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Popular Thai Quotes and Proverbs

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When learning a language, you’re bound to come across a word or phrase that truly impresses you. Language learning is about so much more than figuring out how to communicate; it’s also about discovering a culture that’s different from yours and becoming immersed in a new way of thinking.

Since you’re learning Thai, it makes sense to study Thai quotes. In addition to picking up some of the language, you can gain insight about Thai values and beliefs from these words of wit and wisdom. In particular, you’ll find that many Thai quotes are influenced by Buddhism, the country’s main religion. 

In this lesson, ThaiPod101.com will present you with a list of Thai quotes in English that you should know.  From Thai motivational quotes to popular proverbs, you’ll have a ton of inspiring words to reflect on by the time you get to the end!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Thai Quotes About Work
  2. Thai Quotes About Life
  3. Thai Quotes About Time
  4. Thai Quotes About Love
  5. Thai Quotes About Friends and Family
  6. Thai Quotes About Happiness
  7. Thai Quotes About Language Learning
  8. Conclusion

1. Thai Quotes About Work

Let’s start with Thai quotes about success and work. As work is an important part of our lives, understanding Thai views on the topic will be immensely helpful to you as a learner.


1. เลือกทำงานที่เรารัก และจะไม่มีวันไหนที่รู้สึกว่าต้องทำงานเลย

Pronunciation: lûueak-tham-ngaan-thîi-rao-rák láe-jà-mâi-mii-wan-nǎi-thîi-rǔu-sùek-wâa-dtâawng- tham-ngaan-looei

Meaning: Choose the work you love and there won’t be a day you feel you have to work.

Author: Confucius (Chinese philosopher)

2. งานทุกอย่างที่สุจริตเป็นงานที่มีเกียรติทั้งนั้น

Pronunciation: ngaan-thúk-yàang-thîi-sùt-jà-rìt-bpen-ngaan-thîi-mii-gìiat-tháng-nán

Meaning: All trustworthy jobs are honorable.

Author: Panya Nanthaphiku (famous Thai monk)

This quote aims to teach people that all jobs are honorable, as long as they are legal and not immoral. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your job, for example, if it doesn’t pay well or is a labor job—at least you’re working!

3. งานที่เราชอบจะทำให้เราชอบทำงาน 

Pronunciation: ngaan-thîi-rao-châawp-jà-tham-hâi-rao-châawp-tham-ngaan

Meaning: The work you like makes you like to work.

Author: Wattana Weerayawattanon (singer and songwriter)

I Love My Job

4. อย่าทำงานเพื่อเก็บเงินไปใช้ในห้อง “ไอ ซี ยู”

Pronunciation: yàa-tham-ngaan-phûuea-gèp-ngoen-bpai-chái-nai-hâawng-ai-sii-yuu

Meaning: Don’t work and save money to spend it later for ICU.

Author: Meethiwachirodom (famous Thai monk)

This quote teaches the importance of time management and health. Some people work too much to earn a lot of money. As a result, they fail to take care of their health and end up spending all of their savings on hospital bills when they’re older and not as healthy as they used to be.

2. Thai Quotes About Life

Are you feeling stuck or dissatisfied with your life? There are a number of Thai quotes about life that teach valuable lessons you can apply to your situation right away. (These are also Instagram-friendly!)

    → Learn how to talk about Life Events in our relevant lesson, and be prepared for any major occasion in Thailand.

5. ชีวิตคนเรา…แสนสั้นเกินกว่าจะทำให้ทุกคน…พอใจ… และเชื่อว่าไม่มีใครคนไหนทำได้ 

Pronunciation: chii-wít-khon-rao-sǎaen-sân-gooen-gwàa-jà-tham-hâi-thúk-khon-phaaw-jai láe- chûuea-wâa-mâi-mii-khrai-khon-nǎi-tham-dâi

Meaning: Life is too short to be lived in order to please everyone, and there is no one who is capable of it. 

Author: Kutto (singer)

6. บ่อยครั้ง เรามักเผลอเอาสายตาของคนอื่นมาเป็นเครื่องวัดคุณค่าของเรา 

Pronunciation: bàauy-khráng rao-mák-phlǒoe-ao-sǎai-dtaa-khǎawng-khon-ùuen-maa-bpen- khrûueang-wát-khun-khâa-khǎawng-rao

Meaning: We often inadvertently use others’ judgement to value ourselves.

Author: Phaisan Visalo (famous Thai monk)

7. ถ้าคุณไม่อาจควบคุมอารมณ์ที่เกิดขึ้นมา อารมณ์จะพิพากษาชีวิตคุณ 

Pronunciation: thâa-khun-mâi-àat-khûuap-khum-aa-rom-thîi-gòoet-khûen-maa aa-rom-jà-phí-phâak- sǎa-chii-vít-khun

Meaning: If you cannot control your emotions, they will judge your life.

Author: Jatupol Chomphunit (famous orator)

People can be irrational and act cruel when they’re angry, and end up hurting someone or having regrets about what they said. Just one action controlled by anger can ruin your life.

Control Your Anger

8. ทางไปสู่ความลำบากนั้น…ไปสบาย ทางไปสู่ความสบายนั้น…ไปลำบาก 

Pronunciation: thaang-bpai-sùu-khwaam-lam-bàak-nán-bpai-sà-bàai thaang-bpai-sùu-khwaam-sà- baai-nán-lam-bàak

Meaning: The road to hardship is comfort but the road to comfort is hard.

Author: Su Boonliang (artist)

To live your life comfortably, you have to study and work hard to be successful in work (and vice-versa).  

9. การหาความมั่นคงในชีวิต ก็เหมือนคาดหวังว่าดวงอาทิตย์จะอยู่บนฟ้าตลอดเวลา 

Pronunciation: gaan-hǎa-khwaam-mân-khong-nai-chii-vít gâaw-mǔuean-khâat-wǎng-wâa-duuang- aa-thít-jà-yùu-bon-fáa-dtà-làawt-wee-laa

Meaning: To find stability in life is like expecting the sun to always be in the sky.

Author: Win Liaowarin (writer)

Buddhism teaches that one should never become attached to things—whether it be money, assets, one’s reputation or honor, etc.—because you can lose everything in a moment. Stability in life is another thing that one can lose; it’s impossible for one’s life to always be stable.  

3. Thai Quotes About Time

Time is precious. Study these Thai quotes about time to gain insight into how Thai people view this phenomenon. 


10. สายน้ำไม่ไหลย้อยกลับ 

Pronunciation: sǎai-nám-mâi-lǎi-yáawn-glàp

Meaning: The river has no return.

Author: quote from a song

11. อย่ามีชีวิต ชนิดที่เวลาผ่านมาแล้ว…มานึกเสียดายทีหลัง

Pronunciation: yàa-mii-chii-vít chá-nít-thîi-wee-laa-phâan-maa-láaeo maa-núek-sǐia-daai-thii-lǎng

Meaning: Don’t live your life in a way that you would regret when time passes.

Author: Wongthanong Chainarongsingh (founder of A Day magazine)

12. ระยะเวลา บอกแค่ว่าเรารู้จักกันนาน แต่ไม่ได้การันตีว่ารู้จักกันดี 

Pronunciation: rá-yá-wee-laa bàawk-wâa-rao-rúu-jàk-gàn-naan dtàae-mâi-dâi-gaa-ran-thii-wâa-rúu- jàk-gan-dii

Meaning: Time reflects that we have known each other for long, but doesn’t mean we know each other well.

Author: Napaporn Traiwitwareegul (DJ)

You can know someone for years and still not really know who they are as a person. 

13. การให้เวลา อาจมีค่ากว่าสิ่งของพิเศษ 

Pronunciation: gaan-hâi-wee-laa àat-mii-khâa-mâak-khwàa-sìng-khǎawng-phí-sèet

Meaning: Giving time is more precious than a special gift

Author: Round finger (writer)

14. เวลาและวารีไม่เคยคอยใคร 

Pronunciation: wee-laa-láe-waa-rii-mâi-khooei-raaw-khrai

Meaning: Time and tide wait for no man.

Author: Proverb

4. Thai Quotes About Love

Are you madly in love with someone? Or perhaps you’re a hopeless romantic? Either way, we think you’ll enjoy reading through these Thai love quotes with English translations!


15. รักแลกด้วยรัก ไม่ได้แลกด้วยชีวิต 

Pronunciation: rák-lâaek-dûuai-rák mâi-dâi-lâaek-dûuai-chii-vít

Meaning: To get love, you give love, not life.

Author: Napaporn Traiwitwareegul (DJ)

This famous quote means that if you want someone to love you, give him or her your love, not everything in your life.

16. “อกหัก” เป็นเวลาที่ดีที่สุดที่จะพิสูจน์ว่า เรารักคนอื่นมากกว่ารักตัวเองหรือไม่ 

Pronunciation: òk-hàk-bpen-wee-laa-thîi-dii-thîi-sùt-thîi-jà-phí-sùut-wâa rao-rák-khon-ùuen-mâak- gwàa-rák-dtuua-eeng-rǔue-mâi

Meaning: “Being heartbroken” is the best time to prove whether you love others more than yourself or not.

Author: Win Liaowarin (writer)

17. บางครั้งสิ่งที่เลวร้ายกว่าการอกหัก …ก็คือการสมหวังได้แต่งงาน… แล้วไม่พบความสมหวังของชีวิตคู่ 

Pronunciation: baang-khráng-sìng-thîi-leeo-ráai-khwàa-gaan-òk-hàk gâaw-khuue-gaan-sǒm-wǎng- dâi-dtàaeng-ngaan láaeo-mâi-phóp-khwaam-sǒm-wǎng-khǎawng-chii-vít-khûu

Meaning: Sometimes, the thing that is worse than heartbreak is to get married as you hope for but not being happy in married life.

Author: Win Liaowarin (writer)

I Hope to Get Married Someday

18. มันไม่ยากหรอกที่จะพูดคำว่ารัก แต่มันยากนักที่จะรักอย่างเข้าใจ 

Pronunciation: man-mâi-yâak-ràawk-thîi-jà-phûut-kham-wâa-rák dtàae-man-yâak-nák-thîi-jà-rák- yàang-khâo-jai

Meaning: It is not hard to confess love, but it is hard to love someone with comprehension.

Author: Mahasompong (famous Thai monk)

When you love someone, it’s easy to say so out loud. However, it is hard to love him or her with comprehension; to love is to support, not to intrude.  

19. อย่าวิ่งตามใครซักคนจนเราไม่เห็นคุณค่าของตัวเอง 

Pronunciation: yàa-wîng-dtaam-khrai-sák-khon-jon-rao-mâi-hěn-khun-khâa-khǎawng-dtuua-eeng

Meaning: Don’t chase someone to the point where you no longer see value in yourself. 

Author: Napaporn Traiwitwareegul (DJ)

When you love someone, you try hard to make him or her love you back. Sometimes, you try so hard to be the person they want that you no longer see good things in yourself.

5. Thai Quotes About Friends and Family

If you want to learn how friendship and family are perceived in Thai culture, these Thai quotes about family and friends are a great place to start.


20. อย่าแคร์คนอื่นมากกว่าครอบครัว อย่าตามใจตัวจนลืมว่าครอบครัวก็สำคัญ 

Pronunciation: yàa-khaae-khon-ùuen-mâak-gwàa-khrâawp-khruua yàa-dtaam-jai-dtuua-jon-luuem- wâa-khrâawp-khruua-gâaw-sǎm-khan

Meaning: Don’t care about others more than your family and don’t be self-indulgent to the point where you forget that family is also important.

Author: Mahasompong (famous Thai monk)

My Happy Family

21. นับเพื่อน อย่านับตอนดี ๆ นับตอนที่ชีวิตกำลังแย่ กำลังตกต่ำ นั่นแหละเพื่อนแท้ 

Pronunciation: náp-phûuen yàa-náp-dtaawn-dii-dii náp-dtaawn-thîi-chii-vít-gam-lang-yâae gam-lang-dtòk-dtàm nân-làae-phûuen-tháae

Meaning: Don’t count the number of friends when your life is good. You will know the number of your true friends when your life is at its worst. 

Author: Kutto (singer)

22. เพื่อนที่ไม่ยอมหรือไม่อาจตักเตือนเพื่อน ก็ต้องถือว่าหมดความเป็นเพื่อนเสียแล้ว 

Pronunciation: phûuen-thîi-mâi-yaawm-rǔue-mâi-àat-dtàk-dtuuen-phûuen gâaw-dtâawng-thǔue- wâa-mòt-khwaam-bpen-phûuen-sǐia-láaeo

Meaning: A friend who doesn’t or cannot give you criticism is no longer your friend.

Author: Phuthathatphiku (famous Thai monk) 

To be friends with someone, you must have good intentions toward them. Thus, friends must be able to tell each other if they do wrong and keep each other accountable for their actions.

23. เพื่อนกินหาง่าย เพื่อนตายหายาก 

Pronunciation: phûuen-gin-hǎa-ngâai phûuen-dtaai-hǎa-yâak

Meaning: A faithful friend is hard to find.

Author: Proverb

24. เลือดข้นกว่าน้ำ 

Pronunciation: lôoet-khôn-gwàa-nám

Meaning: Blood is thicker than water.

Author: Proverb

6. Thai Quotes About Happiness

Everyone wants to be happy, but not everyone is happy nowadays. We hope that these quotes help you find happiness in life.


25. ที่สุดของคน คือ การเป็นคนธรรมดาที่มีความสุข 

Pronunciation: thîi-sùt-khǎawng-khon khuue-gaan-bpen-khon-tham-má-daa-thîi-mii-khwaam-sùk

Meaning: The best thing a man can ask for is to be a normal person who is happy.

Author: Meethiwachirodom (famous Thai monk)

26. อย่ามองหาสิ่งที่ขาด จนพลาดที่จะมีความสุขกับสิ่งที่มี 

Pronunciation: yàa-maawng-hǎa-sìng-thîi-khàat jon-plâat-thîi-jà-mii-khwaam-sùk-gàp-sìng-thîi-mii

Meaning: Don’t try to achieve things you don’t have to the point you fail to be happy with what you have.

Author: Saithip Montrigul Na Ayudhya (DJ)

Sometimes, you only see the things that you don’t have and try hard to get them. In doing so, you fail to enjoy the things you already have. For example, you want to be the most successful businessman, so you work so hard that you no longer have time for your family.

27. อย่าหยุดตัวเองไว้กับความทุกข์ คุณมีสิทธิที่จะมีความสุขไม่น้อยกว่าคนอื่น 

Pronunciation: yàa-yhùt-dtuua-eeng-wái-gàp-khwaam-thúk khun-mii-sìt-thîi-jà-mii-khwaam-sùk-mâi- náauy-gwàa-khon-ùuen

Meaning: Don’t drown yourself in sadness, you have the right to be happy as much as everybody.

Author: Meethiwachirodom (famous Thai monk)

You Have the Right to be Happy

7. Thai Quotes About Language Learning

To close, let’s look at a couple of inspirational Thai quotes from language teachers about language learning! 

28. ภาษาคือการสื่อสารกันและกัน ตราบใดที่สื่อสารกันแล้วรู้เรื่อง นั่นก็ยอดเยี่ยมแล้ว 

Pronunciation: phaa-sǎa-khuue-gaan-sùue-sǎan-gan-láe-gan dtràap-dai-thîi-sùue-sǎan-gan-láaeo- rúu-rûueang nân-gâaw-yàawt-yìiam-láaeo

Meaning: Language is about communication. As long as it’s understandable, that’s great.

Author: Khanatip Sunthornrak (famous English teacher)

This quote teaches that when you learn a new language, you shouldn’t worry too much about all of the details (such as grammar or accents) as it discourages you from speaking. Instead, do your best to communicate; as long as the other parties understand, that is already a success.

29. การเรียนไม่ใช่เรื่องยาก ถ้ามองอุปสรรคเห็น และทำลายอุปสรรคเป็น 

Pronunciation: gaan-riian-mâi-châi-rûueang-yâak thâa-maawng-ùp-bphà-sàk-hěn láe-tham-laai-ùp- bphà-sàk-bpen

Meaning: Learning is not hard if you know the obstacle and how to overcome it.

Author: Somsri Thammasansophon (famous English teacher)

When you learn a new language, there will be areas that you excel in and others you’re not as good at. All you need to do is focus on your weaknesses and find a good learning method to help you overcome them.

I’m Inspired by Thai Quotes

8. Conclusion

Do you feel inspired and motivated after reading all of these Thai quotes and proverbs? Does your native language have similar quotes? Share with us in the comments below.

Learning Thai quotes can be a little difficult if you don’t know much vocabulary. That said, it is a good way to familiarize yourself with the Thai language and culture. Keep practicing! 

When you feel ready to move forward, ThaiPod101.com has many more useful lessons for you, such as words about sickness or taking a trip to Tiger Temple.

Happy learning!

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Must-Know Thai Business Phrases and Vocabulary

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Why are you learning Thai?  

One of the most common reasons people learn the language is that they’re doing business in Thailand or with Thai people. This makes a lot of sense, because knowing at least the most common business phrases in Thai is an advantage in the workplace. 

In this lesson, you’ll learn all of the Thai business phrases you need to get started, as well as the grammar behind them. In addition, we’ll provide you with a list of business terms you should know, categorized by what kind of situation you’d hear them in. 

Improve your Thai business language today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Getting Started
  2. Thai Business Phrases for a Job Interview
  3. Thai Business Phrases for Coworker Interaction
  4. Phrases for a Thai Business Meeting
  5. Thai Business Phrases for Phone Calls and Emails
  6. Thai Business Phrases for a Business Trip
  7. Conclusion

1. Getting Started

Jobs

Before we get into Thai business words and their meanings in English, you should know how to speak formally with others in a business setting.

1- Formal Thai Pronouns

Below is a list of Thai pronouns you’re likely to use in Thailand business settings, so we advise you to memorize them before you try learning any other Thai business words or phrases.

2- Khráp and Khâ

To make a sentence sound formal in Thai, put the word ครับ (khráp) or ค่ะ (khà) at the end of a sentence when speaking. ครับ (khráp) is used when the speaker is male, while ค่ะ (khâ) is used when the speaker is female. 

2. Thai Business Phrases for a Job Interview

Job Interview

The first step in beginning your career is the job interview. As such, it’s to your advantage that you leave a nice first impression on your interviewer. Here are some common Thai business phrases you should know before your interview. 

1- Phrases Your Interviewer May Use

Hello.

  • In Thai: สวัสดี 
  • Pronunciation: sà-wàt-dii

While saying สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii), it is best to do the action called ไหว้ (whâi), which is a Thai way of greeting.

Please have a seat.

  • In Thai: เชิญนั่ง 
  • Pronunciation: chooen-nâng

In Thai culture, it’s best to wait for your interviewer to ask you to sit down before you do so.

Please turn off your phone.

