Asking politely in Vietnamese


Here’s the magic formula: just add the word xin in front of your question.

Yes, it’s that easy! Even saying the word “xin” is easy 🙂 (it is pronounced the same as “sin” in English)

Xin hỏi + [whatever question you want to ask here]? Excuse me (allow me to ask), [your question]?

Xin hỏi bạn biết tiếng Anh không?
allow me to ask you know English or not?

Excuse me, do you know English?

Xin mời + person + do something – Please, do …

Xin mời vào! Please come in!

Xin mời ngồi! Please sit down!

Xin mời cả nhà ăn cơm!
Please invite all in the house eat rice

Please, everyone eat!

Xin phép / xin phép được means “may I do something?” (asking someone for permission to do something). It is similar to “… được không?”

Tôi xin phép được giới thiệu cô dâu chú rể
I introduce the bride and the groom
May I have permission to introduce the bride and the groom!
Anh xin phép về sớm
I (male) have permission to return (home) early
May I please have permission to leave early?

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