    tilde ~ mẽ (appearance)
    dot . mẹ (mother)

    Alphabet

    Vietnamese alphabet does not have the letters f, j, w and z.

    • In addition to letter a, there are: ă and â.
    • In addition to letter d, there is: đ.
    • In addition to letter e, there is: ê.
    • In addition to letter o, there are: ô and ơ.
    • In addition to letter u, there is: ư.

    These are also vowels in Vietnamese alphabet (except d and đ, which are consonants).

    Additional Consonants

    • Ch
    • Gh
    • Gi
    • Kh
    • Ng / Ngh
    • Nh
    • Ph
    • Qu
    • Th
    • Tr

    Vietnamese classifier system

    In Vietnamese, there are words that are used to accompany other nouns in order to "classify" them based on physical/non-physical appearance or quantity.

    You will learn about these classifiers in latter skills. In this skill, a few classifiers are introduced:

    • Cái: used to accompany almost every objects.
    • Con: used to accompany "animal".
    • Người: used to accompany "human".
  • 50 Possession21 100 •••
    của · mình
    2 words

    Possessive words in Vietnamese are simple. You just need to add của before subject/object pronouns. (Note: subject pronouns and object pronouns are the same. No difference at all).

    The following table may help you to recall what we learned about subject pronouns:

    Subject Pronoun Translation Possessive Translation
    I Tôi My Của tôi
    You (singular) Bạn Your Của bạn
    He Anh ấy His Của anh ấy
    She Cô ấy Her Của cô ấy
    It Its Của nó
    We Chúng tôi Our Của chúng tôi
    You (plural) Các bạn Your Của các bạn
    They Họ Their Của họ

    của can be optional when you are talking about "friend", "dad", "brother" or any family members. This only works with "your" and "my". You will see some example in the skill Family below.

    • Example: Anh tôi (my older brother), bố bạn (your dad), bạn tôi (my friend)

    Possessive Pronouns

    In English, you sometimes use possessive pronouns to avoid repeating the noun. For example: "It is my car, not your car" = "It is my car, not yours" = "The car is mine, not yours".

    In Vietnamese, again, there is no difference between possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns. In both case, you use the same word as presented in the table above. For example: "The book is hers.” = "Quyển sách là của cô ấy.” and “Her book" = "Quyển sách của cô ấy”.

    The use of "của mình"

    Just like other languages, we hate repetition.

    Take a look at this sentence "Cô ấy bán quyển sách của cô ấy" (She sells her book). It is grammatically correct, but the word cô ấy is repeated twice. And that is not nice.

    To avoid that, one uses của mình. Here is the simple rule: của mình can replace any possessive adjectives or possessive pronouns above if and only if the noun(s) (in the sentence) belong to the same subject (of that sentence).

    For instance, let's reuse the sentence above:

    • ”Cô ấy bán quyển sách của cô ấy." (Repetition, doesn't sound nice)
    • Rewrite: "Cô ấy bán quyển sách của mình." (Much better!)

    Note: Của mình should only be used to avoid repetition, that is, for sentences that have noun(s) belonging to the same subject like "I sell my car", "she wants her book", "he cooks his food" and so on. Của mình cannot be used if sentence has noun(s) not belonging to subject pronoun, such as "I sell his book", "he wants her money", "they need our car".

  • 50 Demonstrative Determiners22 100 •••
    kia · này · đây · đó
    4 words

    In English, demonstratives are “this”, “that”, “these” and “those”. This skill will teach you to use demonstratives in Vietnamese.

    To be used as adjective to modify noun(s): using này, đó/kia

    • Này is equivalent to this or these. Này is used as an adjective so it is placed after noun(s). Example: con gà này (this chicken), cái ca này (this mug)
    • Đó/Kia is equivalent to that or those. They are also placed after noun(s). Example: con gà đó (that chicken), nhà ga đó (that train station). Đó and kia are interchangable.
    • Not quantity-based. In English, “this” goes with singular noun while “these” represents a quantity of more than one. However, này and đó/kia does not base on quantity at all. However, plural indicative words (những or các) must accompany them. Please refer to skill Plural.

    To be used as subject of a sentence: using đây, đó/kia

    • In English, this/these/that/those can be used as independent subjects or objects in sentence. In Vietnamese, their uses are slightly different.
    • Đây is equivalent to this or these used as subject of a sentence, usually followed by “to be”, similar to “this is..." or “these are...".

    Important: Technically, đây and này are the same. They are both equivalent to English "this/these" and they both can be used as adjective for a noun or as an independent subject. However, for the sake of this course, đây will NOT be used as adjective and này will NOT be used as independent subject.

    • Đó/Kia is equivalent to that or those used as subject, usually followed by “to be”, similar to “that is...” or “those are..." . Just like đây and này, đó/kia can be used freely as a subject or adjective.

    Important: For the rest of the skill tree, the word kia will NOT appear frequently. Most commonly used demonstratives are đây, đó, and này so you are recommended to use these words if you encounter sentences with demonstratives.

    To be used as object of a sentence: using này, đó/kia

    • To be an object of a sentence, này, đó/kia must be accompanied by the classifier cái as you already learned in the skill Alphabet 1. Importantly, these demonstratives are quantity-based when used as object of sentence. In short, cái này = this, những cái này = these, cái đó = that, những cái đó = those.
  • 50 Plurals23 100 •••
    các · những
    2 words

    To indicate plurality, one can simply place những or các before plural noun. If a plural noun has adjective(s), những or các must be placed before them in this order: những/các + classifier + plural noun + adjective(s). Note that you usually need a classifier whenever you have những or các. You will learn about classifiers later in the course.

    There are more ways to indicate plurality in Vietnamese but two words những and các are the most common ones. Later in the course, you will learn that when there is a number, you don't use these plural markers.

    Important: những and các are to demonstrate plurality only. They are not equivalent to "some", "a few", "many"..... Lessons about this area will be provided later.

    The two words những and các do not have any meaning other than indication of plurality so do not try to translate them. They can be used interchangeably throughout the skill tree.

    Những and các can and should combine with the demonstratives. Please refer to the skill Demonstratives in the same row for more information.

    Example: những cậu bé này (these boys); các quả táo kia (those apples)

  • 50 Alphabet Introduction 233 100 •••
    chia sẻ · chim sẻ · cây tre · dũng cảm · ghi âm · ghét · ghế · giàu · giấu · me · mây · mẫu giáo · mẹ · ngã · phà · phòng · phường · sấm sét · sợi dây · thư · tờ giấy · vĩnh viễn · vẽ · xe đạp · đom đóm · đá
    26 words

    This skill gives you another overview of the Vietnamese alphabet in addition to the first Alphabet skill as the nightmare does not end there.

    Besides additional letters, tones and additional consonants, there are:

    A lot of diphthongs and triphthongs

    (I took the liberty to not include some diphthongs/triphthongs that are extremely uncommon in daily usage to simplify the list)

    Note: You do not need to learn these by heart. This is just to provide an overview.

    • With letter a, diphthongs are: oa, oai, ai, ao, au, ay
    • With letter â, diphthongs are: ây, âu
    • With letter e, diphthongs are: eo, oe
    • With letter ê, diphthongs are: êu, uê
    • With letter ơ, diphthongs are: ơi
    • With letter ư, diphthongs are: ươi, ưi, ưu
    • With letter o, diphthongs are: oi
    • With letter ô, diphthongs are: ôi, uôi (triphthong)

    And a lot more

    • ach, oang, oanh, anh, an, am…
    • ăc, âc, ăm, âm, ăn, âm…
    • iêc, iêm, iên, iêp…
    • im, in, inh, ip, it…
    • ua, ưa, uân, uc, ưc, ung, ưng…

    Each can combine with any consonant and any tones to create a different word, with different meaning and slightly different sound. Imagine all the possibilities? Don't worry. You will master it eventually. Just think about thousands of strokes to remember when learning Mandarin/Japanese, you will feel better.

  • 50 Basics 242 100 •••
    bánh · báo · cam · chúng tôi · cơm · gọi · hay · họ · ly · mỹ · nó · sách · sữa · thích · thực đơn · trà · tạp chí · tập · việt nam · đĩa · đọc
    21 words

    No new content in this lesson. You may want to refer to previous grammar notes if you need help. Remember that we use simplified pronouns in this course, which are:

    English Pronoun Vietnamese Pronoun
    I Tôi
    You (singular) Bạn
    He Anh ấy
    She Cô ấy
    It
    We (not including "you") Chúng tôi
    We (including "you") Chúng ta
    You (plural) Các bạn
    They Họ

    All other pronouns, despite being correct in certain context, will be marked wrong.

    Cultural note: Inappropriate uses of pronouns in Vietnamese can mean anything from impoliteness, rudeness, awkwardness or intentional insult. Even the same two persons may use different pronouns over time depending on how their emotion, gender, social role, relationship or situation changes (falling in love, hating, threatening, anger, happiness, joking, honoring…). However, Vietnamese people are tolerant towards foreigners speaking Vietnamese so if you happen to use inappropriate pronouns, you are very likely to be excused!

  • 50 Negation51 100 •••
    không · không phải là
    2 words

    Không (used with all verbs except “to be”)

    To indicate negation, one simply places the word không before the verb. Không means “no”. So literally, all sentences with negative verb will mean: subject + no + verb. Example: "I no go to school", "she no study", "I no like but love Duolingo".

    Note: you can use không when the sentence involves the use of adjective(s), such as "I am no happy", "she is no fun", "he is no cruel". But continue reading the case below!

    Không phải là (used with “to be” only with identifying purpose)

    Same with không, but không phải là is for “no to be something”. You cannot use không phải là with regular verbs. In short, không phải là is used when you say something/someone is not something/someone in a sense of identity. Example: "I am no student", "she is no my girlfriend", "she is no teacher".

    Note: this phrase is used with the sense of identity only. You CANNOT use it to describe emotion, quality or any qualitative characteristics (good, bad, sad, happy, old...). If that is the case, refer to the use of không above.

  • 50 Common Phrases52 100 •••
    anh · buổi · bình thường · bằng · chào · chào mừng · cảm ơn · cẩn thận · cứ tự nhiên · hẹn gặp lại · khoẻ · làm ơn · lặp lại · nói · sáng · tiếng · tên · tạm biệt · việt · vâng · vẫn · xin · xin lỗi · ổn
    24 words

    You are learning basic greetings in Vietnamese. There will be no new grammar notes in this lesson but just some basic phrases for you to start a conversation.

    Lesson 1

    About Hello in Vietnamese: Unlike popular belief that Vietnamese greeting is always Xin chào!, it is not the case. I rarely hear anyone use Xin chào anymore except in formal speech or movies. Instead, the Vietnamese commonly say "Chào + a person’s first name or a suitable pronoun". Chào standing alone works fine too.

    Lesson 2

    Although we teach the phrase Chào buổi sáng (Good morning), the phrase “Good morning” does not actually exist in Vietnamese. There is no specific greeting for each period of a day (morning, afternoon, evening). Instead, one simply says Chào as above. You are recommended not to use Chào buổi sáng in conversation.

    Lesson 3

    The name “Việt Nam” is a variation of Nányuè (南越), literally meaning “Southern Viet”. In that, the word Việt applied to an ethnic group living in southern China and Vietnam (pre-history) and was gradually adapted to represent Vietnamese people and Vietnamese language while the word Nam is not required.

    In this course, we will use tiếng Việt as the Vietnamese language (with tiếng = language) and người Việt as Vietnamese people (with người = people/humans).

  • 50 Classifiers 161 100 •••
    chiếc · cuốn · cái · quyển · quả · trái · tờ
    7 words

    Introduction to Classifier System in Vietnamese

    Classifiers are used to accompany a noun but not to modify it. It precedes a noun in order to demonstrate a physical/non-physical appearance or quantity of that noun. Classifier System is not featured in English but some other languages do have similar system.

    Word order of a noun is: classifier + noun + adjective.

    Just like noun gender in some languages, this is something one has to learn by heart. It is important to know which classifier goes with which noun. There can be more than one classifier that can match with a noun but not all nouns will have two or more classifiers.

    In this skill, you will start with 7 classifiers:

    • Cái and chiếc are the most common classifiers. Unless the object has specific or unique features that require other classifiers, most of them (70% of all nouns) can be accompanied by cái or chiếc interchangeably.
    • Quyển and cuốn accompany book or any noun that resembles a book (novel, comics, diary…). They can be used interchangeably.
    • Quả and trái accompany fruit most of the time, but can be used for words that resemble a small, spherical or near spherical object (soccer ball, shuttlecock, any sport ball, and even grenade and bomb).
    • Tờ accompanies a piece of paper or anything that resembles a piece of paper (form, receipt, money…). Exception: Newspaper, even though it is indeed multiple sheets of paper, it stills use the classifier "tờ" instead of "quyển/cuốn".
  • 50 Animals 162 100 •••
    bò · chim · chuồn chuồn · chuột · chó · con · cá sấu · gấu · heo · khỉ · mèo · ngựa · rùa · rắn · rồng · sở thú · thỏ · trâu · voi · vịt · động vật
    21 words

    In this lesson, we will learn about animals. The classifier word for animals is: con.

    Example: con mèo (the cat), con chó (the dog)....

    Additional note on classifier system

    You may ask this question: does a noun always have to be accompanied by a classifier? What is the difference between a noun without a classifier and a noun accompanied by one? The answer is no. Vietnamese people give little or no preference about this minor detail. As long as it makes sense, they can fully understand you.

    But in fact, there are certain differences in interpreting the two. Here is the table for you to compare:

    Noun with classifier Noun without classifier
    Meaning Describing characteristic of that specific thing/object only. Equivalent to "the" in English Implying characteristic of that noun as a whole. Demonstrating a truth/fact about that noun
    Use Very frequent in daily communication because people tend to talk about specific object only. Exception may apply. More frequent in written Vietnamese, newspapers, research papers, journal. Still possible to use in daily communication.
    Example Con mèo thích tôi - The cat likes me. (Meaning: that specific cat likes me) Mèo di chuyển trên bốn chân - Cat walks on four feet. (Meaning: all cats walk on four feet)

    Most sentences on Duolingo will have classifiers preceding nouns.

  • 50 Clothing63 100 •••
    cởi · giày · khoác · khăn quàng · mang · mũ · mặc · quần · thắt lưng · tất · váy · áo · áo lạnh · đôi · đầm · đội · ủng
    17 words

    In English, one verb “to wear” can pretty much cover all kinds of clothes, such as “to wear a hat", "to wear a shirt", "to wear shoes”. In Vietnamese, there are more than one verb for “to wear”, depending on what clothes you are talking about. Check out this table:

    Type of clothes Verb Example
    Hat (anything worn on head) đội; mang Tôi đội/mang một cái mũ. (I wear a hat)
    Shirt, Coat (anything worn on body) mặc Tôi mặc một cái áo. (I wear a shirt)
    Pants (anything worn from waist from ankles) mặc; mang Tôi mặc/mang một cái quần. (I wear pants)

    Depending on the regions and dialects, the uses of these verbs may vary. However, to simplify the learning process on Duolingo, we will go with these only two verbs: đội for anything worn on head and mặc for any kinds of shirts and pants. These are the most commonly used and understood by any Vietnamese speakers.

  • 50 Food71 100 •••
    bữa · canh · chanh · chay · chuối · cà chua · cà phê · dầu ăn · gà · khoai tây chiên · muối · mì ý · mì ăn liền · món · nấm · phở · rau · rượu · thịt · thức ăn · trái cây · trưa · trứng · tối · với · đường · ớt
    27 words

    Lesson 1

    Món is the classifier for all kinds of food. It can precede all nouns that indicate food. If there is no noun, món can stand alone and mean “dish” (as in: delicious dish, not as in: plate of food). In this case, it is best to used with demonstratives: món này, món đó (this dish, that dish) if used in conversation.

    Note: Món can signify different status of animal. A living animal, the noun must be accompanied by con (con gà - the chicken). But if món accompanies the noun instead, it means a cuisine/dish made from that animal (món gà - the chicken, but meaning the dish of chicken instead).

    Lesson 2

    Bữa means “meal” and can be considered as classifier for meals of a day. We have sáng, trưa, chiều, tối, respectively meaning “morning, noon, afternoon, evening”. Therefore, bữa sáng, bữa trưa, bữa chiều, bữa tối respectively means “breakfast, lunch, teatime/afternoon snack, dinner”.

