Casual Vietnamese: They the People – người ta


An useful word to know in Vietnamese is người ta, which means “they”, “people in general”, or the public.

Người ta is usually used as a subject of a sentence when you talk about the norms or conventional wisdom.

Đừng làm thế, người ta cười cho
Don’t do that, people laugh at (you)

Don’t do that. People will laugh at you.

Người ta bảo là ăn chuối tốt cho sức khỏe
People say that eat banana good for healthy

They say that eating banana is good for your health.

Khi yêu nhau người ta thường làm gì?
When love each other people often do what?

What do people usually do when they’re in love?

Khi còn trẻ người ta thường ít để ý tới sức khỏe
When still young people often little pay attention to health
When they’re still young, few people pay attention to their health.

When talking to your girlfriend/boyfriend, instead of calling yourself “anh” or “em,” you can call yourself người ta . It’s a shy, cute way to address yourself.

Người ta nói anh ngốc
(I) say you (male) silly
(Girlfriend says to boyfriend)I told you that you’re silly (in an adorable way)
Người ta can also means the third person in a relationship/affair.
Chồng của người ta nhưng người yêu của em
Husband of other but is lover of me

My boyfriend is someone else’s husband. / Husband of other (woman), boyfriend of me.


4 responses »

  1. What if I want to say something like: “By the time the people leave your graduation party, the place will be a mess.”?

  2. “the people” in that sentence is more like “everyone” which is mọi người
    đến lúc mọi người rời khỏi tiệc tốt nghiệp của [whoever it is ] thì cả nhà cũng tan tành (literally “all of the house gets destroyed” :))

    They / the people in this lesson is more like “the public / people in general (whom you don’t know, but talk about as a whole)”

  3. Click on the Category
    Under Basic Grammar
    The lessons that appear after 43 are 44 and 45

    I stopped putting a number nect to the lesson because it’s not necessary to learn lesson by the number order

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