Vocabulary

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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: What are some basic question words in Thai?
Explanation
Learning to ask questions in Thai can be very beneficial for you. It’ll help you build up your language ability and can help in your everyday life in Thailand. Today, I’ll teach you some very useful words for asking questions in Thai.
Just like English language, in Thai we have different words for “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” “why,” and “how.” If you’re familiar with the English form, it’ll be very easy to learn these in Thai. There’s only one minor difference in usage.
These question words in Thai are อะไร (“What”) à-rai, เมื่อไหร่ (“When”) mûuea rài, ที่ไหน (“Where”) thîi-nǎi, ทำไม (“Why”) tham-mai, ใคร(“Who”) khrai, แบบไหน(“How”) bàaep năi, อย่างไร(“How”) yàang rai, and finally บ่อยแค่ไหน (“How often”) bòi kâe năi.
Grammatically, when asking questions in Thai, we put most of these words at the end of the sentence. There are two exception words. We put อะไร àrai and ทำไม tham-mai at the beginning of the sentence. For example,
ทำไมเธอถึงวิ่งตอนเช้า (tham-mai thooe tĕung wîng dton-châo) “Why do you jog in the morning?" เธอไปกับใคร (thooe bpai guuap khrai) “Who are you going with?”
We can see that in the first sentence, ทำไม tham-mai is used at the beginning of the sentence to ask question. However, in the second sentence เธอไปกับใคร (thooe bpai guuap khrai), ใคร khrai is used at the end to ask “who?” If we cut out the word ใคร khrai in this sentence, we'll get เธอไปกับ…(thooe bpai guuap) "She goes with…." This can be changed to a general sentence just by adding a name or noun at the end. For example, เธอไปกับสมคิด thooe bpai guuap Somkid. Thus, by adding ใคร or ที่ไหน, เมื่อไหร่ will change the sentence to a question.
For example, มึงกินข้าวที่ไหน (mueng gin khâo thìi nai “Where are you eating?”) คุณจะไปเมื่อไหร่ (Khun ja bpai mûuea rài “When are you leaving?”)

Outro

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

11 Comments

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ThaiPod101.com
Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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What Thai learning question do you have?

ThaiPod101.com
Thursday at 1:25 am
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Hello Priya,


Thank you very much for your comment and question. There are two different version of the word you ask. First, "yaang-rai" is a writing version of the word and "yang-ngai" is a speaking version of the word so you will hear and use this second one more often in daily life conversation. Hope that's help. Please let me know if you have any future questions about Thai I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with Thai.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Priya
Monday at 7:43 pm
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What is correct way to say how?

yaang ngai or yaang rai?

ThaiPod101.comVerified
Thursday at 4:34 pm
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Hello Abel,


Thank you very much for your comment exception means they can be at the beginning or at the end of a sentence but the meaning won't changed. Hope that's help. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with your Thai.


Have a good day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Abel
Thursday at 2:42 am
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Hello Parisa


Thank you for your response. So if the exceptions are tham-mai and muuea-rai (placed in the front of the sentence), that means the example sentence is not correct as well? Since it is written Khun ja bpai mûuea rài, which is at the back of the sentence.

ThaiPod101.comVerified
Thursday at 1:45 am
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Hello Abel,


Thank you very much for your comment and question. exceptions are tham-mai and muuea-rai. For "a-rai" can be place before yùu/ mái / dii and can also used to means "something/ nothing and anything".

phom ja bpai dta-laat ao a-rai mai? = I will go to the market, do you want anything?

gin a-rai dii? What shell we order(eat)?

tam a-rai yuuL = what are you doing?

Hope that's help. Please let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with your Thai.


Have a good day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Abel
Wednesday at 4:00 am
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Hello!


So if arai was a mistake and it should be put behind, which are the two exceptions? tham-mai and..?

ThaiPod101.comVerified
Wednesday at 3:07 pm
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Hello Wolf-Dieter Hering,


Thank you very much for your comment and question. Yes, .......ไหน means "which....." in Thai depend on a context, so แบบไหน means "what kind...". Hope that's help. Let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with Thai.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

ThaiPod101.comVerified
Monday at 10:03 pm
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Hello Khun Richard,


Thank you very much for your comment and question. I think it might be a bit of a mistake, because à-rai (what) always place at the end of a sentence. If not that means it use for a different meaning. Hope that's help. Let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help. We wish you will have a good progress with Thai.


Have a nice day.

Parisa

Team ThaiPod101.com

Wolf-Dieter Hering
Monday at 9:03 pm
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Shouldn't this question word: แบบไหน be better translated as «which one»?

Richard
Friday at 3:52 pm
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You say that à-rai (what) is used at the beginning of a sentence but why does your example shows it towards the end of a sentence - khun gam-lang tham à-rai yùu.