    Lesson 3

    Thức ăn means food or dishes in general. But unlike món, it is not a classifier. You should just use thức ăn to generally indicate food (Example: I saw her food, The food is delicious…)

    Cultural note: Canh is, technically, soup. But it is not identical to Western soup (for this, we have the word “xúp”, pronounced the same as soup, meaning “Western soup”). In this course, the answer “soup” is accepted for canh.

    Lesson 5

    For trứng, classifier word is quả or trái, just like fruits. But we usually use quả rather than trái.

    Chay means “vegetarian” (adjective) but its use is unique compared to English. To say “I am vegetarian” in Vietnamese, you say “Tôi ăn chay” - literally, I eat “vegetarianly”. In this case, chay must always go with the verb ăn (to eat).

    • You can combine chay with món, bữa and thức ăn to indicate món chay (vegetarian dish), bữa chay (vegetarian meal), thức ăn chay (vegetarian food).
    • To say “I am a vegetarian person”, you say “Tôi là người ăn chay” (literally, I am the person who eats “vegetarianly”).
  • 50 Questions 172 100 •••
    ai · gì · khi · nào · phải không · sao · tại · vì · đâu · ở
    10 words

    This lesson contains some important words for the rest of this course

    Yes-no question: using Phải không

    1. To form yes-no question, you simply place phải không at the end of the sentence. The question formula is like this: S + V + O + phải không?. Technically, phải không is equivalent to “right?", "eh?” in English sentences. Example: Bạn thích cô ấy phải không? (literally, You like her, right?)

    2. Another way to form yes-no question: you add before the verb or adjective(s) and place không at the end of the sentence. The question formula will become like this: S + + V/Adj + O (optional) + không?. Example: Bạn có hạnh phúc không? (hạnh phúc = happy -> adj.) (Are you happy?), Bạn có muốn ăn không? (Do you want to eat?)

    WH-question:

    Subject Verb Question Word
    Bạn ở đâu?
    Bạn học như thế nào?
    Cô ấy đang làm gì?

    Example:

    English Question Where are you?
    Vietnamese Translation Bạn đâu?
    Word-by-word You are where?

    In this skill, you will learn how to form questions with where, what, who, why, and when

    Using where - đâu

    • Đâu is placed at the end of the sentence.

    • Đâu is often used with , which means at. Literally, ở đâu means at where.

    Using what -

    • Just like other question words, is placed at the end of the sentence.

    • can associate (follow by) with either a verb or a classifier, or both. For example: placed after the verb ăn, ăn gì literally means “eat what”, used in the question asking someone eating what. And con is the classifier for animals. Therefore, con gì means “what animal”. For example, Đó là con gì? (What animal is that?)

    • Cái is the most commonly used classifier word, representing almost every tangible object, thus, cái gì means “what thing/object” associating with the verb of that question sentence. For example: Đây là cái gì? (What is this?, literally What thing/object is this?)

    • It is possible for cái gì to be used as subject. Example: Cái gì cắn tôi? (What bites me?).

    Using who - ai

    • In Vietnamese, ai can be a subject or an object. Example: Ai đánh bạn? (Who beats you?) or Bạn đánh ai? (You beat whom?/Who do you beat?).

    Using when - khi nào

    • Khi nào can be placed at the beginning or at the end of the question without changing any meaning. Preferably, our answer database has more questions containing khi nào at the beginning so you are recommended to follow.

      E.g: Khi nào bạn ăn bữa sáng? (When do you eat the breakfast?)

    Using why - vì sao/tại sao

    • There are two forms of “why”: vì sao and tại sao. They are interchangeable.
    • Place them at the beginning, before SVO to form why-question.
    • To answer with “because”, you say tại vì, bởi vì or just simply , then followed by regular SVO.

      E.g: Tại sao chúng tôi mặc quần? (Why do we wear pants?) or Vì sao bạn ăn cái bánh? (Why do you eat the cake?) – Tại vì nó ngon. (Because it is good/delicious.)

  • 50 Verbs 182 100 •••
    biết · bán · bơi · bắt đầu · bộ · cho · chơi · chạy · cười · cần · dùng · giúp · hát · khóc · luyện · làm · lấy · lắng nghe · mua · múa · mở · nghe · nghĩ · ngồi · ngủ · nhảy · nấu · thấy · thử · tìm · tập · viết · việc · xem · yêu · đi · để · đỡ · đứng · ủng hộ
    40 words

    Lesson 1

    Cho can be an independent verb (meaning “to give”, “to allow”) but in this lesson, it acts as preposition “to” as in viết cho (to write to (sb)). Note: cho is not universally used as “to” for every word.

    Regarding the verb nghe, it can mean both “hear” and “listen to” in English. There is no need to use preposition with nghe as it is simply followed by noun or pronoun, respectively for “hear” and “listen to”.

    Thấy in this lesson means “to see”. Interestingly, it accompanies other verbs to emphasize the action in the sense of “already done it”, such as nghe thấy (to hear, and already hear), nhìn thấy (to see, and already see), tìm thấy (to find, and already find).

    Notice the verb thử, which means "to try doing sth". When using this verb, you just need to add another verb after it. Example: Tôi thử ăn một quả chuối (I try eating a banana). For "to try to do sth", we will give you its correspondence verb in Vietnamese later.

    Lesson 2

    Yêu means “to love”. Unlike thích (to like), yêu cannot go with another verb like in English (love eating, love to work…). But you can use thích + another verb (thích ăn, thích học, thích cười…).

    Lesson 3

    Okay, lắng nghe contains the word nghe, so it must mean “to hear”/“to listen to” right? That is true! lắng nghe does mean so but emphasizing the action of hearing/listening. However, this word is not common in regular conversation but quite common in poetry, novel, speech.

    The verb đi means “to go” and đi bộ means “to walk” in the sense of to go jogging. Additionally, throughout the skill tree, you will see this form a lot: đi + another verb. Example: đi ăn (go eat), đi ngủ (go sleep), đi bán (go sell)… It is commonly used in daily conversation to emphasize actions. In fact, it is more natural to use this form when speaking with or without the urgency of the action. Vietnamese people love emphasizing what they did/are doing/will be doing!

    Luyện tập means “to practice”. Breaking it down, luyện independently can mean “to practice” but we will not use it in this course, and tập means “to practice” but in the sense of “just start learning something”.

    Lesson 4

    Giúp đỡ means “to help” in a narrative sense, giúp alone works well and sounds more natural. In case of saying “help me”/“help + sb”, use giúp only.

    Review this case: thấy in this lesson means “to see” and it accompanies other verbs to emphasize the action in the sense of “already done it”.

    In this lesson, we learn the word tìm (to find). tìm alone means one has the purpose of going find something and not yet finds it, while tìm thấy means one already finds something.

    Lesson 5

    Làm means “to work”. đi làm means “to go to work”. It commonly goes with việc to become làm việc (also meaning “to work” but specifically talking about working for an employer). Additionally, special form: làm + (sb) + adjective/verb = to make + sb + adjective/verb. Example: Tôi làm cô ấy cười (I make her smile), Anh ấy làm tôi buồn (He makes me sad).

    Lesson 6

    Để is a verb, meaning “to put (something on/at/in something)”. When using with pronoun or person’s name, it means “to let + (sb) + verb/adjective”. Moreover, để can be used as conjunction, “to” as in “in order to” or “to + verb” which we will learn later on.

    Combination of verbs

    In Vietnamese, a stative verb (such as đứng - stand, ngồi - sit, nằm - lie) can combine with another verb to describe an action that is done in the state.

    For example: Cậu bé đó đang ngồi đọc sách. - The boy is sitting and reading a book.

    You can see in this example, the stative verb ngồi (sit) is combined with đọc sách (read a book), so the sentence describe the boy reads a book while sitting.

  • 50 Objects91 100 •••
    bàn · bát · chai · cửa sổ · ghế · giường · gương · muỗng · máy tính · pin · thuốc lá · tivi · túi · ví · điện thoại · đèn · đồng hồ
    17 words

    There is no new grammar in this skill.

    Important review: for most objects in this skill, classifier words cái and chiếc are applicable and interchangeable.

    Important review: classifier word is not always required. It depends on the noun’s usage itself. If one wants to use a noun with general meaning (Ex: animals eat to survive), then there is no classifier needed. If one wants to point at a specific noun (Ex: the ice cream (that you bought) is tasty), then classifier is needed.

    In this course, when in doubt, use classifier!

    • Exception: in lesson 3, thuốc lá cannot be accompanied with cái or chiếc. Its classifier is điếu.

    In lesson 2, máy tính is supposedly means “computer” in general. However, the original word is máy vi tính but máy tính replaced the original one and is widely used. Note: máy tính can also mean “portable scientific calculator” but we will not use it in this course.

  • 50 Questions 292 100 •••
    bao · câu · hỏi · làm sao · nhiêu · như · thế nào · trả lời · đáp án
    9 words

    You will continue to learn how to form questions in Vietnamese.

    Using how - như thế nào and làm sao

    1. Như thế nào is always at the end of sentence to make it a “how-question” (Example: Bạn học như thế nào? (literally, You study how?)). It is used to ask about “what method, condition, quality of doing something”.
    2. In comparison, làm sao is placed at the beginning of the sentence to ask the “how to” question.
      • Formula 1: Làm sao + S + V + O? (Ex: Làm sao bạn biết Tiếng Việt?) (How do you know Vietnamese language))
      • Formula 2: Làm sao + để (from skill Verb 1) + Verb? (Ex: Làm sao để học Tiếng Việt? (How to study Vietnamese?))

    Asking how much/how many - bao nhiêu

    • Bao nhiêu can be used for both countable and uncountable nouns.
    • Bao nhiêu is placed before classifier words. So the formula for this kind of question: S + V + bao nhiêu + classifier + noun? (Ex: Bạn có bao nhiêu con chó? (literally, You have how many dogs?)).
    • Bao nhiêu is GREAT for asking price. Saying Bao nhiêu? is quite enough unless you want to be more specific, then follow this: Noun + giá + bao nhiêu? (giá means “price”). (E.g: Cái mũ này giá bao nhiêu? (How much is this hat?))

    Lesson 2

    Trả lời means “to answer” while đáp án means “answer” (as a noun). We also use câu trả lời to represent “answer” as a noun.

  • 50 Colors101 100 •••
    cam · hồng · màu · nhạt · nâu · trắng · tím · vàng · xanh da trời · xanh lá cây · xám · đen · đậm · đỏ
    14 words

    What a colorful life!

    You will learn handful of basic colors here: red, white, black, orange, blue, green, brown, gray, pink and violet.

    Classifier for all colors is màu (meaning “color”). So literally, to mention color, one will say, in Vietnamese, color red, color green, color brown and so on.

    • If you want to use color words with a noun (object, living thing), classifier màu is optional. Example: cái áo màu đỏ and cái áo đỏ (red shirt, one has màu, one does not) are both acceptable.

    In English, you use “to be” to describe color (the shirt is red, the dog is brown, the computer is black, etc.). In Vietnamese, we do not use “to be” but the verb “to have” - .

    • Formula for this: S + có + màu + color. (Example: Con chó có màu nâu (literally, The dog has color brown)). Do not use “to be” with color!

    Cultural note: there are many Vietnamese words associating with blue and green but we will only learn xanh da trời and xanh lá cây. Xanh separately can mean green or blue, causing confusion. Xanh da trời literally means “blue as the skin of the sky” and xanh lá cây means “green as tree leaves”.

    This video is for those who want to know more about colors in different languages.

  • 50 Adjectives 1102 100 •••
    buồn · bình thường · bướng bỉnh · chậm · cũ · cần thiết · dài · dễ · giàu · hay · hiện đại · hoàn hảo · hài hước · hạnh phúc · khó · kiên nhẫn · lạc quan · lịch sự · lớn · mới · nghiêm túc · nghèo · ngon · nguy hiểm · ngắn · nhanh · nhỏ · nặng · nổi tiếng · phức tạp · quan trọng · rất · rẻ · sai · thân thiện · thật · tiện lợi · trung thực · truyền thống · trưởng thành · tích cực · tệ · tốt · xa xỉ · ích kỷ · đúng · đơn giản · đắt · đặc biệt · đẹp · độc lập
    51 words

    In this lesson, you will learn some basic adjectives.

    Unlike English, Vietnamese language does not require the use of “be” when having a subject accompanied with adjective(s). However, for teaching and learning purpose, the course will have this rule: for all sentences that have the structure subject-adjective, except for negative sentences and questions, you must use rất (very).

    Literally, all sentences will appear to be like this: he very happy, I very tired, she very smart…

    Example:

    • Tôi rất hạnh phúc. (literally, I very happy)
    • Cô ấy rất giỏi. (literally, she very intelligent)

    BUT:

    • Tôi không hạnh phúc. (literally, I no happy - no longer use rất)
    • Cô ấy không giỏi. (literally, she no intelligent - no longer use rất)
    • Tôi có hạnh phúc không? (Am I happy? - no longer use rất)
    • Cô ấy có giỏi không? (Is she intelligent? - no longer use rất)

    Why? It is not the case that the Vietnamese love to exaggerate everything. Using very simply helps you to distinguish between a sentence (subject-very-adjective) and a modified noun (noun-adjective(s)).

    Note: You may encounter some sentences in this course that do not always have the word very. That is because they have other indications as a sentence already, such as I am happy and sad (with “and”).

    Note: These instructions are for learning purpose only. In real conversation, you may or may not use rất (very) and your sentences still make sense. In fact, avoid using rất in every sentence, it’s exaggerative!

    Lesson 1 - using “thật”

    Very straightforward, thật is equivalent to “really” to accompany adjective(s). It is not used for expressing surprise like “Really?” in English. However, thật will not be used much in this course.

    Lesson 7 - đúng and sai

    With đúng (right) and sai (wrong), you do not have to use “very”.

  • 50 Conjunctions103 100 •••
    bởi vì · cả · hoặc · khi · khi nào · không phải · mà còn · mà cũng · nhưng · nên · nếu · thì · trong khi · trước · tuy · đều · để
    17 words

    Lesson 1

    There is this useful phrase: Nếu… thì…. It is equivalent to “If… then…” in English.

    Lesson 2

    Another useful phrase for you: Không những… mà còn…, which is equivalent to “Not only… but also…” in English.

    Useful expression: cả + subject + đều + verb/adj which is similar to “both” in English. It illustrates both mentioned subjects do the same action or have the same characteristic.

    Lesson 3

    Nên in this lesson is used as “so” between two clauses or two sentences. Most of the time, it is placed at the beginning of the clause/sentence to indicate cause and effect relation.

    Để in this lesson is used as “in order to” or simply “to”. Additionally, you can have this structure “in order for (sth/sb) to…” by saying: “để + sb/sth + verb in Vietnamese”.

    Useful expression: không phải…mà cũng không phải OR không…mà cũng không, equivalent to “neither…nor…” in English. This expression can be used as subject or object.

  • 50 Numbers110 100 •••
    ba · bảy · bốn · chín · hai · lăm · lẻ · mươi · mười · mốt · nghìn · nhiều · năm · nửa · sáu · số · triệu · trăm · tám · tư · tổng cộng · tỷ · đủ
    23 words

    From 0 to 10

    Firstly, here are numbers from 0-10:

    English Vietnamese
    Zero Không
    One Một
    Two Hai
    Three Ba
    Four Bốn
    Five Năm
    Six Sáu
    Seven Bảy
    Eight Tám
    Nine Chín
    Ten Mười

    From 11-19

    From 11-19, you say mười (ten) + any number from one to nine from table above. Literally, it means “ten one” (11), “ten two” (12) and so on.

    • Exception: For fifteen (15), you cannot say “mười năm” (ten five) but the correct form is Mười lăm (“lăm” instead of “năm”). Though lăm and năm all mean “five”, năm is used for number 5 only while lăm is used with any integer starting from 15 that ends with 5 (15, 25, 35, 45…). Using lăm alone to represent number 5 is incorrect!

    From 20 to 99

    1. For 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, you say any number from two to nine (table above) + mươi. Example: hai mươi (20), ba mươi (30), chín mươi (90) and so on.
      • Note that this is mươi, not mười.
    2. For the rest of the number, you simply combine any number from two to nine (table above) + mươi + any number from two to nine. Example: hai mươi ba (23, literally two ten three), chín mươi chín (99, literally nine ten nine).

