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Lesson Transcript

Brandon: Hey there! I’m Brandon and welcome back to VietnamesePod101.com. This is lower beginner Season 1, Lesson 11 - Which Type of Vietnamese Train Ticket Would You Like?
Huyen: Xin chào! I’m Huyen.
Brandon: In this lesson you’ll learn how to use superlatives. The conversation takes place at the station and is between Nam and the ticket seller.
Huyen: They’re strangers, so they will be using formal Vietnamese.
Brandon: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Nam: Cho tôi một vé đi Huế.
Seller: Anh muốn mua loại ghế cứng, ghế mềm, giường cứng hay giường mềm?
Nam: Loại nào rẻ nhất ạ?
Seller: Loại ghế cứng rẻ nhất. Loại giường mềm đắt nhất.
Nam: Ghế mềm bao nhiêu tiền?
Seller: 350 nghìn đồng.
Nam: Vậy cho tôi 1 vé ghế mềm.
Seller: Của anh đây.
Brandon: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Nam: Cho tôi một vé đi Huế.
Seller: Anh muốn mua loại ghế cứng, ghế mềm, giường cứng hay giường mềm?
Nam: Loại nào rẻ nhất ạ?
Seller: Loại ghế cứng rẻ nhất. Loại giường mềm đắt nhất.
Nam: Ghế mềm bao nhiêu tiền?
Seller: 350 nghìn đồng.
Nam: Vậy cho tôi 1 vé ghế mềm.
Seller: Của anh đây.
Brandon: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Nam: Cho tôi một vé đi Huế.
Brandon: One ticket to Hue, please.
Seller: Anh muốn mua loại ghế cứng, ghế mềm, giường cứng hay giường mềm?
Brandon: Do you want to buy a hard seat, soft seat, hard bed or soft bed type?
Nam: Loại nào rẻ nhất ạ?
Brandon: Which type is the cheapest?
Seller: Loại ghế cứng rẻ nhất. Loại giường mềm đắt nhất.
Brandon: Hard seat is the cheapest. A soft bed is the most expensive.
Nam: Ghế mềm bao nhiêu tiền?
Brandon: How much is the soft seat?
Seller: 350 nghìn đồng.
Brandon: 350 thousand dong.
Nam: Vậy cho tôi 1 vé ghế mềm.
Brandon: Then one soft seat ticket please.
Seller: Của anh đây.
Brandon: Here you are.
Brandon: Hey Huyen, I heard a proper name in the dialogue. Is that the name of a city in Vietnam?
Huyen: It is. That’s Hue, a famous city in the center of Vietnam.
Brandon: Great. Could you tell our listeners something about it?
Huyen: Sure. Hue was the capital city of Vietnam during the feudal period, which was from the 19th century to 1945.
Brandon: Where is it located?
Huyen: In the center of Vietnam, about 700 kilometers south of Hanoi, the current capital city.
Brandon: What’s it famous for?
Huyen: It has a rich historical and cultural heritage. One of the most outstanding sites is the Complex of monuments, which represent the unique imperial setting of eastern feudal architecture. It has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brandon: Wow, that’s amazing.
Huyen: Yeah, there are quite a few must-see tourist spots in Hue. Firstly, the Huong River, or the Perfume River, is a river that crosses Hue city. Its wonderful scenery has become the inspiration for many famous Vietnamese literary works. Next up is Thien Mu pagoda, the symbol of Hue City; Quoc Hoc high school, which is the oldest school in Vietnam; Hue Royal Antiquities Museum; the Royal tombs of Nguyen’s emperors; and some traditional handicraft villages.
Brandon: What about some cultural attractions?
Huyen: The most famous is the Hue festival, a cultural event that is held twice a year in years that end with an even number. Hue also has another UNESCO cultural heritage listing, which is the court music of Hue. This is listed as one of the intangible and oral heritages of humanity.
Brandon: Very impressive. I guess I’ll have to go there when I visit Vietnam.
Huyen: You should. I highly recommend it. And don’t forget to try Hue food, as it has a unique flavor and is beautifully decorated!
Brandon Great! Now it has definitely become the top destination on my list! Okay, now let’s move on to the vocab.
Brandon: The first word we shall see is:
Huyen: vé [natural native speed]
Brandon: ticket
Huyen: vé [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: vé [natural native speed]
Huyen: muốn [natural native speed]
Brandon: to want
Huyen: muốn [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: muốn [natural native speed]
Huyen: mua [natural native speed]
Brandon: buy
Huyen: mua [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: mua [natural native speed]
Huyen: ghế [natural native speed]
Brandon: chair
Huyen: ghế [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: ghế [natural native speed]
Huyen: giường [natural native speed]
Brandon: bed
Huyen: giường [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: giường [natural native speed]
Huyen: mềm [natural native speed]
Brandon: soft
Huyen: mềm [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: mềm [natural native speed]
Huyen: cứng [natural native speed]
Brandon: hard
Huyen: cứng [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: cứng [natural native speed]
Huyen: loại [natural native speed]
Brandon: type, kind
Huyen: loại [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: loại [natural native speed]
Huyen: rẻ [natural native speed]
Brandon: cheap
Huyen: rẻ [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: rẻ [natural native speed]
And Last:
Huyen: đắt [natural native speed]
Brandon: expensive
Huyen: đắt [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Huyen: đắt [natural native speed]
Brandon: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Firstly,
Huyen: Vé
Brandon: Ticket.
Huyen: To refer to different kinds of tickets, you can make a compound noun with this word by adding another noun or noun phrase after “vé” that indicates the type of tickets.
Brandon: Let’s hear some examples.
