See also: phai and phái

Vietnamese edit

Etymology edit

Non-Sino-Vietnamese reading of Chinese (to suffer; passive marker, SV: bị) (Old Chinese: /*m-pʰ(r)ajʔ, m-pʰ(r)ajʔ-s, mə-pʰ(r)aj, pʰ(r)aj-s/ in Baxter and Sagart (2014)), along the semantic evolution of “to have to endure; to suffer” > “have to; must” > “correct” > “right (in direction)”. It may reflect an Old Chinese pronunciation /*N-pʰ(r)ajʔ-s/ with the loss of a nasal prefix as is also seen in other early loans (Sagart, per. comm.).

The common Vietic word for “right” is Proto-Vietic *dam ~ *tam, whence the now-archaic đăm.

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

phải (, , )

  1. (often with bên) right (side, direction) (in bên phải)
    Đi bên phải đường.
    Go on the right side of the road.
    Rẽ (tay) phải. Quẹo (tay) phải.
    Turn right.
  2. correct
    Không phải như thế.
    Not so.
  3. obverse
    mặt phải của tấm vảithe obverse of a piece of cloth

Synonyms edit

Antonyms edit

Derived terms edit

Derived terms

Related terms edit

Verb edit


  1. (modal auxiliary) must, have to, should
    Tôi phải đi ngay.
    I must go right away.
    Phải đủ điểm mới được lên lớp.
    One must earn high enough grades to be promoted to the next grade.
  2. (transitive) to have to endure (something unpleasant)
    giẫm phải gaito tread on thorns
    ngộ phải gió độcin case one encounters bad wind (i.e., the cold or inclement weather)
    Tôi đi phải ngày mưa gió.
    I had to go on a rainy and windy day.

Derived terms edit

Derived terms

Particle edit


  1. yes (in response to a question containing phải)

References edit