  • In Thai: กรุณาปิดโทรศัพท์มือถือด้วย 
  • Pronunciation: gà-rú-naa-bpìt-thoo-rá-sàp-muue-thǔue-dúuai

An interviewer will normally ask you to turn off your phone. If your phone rings during the interview, it may leave a bad impression on your interviewer, so it is proper Thai business etiquette to turn it off right away. 

However, if there’s any reason you can’t turn it off, you can tell the interviewer: ไม่สะดวกปิดโทรศัพท์ เพราะ___ ต้องขอโทษด้วย (mâi-sà-dùuak-bpìt-thoo-rá-sàp práw___ dtâawng-khǎaw-thôot-dûuai), which means “I can’t turn off the phone because ___, I’m sorry.”

Please introduce yourself.

  • In Thai: กรุณาแนะนำตัว 
  • Pronunciation: gà-rú-naa-náe-nam-dtuua
Please Introduce Yourself

What is your strength and weakness?

  • In Thai: ข้อดีและข้อเสียของคุณคืออะไร 
  • Pronunciation: khâaw-dii-láe-khâaw-sǐia-khǎawng-khun-khuue-à-rai

Do you have any questions?

  • In Thai: มีคำถามอะไรจะถามมั้ย 
  • Pronunciation: mii-kham-thǎam-à-rai-jà-thǎam-mái

2- List of Phrases You May Use

My name is ___.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันชื่อ ___ 
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-chûue-___

I graduated from ___ University in the faculty of ___, majoring in ___.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันเรียนจบจากมหาวิทยาลัย___คณะ___ สาขา___ 
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-riian-jòp-jàak-má-hǎa-wít-thá-yaa-lai-___-khá-ná-___-sǎa-khǎa-___

In the first blank, put the name of your university; in the second blank, put the name of the faculty; and in the third blank, put the name of your major.

I have experience in ___ for ___ years.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันมีประสบการณ์ในสายงาน ___ ทั้งหมด ___ ปี 
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-mii-bprà-sòp-gaan-nai-sǎai-ngaan-___-tháng-mòt-___-bpii

In the first blank, put your field of experience; in the second blank, put the number of years you’ve been in that field.

My responsibility is ___.

  • In Thai: หน้าที่ของผม / ดิฉัน คือ ___
  • Pronunciation: nâa-thîi-khǎawng-phǒm / dì-chǎn-khuue-___

My strength is ___.

  • In Thai: ข้อดีของผม / ดิฉัน คือ ___
  • Pronunciation: khâaw-dii-khǎawng-phǒm / dì-chǎn-khuue-___

My weakness is ___.

  • In Thai: ข้อเสียของผม / ดิฉัน คือ ___
  • Pronunciation: khâaw-sǐia-khǎawng-phǒm / dì-chǎn-khuue-___

Please repeat the question again.

  • In Thai: ช่วยทวนคำถามได้มั้ย
  • Pronunciation: chûuai-thuuan-kham-thǎam-dâi-mái

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed.

  • In Thai: ขอบคุณที่ให้โอกาสมาสัมภาษณ์งาน
  • Pronunciation: khàawp-khun-thîi-hâi-oo-gàat-maa-sǎm-phâat-ngaan

3. Thai Business Phrases for Coworker Interaction

Business Phrases

When doing business with Thai people, knowing business Thai vocabulary isn’t enough. You should also know how to communicate with your coworkers at both the business level and the social level. Here are some phrases you may find helpful.

1- Business Introductions

Self-introduction for males

  • สวัสดีครับ ผมชื่อ___เป็นพนักงานใหม่อยู่แผนก___ครับ
  • sà-wàt-dii-khráp phǒm-chûue-___-bpen-phá-nák-ngaan-mài-yùu-phá-nàaek-___-khráp
  • “Hello, my name is____. I’m a new employee in ___ Department.”

In the first blank, put your name; in the second blank, put your department. 

Self-introduction for females

  • สวัสดีค่ะ ดิฉันชื่อ___เป็นพนักงานใหม่อยู่แผนก___ค่ะ
  • sà-wàt-dii-khà dì-chǎn-chûue-___-bpen-phá-nák-ngaan-mài-yùu-phá-nàaek-___-khà
  • “Hello, my name is ___. I’m a new employee in ___ Department.”

Giving phone numbers and email

  • นี่คือเบอร์โทรและอีเมลของผม / ฉัน
  • nîi-khuue-booe-thoo-láe-ii-meeo-khǎawng-phǒm / chǎn
  • “This is my phone number and email.”

2- Business Performance Evaluations

Compliments about work performance

  • คุณทำดีมาก
  • khun-tham-dii-mâak
  • “You did a great job.”
  • ผลงานของคุณดีมาก
  • phǒn-ngaan-khǎawng-khun-dii-mâak
  • “Your performance is very good.”
  • อันนี้ใช้ได้แล้ว
  • an-níi-chái-dâi-láaeo
  • “This one is okay.”

Feedback about work performance

  • อันนี้ไม่ผ่านนะ ไปแก้มาใหม่
  • an-níi-mâi-phàan-ná bpai-gâae-maa-mài
  • “This one needs to be fixed.”
  • ช่วงนี้คุณทำงานไม่ค่อยดีเท่าไหร่ มีปัญหาอะไรรึเปล่า
  • chûuang-níi-khun-tham-ngaan-mâi-khâauy-dii-thâo-rài mii-bpan-hǎa-à-rai-rúe-bplào
  • “You are not doing well recently. Are there any problems?”

3- Phrases for Other Business Situations

Asking for help

  • ช่วยดูตรงนี้ให้หน่อยได้มั้ย
  • chûuai-duu-dtrong-níi-hâi-nàauy-dâi-mái
  • “Could you please take a look at this?”
Could You Please Take a Look at This?
  • ขอคำแนะนำเรื่อง___หน่อย
  • khǎaw-kham-náe-nam-rûueang-___-nàauy
  • “Please give me advice about___.”

Thank you

  • ขอบคุณ
  • khàawp-khun
  • Thank you.”

Sorry

  • ขอโทษ
  • khǎaw-thôot
  • Sorry.”

4. Phrases for a Thai Business Meeting

Let’s go over some important phrases for Thai business meetings. If you’ve spent any time in the business world, you know that meetings are an essential aspect of any job. Knowing the most common phrases and implementing proper Thai business meeting etiquette will give you a huge advantage. 

Let’s start the meeting.

  • In Thai: ขอเริ่มการประชุม
  • Pronunciation: khǎaw-rôoem-gaan-bprà-chum

Do you have any questions?

  • In Thai: มีคำถามอะไรมั้ย
  • Pronunciation: mii-kham-thǎam-à-rai-mái

Do you have any comments?

  • In Thai: มีความเห็นอะไรมั้ย
  • Pronunciation:mii-khwaam-hěn-à-rai-mái
Do You Have Any Comments?

I agree.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันเห็นด้วย
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-hěn-dûuai

I disagree.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันไม่เห็นด้วย
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-mâi-hěn-dûuai

What do you think about this?

  • In Thai: คุณมีความเห็นอย่างไรเกี่ยวกับเรื่องนี้
  • Pronunciation: khun-mii-khwaam-hěn-yàang-rai-gìiao-gàp-rûueang-níi

I think ___.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันคิดว่า___
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-khít-wâa

I want more information about ___.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันขอข้อมูลเพิ่มเติมเกี่ยวกับ___
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-khǎaw-khâaw-muun-gìiao-gàp-___

If we agree to this, will there be any problem?

  • In Thai: ถ้าเราตกลงตามนี้ จะมีปัญหาอะไรมั้ย
  • Pronunciation: thâa-rao-dtòk-long-dtaam-ní jà-mii-bpan-hǎa-à-rai-mái

If we agree to buy from you, what is your offer?

  • In Thai: ถ้าเราตกลงซื้อจากคุณ คุณมีข้อเสนออะไรให้เราบ้าง
  • Pronunciation: thâa-rao-dtòk-long-súue-jàak-khun khun-mii-khâaw-sà-nǒoe-à-rai-hâi-rao-bâang

Any discount?

  • In Thai: มีส่วนลดมั้ย
  • Pronunciation: mii-sùuan-lót-mái

I have a special offer.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันมีข้อเสนอพิเศษ
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-mii-khâaw-sà-nǒoe-phí-sèet

5. Thai Business Phrases for Phone Calls and Emails

If you’re doing business in Thailand, being able to communicate via phone and email is pretty important. Below are some words and phrases you’ll find useful.

1- Phrases for Phone Calls

Hello, this is ___. Whom do you want to speak to?

  • In Thai: สวัสดี ที่นี่___ ต้องการติดต่อใคร
  • Pronunciation: sà-wàt-dii thîi-níi-___ dtâawng-gaan-dtìt-dtàaw-khrai-khá

As a staff member of a company, this is the phrase you use to answer the phone.

Hello, I want to talk to ___.

  • In Thai: สวัสดี ขอเรียนสาย___
  • Pronunciation: sà-wàt-dii khǎaw-riian-sǎai___

You say this when you call someone in a company whom you don’t have direct contact with.

Hello, I Want to Talk to the Manager.

Hello, my name is ___. I’m calling from ___. [name of company]

  • In Thai: สวัสดี ผม / ดิฉันชื่อ… ติดต่อมาจาก___
  • Pronunciation: sà-wàt-dii phom / di-chan-chûue-___ dtìt-dtàaw-maa-jàak-___

This is another phrase you can use when calling someone. This one is a little more formal than the one above. It’s often used when the party you’re calling doesn’t know you.

Please wait for a moment, I will transfer you.

  • In Thai: เดี๋ยวจะโอนสายให้ รบกวนถือสายรอซักครู่
  • Pronunciation: dǐiao-jà-oon-sǎai-hâi róp-guuan-thǔue-sǎai-raaw-sák-khrûu

Now ___ isn’t available. Will you leave a message or give him/her a phone number to call back?

  • In Thai: ตอนนี้คุณ___ไม่สะดวกรับสาย จะฝากข้อความหรือเบอร์ติดต่อกลับไว้มั้ย
  • Pronunciation: dtaawn-níi-khun-___-mâi-sà-dùuak-ráp-sǎai jà-fâak-khâaw-khwaam-rǔue-booe- thoo-dtìt-dtàaw-glàp-wái-mái

That is okay. I will call again.

  • In Thai: ไม่เป็นไร เดี๋ยวจะติดต่อมาใหม่
  • Pronunciation: mâi-bpen-rai dǐiao-jà-dtìt-dtàaw-maa-mài

Phrase for ending a phone call

  • In Thai: แค่นี้นะ สวัสดี
  • Pronunciation: khâae-níi-ná sà-wàt-dii

2- Phrases for Email

Dear ___,

  • In Thai: เรียน
  • Pronunciation: riian

Please be informed accordingly

  • In Thai: จึงเรียนมาเพื่อทราบ
  • Pronunciation: jueng-riian-maa-phûuea-sâap

Best Regards,

  • In Thai: ขอแสดงความนับถือ
  • Pronunciation: khǎaw-sà-daaeng-khwaam-náp-thǔue

6. Thai Business Phrases for a Business Trip

Our final category is Thai phrases for business trips. If you travel a lot, you should remember these.

1- Making a Reservation

I want to book a one-way trip / round trip ___ [vehicle] ticket to ___ [place].

  • In Thai: ผม / ฉันต้องการจองตั๋ว ___ [vehicle] แบบเที่ยวเดียว / ไปกลับ ไปที่___ [place]
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / chǎn-dtâawng-gaan-jaawng-dtǔua-___-bàaep-thîiao-diiao / bpai-glàp -bpai-thîi-___

เที่ยวเดียว (thîiao-diiao) means “one-way trip,” while ไปกลับ (bpai-glàp) means “round trip.” 

I want to book a room for ___ people.

  • In Thai: ผม / ฉันต้องการจองห้องพักสำหรับ ___ คน
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / chǎn-dtâawng-gaan-jaawng-hâawng-phák-sǎm-ràp-___-khon

Which date do you want to check in?

  • In Thai: ลูกค้าต้องการเข้าพักวันไหนคะ
  • Pronunciation: lûuk-kháa-dtâawng-gaan-khâo-phák-wan-nǎi-khá

ลูกค้า (lûuk-kháa) means “customer” in Thai. Instead of using “you,” hotel staff often use ลูกค้า (lûuk-kháa) to refer to their customer.

How long do you want to stay?

  • In Thai: ลูกค้าต้องการพักกี่คืน
  • Pronunciation: lûuk-kháa-dtâawng-gaan-phák-gìi-khuuen

Any promotion or discount?

  • In Thai: มีโปรโมชั่นหรือส่วนลดอะไรมั้ย
  • Pronunciation: mii-bproo-moo-chân-rǔue-sùuan-lót-à-rai-mái

2- Your Stay in the Hotel

I want to check in. I already made a reservation.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันต้องการเช็คอิน จองห้องไว้แล้ว
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-dtâawng-gaan-chék-in jaawng-hâawng-wái-láaeo

There’s no Thai word for “check in.” Thai people use the same word as in English.

Your room is on ___ floor, number ___.

  • In Thai: ห้องพักของลูกค้าอยู่ชั้น ___ [floor number] ห้อง ___ [room number]
  • Pronunciation: hâawng-phák-khǎawng-lûuk-kháa-yùu-chán-___-hâawng-___

Here is a key and breakfast coupon.

  • In Thai: นี่คือกุญแจและคูปองอาหารเช้า
  • Pronunciation: nîi-khuue-gun-jaae-láe-khuu-bpaawng-aa-hǎan-cháo

I want to check out.

  • In Thai: ผม / ดิฉันต้องการเช็คเอาท์
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / dì-chǎn-dtâawng-gaan-chék-áo

There is no Thai word for “check out.” Thai people use the same word as in English.

I Want to Check Out

2- More Useful Phrases

Where should we meet?

  • In Thai: เราจะเจอกันที่ไหนดี
  • Pronunciation: rao-jà-jooe-gan-thîi-nǎi-dii

When should we meet?

  • In Thai: เราจะเจอกันกี่โมง
  • Pronunciation: rao-jà-jooe-gan-gìi-moong

I will pick ___ up from the ___ at ___.

  • In Thai: ผม / ฉันจะไปรับ ___ [person] ที่ ___ [place] ตอน ___ [time]
  • Pronunciation: phǒm / chǎn-jà-bpai-ráp-___-thîi-___-dtaawn-___

Thank you for this trip.

  • In Thai: ขอบคุณสำหรับทริปนี้
  • Pronunciation: khàawp-khun-sǎm-ràp-tríp-níi

7. Conclusion

How do you feel after going over all of these Thai business phrases? Are you more confident in your business communication skills? Let us know in the comments below.

If you want to learn more-specific terms, words, or phrases than the ones we covered here, check out our other lessons on ThaiPod101.com. Here are some lessons you may be interested in: 

Happy Thai learning, and good luck with your business endeavors!

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Best Guide to Learn About Thai Numerical Classifiers

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In Thai, if you want to tell the number or amount of a noun (both countable and uncountable), knowing the numbers and the most common nouns isn’t enough. Unlike in English, you need Thai numerical classifiers to complete the phrase or sentence. So, as a Thai learner, you need to learn about numeric classifiers in Thai in order to speak like a native.

In this lesson, we’ll introduce you to Thai numeric classifiers. You’ll also learn the structure of numerical classifiers in Thai along with how to use them. And lastly, we’ll provide you with a list of Thai classifiers. Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. What are Thai Numeric Classifiers?
  2. Thai Numeric Classifiers for Living Things
  3. Thai Numeric Classifiers for Clothes and Accessories
  4. Thai Numeric Classifiers for Objects in the House
  5. Thai Numeral Classifiers for Stationery/Office Supplies
  6. Thai Numeral Classifiers for Musical Instruments
  7. Thai Numeral Classifiers for Food
  8. Thai Numerical Classifiers by Shape
  9. Conclusion

1. What are Thai Numeric Classifiers?

First, let’s break down some basic vocabulary you’ll want to know:

By combining the meanings of the last two words together, you can guess the function of numeral classifiers in Thai: they’re used to describe the physical characteristics of a noun.

1- Structure of numerical classifiers in Thai

In Thai, there are no plural numerical classifiers. Further, there’s no relationship between noun classes and classifiers. The main thing you need to remember is: Thai numeral classifiers are always put after nouns.

There are two ways of using numeral classifiers in Thai, shown below.

A. Noun + number + numerical classifiers

How to use: This structure is used to tell the amount or number of a noun. 

Example:  
หนังสือ 2 เล่ม
nǎng-sǔue-sǎawng-lêm
“Two books”

Additional note: If you want to change the sentence to a question, put กี่ (gìi) instead of a number.

He Has Two Books.

B. This/That + noun + numerical classifiers

How to use: This structure is used to specify which noun you’re talking about.

Example:  
หนังสือเล่มนั้น
nǎng-sǔue-lêm-nán
“That book”

Additional note: นี้ (níi) is “this” in Thai, and นั้น (nán) is “that.”

Now that you have some basic information about Thai numeral classifiers, let’s learn the most common Thai classifiers. The following section is a categorized list of these classifiers, along with examples of how they’re used in a sentence. 

2. Thai Numeric Classifiers for Living Things

1- Humans

Thai numeric classifier: คน (khon)

Example 1:   
เธอเชิญแขกมากี่คน
thooe-chooen-khàaek-maa-gìi-khon
“How many guests have you invited?”

Example 2:  
เอาจดหมายไปให้ผู้หญิงคนนั้นหน่อย
ao-jòt-mhǎai-bpai-hâi-phûu-yhǐng-khon-nán-nàauy
“Give the letter to that woman.”

2- Animals

Thai numeric classifier: ตัว (dtuua)

Example 1:   
พ่อเลี้ยงสุนัขไว้ 2 ตัว
phâaw-líiang-sù-nák-wái-sǎawng-dtuua
“My father has two dogs.”

Example 2:  
แมวตัวนี้น่ารักมาก
maaew-dtuua-níi-nâa-rák-mâak
“This cat is very cute.”

3- Monks

Thai numeric classifier: รูป (rûup)

Example 1:   
แม่นิมนต์พระมา 5 รูป
mâae-ní-mon-phrá-maa-hâa-rûup
“My mother invited five monks.”

Example 2:  
พระรูปนั้นตัวสูงมาก
phrá-rûup-nán-dtuua-sǔung-mâak
That monk is very tall.”

4- Angels and Buddha Statues

Thai numeric classifier: องค์ (ong)

Example 1:   
เธอคิดว่าบนสวรรค์มีเทวดากี่องค์
thooe-khít-wâa-bon-sà-wǎn-mii-thee-wá-daa-gìi-ong
“Do you wonder how many angels there are in heaven?”

Example 2:  
พระพุทธรูปองค์นั้นงดงามมาก
phrá-phút-thá-rûup-ong-nán-ngót-ngaam-mâak
“That Buddha statue is very beautiful.”

