3 – To Be or Not To Be – Là

Standard

Sentence: subject + là + object

Là = to be. Since there is no verb conjugation, là = are, is, am

Note: do not use là with adjective – the sentence structure with adjective is

subject + (không) + adjective

To make the sentence negative, add không phải là (no): subject + không phải là + object

Tôi Thảo
I am Thảo
Chị không phải là học sinh
I am not student

Question: subject + có phải là + object + không? 

Answer: Phải – Yes or Không phải – No

Đây có phải là hoa hồng không? Phải
This is rose? Yes
Anh có phải là anh Ba không? Không phải
You are anh Ba (a person’s name)? No


8 responses »

  1. Pingback: Basic Lesson Directory | seahorseviet

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  3. I’m confused that “chị” is translated as “I”. Could you please explain this?

  4. English speakers use only “I” to address themselves (example: I am Sam, I do homework, etc.) but Vietnamese has many way to say “I” depending on the speakers

    we decide which “I” to use depending on the speaker’s gender (male or female) and how old he/she is (older or younger than the other person)

    chị is a female speaker, who is older than the one she is talking to
    chị also means older sister in Vietnamese

    I have a more detailed explanation here
    https://seahorseviet.wordpress.com/2011/07/30/13-how-to-address-people-and-yourself-in-vietnamese/

  5. Thanks a lot. After reviewing the article that you link, would this always mean “I”, or could it also mean “she”, or “you”?

  6. Pingback: Saying Your Name in Vietnamese & Asking Who’s Who & What is What « seahorse viet

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