Saying Day in Vietnamese

The Vietnamese word for day is ngày.

The very good news about learning how to say day of the week in Vietnamese is that, assuming you have gone through the lesson on how to say Vietnamese numbers, you have already known it!

As a recap, we have learned in that lesson on numbers that to say an ordinal number (1st, second, third, etc.), we simply add the word thứ in front of the number, with the exception of 1st being: thứ nhất.

Now, to say a day of the week in Vietnamese, we also use the same word thứ in front of a number!

Day of the week in Vietnamese

Monday Thứ hai
Tuesday Thứ ba
Wednesday Thứ tư
Thursday Thứ năm
Friday Thứ sáu
Saturday Thứ bảy
Sunday Chủ nhật

We can see from the above table that Monday is assigned the number 2, Tuesday: 3 and so on till Saturday: 7; Sunday doesn't folllow this rule.

Say days of the week by Donna

Say days of the week with more explanations by Yen

The reason why we use thứ for days of the week in Vietnamese is that we are referring to days in the order they appear in the week. For Vietnamese, Sunday is considered (implicitly) the first day of the week. Therefore, Monday is the second day, hence thứ hai, Tuesday is the thirday: thứ ba, and so on till Saturday, which is the 7th (last) day of the week: thứ bảy.

If you happen to know Chinese, you can see the commonalities and the differences with the Vietnamese way of referring to days. Like Vietnamese, it also uses ordinal numbers to refer to days of the week. However, their week starts with Monday so that the Chinese word for Monday means "the first day", Tuesday: "the second day", ... and Saturday is "the 6th day". Sunday also has its own special word.

Asking which day of the week

In English, if we want to ask which day of the week is today, we would say: "What day is today, please?". What's the equivalent in Vietnamese?

What day is today?

Hôm nay là ngày thứ mấy?

Let's see the mapping from Vietnamese to English to see what's happening

Hôm nay ngày thứ mấy?
Today is what day?

And to answer the above question in Vietnamese, you would say: Hôm nay là (ngày) thứ hai, if today is Monday. As the context is clear, you may choose to omit the word ngày, especially in speaking. Similarly for the question, you can also just ask "Hôm nay thứ mấy?". However, please note that these shortened forms are generally considered informal and to avoid any offense, they should be used only between friends.

Summary

  • To say day in Vietnamese: thứ + a number from 2 to 7; 2 refers to Monday. Sunday: chủ nhật.
  • To ask What day is today? in Vietnamese: Hôm nay là ngày thứ mấy?