The best way to respond to – how many pronouns are there in Vietnamese?

Vietnamese has six personal pronouns: tôi (I), bạn (you), anh (you, male), chị (you, female), ông (he), and bà (she).

Vietnamese, a language spoken by over 90 million people worldwide, has a unique pronoun system that reflects the cultural and social nuances of the Vietnamese society. While pronouns in Vietnamese are relatively limited compared to some other languages, they still play an important role in communication. In Vietnamese, there are six personal pronouns commonly used:

  1. Tôi (I): This pronoun is used to refer to oneself. It is the most general and widely used pronoun for “I” in Vietnamese.

  2. Bạn (you): Bạn is an inclusive pronoun used to refer to the second person singular “you”. It can be used to address both friends and strangers.

  3. Anh (you, male): Anh is a pronoun specifically used to address a male. It is commonly used by Vietnamese people when talking to a male who is slightly older or of the same age.

  4. Chị (you, female): Chị is a pronoun specifically used to address a female. Similar to anh, it is commonly used when talking to a female who is slightly older or of the same age.

  5. Ông (he): Ông is the pronoun for “he” in Vietnamese. It is used to refer to a male of older generation or someone with a higher social status.

  6. Bà (she): Bà is the pronoun for “she” in Vietnamese. It is used to refer to a female of older generation or someone with a higher social status.

Interestingly, Vietnamese pronouns also reflect the concept of social hierarchy and respect within the culture. The usage of specific pronouns like anh and chị, which denote relative age and social status, emphasizes the importance of respect and politeness in Vietnamese society.

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To illustrate further, here is a table summarizing the Vietnamese pronouns:

Pronoun English Equivalent
Tôi I
Bạn You
Anh You (male)
Chị You (female)
Ông He

In summary, Vietnamese has six personal pronouns that encompass different genders, ages, and social hierarchies. These pronouns serve as an essential part of the language, reflecting the cultural values of respect and politeness within Vietnamese society.

As Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Trãi said, “In a language, the choice of pronouns is not just a matter of grammar, but it also speaks of the social and cultural structure of a society.”

Response to your question in video format

In this section of the video, the speaker introduces the topic of Vietnamese personal pronouns and how to address people in one’s own generation. Pronouns in Vietnamese are determined by factors such as generation, age, and gender. The speaker explains that younger individuals would address older siblings as “an” for men and “chi” for women, while older individuals would address younger siblings as “em” for both genders. When uncertain, it is safer to consider oneself younger to show respect. In service-based interactions, staff would address customers as “an” or “chi” to show respect, and the customer can respond in the same manner. The speaker mentions that future lessons will cover addressing people outside of one’s generation and other pronouns that do not use familial terms.

Interesting facts on the topic

And did you know: In fact, Vietnamese people use many different types of pronouns in Vietnamese for different people. In addition, each type of pronoun has many synonyms. So it can be said that Vietnamese is an extremely diverse language. Many foreign tourists coming to Vietnam are overwhelmed by the diversity and abundance of Vietnamese. 1. Chị and Anh 2. Em 3. 5.
And did you know that, Personal pronouns, indefinite pronouns, relative pronouns, reciprocal or reflexive pronouns have a very important role in Vietnamese. Here are some examples: Notice the structure of the Pronouns in Vietnamese. Memorizing this table will help you add very useful and important words to your Vietnamese vocabulary.
Interesting fact: Vietnamese women, like women everywhere else, want to be viewed as “young” in the eyes of men. So if you’re male and older than the lady, definitely use the word em to refer to her. And you’d see they refer to you using anh or chị as well. It’s polite and is used everyday by locals, so you should follow. If the other person is a lady, the wind flows in the opposite direction.

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What are all the Viet pronouns?
Personal pronouns exercise

  • older sister = anh / chị / bố
  • younger brother/sister = em / anh / bác.
  • father = mẹ / bố / chú
  • mother = chú / em / mẹ
  • grandma = bà / cháu / ông.
  • grandfather = thím / ông / mợ
  • uncle (younger than your parents) = chú / cô / bà
  • aunt (younger than your parents) = chú / cháu / cô
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What are nonbinary pronouns in Vietnamese?
In reply to that: When asked about a non-binary pronoun in Vietnamese, someone combined the two gendered words: chị + anh = chanh || sister + brother = lemon.
Are there gender neutral pronouns in Vietnamese?
In Vietnamese language, there are no specific gender-neutral pronouns. The standard word for "he" is "anh", while "she" is "cô" or "chị" depending on formality levels. However, it is common in Vietnamese to use the gender-neutral term "họ" to refer to a third-person singular pronoun.
What is the plural pronoun in Vietnamese?
As an answer to this: The second-person plural pronoun (y’all or you guys in English) is relatively easy in Vietnamese — all you do is add the word Các before the pronoun you. For example, “Các bạn” or “Các em”.

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