Classifiers are not always needed when you talk about chicken or fish as food or a type of meat. However, you need them to count the quantity of the real animals. For example:
Tôi ăn (thịt) gà - I eat chicken.
BUT: Tôi ăn một con gà - I eat a chicken.
Tôi muốn (mua) 2 kí ếch. - I want (to buy) 2 kilos of frogs.
BUT: Tôi muốn (mua) 2 con ếch. - I want (to buy) 2 frogs.
In everyday language apparently not, but in the notes for the Continuous (tense) lesson, where you learn to use 'đang', I see this:
"Note: Vietnamese language does distinguish between present tense (I eat -> habit, fact) and continuous tense (I am eating -> going on right now). So does this course."
Could this also be "are you eating fish or chicken"? It marked that as incorrect when I tried it.
I am not a native speaker but I THINK that if you state it as if they are in the act of it, like 'are you eating', it would be "Bạn đang ăn cá hay gà?" and I think the distinction is important.
Adding đang indeed specifies that one is in a motion of doing something but it's often not necessary.
is "hay" (or) in this case inclusive or exclusive? In other words, is the question asking if I would eat any of the two, or asking me to choose 1 between the two options? Or it's ambiguous?
What is the difference between using “hay” and using “hoặc”? I learnt hoặc before when learning Vietnamese on an app called Drops, and was wondering if there is a difference? Google suggests that “hay” is closer to “either” than to “or” but I’m not sure which to believe.
I’ll continue using “hay” for this course, but I hope someone can provide me a bit more insight into this. Thanks :-)
Without the question mark at the end of the sentence, I believe this would translate as the statement, "you eat fish or chicken."
Question: is there an inflection other than the word tones to distinguish this sentence as a question rather than a statement? Or, would this never be a statement in Vietnamese?
We can use interrogative words such as: không, có phải, chưa, phải không, à, ư, hả, nhỉ, nhé, chứ, etc to make it clear that we are asking questions, not making statements. For examples:
Họ đang chạy - They are running.
Họ đang chạy à/ư/phải không? or Có phải họ đang chạy (không)? - Are they running?
Yes, this needs clarification please. This is important to know how to do in any language.