Vietnamese grammar is enough to send a shiver down many spines. Of course, when you come into the language expecting the grammar to be difficult, it will be. If you believe that the only way to learn the language is through intense study of the grammar, you will not have a good time learning the language. However, it you come in and learn the basics first, and start learning the language slowly, you will see that the grammar starts to make sense and you will enjoy the process.
The grammar in the Vietnamese language is heavily reliant upon the word order and sentence structure in order to convey the proper meaning. In fact, this is important than having word changes through the inflection of tone used, or morphology. Many languages use morphology to determine and express a tense, but that is not the case with Vietnamese. Instead, they use particles and syntax in the sentence construction to change meanings. This can make learning the language a bit difficult in the beginning. It takes a different mindset.
However, when you begin learning the basics of Vietnamese grammar, you will start to see how it all comes together and how you can use the grammar to construct your own sentences. You will find that in most cases, Vietnamese syntax is going to keep to the SVO order, which is something that most English speakers should already know. SVO refers to subject, verb, and object. In sentences in English, they follow this pattern. The same is true with Vietnamese.
Tenses, Plurals, and Classifiers
Yet another important part of Vietnamese grammar, tenses can be difficult for many to understand. Again, a little practice and seeing them used practically will be able to help. While it is not necessary, indicating the past tense is usually done by adding ?ã. Present progressive tense adds ?ang, and future tense adds s?.
You will be able to add plurals to words by adding particles such as nh?ng, các, chúng when you speak or write Vietnamese. However, this is not always necessary.
The language makes great use of classifiers when indicating certain nouns. Different classifiers can be used for different types of nouns. Cái, for example, is used for most types of inanimate objects. The classifier con is often used in conjunction with animals, but it can be used with some inanimate objects as well. Knowing and understanding the different classifiers is important, and you can learn them slowly and add them to your vocabulary.