There are many ways to say yes no in Vietnamese. Depending on different situations and the people you talk to, you will use different words to answer a yes-no question or to show your agreement or disagreement. If you learn Vietnamese, prepare yourself with 31 Vietnamese phrases for yes and no introduced in this blog post to avoid being rude in Vietnam.
If you are invited to eat or drink something, or you are invited to a party, say "có" if you want to do that. For example:
Your friend: Uống cà-phê không? (Want some coffee?)
You: Có! (Yes!)
"Có" also means "OK". You can also use "OK" in a conversation with Vietnamese people as they can still understand it, but probably don't say it to old people or people who are living in some villages where English is not popular.
When a person who is older than you or who is your teacher, employer, etc. gives you a bit of advice or reminds you of something, you can say "vâng" or "dạ" to show that you agree with them. For example:
Teacher: Nhớ làm bài tập về nhà nhé! (Remember to do your homework!)
Student: Vâng! (Yes)
"Đúng rồi" and "Phải rồi" can be literally translated as "right already" and "correct already". The word "rồi" means "already" while "đúng" and "phải" mean "right", "correct". You say these phrases to confirm what the other person or people just said is correct. For example:
A boy: Mặt trời mọc đằng đông, đúng không ạ? (The sun rises in the east, doesn't it?)
Teacher: Đúng rồi! (Correct!)
"Ừ", "Ừm" and "Ờ" are similar to "Uhm" in English. You just use these words to answer your friends or the people who are younger than you.
"Thôi được rồi" means "alright" when you want to show that you agree with someone's suggestions but you are not 100% for it. For example:
Son: Mẹ, con đi chơi với bạn tầm 30 phút nhé? (Mom, can I go out with my friend for 30 minutes?)
Mom: Thôi được rồi. Nhớ về ăn cơm tối nhé! (Alright! Remember to come back for dinner!)
If in English, you say "Sounds good" to agree with someone's suggestions or proposal, you can say "nghe hay đấy!" in Vietnamese language. For instance:
Your friend: Chủ Nhật này đi Sa Pa chơi không? (Do you want to go to Sa Pa this Sunday?)
You: Nghe hay đấy! (Sounds good!)
"Nghe hợp lý đấy" means "makes sense" in English. You will say that when you think what the other person or people said makes sense or is reasonable. Imagine when you are in a meeting, your co-worker proposes an idea that sounds reasonable to you:
You can say "Nghe hợp lý đấy!" to agree with him or her.
The Vietnamese translation for the English phrases "for sure", "absolutely", "definitely" is "Chắc chắn". As mentioned earlier, "rồi" means "already". It is used to emphasize the word standing before it. Say "Chắc chắn rồi!" when you want to totally agree with someone.
All of the phrases mean "exactly" in English. "Chính xác" is more formal than "Chuẩn" or "Quá chuẩn". "Quá chuẩn" actually means "very exactly". It increases the level of your agreement. For example:
Your friend: Tình yêu không phân biệt tuổi tác. (Age doesn't matter in love)
You: Quá chuẩn! (Exactly!)
Nowadays, young Vietnamese people also have a slang "Chuẩn không cần chỉnh" which can be literally translated as "It's exactly correct. There is no revision needed".
"Đương nhiên" or "Tất nhiên" means "of course". It is spoken when you want to say that the consequence or the decision is predictable because of existing evidence. For example:
Your close friend: Cậu sẽ đến dự sinh nhật tớ chứ? (Will you come to my birthday party?)
You: Đương nhiên. (Of course)
When something is obvious and clearly understood, you can say "rõ ràng" or "hiển nhiên" to agree with the speaker. For instance:
Your friend: Tớ nghĩ Hà và Nam thích nhau. Họ hay đi chơi cùng nhau lắm. (I think Ha and Nam like each other. They usually go out together.)
You: Rõ ràng (Obviously)
"Đồng ý" means "I agree". People usually say this in formal situations such as in a meeting, in a class. It doesn't show much of your emotion as same as the other phrases do. You can also use "đồng ý" in casual conversations.
"Không" means No in English. In the Vietnamese language, "Không" is popularly used to say no or to disagree with someone. For example:
Your friend: Bạn có hút thuốc không? (Do you smoke?)
You: Không (No, I don't)
If you want to say "No, thanks!" or "No, thank you!", say "Không, cảm ơn!" to politely refuse an invite. "Cảm ơn" means "Thank you".
"not yet" in English is translated as "chưa" in the Vietnamese language. You can say this word when you haven't done something that is asked. For instance:
Your neighbor: Ăn cơm chưa? (Have you eaten? - this is a popular way to say hello in Vietnamese)
You: Chưa. (Not yet)
Using "Không phải lúc này" or "Không phải bây giờ" to say "not right now" if someone is bothering you with questions, or if you don't want to do something right now.
If you don't want to say no straight away and you want to suggest "maybe another time", say "Để lúc khác nhé". "Để lúc khác" means "another time" and "nhé" is just an ending word to soften the sentence.
You can say "Chắc không đâu" to mean "probably not". This may help the listener accept your rejection easily because they might think that you already considered before saying no.
If in English, you say "I don't think so" to politely disagree with someone, you can say "Tôi không nghĩ vậy" in Vietnamese. Kindly note that you need to change the subject "Tôi" depending on who you are talking to because there are many Vietnamese pronouns for the subject "I".
"Không Bao Giờ" and "Không Đời Nào" mean "never" in English. These phrases are spoken to show that you absolutely disagree or reject something. For example:
Police: Anh có lái xe khi say rượu bia nữa không? (Will you drive when you're drunk again?)
Arrested Driver: Xin lỗi anh! Tôi sẽ không bao giờ làm vậy nữa. (I'm sorry, Sir! I'll never do that again.)
"Không thể nào" can be translated as "that's not possible" while "Không cách nào" mean "no way". Both expressions can be used in formal and informal situations.
Try to use different ways to say yes or no in daily conversations with Vietnamese people, such as when you order food in a Vietnamese restaurant or talk with your Vietnamese friends. Practice makes perfect! The more you practice the phrases, the better you can use them. You can also learn Vietnamese phrases for beginners to advanced with Ling App.