5- Monsters and Hermits

Thai numeric classifier: ตน (dton)

Example 1:   
ในนิยายเรื่องนี้ มีฤาษีอยู่ 1 ตน
nai-ní-yaai-rûueang-níi mii-ruue-sǐi-yùu-nùeng-dton
“There is one hermit in this novel.”

Example 2:  
ปีศาจตนไหนน่ากลัวที่สุด
bpii-sàat-dton-nǎi-nâa-gluua-thîi-sùt
“Which monster is the scariest one?”

6- Trees

Thai numeric classifier: ต้น (dtôn)

Example 1:   
ในสวนมีต้นไม้หลายต้น
nai-sǔuan-mii-dtôn-mái-lǎai-dtôn
“There are many trees in the garden.”

Example 2:  
ต้นไม้ต้นนั้นสูงเท่าไหร่
dtôn-mái-dtôn-nán-sǔung-thâo-rài
“How tall is that tree?”

7- Flowers

Thai numeric classifier: ดอก (dàawk)

Example 1:   
แม่ซื้อดอกไม้มา 5 ดอก
mâae-súue-dàawk-mái-maa-hâa-dàawk
“My mother bought five flowers.”

Example 2:  
ฉันชอบดอกไม้ดอกนั้นมาก มันชื่ออะไร
chǎn-châawp-dàawk-mái-dàawk-nán-mâak man-chûue-à-rai
“I really like that flower. What is it called?”

I Really Like That Flower. What Is It Called?

8- Leaves

Thai numeric classifier: ใบ (bai)

Example 1:   
เธอจะให้ใส่ใบไม้ในตระกร้ากี่ใบ
thooe-jà-hâi-sài-bai-mái-nai-dtrà-grâa-gìi-bai
“How many leaves do you want me to put in the basket?”

Example 2:  
ใบไม้ใบนั้นหน้าตาแปลกดี
bai-mái-bai-nán-nâa-dtaa-bplàaek-dii
“The shape of that leaf is unique.”

3. Thai Numeric Classifiers for Clothes and Accessories

1- Shirts, Skirt, Pants, Shorts, and Underwear

Thai numeric classifier: ตัว (dtuua)

Example 1:   
เธอเอากระโปรงมากี่ตัว
thooe-ao-grà-bproong-maa-gìi-dtuua
“How many skirts did you bring?”

Example 2:  
ฉันจะซื้อกางเกงตัวนั้น
chǎn-jà-súue-gaang-geeng-dtuua-nán
“I will buy that pair of pants.”

2- Neckties, Belts, Necklaces, and Bracelets

Thai numeric classifier: เส้น (sên)

Example 1:   
พ่อลืมเข็มขัดไว้ในรถ 1 เส้น
phâaw-luuem-khěm-khàt-wái-nai-rót-nùeng-sên
“Dad forgot one belt in the car.”

Example 2:  
เนคไทเส้นนี้ราคาเท่าไหร่
nék-thái-sên-níi-raa-khaa-thâo-rài
“How much is this necktie?”

Additional note: เส้น (sên) is normally used to describe nouns that are long and straight (like a line).

3- Pairs of Socks, Shoes, and Earrings

Thai numeric classifier: คู่ (khûu)

Example 1:   
ปลาทำถุงเท้าหายไป 3 คู่
Bplaa-tham-thǔng-tháo-hǎai-bpai-sǎam-khûu
“Bplaa lost three pairs of socks.”

Example 2:  
แม่อยากได้ต่างหูคู่นี้
mâae-yàak-dâi-dtàang-hǔu-khûu-níi
“Mom wants this pair of earrings.”

Additional note: There are two numerical classifiers in Thai for socks, shoes, and earrings. When these nouns are in pairs, we use คู่ (khûu).

4- Socks, Shoes, and Earrings

Thai numeric classifier: ข้าง (khâang)

Example 1:   
เธอทำถุงเท้าขาดไป 3 ข้าง
thooe-tham-thǔng-tháo-khàat-bpai-sǎam-khâang
“She lost three socks.”

Example 2:  
รองเท้าข้างนั้นสกปรกมาก
raawng-tháo-khâang-nán-sòk-grà-bpròk-mâak
“That shoe is very dirty.”

Additional note: This is the second Thai classifier for socks, shoes, and earrings. When these nouns are not in pairs, we use ข้าง (khâang).

5- Scarves

Thai numeric classifier: ผืน (phǔuen)

Example 1:   
วันนี้ฉันขายผ้าพันคอได้ 9 ผืน
wan-níi-chǎn-khǎai-phâa-phan-khaaw-dâi-gâo-phǔuen
“Today, I sold nine scarves.”

Example 2:  
ผ้าพันคอสีแดงผืนนั้นอยู่ที่ไหน
phâa-phan-khaaw-sǐi-daaeng-phǔuen-nán-yùu-thîi-nǎi
“Where is that red scarf?”

Additional note: ผืน (phǔuen) is used as a Thai numerical classifier for plain cloth that’s not designed into an actual article of clothing like a shirt, skirt, pants, or shorts.

Where Is That Red Scarf?

6- Hats and Caps

Thai numeric classifier: ใบ (bai)

Example 1:   
น้องมีหมวกสีดำ 4 ใบ
náawng-mii-mùuak-sǐi-dam-sìi-bai
“My brother has four black hats.”

Example 2:  
อย่าทำหมวกใบนั้นหายนะ
yhàa-tham-mùuak-bai-nán-hǎai-ná
“Don’t lose that hat.”

7- Rings

Thai numeric classifier: วง (wong)

Example 1:   
แม่มีแหวนหลายวง
Mâae-mii-whǎaen-lǎai-wong
“Mom has many rings.”

Example 2:  
แหวนทองวงนั้นอยู่ที่ไหน
wǎaen-thaawng-wong-nán-yùu-thîi-nǎi
“Where is that gold ring?”

8- Watches

Thai numeric classifier: เรือน (ruuean)

Example 1:   
พ่อมีนาฬิกาหลายเรือน
phâaw-mii-naa-lí-gaa-lǎai-ruuean
“Dad has many watches.”

Example 2:  
เธอชอบพาฬิกาเรือนไหน
thooe-châawp-naa-lí-gaa-ruuean-nǎi
“Which watch do you like?”

4. Thai Numeric Classifiers for Objects in the House

1- Houses and Buildings

Thai numeric classifier: หลัง (lǎng)

Example 1:   
ฉันมีบ้าน 2 หลัง
chǎn-mii-bâan-sǎawng-lǎng
“I have two houses.”

Example 2:  
บ้านหลังนี้ใกล้ที่ทำงาน
bâan-lǎng-níi-glâi-thîi-tham-ngan
“This house is near my office.”

2- Rooms

Thai numeric classifier: ห้อง (hâawng)

Example 1:   
บ้านหลังนี้มีกี่ห้อง
bâan-lǎng-níi-mii-gìi-hâawng
“How many rooms are there in this house?”

Example 2:  
ห้องสีขาวห้องนี้เป็นห้องของฉัน
hâawng-sǐi-khǎo-hâawng-níi-bpen-hâawng-khǎawng-chǎn
“This white room is mine.”

3- Electric Appliances

Thai numeric classifier: เครื่อง (khrûueng)

Example 1:   
บ้านฉันมีโทรทัศน์ 5 เครื่อง
bâan-chǎn-mii-thoo-rá-thát-hâa-khrûueng
“There are five televisions in my house.”

Example 2:  
โทรศัพท์เครื่องนี้ราคาเท่าไหร่
thooe-rá-sàp-khrûueng-níi-raa-khaa-thâo-rài
“How much is this telephone?”

4- Tables, Desks, and Chairs

Thai numeric classifier: ตัว (dtuua)

Example 1:   
ในห้องนั่งเล่นมีเก้าอี้ 4 ตัว
nai-hâawng-nâng-lên-mii-gâo-îi-sìi-dtuua
“There are four chairs in the living room.”

Example 2:  
กระเป๋าอยู่บนโต๊ะตัวนั้น
grà-bpǎo-yùu-bon-dtó-dtuua-nán
“The bag is on that table.”

Additional note: For small furniture, Thai people mostly use ตัว (dtuua) as a numeric classifier.

5- Beds and Cupboards

Thai numeric classifier: หลัง (lǎng)

Example 1:   
ฉันทำความสะอาดเตียงไป 3 หลังแล้ว
chǎn-tham-khwaam-sà-àat-dtiiang-bpai-sǎam-lǎng-láaeo
“I already cleaned three beds.”

Example 2:  
ตู้หลังนั้นเก่ามาก
dtûu-lǎang-nán-gào-mâak
“That cupboard is very old.”

Additional note: For big furniture, Thai people mostly use หลัง (lǎng) as a numeric classifier.

6- Doors, Windows, and Mirrors

Thai numeric classifier: บาน (baan)

Example 1:   
ในห้องนอนฉันมีกระจก 1 บาน
nai-hâawng-naawn-chǎn-mii-grà-jòk-nùeng-baan
“There is one mirror in my bedroom.”

Example 2:  
หน้าต่างบานนั้นมองออกไปเห็นสวนด้วย
nâa-dtâang-baan-nán-maawng-àawk-bpai-hěn-sǔuan-dûuai
“You can see the garden through that window.”

7- Plates, Dishes, Bowls, Cups, Glasses, Pots, and Pans

Thai numeric classifier: ใบ (bai)

Example 1:   
เอาจาน 4 ใบวางไว้บนโต๊ะ
ao-jaan-sìi-bai-waang-wái-bon-dtó
“There are four plates on the table.”

Example 2:  
ระวังถ้วยใบนั้นแตก
ra-wang-thûuai-bai-nán-dtàaek
“Be careful or you will break that cup.”

8- Spoons and Forks

Thai numeric classifier: คัน (khaan)

Example 1:   
เอาช้อน 6 คันนั้นไปไว้ในอ่างล้านจาน
ao-cháawn-hòk-khan-nán-bpai-wái-nai-àang-láang-jaan
“Put those six spoons into dishes.”

Example 2:  
หยิบส้อมคันนั้นให้หน่อย
yìp-sôm-khan-nán-hâi-nàauy
“Bring me that fork.”

9- Pairs of Chopsticks

Thai numeric classifier: คู่ (khûu)

Example 1:  
เมื่อวานนี้ ฉันซื้อตะเกียบมาใหม่ 7 คู่
mûua-waan-níi chǎn-súue-dtà-gìiap-maa-mhài-jèt-khùu
“I bought seven pairs of chopsticks yesterday.”

Example 2:   
อย่าใช้ตะเกียบคู่ที่วางอยู่บนโต๊ะ
yhàa-chái-dtà-gìiap-khûu-thîi-waang-yùu-bon-dtó
“Don’t use the pair of chopsticks that are on the table.”

10- Knives

Thai numeric classifier: เล่ม (lèm)

Example 1:   
พ่อวางมีด 2 เล่มไว้บนโต๊ะ
phâaw-waang-mîit-sǎawng-lêm-wái-bon-dtó
“Dad put two knives on the table.”

Example 2:  
มีดเล่มนั้นคมมาก
mîit-lêm-nán-khom-mâak
“That knife is very sharp.”

11- Cloths, Towels, Bedsheets, Duvets, Bed Covers

Thai numeric classifier: ผืน (phǔuen)

Example 1:   
คุณมีผ้าปูเตียงกี่ผืน
khun-mii-phâa-bpuu-dtiiang-gìi-phǔuen
“How many bedsheets do you have?”

Example 2:  
ผ้าขนหนูผืนนั้นเป็นของฉัน
phâa-khǒn-nhǔu-phǔuen-nán-bpen-khǎawng-chǎn
“That towel is mine.”

13- Toothpaste

Thai numeric classifier: หลอด (lhàawt)

Example 1:   
ฉันมียาสีฟันรสมินต์ 2 หลอด
chǎn-mii-yaa-sǐi-fan-rót-mín-sǎawng-làawt
“I have two mint toothpastes.”

Example 2:  
หยิบยาสีฟันหลอดนั้นให้หน่อย
yìp-yaa-sǐi-fan-làawt-nán-hâi-nàauy
“Bring me that toothpaste.”

14- Toothbrushes

Thai numeric classifier: ด้าม (dâam)

Example 1:   
พ่อมีแปรงสีฟันสีฟ้า 3 ด้าม 
phâaw-mii-bpraaeng-sǐi-fan-sǐi-fáa-sǎam-dâam
“Dad has three blue toothbrushes.”

Example 2:  
แปรงสีฟันด้ามนั้นแพงมาก
bpraaeng-sǐi-fan-dâam-nán-phaaeng-mâak
“That toothbrush is very expensive.”

5. Thai Numeral Classifiers for Stationery/Office Supplies

1- Paper

Thai numeric classifier: ใบ (bai)

Example 1:   
ขอกระดาษ 2 ใบ
khǎaw-grà-dàat-sǎawng-bai
“Give me two pieces of paper.”

Example 2:  
วางกระดาษใบนั้นไว้บนโต๊ะเลย
waang-grà-dàat-bai-nán-wái-bon-dtó-looei
“Put that paper on the table.”

2- Books

Thai numeric classifier: เล่ม (lêm)

Example 1:   
แม่วางหนังสือ 3 เล่มไว้บนเตียง
mâae-waang-nǎng-sǔue-sǎam-lêm-wái-bon-dtiiang
“Mom put three books on the bed.”

Example 2:  
หนังสือเล่มนั้นดีมาก
nǎng-sǔue-lêm-nán-dii-mâak
“That book is very good.”

3- Pencils

Thai numeric classifier: แท่ง (thâaeng)

Example 1:   
ฉันทำดินสอหักไป 5 แท่ง
chǎn-tham-din-sǎaw-hàk-bpai-hâa-thâaeng
“I broke five pencils.”

Example 2:  
ดินสอแท่งนั้นราคาถูกมาก
din-sǎaw-thâaeng-nán-raa-khaa-thùuk-mâak
“That pencil is very cheap.”

4- Pens and Scissors

Thai numeric classifier: ด้าม (dâam)

Example 1:   
น้องทำปากกาหายไป 4 ด้ามเมื่อวาน
náawng-tham-bpàak-gaa-hǎai-bpai-sìi-dâam-mûua-waan
“My sister lost four pens yesterday.”

Example 2:  
ปากกาด้ามนี้ราคาเท่าไหร่
bpàak-gaa-dâam-níi-raa-khaa-thâo-rài
“How much is this pen?”

5- Erasers

Thai numeric classifier: ก้อน (gâawn)

Example 1:   
ในกล่องดินสอ มียางลบอยู่ 2 ก้อน
nai-glàawng-din-sǎaw-mii-yaang-lóp-yùu-sǎawng-gâawn
“There are two erasers in the pencil box.”

Example 2:  
ยางลบก้อนนั้นเป็นของใคร
yaang-lóp-gáawn-nán-bpen-khǎawng-khrai
“Whose eraser is that?”

6- Rulers

Thai numeric classifier: อัน (an)

Example 1:   
ฉันทำไม้บรรทัดสีดำหายไป 1 อัน
chǎn-tham-mái-ban-thát-sǐi-dam-hǎai-bpai-nùeng-an
“I lost one black ruler.”

Example 2:  
น้องอยากได้ไม้บรรทัดอันนั้น
náawng-yàak-dâi-mái-ban-thát-an-nán
“My sister wants that ruler.”

7- Calculators

Thai numeric classifier: เครื่อง (krûueang)

Example 1:   
เครื่องคิดเลข 5 เครื่องอยู่ในลิ้นชัก
khrûueang-khít-lêek-hâa-khrûueang-yùu-nai-lín-chák
“There are five calculators in the drawer.”

Example 2:  
เครื่องคิดเลขเครื่องไหนเป็นของคุณ
khrûueang-khít-lêk-khrûueang-nǎi-bpen-khǎawng-khun
“Which calculator is yours?”

6. Thai Numeral Classifiers for Musical Instruments

1- Pianos

Thai numeric classifier: หลัง (lǎng)

Example 1:   
ที่โรงเรียนมีเปียโน 2 หลัง
thîi-roong-riian-mii-bpia-noo-sǎawng-lǎng
“There are two pianos at the school.”

Example 2:  
เปียโนหลังนั้นราคาแพงมาก
bpia-noo-lǎng-nán-raa-khaa-phaaeng-mâak
“That piano is very expensive.”

2- Guitars

Thai numeric classifier: ตัว (dtuua)

Example 1:   
น้องมีกีตาร์ 3 ตัว
náawng-mii-gii-dtâa-sǎam-dtuua
“My younger brother has three guitars.”

Example 2:  
ในบรรดากีตาร์ 3 ตัวนั้น กีตาร์ตัวนี้เก่าที่สุด
nai-ban-daa-gii-dtâa-sǎam-dtuua-nán gii-dtâa-dtuua-níi-gào-thîi-sùt
“Among these three guitars, this one is the oldest.”

3- Violins

Thai numeric classifier: คัน (khan)

Example 1:   
ไวโอลิน 2 คันนั้น ตัวไหนแพงกว่า
wai-oo-lin-sǎawng-khan-nán dtuua-nǎi-phaaeng-gwàa
“Between these two violins, which one is more expensive?”

Example 2:  
ไวโอลินคันนั้นเป็นของยาย
wai-oo-lin-khan-nán-bpen-khǎawng-yaai
“That violin is my grandma’s.”

4- Flutes

Thai numeric classifier: เลา (lao)

Example 1:   
ที่บ้านมีขลุ่ย 1 เลา
thîi-bâan-mii-khlùi-nùeng-lao
“There is a flute at my house.”

Example 2:  
ขลุ่ยเลานั้นเป็นของตา
khlùi-lao-nán-bpen-khǎawng-dtaa
“That flute is my grandpa’s.”

7. Thai Numeral Classifiers for Food

1- Root Vegetables

Thai numeric classifier: หัว (hǔua)

Example 1:   
แม่เพิ่งซื้อแครอทมา 3 หัว
mâae-phôoeng-súue-khaae-ràawt-maa-sǎam-hǔua
“Mom just bought three carrots.”

Example 2:  
แม่จะใช้แครอทหัวนั้นทำซุป
mâae-jà-chái-khaae-ràawt-hǔua-nán-tham-súp
“Mom will use that carrot for soup.”

Mom Will Use That Carrot for Soup

2- Leaf Vegetables

Thai numeric classifier: ต้น (dtôn)

Example 1:   
ขั้นต่อไปคือสับต้นหอม 2 ต้น
khân-dtàaw-bpai-khuue-sàp-dtôn-hǎawm-sǎawng-dtôn
“The next step is chopping two green onions.”

Example 2:
คะน้าต้นนั้นสดมาก
khá-náa-dtôn-nán-sòt-mâak
“That Chinese broccoli is very fresh.”

