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Lesson Transcript

Ryan: All About Thai, lesson 3 - Painless Thai Grammar. Hi, everyone and welcome to the grammar portion of ThaiPod101.com’s All About series.
Rawinporn: Oh no! No grammar.
Ryan: Well, I’m sure some listeners are having that very same reaction right about now. But we’re here to tell you, there’s nothing to worry about. We’ve made Thai grammar so simple that you’ll wonder what the fuss was all about.
Rawinporn: You will be surprised to learn that in comparison with English or other foreign languages, some parts of Thai grammar are amazingly easy.
Ryan: Easy, you say? How can that be possible? Well, we’re about to show you.
Rawinporn: Okay, let’s get started!
Ryan: First, what we want to do is take a look at English. English is what we call an S-V-O language.
Rawinporn: Khun Ryan, what does S-V-O stand for?
Ryan: Subject-Verb-Object. That means that in an English sentence, the subject always comes first, followed by the verb, and then the object. That’s how English sentences are put together.
Rawinporn: Can we have an example?
Ryan: “I eat bread.” “I” is the subject or the one doing the action. “Eat” is the verb or the action taking place. And lastly, “bread” is the object that receives the action. “I read the newspaper.” “I watch TV.” These are all S-V-O sentences.
Rawinporn: Well, this is exactly the same with Thais and tense order.
Ryan: For example…
Rawinporn: dì-chǎn gin khà-nǒm-bpang
Ryan: phǒm gin khà-nǒm-bpang
Rawinporn: It means “I eat bread.”
Ryan: Okay. So earlier, we mentioned that there are a lot of areas of Thai grammar that are much simpler than their English counterparts, right?
Rawinporn: Now, we’d go through and show you what some of them are.
Ryan: What we’ve decided to do is compare Thai examples to English grammar examples, so that you can really see the differences. The next one we’ll talk about is tense.
Rawinporn: Tense. Well, first, what is tense?
Ryan: Good question! Tense refers to time; past, present, and future! There are tons of tenses in English with scary names like present perfect continuous and stuff like that.
Rawinporn: I think you’ll scare a lot of English learners.
Ryan: Yeah. And that’s why, you’ll be glad to know that in the Thai language, words are not modified or conjugated for tenses.
Rawinporn: That’s right. We simply indicate by the context or with the words “already” or “will.”
Ryan: That means there is no difference between past, future, and present tense. But as long as you have words that specify time, you can easily tell when the action is going to take place. Let’s hear some examples. How about a simple sentence?
Rawinporn: dì-chǎn gin saaen-wít. “I eat a sandwich.” dì-chǎn is a personal pronoun that means “I.” gin is a verb that means “eat.”
Ryan: So that sentence is in the present tense. How do we change it to the future? “I will eat a sandwich.”
Rawinporn: It would be a very similar sentence - dì-chǎn jà gin saaen-wít.
Ryan: You only add jà which means “will” in front of the verb and this sentence becomes a future tense sentence.
Rawinporn: How easy!
Ryan: For the present continuous tense, you only add the word gam-lang in front of the verb.
Rawinporn: dì-chǎn gam-lang gin saaen-wít.
Ryan: “I am eating a sandwich.”
Rawinporn: For past tense, the sentence would be exactly the same as present tense. In order to make it clearer, you only address the time of the action.
Ryan: For example?
Rawinporn: dì-chǎn gin saaen-wít mûuea-waan-níi.
Ryan: “I ate a sandwich yesterday.”
Rawinporn: Additionally, Thai verbs don’t conjugate according to the subject.
Ryan: It doesn’t matter who is doing the action, the verb stays the same. Can we hear some examples?
Rawinporn: dì-chǎn gin saaen-wít.
Ryan: “I eat a sandwich.”
Rawinporn: Khun Ryan gin saaen-wít.
Ryan: “Ryan eats a sandwich.” You heard the exact same gin in both sentences, right?
Rawinporn: The word didn’t change.
Ryan: That makes grammar a lot easier. That’s for sure. Next, let’s talk about pronouns! What we’re going to do is give you the word one time at natural native speed. Then we’ll give you the English translation. Let’s have a listen. First, we have…
Rawinporn: phǒm
Ryan: “I” (for males only)
Rawinporn: dì-chǎn
Ryan: “I” (for females only)
Rawinporn: khun
Ryan: “You”
Rawinporn: phûuak-rao or rao
Ryan: “We”
Rawinporn: khǎo
Ryan: “He” or “she”
Rawinporn: phûuak-khǎo
Ryan: “They”
Rawinporn: Lastly, man.
Ryan: “It” (for animals and things). Now, let’s have a look at the verb “to be.”
Rawinporn: In Thai, the word “to be” is bpen. It is always placed after the subject.
Ryan: Just like before, what we’re going to do is give you the word one time at natural native speed, then we’ll give you the English translation. Khun Rawinporn, please begin.
Rawinporn: phǒm bpen
Ryan: “I am.”
Rawinporn: phǒm bpen khon-thai.
Ryan: “I am Thai.”
Rawinporn: dì-chǎn bpen khon-thai.
Ryan: “I am Thai.”
Rawinporn: khun bpen
Ryan: “You are”
Rawinporn: For example, khun bpen khun-khruu.
Ryan: “You are a teacher.”
Rawinporn: phûuak-rao bpen
Ryan: “We are”
Rawinporn: For example: phûuak-rao bpen khon-dtàang-châat.
Ryan: "We are foreigners."
Rawinporn: khǎo bpen
Ryan: “She is”
Rawinporn: For example: khǎo bpen dii-saai-nôoe.
Ryan: "She is a designer."
Rawinporn: phûuak-khǎo bpen
Ryan: "They are"
Rawinporn: phûuak-khǎo bpen mǎaw.
Ryan: "They are doctors."
Rawinporn: Lastly, man bpen.
Ryan: "It is"
Rawinporn: For example, man bpen yaa-gâae-bpùuat.
Ryan: "It is a painkiller."
Rawinporn: This is all for this lesson. See you again next time. We are going to practice the pronunciation in the next lesson.
Ryan: See you!
Rawinporn: sà-wàt-dii khâ.