In Vietnamese, how are you doing?

The most famous way to ask yourself how you are? It’s written in Vietnamese:

How are you? = [The word for You] + (có) khỏe không?

Let ‘s imagine, for example, that John meets his senior Vietnamese colleague named Thảo. To ask: How are you? John will say to Thuo: Chị (có) khỏe không?. In both spoken and written languages, the word is entirely optional and is usually omitted. John not only uses the word chị to address Thảo because Thảo is his senior colleague, but also because it is respectful to refer to your colleague in business settings using the word for a senior person when the age gap is minimal. To review how to use the correct word for you and recommendations for business settings, consult the lessons on how to say Pronouns: I, You, etc.

The word khỏe means perfect and a word added to the end to turn the expression to a query is the word không. Therefore, the question is literal meaning: Chị khỏe không? Are you okay? The word ch, though less popular, is an alternative word to không. Usually, when chứ is used, we will also repeat [the word for you] at the end. As such, John will say in our example: Chị khỏe chứ chị?

Another lesson is a common way to ask, How are you? That is in Vietnamese, also in translation to the English question:

How are you? = [A time phrase, such as hôm nay (today)] +

[The word for You] + thế nào?

John will then ask in our example case, using the second way of asking: Hôm nay, chị thế nào? The term thế nào is the Vietnamese definition of the English word how. Please note that it would be very unusual in Vietnamese to only ask Chị thế nào? Without a phrase of time in front, as Chị thế nào? It is a general question of how to refer only to health, and not a fixed word.

In Vietnamese, I’m OK.

We will learn how to tell the standard response flow to the question in this section How are you?: I’m fine. Thank you. And you?

I am fine = [The word for I] + khỏe

Thank you = Cám ơn + [The word for You]

And you? = Còn + [The word for you]?

A small note is that to say thank you, you can just say cám ơn. But if you know the proper word to address the other person, it’s preferred to add in that word. Consult the lesson on how to say thank you in Vietnamese for more details.A way of asking, And you? In Còn + [Word for you] in Vietnamese?. Note that còn is not the translation of and! into Vietnamese. It’s synonymous with the English word for from. As such, the translation of And You from Vietnamese? Actually, in this case, is the literal translation of About You?

Below is the conversation between John and his senior colleague Thoo, bringing it together

John: Chào chị, hôm nay chị khỏe không?

Thao: Mình khỏe, còn anh?

John: Tôi cũng (also) khỏe. Cảm ơn chị.

If you pay close enough attention, you’d see that in her reply, Thảo didn’t actually say thank you. In Vietnamese culture, this way of answering is still very traditional and is still considered polite (enough).

Below are the Vietnamese equivalents of the English answers to the how-are-you question, before we end:

I’m fine: Tôi khỏe.

Very good: Rất khỏe/tốt.

I’m so so: Tàm tạm.

Not very good: Không khỏe lắm.

Very bad: Rất tệ.

Very tired: Rất mệt.


  • The 3 most famous ways of asking how are you? Spoken in Vietnamese:

[Phrase for You] + khỏe không?

[You’re the word] + khỏe chứ + [You’re the word]?

[A time phrase like hôm nay (today)] + [You’re the word] + thế nào?

  • Saying, And you? Còn + [The Word for You] in Vietnamese?

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