Is there a rule for which adjectives use có? Or should I think of the whole phrase có nổi tiếng as meaning famous?
It is used in yes/no questions.
e.g. Bạn có cao không? Có! = Are you tall? Yes (I am)!
e.g. Bạn có tiền không? Có! = Do you have money? Yes (I do)!
"Có" here is a part of yes-no question. Please refer the Tips and Notes of skill Questions 1 (which I'm sure you learnt).
Thanks, everybody. Another question: when I got this wrong (forgot the "không" entirely), the correct answer was marked as "Bạn có nổi tiếng à?" I've been through the entire Vietnamese course and never seen "à" before. What does that do?
"hả", "ư", "à" are some of the question markers. unlike "không", those are meant to ask for a confirmation rather than a plain yes or no: "you are famous, is that so!?"
semantically, yeah it could be close enough to be understood. but if I were in charge of this course, I wouldn't accept your answer as correct. I think you might confuse a few things that lead you to that translation.
- I know, VNmese words tend to assume dual roles (noun/adj, adj/adv, noun/verb, verb/adj), if not triple or quadruple ones. "nổi tiếng" does not, it can be used as an adjective only. the translation of fame would have been "tiếng tăm" or "danh tiếng".
- depending on context, "có" can mean to have, to possess. however, it can also be its homonym used along with "không" to form yes/no questions. this is precisely how "có" is used here, to ask if the listener is famous or not. the typical answer to a "có [...] không" question is either "có" (yes) or "không" (no).