3- Fruits

Thai numeric classifier: ผล (phǒn) / ลูก (lûuk)

Example 1:   
ในตู้เย็นมีเงาะหลายผล
nai-dtûu-yen-mii-ngáw-lǎai-phǒn
“There are many rambutans in the fridge.”

Example 2:  
ส้มลูกนี้อร่อยดี
sôm-lûuk-níi-à-ràauy-dii
This orange is delicious.”

Additional note: Comparing these two classifiers in Thai, ผล (phǒn) is more formal than ลูก (lûuk).

4- Bunches of Grapes

Thai numeric classifier: พวง (phuuang)

Example 1:   
เธอจะเอาองุ่นกี่พวง
thooe-jà-ao-à-ngùn-gìi-phuuang
“How many bunches of grapes do you want?”

Example 2:  
องุ่นพวงนี้เปรี้ยวมาก
à-ngùn-phuuang-níi-bprîiao-mâak
“This bunch of grapes is very sour.”

Additional note: For bunches of grapes, พวง (phuuang) is used as a numeral classifier in Thai. However, for a single grape, you can use ลูก (lûuk).

5- Bunches of Bananas

Thai numeric classifier: หวี (wǐi)

Example 1:   
กล้วย 1 หวีราคาเท่าไหร่
glûuay-nùeng-wǐi-raa-khaa-thâo-rài
“How much is a bunch of bananas?”

Example 2:  
กล้วยหวีนี้สุกแล้ว
glûuay-wǐi-níi-sùk-láaeo
“This bunch of bananas has already ripened.”

Additional note: For bunches of bananas, หวี (wǐi) is used as a numeral classifier in Thai. However, for a single banana, you can use ลูก (lûuk).

How Much Is a Bunch of Bananas?

6- Durian Pieces

Thai numeric classifier: พลู (phluu)

Example 1:   
ทุเรียน 1 พลูราคาเท่าไหร่
thú-riian-nùeng-pluu-raa-khaa-thâo-rài
“How much is a piece of durian?”

Example 2:  
ทุเรียนพลูนี้หวานมั้ย
thú-riian-pluu-níi-wǎan-mái
“Is this piece of durian sweet?”

Additional note: For pieces of durian, พลู (phluu) is used as a numeral classifier in Thai. However, for a whole durian, you can use ลูก (lûuk).

7- Eggs

Thai numeric classifier: ฟอง (faawng)

Example 1:   
พ่อกินไข่วันละ 2 ฟอง
phâaw-gin-khài-wan-lá-sǎawng-faawng
“Dad eats two eggs a day.”

Example 2:  
ไข่ฟองนี้เป็นไข่เป็ดหรือไข่ไก่
khài-faawng-níi-bpen-khài-bpèt-rǔue-khài-gài
“Is this egg a chicken egg or duck egg?”

8- Bread

Thai numeric classifier: แผ่น (phàaen) / ชิ้น (chín)

Example 1:   
เมื่อเช้าแม่กินขนมปังไป 2 แผ่น
mûua-cháo-mâae-gin-khà-nǒm-bpang-bpai-sǎawng-phàaen
“Mom ate two slices of bread this morning.”

Example 2:  
ขนมปังชิ้นนี้หอมมาก
khà-nǒm-bpang-chín-níi-hǎawm-mâak
“This bread smells really good.”

Additional note: For slices of bread, แผ่น (phàaen) is used as a numeral classifier in Thai. For other types of bread, you can use ชิ้น (chín).

9- Cake Slices and Cookies

Thai numeric classifier: ชิ้น (chín)

Example 1:   
เค้ก 3 ชิ้นราคาเท่าไหร่
khéek-sǎam-chín-raa-khaa-thâo-rài
“How much is three slices of cake?”

Example 2:  
คุ๊กกี้ชิ้นนี้ขมมาก
khúuk-gîi-chín-níi-khǒm-mâak
“This cookie is really bitter.”

10- Rice

Thai numeric classifier: เม็ด (mét)

Example 1:   
ข้าว 2-3 เม็ดตกอยู่บนพื้น
khâo-sǎawng-sǎam-mét-dtòk-yùu-bon-phúuen
“There is a little rice on the floor.”

Example 2:  
ข้าวเหนียวเป็นเม็ดสวยมาก
khâo-nǐiao-bpen-mét-sǔuay-mâak
“This sticky rice looks very good.”

Additional note: In Thai, in addition to using เม็ด (mét) which is quite impractical, you can also use the container as a numerical classifier. For example, ข้าว 1 จาน (khâo-nùeng-jaan) is “one plate of rice” in Thai.

8. Thai Numerical Classifiers by Shape

You’ve already learned a lot about Thai numeral classifiers. Still, there are a lot of Thai numerical classifiers you’re yet to learn. Fortunately, as mentioned above, numerical classifiers are used to describe the physical characteristics of a noun. So you can guess the proper numerical classifier by the shape of an object.

For uncountable nouns, you can use the container it’s in as the numeral classifier. 

Here’s a list of the numeral classifiers in Thai you need to remember in order to do this. 

1- Box-shaped Objects

Thai numeric classifier: กล่อง (glàawng)

Explanation: This is a numeral classifier for box-shaped objects or uncountable nouns that are in a box-shaped container.

Example 1:   
ช่วยซื้อซีเรียลให้ 3 กล่องได้มั้ย
chûuay-súue-sii-rîiao-hâi-sǎam-glàawng-dâi-mái
“Can you buy me three boxes of cereal?”

Example 2:  
ขนมกล่องนี้ใกล้หมดอายุแล้ว
khà-nǒm-glàawng-níi-glâi-mòt-aa-yú-láaeo
“This box of snacks is almost expired.”

2- Bottle-shaped Objects

Thai numeric classifier: ขวด (khùuat)

Explanation: This is a numeral classifier for bottle-shaped objects or uncountable nouns that are in a bottle-shaped container.

Example 1:   
โซดา 2 ขวดราคา 20 บาท
soo-daa-sǎawng-khùuat-raa-khaa-yîi-sìp-bàat
“Two bottles of soda cost 20 Baht.”

Example 2:  
น้ำผลไม้ขวดนี้หวานมาก
nám-phǒn-lá-mái-khùuat-níi-wǎan-mâak
“This bottle of juice is very sweet.”

3- Cup-shaped Objects

Thai numeric classifier: ถ้วย (thûuai)

Explanation: This is a numeral classifier for cup-shaped objects or uncountable nouns that are in a cup-shaped container.

Example 1:   
น้องกินขนมหวานไป 5 ถ้วย
náawng-gin-khà-nhǒm-wǎan-bpai-hâa-thûuay
“My younger sister ate five cups of dessert.”

Example 2:  
ไอศครีมถ้วยนี้เป็นของใคร
ai-sà-khriim-thûuay-ní-bpen-khǎawng-khrai
“Whose cup of ice cream is this?”

4- Bowl-shaped Objects

Thai numeric classifier: ชาม (chaam)

Explanation: This is a numeral classifier for bowl-shaped objects or uncountable nouns that are in a bowl-shaped container.

Example 1:   
ฉันกินก๋วยเตี๋ยว 1 ชามเป็นมื้อกลางวัน
chǎn-gin-gǔuay-dtǐiao-nùeng-chaam-bpen-múue-glaang-wan
“I had a bowl of noodles for lunch.”

Example 2:  
ระวังนะ ซุปชามนั้นร้อนมาก
rá-wang-ná súp-chaam-nán-ráawn-mâak
“Be careful, that bowl of soup is really hot.”

5- Bag-shaped Objects

Thai numeric classifier: ถุง (thǔng)

Explanation: This is a numeral classifier for bag-shaped objects or uncountable nouns that are in a bag-shaped container.

Example 1:   
พี่ซื้อมันฝรั่งทอดมา 3 ถุง
phîi-súue-man-fá-ràng-thâawt-maa-sǎam-thǔng
“My brother bought three bags of potato chips.”

Example 2:  
น้ำยาซักผ้าถุงนี้ราคา 50 บาท
nám-yaa-sák-phâa-thǔng-níi-raa-khaa-hâa-sìp-bàat
“This bag of liquid detergent costs 50 Baht.”

9. Conclusion

Give yourself a big hand for finishing this lesson. You’ve now learned about Thai numerical classifiers, and hopefully you can remember the common Thai classifiers from the list we provided. Does your native language have numerical classifiers? What do you think about this lesson? Please comment to let us know.

After you’ve reviewed this lesson a few more times, don’t forget to check out other good and interesting lessons on ThaiPod101.com

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Appreciating Our Mentors: Teachers’ Day in Thailand

Teachers are valued in every country around the world, but few nations show teachers their due respect like Thailand does. This is reflected in Thai Teachers’ Day, celebrated each year to encourage the humility of students before their teachers. 

In this article, you’ll learn all about Teachers’ Day in Thailand, from its recent beginnings to how it’s celebrated. Let’s get started!

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1. What is Teachers’ Day?

A Teacher Standing in Front of a Blackboard

National Teachers’ Day is a Thai holiday celebrated each year on January 16. On this day, students go out of their way to show their teachers ความเคารพ (khwaam khao-róp), or “respect.” 

It was General Phiboonsongkram who first suggested the creation of Teachers’ Day in Thailand. He spoke on the topic with teachers, the mass media got involved in promoting the holiday’s implementation, and the National Cabinet made it an official holiday in 1956. The first celebration took place the next year in 1957. 

This holiday is rooted in the belief that teachers are some of the most valuable contributors to society, and as such, deserve to be recognized and appreciated for their devotion. This extends not only to school teachers, but to teachers in any field of life. 

Thai people often associate the profession of teaching with that of the taxi-boat profession. The taxi-boat service was once a crucial element of Thai society because Thai people traveled largely by river in the past. Just as a taxi-boat driver takes passengers to their destination and goes back for more passengers, so do teachers bring students to their destinations and continue to do so for students over the years. Teachers are seen as a path to the future. 


2. Teachers’ Day Traditions and Celebrations

A Student Giving Her Teacher Gift

In Thailand, Teachers’ Day celebrations begin the day before. 

Every โรงเรียน (roong-riian), or “school,” in the nation hosts special events honoring teachers. The first activity is for teachers and students to make merit by offering food to the monks. Afterward, students honor their teachers by bringing them a พานไหว้ครู (phaan wâai khruu), or “flower tray with candles and incense,” and bowing at their feet. In addition, there are competitions to see which student can create the best Teachers’ Day slogan; the winner receives a small scholarship. 

In some high schools, students may give speeches on this day to reflect on the influence of teachers in their lives. Teachers themselves are encouraged to think back on their own teachers. 

Teachers’ Day celebrations in Thailand involve a lot of symbolism. There are four symbols that are particularly important: 

  • ดอกเข็ม (dàawk khĕm), or “Ixora,” flowers.

    Ixora flowers have sharp petals, which represent a sharp mind.
  • Eggplant flowers.

    Eggplant flowers grow downward, which represents the humility of students toward their teachers and their willingness to เรียน (riian), or “study.”
  • Cynodon grass.

    Cynodon grass grows easily, which represents the growth of students’ knowledge.
  • Tok rice.

    Tok rice is a white rice that has been roasted and popped, representing the ability of students to flourish and shine brightly with enough discipline.

Visit our ‘Plants’ Culture Class lesson to learn about five other plants that are common in Thailand.

3. The Wai Kru Ceremony

การศึกษา (gaan sùek-sǎa), or “education,” is taken very seriously in Thailand, as is the art of teaching. So it should come as no surprise that there is another special day for teachers in Thailand: Wai Kru, or Teacher Appreciation Day. This ceremony takes place near the beginning of the Thai school year (normally mid-May), and involves students showing respect and humility toward their new teachers. 

The most important activities for this day include saying a Buddhist prayer, reciting a chant, offering gifts to teachers, and engaging in special performances. Sometimes, the head teacher of a school will give a speech and present awards to certain students. 

Wai Kru in Thailand is also performed outside of the formal education system. For example, it is popular in the arts. 

4. Essential Vocabulary for Teachers’ Day in Thailand

Flower Tray with Candles and Incense

Now let’s review some of the words from this article, plus a few more! 

  • สอน (sǎawn) – “teach” [v]
  • โรงเรียน (roong-riian) – “school” [n]
  • การศึกษา (gaan sùek-sǎa) – “education” [n]
  • ครู (khrŭu) – “teacher” [n]
  • นักเรียน (nák-riian) – “student” [n]
  • เรียน (riian) – “study” [v]
  • กตัญญู (gà-dtan-yuu) – “grateful” [adj.]
  • ดอกเข็ม (dàawk khĕm) – “Ixora” [pr. n]
  • เรียนรู้ (riian rúu) – “learn” [v]
  • ความเคารพ (khwaam khao-róp) – “respect” [n]
  • พานไหว้ครู (phaan wâai khruu) – “flower tray with candles and incense” [n]

Remember that you can hear the pronunciation of each word on our Teachers’ Day vocabulary list! 

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed learning about this popular Thai holiday with us, and that you’re feeling inspired to keep studying. Is there a Teachers’ Day celebration in your country? Or maybe a particular teacher you are กตัญญู (gà-dtan-yuu), or “grateful,” to have had in your life? Let us know in the comments! 

To learn even more about Thai culture and holidays, you can read the following blog posts from ThaiPod101.com:

And this is only a sample of what we have in store for you! Create your free lifetime account today to gain access to numerous learning resources, themed vocabulary lists, and fun audio and video lessons. We make learning Thai easy and enjoyable, so what are you waiting for? 

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Different Ways to Say Goodbye in Thai

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In Thailand, there’s a saying we apply to our daily interactions with others: ไปมาลาไหว้ (bpai-maa-laa-wâi). In English, this means: “You should say hello and goodbye when you meet and part from each other.”

If you read our article on How to Say Hello in Thai, you’re already halfway there! Today, we’re going to teach you some different ways to say goodbye in Thai so that you can end your conversations with social finesse! 

By using these popular Thai goodbye phrases, you’ll sound more like a native speaker and will more easily form long-lasting relationships with natives. As you study them, you’ll also gain more cultural insight about Thailand and her people! 

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Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Before We Start…
  2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye in the Thai Language
  3. Phrases to Accompany Your Goodbye
  4. Actions Thai People Do When Saying Goodbye
  5. Conclusion

1. Before We Start…

Before we teach you how to say goodbye in Thai, let’s look at some new vocabulary:  

Keep in mind that the second word, ลาก่อน (laa-gàawn), is rarely used in day-to-day life. 

Instead, the most common way to say goodbye in Thai is สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii), which means “goodness,” “beauty,” “prosperity,” and “safety.” Due to its positive meanings, Thai people use this word for both greetings and farewells.  

If you happen to be in Thailand (or meet Thai people elsewhere), and want to impress them, you can always end your conversation with สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii) and do an action called ไหว้ (wâi).

2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye in the Thai Language

Most Common Goodbyes

Apart from saying สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii), there are a couple of other phrases you can use to say goodbye.

1 – บ๊าย บาย

Thai pronunciation: báai-baai
English translation: “Bye”

Explanation:
This Thai word for goodbye actually comes from English. Thai people often use this in casual situations, usually among friends or family. However, keep in mind that Thai people don’t ไหว้ (wâi) when saying this; instead, they just wave goodbye.

Example:
หนูไปหาเพื่อนก่อนนะแม่ บ๊ายบาย
nǔu-bpai-hǎa-phûuean-gàawn-ná-mâae báai-baai
“I am going to meet my friend now. Bye.” [Talking to your mother]

A Woman Waving Goodbye

I am going to meet my friend now. Bye.

2 – แค่นี้นะ

Thai pronunciation: khâae-níi-ná
English translation: “Bye”

Explanation:
This is how to say goodbye in Thai before hanging up the phone.

Example:
เดี๋ยวพรุ่งนี้เจอกัน แค่นี้นะ
dǐiao-phrûng-níi-jooe-gan khâae-níi-ná
“See you tomorrow. Bye.”

3. Phrases to Accompany Your Goodbye

There are various phrases that Thai people say together with สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii). Some of these phrases are similar to their English counterparts, which should give you a healthy head-start! 

1 – ขอตัวก่อน

Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-dtuua-gàawn
English translation: “I have to go.”

Explanation:
You can use this phrase in formal situations, such as in business meetings or when you speak to elders. You should say this phrase before saying สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii).

Example:
หลังจากนี้ ผมมีนัดลูกค้าอีกท่านไว้ ต้องขอตัวก่อนครับ สวัสดีครับ
lǎng-jàak-níi phǒm-mii-nát-lûuk-kháa-ìik-thâan-wái dtâawng-khǎaw-dtuua-gàawn-khráp sà-wàt-dii- khráp
“I have an appointment with another customer after this. I have to go now. Goodbye.”

Man and Woman Chatting each Other

I have an appointment with another customer after this. I have to go now. Goodbye.

2 – ขอตัวกลับก่อน / กลับแล้ว

Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-dtuua-glàp-gàawn / glàp-láaeo
English translation: “I’m heading home.”

Explanation:
This phrase is suitable for specific situations, namely when you’re about to leave for home. You should say it before สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii) or บ๊าย บาย (báai-baai). The difference between the two phrases is that ขอตัวกลับก่อน (khǎaw-dtuua-glàp-gàawn) is used in formal situations, while กลับแล้ว (glàp-láaeo) is used in casual situations.

Example 1:
วันนี้ฉันรู้สึกไม่ค่อยดี ต้องขอตัวกลับก่อน สวัสดีค่ะ
wan-níi-chǎn-rúu-sùk-mâi-khâauy-dii dtâawng-khǎaw-dtuua-glàp-gâawn sà-wàt-dii-khà
“I’m not feeling well today. I’m heading home. Goodbye.”

Example 2:
กลับแล้วนะ จะรีบไปดูละคร บ๊าย บาย
glàp-láaeo-ná jà-rîip-bpai-duu-lá-khaawn báai-baai
“I’m heading home now, as I want to get back in time for the TV drama. Bye.”

3 – ขอตัวไปก่อน / ไปแล้ว

Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-dtuua-bpai-gàawn / bpai-láaeo
English translation: “I have to go.”

Explanation:
Despite having the same meaning as ขอตัวก่อน (khǎaw-dtuua-gàawn), these phrases are used in different situations. You should say them before สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii) when you’re leaving to go somewhere (but not to your place). The difference between the two phrases is that ขอตัวไปก่อน (khǎaw-dtuua-bpai-gàawn) is used in formal situations, while ไปแล้ว (bpai-láaeo) is used in casual situations.

Example 1:
ครูคะ หนูขอตัวไปก่อนนะคะ สวัสดีค่ะ
khruu-khá nǔu-khǎaw-dtuua-bpai-gâawn-ná-khá sà-wàt-dii-khà
“I have to go. Goodbye.” [Talking to your teacher]

Example 2:
ไปแล้วนะ เดี๋ยวออกสายแล้วรถติด บ๊าย บาย
bpai-láaeo-ná dǐiao-àawk-sǎai-láaeo-rót-dtìt báai-baai
“I have to go now or else the traffic will be really bad. Bye.”

