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  5. "I am the little boy."

"I am the little boy."

Translation:Tôi là cậu bé.

May 22, 2016



I tried to put "Tôi là ngưới cậu bé." and I had the wrong accent on the ơ it should have been "người" and I don't know if I was wrong to use the human classifier with little boy to show there should be a definite article, but it told me this:

Correct solution: • Tôi là một cậu bé. • Tôi là cậu bé.

I thought một is for the indefinite form. "I am a little boy." ?


Classifier "người" does not go with "cậu bé".

The main translation is "Tôi là cậu bé". However, we also added "Tôi là một cậu bé" as one of secondary answers because there are many users ignoring whether it's definite or indefinite form. From that, Duolingo randomly generates multiple choice question that may contain all possible answers from the database.


What? Children are not considered human??? Do they not have a classifier?

Then should the English be "I am a little boy." ? Can ""Tôi là cậu bé". be either definite or indefinite?


For classifier "người" (not "ngưới"), it does accompany "human" such as "người đàn ông", "người phụ nữ", or "người" + "job/nationality/social role..."

In this case, "cậu" in "cậu bé" is more or less a way to called "boy" (along with "chú") and "bé" means "little/small". So "cậu bé" is exempt from classifier "người" already. Same rule can be applied with "cô bé" (little girl), "cô gái" (girl) that you do not use classifier "người" with, regardless of definite or indefinite form.

Answering your question: Can ""Tôi là cậu bé". be either definite or indefinite? => I doubt the existence of this concept in Vietnamese language. Or at least, I have not located a credible source that says they exist in Vietnamese language. In conversation, no one actually cares. However, as I indicate in tips & note, the use of "một" is for the sake of this course only because people tend to add "a/an/the" all over the place.


That explains a lot. I don't have a problem with no indication of definite or indefinite. Vietnamese would not be the only language like that. Russian is like that. They accept both a/an or the. So is "một" not really used that much? If it really means "one", then I can see the confusion. We can say "one" to mean a or an, but we can also say "the one and only".

̣Edit : I cannot answer below you so I am adding it here. It is because I read the tips and notes that I was confused to see "the" in the English with "một" in the Vietnamese.

From your tips and notes: "́́́́In Vietnamese sentence, if you see the word một, then your English answer should contain a/an. If not, then your English answer should contain the. In English sentence, if you see a/an, then your Vietnamese answer should contain một. If you see the instead, then your Vietnamese answer should not have anything before the noun(except for classifiers which will be taught later).

I get now that you were trying to be lenient and accepting "một" anyway and now I understand why. I am just not sure why you placed this "crutch" for us. We can be more resilient than that. Consistency could be helpful.


I can say that. In verbal communication, unless there is a mentioned quantity, people tend not to use "một". But for this course, if you see a/an, then your answer should include "một". Refer to my tips & notes in case you need more information.


I think you should tune your comment a bit. You are asking about a linguistic feature of a language and I'm trying to explain, so perhaps telling me to elaborate instead of "Children are not considered human"?


Sorry, I meant it in a humorous way. I am trying to understand how to specify definite for children.


That's alright. I updated my answer below.

[deactivated user]

    Two questions,

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    Also, what exactly is the difference between «nhìn thấy» and just «thấy» if I want to say "see"?

    The sentence I'm trying to form is "I see a girl" which I translated as «tôi nhìn thấy một cô gái» which I think is one too many words lol


    Allintolearning, I am only 10 years old but I am a really smart kid. It made me feel sad when you said that.


    Why is this sentence showing in the food section?


    How do you put the accent even though there is no buttons for it


    Download a Vietnamese keyboard for your phone. Google it if you don't know how.


    It seems like whenever i make a mistake concerning special vietnamese characters or intonation indicators it considers it correct as long as it's equal to it's english counterpart. Is there any way to lower the fault tolerance? I want to be sure I learn the correct spelling. No point in being lazy when learning a new language.


    Cau be vs be gai, why are they in different positions?

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