      • Exception: Pay attention to the use of lăm as mentioned above.
      • Exception: For number ending with 1 (21, 31, 41…), you use mốt instead of một. This is similar to the case of lăm above. It starts from 21 and beyond (E.g: 61 is sáu mươi mốt, NOT sáu mươi một). For 11, you still use một as in mười một (11).
      • Exception: For number ending with 4 (24, 34, 44…), you can use beside bốn. However, unlike the case of lăm and mốt above, bốn and can be used interchangeably. (E.g: 44 can be bốn mươi bốn or bốn mươi tư; 74 can be bảy mươi bốn or bảy mươi tư)

    From 100 and beyond

    1. For hundred-level, you use any number from one to nine + trăm. (Example: một trăm (100), chín trăm (900) and so on.)
    2. Simply combine #1 with two sessions above to form any number from 100 to 999. Example: hai trăm ba mươi ba (233), chín trăm chín mươi chín (999)…
    3. Important: For any number from 1 to 9 (101 to 109, 201 to 209...), lẻ must be used. Formula: number (1-9) + trăm + lẻ + number (1-9)
    4. For thousand-level, you use any number from one to nine + nghìn. Repeat #2 and #3 for any number from 1000 to 9999.
    5. For million-level, you use any number from one to nine + triệu. Same as above.
    6. For billion-level, you use any number from one to nine + tỷ. Same as above.

    Vietnamese currency

    Vietnamese currency (Vietnam dong - Việt Nam đồng or just simply đồng) starts with thousand-level so if you plan to travel, I recommend you to pay attention to the word nghìn (thousand) and triệu (million).

    • You do not have to say “Việt Nam đồng” as currency unit when talking about money in Vietnam.
    • Available bills: 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000, 200000, 500000 (paper bill only, there used to be coins but they are extremely rare now).
  • 50 Continuous121 100 •••
    bây giờ · hiện tại · lúc này · vào · đang
    5 words

    You’ll learn how to form continuous tense in Vietnamese, that is, to demonstrate the actions that are taking place.

    One must add đang before verb(s) of a sentence to indicate continuity.

    Example:

    • Tôi đang ăn. (I am eating)
    • Cô ấy đang đọc. (She is reading)
    • Họ đang ngủ. (They are sleeping)

    Note: Vietnamese language does distinguish between present tense (I eat -> habit, fact) and continuous tense (I am eating -> going on right now). So does this course.

    That is all!

  • 50 Ordinal numbers122 100 •••
    cuối cùng · lần · thứ · đầu tiên
    4 words

    Ordinary numbers in English are “first”, “second”, “third”, fourth, fifth, something-th

    In Vietnamese, you simply add thứ before a number to form ordinary number(s). Check the skill Numbers if you need to review about numbers in Vietnamese.

    • Exception: for “first”, you say thứ nhất (“nhất”, instead of “một”).

    Example:

    • Đây là quyển sách thứ hai của tôi. (This is my second book).
    • Cậu bé thứ bảy (The seventh boy)
  • 50 Verbs 2123 100 •••
    bảo vệ · bật · cho phép · cố gắng · dừng · giao tiếp · gửi · hiểu · hy vọng · hôn · nhìn · phát minh · phân biệt · sản xuất · sống · thay đổi · thành công · thảo luận · thất bại · thắng · thử thách · tin · trở thành · trở về · tìm hiểu · tắt · tặng · tồn tại · xuất bản · ôm · đưa · đồng ý
    32 words
  • 50 Dates and Time131 100 •••
    chiều · chủ nhật · giây · giờ · hè · hôm nay · lịch · mùa · mỗi · nay · ngày · ngày mai · ngày sinh · năm · phút · sáng · thiên niên kỷ · thu · tháng · tháng một · tháng tư · thập niên · thế hệ · thế kỷ · thời gian · thứ · thứ tư · tuần · tuổi · tối · tối nay · xuân · đông
    33 words

    In Vietnamese, it is common to use number to illustrate a weekday or a month (example: thứ 3 (Tuesday) or tháng 7 (July)). However, in this lesson, please do not write in number.

    Days of the week

    For days of the week, one use thứ + any number from 2 to 7. For Sunday, it’s exceptional: Chủ nhật.

    English Vietnamese
    Monday Thứ hai
    Tuesday Thứ ba
    Wednesday Thứ tư
    Thursday Thứ năm
    Friday Thứ sáu
    Saturday Thứ bảy
    Sunday Chủ nhật

    Note: Yes, you remember it right. These are exactly like ordinary numbers (second, third, fourth… seventh).

    Months of the year

    For months of the year, you use tháng + any number from 1 to 12.

    English Vietnamese
    January Tháng một
    February Tháng hai
    March Tháng ba
    April Tháng bốn
    May Tháng năm
    June Tháng sáu
    July Tháng bảy
    August Tháng tám
    September Tháng chín
    October Tháng mười
    November Tháng mười một
    December Tháng mười hai

    Note: for April, the more common use is tháng tư. However in general, both tháng bốn or tháng tư are acceptable.

  • 50 Family132 100 •••
    anh · bà · bố · bố mẹ · chú · chị · chồng · con · em · gia đình · gái · hôn nhân · họ · họ hàng · trai · vợ · ông
    17 words

    From tips & notes in the skill Basics 1, we learn that Vietnamese pronouns vary depending on context, polite level, gender, superiority, emotion, and age. Thus, I have to simplify and limit the total accepted pronouns in this course.

    The same with this case. How you call your parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts… will vary depending on regions.

    Here is the simplified and universally understood translations that we will use in this course.

    English Vietnamese
    Older brother Anh (trai)
    Younger brother Em (trai)
    Older sister Chị (gái)
    Younger sister Em (gái)
    Child/Son Con (trai)
    Child/Daughter Con (gái)
    Dad/Father Bố
    Mom/Mother Mẹ
    Grandpa/Grandfather Ông
    Grandma/Grandmother

    Note: These Vietnamese words can actually be used as pronouns but we are not going to use it in this course. There will be separate post in discussion forum explaining this.

    Cultural note: for grandpa/grandma, Vietnamese people always distinguish between paternal grandparents (ông/bà nội) and maternal grandparents (ông/bà ngoại).

  • 50 Comparison133 100 •••
    hơn · như · nhất · so sánh · ít
    5 words

    Vietnamese people use comparison in conversation very frequently.

    Comparison of adjectives

    Superiority: Subject + adjective + hơn + object

    • Example: Tôi mập hơn bạn. (I am fatter than you)

    Equality: Subject + adjective + như + object

    • Example: Tôi mập như bạn. (I am as fat as you)

    Note: There is inferior comparison of adjectives but it is not very common to use.

    Comparison of verbs

    Superiority: Subject + verb + object 1 (optional) + nhiều hơn + object 2

    • Example: Tôi ăn nhiều hơn bạn. (I eat more than you)

    Equality: Subject + verb + object 1 (optional) + nhiều như + object 2

    • Example: Tôi ăn nhiều như bạn. (I eat as much/many as you)

    Inferiority : Subject + verb + object 1 (optional) + ít hơn + object 2

    • Example: Tôi ăn ít hơn bạn. (I eat less than you)

    Comparison of adverbs

    Superiority: Subject + verb + adverb + hơn + object

    • Example: Tôi học nhanh hơn bạn. (I study faster than you)

    Equality: Subject + verb + adverb + như + object

    • Example: Tôi học nhanh như bạn. (I study as fast as you)

    Note: Inferior comparison of adverb is rare. People tend to use opposite adverb instead (slowly =/ fast).

    Note: You can always place any additional object (optional) after verb.

    Superlative comparison

    • Adjective

    This is a bit complicated. Superlative adjective should be accompanied by a noun (for instance, the best person, most intelligent student, fastest man…). You can’t simply say “I am the best”, “She is the most intelligent” like in English.

    General formula (for standalone noun): noun + adjective + nhất (in this case, this standalone noun can be subject or object of a sentence, or just by itself).

    • Verb

    Formula: Subject + verb + object (optional) + nhiều nhất.

    Example: Cô ấy học nhiều nhất. (She studies the most - the most content of something)

    • Adverbs

    Formula: Subject + verb + object (optional) + adverb + nhất.

    Example: Anh ấy ăn nhanh nhất. (He eats “fast-est” - this form does not really exist in English)

    Quantity comparison of noun(s)

    It is also frequent to say you have something more or less than someone else does.

    • Superior quantity comparison: (To have more + noun + than)

    Subject + có + nhiều + noun + hơn + object (optional).

    Example: Tôi có nhiều tiền hơn (bạn). (I have more money (than you)).

    • Inferior quantity comparison: (To have less + noun + than)

    Subject + có + ít + noun + hơn + object (optional).

    Example: Tôi có ít tiền hơn (bạn). (I have less money (than you)).

    • Superlative quantity (to have the most/fewest + noun)

    Subject + có + nhiều/ít + noun + nhất

    Example: chúng tôi có nhiều/ít thành viên nhất. (We have the most/fewest members)

    Note: the plural indicators những and các are NOT needed.

  • 50 Prepositions 1141 100 •••
    cùng · ngoài · phía sau · phía trước · sau khi · trong · trước khi · từ · về · đến
    10 words

    This skill introduces some basic prepositions in Vietnamese.

    There is no new grammar point. However, you may want to review previous grammar notes, especially skills Question 1 and Question 2.

    Good luck!

  • 50 Geography142 100 •••
    bắc · châu · hướng · la bàn · lượng mưa · nam · nam cực · phi · thung lũng · tây · á · âu · đông · đại dương · đảo · địa hình · đồng bằng
    17 words

    There is no new grammar in this skill.

  • 50 Common Phrases 2150 100 •••
    chia buồn · chúc mừng · hãy · không có gì · nhanh lên · tai nạn · thật không · vừa mới · đợi · đừng · ư
    11 words

    Here are some more common expressions.

    Lesson 1

    hãy + verb: this word is similar to the phrase “let’s” but it does not have equivalent meaning. Instead of “let us”, it indicates “let you” or “you should”. The target audience is someone else not you.

    Note: actually, people don’t use hãy much in daily conversation. But you will see the use of hãy a lot on advertisement, instruction panel or formal speech, implying you or all of you in general, should do something.

    đừng + verb: so this is another form of negation, very similar to không, meaning “do not + verb”. One uses đừng when strongly demanding someone not to do something. When traveling in Vietnam, watch out for red signs starting with đừng. It is either a law that you should not violate or something could harm you (example: Do not enter).

    ư: this word is put at the end of sentence to indicate a yes-no question, besides phải không. Refer to skill “Question 1” if you need to review this. However, ư indicates a question with an expression of surprise.

    Lesson 2

    không có gì: literally meaning “there is nothing”, this phrase is similar to “you’re welcome” or “no problem”, used to respond to thank-you.

    vừa mới: this phrase is used in this formula: subject + vừa mới + verb, demonstrating that someone has just done something. This phrase indicates action occurred the past but only a moment ago. Note: Vietnamese people love to talk about what they just did. You are recommended to add this phrase to your vocabulary list.

    In this lesson, you also learn to form commands or requests. Nothing new here. Learn it yourself!

  • 50 Countries 1152 100 •••
    bồ đào nha · cộng hoà séc · hà lan · hàn quốc · nga · ngôn ngữ · nhật · nước · pháp · quốc gia · quốc tịch · thuỵ sĩ · thủ đô · trung quốc · tây ban nha · văn hoá · úc · đến từ · đức · ấn độ
    20 words

    In general, most names of countries have origin from Sino-Vietnamese (chữ Nôm). Thus, many sound very similar to their counterparts in Chinese language. For reference, here is a long list of Vietnamese names for countries and cities around the world: Vietnamese exonyms

    Note: Do not learn by heart. Most Vietnamese would not understand or use these Vietnamese-written names, only a handful of those (which will be taught here). For the rest of the countries and cities, you should use original English names as that is how Vietnamese people preferably use.

    Classifier for country is nước. It also means “water” as you already learn. So nước + <> is the proper form to address a country to someone.

  • 50 Nominalization161 100 •••
    sự · sự bắt đầu · sự kiên nhẫn · sự lịch sự · sự nghiêm túc · sự phức tạp · sự thay đổi · sự thành công · sự thân thiện · sự thật · sự đơn giản · sự đồng ý · sự ủng hộ
    13 words

    The term nominalization means converting a word into a noun. In this skill, I particularly refer to the conversion of an adjective or a verb into a noun.

    In English, you have “stupidity” as noun form of “stupid”, “eagerness” as noun form of “eager”.

    In Vietnamese, one simply adds sự before a verb or an adjective to convert it into noun.

    Example:

    • bắt đầu (to start) (verb) => sự bắt đầu (the start) (noun)
    • phức tạp (complicated) (adjective) => sự phức tạp (complication) (noun)

    While most adjectives can be converted to noun form with the word sự, not all verbs can! We will learn more about this in another skill.

    Ultimately, a number of adjectives cannot be converted! Despite not being grammatically wrong, doing so to some adjectives or in some contexts can sound weird, awkward or unnatural.

    We will try to create a post in forum to list words that should not be used with sự.

  • 50 Jobs 1162 100 •••
    bác sĩ · ca sĩ · công nhân · cảnh sát · diễn viên · diễn viên hài · doanh nhân · giáo viên · học sinh · kiến trúc sư · kế toán · kỹ sư · luật sư · nghề nghiệp · nghệ sĩ · ngư dân · nha sĩ · nhà báo · nhà khoa học · nhà lãnh đạo · nhà sư · nhà thiết kế · nhà toán học · nhạc sĩ · nông dân · sự nghiệp · thuyền trưởng · thư ký · y tá · đầu bếp
    30 words
  • 50 Future171 100 •••
    ngày mốt · sau · sắp · sẽ · tương lai · tới
    6 words

    Technically, Vietnamese doesn't have tense like English or other European languages.

    In Vietnamese, time is implied by adverbs or contexts instead of verb conjugation. These adverbs can be time: ngày mai (tomorrow), năm sau (next year), tuần sau (next week), etc. They can be also a specialized adverb for time reference - for past, it's "đã"; for continuous present, it's "đang"; for future, it's "sẽ".

    To be precise, these are actually adverbs marking perfect, continuous, and prospective aspects, respectively, but with the assumption that you're without linguistic background, you can understand this as relative time reference.

    Drawing time from context is harder and cannot be taught in this course. We recommend you to do further practice in real life situations to get used to Vietnamese time reference.

    For convenience, colloquially, such references to past, present, and future, are called "tense" - be careful.


    To express an action that is going to or will probably happen, simply put sẽ (equivalent to “will”) before the verb.

    Example:

    • Con mèo sẽ ăn. (The cat will eat)
    • Chúng tôi sẽ viết một quyển sách. (We will write a book)
    • Họ sẽ không ngủ. (They will not sleep)

    To express negation, please refer to the skill Negation as the grammar rule is the same.

    • Will not + action: sẽ không + verb
    • Will not be + attribute: sẽ không + adjective
    • Will not be something: sẽ không phải là (sẽ không là is also correct) + noun (accompanied by classifier if needed)

    Common future time expression

    You already learned ngày mai (tomorrow), here are some more common expressions.

    • ngày mốt: the day after tomorrow. Yes, we have a word for the day after tomorrow.
    • using tới or sau with week/month/year to indicate next week, next month or next year. Example: tuần tới or tuần sau (next week), tháng tới or tháng sau (next month)…
    • sắp: this word is placed between subject and verb to indicate an action that is about to happen. Example: họ sắp xuất hiện (meaning: they are about to appear).
  • 50 Attributes172 100 •••
    bảo thủ · bất cẩn · bất lịch sự · bất lợi · chuyên nghiệp · chất lượng · cạnh tranh · cả tin · khiêm tốn · linh hoạt · lười biếng · lợi thế · may mắn · quan tâm · siêng năng · tham lam · thông minh · tính cách · tôn trọng · tập trung · tử tế · vẻ đẹp · xấu tính · đam mê
    24 words

    No new grammar point in this skill, only new vocabulary.

    Some attributes can be used as noun or adjective without nominalization. In this skill, those words are:

    • linh hoạt (flexible or flexibility)
    • cạnh tranh (competitive or competitiveness)
    • bất lợi (disadvantageous or disadvantage)
    • may mắn (lucky or luck)
    • bất cẩn (careless or carelessness)
    • tham lam (greedy or greed)
    • lười biếng (lazy or laziness)

    Ultimately, using nominalization (sự) with these words is acceptable.

