Này, Đó - This, That
Updated: Aug 31, 2020
For this lesson, let's talk about này and đó and how we can use them.
Này means this, specifically as a demonstrative adjective. In English, this goes before nouns. However, in Vietnamese, since adjectives come after nouns, này comes after nouns.
noun + này
Cái tô này đẹp lắm! (This bowl is very beautiful!) Căn nhà này là của anh Trung. (This house is Trung's.) Quyển sách này là của tôi mà! (This book is mine though!)
Đó means that and it works similarly to này.
noun + đó
Cái tô đó đẹp lắm! (That bowl is very beautiful!) Căn nhà đó là của anh Trung. (That house is Trung's.) Quyển sách đó là của tôi mà! (That book is mine though!)
When do you use này and when do you use đó? Này, like the word this, should refer to things that are closer to you, the speaker. How close? Well, things that are close enough for you to reach out and touch.
As for đó, like the word that, it should refer to things that are further away from you, the speaker.
If you are using này and đó as demonstrative pronouns, meaning you use them in place of an actual noun that you are referring to, then you can add cái in front of them.
Cái này rất đẹp. (This is beautiful.) Cái này là nhà tôi. Cái đó là nhà bạn. (This is my house. That is your house.) Cái đó thực sự không tốt cho sức khỏe. (That is not really good for your health.)
Easy, right?! Of course, there are exceptions and nuances. But every language has them. Let's not focus on them right now. Keeping listening and reading to spot their uses and you will acquire Vietnamese before long! Keep up the good work!