4 – แล้วเจอกัน

Thai pronunciation: láaeo-jooe-gan
English translation: “See you.”

Explanation:
You say this phrase before saying สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii) or บ๊าย บาย (báai-baai).

Example:
ต้องไปแล้วนะ แล้วเจอกันพรุ่งนี้ บ๊าย บาย
dtâawng-bpai-láaeo-ná láaeo-jooe-gan-phrûng-níi báai-baai
“I have to go now. See you tomorrow. Bye.”

5 – แล้วจะมาใหม่

Thai pronunciation: láaeo-jà-maa-mài
English translation: “I will come back again.”

Explanation:
You say this phrase before saying สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii) or บ๊าย บาย (báai-baai).

Example:
ยายขา หนูกลับแล้วนะคะ แล้วจะมาเยี่ยมใหม่ค่ะ สวัสดีค่ะ
yaai-khǎa nǔu-glap-láaeo-ná-khá láaeo-jà-maa-yîiam-mâi sà-wàt-dii-khà
“I am going home now, but I will come back to visit you again. Goodbye.” [Talking to your grandmother]

6 – ขอลาไปก่อน / ขอลาไปแต่เพียงเท่านี้

Thai pronunciation: khǎaw-laa-bpai-gàawn / khǎaw-laa-bpai-dtàae-phiiang-thâo-níi
English translation: “This is the end of the show.” (Not literal translation)

Explanation:
This phrase is used only in TV shows or news channels before the words สวัสดี (sà-wàt-dii). 

Example 1:
ช่วงนี้ฝนตก ท่านผู้ชมระวังรักษาสุขภาพด้วย ต้องขอลาไปแต่เพียงเท่านี้ สวัสดีครับ
chûuang-níi-fǒn-dtòk thâan-phûu-chom-rá-wang-rák-sǎa-sùk-khà-phâap-dûuai dtâawng-khǎaw-laa- bpai-dtàae-phiiang-thâo-níi sà-wàt-dii-khráp
“It has been raining a lot recently, so please take care of your health. This is the end of the show. Goodbye.”

Example 2:
ขอขอบคุณแขกรับเชิญทุกท่าน ขอลาไปก่อน สวัสดีค่ะ
khǎaw-khàawp-khun-khàaek-ráp-chooen-thúk-thâan khǎaw-laa-bpai-gàawn sà-wàt-dii-khà
“Thank you to all the guests today. This is the end of the show. Goodbye.”

A Camera Man Doing His Job

Thank you to all the guests today. This is the end of the show. Goodbye.

7 – เดินทางปลอดภัย / เดินทางดี ๆ นะ

Thai pronunciation: dooen-thaang-bplàawt-phai / dooen-thaang-dii-dii-ná
English translation: “Have a safe trip.”

Explanation:  
Thai people often wish or bless other parties to have a safe trip when saying goodbye. The difference between the two phrases is that เดินทางปลอดภัย (dooen-thaang-bplàawt-phai) is used in formal situations, while เดินทางดี ๆ นะ (dooen-thaang-dii-dii-ná) is used in casual situations.

Example 1:  
ดึกแล้ว เดินทางดี ๆ นะ บ๊าย บาย
dùek-láaeo dooen-thaang-dii-dii-ná báai-baai
“It is late at night now, so I hope you have a safe trip. Bye.”

Example 2:  
ขอบคุณที่ใช้บริการ ขอให้ทุกท่านเดินทางปลอดภัย สวัสดีค่ะ
khàawp-khun-thîi-chái-baaw-rí-gaan khǎaw-hâi-thúk-thâan-dooen-thanng-bplàawt-phai sà-wàt-dii- khà
“Thank you for using our service. We hope you have a safe trip. Goodbye.”

8 – ขอบคุณสำหรับ…

Thai pronunciation: khàawp-khun-sǎm-ràp-wan-níi
English translation: “Thanks for ___.”

Explanation:  
Thai people say this phrase to show that they’re thankful for something the other party did or offered to do.

Example:  
ขอบคุณสำหรับอาหารเย็นวันนี้ อร่อยมากค่ะ ตอนนี้ต้องขอตัวกลับก่อน สวัสดีค่ะ
khàawp-khun-sǎm-ràp-aa-hǎan-yen-wan-níi a-ràauy-mâak-khà dtaawn-níi-dtâawng-khǎaw-dtuua- glàp-gàawn sà-wàt-dii-khà
“Thanks for the dinner today. It was delicious. Now, I have to go back home. Goodbye.”

9 – ดูแลตัวเองดี ๆ นะ

Thai pronunciation: duu-laae-dtuua-eeng-dii-dii-ná
English translation: “Take good care of yourself.”

Explanation:  
This is what Thai people say to show that they care about the other party.

Example:  
พรุ่งนี้เดินทางไปญี่ปุ่นคนเดียว ดูแลตัวเองดี ๆ นะ บ๊าย บาย
phrûng-níi-dooen-thaang-bpai-yîi-bphùn-khon-diiao duu-laae-dtuua-eeng-dii-dii-ná báai-baai
“Tomorrow, you have to go to Japan alone, so take good care of yourself. Bye.”

10 – ดูแลสุขภาพด้วย / รักษาสุขภาพด้วย

Thai pronunciation: duu-laae-sùk-khà-phâap-dûuai / rák-sǎa-sùk-khà-phâap-dûuai
English translation: “Take good care of your health.”

Explanation:  
Thai people use these two phrases with people they care about. There’s no difference between these two phrases, and they’re completely interchangeable.

Example 1:  
ตอนนี้ไข้หวัดกำลังระบาด คุณตาดูแลสุขภาพด้วยนะคะ สวัสดีค่ะ
dtaawn-níi-khâi-whàt-gam-lang-rá-bàat khun-dtaa-duu-laae-sùk-khà-phâap-dûuai-ná-khá sà-wàt-dii- khà
“This is the flu season, so you have to take good care of your health. Goodbye.” [Talking to your grandfather]

Example 2:  
หน้าฝนแล้ว รักษาสุขภาพด้วย สวัสดีค่ะ
nâa-fǒn-láaeo rák-sǎa-sùk-khà-phâap-dûuai sà-wàt-dii-khà
“It is the rainy season now, so take care of your health. Goodbye.”

11 – โชคดีนะ

Thai pronunciation: chôok-dii-ná
English translation: “Good luck.”

Explanation:  
This is another phrase to show you care.

Example:  
ขอให้โชคดีในการสอบนะ บ๊าย บาย
khǎaw-hâi-chôok-dii-nai-gaan-sàawp-ná báai-baai
Good luck on your test. Bye.”

12 – หายเร็ว ๆ นะ

Thai pronunciation: hǎai-reo-reo-ná
English translation: “Get well soon.”

Explanation:  
Thai people usually say this phrase after visiting someone they know in the hospital.

Example:  
ขอให้คุณน้าหายเร็ว ๆ นะคะ หนูขอตัวก่อน สวัสดีค่ะ
khǎaw-hâi-khun-náa-hǎai-reo-reo-ná-khá nǔu-khǎaw-dtuua-gàawn sà-wat-dii-khà
“I hope you get well soon. I have to go now. Goodbye.”

4. Actions Thai People Do When Saying Goodbye

There are a few specific actions Thai people do when saying goodbye to someone. Here are the most popular ones:

1 – ไหว้ (wâi)

As mentioned earlier, a common action that Thai people normally do when saying goodbye is ไหว้ (wâi). This action can be done when saying hello or goodbye in a formal environment. If you’re going to live in Thailand, it’s good to learn how to ไหว้ (wâi), as you’ll want to use it pretty often.

Two Women Smiling Each Other

สวัสดี [sà-wàt-dii]

2 – Hug

Thai people who are close to each other may also hug before saying goodbye.

3 – Wave

In informal situations, such as among friends, Thai people also wave while saying บ๊าย บาย (báai-baai).

A Group of Friends Waving Goodbye

See you tomorrow.

5. Conclusion

Now you know how to say goodbye in Thai! After reading this article, you should never be at a loss for words when it’s time to part ways. 

How do you say goodbye in your country? Is there much difference? Let us know in the comments below.

And as usual, if you’re not sure where to go next on ThaiPod101.com, we have some suggestions: 

We hope you enjoyed this lesson. สวัสดี (sà-wat-dii)!

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Is Thai Difficult to Learn? (And Tips to Succeed!)

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If you’re interested in learning the Thai language but haven’t started yet, you may be wondering: “Is Thai difficult to learn?” We’re here to tell you that learning Thai may not be as hard as you think it is!  

There are certain things that make the Thai language hard to learn, and for these, you’ll need to spend some time studying and practicing. But there are also many other aspects that are pretty simple and straightforward! You may feel a little doubtful about this, as the Thai alphabet, grammar, pronunciation, and so on, are new to you. But you’ll get familiar with these things in no time once you start learning with ThaiPod101.com.  

There are many foreigners who can speak and understand Thai so well, after just a few years, that even native speakers are surprised. So with some time, practice, and the right tools, anyone can learn to speak Thai. Yes, that includes you!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Thai Table of Contents
  1. The Hardest and Easiest Parts of Learning Thai
  2. I Want to Learn Thai. Where Should I Start?
  3. Advice for a New Thai Learner
  4. Why is ThaiPod101.com Great for Learning Thai?
  5. Conclusion

1. The Hardest and Easiest Parts of Learning Thai 

In the following sections, we’ll cover the easiest aspect of Thai first, and then the hardest! Let’s go. 

What Makes Thai Easy?

Many language-learners dread the grammar aspect of their studies, and for good reasons! As such, you’ve probably been wondering: “Is Thai grammar hard?” 

Good news: It’s not difficult at all! It’s probably the easiest part of learning Thai.  

This is because there are no tenses or conjugations in Thai, so there’s a lot less to understand and remember.  You don’t have to learn how to change verb forms or swap around the sentence structure from one situation to another. For example:

Present simple tense:  

ฉันกินอาหารไทย
chǎn-gin-aa-hǎan-thai
“I eat Thai food.”

Present continuous tense

ฉันกำลังกินอาหารไทย
chǎn-gam-lang-gin-aa-hǎan-thai
“I am having Thai food.”

Adding กำลัง (gam-lang), which is like “ing” in English, shows that you’re in the process of doing the action.

Past simple tense:  

เมื่อวานฉันกินอาหารไทย
mûuea-waan-chǎn-gin-aa-hǎan-thai
“Yesterday, I had Thai food.”

Adding เมื่อวาน (mûuea-waan), which means “yesterday” in Thai,  shows that the action happened in the past.

Yesterday, I had Thai Food.

Future simple tense:  

วันพรุ่งนี้ฉันจะกินอาหารไทย
wan-phrûng-níi-chǎn-jà-gin-aa-hǎan-thai
“Tomorrow, I will have Thai food.”

Adding วันพรุ่งนี้ (wan-phrûng-níi), which means “tomorrow” in Thai, shows that this is a plan for the future. Adding จะ () shows that you will do it.

You can see that there’s not much difference between the four sentences above. That just goes to show how difficult it is to learn Thai language grammar. (Not at all, right? ^^)

Why is Thai Hard to Learn?

The hardest part of learning Thai is the การออกเสียง (gaan-àawk-sǐiang), or “pronunciation.” 

The biggest problem here is the เสียงวรรณยุกต์ (sǐiang-wan-ná-yúk), or “tones.” There are five tones in the Thai language, and foreigners often have difficulty distinguishing between them, thinking they all sound the same. For example:

  • ป้าดูปลาในป่า 
  • phâa-duu-phlaa-nai-phàa
  • “Aunt looks at fish in the forest.”
  • For foreigners who have just started learning Thai, it can be hard to differentiate between the words ป้า (phâa), ปลา (phla), and ป่า (phàa).

So, is it hard to learn to speak Thai? It certainly can be, but it’s still very achievable! 

Learning how to pronounce the Thai alphabet and tones correctly will help a lot, as it will create a strong foundation for your future studies. And by listening to plenty of Thai content, you’ll become more familiar with Thai pronunciation, making this portion of your studies a bit simpler.

2. I Want to Learn Thai. Where Should I Start?

When you start learning Thai, you should start with the most basic units, which are the พยัญชนะ (phá-yan-chá-ná) or “consonants,” and สระ (sà-rà) or “vowels.” Learning how to pronounce and write the Thai alphabet will enable you to read and write Thai with little problem, and make your conversations a lot smoother.

If you’ve been studying and practicing with the Thai alphabet for a while, and still struggle with reading, writing, or pronunciation, you may need to practice some more. Mastering the Thai alphabet right from the start will make the rest of your language-learning journey so much easier.

Learning the Thai Alphabet

At the same time, you should also start practicing basic conversational phrases and learn easy Thai words.  Learning new words along with the conversational phrases will make the words easier to remember. Not to mention how useful basic phrases can be in daily life! 

3. Advice for a New Thai Learner   

Learning a new language is not an easy thing to do. Here are a few tips for you.

1 – Listen to lots of Thai content

Whether it’s a Thai song, TV series, news station, or drama film, listen to your target language as much as possible. Even if you don’t understand anything you’re hearing, you’ll start to become more familiar with Thai pronunciation and tones. And it’s even better with subtitles! This will allow you to more easily learn vocabulary and sentence structures while enjoying yourself!

I Watch Thai Movies Everyday.

2 – Find something you like about Thai

Learning any language takes time, and this is especially true for a language very different from your own, like Thai. You can’t master Thai in just a few days!  

That said, it’s easier to do something for a long time if that thing interests you. You should find something you like about Thai so that you can develop a passion for learning the language. 

For example, if you like a certain Thai actor, you’ll enjoy watching that actor in a movie or TV drama—and you’ll be able to learn Thai at the same time! You’ll also want to understand what he said in an interview or behind the scenes, which will motivate you to learn the language.  

It doesn’t have to be a person, though. There are many other Thai-related topics that may interest you: TV shows, culture, food, desserts, or even ghost stories. You just need to look for it, because we guarantee you’ll find something!

3 – Be patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

As mentioned earlier, you can’t master any new language in only a few days, so you have to be patient when learning Thai.  

You may find it a bit tough and not very enjoyable at first because everything is new and there’s a lot to take in. There are a lot of letters to remember, several pronunciation rules you need to memorize, and the tones are driving you crazy. But that’s just because you’re not familiar with the Thai language yet. As you start to understand Thai, you’ll feel very satisfied with yourself and your language skills. 

There’s a saying in Thai: ความพยายามอยู่ที่ไหน ความสำเร็จอยู่ที่นั้น (khwaam-phá-yaa-yaam- yùu-thîi-nǎi khwaam-sǎm-rèt-yùu-thîi-nân). It means that if you keep trying, you’ll be successful. In other words: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” So next time you feel like giving up, just remember these words.

4 – Choose the right learning tools

Have you ever seen chefs in five-star restaurants using dull knives? No, they use high-quality knives and keep them sharp. Their cooking may not depend on the knife they use, but having a good sharp one will make the job a lot easier! 

The same is true for learning Thai. If you’ve been learning Thai for a while, and still find it very difficult, you may be using the wrong tool. 

Good books used to be enough, but nowadays, everything you need to learn Thai is at your fingertips when you use ThaiPod101.com. ThaiPod101.com is like a knowledgeable teacher, a friend who gets you interested in Thai culture, and an encouraging mentor all wrapped up into one person. So don’t hesitate to visit and learn more about us! 

4. Why is ThaiPod101.com Great for Learning Thai?

ThaiPod101.com is a fast, fun, and easy way to learn Thai. Below, we’ll give you just a few reasons to give us a try: 

1 – A variety of lessons and materials

We provide various Thai lessons for learners at every level. For example, our page on the Easy Way to Learn the Thai Alphabet for beginners, and our Thai Language Exam article for more advanced students.

We also have audio lessons so that you can hear how Thai people speak, improve your listening skills, and practice your pronunciation. And don’t forget our handy vocabulary lists, categorized by topic. Examples include Talking About YouTube and Useful Words and Phrases for Going to the Movies. You’ll also find a grammar bank on our website (which contains almost 400 grammar topics you can learn) and printable PDF lesson notes for you to review after lessons.  

And by upgrading to a Premium PLUS account, you’ll be able to communicate one-on-one with your own personal teacher. Your teacher will be more than happy to help with your Thai learning and provide you with the tools and encouragement you need to succeed.  

With these abundant materials, ThaiPod101.com is the best and easiest way to learn Thai! 

2 – Learn Thai 24/7

You don’t need to meet your teacher face-to-face to learn Thai. With internet access and a mobile phone, tablet, or PC, you can access all of our Thai lessons through ThaiPod101.com—anytime, wherever you are.

I Can Learn Thai 24/7

3 – Flexible learning plans for individuals

ThaiPod101.com provides the most flexible Thai class you can join. If you don’t know where to start, we can provide you with guidance and suggestions, tailored to your current level and your goals. But you can also plan your lessons based on your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. In addition,  you can always repeat a lesson if you forgot something or didn’t quite understand the topic. Learn at your own pace, your way! 

4 – Pronunciation practice

Learning Thai pronunciation is the hardest part of learning the language. As such, you may be concerned that learning Thai online will take away from your ability to practice pronunciation. Don’t worry! ThaiPod101.com has a pronunciation and accent review function for you to practice with. You can keep practicing until you get it right.

5 – Assignments, quizzes, and tests

Don’t leave yet! Even though assignments, quizzes, and tests are typically boring and unwelcome, you can’t deny that completing assignments and quizzes improves our understanding and shows us where we need to do better. And don’t worry: there’s not much pressure when completing them, like there would be in a traditional classroom.

6 – Daily learning encouragement

If you’re a student, we know that you probably have tons of homework to do, tests to prepare for, and recreational activities to attend to stay sane. If you’re a full-time worker, finding time to learn a new language can be an issue when there are work responsibilities and other things you need to do. We understand and will encourage you to learn Thai little by little with us. There are even short lessons you can complete daily—we’ll even remind you to do them. 😉

7 – Cultural knowledge

ThaiPod101.com also provides information about Thai culture: how Thai people live, act, and think in daily life.  These lessons are interesting for both Thai learners and foreigners who are living in Thailand. 

Learn More about Thai Culture.

5. Conclusion

At this point, we hope that if someone asks you whether the Thai language is easy or hard, you’ll let them know it’s not that bad. 

It will take some time, but anyone can learn Thai. 

The best way to get started is to visit ThaiPod101.com and explore our many lessons and learning tools. We recommend starting with our Thai Alphabet Made Easy lessons.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if you feel ready to start learning Thai! If not, we’d love to hear your questions or concerns as well. 

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The Top 10 Common Thai Mistakes for Learners to Avoid

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In Thai, there’s a saying, ผิดเป็นครู (phìt-bpen-khruu), which means “learning from your mistakes.”  