  • 50 Verbs 2.5173 100 •••
    dám · giữ · hỗ trợ · hợp tác · khuyên · khẳng định · luyện tập · nhận ra · phát hiện · thoả mãn · trở lại · trừng phạt · tìm ra · tắm · xứng đáng · đánh giá cao · đối mặt
    17 words
  • 50 Adjectives 1.5182 100 •••
    chăm chỉ · hơi · no · quen thuộc · trống rỗng · xấu
    6 words

    In the sentence structure:

    It + be + adj + (for + S.O) to + verb + ... there is no word-by-word translation

    For example:

    1.1) It is hard to wake up early ( It+ be +adj+ to +verb)

    Translation: Khó/Rất khó (mà/để - optional but more natural to add) dậy sớm

    In the Vietnamese translation, we will ignore "It is" there and just translate the rest.

    1.2) It is hard for a teacher to pay attention to all.

    Translation: Một giáo viên khó mà quan tâm hết.

    Now here, we will use "a teacher" as the subject to start our translation.

  • 50 Frequency190 100 •••
    hiếm khi · không bao giờ · luôn · thường xuyên · đôi khi
    5 words

    Adverbs of frequency describe how often something occurs.

    In this skill, there are five common adverbs of frequency to learn.

    • luôn (or luôn luôn): always
    • thường xuyên: usually, often
    • đôi khi: sometimes
    • hiếm khi: rarely
    • không bao giờ: never

    The adverb of frequency is placed between subject and verb in a sentence.

    Example:

    • Tôi luôn hạnh phúc. (I am always happy)
    • Cô ấy thường xuyên buồn. (She is usually sad)

    Minor notes:

    • Sometimes, đôi khi can be placed at the beginning of the sentence.
    • For the sake of this course, when a sentence has an adverb of frequency, you do not have to use rất (very) unless the sentence clearly means so.
    • There are two terms for “never”: không bao giờ and chưa bao giờ. While there is only không bao giờ in this skill tree, chưa bao giờ is an emphasized expression of “never”. Use this to emphasize something you have never done before.
    • Some adverbs of frequency that are not featured: nhiều lúc (sometimes), đôi lúc (sometimes, but a bit less) nhiều khi (occasionally, sometimes), thường thường (often), thỉnh thoảng (often).
  • 50 Objects 2192 100 •••
    bong bóng · bàn chải · bàn phím · búa · bút chì · bột · chìa khoá · cờ · dao · diều · giấy · hộp · kéo · kính · liềm · lược · màn hình · máy · máy giặt · máy tính bảng · máy ảnh · nam châm · nhẫn · nhật ký · quà · quạt · thang · thiệp · thư · thẻ tín dụng · tủ lạnh · từ điển · vật thể · ảnh
    34 words
  • 50 Conjunctions 2193 100 •••
    cho dù · chỉ · cũng · hơn nữa · mặc dù · một khi · như vậy · trừ khi · tuy nhiên · vậy · vậy mà · vậy nên
    12 words

    Lesson 1

    vậy mà is equivalent to “but” in English and it connects two opposing clauses in one sentence. vậy mà can be used interchangeably with nhưng.

    như vậy is a bit unique. Despite having various English interpretation, I limit its translation into two only (as shown in hint): “like that” (as in “I am like that”, “I work like that”, etc) and “as a result” (placed at the beginning of the clause).

    Lesson 2

    mặc dù and tuy nhiên are equivalent to “although” or “though”. They can be used interchangeably. If your answer containing either one of these is marked wrong, please report to us.

    cũng is a helpful word to demonstrate someone also does something. Following this formula: subject (tôi/anh ấy/An/người đàn ông…) + cũng + verb. - cũng vậy is another way to shorten similar clauses. Using this structure: subject (tôi/anh ấy/An/người đàn ông…) + cũng vậy, it can replace sentences in this format “so am I/so do I/me too/I do too”. - Note: standalone vậy has many uses but mostly, it is equivalent to sentence-initial “so”, as being used as a pause during conversation.

  • 50 Adverbs201 100 •••
    bỗng · chưa · cuối cùng · cùng nhau · dù sao · gần như · hoàn toàn · khoảng · lại · một cách · ngay lập tức · nói chung · suýt · thậm chí · với nhau · xung quanh · ở đây
    17 words

    In general, Vietnamese people do not use adverbs that often in daily conversation. Additionally, they rarely use adverbs to accompany adjectives as in English (such as “incredibly strong”, “unbelievably amazing”, etc.). Therefore, one should avoid use too many adverbs as much as possible.

    This skill provides a handful of adverbs that is most frequently used.

    General formula

    Unlike English, Vietnamese do not modify an adjective to convert it into adverb. Instead, one places một cách before an adjective to create an “adverb phrase”. Literally, it means “in a way that is (adj)”. For instance, một cách hạnh phúc (happily) in Vietnamese literally means “in a way that is happy”.

    Example: một cách hoàn hảo (perfectly), một cách may mắn (fortunately), một cách hạnh phúc (happily).

    Exception: some adjectives require one additional word when forming “adverb phrase”. For instance, chậm (slow) and nhanh (fast) are adjectives but in “adverb phrase”, one says một cách chậm chạp (slowly - “chạp” is added), một cách nhanh chóng (fast - “chóng” is added).

    Other adverbs

    Some common adverbs provided in this skill do not follow the “adverb phrase” structure above.

    • ngay lập tức: immediately
    • nói chung: generally/generally speaking
    • suýt: almost (do something)
    • thậm chí: even (as in “I do not even understand what you’re talking about)
    • dù sao: anyway (always using this form dù sao...cũng/vẫn...)
    • chưa: yet (as in “have not done something yet”)

    ATTENTION: Nói chung

    "Chung" means "common", "general", but it also has a homophone SV root meaning "end" - which gives it two meanings:

    Meaning #1: "In general" or "Generally"

    Meaning #2: "To conclude", "to sum up"
    In a colloquial sense, it works as a signal "Let's settle on this conclusion, I don't want to talk about it anymore, switch the topic".

    In some cases, it can mean either, but it some cases, it can only mean either of them. The best strategy is probably to try both and see which one makes sense.

  • 50 Modal Verbs203 100 •••
    có thể · cần phải · không nên · không thể · không được · nên · phải
    7 words

    Different meaning of "được" at different positions

    Apart from being used for passive voice and adjective/adverb, "được" can have two meanings as a modal particles, depending on where it stands. Look at these two sentences for example:

    Tôi được chạy.
    Tôi chạy được.

    What is the difference between these sentences? When standing before verb, it means be allowed to, while standing after verb, it mean be able to. So, the first sentence means "I am allowed to run", while the second one means "I can run".

    Vietnamese vs. English differences

    In English, must + V means you have to do something, but must not + V doesn't mean you don't have to do something, but rather you are not allowed to do something.

    In contrast, in Vietnamese, phải + V means you have to do something, and không phải + V means you don't have to do something.

    If you want to say you are not allowed to do something, you should say không được + V, where được here means "is allowed to do something".

  • 50 Places211 100 •••
    biên giới · bãi biển · bưu điện · bảo tàng · bếp · bệnh viện · chùa · chợ · con đường · công viên · cầu · hang · hiệu sách · khu vực · khách sạn · làng · lâu đài · ngân hàng · ngôi · nhà · nhà ga · nhà hàng · nhà hát · nhà thờ · nhà tù · nông trại · nơi · phòng khách · phòng ngủ · phòng tắm · quán cà phê · quảng trường · quận · rạp phim · siêu thị · sân · sân bay · thành phố · thư viện · thị trấn · tiệm bánh · toà nhà · trung tâm · trung tâm thương mại · trạm xe buýt · trụ sở chính · tù · vùng · văn phòng · đường · đường hầm · đường phố · địa chỉ
    53 words
  • 50 Ask and tell the time212 100 •••
    hỏi giờ · kém · lúc · mấy giờ · rưỡi
    5 words

    kém

  • 50 Countries 2213 100 •••
    ai cập · ba lan · bỉ · canada · hy lạp · indonesia · nam phi · phần lan · thuỵ điển · thái lan · thổ nhĩ kỳ · đan mạch · đài loan
    13 words
  • 50 Past221 100 •••
    hôm qua · năm ngoái · trước · đã · đã từng
    5 words

    Technically, Vietnamese doesn't have tense like English or other European languages.

    In Vietnamese, time is implied by adverbs or contexts instead of verb conjugation. These adverbs can be time: hôm qua (yesterday), tuần trước (last week), năm ngoái (last year), trước đây (before), 10 năm trước (10 years ago), etc. They can be also a specialized adverb for time reference - for past, it's "đã"; for continuous present, it's "đang"; for future, it's "sẽ".

    To be precise, these are actually adverbs marking perfect, continuous, and prospective aspects, respectively, but with the assumption that you're without linguistic background, you can understand this as relative time reference.

    Drawing time from context is harder and cannot be taught in this course. We recommend you to do further practice in real life situations to get used to Vietnamese time reference.

    For convenience, colloquially, such references to past, present, and future, are called "tense" - be careful.

  • 50 Travel222 100 •••
    ba lô · bản đồ · chuyến bay · cuộc phiêu lưu · danh lam thắng cảnh · du khách · du lịch · hành lý · hành trình · hộ chiếu · lái · máy bay · nội địa · quốc tế · thăm · thế giới · thị thực · tàu hoả · tàu thuỷ · xe buýt · xe hơi · xe máy · đại sứ quán
    23 words

    Lái - fly/ride/drive

  • 50 Verbs 3223 100 •••
    bay · cho rằng · chờ · cảm thấy · cấm · dành · ghét · giải thích · giới thiệu · gặp · gọi · kết thúc · liên hệ · làm bạn · ngưỡng mộ · nhận được · nhập khẩu · phản bội · sở hữu · theo · thông báo · tiếp tục · trộn · tạo ra · vâng lời · xuất hiện · xuất khẩu · xây dựng · đến · định nghĩa · đợi
    31 words

    dành >< giành

  • 50 Passive231 100 •••
    bị · bởi · được
    3 words

    In Vietnamese, sentences in passive voice distinguish between "positive" and "negative" passive.

    For "positive" passive sentence, that is, when the subject of the sentence gains benefit from the action, you use "được" (gain) as the copula. For "negative" passive sentence, that is, when the subject lose something because of the action, you use "bị" (suffer).

    How to form a passive voice sentence:
    Active voice: S + V + O
    --> English passive: O + be + past participle [+ by S]
    --> Vietnamese passive: O + bị/được [+ S] + V

    Example:

    "Anh ấy đã bị [ai đó] nhìn thấy trong khi đang bán cái điện thoại của tôi."
    "He was seen [by someone] while selling my phone."

  • 50 Prepositions 2232 100 •••
    bên · cạnh · dưới · giữa · ngoại trừ · phải · trái · trên
    8 words

    dùng kết hợp với "ở"

  • 50 Education241 100 •••
    bài giảng · bài kiểm tra · bài thuyết trình · báo cáo · chương · chương trình · ghi chú · giáo dục · giáo sư · học bổng · khoá học · kiến thức · lớp học · nghiên cứu · nghiên cứu sinh · ngành · trường · ví dụ · văn bản · ý tưởng · đại học
    21 words

    Nghiên cứu vs. học

    These both words can be translated to English as "study". However, their usages are not the same in Vietnamese. Generally, nghiên cứu results in new knowledge, while học is studying a pre-existing knowledge. A rule of thumb is, when it's possible to replace "study" with "research", then it's nghiên cứu; when it's replaceable with "learn", then it's học.

  • 50 Common Phrases 3242 100 •••
    cho đến khi · còn hơn · có lẽ · có vẻ · cũng được · hết · làm phiền · lạc · mà · một chút · mời · quá · rằng · rồi · so với · thà · thật sự · được không · đến lúc
    19 words

    rồi = then = t/lai

    rồi = already = q/khứ

    đến lúc + sb + phải + rồi

    cho đến + time reference.

    Because a clause (S+V) in Vietnamese can't be a time reference, unlike in English, so you can't say "...cho đến tôi làm xong việc này" but it must be "cho đến khi tôi làm xong việc này". That's why "until" is usually translated as "cho đến khi" when it stands alone.

    "Hôm nay" is already a time reference, so it doesn't need "khi" to turn it to be. You will see this comes up in other exercises.

  • 50 Reflexive243 100 •••
    bản thân · tự · tự mình
    3 words
  • 50 Determiners251 100 •••
    bất kỳ ai · bất kỳ cái gì · cái gì đó · cả hai · khác · không ai · không có gì · mọi · mọi người · mọi thứ · một ai đó · tất cả
    12 words

    điều này điều đó

    tất cả không ai

  • 50 Relative Clauses252 100 •••
    việc · điều
    2 words
  • 50 People261 100 •••
    anh hùng · bạn gái · bạn trai · con người · cá nhân · công cộng · cưới · dân số · hội thảo · khách hàng · kẻ thù · kẻ ác · loài người · ly hôn · lịch sử · mối quan hệ · tình bạn · tình yêu · tính nhân đạo · uỷ ban · đám cưới · đồng nghiệp
    22 words
  • 50 Abstract Objects 1262 100 •••
    bằng chứng · cơ hội · cấp độ · danh sách · di chúc · dịch vụ · giá trị · giải pháp · giải thưởng · hiện tượng · hành động · hệ thống · hồ sơ · kết quả · loại · lượt · lựa chọn · mục đích · nhóm · niềm hy vọng · nội dung · phiên bản · sự bảo vệ · sự lựa chọn · thiết kế · thoả thuận · thành viên · trò chơi · trường hợp · tài khoản · tâm trí · tình hình · vai trò · vấn đề · điều ước · ảnh hưởng
    36 words

    năm lần bảy lượt = many times

  • 50 Verbs 4263 100 •••
    bắt nguồn · chuẩn bị · chạm · chỉ trích · chọn · chứa · chứng minh · cứu · dạy · dậy · gia nhập · hết hạn · khắc phục · kiểm soát · kéo dài · lan truyền · liệt kê · mơ · nổ · sửa · tham gia · thu hút · thức khuya · toả sáng · trở nên · xây · xảy ra · đăng ký · đại diện · đầu tư · ước
    31 words
  • 50 Animals 2271 100 •••
    chân · cá heo · cá mập · cáo · cò · cú · cừu · gấu trúc · lạc đà · muỗi · nhện · sói · sừng · tê giác · vẹt · đuôi · ếch
    17 words
  • 50 Communication272 100 •••
    báo chí · bình luận · công cụ tìm kiếm · diễn đàn · internet · kênh · kết nối · mạng · mạng lưới · mạng xã hội · mật khẩu · phóng viên · phản hồi · thông tin · thời sự · tin nhắn · truyền thông · trực tuyến · đăng nhập
    19 words
  • 50 Nature273 100 •••
    biển · bầu trời · cánh đồng · cát · cây · cơn bão · cảnh quan · cỏ · gió · hoa · hành tinh · hòn đá · khí hậu · khói · không khí · lá · lửa · môi trường · mưa · mặt trăng · mặt trời · ngôi sao · ngọn đồi · núi · núi lửa · rễ · rừng · sóng · sông · thiên nhiên · thời tiết · thực vật · trái đất · vật chất · ánh sáng · đất
    36 words
  • 50 Adjectives 2281 100 •••
    an toàn · bình tĩnh · bình đẳng · bất ngờ · cao · công · căng thẳng · cổ · cụ thể · duy nhất · gần · hiệu quả · hào phóng · lạnh · mạnh mẽ · nóng · phù hợp · phổ biến · quý giá · sẵn sàng · sớm · sợ · thích hợp · thấp · thất vọng · trẻ · tàng hình · tò mò · tư nhân · tạm thời · tự do · ven biển · yên lặng · yên tĩnh · đau đớn
    35 words
  • 50 Miscellaneous282 100 •••
    cành · cố tình · dép · dừa · hình ảnh · kể · nô lệ · ria mép · thiết bị · tre · tàu ngầm · tượng đài · vệ sinh · ám chỉ · ở trọ
    15 words
  • 50 Politics291 100 •••
    an ninh · bài diễn văn · bạo lực · bắt giữ · bỏ phiếu · chiến dịch · chiến lược · chiến tranh · chính phủ · chính sách · chính trị · chính trị gia · chủ quyền · cuộc bầu cử · cuộc xung đột · công dân · cơ sở hạ tầng · hiến pháp · hoà bình · hải quân · khủng bố · khủng hoảng · kinh tế · kế hoạch · luật · mối đe doạ · nghĩa vụ · nguyên nhân · nữ hoàng · phát triển · phúc lợi · quyết định · quyền · quyền lực · quân đội · quốc hội · sự giàu có · sự đầu tư · tham nhũng · thuế · thị trưởng · toà án · tổng thống · tội phạm · từ chức · tỷ lệ · vua · xã hội · yêu cầu · ý kiến · đình công · ứng cử viên
    52 words

    Tổng thống or Chủ tịch nước?

