David is a student he has just attended a Vietnamese class, he has not known somebody in the class. Nam is also a member of that class and when he saw David he actively makes David’s acquaintance.
Nam: Xin chào!
David: Xin chào!
Nam: Mình là Nam. Bạn tên là gì?
David: Tên mình là David.
Nam: Rất hân hạnh được làm quen với bạn
David: Rất vui được gặp bạn
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Lesson 2: Greeting
I. Aims of lessonIn this lesson you will learn:
How to greet smb at the first time or every day
Introduce your name and ask others for their name
Positive and negative form of “là” to be
David is a student he has just attended a Vietnamese class, he has not known somebody in the class. Nam is also a member of that class and when he saw David he actively makes David’s acquaintance.Nam: Xin chào!David: Xin chào!Nam: Mình là Nam. Bạn tên là gì?David: Tên mình là David. Nam: Rất hân hạnh được làm quen với bạnDavid: Rất vui được gặp bạn.(see translation)Nam: Hello!David: Hello! Nam: I am Nam. What is your name?David: My name is David. Nam: Nice to meet you.David: Glad to see you.
Rất hân hạnh được làm quen với bạn
Nice to meet you
Rất vui được gặp bạn
Glad to see you
“Rất vui được gặp bạn” and “Rất hân hạnh được làm quen với bạn” have the same meaning. We use these phrases for the first time.
3.1 Personal Pronoun. Vietnamese use terms denoting family relationships (kinship terms) when addressing each other (even when talking to whom they are not related). In fact, they are used as personal pronouns. The system is rather complicated and the choice of the correct expression depends on many factors such as sex, age, social status, the family relationship, the relationship between the speaker and the person he or she is addressing or the overall degree of intimacy between them.You may find it difficult to make sure which term should be used; thus, you need a little bit experience to get it right. The below list will help you understand more.
3.1.1. The first personThe first person pronoun in Vietnamese is “tôi” which means “I” in English. It is the only personal pronoun that can be used in polite speech. Beside it, the first person can be “ta”, “tao” but they are only used in informal case, e.g. when talking with close friends.
3.1.2. The second personThe below table shows you some personal addresses and their usage
How to use
Use for person who are younger than you as your younger sisters or brothers
Use for person who is as the same age as you or your friends
a young male who is a little older than you or your elder brothers
a young female who is a little older than you or your elder sisters
in formal case; to a young female (Miss )
Formal, an old female (Mrs., lady); informal, as your grandmother
Formal, an old male (Mr., gentleman); informal, as your grandfather
informal; people are younger than you
3.1.3. The third personIt is simple that when adressing the third person, Vietnamese adds the word “ấy” after the personal pronoun. Example:Anh ấy, ông ấy / -> HeChị ấy, cô ấy, bà ấy / / -> SheNó * -> ItNó* often refers to the things, animals but sometimes, “nó” can denote for a little child in informal case.
*Plural personal pronoun:- For the first person, the word “chúng” is added before the personal address.Example: Tôi -> Chúng tôi Ta -> chúng ta Tớ -> chúng tớ
- For the second person, we use the word “các” before the personal address.Example: Anh -> các anh chị -> các chị Bác -> các bác - When addressing plural pronoun for the third person, the word “họ” is used. It refers to a group of people in general both male and female.- The second way to form the plural personal pronoun for the third person is to add the word “ấy” after the second person pronoun.Example: Anh -> các anh ấy chị -> các chị ấy bác -> các bác ấy
The below table will show you general information.
* Singular pronoun
How to use it
- Refer to yourself (formal)
- Refer to yourself with close friends (informal)
- Miss, girl or boy (younger than you, informal)
- Mr. (older than you)
- Miss or Mrs. in formal address
- Mr., Sir., gentleman (formal)
- Mrs., Madam, lady (formal)
- Address between close friends (to use with “tao” - first person)
- Boy (younger than you)
- Mr. (Older than you or slightly younger than you in formal address)
- Mr., sir, gentleman (person is older than you or higher status)
- Girl (younger than you)
- Miss or Mrs.
- Lady, Mrs, Madam (person is older than you or higher status)
- Thing in general
How to use it
- Refer to a group of yourselves (formal)
- Address to boys or girls (younger than you)
- A group of young males (older than you)
- A group of young females (older than you, )
- A group of women (Miss)
- A group of old females (Mrs., ladies)
- A group of old males (Mr., Sir)
- Address to a group of people (in general)
- A group of boys and girls (younger than you)
- A group of young males
- A group of females (Miss, Mrs.)
- A group of young females (in general)
- A group of old females
- A group of old males
- A group of young people (younger than you, informal)
In addition, there are different pronouns for each kind of relative. For a listing of those pronouns, see family terms:
your grandgrand parents
Your grand mother
your uncle who is your father’s younger brother
Your uncle who are your parents’s older siblings
your aunt, who is your father’s younger sister
your aunt, who is your mother’s younger sister
your elder sister or siblings
your elder brother or siblings
your younger sister or brother or siblings
the teacher (if he is a man)
the teacher (if she is a woman)
3.2. Greeting: Chào/ xin chào: HelloThe Vietnamese greet others by using the word “chào” or “xin chào”. This is followed by either a name or a kinship term (or both). Example: Chào Lan! Hello Lan!Xin chào cô Liên! Hello Ms. Liên!Chào ông! Hello Sir!However, you can use “chào” only in formal cases for example with close friends.In Vietnam, “chào” means both “hello” and “goodbye”; therefore the above examples also mean “Goodbye Lan”, “Good bye Ms. Lien”, “Goodbye sir”.There is no Vietnamese equivalent for “Good morning”, “Good afternoon”, “Good evening”, etc. that’s why “chào” can be used at any time of the day.
3.3. “Là”: “To be” * “Là” in Vietnamese has function as “to be” in English. It forms a simple sentence with the logical word order of Subject-Verb.Form:
S + Là
I am Nam
My name is David
* Nghĩa phủ định – “Negative form”: “không phải là”-> “to be not”To express the negation, Vietnamese put the word “không phải” before “là” to make the form. See the below form and example for detail.
S + không phải + là + danh từ (noun)
* Note: The noun can be a personal name, name of job, country....
Ví dụ- Example:- Tên tôi không phải là David -> My name is not David. - David không phải là người Anh -> David is not an American - Đây không phải là David -> This is not David.
Exercise 1: Say hello to someone. The below is the example. Ex. - Say hello to your grandfather: cháu chào ông!a, To your grandmother:b, To your elder brother:c, To your younger sister: d, To your parents:e, To your friend:f, To your father:g, To your mother:h, To your aunt:i, To your elder sister:k, To your nephew:
Exercise 2: Use the suitable word to complete the dialogue and then read out loud. (see the dialogue)Lan: Xin chào!Liên:..(1)........................Lan: Tên tớ ......(2)...... Lan. Còn bạn?Liên: .............(3)............. LiênLan: Rất vui được làm quen với ban.Liên: ............(4)............
Exercise 3: Use the word “là” to complete the sentences and then change into negative form. The first is done for you.a, Đây/ Lan+)Đây là Lan.-) Đây không phải là Lan.b, Tên tôi/ Nam+)-)c, Anh ấy/ David+)-)d, David/ người Mỹ+)-)e, Lan/ Sinh viên+)-)f, Bố Nam/ nhà báo+)-)g, Mẹ Lan/ giáo viên+)-)