See also: thi, Thi, thị, and Thị

VietnameseEdit

Alternative formsEdit

PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

Sino-Vietnamese word from (time). Also compare the alternative Sino-Vietnamese reading thời.

NounEdit

thì

  1. Dated form of thời (time; period).
    dăm thì mười hoạ
    seldomly
  2. the prime time in terms of physical development
  3. (grammar) a tense
    thì quá khứ
    past tense
Derived termsEdit
Derived terms

Etymology 2Edit

Compare Thai ที่ (tîi), Lao ທີ່ (thī), Khmer ទី (tii), Chinese (thị, copula; topic marker). (This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

ParticleEdit

thì

  1. (after noun or pronoun or nominalized utterances) as for ..., it is/does/will ...
    tham thì thâmGreed will lead to one's downfall (literally, “As for [the fact that one is] greedy, [it will lead to their] bruises”)
    Hỏi nó thử xem. Tao thì sao cũng được.
    Try asking him about it. I'm all for it.
    (literally, “Try asking him. As for me, anything is good.”)
    Có chí thì nên.
    So long as you have your will, you will achieve greatness.
    (literally, “As for [the fact that one] has willpower, [they will turn out] great.”)
    Thôi đi cha nội! Mày thì biết cái gì!
    Just shaddap! The hell do ya know?
    (literally, “Stop it, paternal father! As for you, [you] know what?”)
    Chồng thì gia trưởng, con thì hư đốn. Thôi tôi chết quách cho rồi!
    My husband is a damn patriarch, my children are a spoiled bunch. Just grant me death already!
    (literally, “As for [my] husband, [he is] patriarchal, as for [my] children, [they are] naughty. Forget it, I'll die!”)
  2. (informal) in that case, then ...; well, then ...
    Nếu ổng hỏi thì làm sao?
    Thì cứ vờ như không biết chứ sao!
    What if he asks?
    Just pretend you didn't know then!
    (literally, “If he asks, what [should I do]?
    In that case, just pretend you didn't know!
    ”)
    Ổng mà hỏi là chết tao!
    Thì mày cứ vờ như không biết!
    Man, if he asks me, I'm gonna be so screwed!
    Just pretend you didn't know then!
    (literally, “He asks, [that will] doom me!
    In that case, just pretend you didn't know!
    ”)
Usage notesEdit
  • Used quite similarly to the Japanese topic particle (wa) to mark the topic of a sentence. However, unlike the Japanese counterpart, it doesn't need to accompany words for time or place to specify contrast; in those cases, such words may be simply treated as adverbials like their English equivalents. For example:
    Hôm nay (thì) để tao đãi.
    Today, I'll treat.
    (literally, “As for today (as opposed to other days), let me treat.”)
  • Can accompany nếu (if) and be translated as "then". In that case, the whole preceding "nếu-clause" functions like a noun.
    Nếu mày biết lỗi thì được.
    If you're sorry, then it'll be fine.
    (literally, “As for the fact that you're sorry, it's okay then.”)