    There are two titles for head of state in Vietnamese that are both translated into English as "president": Tổng thống and Chủ tịch nước.

    Chủ tịch nước is a title of a president of a communist country, such as Vietnam, China, or Cuba. Tổng thống is for other countries.

    In the exercise, we only introduce Tổng thống, which is applied for American president. However, both answers are accepted.

  • 50 Sports292 100 •••
    bàn thắng · bóng · bóng bầu dục · bóng chuyền · bóng rổ · chức vô địch · cầu thủ · huy chương · huấn luyện viên · quần vợt · sân vận động · thể thao · trận đấu · trọng tài · vé · vận động viên · điểm · đội
    18 words
  • 50 Arts293 100 •••
    buổi hoà nhạc · bài hát · bộ sưu tập · cuộc thi · khán giả · nghệ thuật · nhiếp ảnh · nhạc · phim · phong cách · sáo · thơ · thời trang · văn học · vĩ cầm · âm thanh
    16 words
  • 50 Abstract Objects 2301 100 •••
    biểu tượng · bí mật · bóng · chú ý · chữ ký · cuộc sống · danh dự · giấy phép · hành vi · hậu quả · không gian · kinh nghiệm · ký hiệu · ký ức · lối thoát · lỗi · lợi · niềm tin · niềm vui · nỗ lực · nụ cười · sự cố gắng · sự kiện · sự sợ hãi · thiệt hại · thành tích · thái độ · truyền thống · trách nhiệm · trạng thái · tình huống · tín hiệu · tính thực tế · tôn giáo · vị trí · xu thế · ích
    37 words

    Bring sb sth = mang đến cho sb sth

  • 50 Classifiers 2302 100 •••
    bài · bản · bộ · bức · cây · cơn · giấc · môn · tấm · viện · vị · đoá · đàn
    13 words

    mảnh - mảnh đất -> đặt sau bài nature

    giấc mơ =/ ước mơ

  • 50 Jobs 2303 100 •••
    hoạ sĩ · nhà nghiên cứu · nhà sử học · nhà thơ · nhà triết học · nhà văn · nhân viên · thuỷ thủ · thông dịch viên · thợ làm tóc · thợ mộc · thủ thư · tài xế · tác giả
    14 words
  • 50 Medical311 100 •••
    bàn chân · bàn tay · bác sĩ thú y · bệnh · bệnh nhân · chăm sóc · chấn thương · chế độ ăn kiêng · chữa · cuộc hẹn · cánh tay · cơ thể · cảm cúm · cẳng chân · cổ · da · dịch bệnh · gãy · khuôn · khám · kiểm tra · làn · lây lan · lưng · lưỡi · miệng · mái · máu · mũi · mắt · mặt · ngón tay · ngực · não · răng · sức khoẻ · sự điều trị · tai · thuốc · thị lực · trái tim · trường hợp khẩn cấp · tóc · ung thư · xe cấp cứu · đau · đầu
    47 words

    How to talk about illness

    In Vietnamese, to talk about illness, you can say:
    <subject> + <illness name>

    However, you can also use passive voice (which is, in fact, the more preferred way):
    <subject> + bị + <illness name>

    Note that "bị" is linked with negativity. Illness is certainly a negative thing.


    chú ý classifier được dạy kèm từ vựng chỉ bộ phận cơ thể - ckhadung

  • 50 Science312 100 •••
    bài báo · chi tiết · chiều · công nghệ · công thức · cơ học lượng tử · dự án · giảm · giới hạn · hoá học · khoa học · khoảng cách · khái niệm · khám phá · khối lượng · kết luận · mét · mẫu vật · nhiệt độ · năng lượng · phòng thí nghiệm · phương pháp · sinh học · số lượng · sự phân tích · thuyết · thí nghiệm · thể tích · toán · triết học · trọng lượng · tăng · tốc độ · vận tốc · vật lý · đo · địa lý · định nghĩa · độ sâu
    39 words
  • 50 Economics313 100 •••
    bảo hiểm · chi phí · chứng khoán · cuộc họp · cuộc phỏng vấn · công nghiệp · công ty · giao dịch · giá · giám đốc · hoá đơn · hợp đồng · kinh doanh · kinh phí · lệ phí · lợi nhuận · nhãn hiệu · phá sản · quảng cáo · quỹ · rủi ro · séc · sản phẩm · thị trường · tiền · tiền mặt · tiền tệ · toàn cầu hoá · trốn thuế · tập đoàn · tổ chức · tỷ giá · vàng · đa quốc gia · đô la · đồng
    36 words
  • 50 Astronomy321 100 •••
    hệ mặt trời · kính viễn vọng · năm ánh sáng · sao diêm vương · sao hoả · sao hải vương · sao kim · sao mộc · sao thiên vương · sao thuỷ · sao thổ · thiên hà · thiên thạch · thiên văn học · tàu vũ trụ · vũ trụ · vệ tinh
    17 words

    closet to sth = gần sth nhất Name of planets: Sao + Name or Name + Tinh (Sino-Vietnamese)

  • 50 Adjectives 3322 100 •••
    bất thường · chính · chính thức · cô đơn · dễ thương · ghen tị · giận dữ · lạ · mồ côi · nghiêm trọng · ngoan · ngu ngốc · nổi bật · rõ ràng · rộng · say · thật là · tuyệt vời · tuyệt đối · tối thiểu · tối đa · tự hào · vinh quang · vô nghĩa · vững chắc · xa · xinh · đáng nể · ổn định
    29 words

    teach the form: Thật là - ckhadung

  • 50 Verbs 5324 100 •••
    bao gồm · biến mất · biểu tình · buộc · chạy trốn · chấp nhận · cải thiện · cầu nguyện · di trú · duy trì · dự đoán · giải quyết · giết · hoãn · hình thành · lên · mất · nhấc · nhắc đến · nhớ · núp · phát huy · quên · quản lý · ràng buộc · rửa · sụp đổ · sử dụng · thuộc về · trang bị · trồng · tuyên bố · điều tra · đánh giá thấp · đầu hàng · đập vỡ
    36 words
  • 50 Vietnam331 100 •••
    di sản · huế · hà nội · lì xì · lễ hội · múa rối nước · nón lá · nền văn minh · phong kiến · phong tục · sài gòn · thần thoại · thờ · triều đại · truyền thuyết · truyện kiều · trầu · trống đồng · tết · tổ tiên · vịnh bắc bộ · áo dài · đạo khổng · đạo phật
    24 words

    Thờ vs. tôn thờ

    English "worship" can be translated to Vietnamese as thờ or tôn thờ. These two words have different meaning.

    To thờ someone, that person must be either dead or a deity, and this act is a religious ritual. On the other hand, you can tôn thờ any living person, or probably not a person, like your idol; this act is not religious. Sometimes tôn thờ can be religious as well, but that's for deities exclusively.

    Synonyms of tôn thờ are: tôn sùng, thần tượng, sùng bái
    Synonym of thờ: cúng, thờ cúng

    Examples:

    • Ở Việt Nam, người ta thờ ông bà tổ tiên. (In Vietnam, people worship their ancestors)
    • Những người theo đạo Thiên Chúa thờ Giê-xu. (Christians worship Jesus).
    • Bạn không nên tôn thờ người khác. (You should not worship/idolize other people).
  • 50 History332 100 •••
    bóc lột · bất bình đẳng · bắt giam · chiến đấu · chết · chống lại · chủ nghĩa · cách mạng · công lý · cộng hoà · cộng sản · di tản · dân chủ · dân thường · giai cấp · người chiến thắng · người tị nạn · nổi dậy · nội chiến · phát xít · thuộc địa · thống nhất · tuyên truyền · tàn phá · tư bản · xâm lược · đe doạ · đảng
    28 words
  • 50 Abstract Objects 3342 100 •••
    bản án · câu chuyện · hình phạt · hệ quả · kỹ năng · lý do · lương tâm · nguồn gốc · nền tảng · quá khứ · sức mạnh · trình độ · trời · tầm nhìn · yếu tố · đạo đức · đề tài · ứng dụng
    18 words

    noun + gì = any (dùng trong câu phủ định)

  • 50 Military343 100 •••
    chiến thuật · chiến thắng · chỉ huy · chống · căn cứ · cố thủ · doanh trại · du kích · huy động · hạt nhân · không quân · lính · lực lượng · nhắm · phòng thủ · phục kích · quân phục · quân sự · súng · thiết giáp · tiểu đoàn · trận chiến · trực thăng · tuyên chiến · tàu chiến · tên lửa · tù binh · tăng · tấn công · vũ khí · vũ trang · xe · đạn · đổ bộ
    34 words

    With vehicle, classifier = chiếc. need to note in grammar Classifier quả for tên lửa

  • 50 Paranormality351 100 •••
    cúng · huyền bí · kiếp · linh hồn · lá bùa · lời nguyền · ma · mê tín · phép thuật · số phận · thiên thần · thiên đường · thầy bói · tử vi · ám · địa ngục
    16 words
  • 50 Classifier 3.1352 100 •••
    chuyến · cuộc · căn · hòn · nền
    5 words
  • 50 Reduplicative Words361 100 •••
    béo bở · bưng bít · bảnh bao · bụi bặm · bừa bãi · bực bội · che chở · chen chúc · chiều chuộng · chín chắn · chậm chạp · cằn nhằn · cộc cằn · dang dở · dõng dạc · dễ dàng · dịu dàng · dụ dỗ · dửng dưng · gan góc · gắt gỏng · gặp gỡ · lo lắng · lung linh · lơ lửng · lạnh lùng · mệt mỏi · ngẩn ngơ · nhanh nhẹn · vui vẻ · vớ vẩn · ăn năn
    32 words

    dõng dạc = adv more than adj

    dính dáng = use in negative sense most of the time

  • 50 Informal Expressions362 100 •••
    bó tay · bóc lịch · bẩn tính · chặt chém · cơm bụi · cắt cổ · cứng đầu · cửa · dài cổ · dở hơi · leo cây · làm ăn · mất sổ gạo · nhận gạch · nổ · qua đời · run lập cập · thức trắng đêm · trúng gió · tây ba lô · viêm màng túi · ăn cháo đá bát
    22 words

    Note on overprice: use as verb here, but usually use as adj

    Cơm bụi (lit. dust meal) is a cheap meal that is served at working-class restaurant. There are several explanations on the etymology of this word, one of which is that these street restaurants are sometimes on the sidewalk, so there is dust from the street.
    Because this is hard to translate, it'll be translated as "working-class meal" like in this article

  • 50 Reduplicative Words 2364 100 •••
    bụ bẫm · chứa chan · hân hoan · khó khăn · lang thang · lưỡng lự · lặng lẽ · nặng nề · nồng nàn · rộn ràng · tha thứ · tự tin · vòng vo · vẻ vang · đanh đá · đông đúc
    16 words

2021-09-09
0.048

Basics 1 updated 2018-10-23

Welcome to the Vietnamese course!

Here are some basic grammar rules for you to get started with:

Word Order

Like most languages, word order in Vietnamese is simple:

  • For sentence: Subject + Verb + Object
  • For single word: Noun + Modifiers (Adjectives).

Word Conjugation/Modification

There is no conjugation or modification at all. Words with different tones (for example, ga and ) are not considered conjugation/modification but two different words. In general, the meaning of sentence changes when we add or remove word(s), or change their order.

Articles (a/an/the) (featured in lesson 4)

In Vietnamese, there are no articles similar to those in English. You use the word một to represent a quantity of “1” and that is all.

For the learning purpose throughout the skill tree, you should follow this pattern of using articles:

  • In a Vietnamese sentence, if you see the word một, then your English answer should contain a/an. If not, then your English answer should contain the.
  • In an English sentence, if you see a/an, then your Vietnamese answer should contain một. If you see the instead, then your Vietnamese answer should not have anything before the noun (except for classifiers which will be taught later).

For the sake of this course, all pronouns used in answers will be simplified as in this table:

English Pronoun Vietnamese Pronoun
I Tôi
You (singular) Bạn
He Anh ấy
She Cô ấy
It
We Chúng tôi
You (plural) Các bạn
They Họ
  • Important: Due to the almost unlimited combinations of pronouns, we cannot add them all to the database. Therefore, do not try to enter different pronouns other than those above or your answer will be marked wrong.
  • Important: In the Vietnamese language, subject pronouns and object pronouns are the same.

Vietnamese classifier system

In Vietnamese, there are words that are used to accompany other nouns in order to "classify" them based on physical/non-physical appearance or quantity.

You will learn about these classifiers in latter skills. In this skill, a few classifiers are introduced:

  • Cái: used to accompany almost every object.
  • Con: used to accompany "animal".
  • Người: used to accompany "human".

Alphabet Introduction 1 updated 2018-10-23

Welcome to the Vietnamese course!

This skill is for you to get started with the Vietnamese alphabet and the way the meaning of a word changes with different tones.

For basic grammar rules, please refer to skill Basics 1

There are six tones in Vietnamese language:

Name Diacritic Example
flat (no mark) me (tamarind)
grave \ mè (sesame)
acute / mé (to cut off)
hook ? mẻ (fermented)
tilde ~ mẽ (appearance)
dot . mẹ (mother)

Alphabet

Vietnamese alphabet does not have the letters f, j, w and z.

  • In addition to letter a, there are: ă and â.
  • In addition to letter d, there is: đ.
  • In addition to letter e, there is: ê.
  • In addition to letter o, there are: ô and ơ.
  • In addition to letter u, there is: ư.

These are also vowels in Vietnamese alphabet (except d and đ, which are consonants).

Additional Consonants

  • Ch
  • Gh
  • Gi
  • Kh
  • Ng / Ngh
  • Nh
  • Ph
  • Qu
  • Th
  • Tr

Vietnamese classifier system

In Vietnamese, there are words that are used to accompany other nouns in order to "classify" them based on physical/non-physical appearance or quantity.

You will learn about these classifiers in latter skills. In this skill, a few classifiers are introduced:

  • Cái: used to accompany almost every objects.
  • Con: used to accompany "animal".
  • Người: used to accompany "human".

Possession updated 2018-10-23

Possessive words in Vietnamese are simple. You just need to add của before subject/object pronouns. (Note: subject pronouns and object pronouns are the same. No difference at all).

The following table may help you to recall what we learned about subject pronouns:

Subject Pronoun Translation Possessive Translation
I Tôi My Của tôi
You (singular) Bạn Your Của bạn
He Anh ấy His Của anh ấy
She Cô ấy Her Của cô ấy
It Its Của nó
We Chúng tôi Our Của chúng tôi
You (plural) Các bạn Your Của các bạn
They Họ Their Của họ

của can be optional when you are talking about "friend", "dad", "brother" or any family members. This only works with "your" and "my". You will see some example in the skill Family below.

  • Example: Anh tôi (my older brother), bố bạn (your dad), bạn tôi (my friend)

Possessive Pronouns

In English, you sometimes use possessive pronouns to avoid repeating the noun. For example: "It is my car, not your car" = "It is my car, not yours" = "The car is mine, not yours".

In Vietnamese, again, there is no difference between possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns. In both case, you use the same word as presented in the table above. For example: "The book is hers.” = "Quyển sách là của cô ấy.” and “Her book" = "Quyển sách của cô ấy”.

The use of "của mình"

Just like other languages, we hate repetition.

Take a look at this sentence "Cô ấy bán quyển sách của cô ấy" (She sells her book). It is grammatically correct, but the word cô ấy is repeated twice. And that is not nice.

To avoid that, one uses của mình. Here is the simple rule: của mình can replace any possessive adjectives or possessive pronouns above if and only if the noun(s) (in the sentence) belong to the same subject (of that sentence).

For instance, let's reuse the sentence above:

  • ”Cô ấy bán quyển sách của cô ấy." (Repetition, doesn't sound nice)
  • Rewrite: "Cô ấy bán quyển sách của mình." (Much better!)

