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Lesson Transcript

Becky: Hi everyone. I’m Becky. Welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com This is the Absolute Beginner series, Season 1, Lesson 6 - Saying Sorry in Vietnamese.
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Becky: In this lesson you will learn how to say “sorry” in Vietnamese. The conversation takes place in the director’s room and is between An and her boss.
Huyen: They are employee and employer at their workplace so, they’ll be using formal Vietnamese.
Becky: Let’s listen to the conversation.
An: Xin lỗi ...
Boss: Mời vào!
An: Xin lỗi tôi đến muộn.
Boss: Không sao, mời cô ngồi.
An: Cảm ơn
Becky: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
An: Xin lỗi ...
Boss: Mời vào!
An: Xin lỗi tôi đến muộn.
Boss: Không sao, mời cô ngồi.
An: Cảm ơn
Becky: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
An: Xin lỗi …
Becky: Excuse me!
Boss: Mời vào!
Becky: Come in, please.
An: Xin lỗi tôi đến muộn.
Becky: I'm sorry I'm late.
Boss: Không sao, mời cô ngồi.
Becky: No problem. Please sit down, miss.
An: Cảm ơn
Becky: Thank you.
Becky: Schools in Vietnam start early in the morning and most kids from 4 to 14 years old are sent to school by the parents, so in order to make it convenient for workers, offices often open at 8: 00 a.m and finish at 5 p.m. In some companies, to avoid rush hour office hours are from 9 a.m to 6 p.m. Normally, Vietnamese people take a nap at noon so lunch is between one to one and half hours.
Huyen: Exactly. Rush hour in the morning is from 7 am to 9 am and in the evening from 5 pm to 7 pm.
Becky: I heard that the majority of Vietnamese people use motorbikes rather than public transportation, so they are likely to be stuck in heavy traffic.
Huyen: Right. In particular, because women tend to take their children to school before they go to work, they are more likely to be late.
Becky: I guess the most common excuse for being late in Vietnam is “traffic jam”. Okay, now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Becky: The first word we shall see is...
Huyen: Xin lỗi [natural native speed]
Becky: excuse me
Huyen: Xin lỗi [slowly - broken down by syllable] Xin lỗi [natural native speed]
Becky: Next
Huyen: Mời [natural native speed]
Becky: please
Huyen: Mời [slowly - broken down by syllable] Mời [natural native speed]
Becky: Next
Huyen: Vào [natural native speed]
Becky: come in
Huyen: Vào [slowly - broken down by syllable] Vào [natural native speed]
Becky: Next
Huyen: đến [natural native speed]
Becky: to come
Huyen: đến [slowly - broken down by syllable] đến [natural native speed]
Becky: Next
Huyen: muộn [natural native speed]
Becky: late
Huyen: muộn [slowly - broken down by syllable] muộn [natural native speed]
Becky: Next
Huyen: Không sao. [natural native speed]
Becky: Don't worry./ Never mind.
Huyen: Không sao. [slowly - broken down by syllable] Không sao. [natural native speed]
Becky: Next
Huyen: ngồi [natural native speed]
Becky: sit
Huyen: ngồi [slowly - broken down by syllable] ngồi [natural native speed]
Becky: And last
Huyen: Cô [natural native speed]
Becky: Miss/Young lady
Huyen: Cô [slowly - broken down by syllable] Cô [natural native speed]
Becky: Let’s take a closer look at some of the words and phrases from this lesson. First we have...
Huyen: Mời.
Becky: In this dialogue, this word means “please”.
Huyen: This is the short form of xin mời.
Becky: It’s added before a main verb to make a polite request but it can only be used with certain verbs.
Huyen: The word mời itself means “to invite”.
Becky: So literally, the request implied here is more like an invitation to someone to do something. In the dialogue we have...
Huyen: ...Mời vào.
Becky: “Please come in” and
Huyen: Mời ngồi.
Becky: “Please sit down.”
Huyen: We can also say Mời dùng bữa.
Becky: “Please eat.” This is very formal. Also in the dialogue, we have
Huyen: Cô
Becky: which is a common pronoun in Vietnamese. The pronoun itself means “aunt”, but it refers to any woman who is about fifteen to twenty years older than you. It can also be used to address a young lady in a very formal situation.
Huyen: In this case, it’s much more formal than the pronoun chị we learned in the previous lesson.
Becky: Okay, now onto the grammar.
Becky: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to say “sorry” in Vietnamese.
Huyen: Xin lỗi.
Becky: “Excuse me” or “I’m sorry”. For “excuse me”, it’s usually placed at the beginning of a sentence, followed by a question or a polite request. When you really want to apologize to someone for doing something, simply say...
Huyen: ...Xin lỗi... or ...Tôi xin lỗi, which means “I’m sorry”.
Becky: When someone says “sorry” to you, reply with...
Huyen: ...Không sao...
Becky: ...which means “No problem”.
Huyen: And when someone says Cảm ơn, you can reply with Không có gì...
Becky: ...which means “Not at all", or it can be understood as “you’re welcome". Let’s hear some examples..
Huyen: Xin lỗi, cho tôi mượn cái bút.
Becky: “Excuse me, may I borrow your pen?”
Huyen: Xin lỗi, tôi đã quên tài liệu.
Becky: “Sorry, I forgot the documents.”
Huyen: In the dialogue we hear, Xin lỗi tôi đến muộn.
Becky: “I’m sorry for coming late.”


