1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Vietnamese
  4. >
  5. "Một con ong"

"Một con ong"

Translation:A bee

April 22, 2016



What is the difference between this and một ong?


When you talk about a noun with its quantity, you have to put its corresponding classifier between the quantity indicator (numbers; plural indicators like "những", "các",...) and the noun. E.g:
Một con ong (A bee = One bee), not Một ong
Ba quả cam (Three oranges), not Ba cam
Bốn cuốn sách (Four books), not Bốn sách; etc.


A bee doesn't have the little hat over the O. It's o, not ô. It sounds pretty much identical, and therefore, it's important to include "con" for bee.


O and Ô are not identical. O in vietnamese sounds like the o in the english word 'boss'. Ô in vietnamese sounds like the o in 'okay'. A long o sound.


True, but between ong and ông, it's not that easy to distinguish.


That's neither correct for Vietnamese people, nor is it the reason that classifiers are used.


@LanguageButcher: Yes, you said it's important to include because ong and ông sound familiar. But classifiers have nothing to do with words sounding similar to foreigners. It's (apparently) important to include, but for different reasons.


I did not say that's the reason to use the classifier. I said it's important to include it.


So I hope I can clear up any confusion with this sentence being "A bee" rather than "The bee".

In Vietnamese, you need to include the classifier in every sentence so that it makes grammatical sense. In this sentence for example, "con" is used because it's used for classifying animals.

Here's 2 simple rules to know whether it's "the" or "a".

  1. If the sentence includes "một" it will be "a", for example in the sentence "Một con ong" it will be "A bee."
  2. If the sentence does not contain "một" it will be "the", for example in the sentence "Con ong" it will be "The bee."

I hope that helps everyone. =) Have a look at the Tips & notes for some more help with classifiers.


This is so fun but what confused me was the con and môt


Me too. (^_^);; I'll have to (try and) remember the differences.


Sometimes it translates mot to "the" and other times to "a". I keep getting them wrong. How do I know when to write "the" vs "a"?


"The" shouldn't be translated as "một". Only "a, an, one" should be. Please report sentences or words that you think they are incorrect.


I don't know if anyone has the same problem but I typed exactly what it said and I still got it wrong...any idea on how to get this right please let me know!


What did you type and what was the correct answer Duolingo gave you?


Is 'con' necessary?


See TranVanHaiNam's response above.


It should be one bee.

Learn Vietnamese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.