Note: Của mình should only be used to avoid repetition, that is, for sentences that have noun(s) belonging to the same subject like "I sell my car", "she wants her book", "he cooks his food" and so on. Của mình cannot be used if sentence has noun(s) not belonging to subject pronoun, such as "I sell his book", "he wants her money", "they need our car".

Demonstrative Determiners updated 2018-10-23

In English, demonstratives are “this”, “that”, “these” and “those”. This skill will teach you to use demonstratives in Vietnamese.

To be used as adjective to modify noun(s): using này, đó/kia

  • Này is equivalent to this or these. Này is used as an adjective so it is placed after noun(s). Example: con gà này (this chicken), cái ca này (this mug)
  • Đó/Kia is equivalent to that or those. They are also placed after noun(s). Example: con gà đó (that chicken), nhà ga đó (that train station). Đó and kia are interchangable.
  • Not quantity-based. In English, “this” goes with singular noun while “these” represents a quantity of more than one. However, này and đó/kia does not base on quantity at all. However, plural indicative words (những or các) must accompany them. Please refer to skill Plural.

To be used as subject of a sentence: using đây, đó/kia

  • In English, this/these/that/those can be used as independent subjects or objects in sentence. In Vietnamese, their uses are slightly different.
  • Đây is equivalent to this or these used as subject of a sentence, usually followed by “to be”, similar to “this is..." or “these are...".

Important: Technically, đây and này are the same. They are both equivalent to English "this/these" and they both can be used as adjective for a noun or as an independent subject. However, for the sake of this course, đây will NOT be used as adjective and này will NOT be used as independent subject.

  • Đó/Kia is equivalent to that or those used as subject, usually followed by “to be”, similar to “that is...” or “those are..." . Just like đây and này, đó/kia can be used freely as a subject or adjective.

Important: For the rest of the skill tree, the word kia will NOT appear frequently. Most commonly used demonstratives are đây, đó, and này so you are recommended to use these words if you encounter sentences with demonstratives.

To be used as object of a sentence: using này, đó/kia

  • To be an object of a sentence, này, đó/kia must be accompanied by the classifier cái as you already learned in the skill Alphabet 1. Importantly, these demonstratives are quantity-based when used as object of sentence. In short, cái này = this, những cái này = these, cái đó = that, những cái đó = those.

Plurals updated 2019-05-18

To indicate plurality, one can simply place những or các before plural noun. If a plural noun has adjective(s), những or các must be placed before them in this order: những/các + classifier + plural noun + adjective(s). Note that you usually need a classifier whenever you have những or các. You will learn about classifiers later in the course.

There are more ways to indicate plurality in Vietnamese but two words những and các are the most common ones. Later in the course, you will learn that when there is a number, you don't use these plural markers.

Important: những and các are to demonstrate plurality only. They are not equivalent to "some", "a few", "many"..... Lessons about this area will be provided later.

The two words những and các do not have any meaning other than indication of plurality so do not try to translate them. They can be used interchangeably throughout the skill tree.

Những and các can and should combine with the demonstratives. Please refer to the skill Demonstratives in the same row for more information.

Example: những cậu bé này (these boys); các quả táo kia (those apples)

Alphabet Introduction 2 updated 2018-10-23

This skill gives you another overview of the Vietnamese alphabet in addition to the first Alphabet skill as the nightmare does not end there.

Besides additional letters, tones and additional consonants, there are:

A lot of diphthongs and triphthongs

(I took the liberty to not include some diphthongs/triphthongs that are extremely uncommon in daily usage to simplify the list)

Note: You do not need to learn these by heart. This is just to provide an overview.

  • With letter a, diphthongs are: oa, oai, ai, ao, au, ay
  • With letter â, diphthongs are: ây, âu
  • With letter e, diphthongs are: eo, oe
  • With letter ê, diphthongs are: êu, uê
  • With letter ơ, diphthongs are: ơi
  • With letter ư, diphthongs are: ươi, ưi, ưu
  • With letter o, diphthongs are: oi
  • With letter ô, diphthongs are: ôi, uôi (triphthong)

And a lot more

  • ach, oang, oanh, anh, an, am…
  • ăc, âc, ăm, âm, ăn, âm…
  • iêc, iêm, iên, iêp…
  • im, in, inh, ip, it…
  • ua, ưa, uân, uc, ưc, ung, ưng…

Each can combine with any consonant and any tones to create a different word, with different meaning and slightly different sound. Imagine all the possibilities? Don't worry. You will master it eventually. Just think about thousands of strokes to remember when learning Mandarin/Japanese, you will feel better.

Basics 2 updated 2019-07-30

No new content in this lesson. You may want to refer to previous grammar notes if you need help. Remember that we use simplified pronouns in this course, which are:

English Pronoun Vietnamese Pronoun
I Tôi
You (singular) Bạn
He Anh ấy
She Cô ấy
It
We (not including "you") Chúng tôi
We (including "you") Chúng ta
You (plural) Các bạn
They Họ

All other pronouns, despite being correct in certain context, will be marked wrong.

Cultural note: Inappropriate uses of pronouns in Vietnamese can mean anything from impoliteness, rudeness, awkwardness or intentional insult. Even the same two persons may use different pronouns over time depending on how their emotion, gender, social role, relationship or situation changes (falling in love, hating, threatening, anger, happiness, joking, honoring…). However, Vietnamese people are tolerant towards foreigners speaking Vietnamese so if you happen to use inappropriate pronouns, you are very likely to be excused!

Negation updated 2018-10-23

Không (used with all verbs except “to be”)

To indicate negation, one simply places the word không before the verb. Không means “no”. So literally, all sentences with negative verb will mean: subject + no + verb. Example: "I no go to school", "she no study", "I no like but love Duolingo".

Note: you can use không when the sentence involves the use of adjective(s), such as "I am no happy", "she is no fun", "he is no cruel". But continue reading the case below!

Không phải là (used with “to be” only with identifying purpose)

Same with không, but không phải là is for “no to be something”. You cannot use không phải là with regular verbs. In short, không phải là is used when you say something/someone is not something/someone in a sense of identity. Example: "I am no student", "she is no my girlfriend", "she is no teacher".

Note: this phrase is used with the sense of identity only. You CANNOT use it to describe emotion, quality or any qualitative characteristics (good, bad, sad, happy, old...). If that is the case, refer to the use of không above.

Common Phrases updated 2018-10-23

You are learning basic greetings in Vietnamese. There will be no new grammar notes in this lesson but just some basic phrases for you to start a conversation.

Lesson 1

About Hello in Vietnamese: Unlike popular belief that Vietnamese greeting is always Xin chào!, it is not the case. I rarely hear anyone use Xin chào anymore except in formal speech or movies. Instead, the Vietnamese commonly say "Chào + a person’s first name or a suitable pronoun". Chào standing alone works fine too.

Lesson 2

Although we teach the phrase Chào buổi sáng (Good morning), the phrase “Good morning” does not actually exist in Vietnamese. There is no specific greeting for each period of a day (morning, afternoon, evening). Instead, one simply says Chào as above. You are recommended not to use Chào buổi sáng in conversation.

Lesson 3

The name “Việt Nam” is a variation of Nányuè (南越), literally meaning “Southern Viet”. In that, the word Việt applied to an ethnic group living in southern China and Vietnam (pre-history) and was gradually adapted to represent Vietnamese people and Vietnamese language while the word Nam is not required.

In this course, we will use tiếng Việt as the Vietnamese language (with tiếng = language) and người Việt as Vietnamese people (with người = people/humans).

Classifiers 1 updated 2019-04-18

Introduction to Classifier System in Vietnamese

Classifiers are used to accompany a noun but not to modify it. It precedes a noun in order to demonstrate a physical/non-physical appearance or quantity of that noun. Classifier System is not featured in English but some other languages do have similar system.

Word order of a noun is: classifier + noun + adjective.

Just like noun gender in some languages, this is something one has to learn by heart. It is important to know which classifier goes with which noun. There can be more than one classifier that can match with a noun but not all nouns will have two or more classifiers.

In this skill, you will start with 7 classifiers:

  • Cái and chiếc are the most common classifiers. Unless the object has specific or unique features that require other classifiers, most of them (70% of all nouns) can be accompanied by cái or chiếc interchangeably.
  • Quyển and cuốn accompany book or any noun that resembles a book (novel, comics, diary…). They can be used interchangeably.
  • Quả and trái accompany fruit most of the time, but can be used for words that resemble a small, spherical or near spherical object (soccer ball, shuttlecock, any sport ball, and even grenade and bomb).
  • Tờ accompanies a piece of paper or anything that resembles a piece of paper (form, receipt, money…). Exception: Newspaper, even though it is indeed multiple sheets of paper, it stills use the classifier "tờ" instead of "quyển/cuốn".

Animals 1 updated 2018-10-23

In this lesson, we will learn about animals. The classifier word for animals is: con.

Example: con mèo (the cat), con chó (the dog)....

Additional note on classifier system

You may ask this question: does a noun always have to be accompanied by a classifier? What is the difference between a noun without a classifier and a noun accompanied by one? The answer is no. Vietnamese people give little or no preference about this minor detail. As long as it makes sense, they can fully understand you.

But in fact, there are certain differences in interpreting the two. Here is the table for you to compare:

Noun with classifier Noun without classifier
Meaning Describing characteristic of that specific thing/object only. Equivalent to "the" in English Implying characteristic of that noun as a whole. Demonstrating a truth/fact about that noun
Use Very frequent in daily communication because people tend to talk about specific object only. Exception may apply. More frequent in written Vietnamese, newspapers, research papers, journal. Still possible to use in daily communication.
Example Con mèo thích tôi - The cat likes me. (Meaning: that specific cat likes me) Mèo di chuyển trên bốn chân - Cat walks on four feet. (Meaning: all cats walk on four feet)

Most sentences on Duolingo will have classifiers preceding nouns.

Clothing updated 2018-10-23

In English, one verb “to wear” can pretty much cover all kinds of clothes, such as “to wear a hat", "to wear a shirt", "to wear shoes”. In Vietnamese, there are more than one verb for “to wear”, depending on what clothes you are talking about. Check out this table:

Type of clothes Verb Example
Hat (anything worn on head) đội; mang Tôi đội/mang một cái mũ. (I wear a hat)
Shirt, Coat (anything worn on body) mặc Tôi mặc một cái áo. (I wear a shirt)
Pants (anything worn from waist from ankles) mặc; mang Tôi mặc/mang một cái quần. (I wear pants)

Depending on the regions and dialects, the uses of these verbs may vary. However, to simplify the learning process on Duolingo, we will go with these only two verbs: đội for anything worn on head and mặc for any kinds of shirts and pants. These are the most commonly used and understood by any Vietnamese speakers.

Food updated 2018-10-23

Lesson 1

Món is the classifier for all kinds of food. It can precede all nouns that indicate food. If there is no noun, món can stand alone and mean “dish” (as in: delicious dish, not as in: plate of food). In this case, it is best to used with demonstratives: món này, món đó (this dish, that dish) if used in conversation.

Note: Món can signify different status of animal. A living animal, the noun must be accompanied by con (con gà - the chicken). But if món accompanies the noun instead, it means a cuisine/dish made from that animal (món gà - the chicken, but meaning the dish of chicken instead).

Lesson 2

Bữa means “meal” and can be considered as classifier for meals of a day. We have sáng, trưa, chiều, tối, respectively meaning “morning, noon, afternoon, evening”. Therefore, bữa sáng, bữa trưa, bữa chiều, bữa tối respectively means “breakfast, lunch, teatime/afternoon snack, dinner”.

Lesson 3

Thức ăn means food or dishes in general. But unlike món, it is not a classifier. You should just use thức ăn to generally indicate food (Example: I saw her food, The food is delicious…)

Cultural note: Canh is, technically, soup. But it is not identical to Western soup (for this, we have the word “xúp”, pronounced the same as soup, meaning “Western soup”). In this course, the answer “soup” is accepted for canh.

Lesson 5

For trứng, classifier word is quả or trái, just like fruits. But we usually use quả rather than trái.

Chay means “vegetarian” (adjective) but its use is unique compared to English. To say “I am vegetarian” in Vietnamese, you say “Tôi ăn chay” - literally, I eat “vegetarianly”. In this case, chay must always go with the verb ăn (to eat).

  • You can combine chay with món, bữa and thức ăn to indicate món chay (vegetarian dish), bữa chay (vegetarian meal), thức ăn chay (vegetarian food).
  • To say “I am a vegetarian person”, you say “Tôi là người ăn chay” (literally, I am the person who eats “vegetarianly”).

Questions 1 updated 2018-10-23

This lesson contains some important words for the rest of this course

Yes-no question: using Phải không

  1. To form yes-no question, you simply place phải không at the end of the sentence. The question formula is like this: S + V + O + phải không?. Technically, phải không is equivalent to “right?", "eh?” in English sentences. Example: Bạn thích cô ấy phải không? (literally, You like her, right?)

  2. Another way to form yes-no question: you add before the verb or adjective(s) and place không at the end of the sentence. The question formula will become like this: S + + V/Adj + O (optional) + không?. Example: Bạn có hạnh phúc không? (hạnh phúc = happy -> adj.) (Are you happy?), Bạn có muốn ăn không? (Do you want to eat?)

WH-question:

Subject Verb Question Word
Bạn ở đâu?
Bạn học như thế nào?
Cô ấy đang làm gì?

Example:

English Question Where are you?
Vietnamese Translation Bạn đâu?
Word-by-word You are where?

In this skill, you will learn how to form questions with where, what, who, why, and when

Using where - đâu

  • Đâu is placed at the end of the sentence.

  • Đâu is often used with , which means at. Literally, ở đâu means at where.

Using what -

  • Just like other question words, is placed at the end of the sentence.

  • can associate (follow by) with either a verb or a classifier, or both. For example: placed after the verb ăn, ăn gì literally means “eat what”, used in the question asking someone eating what. And con is the classifier for animals. Therefore, con gì means “what animal”. For example, Đó là con gì? (What animal is that?)

  • Cái is the most commonly used classifier word, representing almost every tangible object, thus, cái gì means “what thing/object” associating with the verb of that question sentence. For example: Đây là cái gì? (What is this?, literally What thing/object is this?)

  • It is possible for cái gì to be used as subject. Example: Cái gì cắn tôi? (What bites me?).

Using who - ai

  • In Vietnamese, ai can be a subject or an object. Example: Ai đánh bạn? (Who beats you?) or Bạn đánh ai? (You beat whom?/Who do you beat?).

Using when - khi nào

  • Khi nào can be placed at the beginning or at the end of the question without changing any meaning. Preferably, our answer database has more questions containing khi nào at the beginning so you are recommended to follow.

    E.g: Khi nào bạn ăn bữa sáng? (When do you eat the breakfast?)

Using why - vì sao/tại sao

  • There are two forms of “why”: vì sao and tại sao. They are interchangeable.
  • Place them at the beginning, before SVO to form why-question.
  • To answer with “because”, you say tại vì, bởi vì or just simply , then followed by regular SVO.

    E.g: Tại sao chúng tôi mặc quần? (Why do we wear pants?) or Vì sao bạn ăn cái bánh? (Why do you eat the cake?) – Tại vì nó ngon. (Because it is good/delicious.)

Verbs 1 updated 2019-12-30

Lesson 1

Cho can be an independent verb (meaning “to give”, “to allow”) but in this lesson, it acts as preposition “to” as in viết cho (to write to (sb)). Note: cho is not universally used as “to” for every word.

Regarding the verb nghe, it can mean both “hear” and “listen to” in English. There is no need to use preposition with nghe as it is simply followed by noun or pronoun, respectively for “hear” and “listen to”.

Thấy in this lesson means “to see”. Interestingly, it accompanies other verbs to emphasize the action in the sense of “already done it”, such as nghe thấy (to hear, and already hear), nhìn thấy (to see, and already see), tìm thấy (to find, and already find).

Notice the verb thử, which means "to try doing sth". When using this verb, you just need to add another verb after it. Example: Tôi thử ăn một quả chuối (I try eating a banana). For "to try to do sth", we will give you its correspondence verb in Vietnamese later.

Lesson 2

Yêu means “to love”. Unlike thích (to like), yêu cannot go with another verb like in English (love eating, love to work…). But you can use thích + another verb (thích ăn, thích học, thích cười…).

Lesson 3

Okay, lắng nghe contains the word nghe, so it must mean “to hear”/“to listen to” right? That is true! lắng nghe does mean so but emphasizing the action of hearing/listening. However, this word is not common in regular conversation but quite common in poetry, novel, speech.

