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Greeting someoneEdit

There is a simple standard formula to greet someone:

Xin chào

However, it is much more elegant to address the person you are talking to in some way. Hence, a formula like Chào ông! is much better. In this phrase, ông is used to address respectable men, usually older than oneself. Instead of ông, the following words can be used to address persons with different status and age in relation to the speaker:

cụ (俱) people who are much older than oneself, or generally very old
bà (婆) elderly ladies, or ladies who are older than oneself
ông (翁) elderly men, or men who are older than oneself
chú (注) uncle, or if they are older than you and younger than your parents
cô (姑) aunt, or if they are older than you and younger than your parents
chị (姊) young ladies, or ladies who are in the same age as oneself
anh (英) young men, or men who are in the same age as oneself
em (㛪) younger persons, children
thầy (偨 ) the teacher (if he is a man)
cô (姑) the teacher (if she is a woman)

When addressing more than one person, add các before the noun, e.g. Chào các anh!

The Vietnamese counterpart for How are you? is Ông có khỏe không? Again, here the ông has to be replaced by the necessary noun from the table, depending on the person addressed. Possible answers are:

Cám ơn, tôi khỏe.
Thanks, I am fine.
Cám ơn, tôi bình thường.
Thanks, I am normal.
Tôi vẫn khỏe.
I am still fine.
Tôi cũng khỏe.
I am also fine.

The Vietnamese equivalent to Good bye! is either Tạm biệt! or simply Chào ông!