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สวัสดีค่ะ ดิฉันกิตติยาค่ะ (sà-wàt-dii khâ. dì-chǎn Kittaya khâ)
Hi everybody! I’m Kittaya.
Welcome to ThaiPod101.com’s “Learn Thai in 3 minutes.” The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Thai.
In the last lesson, we learned how to use the verb มา(maa).
We will now jump into our lessons dedicated to question words in Thai. Our first one is the most commonly used question word, but also one of the most useful in Thai, and that is "What." “อะไร(à-rai)”
Do you still remember the sentence คุณจะทำอะไร(khun jà tham à-rai)?; “What are you going to do?” from lesson 18?
So let’s review this sentence again:
คุณ(khun) is “You”, จะทำ(jà tham) is "be going to do" and finally we have อะไร(à-rai) which is “What”. So together this is “คุณจะทำอะไร(khun jà tham à-rai)?” Literally “you going to do what?”
The rule is simple: each time you want to ask a question with "What" put the transitive verb in front of “What”.
For example with the transitive verb "to want" “ต้องการ(dtâwng-gaan)”, "What do you want" will be ต้องการอะไร(dtâwng-gaan à-rai)?
[slowly] ต้องการอะไร(dtâwng-gaan à-rai)?
Also with the transitive verb “ทาน(thaan)” "to eat", it will be - ทานอะไร(thaan à-rai)?
On the other hand, it’s not just the transitive verb that you can use with “อะไร(à-rai)”. We use it with nouns as well, for example, if you want to ask someone’s name politely you can say คุณชื่ออะไรครับ(khun chûue à-rai khráp)?
Two common words that we always use with อะไร(à-rai) are “This” and “That.” So, for example:
นี่อะไร(nîi à-rai) “What’s this?”
นั่นอะไร(nân à-rai) “What’s that?”
From those forms we can give more detail by putting the noun object between the words, for example; if you want to ask What’s that box? you can say in Thai
นั่นกล่องอะไร(nân glàwng à-rai)?
Now, Let’s imagine that you want to buy some cakes for your friend’s birthday and you want to know what kind of cake it is or what that cake in the show case is? So, you ask the shopkeeper นี่คือเค้กอะไรคะ(nîi khuue khéek à-rai khá)? What’s this cake? Let’s assume that her answer is นี่คือเค้กกาแฟค่ะ(nîi khuue khéek gaa-faae khâ) “This is coffee cake.”
Another useful sentence for the expat is “What’s this called?” “อันนี้เรียกว่าอะไร(an níi rîiak wâa à-rai)?”
Let’s break this sentence down, the first thing we have is อัน(an), which is a classifier for small objects or it can be a general classifier as well. Then we have “นี้(níi)” which is “This” in Thai. “เรียกว่า(rîiak wâa)” means “called” อะไร(à-rai) at the end of the sentence to make it a question.
All together it is “อันนี้เรียกว่าอะไร(an níi rîiak wâa à-rai)?”
[slowly] “อันนี้เรียกว่าอะไร(an níi rîiak wâa à-rai)?”
Now it’s time for Kittaya’s Insights.
Another difficulty in Thai is when you ask a question that enables various possible answers. As in "Which is your favorite one?" In this case, you have to use อันไหน(an nǎi) which is in fact the literal translation of "which" or "which one".
So ชอบอันไหน(châawp an nǎi)? means "Which one do you like?"
In this lesson, we learned how to use the word "What" in different situations.
I know it’s not always simple but I’m sure you will remember these short rules!
Next lesson, we will talk about the Thai for the interrogative word "Where".
Do you know it already? I can promise it’s easier than "what"!
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Learn Thai in 3 minutes. สวัสดีค่ะ(sà-wàt-dii khâ)