Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hi everyone. I’m Becky. Welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com This is the Absolute Beginner series, Season 1, Lesson 12 - Ordering A Delicious Vietnamese Meal.
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to order food and drinks in Vietnamese. The conversation takes place at a restaurant and is between An, Mary, and the waiter.
Huyen: An and Mary are friends, so they’ll be using informal Vietnamese with each other, but formal Vietnamese with the waiter.
Becky: Now let’s listen to the conversation.
An: Anh ơi, cho xem cái thực đơn.
Waiter: Đây ạ.
An: Cảm ơn. Mary, bạn muốn ăn gì?
Mary: Tớ ăn phở bò.
An: Tớ cũng vậy.
Mary: Anh ơi!
Waiter: Chị gọi món gì ạ?
Mary: Cho hai bát phở bò.
Waiter: Vâng, có ngay.
An: Waiter, menu please.
Waiter: Here you are.
An: Thank you. Mary, what do you want to eat?
Mary: I want rice noodles with beef.
An: Me too.
Mary: Waiter!
Waiter: What food would you like to order?
Mary: Two bowls of rice noodles with beef, please.
Waiter: Yes, in a minute.
Huyen: Becky, have you ever tried Pho?
Becky: Yes, I love it. It’s very delicious! I believe Pho is the most well-known Vietnamese food among foreigners. Can you tell our listeners what is special about these rice noodles?
Huyen: Well, it’s the soup that makes it special.
Becky: What are the ingredients?
Huyen: The soup is often made with beef, phở bò, or chicken, phở gà, with baked onions, ginger, basil, and cinnamon.
Becky: And I’ve seen some Vietnamese people adding lime juice or garlic vinegar, chilli sauce, and some herbs when they eat Pho.
Huyen: Right, that makes the taste special.
Becky: Vietnamese people living overseas must really miss this food.
Huyen: Yes, but I’m sure you can find it at Vietnamese restaurants around the world.
Becky: So give it a try, listeners! Okay, let’s move onto the vocab.
Becky: Let’s look at some of the words and phrases used in this lesson. The first word is...
Huyen: ...Anh ơi.
Becky: It’s similar to “Hey man” or “Hey bro” or it may sound more like "Excuse me!" as Vietnamese people use this phrase to get someone’s attention. They don’t say “waiter!” in a restaurant. Instead, just say...
Huyen: ...anh ơi.
Becky: To call a waitress, say...
Huyen: ...em ơi...
Becky: ...if they are young and ...
Huyen: ...chị ơi...
Becky: ...if they look older than you. So basically, choose the pronoun to address the waiter/ waitress then add...
Huyen: ...ơi…
Becky: ...after that. This can also be used to catch other people’s attention in general, not only in restaurants. Let’s put this phrase into a sentence.
Huyen: Anh ơi, đi đây đấy?
Becky: “Hey bro, where are you going?”
Huyen: Next we have gọi...
Becky: …which means “to order”. Last time we learned that this word means “to call”. But when it comes to food or drink, it means “to order”. Vietnamese people often use the compound word...
Huyen: ...gọi món...
Becky: ….to mean ordering food in general.
Huyen: For example, Tôi sẽ xem thực đơn rồi gọi món sau.
Becky: “I’ll look at the menu and order food later.” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson you’ll learn how to order food and drinks in Vietnamese. In the dialogue, we hear...
Huyen: Cho hai bát phở bò.
Becky: “Two bowls of rice noodles with beef, please.” When you want to order food or drink, simply say...
Huyen: ...cho, then the number, then the classifier, and then the name of the food or drink. Cho means “to give”...
Becky: ...so this sentence literally means “give me something”.To make it more polite, you can say...
Huyen: ...Làm ơn cho tôi, then the number, then the classifier, and then the name of the food or drink. So, you add làm ơn, which means “please”, at the beginning and the pronoun tôi after cho.
Becky: Let’s make the sentence in the dialogue more polite.
Huyen: Làm ơn cho tôi hai bát phở bò. The word bát here is a classifier meaning “bowl”.
Becky: So the whole sentence means “Please give me two bowls of rice noodles with beef.” Now, let’s hear some more examples.
Huyen: Cho hai cốc trà đá.
Becky: “Two glasses of ice tea, please.”
Huyen: And more politely, Làm ơn cho tôi hai cốc trà đá.
Becky: Another example is...
Huyen: ...Cho một đĩa cơm rang.
Becky: “A plate of fried rice please.”
Huyen: And more politely, Làm ơn cho tôi một đĩa cơm rang.
Becky: Alright. Now you are ready to go to a Vietnamese restaurant!
Huyen: For a review of this lesson, please read the lesson notes.


