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Lesson Transcript

Intro

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 make a request or give a command in Thai?
Explanation
There are various words to choose from when we want to request or command something in Thai. In both request and command sentences, however, the subject “you” is usually left out. I’ll explain more in a few seconds. For now, let’s go ahead and begin.
Let’s start by making a command in Thai. To form a command sentence, you can use the word จง jong in front of the sentence. The subject “you” is not used when forming this type of sentence, and จง jong is mostly used in writing. Let’s look at an example. จงเติมคำ jong dtooem kham (“Fill in the blanks”). This would most likely be a written command.
When giving a command, there are other words which gives some urgency to the command. Let’s go over some: ต้อง dtâawng (“must, need”) or ห้าม hâam (“do not, to forbid”). One thing different about the usage of ต้อง dtâawng is that it can be used with a subject noun. For example, เธอต้องไปโรงเรียน thooe dtâawng bpai roong riian (“You must go to school”). ห้าม hâam, on the other hand, must be used without a subject noun and when you forbid actions. For example, ห้ามผ่าน hâam phàan (“Do not pass”).
A more formal way of requesting something is to use the word กรุณา gà-rú-naa. This is like saying “please” in English. You need to leave out the subject noun when using this word. For example, กรุณาถอดรองเท้า gà-rú-naa thàawt raawng tháo (“Please take your shoes off”).

Outro

Here’s a tip: To make your sentences more polite, remember that you can always add ครับ/ค่ะ khráp/khâ at the end of your request or command sentence. For example, กรุณารอสักครู่ค่ะ gà-rú-naa raaw sàk khrûu khâ (“Please wait a moment”).
Pretty interesting, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
Bye! สวัสดีค่ะ (sà-wàt-dii khâ)

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