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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hi everyone. I’m Becky. Welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com This is Absolute Beginner series, Season 1, Lesson 25 - Getting Home Late in Vietnam.
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this last lesson of the series, you’ll learn about the past tense. The conversation takes place in the neighborhood and is between Mai and Linh. The speakers are neighbours, so they’ll be using informal Vietnamese.
Mai: Linh à, về muộn thế em?
Linh: Vâng.
Mai: Đã ăn tối chưa?
Linh: Em đã ăn ở công ty rồi ạ.
Mai: Thế à? Dạo này có vẻ bận nhỉ?
Linh: Vâng, em sắp phải nộp báo cáo ạ
Mai: Hey Linh, you're coming home so late.
Linh: Yes.
Mai: Have you had dinner already?
Linh: I already ate at the company.
Mai: Really? You seem very busy these days.
Linh: Right. I will have to submit a report soon.
Becky: Huyen, are neighbors in Vietnamese communities very close to each other?
Huyen: Yes, it’s very common to ask your neighbors about their daily activities, as we heard in the dialogue.
Becky: Oh, interesting. That’s because Vietnam is such a community-oriented society, right? I assume neighbors are close friends and eat together sometimes?
Huyen: Yes, that’s right. Usually it’s on special occasions, and they also might talk after dinner or watch TV or share stories of their day.
Becky: And maybe even help each other when needed?
Huyen: Definitely.
Becky: That’s really nice, but don’t you feel uncomfortable when your neighbors know many things about you?
Huyen: Yes! Well, the older generations get along well with their neighbours, but young people now prefer having their own privacy.
Becky: But of course they are still well-mannered and greet neighbors when they meet.
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is....
Huyen: ...về...
Becky: ...meaning “to return” or “to come back”. It also means “return home” in the case of going back from work or school. The whole phrase should be...
Huyen: ...về nhà, where nhà means “home”...
Becky: ...but in the case of returning home from work or school, using only…
Huyen: ...về…
Becky: ...is fully understood. Let’s give our listeners some examples.
Huyen: Cậu vừa về à?
Becky: “Have you just returned?” It can mean “have you just returned from school or from work?”
Huyen: Hôm nay bố về sớm.
Becky: “Dad came home from work early today”. The phrase “from work” was not added because in this case it was just implied that the father came home from work.
Huyen: The second word is em.
Becky: “younger brother” or “younger sister”. It’s used as a pronoun too. When you talk with a younger person, you call him or her...
Huyen: ...em…
Becky : ...which means “you” in this case. For example you can say to your younger sister...
Huyen: ...Em đã làm bài tập chưa?
Becky: “Did you do your homework?” On the contrary, when you talk to an older person, you call yourself...
Huyen: ...em...
Becky: ...which means “I” or “me” in this case. You can say to your elder sister...
Huyen: ...Em đã làm xong bài tập rồi ạ.
Becky: “I have already done my homework.” You can use both pronouns in one sentence like this:
Huyen: Chị ơi, cho em mượn cái ô này nhé.
Becky: “Sister, can I borrow this umbrella?” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the past tense.
Huyen: Em đã ăn ở công ty rồi ạ.
Becky: “I already ate at the company.” The sentence starts with...
Huyen: ...em…
Becky: ...meaning “I” because the speaker is talking to an older person. Next comes the adverb…
Huyen: ...đã…
Becky: ...which expresses actions or situations in the past. Then comes the main verb…
Huyen: ...ăn…
Becky: ...which is “to eat”. Next is…
Huyen: ...ở công ty…
Becky: ...which means “at the company”, and the last word is…
Huyen: ...rồi.
Becky: This adverb also means “already”. To form the past tense, add the adverb...
Huyen: ...đã...
Becky: ...in front of the main verb, then add...
Huyen: ...rồi...
Becky: ...after the main verb if there’s no object, and after the object, if there is one. This verb structure won’t change regardless of whether the subject is singular or plural.
Huyen: The pair đã - rồi expresses that some action has already been completed, at the time of speaking.
Becky: When the time expression is used, it can be added at the beginning of the sentence or after the verb phrase and in front of...
Huye: ...rồi.
Becky: Could you give some more examples?
Huyen: Hôm qua tôi đã làm xong việc rồi.
Becky: "I already finished work yesterday.”
Huyen: Cô ấy đã về thăm ông bà tuần trước.
Becky: "She returned home to visit her grandparents last week." Please note that when there is no past expression, the past tense is very similar to the present perfect tense. Let’s look at the previous example again.
Huyen: Tôi đã làm xong việc rồi.
Becky: Here it means “I have already finished work.”
Huyen: Cô ấy đã về thăm ông bà.
Becky: "She has returned home to visit her grandparents." Okay! That’s all for the past tense in this lesson. We hope you understood it all!
Huyen: We hope that you can say Tôi đã hiểu rồi.
Becky: “I already understood.” And please review what you’ve learned by reading the lesson notes.


Huyen: Well, that’s all for this lesson, and this series.
Becky: We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning with us, and have acquired good basic Vietnamese, all while having fun! And please don’t forget to ask questions if you have any. We’ll be more than happy to help.
Becky: Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you in another series. Bye!
Huyen: Tạm biệt và hẹn gặp lại.


Please to leave a comment.
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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hello Listeners! Try making a simple sentence in Vietnamese using Past Tense.

Monday at 12:21 AM
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I really enjoyed the season, authentic daily dialogues and good insight towards daily Vietnamese life. I am a Viet Kieu, my Vietnamese is limited to casual talk (like most Vietnamese who were not born in VN). Only one thing I want to make aware of. "Toi" is usually only used when you talk to an audience or to close friends. Else you use the pronouns when talking to someone. Using "Toi" in a dialogue sounds very impolite to me (kind of arrogant). Vietnamese is pretty hard to start, but it is actually simple once you master the pronunciation.

Can on nhieu to the vp101-team!

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 10:51 AM
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Hi Lawrence,

"Sẽ" means "will/going to" and it indicates something that will happen, it can be in the near or far future. "Sắp" means "will ... soon" so it means that something will happen very soon (only in the near future).



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Monday at 04:53 PM
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what is differences between sẽ and sắp?

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 11:34 PM
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Hi aidriano,

You're right, it should be opposite to what we mentioned in the review audio.

So "em" is used as "I" to an older person and "you" to a younger person.

We are terribly sorry for this mistake. We'll fix it soon.

Thank you very much for your feedback.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Friday at 01:26 PM
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Regarding "em", you appear to juxtapose "younger" and "older" in both the review audio and in the flashcards.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 02:53 PM
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Hello Clayton Davis,

Thank you for posting!

We are glad to hear that you liked our Lessons :thumbsup:

The new material is ready and coming soon...



Team VietnamesePod101.com

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Sunday at 05:34 PM
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Hi bigfriend,

You can say it in Vietnamese as:

Tôi không có không gian riêng tư.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Wednesday at 11:15 AM
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I am like the young Vietnamese people you mentioned in the lesson -- I don't like my neighbors knowing everything I do. How do you say in Vietnamese -- "I don't have any privacy"?

Clayton Davis
Wednesday at 03:13 AM
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Thank you for a good season. I can't wait to find out what new series are coming up next month!

Clayton Davis