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  5. "I eat tomato soup with my re…

"I eat tomato soup with my relatives."

Translation:Tôi ăn canh cà chua với họ hàng của mình.

June 4, 2016



Do you always put the "tomato" after the "soup" in Vietnamese? As opposed to saying "cà chua canh", for example.


Long answer to a simple question, but here it goes.

In Vietnamese, there are two ways of speaking.

In true Vietnamese, which is used in daily conversations, the adjectives/modifiers come after the nouns.

Then we have vocabularies left over from Hán Việt (Chinese - Vietnamese words) and chữ Nôm (the old traditional Vietnamese writing). For these, the adjectives/modifiers come first. These words usually sip into business and education.

For this reason, we have a few interesting cases, like Châu Âu (Europe in common Vietnamese) and Âu Châu (Europe in chữ Nôm), bà lão (old lady in common Vietnamese) and lão bà (old lady in chữ Nôm). For these cases, it doesn't matter where you put the modifier, you are perfectly understood.

However, since tomato soup rarely enters literature, it doesn't have a Hán Việt or chữ Nôm counterparts. It's 100% Vietnamese, and therefore, can only be said with "canh cà chua."

Also note that we do "yoda" talk a lot, so in that case you can say "cà chua canh tôi nấu" = tomato soup I cook. Hope I haven't confused you too much.


Thank you so much for such comments and anecdotes!


In Vietnamese, modifiers (adjectives, another noun, etc.) of a noun usually come after the noun it modifies. For example: canh cà chua (literally "soup tomato") ~ tomato soup, trường tiểu học (literally "school primary") ~ primary school.


I assume cùng can replace với?


not in all circumstances, but here yes.

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