123vietnamese

Vietnamese Pronouns

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1. 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. Beside it, the first person can be “ta”, “tao” but they are only used in informal case, e.g. when talking with close friends.

2. The second person
The below table shows you some personal addresses and their usage

Personal pronoun How to use
Em Use for person who are younger than you as your younger sisters or brothers
Bạn Use for person who is as the same age as you or your friends
Anh a young male who is a little older than you or your elder brothers
Chị 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
Ông/ ngài Formal, an old male (Mr., gentleman); informal, as your grandfather
mày informal; people are younger than you

 

3. The third person
It is simple that when adressing the third person, Vietnamese adds the word “ấy”  after the personal pronoun.
Example:
Anh ấy, ông ấy             ->         He
Chị ấy, cô ấy, bà ấy     ->         She
Nó *                                        ->         It
Nó* often refers to the things, animals but sometimes, “nó” can denote for a little child in informal case.

dai tu nhan xung trong tieng viet

*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

  Pronoun English equivalence How to use it
First person Tôi I - Refer to yourself (formal)
Tao - Refer to yourself with close friends (informal)
Second person Em You - Miss, girl or boy (younger than you, informal)
Anh - Mr. (older than you)
Chị - Miss or Mrs. in formal address
Ông - Mr., Sir., gentleman (formal)
- Mrs., Madam, lady (formal)
Mày - Address between close friends (to use with “tao” - first person)
Third person Em ấy He - Boy (younger than you)
Anh ấy - Mr. (Older than you or slightly younger than you in formal address)
Ông ấy - Mr., sir, gentleman (person is older than you or higher status)
Em ấy She - Girl (younger than you)
Cô ấy - Miss.
Chị ấy - Miss or Mrs.
Bà ấy - Lady, Mrs, Madam (person is older than you or higher status)
It - Thing in general

*Plural pronoun

  Pronoun English equivalence How to use it
First person Chúng tôi We - Refer to a group of yourselves (formal)
Chúng ta
Second person Các Em You - Address to boys or girls (younger than you)
Anh - A group of young males (older than you)
Chị - A group of young females (older than you, )
- A group of women (Miss)
- A group of old females (Mrs., ladies)
Ông - A group of old males (Mr., Sir)
Third person Họ They - Address to a group of people (in general)
Các Em - A group of boys and girls (younger than you)
Anh - A group of young males
Chị - A group of females (Miss, Mrs.)
- A group of young females (in general)
- A group of old females
Ông - A group of old males
Chúng nó - 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:

Pronoun Usage
cụ your grandgrand parents
Your grand mother
ông your grandfather
chú your uncle who is your  father’s younger brother
bác 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
chị your elder sister or siblings
anh your elder brother or siblings
em your younger sister or brother or siblings
thầy the teacher (if he is a man)
the teacher (if she is a woman)

Chu Phong Lan

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