34 – Nouns – classifiers

Standard

Classifiers are used with nouns to count things in Vietnamese. The structure is the quantity + classifier + noun. There are many classifiers in Vietnamese, but the 2 that you will use the most are cái + things and con + animal/living things. Example:

Một con vịt
1 classifier duck
hai cái điện thoại di động
2 classifier telephone mobile

Some other useful classifiers: quả + fruit, cuốn sách (book), quyển vở (notebook), tờ báo (magazine, newspaper).

The (almost) full list of classifiers can be downloaded as a PDF here. There’re about 30+ of them (and yes, I know all of them by heart).

About the photo above: It was taken by my friend in her garden in Vietnam. Cây khế and quả khế are common tropical fruit & well-loved by the Vietnamese. And this is something to know before picking your quả khế:

một số (some) quả khế ngọt
còn một số quả thì chua

You can view the original photo here on Flickr.

One response »

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

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