The verb đi means “to go” and đi bộ means “to walk” in the sense of to go jogging. Additionally, throughout the skill tree, you will see this form a lot: đi + another verb. Example: đi ăn (go eat), đi ngủ (go sleep), đi bán (go sell)… It is commonly used in daily conversation to emphasize actions. In fact, it is more natural to use this form when speaking with or without the urgency of the action. Vietnamese people love emphasizing what they did/are doing/will be doing!

Luyện tập means “to practice”. Breaking it down, luyện independently can mean “to practice” but we will not use it in this course, and tập means “to practice” but in the sense of “just start learning something”.

Lesson 4

Giúp đỡ means “to help” in a narrative sense, giúp alone works well and sounds more natural. In case of saying “help me”/“help + sb”, use giúp only.

Review this case: thấy in this lesson means “to see” and it accompanies other verbs to emphasize the action in the sense of “already done it”.

In this lesson, we learn the word tìm (to find). tìm alone means one has the purpose of going find something and not yet finds it, while tìm thấy means one already finds something.

Lesson 5

Làm means “to work”. đi làm means “to go to work”. It commonly goes with việc to become làm việc (also meaning “to work” but specifically talking about working for an employer). Additionally, special form: làm + (sb) + adjective/verb = to make + sb + adjective/verb. Example: Tôi làm cô ấy cười (I make her smile), Anh ấy làm tôi buồn (He makes me sad).

Lesson 6

Để is a verb, meaning “to put (something on/at/in something)”. When using with pronoun or person’s name, it means “to let + (sb) + verb/adjective”. Moreover, để can be used as conjunction, “to” as in “in order to” or “to + verb” which we will learn later on.

Combination of verbs

In Vietnamese, a stative verb (such as đứng - stand, ngồi - sit, nằm - lie) can combine with another verb to describe an action that is done in the state.

For example: Cậu bé đó đang ngồi đọc sách. - The boy is sitting and reading a book.

You can see in this example, the stative verb ngồi (sit) is combined with đọc sách (read a book), so the sentence describe the boy reads a book while sitting.

Objects updated 2018-10-23

There is no new grammar in this skill.

Important review: for most objects in this skill, classifier words cái and chiếc are applicable and interchangeable.

Important review: classifier word is not always required. It depends on the noun’s usage itself. If one wants to use a noun with general meaning (Ex: animals eat to survive), then there is no classifier needed. If one wants to point at a specific noun (Ex: the ice cream (that you bought) is tasty), then classifier is needed.

In this course, when in doubt, use classifier!

  • Exception: in lesson 3, thuốc lá cannot be accompanied with cái or chiếc. Its classifier is điếu.

In lesson 2, máy tính is supposedly means “computer” in general. However, the original word is máy vi tính but máy tính replaced the original one and is widely used. Note: máy tính can also mean “portable scientific calculator” but we will not use it in this course.

Questions 2 updated 2018-10-23

You will continue to learn how to form questions in Vietnamese.

Using how - như thế nào and làm sao

  1. Như thế nào is always at the end of sentence to make it a “how-question” (Example: Bạn học như thế nào? (literally, You study how?)). It is used to ask about “what method, condition, quality of doing something”.
  2. In comparison, làm sao is placed at the beginning of the sentence to ask the “how to” question.
    • Formula 1: Làm sao + S + V + O? (Ex: Làm sao bạn biết Tiếng Việt?) (How do you know Vietnamese language))
    • Formula 2: Làm sao + để (from skill Verb 1) + Verb? (Ex: Làm sao để học Tiếng Việt? (How to study Vietnamese?))

Asking how much/how many - bao nhiêu

  • Bao nhiêu can be used for both countable and uncountable nouns.
  • Bao nhiêu is placed before classifier words. So the formula for this kind of question: S + V + bao nhiêu + classifier + noun? (Ex: Bạn có bao nhiêu con chó? (literally, You have how many dogs?)).
  • Bao nhiêu is GREAT for asking price. Saying Bao nhiêu? is quite enough unless you want to be more specific, then follow this: Noun + giá + bao nhiêu? (giá means “price”). (E.g: Cái mũ này giá bao nhiêu? (How much is this hat?))

Lesson 2

Trả lời means “to answer” while đáp án means “answer” (as a noun). We also use câu trả lời to represent “answer” as a noun.

Colors updated 2018-10-23

What a colorful life!

You will learn handful of basic colors here: red, white, black, orange, blue, green, brown, gray, pink and violet.

Classifier for all colors is màu (meaning “color”). So literally, to mention color, one will say, in Vietnamese, color red, color green, color brown and so on.

  • If you want to use color words with a noun (object, living thing), classifier màu is optional. Example: cái áo màu đỏ and cái áo đỏ (red shirt, one has màu, one does not) are both acceptable.

In English, you use “to be” to describe color (the shirt is red, the dog is brown, the computer is black, etc.). In Vietnamese, we do not use “to be” but the verb “to have” - .

  • Formula for this: S + có + màu + color. (Example: Con chó có màu nâu (literally, The dog has color brown)). Do not use “to be” with color!

Cultural note: there are many Vietnamese words associating with blue and green but we will only learn xanh da trời and xanh lá cây. Xanh separately can mean green or blue, causing confusion. Xanh da trời literally means “blue as the skin of the sky” and xanh lá cây means “green as tree leaves”.

This video is for those who want to know more about colors in different languages.

Adjectives 1 updated 2018-10-23

In this lesson, you will learn some basic adjectives.

Unlike English, Vietnamese language does not require the use of “be” when having a subject accompanied with adjective(s). However, for teaching and learning purpose, the course will have this rule: for all sentences that have the structure subject-adjective, except for negative sentences and questions, you must use rất (very).

Literally, all sentences will appear to be like this: he very happy, I very tired, she very smart…

Example:

  • Tôi rất hạnh phúc. (literally, I very happy)
  • Cô ấy rất giỏi. (literally, she very intelligent)

BUT:

  • Tôi không hạnh phúc. (literally, I no happy - no longer use rất)
  • Cô ấy không giỏi. (literally, she no intelligent - no longer use rất)
  • Tôi có hạnh phúc không? (Am I happy? - no longer use rất)
  • Cô ấy có giỏi không? (Is she intelligent? - no longer use rất)

Why? It is not the case that the Vietnamese love to exaggerate everything. Using very simply helps you to distinguish between a sentence (subject-very-adjective) and a modified noun (noun-adjective(s)).

Note: You may encounter some sentences in this course that do not always have the word very. That is because they have other indications as a sentence already, such as I am happy and sad (with “and”).

Note: These instructions are for learning purpose only. In real conversation, you may or may not use rất (very) and your sentences still make sense. In fact, avoid using rất in every sentence, it’s exaggerative!

Lesson 1 - using “thật”

Very straightforward, thật is equivalent to “really” to accompany adjective(s). It is not used for expressing surprise like “Really?” in English. However, thật will not be used much in this course.

Lesson 7 - đúng and sai

With đúng (right) and sai (wrong), you do not have to use “very”.

Conjunctions updated 2018-10-23

Lesson 1

There is this useful phrase: Nếu… thì…. It is equivalent to “If… then…” in English.

Lesson 2

Another useful phrase for you: Không những… mà còn…, which is equivalent to “Not only… but also…” in English.

Useful expression: cả + subject + đều + verb/adj which is similar to “both” in English. It illustrates both mentioned subjects do the same action or have the same characteristic.

Lesson 3

Nên in this lesson is used as “so” between two clauses or two sentences. Most of the time, it is placed at the beginning of the clause/sentence to indicate cause and effect relation.

Để in this lesson is used as “in order to” or simply “to”. Additionally, you can have this structure “in order for (sth/sb) to…” by saying: “để + sb/sth + verb in Vietnamese”.

Useful expression: không phải…mà cũng không phải OR không…mà cũng không, equivalent to “neither…nor…” in English. This expression can be used as subject or object.

Numbers updated 2018-10-23

From 0 to 10

Firstly, here are numbers from 0-10:

English Vietnamese
Zero Không
One Một
Two Hai
Three Ba
Four Bốn
Five Năm
Six Sáu
Seven Bảy
Eight Tám
Nine Chín
Ten Mười

From 11-19

From 11-19, you say mười (ten) + any number from one to nine from table above. Literally, it means “ten one” (11), “ten two” (12) and so on.

  • Exception: For fifteen (15), you cannot say “mười năm” (ten five) but the correct form is Mười lăm (“lăm” instead of “năm”). Though lăm and năm all mean “five”, năm is used for number 5 only while lăm is used with any integer starting from 15 that ends with 5 (15, 25, 35, 45…). Using lăm alone to represent number 5 is incorrect!

From 20 to 99

  1. For 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, you say any number from two to nine (table above) + mươi. Example: hai mươi (20), ba mươi (30), chín mươi (90) and so on.
    • Note that this is mươi, not mười.
  2. For the rest of the number, you simply combine any number from two to nine (table above) + mươi + any number from two to nine. Example: hai mươi ba (23, literally two ten three), chín mươi chín (99, literally nine ten nine).

    • Exception: Pay attention to the use of lăm as mentioned above.
    • Exception: For number ending with 1 (21, 31, 41…), you use mốt instead of một. This is similar to the case of lăm above. It starts from 21 and beyond (E.g: 61 is sáu mươi mốt, NOT sáu mươi một). For 11, you still use một as in mười một (11).
    • Exception: For number ending with 4 (24, 34, 44…), you can use beside bốn. However, unlike the case of lăm and mốt above, bốn and can be used interchangeably. (E.g: 44 can be bốn mươi bốn or bốn mươi tư; 74 can be bảy mươi bốn or bảy mươi tư)

From 100 and beyond

  1. For hundred-level, you use any number from one to nine + trăm. (Example: một trăm (100), chín trăm (900) and so on.)
  2. Simply combine #1 with two sessions above to form any number from 100 to 999. Example: hai trăm ba mươi ba (233), chín trăm chín mươi chín (999)…
  3. Important: For any number from 1 to 9 (101 to 109, 201 to 209...), lẻ must be used. Formula: number (1-9) + trăm + lẻ + number (1-9)
  4. For thousand-level, you use any number from one to nine + nghìn. Repeat #2 and #3 for any number from 1000 to 9999.
  5. For million-level, you use any number from one to nine + triệu. Same as above.
  6. For billion-level, you use any number from one to nine + tỷ. Same as above.

Vietnamese currency

Vietnamese currency (Vietnam dong - Việt Nam đồng or just simply đồng) starts with thousand-level so if you plan to travel, I recommend you to pay attention to the word nghìn (thousand) and triệu (million).

  • You do not have to say “Việt Nam đồng” as currency unit when talking about money in Vietnam.
  • Available bills: 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000, 20000, 50000, 100000, 200000, 500000 (paper bill only, there used to be coins but they are extremely rare now).

Continuous updated 2018-10-23

You’ll learn how to form continuous tense in Vietnamese, that is, to demonstrate the actions that are taking place.

One must add đang before verb(s) of a sentence to indicate continuity.

Example:

  • Tôi đang ăn. (I am eating)
  • Cô ấy đang đọc. (She is reading)
  • Họ đang ngủ. (They are sleeping)

Note: Vietnamese language does distinguish between present tense (I eat -> habit, fact) and continuous tense (I am eating -> going on right now). So does this course.

That is all!

Ordinal numbers updated 2018-10-23

Ordinary numbers in English are “first”, “second”, “third”, fourth, fifth, something-th

In Vietnamese, you simply add thứ before a number to form ordinary number(s). Check the skill Numbers if you need to review about numbers in Vietnamese.

  • Exception: for “first”, you say thứ nhất (“nhất”, instead of “một”).

Example:

  • Đây là quyển sách thứ hai của tôi. (This is my second book).
  • Cậu bé thứ bảy (The seventh boy)

Dates and Time updated 2018-10-23

In Vietnamese, it is common to use number to illustrate a weekday or a month (example: thứ 3 (Tuesday) or tháng 7 (July)). However, in this lesson, please do not write in number.

Days of the week

For days of the week, one use thứ + any number from 2 to 7. For Sunday, it’s exceptional: Chủ nhật.

English Vietnamese
Monday Thứ hai
Tuesday Thứ ba
Wednesday Thứ tư
Thursday Thứ năm
Friday Thứ sáu
Saturday Thứ bảy
Sunday Chủ nhật

Note: Yes, you remember it right. These are exactly like ordinary numbers (second, third, fourth… seventh).

Months of the year

For months of the year, you use tháng + any number from 1 to 12.

English Vietnamese
January Tháng một
February Tháng hai
March Tháng ba
April Tháng bốn
May Tháng năm
June Tháng sáu
July Tháng bảy
August Tháng tám
September Tháng chín
October Tháng mười
November Tháng mười một
December Tháng mười hai

Note: for April, the more common use is tháng tư. However in general, both tháng bốn or tháng tư are acceptable.

Family updated 2018-10-23

From tips & notes in the skill Basics 1, we learn that Vietnamese pronouns vary depending on context, polite level, gender, superiority, emotion, and age. Thus, I have to simplify and limit the total accepted pronouns in this course.

The same with this case. How you call your parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts… will vary depending on regions.

Here is the simplified and universally understood translations that we will use in this course.

English Vietnamese
Older brother Anh (trai)
Younger brother Em (trai)
Older sister Chị (gái)
Younger sister Em (gái)
Child/Son Con (trai)
Child/Daughter Con (gái)
Dad/Father Bố
Mom/Mother Mẹ
Grandpa/Grandfather Ông
Grandma/Grandmother

Note: These Vietnamese words can actually be used as pronouns but we are not going to use it in this course. There will be separate post in discussion forum explaining this.

Cultural note: for grandpa/grandma, Vietnamese people always distinguish between paternal grandparents (ông/bà nội) and maternal grandparents (ông/bà ngoại).

Comparison updated 2018-10-23

Vietnamese people use comparison in conversation very frequently.

Comparison of adjectives

Superiority: Subject + adjective + hơn + object

  • Example: Tôi mập hơn bạn. (I am fatter than you)

Equality: Subject + adjective + như + object

  • Example: Tôi mập như bạn. (I am as fat as you)

Note: There is inferior comparison of adjectives but it is not very common to use.

Comparison of verbs

Superiority: Subject + verb + object 1 (optional) + nhiều hơn + object 2

  • Example: Tôi ăn nhiều hơn bạn. (I eat more than you)

Equality: Subject + verb + object 1 (optional) + nhiều như + object 2

  • Example: Tôi ăn nhiều như bạn. (I eat as much/many as you)

Inferiority : Subject + verb + object 1 (optional) + ít hơn + object 2

  • Example: Tôi ăn ít hơn bạn. (I eat less than you)

Comparison of adverbs

Superiority: Subject + verb + adverb + hơn + object

  • Example: Tôi học nhanh hơn bạn. (I study faster than you)

Equality: Subject + verb + adverb + như + object

  • Example: Tôi học nhanh như bạn. (I study as fast as you)

Note: Inferior comparison of adverb is rare. People tend to use opposite adverb instead (slowly =/ fast).

Note: You can always place any additional object (optional) after verb.

Superlative comparison

  • Adjective

This is a bit complicated. Superlative adjective should be accompanied by a noun (for instance, the best person, most intelligent student, fastest man…). You can’t simply say “I am the best”, “She is the most intelligent” like in English.

General formula (for standalone noun): noun + adjective + nhất (in this case, this standalone noun can be subject or object of a sentence, or just by itself).

  • Verb

Formula: Subject + verb + object (optional) + nhiều nhất.

Example: Cô ấy học nhiều nhất. (She studies the most - the most content of something)

  • Adverbs

Formula: Subject + verb + object (optional) + adverb + nhất.

Example: Anh ấy ăn nhanh nhất. (He eats “fast-est” - this form does not really exist in English)

Quantity comparison of noun(s)

It is also frequent to say you have something more or less than someone else does.

  • Superior quantity comparison: (To have more + noun + than)

Subject + có + nhiều + noun + hơn + object (optional).

Example: Tôi có nhiều tiền hơn (bạn). (I have more money (than you)).

  • Inferior quantity comparison: (To have less + noun + than)

Subject + có + ít + noun + hơn + object (optional).

Example: Tôi có ít tiền hơn (bạn). (I have less money (than you)).