Huyen: vé tàu
Brandon: Train ticket.
Huyen: Vé xe buýt.
Brandon: Bus ticket
Huyen: Vé một chiều
Brandon: One-way ticket
Huyen: A compound noun can also be made by adding the verb phrase after “vé”, such as “vé xem phim”
Brandon: “Cinema ticket.” Literally, it means “a ticket to watch movies”
Huyen: Vé vào cửa
Brandon: “Admission ticket.” This is literally translated as “a ticket to enter the door”
Huyen: The second word we have is: loại
Brandon: “type”, “kind” or “sort”. This describes a subdivision of a particular thing or person.
Huyen: The noun indicating that thing or person comes after “loại”.
Brandon: For example:
Huyen: Loại hàng hóa này rất đắt.
Brandon: These types of goods are very expensive.
Huyen: Tôi không thích những loại người xấu tính như vậy.
Brandon: I don’t like those kinds of mean people.
Huyen: To mention a type of animal or plant, “loài” is used instead of “loại”.
Brandon: This word has the same spelling with a different tone mark.
Huyen: “Loài” has a gradual falling tone while “loại” has a heavy falling tone.
Brandon: This word is closely translated as “species”
Huyen: Loài hổ này có nguy cơ tuyệt chủng.
Brandon: This species of tiger is at risk of extinction.
Huyen: Please note that when we say “loài người”, it means “human being” or “mankind”. It is different from “loại người” meaning a certain type of people.
Brandon: The last word is
Huyen: Cứng
Brandon: “hard” or “rigid”
Huyen: In this lesson, this word appears in two noun phrases, “ghế cứng” meaning “hard seat” and “giường cứng” meaning “hard bed.”
Brandon: In this case, it means “in a solid condition which is difficult to bend or break”. But this adjective can be used in other situations.
Huyen: Firstly, it can mean “with a quantity or level that’s higher or more than usual”, as in “cứng tuổi”
Brandon: Meaning “quite old,” “older than the requirement or certain criteria.”
Huyen: Cô ấy đã cứng tuổi mà chưa lập gia đình.
Brandon: She’s quite old but still isn’t married.
Huyen: “Cứng” also means “expensive” as in: “giá cứng”. “Giá cứng thế này khó mua lắm. Bớt chút đi.”
Brandon: “It’s difficult to buy it at such a high price. Reduce it a little more.”
Huyen: The second meaning of “cứng” is:
Brandon: not flexible or rigid
Huyen: Cách giải quyết như vậy là hơi cứng. Here “cứng nhắc” can be used in place of “cứng” and it means the same.
Brandon: Altogether, it’s “such a solution is quite rigid.” Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use superlatives.
Huyen: In the dialogue, we had Loại ghế cứng rẻ nhất. Loại giường mềm đắt nhất.
Brandon: "Hard seat type is the cheapest. Soft bed type is the most expensive"
Huyen: It’s very easy to change an adjective or adverb into its superlative form. You just need to use “nhất”, meaning “most, or, best” right after that adjective or adverb.
Brandon: Here are some examples.
Huyen: Đẹp - Đẹp nhất
Brandon: “Nice - The nicest,” or, “Beautiful - The most beautiful”
Huyen: Mới - Mới nhất
Brandon: “new- the newest”, or, ”late- the latest”
Huyen: Nhanh - Nhanh nhất
Brandon: “Fast - the fastest”
Huyen: You can make a noun phrase using superlatives by starting with the noun, which may have a classifier before it, then the adjective and finally add the word “nhất”.
Brandon: For example:
Huyen: cô gái đẹp nhất
Brandon: the most beautiful girl
Huyen cái túi rẻ nhất
Brandon: the cheapest bag
Huyen: You can make a verb phrase using superlatives by starting with the verb, then the object if any, followed by the adverb and finally “nhất”. For example: Chạy nhanh nhất
Brandon: Run the fastest
Huyen: Học tiếng Anh giỏi nhất
Brandon: Learn English the best
Huyen: Let’s put the superlatives in a complete sentence. Hoa hồng đẹp nhất vào tháng 5 ở Nhật.
Brandon: Roses are the most beautiful in May in Japan.
Huyen: Cái váy này là đắt nhất trong cửa hàng.
Brandon: "This dress is the most expensive in the shop"
Huyen: So the structure is subject, followed by “là” which means “to be”. “Là” is optional. Then comes the adjective and “nhất”. Finally, the time phrase or location comes at the end.
Brandon: When both phases of the time and location are used, they can either precede or follow each other - the order doesn’t matter, so long as they appear at the end.
Huyen: Let’s hear the previous example again: Hoa hồng đẹp nhất ở Nhật vào tháng 5. Here, instead of saying “vào tháng 5 ở Nhật”
Brandon: in May in Japan.
Huyen: you can also say “ở Nhật vào tháng 5”.
Brandon: in Japan in May.
Huyen: What if the superlative of an adverb is put in a complete sentence? Here’s an example:
Anh ta làm việc hiệu quả nhất nhóm.
Brandon: “He works the most efficiently in the group”
Huyen: Tôi chạy chậm nhất lớp.
Brandon: “I run the slowest in my class”
Huyen: So the whole structure is: subject, followed by an optional object, then the adverb or adjective, and “nhất”. Finally add a time phrase or location or both.
Brandon That wasn’t too difficult, right listeners?


Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson.
Huyen: For a review of what you’ve learned, don’t forget to read the lesson notes.
Brandon: And if you have a question, feel free to leave it in a comment at VietnamesePod101.com. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time. Bye!
Huyen: Tạm biệt.