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Lesson Transcript

Xin chào, tôi là Giang. Hi everybody! I’m Giang.
Welcome to VietnamesePod101.com’s “3 phút học tiếng Việt”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Vietnamese.
In our previous lessons, we learned how to use the verbs là and có. In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to turn these two verbs into their negative forms in order to say "I'm not" and "I don't have."
So let's take an example. Imagine you meet a Vietnamese person for the first time and he thinks that you’re American. He may ask Bạn là người Mỹ à? - “Are you American?” If you’re not American, you will reply with Không, tôi không phải là người Mỹ - “No, I’m not American.”
Let’s look at the answer again.
Không, tôi không phải là người Mỹ. “No, I’m not American.”
Let's look back at what we learned before.
Tôi là người Mỹ - “I’m American.”
Do you see the differences? In Vietnamese, when you want turn a verb into its negative form, the general rule is to add không before that verb. Không means “no” or “not”.
In this case, the verb we use is là, which is “to be”, and the change is a bit different from the general rule. Instead of saying không là, you should say không phải là. So if you want to say “I’m not”, it will be Tôi không phải là...
Let’s look at some more examples-
Tôi không phải là sinh viên - “I’m not a student.”
Anh ấy không phải là bạn tôi - “He’s not my friend.”
Tôi không phải là Peter - “I’m not Peter.”
That’s how you say “I’m not”. What about “I don’t have”? Last time, we learned how to say “I have a car”. Do you still remember? Again, in Vietnamese, it is Tôi có ô tô.
What if you don’t have a car, though? It’s easy. Follow the general rule of turning a verb into its negative form that I mentioned earlier. So, add không before có, then you have không có, which means “not have”. That’s all!
The whole sentence then is-
Tôi không có ô tô. “I don’t have a car.”
Now, let’s say “I don’t have money”:
Tôi không có tiền.
Again, tôi không có tiền.
Please note, that you don’t have to change the form of the verb whether the subject of the sentence is the first person or third person, singular or plural.
For example, “He doesn’t have money” will be Anh ấy không có tiền. Or “He’s not American” will be Anh ấy không phải là người Mỹ.
So only the pronoun indicating the person in the subject is changed, and the verb stays the same. It’s much simpler than in English, right?
One more thing - the general rule of adding không before a verb to make it negative applies to almost all verbs in Vietnamese.
Let’s try with another verb, thích, meaning “to like”.
Tôi thích ăn cá - “I like (to eat) fish.”
So now, how would you say "I don't like (to eat) fish?"
Follow the rule - add không before the verb thích, then you’ll have
Tôi không thích ăn cá.
Easy, don't you think? So now, you can turn many sentences into their negative form just by following the rule we learned in this lesson.
Now it’s time for Giang’s insights.
If you want to answer negatively but without being too direct, you can add the word lắm at the end of the sentence. This will mean "I don't really...." or “I don’t ...very much”
So if you want to say "I don't really like fish," it will be Tôi không thích ăn cá lắm..
Get ready for the next lesson, because we are going to study a really important part of the Vietnamese language, using adjectives.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next 3 phút học tiếng Việt!
Tạm biệt!