New Year Resolutions: Will and Should, or Won’t and Should Not?


Everyone has at least one of them. Some have more than others. And most go unfulfilled throughout the year: those inevitable hapless New Year resolutions.

I bet this appeared at least one in everyone’s list some time:

Tôi nên giảm cân
I should decrease kilogram

which means “I should lose weight.” Now that’s it’s near the end of the year, what other resolutions did you have? Which one did you accomplish? Which one is still hanging? 🙂 What resolutions are you making this year?

Me personally, I substitute the resolution above with

Tôi nên tập thể dục nhiều hơn
I should exercise many more

“I should exercise more” which works for me.

“Should” and “ought to” is nên in Vietnamese. It is used before the verb just like in English: nên + verb

should not do something? subject + không + nên + verb

will do something – subject + sẽ + verb

won’t do something – subject + sẽ + không + verb

won’t do something any more? – subject + sẽ + không + verb + nữa

The following are some of the popular resolutions:

Tôi nên tiết kiệm hơn
I should (be) thrifty more

I should save more / be more thrifty

Tôi sẽ bỏ thuốc lá
I will quit cigarette

I will quit smoking/drinking

Tôi sẽ không thức khuya nữa
I will not stay up late any more

I won’t stay up late any more

Năm nay tôi sẽ dành nhiều thời gian cho gia đình hơn
Year this I will set aside many time for family more
This year I will set aside more time for family
Bạn nên chăm học tiếng Việt hơn
You should hardworking study Vietnamese more
You should study Vietnamese harder 🙂
With the upcoming Tết food, good luck with Tôi nên giảm cân!
Bonus: Can you name all the Vietnamese food below? 🙂

2 responses »

  1. Would it be incorrect to say “Tôi nên học tiếng Việt chăm hơn”? I’m a little confused with why “chăm” comes before “học.” 🙂 Cảm ơn!

  2. Chăm as an adjective means “hardworking” (the full adjective is chăm chỉ)
    As a “verb” it means “to do something often”
    “chăm học hơn” sounds a little more natural than “học chăm hơn”

    For example, chăm đi bơi means to go swimming often
    Chăm ngủ ngày means taking a day nap often

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