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Lesson Transcript


Hi everybody! Jay here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Thai questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: How do I use นะ ná in Thai sentences?
If you have some Thai friends, you might have heard the word นะ ná in conversation. This is usually used informally among Thais to make the sentence more gentle and polite. It’s less polite than ครับ khráp or ค่ะ khâ; that’s why it’s used informally. So what does this word mean? In fact, there are various meanings of this word, which can be applied to many sentences, including requests, warnings, or even questions. Let’s learn about these different usages in Thai sentences.
นะ Ná, in a warning, helps make the sentence a lot softer. For example, an angry teacher might say โอกาสสุดท้ายแล้ว oo-gàat sùt tháai lâaeo (“This is your last opportunity.”) to a naughty student. This sentence doesn’t contain นะ, which makes it sound like a strong demand. Compare that with โอกาสสุดท้ายแล้วนะ oo-gàat sùt tháai lâaeo ná (“This is your last opportunity.”) The sentence becomes a lot softer and gentler, suggesting the speaker has a feeling of care towards the listener.
Here’s another example: ซื้อมือถือให้หน่อยนะ sûue muue thǔue hâi nàauy na. (“Buy a mobile phone for me, please.”) This is similar to adding “please” to a sentence in English. So, this word can be used in requests as well. One more example: รอซักครู่นะคะ raaw sák khrûu ná khá. (“Please wait a moment.”) นะ ná makes the request to wait sound more polite.
Another use of นะ ná is in question form. In this form, นะ ná means “again.” For instance, เธอไปไหนนะ? thooe bpai nǎi ná? (“Where are you going again?”) This form of ná is used when someone needs the answer to be repeated. Another sentence you might have also encountered from a Thai person is อะไรนะ à-rai ná (similar to “Pardon? Can you repeat again?”). This is one of the most common phrases that uses นะ in the format of question.


Pretty interesting, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
Bye! สวัสดีค่ะ (sà-wàt-dii khâ)