Acquiring vocabulary is a high priority for any language learner. The best place to start is to learn the most common words used by native speakers, especially Vietnamese VERBS.
Verbs are words that we used to talk about actions. They are a very important part to construct complete sentences, even simple ones.
The good news is, unlike many other languages, Vietnamese verbs are not conjugated. That means the verb forms stay the same regardless of the pronouns and tenses. For instance:
This lesson will introduce you to the most common and basic Vietnamese verbs, with example sentences that you can use in daily conversation.
This list will be updated over time with more verbs and example sentences. So come back every few weeks and check them out!Skip sentences. Jump to the verbs list ⬇︎
Meaning: to be
The word “là” is equivalent to “to be” verb in English, which also includes am/is/are/was/were.
But unlike English, Vietnamese “là” is mostly used to introduce something or someone's identity or profession. For example:
where "giáo viên" means teacher
where "người Mỹ" refers to American person or American people
When you want to describe someone or something like “she’s beautiful” or “phở is tasty”, you don’t have to use the word "là". For instance:
Phở is tasty
Meaning: to be in/at a location, or to stay
Ở is used when talking about being in/at a location. For example:
Mình ở Việt Nam
I’m in Vietnam / I stay in Vietnam
Mình ở nhà
I’m at home / I stay (at) home
where "nhà" means home or house
Meaning: to have
You probably know that The word “Có” also means “yes”, but as a verb, it means “to have”. For example:
where “anh chị em” means siblings or brothers and sisters
Meaning: to like
where “ngọt” means sweet, and “đồ” refers to stuff in general
Meaning: to do, to make, or to work
The word “làm” has many meanings, but I’ll show you the most common ones. The first meaning of “làm” is “To do”
Bạn đang làm gì?
“What are you doing?” (literally “You are doing what?”)
The second meaning of “làm” is To make
where “đồ ăn” means food, “cho ảnh” means for him
Another meaning of “làm” is to work. The word to work in Vietnamese, can either be “làm” or “làm việc". For example:
Bạn làm ở đâu?
Where do you work? (literally “You work where?”)
Mình làm việc với John
I work with John
Meaning: to know
where “chỗ” refers to a place in general, “chỗ đó” means that place
Meaning: to speak or to say
where “tiếng Việt” refers to the Vietnamese language, and “một chút” means a little, a bitVietnamese Numbers: The Ultimate Free Guide
Meaning: to hear, to listen
where “rõ” means clear or clearly
Meaning: to understand
Meaning: to go
where "tuần" means week, “tuần sau” means next week
Meaning: to eat
Note: The word “được” is used to talk about being able to do something. So “ăn được” means can eat or able to eat, “không ăn được” means cannot eat or not able to eat
The word “cay” refers to something spicy.How to say Colors in Vietnamese - with Video and Examples
Meaning: to drink
Meaning: to take or to get
where “cái này” means this one
So the verb “Lấy” means “to take”, then we have “lấy cho”, which translates to “to take for someone something” or “to get someone something”. For example:
Meaning: to think
The word “mưa” refers to the “rain” or “to rain”. The phrase “trời mưa” means “it rains”, so “trời sắp mưa” would be “it’s about to rain”.
“Sắp” refers to something that is about to happen.
Meaning: to come to, to arrive
The words “Tới” and “đến” have the same meanings, and they can be used interchangeably.
where “tháng một” means “January”, and “vào tháng một” means “in January”.
The word “sẽ” is a tense marker that we place before a verb, to describe a future action if the context is not clear enough.
Meaning: to think
where "xấu" means "ugly", and "hơi xấu" means "a bit ugly" or "slightly ugly"
Meaning: to want
To say "to think of" or "to think about" something, you can say "nghĩ tới" or "nghĩ đến".
Meaning: to buy
"quần áo" means "clothes".
"giảm giá" can be a verb "to reduce the price". In this sentence, it is an adjective which refers to "discounted price" or "reduced price".
Meaning: to sell
where "cửa hàng" refers to a store or a shop, and “mắc” means “expensive".
In Northern dialect, people would use the word “đắt” instead of "mắc" for saying “expensive”
Meanings: to use, to take food/drink/medicine
The first meaning of dùng is “to use”
where “để làm gì?” literally means “to do what?” or simply “what for?”
The second meaning of “dùng” is “to take” as in taking food, drink or medicine
Meanings: to give, to let and to put
Here’s an example of “to give”
where “vé xem phim” means “movie ticket”
The second meaning of “cho” is “to let”
where “tại sao” means “why”
Then we have the third meaning of “cho” which is “to put”. You can also say cho something vào, which means “to put something in”
where “đường” means “sugar”, so “cho đường vào” means “to put sugar in”.
Meaning: to ask, to inquire
“hỏi ý kiến” means “to ask someone’s opinion"
“sếp” refers to a “boss” or a “superior”
Meaning: to look at
When “gì” is used with a negative form of a verb, it would have the meaning of “anything”. For example:
This is a powerful verb to know because it has three common meanings: to see, to feel, and to find.
The first meaning of “thấy” is “to see”.
Earlier, we’ve learned that the word nhìn means “to look at”. Now we have the word thấy or nhìn thấy both mean “to see something with your eyes”. For example:
where “siêu thị” refers to “supermarket”, and "khuyến mãi” refers to the “sales promotion”
The second meaning of “thấy” is “to feel”. You can either say thấy or cảm thấy. For example:
where “sáng nay” means “this morning”, and “mệt” means “tired” or “tiring”
The third meaning of “thấy” is “to find” in terms of thinking or feeling a particular way, about someone or something.
where “khoe khoang” means “to brag” or “to boast”
Meanings: to watch, to view something attentively
The first meaning of "coi" is "to watch something" or “to watch someone doing something”, such as:
The second meaning of “coi” is “to bring your eyes and your attention on something”. For example:
coi điện thoại
can be translated as “to view/look at something on the phone”
“coi tin tức” - to view the news
which can be on the TV, or in the news’paper
Another word for “coi” that you may know is “xem”. Although "coi" seems to be used more often in the Southern dialect, while "xem" is used more often in the Northern dialect.How to say different Face Parts in Vietnamese
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