Like in English, pronouns act as a subject in a Vietnamese sentence. In this lesson, we’ll take a look at different pronouns in Vietnamese, and how to use them correctly.
I. The first person
The 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.
Also, the first person can be “ta”, “tao”, “tớ”, “mình”, “tui” but they are only used in informal case, e.g. when talking with close friends. Sometimes, the person uses “anh”, “chị”, “em” as the first person pronoun.
I = tôi, ta, tao, tớ, mình, tui
II. The second person
|Bạn/ Cậu||Use for person who is as the same age as you or your friend|
|Anh||a man who is a little older than you|
|Chị||a woman who is a little older than you|
|Em||Use for person who are younger than you|
|Cô||a man who is older than you (Miss )|
|Chú||a man who is older than you|
|Bà||an old female (Mrs., lady)|
|Ông||an old male (Mr., gentleman)|
|Mày||informal; a person who is same age or younger than you|
III. The third person
For the 3rd person, we add the word “ấy” after the personal pronoun.
- Anh ấy, ông ấy -> He
- Chị ấy, cô ấy, bà ấy -> She
- Nó -> It
Nó can be used to refer to things or animals but it can be used for third person in informal case.
IV. Plural personal pronoun
1. First person
For the first person, the word “chúng” is added before the personal address.
Tôi -> Chúng tôi Ta -> Chúng ta
“Chúng ta” is a group of people including speaker and listener, while “Chúng tôi” doesn’t include listener.
For example, when you write your wedding invitation you can’t write “chúng ta” (you and the one will receive invitation) are going to marry next week”.
The correct sentence is “Chúng tôi (in this context mean you and your partner) are going to marry next week”.
2. Second person
For the second person, we use the word “các” before the personal address. The word “mấy” is also correct.
- Anh -> Các anh / Mấy anh
- Chị -> Các chị / Mấy chị
- Bạn -> Các bạn / Mấy bạn
3. Third person
For the third person, the word “họ” is used. It refers to a group of people in general - both male and female. Also, you can add the word “ấy” after the second person pronoun.
Anh -> Các anh ấy Chị -> Các chị ấy Bà -> Các bà ấy
|Số ít: Singular||Số nhiều: Plural|
|1st person||Tôi, Mình||Chúng tôi, Chúng ta|
|2nd person||Ông||Các ông|
|3rd person||Ông ấy||Các ông ấy|
|Bà ấy||Các bà ấy|
|Anh ấy||Các anh ấy|
|Chị ấy||Các chị ấy|
|Cô ấy||Các cô ấy|
|Em ấy||Các em ấy|
|Nó||Họ (They, in general), Chúng nó / Tụi nó|