Modified Letters

As demonstrated in the alphabet, the Vietnamese writing system contains seven modified letters: ă, â, đ, ê, ô, ơ, and ư. Four (ă, â, ê, and ô) have diacritical marks separated from the base letter and three (đ, ơ, and ư) are connected to the base letter. This chapter provides further details of the modified letters.

Letter Ă

Ă consists of the letter a with a breve ( ˘ ) placed on top and can carry five additional accents: ắ ằ ẳ ẵ ặ. The breve is curved and must not be mistaken for the pointed caron ( ˇ ), which does not exist in the Vietnamese writing system.

Trăm năm (A hundred years)

Letter Â

 consists of the letter a with a circumflex ( ˆ ) placed on top and can carry five additional accents: ấ ầ ẩ ẫ ậ. In Vietnamese, the chevron-shaped circumflex is also used on ê and ô.

Du chân (Footprint)

Letter Đ

Đ consists of the letter D with a cross bar and is an initial-only consonant. The uppercase Đ has a horizontal bar in the middle of the cap height of the letter D. The lowercase đ has a bar centered between the ascender and the x-height of the letter d.

Đêm đông (Winter night)

Letter Ê

Ê consists of the letter e with a circumflex ( ˆ ) placed on top and can carry five additional accents: ế ề ể ễ ệ. In Vietnamese, the chevron-shaped circumflex is also used on â and ô.

Êm đm (Serene)

Letter Ô

Ô consists of the letter o with a circumflex ( ˆ ) placed on top and can carry five additional accents: ố ồ ổ ỗ ộ. In Vietnamese, the chevron-shaped circumflex is also used on â and ê.

Ngun ci (The root)

Letter Ơ

Ơ consists of the letter o with a horn ( ̛  ) and can carry five additional accents: ớ ờ ở ỡ ợ. The horn is attached to the letter o and aligned to the right of the base glyph. In Vietnamese, the horn is also used on ư.

N ngưi (One’s debt)

Letter Ư

Ư consists of the letter u with a horn ( ̛  ) and can carry five additional accents: ứ ừ ử ữ ự. The horn is attached on the top of the second stroke of the u. In Vietnamese, the horn is also used on ơ.

Nước mưa (Rain water)