Still, making mistakes can sometimes be embarrassing, so it’s better if you can avoid them in the first place.  Hence, this comprehensive guide on typical Thai language mistakes from ThaiPod101.com.

You’ll learn about mistakes in Thai grammar, vocabulary, word choice, and the appropriate use of Thai phrases. By the end of this article, you should be able to decrease the number of common Thai-English mistakes you make, or avoid them altogether!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Similar Consonants
  2. Short and Long Vowel Sounds
  3. A Note on Tone Marks
  4. The Correct Tone for คะ (khá) and ค่ะ (khâ)
  5. False Friends
  6. ตัวผู้ (dtuua-phûu) is for Male Animals
  7. Word Order: Nouns and Adjectives
  8. Politeness Level
  9. Special Words for Monks
  10. Being Too Afraid to Speak
  11. Conclusion

1. Similar Consonants

A frequent mistake in Thai language-learning is that of confusing similar-sounding consonants. In Thai, there are many consonants that have similar sounds, and pronouncing them incorrectly can completely change the meaning of a word. Below are some examples.

1 – ข (kh) and ค (kh)

Despite having the same romanization, these two consonants have different sounds. ข (kh) sounds deeper than ค (kh), and if you use the wrong sound, this could happen:

Thai sentence: เนื้อปลาขาว ๆ น่ากินมาก
Thai pronunciation: núuea-bplaa-khǎao-khǎao-nâa-gin-mâak

Correct pronunciation meaning: “The white fish looks yummy.”
Incorrect pronunciation meaning: “The fishy fish looks yummy.”

Explanation:  

  • ขาว (khǎao) means “white” in Thai.
  • คาว (khaao) means “fishy” in Thai.

You can see that common pronunciation mistakes for Thai-learners like this one can be quite funny. 

We recommend that you listen to Thai people speaking often, so that you can learn how to pronounce these consonants correctly.

White Fish Sushi

The white fish looks yummy.

2 – ช (ch) and ฉ (ch)

Another pair of similar-sounding consonants is ช (ch) and ฉ (ch). 

Thai sentence: ฉิ่งเป็นเครื่องดนตรีไทย
Thai pronunciation: chìng-bpen-khrûueang-don-dtrii-thai

Correct pronunciation meaning: “The cymbal is a Thai musical instrument.”
Incorrect pronunciation meaning: “Running away is a Thai musical instrument.”

Explanation:  

Here’s another tip for avoiding typical Thai mistakes like this one: If there’s romanization, pay attention to the tone of the word. You may notice that, despite both words having the same tone mark, the tones are not the same.

3 – ถ (th) and ท (th)

The last pair of consonants is ถ (th) and ท (th). Here’s what a mistake in Thai might look like if you confuse them:

Thai sentence: คนให้ทั่ว ๆ นะ
Thai pronunciation: khon-hâi-thûua-thûua-ná

Correct pronunciation meaning: “Stir it thoroughly.”
Incorrect pronunciation meaning: “Stir it nut.”

Explanation:  

  • ทั่ว (thûua) means “thoroughly” in Thai.
  • ถั่ว (thùua) means “nut” in Thai.

Hopefully the examples and tips above will help you avoid these common mistakes English-speakers make in Thai!

2. Short and Long Vowel Sounds

Another common pronunciation mistake is to pronounce Thai vowels too short or too long. As there are many pairs of short and long vowels in Thai, it’s important that you pay close attention here. Pronouncing a word too short or too long can change its meaning.

1 – ุ (u) and ู (tuu)

Pronouncing ุ (u) and ู (tuu) incorrectly can lead to this weird situation:

Thai sentence: ดูเด็กคนนั้นสิ น่ารักจัง
Thai pronunciation: duu-dèk-khon-nán-sì nâa-rák-jang

Correct pronunciation meaning: “Look at that child, so cute.”
Incorrect pronunciation meaning: “Scold that child, so cute.”

Explanation:  

  • ดู (duu) means “look” in Thai.
  • ดุ () means “scold” in Thai.
Little Kid Counting on His Fingers

2 – ิ (i) and ี (ii)

ิ (i) and ี (ii) are another vowel sound pair that English-speakers often get confused by. See what happens if you use the wrong sound: 

Thai sentence: เขาเป็นช่างตีเหล็ก
Thai pronunciation: khǎo-bpen-châang-dtii-lèk

Correct pronunciation meaning: “He is a blacksmith.”
Incorrect pronunciation meaning: “He is a person who criticizes iron.”

Explanation:  

  • ตี (dtii) means “hit” in Thai.
  • ติ (dtì) means “criticize” in Thai.

3 – ะ (a) and า (aa)

The last example we’ll cover here is the pronunciation of ะ (a) and า (aa).

Thai sentence: วันนี้วันจันทร์
Thai pronunciation: wan-níi-wan-jan

Correct pronunciation meaning: “Today is Monday.”
Incorrect pronunciation meaning: “Today is Dish day.”

Explanation:  

  • จันทร์ (jan) means “moon,” or if it’s after วัน (wan), it means “Monday” in Thai.
  • จาน (jaan) means “dish” in Thai.

3. A Note on Tone Marks

Despite having the same name, you can’t use tone marks to define the tone of words. This is a common mistake in spoken Thai. There are many factors, other than tone marks, that affect the tone of a word. For example, initial consonants and vowel sounds. 

Example 1: ขา (khǎa), which means “leg” in Thai, has a rising tone despite having no tone mark.

Example 2: ซ้ำ (sám), which means “repeat,” in Thai, has a high tone despite having a falling tone mark.

Example 3: ฆ่า (khâa), which means “kill” in Thai, has a falling tone despite having a low tone mark.

4. The Correct Tone for คะ (khá) and ค่ะ (khâ)

In Thai, to be polite, females add คะ (khá) and ค่ะ (khà) to the end of sentences. However, many people use these incorrectly. This is the most common mistake in Thai, for both native Thai people and foreigners. Below are examples of how to use คะ (khá) and ค่ะ (khà) correctly.

1 – คะ (khá)

คะ (khá) is used in two conditions: 

  • After questions
  • After sentences that end with นะ ()

Example 1:  

กระดาษอยู่ที่ไหนคะ
grà-dàat-yùu-thîi-nǎi-khá
“Where is the paper?”

Example 2:  

อย่าทำแบบนี้อีกนะคะ
yàa-tham-bàaep-níi-ìik-ná-khá
“Don’t do this again.”

2 – ค่ะ (khâ)

ค่ะ (khâ) is used after affirmative and negative sentences.

Example 1:  

ฉันไม่กินเผ็ดค่ะ
chǎn-mâi-gin-phèt-khâ
I don’t eat spicy food.

Example 2:  

ฉันจะไปทะเลตอนสงกรานต์ค่ะ
chǎn-jà-bpai-thá-lee-dtaawn-sǒng-graan-khâ
“I will go to the sea during Songkran.”

Someone Swimming in the Sea with Scuba Diving Gear

5. False Friends

For those who can speak English, don’t be so happy to see or hear English words in Thai. The meanings may be very different! 

1 – Fit 

ฟิต (fít) is “too tight” in Thai, while in English, it means “not too tight or too loose.” 

  • กางเกงตัวนี้ใส่แล้วฟิตมาก 
    gaang-geeng-dtuua-níi-sài-láaeo-fít-mâak
    “These pants are too tight for me.”

2 – Over  

โอเวอร์ (oo-vôoe) is “exaggerate” in Thai, while in English, it means “end.” 

  • เรื่องที่เธอเล่ามันโอเวอร์มาก
    rûueang-thîi-thooe-lâo-man-oo-vôoe-mâak
    “The story you told is exaggerated.”

6. ตัวผู้ (dtuua-phûu) is for Male Animals

Another Thai word mistake you should know has to do with ตัวผู้ (dtuua-phûu). This word is used for male animals in Thai

When you start learning the language, you may learn that เมีย (miia) is “wife” in informal Thai and ผัว (phǔua) is “husband.” However, when it comes to animals, Thai people put ตัวเมีย (dtuua-miia) after the animal’s name to specify that the animal is female. You may see this, and think that you should use ตัวผัว (dtuua-phǔua) to specify that the animal is male, but this is incorrect! Instead, you should put ตัวผู้ (dtuua-phûu).

Example:  

  • สิงโตตัวผู้ (sǐng-dtoo-dtuua-phûu) is “male lion” in Thai.
  • สิงโตตัวเมีย (sǐng-dtoo-dtuua-miia) is “female lion” in Thai.
A Lion Roaring

7. Word Order: Nouns and Adjectives

Now, let’s talk about common Thai grammar mistakes that foreigners often make. 

In English, adjectives are put in front of nouns; in Thai, it’s the other way around.  

Example 1:  

ดอกไม้สีขาวมีกลิ่นหอม
dâawk-mái-sǐi-khǎao-mii-glìn-hǎawm
“The white flowers smell nice.”

A Bunch of Small White Flowers

Example 2:  

แม่ชอบผลไม้เปรี้ยว ๆ มากกว่าผลไม้หวาน ๆ
mâae-châawp-phǒn-lá-mái-bprîiao-bprîiao-mâak-gwàa-phǒn-lá-mái-wǎan-wǎan
“Mom likes sour fruit more than sweet fruit.”

8. Politeness Level

Politeness level is the source of many common Thai-English mistakes. In Thai, there are many words that mean the same thing but have different levels of politeness, which you may know already if you’ve studied Thai pronouns. Thus, it’s important to use the right words in the right situations. Using the wrong words can be both inappropriate and funny.

Example 1:  

คุณครูกินข้าวเที่ยงรึยังคะ
khun-khruu-gin-khâao-thîiang-rúe-yang-khá
“Have you had lunch yet?” (Talking to a teacher)

Explanation:  

The situation here is that a student is talking to a teacher. Thus, the student should ask the teacher this question in a polite manner. The student has already put คะ (khá) after the question, which is good. However, instead of using กิน (gin), it would have been better to use รับประทาน (ráp-bprà-thaan). And instead of using ข้าวเที่ยง (khâao-thîiang), the student should have used อาหารกลางวัน (aa-hǎan-glaang-wan).

Appropriate Thai sentence:  

คุณครูรับประทานอาหารกลางวันรึยังคะ
khun-khruu-thaan-aa-hǎan-glaang-wan-rúe-yang-khá
“Have you had lunch yet?” (Talking to a teacher)

Example 2:  

เธอมีบุตรกี่คน
thooe-mii-bùt-gìi-khon
“How many sons and daughters do you have?”

Explanation:  

Here, two friends are having a conversation. The speaker must be close to the other party, as there’s no ครับ (khráp) or คะ (khá) at the end of the sentence. In this case, using บุตร (bùt), which means “son” or “daughter,” is too polite. Instead, the speaker should have used ลูก (lûuk), which has the same meaning but sounds better.

Appropriate Thai sentence:  

เธอมีลูกกี่คน
thooe-mii-lûuk-gìi-khon
“How many sons and daughters do you have?”

9. Special Words for Monks

In Thai language, we have special words for monks which include pronouns and verbs. This is a part of คำราชาศัพท์ (kham-raa-chaa-sàp). Don’t be confused if you hear some words you are not familiar with when the topic involves monks in Thai.  Also, it is a good idea to learn basic words related to monks so that you won’t make common Thai mistakes.

Example 1:  

พระกำลังสวดมนต์อยู่
phrá-gam-lang-sùuat-mon-yùu
“The monks are praying.”

The Monks Are Praying

Explanation:  

สวดมนต์ (sùuat-mon) is “pray” in Thai, but it should be used with normal people. For monks, instead of using สวดมนต์ (sùuat-mon), Thai people use ทำวัตร (tham-wát).

Appropriate Thai sentence:  

พระกำลังทำวัตรอยู่
phrá-gam-lang-tham-wát-yùu
“The monks are praying.”

Example 2:  

พระไม่กินอาหารเย็น
phrá-mâi-gin-aa-hǎan-yen
“The monk didn’t have dinner.”

Explanation:  

กิน (gin) is “eat” in Thai, but it should be used with normal people. For monks, instead of using กิน (gin), Thai people use ฉัน (chǎn).

Appropriate Thai sentence:  

พระไม่ฉันอาหารเย็น
phrá-mâi-chǎn-aa-hǎan-yen
“The monk didn’t have dinner.”

10. Being Too Afraid to Speak

The biggest mistake in learning Thai is being too afraid to speak with natives. 

Don’t be afraid to speak, even if Thai people don’t seem to understand what you’re saying. Thai pronunciation is hard and Thai people know this. Actually, most Thai people find it cute when they hear foreigners trying to speak Thai, and they’ll try their best to understand. 

11. Conclusion

After finishing this lesson, we hope you can avoid making these common Thai mistakes. Have you ever made one of these Thai mistakes before? What did you feel? Let us know in the comments! 

Do you already know what you’re going to study next in your Thai learning? If you’re not sure, here are some suggestions:

Or you can visit ThaiPod101.com and choose another lesson that interests you.

Happy Thai learning!

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Basic Thai Questions and Answers You Should Know

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As a new Thai language-learner, do you find it hard to make conversation with native speakers? Because speaking Thai as often as possible is a great way to acquire the language, knowing the most common questions and answers in Thai conversations will be very helpful for you.  

Having a Thai Conversation

In this lesson, you’ll learn about asking questions in Thai and how you can answer them yourself. Knowing these common Thai questions and answers will give you the confidence you need to practice speaking more often! 

However, before we start our list of the top ten questions in Thai, there are a few things you need to know first.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. An Overview of Asking Questions in Thai
  2. Our Thai Questions and Answers List
  3. Conclusion

1. An Overview of Asking Questions in Thai

First things first! We’ll answer some common Thai grammar questions that learners have, and introduce you to the basic vocabulary you should know.   

1 – Thai Question Marks 

When going over the topic of Thai questions, many learners wonder “Are there question marks in Thai?” The answer is yes, there are question marks in the Thai language.  

In Thai, question marks are called ปรัศนี (bpràt-sà-nii) and เครื่องหมายคำถาม (khrùueng-mǎai-kham-thǎam). In normal conversations, people usually use เครื่องหมายคำถาม (khrùueng-mǎai-kham-thǎam). ปรัศนี (bpràt-sà-nii) is rarely used in daily conversation; it’s only used in academic contexts.  

That said, there’s no rule about asking questions in Thai grammar that requires you to put a question mark after your question. Thai people really only put question marks after a question to show that they’re really in doubt and want to know the answer.

2 – Pronouns Used in Thai Questions and Answers

When you ask or answer questions in Thai, you can use both names and pronouns, so you’ll find it easier if you know some Thai pronouns. Below are some examples of pronouns often used in Thai questions and answers.

Thai pronouns for you:

  • คุณ (khun) is used in formal or business situations. It can be used with both males and females.
  • นาย (naai) is used in casual situations. It can be used with males only.
  • เธอ (thooe) is used in casual situations. It can be used with females only.

Thai pronouns for I:

  • ฉัน (chǎn) is used when the speaker is female.
  • ผม (phǒm) is used when the speaker is male.

You’ll find throughout this lesson that Thai people often omit the subject from the sentence, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear any name or pronoun when speaking with natives.

3 – Making Questions and Answers Formal

To make a sentence formal in Thai, put the word ครับ (khráp) or ค่ะ (khâ) at the end of a sentence when speaking. ครับ (khráp) is used when the speaker is male, while ค่ะ (khâ) is used when the speaker is female. 

Keep in mind that there’s a special rule when it comes to questions: for females, instead of using ค่ะ (khâ), you put คะ (khá) after questions.

Now, let’s start learning ten common Thai phrases and questions.

2. Our Thai Questions and Answers List

First Encounter

1. What’s your name? 

The first question you should learn is how to ask for someone’s name. This is an easy question to ask in Thai, and it’s a great way to start a conversation with someone you don’t know.

1 – Thai question

Question pattern:
pronoun for “you” / noun + ชื่ออะไร
pronoun for “you” / noun + chûue-à-rai
“What is your name?”

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1:
pronoun for “I” + ชื่อ + ___
pronoun for “I” + chûue + ___
“My name is ___.”

Answer pattern 2:
ชื่อ + ___
chûue + ___
“My name is ___.”

Answer pattern 3:
Just say your name.

Additional Note:  
Patterns 2 and 3 are short versions of pattern 1, which is the full answer. Of the three patterns, pattern 1 is the most formal, followed by pattern 2, with pattern 3 being the most casual.

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
ลูกค้าชื่ออะไรคะ
lûuk-khaa-chûue-à-rai-khá
“What is the customer’s name?” (You are talking to the customer.)

Thai answer:  
ผมชื่อป้องศักดิ์ครับ
phǒm-chûue-bpâawng-sàk-khráp
“My name is Pongsak.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
เธอชื่ออะไร
thooe-chûue-à-rai
“What is your name?”

Thai answer:  
กิ๊ฟ
gíp
“Gip.”

2. Where are you from? 

To learn more about someone, one of the best Thai language questions to ask is “Where are you from?” There are a few ways to ask this question, shown below.

1 – Thai questions

Question pattern 1:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + มาจากที่ไหน
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + maa-jàak-thîi-nǎi
“Where are you from?”

Question pattern 2:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + เป็นคนจังหวัดอะไร
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + bpen-khon-jang-wàt-à-rai
“Which province are you from?”

Question pattern 3:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + เป็นคนประเทศอะไร
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + bpen-khon-bprà-thêet-à-rai
“Which country are you from?”

Additional Note:  
When Thai people are asked where they come from, they often answer with the name of the province they grew up in. Thus, you can use pattern 2 specifically with a Thai person. Pattern 3, as you can guess, is used with foreigners.

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1:  
pronoun for “I” + มาจาก + ___
pronoun for “I” + maa-jàak + ___
“I come from ___.”

Answer pattern 2
มาจาก + ___
maa-jàak + ___
“I come from ___.”

Answer pattern 3:  
Just say the name of your hometown or country.

Additional Note:  
Patterns 1 through 3 can be used to answer all of the questions above. Patterns 2 and 3 are the short versions of pattern 1, which is the full answer. Pattern 1 is the most formal, followed by pattern 2, with pattern 3 being the most casual.

Answer pattern 4:  
pronoun for “I” + เป็นคน + name of province or country
pronoun for “I” + bpen-khon + ___
“I come from ___.”

Answer pattern 5:  
คน + name of province or country
khon + ___
“I am ___.”

Additional Note:  
Patterns 4 and 5 are used to answer question patterns 2 and 3 only. As you can see, pattern 5 is the short version of pattern 4.

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
เดวิดมาจากที่ไหน
dee-vìt-maa-jàak-thîi-nǎi
“Where are you from?” (You are talking to David.)

Thai answer:  
มาจากออสเตเรียครับ
maa-jàak-áawt-dtee-riia
“I come from Australia.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
นักเรียนเป็นคนจังหวัดอะไร
nák-riian-bpen-khon-jang-wàt-à-rai
“Which province are you from?” (You are talking to a student.)