Becky: Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Huyen: For a review of this lesson, please check the lesson notes.
Becky: Thank you for listening. Remember, your comments and questions will always be welcome on the lessons page. And we’ll see you in the next lesson. Bye!
Huyen: Tạm biệt.


Please to leave a comment.
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VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Try to write a sentence using xin lỗi ("excuse me", "I'm sorry)!

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Monday at 12:05 PM
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Hi Adam,

Thank you for posting! Is there anything we could help answer? Let us know anytime!



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Wednesday at 01:02 PM
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Xin hỏi, can you do me a favor and read this response? Xin lỗi if I am bothersome.

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Friday at 04:34 PM
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Hi Matthew,

Thank you for your feedback! For pronunciation please check out these lessons: https://www.vietnamesepod101.com/lesson-library/sound-like-a-native-vietnamese-pronunciation/ and let us know if there is anything else we could help you with.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Wednesday at 07:34 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

This is a very good course and I am enjoying it (slowly!). It would be useful if there was some explanation of the way Vietnamese letters were pronounced ie g, d, r etc. because they are strange to the English tongue. Learning the pronunciation and accents on letters is the most difficult thing to get your head around I find, and it is so crucial. Gà (chicken) and ga (railway station) are examples!

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Saturday at 04:56 PM
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Hello Christiaan,

Thank you for posting.

I forwarded the report regarding the Word of the Day. We'll check it as soon as possible.

Regarding the alphabet and pronunciation, please check these links:




Let us know if you have any further questions.



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Christiaan (Chris)
Monday at 09:42 PM
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Xin chào,

Yeah, I got the same problem with ứ ?. In the alphabet it's said like

the English 'a' in the English word 'an'. Though again in examples in words,

like bức, it is pronounced like simple u > buc. I did get a link to learn the

pronunciations https://www.vietnamesepod101.com/index.php?cat=11

Though such like my problem here I don't find that.

I also am searching where I find a list of all accent signs to form which

tone pitch, like for example the sign above this o >> ỗ. So I'm looking to find, but cannot find,

a list of all the signs and description of its related tone pitch.

Cảm ơn bạn,

Friday at 09:15 PM
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Xin chào,

Why is it that I mostly of the words of the day encounter

changes of pronunciation that confuses. What's the reason?

Not caring much of correctness of pronunciation or the speaker,

a moment(s) of less paying attention on the pronunciation, like I already

twice wrote about two words of the day in such matter. Now the speaker

pronounces " ơ " at the end of the sentence as simple " o " in the word



Cảm ơn bạn,



VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Thursday at 09:34 PM
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Hi Wulan,

Your sentence is correct. You can use it too. Both sentences have same meaning. But if break it down in detail, they are slightly different.

>>> "Bạn có thể nói chậm hơn (được) không?" literally means : Can you speak more slowly?

>>> "Bạn có thể nói chậm lại (được) không ?" means : Can you slow down (your speaking speed)?



Team VietnamesePod101.com

Tuesday at 10:45 PM
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How about bạn có thể nói chậm hơn không??

Same with bạn có thể nói chậm lại được không ỏ not??

VietnamesePod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 11:19 PM
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Hi Kn,

It's great to see you working hard on the lessons. You are correct in the way you broke down the sentence "Xin lỗi, tôi đến muộn."

And I am sure most people who studies Vietnamese will agree with you about the pronunciation. Many words with different meanings sound similar. But, believe me, when you keep on practicing and listening, you will hear the differences between the tone marks. You can imagine the six tone marks as musical tones, then try to hit the right note when you "sing" Vietnamese. So for "muốn" you want to hit the high note while "muộn" you need to drop to the low note.

Now, let me explain more about "mời" and "làm ơn". So, originally, "mời" means "to invite". And "làm ơn" does NOT mean "to do somebody a favour" but it has that nuance.

*** Based on this, you will use "mời" when you want to invite somebody to do something or when you want to give an order to somebody to do something in a polite way . And you use "làm ơn" when you want to ask somebody for a favour or ask somebody to do something for somebody in a polite way. You can say:

>>> (Bạn) làm ơn nói cho tôi từ này nghĩa là gì được không? (lil. means: Can you please tell me what this word means?) - We do not use "mời" in this case because you are asking for a favour now.

>>> Tôi đã mời chị ấy đến nhà chơi. (I invited her to my house.) - We do not use "làm ơn" in this case.

*** "Mời vào!" and "Làm ơn vào đi!" both means "Please come in!" You can choose one to use depends on what situations. For example:

- (Knock knock) - "Please come in!" - You use: "Mời vào!"

- "I am begging you. Please come in. Don't stay outside like this." - You use "Làm ơn vào đi!"

Can you take some examples with "mời" and "làm ơn" to differentiate them now?

Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.



Team VietnamesePod101.com