  • Superlative quantity (to have the most/fewest + noun)

Subject + có + nhiều/ít + noun + nhất

Example: chúng tôi có nhiều/ít thành viên nhất. (We have the most/fewest members)

Note: the plural indicators những and các are NOT needed.

Prepositions 1 updated 2018-10-23

This skill introduces some basic prepositions in Vietnamese.

There is no new grammar point. However, you may want to review previous grammar notes, especially skills Question 1 and Question 2.

Good luck!

Geography updated 2018-10-23

There is no new grammar in this skill.

Common Phrases 2 updated 2018-10-23

Here are some more common expressions.

Lesson 1

hãy + verb: this word is similar to the phrase “let’s” but it does not have equivalent meaning. Instead of “let us”, it indicates “let you” or “you should”. The target audience is someone else not you.

Note: actually, people don’t use hãy much in daily conversation. But you will see the use of hãy a lot on advertisement, instruction panel or formal speech, implying you or all of you in general, should do something.

đừng + verb: so this is another form of negation, very similar to không, meaning “do not + verb”. One uses đừng when strongly demanding someone not to do something. When traveling in Vietnam, watch out for red signs starting with đừng. It is either a law that you should not violate or something could harm you (example: Do not enter).

ư: this word is put at the end of sentence to indicate a yes-no question, besides phải không. Refer to skill “Question 1” if you need to review this. However, ư indicates a question with an expression of surprise.

Lesson 2

không có gì: literally meaning “there is nothing”, this phrase is similar to “you’re welcome” or “no problem”, used to respond to thank-you.

vừa mới: this phrase is used in this formula: subject + vừa mới + verb, demonstrating that someone has just done something. This phrase indicates action occurred the past but only a moment ago. Note: Vietnamese people love to talk about what they just did. You are recommended to add this phrase to your vocabulary list.

In this lesson, you also learn to form commands or requests. Nothing new here. Learn it yourself!

Countries 1 updated 2018-10-23

In general, most names of countries have origin from Sino-Vietnamese (chữ Nôm). Thus, many sound very similar to their counterparts in Chinese language. For reference, here is a long list of Vietnamese names for countries and cities around the world: Vietnamese exonyms

Note: Do not learn by heart. Most Vietnamese would not understand or use these Vietnamese-written names, only a handful of those (which will be taught here). For the rest of the countries and cities, you should use original English names as that is how Vietnamese people preferably use.

Classifier for country is nước. It also means “water” as you already learn. So nước + <> is the proper form to address a country to someone.

Nominalization updated 2018-10-23

The term nominalization means converting a word into a noun. In this skill, I particularly refer to the conversion of an adjective or a verb into a noun.

In English, you have “stupidity” as noun form of “stupid”, “eagerness” as noun form of “eager”.

In Vietnamese, one simply adds sự before a verb or an adjective to convert it into noun.

Example:

  • bắt đầu (to start) (verb) => sự bắt đầu (the start) (noun)
  • phức tạp (complicated) (adjective) => sự phức tạp (complication) (noun)

While most adjectives can be converted to noun form with the word sự, not all verbs can! We will learn more about this in another skill.

Ultimately, a number of adjectives cannot be converted! Despite not being grammatically wrong, doing so to some adjectives or in some contexts can sound weird, awkward or unnatural.

We will try to create a post in forum to list words that should not be used with sự.

Future updated 2019-08-14

Technically, Vietnamese doesn't have tense like English or other European languages.

In Vietnamese, time is implied by adverbs or contexts instead of verb conjugation. These adverbs can be time: ngày mai (tomorrow), năm sau (next year), tuần sau (next week), etc. They can be also a specialized adverb for time reference - for past, it's "đã"; for continuous present, it's "đang"; for future, it's "sẽ".

To be precise, these are actually adverbs marking perfect, continuous, and prospective aspects, respectively, but with the assumption that you're without linguistic background, you can understand this as relative time reference.

Drawing time from context is harder and cannot be taught in this course. We recommend you to do further practice in real life situations to get used to Vietnamese time reference.

For convenience, colloquially, such references to past, present, and future, are called "tense" - be careful.


To express an action that is going to or will probably happen, simply put sẽ (equivalent to “will”) before the verb.

Example:

  • Con mèo sẽ ăn. (The cat will eat)
  • Chúng tôi sẽ viết một quyển sách. (We will write a book)
  • Họ sẽ không ngủ. (They will not sleep)

To express negation, please refer to the skill Negation as the grammar rule is the same.

  • Will not + action: sẽ không + verb
  • Will not be + attribute: sẽ không + adjective
  • Will not be something: sẽ không phải là (sẽ không là is also correct) + noun (accompanied by classifier if needed)

Common future time expression

You already learned ngày mai (tomorrow), here are some more common expressions.

  • ngày mốt: the day after tomorrow. Yes, we have a word for the day after tomorrow.
  • using tới or sau with week/month/year to indicate next week, next month or next year. Example: tuần tới or tuần sau (next week), tháng tới or tháng sau (next month)…
  • sắp: this word is placed between subject and verb to indicate an action that is about to happen. Example: họ sắp xuất hiện (meaning: they are about to appear).

Attributes updated 2018-10-23

No new grammar point in this skill, only new vocabulary.

Some attributes can be used as noun or adjective without nominalization. In this skill, those words are:

  • linh hoạt (flexible or flexibility)
  • cạnh tranh (competitive or competitiveness)
  • bất lợi (disadvantageous or disadvantage)
  • may mắn (lucky or luck)
  • bất cẩn (careless or carelessness)
  • tham lam (greedy or greed)
  • lười biếng (lazy or laziness)

Ultimately, using nominalization (sự) with these words is acceptable.

Adjectives 1.5 updated 2018-10-23

In the sentence structure:

It + be + adj + (for + S.O) to + verb + ... there is no word-by-word translation

For example:

1.1) It is hard to wake up early ( It+ be +adj+ to +verb)

Translation: Khó/Rất khó (mà/để - optional but more natural to add) dậy sớm

In the Vietnamese translation, we will ignore "It is" there and just translate the rest.

1.2) It is hard for a teacher to pay attention to all.

Translation: Một giáo viên khó mà quan tâm hết.

Now here, we will use "a teacher" as the subject to start our translation.

Frequency updated 2018-10-23

Adverbs of frequency describe how often something occurs.

In this skill, there are five common adverbs of frequency to learn.

  • luôn (or luôn luôn): always
  • thường xuyên: usually, often
  • đôi khi: sometimes
  • hiếm khi: rarely
  • không bao giờ: never

The adverb of frequency is placed between subject and verb in a sentence.

Example:

  • Tôi luôn hạnh phúc. (I am always happy)
  • Cô ấy thường xuyên buồn. (She is usually sad)

Minor notes:

  • Sometimes, đôi khi can be placed at the beginning of the sentence.
  • For the sake of this course, when a sentence has an adverb of frequency, you do not have to use rất (very) unless the sentence clearly means so.
  • There are two terms for “never”: không bao giờ and chưa bao giờ. While there is only không bao giờ in this skill tree, chưa bao giờ is an emphasized expression of “never”. Use this to emphasize something you have never done before.
  • Some adverbs of frequency that are not featured: nhiều lúc (sometimes), đôi lúc (sometimes, but a bit less) nhiều khi (occasionally, sometimes), thường thường (often), thỉnh thoảng (often).

Conjunctions 2 updated 2018-10-23

Lesson 1

vậy mà is equivalent to “but” in English and it connects two opposing clauses in one sentence. vậy mà can be used interchangeably with nhưng.

như vậy is a bit unique. Despite having various English interpretation, I limit its translation into two only (as shown in hint): “like that” (as in “I am like that”, “I work like that”, etc) and “as a result” (placed at the beginning of the clause).

Lesson 2

mặc dù and tuy nhiên are equivalent to “although” or “though”. They can be used interchangeably. If your answer containing either one of these is marked wrong, please report to us.

cũng is a helpful word to demonstrate someone also does something. Following this formula: subject (tôi/anh ấy/An/người đàn ông…) + cũng + verb. - cũng vậy is another way to shorten similar clauses. Using this structure: subject (tôi/anh ấy/An/người đàn ông…) + cũng vậy, it can replace sentences in this format “so am I/so do I/me too/I do too”. - Note: standalone vậy has many uses but mostly, it is equivalent to sentence-initial “so”, as being used as a pause during conversation.

Adverbs updated 2019-07-29

In general, Vietnamese people do not use adverbs that often in daily conversation. Additionally, they rarely use adverbs to accompany adjectives as in English (such as “incredibly strong”, “unbelievably amazing”, etc.). Therefore, one should avoid use too many adverbs as much as possible.

This skill provides a handful of adverbs that is most frequently used.

General formula

Unlike English, Vietnamese do not modify an adjective to convert it into adverb. Instead, one places một cách before an adjective to create an “adverb phrase”. Literally, it means “in a way that is (adj)”. For instance, một cách hạnh phúc (happily) in Vietnamese literally means “in a way that is happy”.

Example: một cách hoàn hảo (perfectly), một cách may mắn (fortunately), một cách hạnh phúc (happily).

Exception: some adjectives require one additional word when forming “adverb phrase”. For instance, chậm (slow) and nhanh (fast) are adjectives but in “adverb phrase”, one says một cách chậm chạp (slowly - “chạp” is added), một cách nhanh chóng (fast - “chóng” is added).

Other adverbs

Some common adverbs provided in this skill do not follow the “adverb phrase” structure above.

  • ngay lập tức: immediately
  • nói chung: generally/generally speaking
  • suýt: almost (do something)
  • thậm chí: even (as in “I do not even understand what you’re talking about)
  • dù sao: anyway (always using this form dù sao...cũng/vẫn...)
  • chưa: yet (as in “have not done something yet”)

ATTENTION: Nói chung

"Chung" means "common", "general", but it also has a homophone SV root meaning "end" - which gives it two meanings:

Meaning #1: "In general" or "Generally"

Meaning #2: "To conclude", "to sum up"
In a colloquial sense, it works as a signal "Let's settle on this conclusion, I don't want to talk about it anymore, switch the topic".

In some cases, it can mean either, but it some cases, it can only mean either of them. The best strategy is probably to try both and see which one makes sense.

Modal Verbs updated 2019-05-28

Different meaning of "được" at different positions

Apart from being used for passive voice and adjective/adverb, "được" can have two meanings as a modal particles, depending on where it stands. Look at these two sentences for example:

Tôi được chạy.
Tôi chạy được.

What is the difference between these sentences? When standing before verb, it means be allowed to, while standing after verb, it mean be able to. So, the first sentence means "I am allowed to run", while the second one means "I can run".

Vietnamese vs. English differences

In English, must + V means you have to do something, but must not + V doesn't mean you don't have to do something, but rather you are not allowed to do something.

In contrast, in Vietnamese, phải + V means you have to do something, and không phải + V means you don't have to do something.

If you want to say you are not allowed to do something, you should say không được + V, where được here means "is allowed to do something".

Ask and tell the time updated 2018-10-23

kém

Past updated 2019-08-14

Technically, Vietnamese doesn't have tense like English or other European languages.

In Vietnamese, time is implied by adverbs or contexts instead of verb conjugation. These adverbs can be time: hôm qua (yesterday), tuần trước (last week), năm ngoái (last year), trước đây (before), 10 năm trước (10 years ago), etc. They can be also a specialized adverb for time reference - for past, it's "đã"; for continuous present, it's "đang"; for future, it's "sẽ".

To be precise, these are actually adverbs marking perfect, continuous, and prospective aspects, respectively, but with the assumption that you're without linguistic background, you can understand this as relative time reference.

Drawing time from context is harder and cannot be taught in this course. We recommend you to do further practice in real life situations to get used to Vietnamese time reference.

For convenience, colloquially, such references to past, present, and future, are called "tense" - be careful.

Travel updated 2018-10-23

Lái - fly/ride/drive

Verbs 3 updated 2019-02-20

dành >< giành

Passive updated 2019-07-22

In Vietnamese, sentences in passive voice distinguish between "positive" and "negative" passive.

For "positive" passive sentence, that is, when the subject of the sentence gains benefit from the action, you use "được" (gain) as the copula. For "negative" passive sentence, that is, when the subject lose something because of the action, you use "bị" (suffer).

How to form a passive voice sentence:
Active voice: S + V + O
--> English passive: O + be + past participle [+ by S]
--> Vietnamese passive: O + bị/được [+ S] + V

Example:

"Anh ấy đã bị [ai đó] nhìn thấy trong khi đang bán cái điện thoại của tôi."
"He was seen [by someone] while selling my phone."

Prepositions 2 updated 2018-10-23

dùng kết hợp với "ở"

Education updated 2019-07-20

Nghiên cứu vs. học

These both words can be translated to English as "study". However, their usages are not the same in Vietnamese. Generally, nghiên cứu results in new knowledge, while học is studying a pre-existing knowledge. A rule of thumb is, when it's possible to replace "study" with "research", then it's nghiên cứu; when it's replaceable with "learn", then it's học.

Common Phrases 3 updated 2019-06-27

rồi = then = t/lai

rồi = already = q/khứ

đến lúc + sb + phải + rồi

cho đến + time reference.

Because a clause (S+V) in Vietnamese can't be a time reference, unlike in English, so you can't say "...cho đến tôi làm xong việc này" but it must be "cho đến khi tôi làm xong việc này". That's why "until" is usually translated as "cho đến khi" when it stands alone.

"Hôm nay" is already a time reference, so it doesn't need "khi" to turn it to be. You will see this comes up in other exercises.

Determiners updated 2018-10-23

điều này điều đó

tất cả không ai

Abstract Objects 1 updated 2018-10-23

năm lần bảy lượt = many times

Politics updated 2019-06-15

Tổng thống or Chủ tịch nước?

There are two titles for head of state in Vietnamese that are both translated into English as "president": Tổng thống and Chủ tịch nước.

Chủ tịch nước is a title of a president of a communist country, such as Vietnam, China, or Cuba. Tổng thống is for other countries.

In the exercise, we only introduce Tổng thống, which is applied for American president. However, both answers are accepted.

Abstract Objects 2 updated 2019-02-20

Bring sb sth = mang đến cho sb sth

Classifiers 2 updated 2018-10-23

mảnh - mảnh đất -> đặt sau bài nature

giấc mơ =/ ước mơ

Medical updated 2019-08-14

How to talk about illness

In Vietnamese, to talk about illness, you can say:
<subject> + <illness name>

However, you can also use passive voice (which is, in fact, the more preferred way):
<subject> + bị + <illness name>

Note that "bị" is linked with negativity. Illness is certainly a negative thing.


chú ý classifier được dạy kèm từ vựng chỉ bộ phận cơ thể - ckhadung

Astronomy updated 2018-10-23

closet to sth = gần sth nhất Name of planets: Sao + Name or Name + Tinh (Sino-Vietnamese)

Adjectives 3 updated 2019-02-20

teach the form: Thật là - ckhadung

Vietnam updated 2019-09-01

Thờ vs. tôn thờ

English "worship" can be translated to Vietnamese as thờ or tôn thờ. These two words have different meaning.

To thờ someone, that person must be either dead or a deity, and this act is a religious ritual. On the other hand, you can tôn thờ any living person, or probably not a person, like your idol; this act is not religious. Sometimes tôn thờ can be religious as well, but that's for deities exclusively.

Synonyms of tôn thờ are: tôn sùng, thần tượng, sùng bái
Synonym of thờ: cúng, thờ cúng

Examples:

  • Ở Việt Nam, người ta thờ ông bà tổ tiên. (In Vietnam, people worship their ancestors)
  • Những người theo đạo Thiên Chúa thờ Giê-xu. (Christians worship Jesus).
  • Bạn không nên tôn thờ người khác. (You should not worship/idolize other people).

Abstract Objects 3 updated 2018-10-23

noun + gì = any (dùng trong câu phủ định)

Military updated 2018-10-23

With vehicle, classifier = chiếc. need to note in grammar Classifier quả for tên lửa

Reduplicative Words updated 2018-10-23

dõng dạc = adv more than adj

dính dáng = use in negative sense most of the time

Informal Expressions updated 2019-07-06

Note on overprice: use as verb here, but usually use as adj

Cơm bụi (lit. dust meal) is a cheap meal that is served at working-class restaurant. There are several explanations on the etymology of this word, one of which is that these street restaurants are sometimes on the sidewalk, so there is dust from the street.
Because this is hard to translate, it'll be translated as "working-class meal" like in this article


59 skills with tips and notes

 
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