Thai answer:  
คนลพบุรีค่ะ
khon lóp-bù-rii khà
“I come from Lopburi.”

3. Do you speak ___? 

This is one of the best Thai questions for foreigners. Knowing the language skills of other parties makes it easier to communicate, in case you can speak the same language. ^^

1 – Thai question

Question pattern:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + พูดภาษา___ได้มั้ย
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + phûut-phaa-sǎa-___-dâi-mái
“Do you speak ___?”

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1:  
ได้
dâi
“Yes.”

Answer pattern 2:  
ได้นิดหน่อย
dâi-nit-nàauy
“Yes, a little bit.”

Answer pattern 3:  
ไม่ได้
mâi-dâi
“No.”

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
ลดาพูดภาษาจีนได้มั้ย
lá-daa-phûut-phaa-sǎa-jiin-dâi-mái
“Does Lada speak Chinese?”

Thai answer:  
ได้นิดหน่อย
dâi-nit-nàauy
“Yes, a little bit.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
น้ำตาลพูดภาษาอังกฤษได้มั้ย
nám-dtaan-phûut-phaa-sǎa-ang-grìt-dâi-mái
Does Namtarn speak English?

Thai answer:  
ได้ หนูเคยไปเรียนที่อเมริกา 3 ปี
dai nǔu-khooei-bpai-riian-thii-a-mee-ri-gaa-saam-bpii
“Yes, I do. I have studied in the United States for three years.”

4. How long have you been studying ___? 

To continue the conversation, you can ask this question in Thai.

1 – Thai questions

Question pattern 1:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + เรียนภาษา___มานานเท่าไหร่แล้ว
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + riian-phaa-sǎa-___-maa-naan-thâo-rài-láaeo
“How long have you been studying ___?”

Question pattern 2:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + เรียนภาษา___มากี่ปีแล้ว
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + riian-phaa-sǎa-___-maa-gìi-bpii-láaeo
“How many years have you been studying ___?”

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1:  
pronoun for “I” + เรียนมา ___ ปี / เดือน
pronoun for “I” + riian-maa-___-bpii / duuean
“I have studied for ___ years / months.”

Answer pattern 2:  
เรียนมา ___ ปี / เดือน
riian-maa-___-bpii / duuean
“I have studied for ___ years / months.”

Answer pattern 3:  
pronoun for “I” + เรียนมาตั้งแต่อายุ ___ ปีแล้ว
pronoun for “I” + riian-maa-dtâng-dtàae-aa-yú-___-bpii-lâaeo
“I have studied since I was ___ years old.”

Answer pattern 4:  
เรียนมาตั้งแต่อายุ ___ ขวบ / ปีแล้ว
Riian-maa-dtâng-dtàae-aa-yú-___-khùuap / bpii-lâaeo
“I have studied since I was ___ years old.”

Pattern 2 is the short version of pattern 1, and pattern 4 is the short version of pattern 3. The subject of the sentence is omitted as Thai people assume you already know who you’re talking about.

ขวบ (khùuap) and ปี (bpii) are both numeric classifiers of age. ขวบ (khùuap) is used for ages under thirteen years old, while ปี (bpii) is used for ages thirteen years old and above.

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
มิกิเรียนภาษาไทยมานานกี่ปีแล้วคะ
mí-gì-riian-phaa-sǎa-thai-maa-naan-gìi-bpii-láaeo-khá
How many years has Miki studied the Thai language?” (You are talking to Miki.)

Thai answer:  
เรียนมา 2 ปีแล้ว
riian-maa-sǎawng-bpii-láaeo-khà
“I have studied Thai for two years now.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
คุณเรียนภาษาอังกฤษมานานเท่าไหร่แล้วครับ
khun-riian-phaa-sǎa-ang-grìt-maa-naan-thâo-rài-láaeo-khráp
“How long have you studied English?”

Thai answer:  
ฉันเรียนภาษาอังกฤษมาตั้งแต่อายุ 3 ขวบค่ะ
chǎn-riian-phaa-sǎa-ang-grìt-maa-dtâng-dtàae-aa-yú-sǎam-khûuap-khà
“I have studied English since I was three years old.”

5. Have you been to ___? 

This is another conversational Thai question you should know, and you’re likely to hear it from travel enthusiasts! 

1 – Thai question

Question pattern:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + เคยไปประเทศ___มั้ย
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + khooei-bpai-bprà-thêet-___-mái
“Have you been to ___?”

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1
เคย
khooei
“Yes, I have.”

Answer pattern 2:  
ไม่เคย
mâi-khooei
“No, I haven’t.”

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
คุณป้าเคยไปประเทศญี่ปุ่นมั้ยคะ
khun-bpâa-khooei-bpai-bprà-thêet-yîi-bpùn-mái-khá
“Have you been to Japan?” (You are talking to your aunt.)

Thai answer:  
เคยจ๊ะ ปีที่แล้วป้าไปเที่ยวที่โตเกียวมา
khooei-já pbii-thîi-láaeo-bpâa-bpai-thîiao-thîi-dtoo-giiao-maa
“Yes, I have. I traveled to Tokyo last year.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
เธอเคยไปอยุธยามั้ย
thooe-khooei-bpai-à-yút-thá-yaa-mái
Have you been to Ayutthaya?

Thai answer:  
ไม่เคย แต่อยากไปมากนะ
mâi-khooei dtàae-yàak-bpai-mâak-ná
“No, I haven’t. But I really want to go there.”

Introducing Yourself

6. What do you do for work? 

If you’re asking questions in Thai to get to know more about someone, asking about their occupation is a must.  Good news: This conversational question in Thai is very easy.

1 – Thai question

Question pattern:  
pronoun for “you” / name + ทำอาชีพอะไร
pronoun for “you” / name + tham-aa-chîip-à-rai
What do you do for work?

2 – Thai answer

Answer pattern
pronoun for “I” + เป็น ___
pronoun for “I” + bpen ___
“I am a(n) ___.”

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
คุณธัญญ์ทำอาชีพอะไรคะ
khun-than-tham-aa-chîip-à-rai-khá
“What does Than do for work?” (You are talking to Than.)

Thai answer:  
ผมเป็นวิศวกรครับ
khun-than-tham-aa-chîip-à-rai-khá
“I am an engineer.”

I am an Engineer
Example 2

Thai question:  
นายทำอาชีพอะไร
naai-tham-aa-chîip-à-rai
“What do you do for work?”

Thai answer:  
ผมเป็นครู
phǒm-bpen-khruu
“I am a teacher.”

7. Do you like ___ food? 

Asking someone about their food preferences is a fantastic way to get to know someone, and to find common ground.  

1 – Thai question

Question pattern:  
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + ชอบอาหาร___มั้ย
pronoun for “you” / noun / name + châawp-aa-hǎan-___-mái
“Do you like ___ food?”

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1
ชอบ
châawp
“Yes, I do.”

Answer pattern 2:  
ไม่ชอบ
mâi-châawp
“No, I don’t.”

Answer pattern 3:  
เฉย ๆ
chǒoei-chǒoei
“Indifferent.”

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
คุณครูชอบอาหารอินเดียมั้ยคะ
khun-khruu-châawp-aa-hǎan-in-diia-mái-khá
“Do you like Indian food?” (You are talking to a teacher.)

Thai answer:  
ชอบครับ หอมกลิ่นเครื่องเทศดี
châawp-khráp hǎawm-glìn-khrûueng-thêet-dii
“Yes, I do. The spices smell nice.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
โคลอี้ชอบอาหารไทยมั้ย
khloo-îi-châawp-aa-hǎan-thai-mái
“Do you like Thai food?” (You are talking to Chole.)

Thai answer:  
เฉย ๆ เพราะฉันทานเผ็ดไม่ได้
chǒoei-chǒoei phráw-chǎn-thaan-phèt-mâi-dâi
“I’m indifferent because I can’t eat spicy food.”

8. What are you doing?

This question can be used to start a conversation with someone, and to show that you’re interested in their life. 

1 – Thai question

Question pattern:  
pronoun for “you” / noun + ทำอะไรอยู่
pronoun for “you” / noun + tham-à-rai-yùu
“What are you doing?”

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1
pronoun for “I” + กำลัง + verb + อยู่
pronoun for “I” + gam-lang + verb + yùu
“I am ___ now.”

Answer pattern 2
verb + อยู่
verb + yùu
“I am ___ now.”

Additional note:  
Pattern 2 is the short version of pattern 1. The subject of the sentence is omitted as Thai people assume you already know who you’re talking about.

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
นักเรียนทำอะไรอยู่คะ
nák-riian-tham-à-rai-yùu-kha
“What are you doing?” (You are talking to a student.)

Thai answer:  
หนูกำลังทำการบ้านอยู่ค่ะ
nǔu-gam-lang-tham-gaan-bâan-yùu-khà
“I am doing homework now.”

I am Doing Homework Now
Example 2

Thai question:  
แม่ทำอะไรอยู่
mâae-tham-à-rai-yùu
“Mom, what are you doing?”

Thai answer:  
อาบน้ำอยู่
àap-nám-yùu
I’m taking a shower.”

9. What is wrong? 

To ask someone what’s wrong, there are a few different questions in Thai that you can use. 

1 – Thai questions

Question pattern 1:  
เกิดอะไรขึ้น
gòoet-à-rai-khûen
“What’s happened? What’s wrong?”

The literal meaning of this pattern is “What’s happened?” You ask this when you sense that something bad has happened and you want to know what it is.

Question pattern 2:  
มีปัญหาอะไรรึเปล่า
mii-bpan-hǎa-à-rai-rúe-bplào
“Is there any problem?”

This is another way to ask “What’s wrong?” when you sense that something bad happened.

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1
Explain your problem or issues.

Answer pattern 2
ไม่มีอะไร
mâi-mii-à-rai
“Nothing wrong, no problem.”

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
เสียงดังอะไรกัน มีปัญหาอะไรรึเปล่า
sǐiang-dang-à-rai-gan mii-bpan-hǎa-à-rai-rúe-bplào
“What is that loud noise? Is there any problem?”

Thai answer:  
ไม่มีอะไร ของตกเฉย ๆ
mâi-mii-à-rai khǎawng-dtok-chǒoei-chǒoei
“No problem. Something just fell.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
เกิดอะไรขึ้น ทำไมเธอถึงร้องไห้
gòoet-à-rai-khûen tham-mai-thooe-thǔeng-ráawng-hâi
“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?

Thai answer:  
มีคนบอกว่าแฟนนอกใจฉัน
mii-khon-bàawk-wâa-faaen-nâawk-jai-chǎn
“Someone told me my boyfriend cheated on me.”

What’s Wrong? Why Are You Crying?

10. How much is ___? 

Asking for the price of products and services is an important conversational skill to have in any country. Here are the Thai questions and answers you can use! 

1 – Thai questions

Question pattern 1:  
noun / pronoun + ราคาเท่าไหร่
noun / pronoun + raa-khaa-thâo-rài
“How much is noun/pronoun?”

Question pattern 2:  
noun / pronoun + ราคากี่บาท
noun / pronoun + raa-khaa-gìi-bàat
“How much is noun/pronoun?”

Despite having the same meaning, pattern 1 is more formal than pattern 2.

2 – Thai answers

Answer pattern 1
noun / pronoun + ราคา ___ บาท
noun / pronoun + raa-khaa-___-bàat
“Noun / pronoun is ___ Baht.”

Answer pattern 2
___ บาท
___-bàat
“___ Baht.”

Pattern 2 is the short version of pattern 1.

3 – Examples

Example 1

Thai question:  
กะหล่ำปลีราคากี่บาท
gà-làm-bplii-raa-khaa-gìi-bàat
“How much is the cabbage?”

Thai answer:  
30 บาท
sǎam-sìp-bàat
“30 Baht.”

Example 2

Thai question:  
รถคันนี้ราคาเท่าไหร่ครับ
rót-khan-níi-raa-khaa-thâo-rài-khráp
“How much is this car?”

Thai answer:  
รถคันนั้นราคา 500,000 บาทค่ะ
rót-khan-nán-raa-khaa-hâa-sǎaen-bàat-khà
“That car costs 500,000 Baht.”

11. Conclusion

You’ve just finished learning the basics about how to ask questions in Thai. If you can remember all of these common questions and answers, you have all you need to practice your Thai speaking and listening skills through conversations with Thai people. We hope this article has been very helpful for you! 

Now that you’ve finished this lesson, you may be curious about related topics such as question words in Thai,  which you can learn on ThaiPod101.com as well. Of course, there are other interesting lessons for you to study, such as Thai Girl’s Dream Job and Thai Jokes. Don’t forget to visit ThaiPod101.com and check out new lessons as they become available. 

Before you go, practice writing some of these Thai questions and answers in the comments section, and answer the questions about yourself. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Best Guide for Passing a Thai Competency Test

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When you’re learning something, a test is considered a part of the learning process. Taking a test shows your current skills and improvements you’ve made in that topic; at the same time, it reveals areas that still need improvement. For Thai learners, taking a Thai competency test is a good idea.  

The most popular Thai language proficiency test is the CU-TFL. Thus, in this lesson, we’ll give you practical information about this Thai language competency test, including details about each part and when, where, and how to register to take the test. Of course, we’ll also provide you with some tips on how to pass this Thai exam.  

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Thai Table of Contents
  1. General Information About the CU-TFL
  2. A Breakdown of Each Section
  3. Tips on Preparing for a Thai Proficiency Exam
  4. Conclusion

1. General Information About the CU-TFL

Language Skills

If you want to work in Thailand, you’re in luck! Aside from some professional jobs, most of the jobs available for foreigners don’t require many Thai language skills. Jobs for foreigners in Thailand are normally in environments where workers can speak English. Still, you have a life outside of work, which inevitably requires you to have basic knowledge of the Thai language. As mentioned above, testing your Thai skills enables you to see how much you know so you can continue improving.  

The most common Thai language exam for foreigners is the CU-TFL, which stands for “The Chulalongkorn University Proficiency Test of Thai as a Foreign Language.” It’s the most popular Thai language assessment test. For your information, Chulalongkorn University is one of the top three universities in Thailand. In a way, the university’s high status makes the test more reputable.

The test is taken at The Sirindhorn Thai Language Institute. Applicants must contact the institute to schedule the test date (at least two weeks in advance) before filling out the online application. Then, the applicant will receive the bill payment slip, and must make a payment at least three days prior to the test date. The CU-TFL test has four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. This test classifies the examinee into one of five groups: distinguished, superior, advanced, intermediate, and novice. 

In the following sections, we’ll provide you with a complete guide on this Thai language proficiency exam. 

2. A Breakdown of Each Section

1- Listening Section 

Duration: 60 minutes

Number of questions: 

  • 50 multiple-choice questions
  • Part 1: 1-3 announcements and short articles
  • Part 2: 2-3 announcements and medium-length articles
  • Part 3: 2-3 news excerpts, event descriptions, and documentaries
  • Part 4: 1-2 medium-length conversations about opinion expression or an interview of two people
  • Part 5: 1 long conversation about opinion expression or an interview of three people

Skills and competencies needed: 

  • Be able to understand short conversations, announcements, interviews, or advertisements
  • Be able to comprehend and summarize a story
  • Be able to analyze a story

Instructions:  

  • You’ll get three sets of paper: the test, a sheet to mark your answers, and paper for note-taking.
  • Before the test begins, you’ll hear the explanation, instructions, and be given a sample question. 
  • Once the test begins, you’ll hear a conversation or story, followed by questions and four choices. You’ll hear the story/conversation, questions, and choices only once.
Practice for the Listening Test

2- Reading Section 

Duration: 60 minutes

Number of questions: 

  • 50 multiple-choice questions
  • Part 1: 1-3 signs and short announcements
  • Part 2: 2-3 medium-length announcements 
  • Part 3: 2-3 news excerpts, event descriptions, medium-length documentaries, or academic articles
  • Part 4: 1-2 conversations about opinion expression 
  • Part 5: 1 news critique, editorial, or academic article

Skills and competencies needed:  

  • Be able to understand a story, as well as punctuation and numbers used in daily life
  • Be able to understand the reference in a story
  • Be able to comprehend and summarize a story
  • Be able to analyze a story
  • Be able to understand the story and analyze it based on knowledge of Thai society and culture

Instructions:  

  • You’ll get two sets of paper: the test and the answer sheet.
  • There’s no time limit for each part, so you can allocate time for the five parts yourself.

3- Writing Section 

Duration: 60 minutes

Number of questions: Write one essay to express your opinion on a given topic.

Skills and competencies needed: 

  • Be able to understand a story, as well as punctuation and numbers used in daily life
  • Be able to write as requested 
  • Be able to spell and punctuate, use vocabulary and sentence structure, and choose the appropriate language level
  • Know the types of articles and their structures
  • Be able to use proper written Thai with the audience in mind
  • Be able to use daily-life idioms

Instructions: You’ll get two sets of paper: the test and the answer sheet.

Write an Essay to Express Your Opinion

4- Speaking Section 

Duration: 40 minutes

Number of questions:  

  • An unknown number of questions, divided into three parts
  • Part 1: Have conversations with the tester
  • Part 2: Report and express your opinion (speak alone) 
  • Part 3: Interview the tester and summarize information

Skills and competencies needed:  

  • Be able to pronounce correctly, choose the proper words, idioms, and sentence structures, and respond to the examiner
  • Be able to use the right language level for the situation and audience
  • Be able to have a fluent conversation 
  • Be able to express your opinion on various topics
  • Be able to ask for information about the assigned topic
  • Be able to summarize information

Instructions:  

  • You will be recorded during the test.
  • There will be only one applicant per test.
  • The tester is an educated Thai person who uses Thai as their native language.

3. Tips on Preparing for a Thai Proficiency Exam

To do well on any Thai language exam, you need to practice a lot! Below, we’ve outlined a few ways you can do this effectively. 

1 – Read signs, announcements, news excerpts, and articles in Thai.

If you live in Thailand, pay attention to the signs, announcements, snippets of news, and articles around you.  These are a part of everyday life in Thailand, so they’ll definitely be included on the test. We suggest that whenever you see a sign, you learn what it means and think about where else you might find it. This will significantly help you in the reading and listening sections.

Pay Attention to Signs

 2 – Watch a variety of shows and dramas in Thai.

To improve your listening and speaking skills, you need to be able to understand how Thais speak in daily life. One of the best ways to do so is to watch a variety of Thai shows and dramas. This is a fun activity that allows you to watch media that fits your interests! 

You’ll be able to hear the accent of native Thai speakers and become more familiar with Thai sentence structure. This will, in turn, help you improve your own speaking skills. 

You’ll also get to know more about Thai society and culture, which will indirectly help you understand more about Thai people, leading to a better test score. Nowadays, you can watch a variety of shows and dramas online on YouTube, on live TV, on Thai Netflix, and more. 

3 – Study the basic Thai social norms, and learn about the society and culture.

