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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 the last lesson, we learned how to count in Vietnamese. I hope you spent some time practicing the numbers, because they will come in handy in this lesson. We’re going to learn how to go shopping in Vietnam!
Before we go, you need to know how to say “How much is it?”
Bao nhiêu tiền?
[slowly] Bao nhiêu tiền?
Are you ready to go shopping in Vietnam? Let’s go!
You see something you like and want to ask the shopkeeper how much it costs. The first thing to say is…xin hỏi. Do you remember what that means? "Excuse me!"
Xin hỏi, bao nhiêu tiền?
[slowly] Xin hỏi, bao nhiêu tiền?
If we want to be more specific when asking "how much is this?" and refer to a certain type of object -- to say something like "how much is this hat?" -- we need to add a noun classifier, then the object itself, and finally the word này which means “this”. Put bao nhiêu tiền after this phrase.
So, "hat" in Vietnamese is mũ.
cái is the general classifier for objects. cái mũ này means “this hat”
Xin hỏi, cái mũ này bao nhiêu tiền?
"Excuse me, how much is this hat?"
If you want to refer to an animal, use the classifier con. Here's an example with “chicken”, which is called gà.
Xin hỏi, con gà này bao nhiêu tiền?
"Excuse me, how much is this chicken?"
[slowly] Xin hỏi, con gà này bao nhiêu tiền?
At this point the shopkeeper will simply answer with the price. To say a price in Vietnamese, first say the number, then add the word nghìn which means “thousand”. Because 1 US Dollar is equal to about 20,000 Vietnamese dong, we always talk in big numbers when saying prices in Vietnamese.
For example, the shopkeeper can say:
Bốn mươi nghìn. “40,000 dong”.
Notice that the currency unit dong is not needed here.
Now that you have learned how to say the numbers from 1 to 100 in Vietnamese, I guess you can catch this price easily, right?
Now it’s time for Giang’s Insights.
Vietnamese people tend to add particles at the end of sentences to make it more melodic and natural. Here you can say Bao nhiêu tiền vậy? vậy is a particle, usually added at the end of a question. As I said, its function is to help you sound more natural and intimate. For example, at a cafe, you can ask. Một cappuccino, bao nhiêu tiền vậy? “One cappuccino, how much is it?”
At this point, can you count currency in Vietnamese? We are going to learn how to do this and much more in the next lesson!
I'll be waiting for you in our next 3 phút học tiếng Việt lesson.
Tạm biệt!

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Can you write a question asking how much something is?