33 – Nouns – possession – what belong to whom – của


Use của to say something belong to somebody: của roughly means “of” or “belong to” or the “‘s” (Tom’s, Harry’s, Mary’s) in English
object + của + owner

bạn gái của anh ấy
friend girl of he

his girlfriend

con mèo của
(classifier) cat of she (old lady)

her cat

chiếc nhẫn của Frodo
(classifier) ring of Frodo

Frodo’s ring

cung điện Buckingham của Anh
palace Buckingham of England

To get “my, his, her, our, their” put của in front of the respective pronouns (see # 14 – Pronouns)

object của tôi my
anh ấy, ông ấy, chú ấy, bác ấy his
chị ấy, bà ấy, cô ấy, bác ấy her
chúng tôi, chúng ta, chúng mình our
chúng nó, họ their

If it’s a family member, family member + owner or family member + owner’s name is more commonly used.

ba tôi
dad mom my

my mom & dad

gia đình Hoa
family Hoa’s

Hoa’s family

Note for more advanced learners:
This can be confusing when it comes to people.
For example, Lan’s older sister is chị của Lan or if the context is clear, chị Lan
In # 13 “How to Address People and Yourself,” chị Lan can also mean Lan the girl herself, since if Lan is older than you, you add chị in front of Lan’s name to show respect.

Don’t worry about this for now if you just started. Use của to avoid confusion.

About the photo above: It’s a sunflower in my summer garden. Sunflowers come in more variety and colors than I knew. Question for you:

Hoa hướng dương của tôi màu gì?

And here’s a bonus 🙂 and no, I’m not a florist


9 responses »

  1. Pingback: 35 – Nouns – putting it all together « seahorse viet

  2. Pingback: Viet Family-in-law 101 « seahorse viet

  3. I have a question about when you should use chiếc versus cái classifiers. Thanks

  4. That does talk about classifiers, but doesn’t answer my question. I don’t understand when to use chiếc. Thanks.

  5. I’m not understanding when to use ‘cua’. Are you saying that if the person is related to you (a part of your family), you don’t use ‘cua’? If this isn’t what you stated above, could you clarify?

  6. Object + của + owner is correct all the time

    For family, you can also say mẹ của tôi (my mom), ba của tôi (my dad)
    It’s correct, but native speaker usually just say mẹ tôi ba tôi

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