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  5. "Does your alligator eat my b…

"Does your alligator eat my bird?"

Translation:Con cá sấu của bạn ăn con chim của tôi phải không?

June 30, 2016



I'm still kinda trying to wrap my brain around Vietnamese, but I think one can dissect this sentence in English syntax like so:

The animal class alligator (Con cá sấu) of yours (của bạn) eats (ăn) the animal class bird (con chim của) of mine (của tôi), right? (phải không?)

It's really not too confusing once you get used to it. But goodness does it take take time to get used to.


The English translation given here is actually incorrect as it's more of "Your alligator/crocodile ate my bird right?"


I knew it! Thanks for the correction.


Hm, "... right?" imples that the speaker expects an affirmative answer, but I don't think "... phải không?" implies that does it? The questions chapter just described it as syntax for any yes/no question.


... phải không? can be interpreted as "... right?" as in:

Bạn là người bạn thân nhất của anh ấy phải không? = You are his closest friend right?


This is a direct translation. Most of the time you just want to translate as a noraml question:

Are you his closet friend?

"phải" is needed with "không" when the verb is "là". For example, the reply to your question:

"Không. Tôi không phải là người bạn thân nhất của anh ấy.

Or just:

"Không phải!" blush


What makes it a past tense?


The context.

"Your alligator ate my bird" makes sense, "Your alligator is eating my bird" makes sense (but we would use "dang"), but "Your alligator ates my bird" no, unless it does on a regular basis.


Thats direct translation.


Or "will eat". Depends on the context.

But for DL sentences we don't have context. So, to avoid mistakes in DL we directly translate tenses, even if the English is awkward. For DL, use past when the setences contains the past particle "đã".


I speak fluent in Vietnamese and English, and I'm pretty sure that the English sentence should be "Did your alligator eat my bird?" and not does your alligator eat my bird?


That would be past tense. We’re talking about the present passive tende here e.g. “Does your mum know you’re here?” rather than “Did your Mum know you were here?”. Hope that made sense.


Yep. The alligator can only eat the bird once. It can't do it on a regular basis. The way they say this english sentence suggests that the alligator eats the same bird many times.


Unless my bird is the Phoenix. B-)


Thank you for that excellent explanation


It is in present tense to allow direct translation and avoid confusion.


My answer should have been accepted I think, I think omiting the phai in phai khong should be okay


Maybe right now they are trying to teach us the formal, polite ways to speak. Informally they might use khong alone, but it might be considered a bit rude. Formally you would have to use co with it, to make it polite. Formally you can either use "co/khong" or say "phai khong" -- or also say "chu" at the end, which they haven't introduced yet.


I don't understand the reason why this sentence is in the Politics section. I'll try to get over it!


Alligator khong phai la ca sau


So phai khong is more of an interrogative marker in the sentence?


Just 'không' is. "phải' is asked to mean like 'right?"


Why "phải không" and not just "không"?


I think adding "phai" makes it more like saying "right?" instead of just "no?" They are introducing another way to ask a question.


Last time the không was not in the answer for the same question


Your alligator eats my bird doesn’t it?


My poor chim! :’)


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