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Etymology 1[edit]

From Proto-Vietic *veːr (to return), from Proto-Mon-Khmer *wir (to go around, to turn around); cognate with Muong wềl, Khmu wer ("to roll, to turn to the opposite end") and Khmer វេរ (vei). There are a wide range of words with similar forms and meanings to this word across the Austroasiatic family.

Most prepositions in Vietnamese were originally verbs: (to stay; at, in), đến (to come; to), tới (to arrive; to), lên (to go up; onto), vào (to enter; in, into), theo (to follow; according to), cho (to give; for).

Alternative forms[edit]

  • (North Central Vietnam) viền


về (𧗱, 𡗅)

  1. to come back or go back (to somewhere one belongs or to some place that is one's own)
    về nhàto return home
    về quêto return to one's hometown
    về nướcto return to one's country
    về khách sạnto go back to the hotel where one is currently staying
    trên đường về nhàheaded back home
    hướng về Hà Tĩnhto be headed back (home) to Hà Tĩnh
    về phíatoward the direction in question; as for
    • 1922, Hồ Biểu Chánh, Ai làm được, Tín Đức Thư xã, chapter 3
      Chí Ðại lo sợ nên đi tối ngày không về nhà.
      Chí Đại was worried, so for the entire day he was away and did not return home.
    • 1956, Nam Cao, Sống mòn, Văn nghệ, part X
      Vợ Mô đi làm về, tạt qua sân, đi thẳng vào bếp của ngôi nhà lá.
      Mô's wife came back from work, crossed the yard, and went straight to the kitchen of the leaf-covered hut.
See also[edit]
Derived terms
Usage notes[edit]
  • To express returning to a place that is not one's own, such as someone else's home or country, one can use quay lại, trở lại, lại đến, and the like.
  • To express coming back from a certain activity, the word về is normally placed after the verb describing that activity, such as
    đi chơi vềto go back home after going out



  1. about; on
    Tôi đã suy nghĩ về cô ấy.
    I have been thinking about her.
    lo lắng về sức khỏe
    worry about health
  2. into
    Các phòng trưng bày nghệ thuật mở cửa về khuya.
    All the art galleries are open late into the night.

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. (Southern Vietnam) a thick layer
    Trứng muỗi nở ra lăng quăng, nổi trên mặt nước thành từng về lớn trong điều kiện yên tĩnh.
    Mosquito eggs hatch into larvae that form a thick layer floating near the surface when the water is calm.