In Vietnamese, nouns require the counting of classifier words, like many Asian languages.

“In Vietnamese, where we say “two boxes” in English, they say “hai cái hộp,” translated as “two thing-classifier box.

  “Vietnamese is “một ly cà phê” or “one glass/classifier coffee” for “one cup of coffee. Classifiers are almost always necessary, but a noun will act as a classifier many times as well. 

  But “cốc ” means “glass”

  “Cái” is the most general and common and can be used to categorize other classifier nouns, such as “cái cốc.” For inanimate artifacts, Cái is used, “con” for animals and “cây” for plants.

  • Cái is a classifier for items in Vietnam: 

For instance: cái máy tính = laptop 

  • Con is Vietnamese animal classifier

For instance: Con chó = dog 

  • Cây is Vietnamese tree classifier
  • Người is the People‘s Vietnamese classifier

Người Việt Nam = People of Vietnam

To enrich your vocabulary, listen to the following audios to practice:

  • Cái bàn là: Iron
  • Cái bàn: Table
  • Cái cốc: Glass
  • Con bò: A cow
  • Cái giường: Bed
  • Cái điện thoại: mobile phone
  • Ngôi nhà: House
  • Đây là cái gì?: What is this?
  • Đây là cái bàn: This is table
  • Cây cam: Mango tree
  • Cây chuối: Banana tree
  • Cây táo: Apple tree
  • Đây là cây chuối đúng không ? That is a banana tree, isn’t it?
  • Đó là ngôi nhà của anh ấy. That is his house
  • Đây là quyển vở của em: It’s my book.
  • Cái bút: pen
  • Cái quạt: fan
  • Cái cửa: door
  • Cái gương: Mirror

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