Characteristics of the Vietnamese language in AX Semantics


In Vietnamese, you need to know the number of nouns to form some accompanying determiners and pronouns correctly. Vietnamese has two numbers: singular and plural. However, Vietnamese has neither grammatical case nor grammatical gender, although gender distinction exists for 3rd person possessive determiners/pronouns.

grammatical namevaluesexamples
numbersingularcon chim
(the bird)
pluralnhững con chim
(the birds)
gender (3rd possessive)malecon chim của anh ấy
(his bird)
femalecon chim của cô ấy
(her bird)
adjectives (noun)after nounngôi nhà màu đỏ
(red house)
verb tensespresentAnh ấy ăn.
(He eats.)
pastAnh ấy đã ăn.
(He ate.)
futureAnh ấy sẽ ăn.
(He will eat.)

The standard order of a noun phrase in Vietnamese is the following: preposition + numeral + noun + adjective +determiner. For example:

về    ba    cuốn sách mới  này
about three books     new  those
PREP  NUM   NOUN      ADJ  DET-behind
"about these three new books"


Nouns do not inflect, as the below table shows. Still, lexicon entries including the gender of a noun may also be necessary for inflecting a few determiners and pronouns correctly. They are omitted, if a lexicon entry is required, but missing.


The basic lexicon entry for ông (grandfather) contains:

  • gender: masculine
  • lexicon table for case and number:


In Vietnamese, adjectives do not inflect. The default position for an adjective is "after noun".


Vietnamese verbs only inflect for tense. Tenses are marked with the help of particles, but can also be shown via adverbs. See for example:

Tôi ăn tối.
(I have dinner.)
Tôi sắp ăn tối. ('sắp' is the adverb to express the concept of tense)
(I am about to have dinner.)

The most common verbs are encoded in our software. If a verb inflects incorrectly, you should add it to the lexicon.

Container settings


The AX NLG platform supports the following determiners for Vietnamese: definite (only for plural), demonstratives (medial + proximal), and possessives. Demonstrative and possessive determiners are placed behind the noun. Take the 1st person singular possessive determiner for example:

cái  căn nhà  của tôi
DET  NOUN     DET-behind
(my  house)

Vietnamese determiners might get an additional marker for number before the noun. As the below example shows, những is the plural marker for determiner. And này is the demonstrative determiner.

những        ngày này
DET-plural   NOUN DET-demonstrative
(these days)


The AX NLG platform supports the following pronouns for Vietnamese: demonstrative (medial + proximal), personal, personal animate, and possessive 3rd.


Four types of numerals are possible on the AX NLG platform: cardinal, cardinal as digit, ordinal, and ordinal as digit. Take ghế (chair) for example:

textchín cái ghế
[num classifier noun]
(nine chairs)
ghế thứ chín
[ noun marker num]
(the ninth chair)
digit9 ghế
(9 chairs)
ghế thứ 9
(the 9th chair)

As the above example shows, the cardinal numerals stay before the noun and get a classifier in between. The AX NLG platform automatically adds the classifier cái when setting the numeral in the container. However, no classifier is added for the following "non-classified nouns":

1) "time units" such as "phút" (minute)

2) geographical and administrative units such as "tỉnh" (province)

3) polysyllabic Sino-Vietnamese compound nouns

On the other hand, ordinal numerals stay after nouns and ordinal markers which proceed numerals. On the AX NLG platform, you will get the ordinal marker thứ proceeding with the ordinal numeral.

For Vietnamese, both cardinal and ordinal numerals are written out until 10 on the platform, otherwise (above 10) the output is in digit form. Take cardinal numerals for example:

mười con chó
(ten dogs)
11 chó
(eleven dogs)