Compound words in Vietnamese

Compound words in Vietnamese

In this post, Tiengviet24h will introduce to you: Compound words in Vietnamese. Let’s start!

Compound words in Vietnamese

What are compound words?

– Compound words are composed of two or more words. Words making up compound words must have meaning.

– Example:

+ quần áo (clothes): composed of “quần” (pants) and “áo” (shirt), both of them refer to clothing.

+ nhà cửa (house): composed of “nhà” (the place where you live) and “cửa” (the object used to separate the outside and inside of an enclosed area)

+ ông bà (grandparents): composed of “ông” (grandfather) and “bà” (grandmother), both of them refer to family members.

+ cỏ cây (vegetation): composed of “cỏ” (grass) and “cây” (tree), both of them refer to plants in nature.

+ thịt bò (beef): composed of “thịt” (the flesh wrapping around bones of humans and animals) and “bò” (an animal).

Classification

Subordinate compound words

– They are composed of the main word and the subordinate word. The subordinate words add meaning to the main words. Most of the subordinate words are placed after the main words, and the main words have wider meaning than the subordinate words.

– Subordinate compound words have narrower meaning than the main words.

– Example:

+ ông nội (paternal grandfather): “ông” is the main word, “nội” is the subordinate word. The word “ông” can be combined with some other words to make up other subordinate compound words, such as: ông ngoại (maternal grandfather), ông cố (great grandfather), ông lão (old man),…

+ bà nội (paternal grandmother): “bà” is the main word, “nội” is the subordinate word. The word “bà” can be combined with some other words to make up other subordinate compound words, such as: bà ngoại (maternal grandmother), bà cố (great grandmother), bà lão (old woman),…

+ xe đạp (bicycle): “xe” is the main word, “đạp” is the subordinate word. The word “xe” can be combined with some other words to make up other subordinate compound words, such as: xe hơi (car), xe máy (motorbike), xe lửa (train),…

+ bút chì (pencil): “bút” is the main word, “chì” is the subordinate word. The word “bút” can be combined with some other words to make up other subordinate compound words, such as: bút mực (pen), bút chì màu (crayon), bút dạ (marker pen),…

+ thịt bò (beef): “thịt” is the main word, “bò” is the subordinate word. The word “thịt” can be combined with some other words to make up other subordinate compound words, such as: thịt heo (pork), thịt gà (chicken), thịt vịt (duck meat),…

+ bánh mì (bread): “bánh” is the main word, “mì” is the subordinate word. The word “bánh” can be combined with some other words to make up other subordinate compound words, such as: bánh kem (cake), bánh ngọt (pastry),…

Coordinated compound words

– Words making up coordinated compound words are grammatically equal. There are no main words and subordinate words in coordinated compound words.

– The meaning of a coordinated compound word is more general than the meaning of the words making up it.

– Example: sách vở (books), bố mẹ (parents), ông bà (grandparents), bàn ghế (furniture), ăn uống (eating and drinking), yêu thương (love), xinh đẹp (beautiful), trai gái (boys and girls), đất nước (country), bánh trái (cakes), ẩm ướt (wet), xóm làng (village),…

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