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Alternative forms[edit]


Sino-Vietnamese word from (one).

The ‹nh-› is from ʔj-, which was perceived as the implosive *ʄ- then developed into ɲ- as implosives nasalized: ʔjit > *ʄit > ɲit. For a similar case of development of Middle Chinese ʔj-, compare nhân, from (MC 'jin). See Ferlus (2009) for details.

Sino-Vietnamese shows fairly systemic contrast between characters belonging to Chongniu III and IV rime groups with certain initials: nhất (< *ʔj- < (MC 'jit)) vs. ất (< *ʔ- < (MC 'it)), dân (< *j- < *mj- < (MC mjin)) vs. mân (< *m- < (MC min)), tần (< *bj- < (MC bjin)) vs. bần (< *b- < (MC bin)). The first character of each pair belongs to Chongniu IV group and shows clear palatalization in its Sino-Vietnamese reflexes, while the second belongs to Chongniu III and yields simplex initial.




  1. (of a prize) first
    giải nhấtfirst prize

Usage notes[edit]

  • Unlike other cardinal numbers, the ordinal phrasal expression for một (one) is not *thứ một, but thứ nhất (first).



  1. the most in...
    Synonym: hơn cả
    Mẹ thương con nhất nhà.
    Mom loves you most.
    (literally, “Mom loves child most in the family.”)
    Nó học giỏi nhất lớp.
    She's the best student in the class.
    (literally, “She studies best in the class.”)
    đẹp nhất thế giớithe most beautiful in the world
    • 2005, Nguyễn Ngọc Tư, "Biển người mênh mông" (in Cánh đồng bất tận), Trẻ publishing house
      Người ta buồn nhất, cô đơn nhất là khi ngủ dậy.
      One is saddest and loneliest when waking up.
  2. at the top of one's priority
    Nhất nước, nhì phân, tam cần, tứ giống.
    First comes water, second comes manure, third comes hard work, and fourth come cultivars.
  3. (in a competition, or a ranking system) in the first position
    về (thứ) nhấtto finish first



  1. (informal, before someone's name or kinship title) you are / he/she is so darn lucky
    Vợ đẹp con ngoan. Nhất chú đấy nhá!
    Beautiful wife, well-behaved children. You're a winner!

See also[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Derived terms