To do well on your Thai competency test, you need to understand some of the Thai social norms, as well as the society and culture. You can learn about these topics in various ways, such as watching shows (like we mentioned above), talking to Thai people, and reading related books.

Learn about Thai Culture

4 -Talk to Thai people about various topics.

As mentioned above, talking to Thai people can help you learn about Thai social norms, society, and culture.  But the benefits don’t end there! Talking to Thai people will help you learn how to express your opinions more fluently; this will give you a huge advantage when it comes time for the speaking portion of the test. Also, the more you make conversation, the better your speaking and listening skills will become.

Talk about Thai Boxing

5 – Practice writing about different topics in Thai.

To do well in the writing section, you have to practice a lot. On the test, you’ll be asked to write one article that expresses your opinion on a given topic, so you need to practice writing about various topics. In addition, you’ll need to learn related vocabulary and sentence structures to write a good essay.

6 – Do a lot of test exercises.

Last but not least, you need to do a lot of test exercises. Like with every other test, practicing helps you do better. By doing a CU-TFL test sample, you’ll become more familiar with the questions, work on allocating your time better, and finish the real test more efficiently. You can buy a CU-TFL book to do Thai language practice tests, or download the test example from the manual.

4. Conclusion

We hope that after reading this complete guide to the CU-TFL Thai language proficiency test, you have a better idea of how to pass it with flying colors. Please let us know your thoughts about the CU-TFL in the comments, and let us know if you have any questions. 

And don’t forget to check out other interesting lessons on ThaiPod101.com. We have tons of lessons on the Thai language, culture, and traditions that you should take a look at! We recommend our lessons about the New Year resolutions of Thai people and talking about family in Thai

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Basic Thai Sentence Patterns – A Comprehensive Guide

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When you learn any language, knowing its basic sentence patterns helps you get a grip of the language as a whole, and allows you to communicate more effectively. So if you’re a Thai learner and don’t know how to form sentences in Thai yet, knowing certain Thai sentence structures and patterns is like a shortcut to creating your own sentences.  

In this lesson, we’ll teach you common Thai sentence patterns that you can use in daily life. While there are various types of sentence patterns in the Thai language, we’ll focus on just ten patterns with examples. Also keep in mind that we won’t be focusing on the tenses today. 

Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Thai Table of Contents
  1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B
  2. Describing Nouns: A is [Adjective]
  3. [Subject] Wants / Needs
  4. [Subject] has to [Verb]
  5. [Subject] Likes [Noun/Verb]
  6. Please…
  7. May I? / Can I?
  8. What is…?
  9. When is…?
  10. Where is…?
  11. Conclusion

1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B

Before we give you our list of Thai sentence patterns, we think you should know some basic vocabulary:  

  • รูปแบบประโยค (rûup-bàaep-bprà-yòok) is “sentence pattern”
  • รูปแบบ (rûup-bàaep) is “pattern” 
  • ประโยค (bprà-yòok) is “sentence” 
Sentence Patterns

The first simple Thai sentence pattern you should know is “A is B,” which is used for linking two nouns. Below are some examples of this Thai sentence structure.

Sentence structure
A + เป็น (bpen) + B
A + คือ (khuue) + B

Explanation:  

เป็น (bpen), อยู่ (yùu), and คือ (khuue) are used for the verb “to be” in Thai. While they all refer to the same verb, เป็น (bpen), อยู่ (yùu), and คือ (khuue) have different meanings, are used in different situations, and can’t substitute one another.  

  • เป็น (bpen) is used to explain what A is. The information used to explain A can include things such as a person’s job or marital status.
  • อยู่ (yùu) is used to explain where A is. So in this case, B is the place.
  • คือ (khuue) is used to explain what A is. The information used to explain A is either a fact/status that doesn’t change, or information that other parties don’t know.

Because เป็น (bpen) and คือ (khuue) seem pretty similar, it can be difficult to decide which one to use in a given scenario. Even Thai people find this hard; they can use it correctly, but can’t explain why. Let’s look at some Thai example sentences to help you understand better.  

Example 1:  
แม่เป็นครู
mâae-bpen-khruu
“Mom is a teacher.”

A Teacher Carrying a Stack of Books

Mom is a teacher.

Example 2:  
แก้วเป็นสาวโสด
gâaew-bpen-sǎao-sòot
“Kaew is a single lady.”

Example 3:  
ฤทธิเป็นคนที่ไม่เก่งเลขเลย
rít-bpen-khon-thîi-mâi-gèng-lêek-looei
“Rit is a person who is not good at math.”

Example 4:  
ตอนนี้รัตน์อยู่ที่นี่
dtaawn-níi-rát-yùu-thîi-nîi
“Rat is here now.”

Example 5:  
กระเป๋าอยู่บนโต๊ะทานอาหาร
grà-bpǎo-yùu-bon-dtó-thaan-aa-hǎan
“The bag is on the dining table.”

Example 6:  
หมีแพนด้าอยู่ในสวนสัตว์ที่เชียงใหม่
mǐi-phaaen-dâa-yùu-nai-sǔuan-sàt-thîi-chiiang-mài
“Pandas are in the zoo at Chaingmai.”

Example 7:  
ที่นี่คือโรงพยาบาลที่ใหญ่ที่สุดในจังหวัด
thîi-nîi-khuue-roong-phá-yaa-baan-thîi-yài-thîi-sùt-nai-jang-wàt
“Here is the largest hospital in the province.”

Hospital Workers and a Patient in a Hallway

Here is the largest hospital in the province.

Example 8:  
ลัดดาคือเพื่อนที่ดีที่สุดของฉัน
lát-daa-khuue-phûuean-thîi-dii-thîi-sùt-khǎawng-chǎn
“Ladda is my best friend.”

Example 9:  
ผลไม้ที่พ่อชอบกินที่สุดคือแตงโม
phǒn-lá-mái-thîi-phâaw-châawp-gin-thîi-sùt-khuue-dtaaeng-moo
“Dad’s favorite fruit is watermelon.”

2. Describing Nouns: A is [Adjective]

Another Thai sentence construction you should know is “A is [Adjective].” This is a very easy Thai sentence pattern, used to describe nouns with adjectives. Let’s take a look.

Sentence structure:  

Noun + Adjective

Explanation:  

If you want to describe a noun, all you have to do is put the adjective after that noun.

Example 1:  
กานดาสูงและผอม
gaan-daa-sǔung-láe-phǎawm
“Ganda is tall and slim.”

Example 2:  
เก้าอี้ไม้ตัวนั้นราคาแพงมาก
gâo-îi-mái-dtuua-nán-raa-khaa-phaaeng-mâak
“That wooden chair is very expensive.”

Example 3:  
มะระสีเขียวและมีรสขม
má-rá-mii-sǐi-khǐiao-láe-mii-rót-khǒm
Bitter melon is green and bitter.”

Additional note:  

มะระ (má-rá) is “bitter melon” in Thai. It’s one of the fruits that Thai people like to eat.

Sentence Components

3. [Subject] Wants / Needs

Some of the most useful Thai phrases are those for expressing “want” and “need.” There are a few different Thai sentence patterns you should remember for this.

Sentence structure:  
subject + ต้องการ (dtâawng-gaan) + noun / verb
subject + อยาก (yàak) + verb
subject + อยากได้ (yàak-dâi) + noun 

Explanation:  

ต้องการ (dtâawng-gaan), อยาก (yàak), and อยากได้ (yàak-dâi) mean both “want” and “need” in Thai, and can substitute one another.

However, ต้องการ (dtâawng-gaan) sounds more formal than อยาก (yàak) and อยากได้ (yàak-dâi). Thai people often use ต้องการ (dtâawng-gaan) in formal situations, and อยาก (yàak) and อยากได้ (yàak-dâi) in casual conversations.  

To express your wants and needs, you can use any of the structures above. Here are a few Thai sentence examples for you.

Example 1:  
คุณครูต้องการคอมพิวเตอร์เครื่องใหม่
khun-khruu-dtâawng-gaan-khaawm-phíu-dtôoe-khrûueng-mài
“The teachers want a new computer.”

Example 2:  
โรงพยาบาลต้องการจ้างนางพยาบาลเพิ่ม
roong-phá-yaa-baan-dtâawng-gaan-jâang-naang-phá-yaa-baan-phôoem
“The hospital wants to hire more nurses.”

Example 3:  
เธอต้องการอะไรเพิ่มมั๊ย
thooe-dtâawng-gaan-à-rai-phôoem-mái
“Do you want anything more?”

Example 4:  
น้ำตาลอยากไปเที่ยวหัวหิน
nám-dtaan-yàak-bpai-thîiao-hǔua-hǐn
“Namtan wants to go to Huahin.”

Example 5:  
แม่อยากลองทำเค้กสูตรใหม่
mâae-yàak-laawng-tham-khéek-sùut-mài
“Mom wants to try a new cake recipe.”

Cake Batter being Mixed

Mom wants to try a new cake recipe.

Example 6:  
มินท์อยากแต่งงานก่อนอายุ 30 ปี
mín-yàak-dtàaeng-ngaan-gàawn-aa-yú-sǎam-sìp
“Mint wants to get married before she is 30 years old.”

Example 7:  
ฉันอยากได้รองเท้าคู่ใหม่
chǎn-yàak-dâi-raawng-tháo-khûu-mài
“I want a new pair of shoes.”

Example 8:  
รพีไม่อยากได้งานเพิ่ม
rá-phii-mâi-yàak-dâi-ngaan-phôoem
“Rapee doesn’t want more jobs.”

Example 9:  
มีใครอยากได้ชาเพิ่มมั๊ย
mii-khrai-yàak-dâi-chaa-phôoem-mái
“Anyone want more tea?”

4. [Subject] has to [Verb] 

Another basic Thai sentence pattern you should know is “I have …”.  You can use this Thai sentence pattern to express what you have to do.

Sentence structure:  

Subject + ต้อง (dtâawng) + Verb

Explanation:  

This type of sentence in Thai is pretty easy and straightforward. You just put the subject, followed by ต้อง (dtâawng), which means “must” or “have to” in Thai, and then the verb.

Example 1:  
เธอต้องออกจากบ้านเดี๋ยวนี้ ไม่งั้นจะสาย
thooe-dtâawng-àawk-jàak-bâan-dǐiao-níi mâi-ngán-jà-sǎai
“You have to leave now or else you will be late.”

Example 2:  
ยายต้องกินยาก่อนนอนทุกวัน
yaai-dtâawng-gin-yaa-gàawn-naawn-thúuk-wan
“Grandma has to take medicine before bed every day.”

Example 3:  
วรรณาต้องไปเชียงรายพรุ่งนี้
wan-naa-dtâawng-bpai-chiiang-raai-phrûng-níi
“Wanna has to go to Chiangrai tomorrow.”

5. [Subject] Likes [Noun/Verb] 

Another common Thai language sentence structure is that for expressing likes and preferences. It’s one of the most basic Thai sentence patterns you can use to talk about your favorite things and activities.

Sentence structure:  

Subject + ชอบ (châawp) + Noun / Verb

Explanation:  

ชอบ (châawp) is “like” in Thai. To use this sentence pattern, you put the subject, followed by ชอบ (châawp), and then the noun or verb.

Example 1:  
แม่ชอบกินแก้วมังกร
mâae-châawp-gin-gâaeo-mang-gaawn
“Mom likes to eat dragon fruits.”

Example 2:  
นภาชอบสีชมพู
ná-phaa-châawp-sǐi-chom-phuu
“Napa likes pink.”

A Girl Wearing Lots of Pink

Napa likes pink.

Example 3:  
ตุ้มไม่ชอบดูหนังผี
dtûm-mâi-châawp-duu-nǎng-phǐi
“Tum doesn’t like scary movies.”

6. Please… 

The next basic Thai sentence structure we’ll show you is used to politely ask someone to do something. There are two Thai sentence patterns you need to know.

Sentence structure:  
กรุณา (gà-rú-naa) + Verb 
ช่วย (chûuai) + Verb 

Explanation:  

Thai people use กรุณา (gà-rú-naa) and ช่วย (chûuai) when they want to ask others to do something. กรุณา (gà-rú-naa) and ช่วย (chûuai) are pretty much the same, except กรุณา (gà-rú-naa) is used in formal situations while ช่วย (chûuai) is more often used in casual conversations.

Example 1:  
กรุณาถอดรองเท้าก่อนเข้าห้อง
gà-rú-naa-thàawt-raawng-tháo-gàawn-khâo-hâawng
“Please take off your shoes before entering the room.”

Example 2:  
กรุณาอย่าส่งเสียงดัง
gà-rú-naa-yàa-sòng-sǐiang-dang
“Please don’t make loud noises.”

Example 3:  
กรุณาให้ความร่วมมือกับเจ้าหน้าที่
gà-rú-naa-hâi-khwaam-rûuam-muue-gàp-jâo-nâa-thîi
“Please cooperate with our staff.”

Example 4:  
ช่วยฉันทำความสะอาดห้องหน่อย
chûuai-chǎn-tham-khaawm-sà-àat-hâawng-nàauy
“Please help me clean the room.”

Example 5:  
ช่วยเงียบหน่อย
chûuai-ngîiap-nàauy
“Please be quiet.”

A Woman at a Movie Theater Making the Quiet Gesture

Please be quiet.

Example 6:  
ช่วยเดินเร็ว ๆ หน่อย
chûuai-dooen-reo-reo-nòi
“Please walk faster.”

7. May I? / Can I?

This sentence pattern in Thai is used to ask for permission. However, this is considered an imperfect sentence because Thai people leave the word “may” or “can” out.

Sentence structure:  

ขอ (khǎaw) + Verb + ได้มั้ย (dâi-mái)

Explanation:  

This Thai sentence pattern is quite different from its  English counterpart. This is because there is no ฉัน (chǎn), which is “I” in Thai, in the sentence.    

You start the sentence with ขอ (khǎaw), which means “ask.” Next, you put the verb, followed by ได้มั้ย (dâi-mái), which is used to make a permission question in Thai.

Example 1:  
ขอเข้าไปได้มั้ย
khǎaw-khâo-bpai-dâi-mái
“May I come in?”

Example 2:  
ขอยืมหนังสือเล่มนั้นได้มั้ย
khǎaw-yuuem-nǎng-sǔue-lêm-nán-dâi-mái
“Can I borrow that book?”

A Woman Smiling with a Book on Top of Her Head

Can I borrow that book?

Example 3:  
ขอไปดูหนังกับเพื่อนวันเสาร์นี้ได้มั้ย
khǎaw-bpai-duu-nǎng-gàp-phûuen-wan-sǎo-níi-dâi-mái
“Can I go see the movie with my friend this Saturday?”

8. What is…? 

Another useful Thai sentence pattern you should learn is “What is…?” You can use this sentence pattern in Thai to ask for information about something.

Sentence structure:  

… + คือ (khuue) + อะไร (à-rai

Explanation:  

As mentioned earlier, คือ (khuue) is one of the words for the verb “to be” in Thai. Also note that อะไร (à-rai) is “what.”  

You may notice that Thai people use คือ (khuue), not เป็น (bpen), in this sentence structure. This is because you’re asking for information you don’t know.

Example 1:  
นี่คืออะไร
nîi-khuue-à-rai
“What is this?”

Example 2:  
อาหารที่เราสั่งครั้งที่แล้วคืออะไร
aa-hǎan-thîi-rao-sàng-khráng-thîi-láaeo-khuue-à-rai
“What is the food we ordered last time?”

Example 3:  
เครื่องดื่มที่คุณชอบคืออะไร
khrûueng-dùuem-thîi-khun-châawp-khuue-à-rai
“What is your favorite drink?”

9. When is…? 

Now that you’ve learned the “What is …?” sentence structure, it makes sense to learn the “When is…?” structure as well. With this structure, you can make Thai phrases for asking about the time.

Sentence structure:  

… + เมื่อไหร่ (mûuea-rài)

Explanation:  

เมื่อไหร่ (mûuea-rài) is “when” in Thai. You put the event that you want to know the time of, followed by เมื่อไหร่ (mûue-rài).

Example 1:  
ประชุมเมื่อไหร่
bprà-chum-mûuea-rài
“When is the meeting?”

Example 2:  
เธอจะเริ่มทำงานเมื่อไหร่
thooe-jà-rôoem-tham-ngan-mûuea-rài
“When will you start working?”

Example 3:  
ตาลจะมาถึงเมื่อไหร่
dtaan-jà-ma-thǔeng-mûuea-rài
“When will Tarn arrive?”

10. Where is…? 

You can now ask for more information and about the time. In this section, we’ll also teach you how to ask about location. This is one of those basic Thai phrases you’ll use all the time! 

Sentence structure:  
Place + อยู่ที่ไหน (yùu-thîi-nǎi)
Place + ไปทางไหน (bpai-thaang-nǎi)

Explanation:  

Both of the structures above are pretty similar to each other, and are used to ask about location. The first one is the Thai translation sentence pattern of “Where is …?”  The other is closer to: “How to go to …?”

Example 1:  
ห้องน้ำอยู่ที่ไหน
hâawng-nám-yùu-thîi-nǎi
Where is the toilet?

Signs for the Restroom

Where is the toilet?

Example 2:  
บ้านของเธออยู่ที่ไหน
bâan-khǎawng-thooe-yùu-thîi-nǎi
“Where is your house?”

Example 3:  
ภูเขาที่สูงที่สุดในไทยอยู่ที่ไหน
phuu-khǎo-thîi-sǔung-thîi-sùt-nai-thai-yùu-thîi-nǎi
“Where is the highest mountain in Thailand?”

Example 4:  
จุดชมวิวไปทางไหน
jùt-chom-wiu-bpai-thaang-nǎi
“How to go to the viewpoint?”

Example 5:  
สถานีตำรวจที่ใกล้ที่สุดไปทางไหน
sà-thǎa-nii-dtam-rùuat-thîi-glâi-thîi-sùt-bpai-thaang-nǎi
“How to go to the nearest police station?”

Example 6:  
ประชาสัมพันธ์ไปทางไหน
bprà-chaa-sǎm-phan-bpai-thaang-nǎi
“How to go to the information center?”

11. Conclusion

The lesson has finally come to an end, and you’ve already learned ten useful Thai sentence patterns for everyday use! We hope they’re not too hard for you, but remember that it may take a while to memorize all of them. Using a variety of Thai sentence patterns in daily conversations will help you get familiar with them; eventually, you’ll be able to use them with great fluency.  

Are there any specific topics you want to learn about in future articles? Leave us a comment to let us know! If you have no clue what you want to learn next, we have a list of fun lessons for you at ThaiPod101.com, so don’t forget to check it out.  

If you want to know more about sentence structure in Thai, our word order article is a great place to expand your knowledge. However, if that’s too serious a lesson for you, what about listening to a conversation about Thai tea and a date? Our lesson about ordering food at restaurants is also an interesting choice.

Happy learning!

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