Becky: If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave us a comment. Thanks for listening, and see you next time.
Huyen: Tạm biệt!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Listeners! Have you tried the traditional Vietnamese Phở?


VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 01:10 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi yiyi,

Thank you for your post. "cái" in the sentence “cho xem cái thực đơn” equally means "the" in English. "cái" is used in front of a singular noun to refer to something ("thực đơn/ menu" in this context) with which both the speaker/writer and listener/reader are familiar. "cái" is more common in Vietnamese speaking than writing.

Hope this helps and let us know if you have any further questions.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Tuesday at 10:58 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

“cho xem cái thực đơn”,why they use the "cái" in this sentence? What's the meaning?

Sunday at 06:20 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Thanks Khanh. Just got your reply. I will try as you suggest.😆

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 05:23 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for posting and we have responded to both of your questions in those lessons. Here it is again for your convenience: https://www.vietnamesepod101.com/lesson-library/sound-like-a-native-vietnamese-pronunciation/

Please let us know if this helps and if you have further questions.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Monday at 07:22 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello. I am still trying to get an answer concerning pronunciation of 'g' and 'r' and 'd' at the beginning of words. Also the significance of the accents and diacritics on letters. If I should ask this question elsewhere please can you tell me where. Thanks.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 10:03 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Ted,

We have mentioned about this classifier and others in Basic Bootcamp series. You can have a look at the Lesson Note in this lesson: https://www.vietnamesepod101.com/2013/04/24/basic-bootcamp-4-counting-from-1100-in-vietnamese/

Have a nice day!



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Saturday at 02:30 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

In this lesson, the dialog and lesson notes use classifiers (cái, bát, cốc, đĩa), but you do not explain what they are or how they are used in everyday language. So, in the very first sentence of the dialog, "cho xem cái thực đơn", the learner is left mystified as to what purpose "cái" serves in that sentence. Why don't you explain this very important grammar point here? Is there another lesson in the series that does explain this, and review some common classifiers?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:02 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Bryan,

Are you saying that "Phở is your favorite"? If so, you should say "Đó là món ăn yêu thích của tôi".

In English "favorite" can stand alone without a noun but its equivalent in Vietnamese - "yêu thích" have to be with a noun. So you should say "Noun + yêu thích của tôi" (My favorite ...) and in there it is "món ăn yêu thích của tôi" (my favorite food)

"Nó" is the literal translation of "it" but we do not use "nó" the same as "it" in English. Instead we use "đó" (that) more often. "Nó" is often used to indicate both a thing (as an object after a verb) or a third person (he/she who is younger/same age and close to you or in another case, someone you do not respect). "Nó" is not polite, so do not use it to address a person whom you don't know very well.

For example:

1. Cái điện thoại này cũ rồi. Tôi không dùng nó nữa.

This phone has become old. I don't use it anymore.

2. An về chưa? Tớ muốn rủ nó chơi cầu lông.

Has An returned? I want to ask her to play badminton with me. (An is close to the speaker)

3. Đừng liên lạc với nó nữa.

Don't contact him anymore. ("Nó" here is someone the speaker does not like)



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Thursday at 10:52 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Nó là yêu thích của tôi!