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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)


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:11 PM
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Hello Tony,

Thank you for question. Yes, both means the same but everyday situation we would used เอา in front of a noun. While ต้องการ used with a formal situation, which really rare. Please feel free to let me know if you have any future questions. I will be glad to help you.

Have a nice day.


Team ThaiPod101.com

Monday at 04:25 AM
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Hello, I realize that this is not the main point of this lesson, but I am curious what is the difference between ต้องการ versus เอา ? Seems like both mean "to want". When would you use one over the other?

ThaiPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:54 PM
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Hello Ryan,

Thank you very much for your comment and question. I'm glad my answered help you. Fro your question, there are two set of them:

นี่ นั่น โน่น nîi nân nôon are pronouns which can stand alone.

นี้ นั้น โน่น níi nán nóon are adjectives which modify classifiers.

เหล่านี้ lào-níi and เหล่านั้น lào-nán are "preposition" according to my dictionary. We do not use pronouns above to combine and make new words.

Yes, you can do "Daily Conversations in Thai - Beginner (x 25 Videos)" Then follow by "Thai in 3 minutes with Jaa".

Thank you so much. You have a good day as well.


Team ThaiPod101.com

Ryan Thomas
Friday at 07:47 PM
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Hi Parisa,

I was also just stuck on the difference between นี่ nîi and นี้ níi. From your explanation, I understand now that นี่ nîi is a pronoun and นี้ níi is an adjective.

How about "that" ... นั่น nân - Is this the pronoun and นั้น nán is the adjective?

Now, how about 'these' and 'those'?

1. 'these' = เหล่านี้ lào-níi Is this the adjective? So what is the pronoun?

2. 'those' = (cannot find it in the dictionary 😒)

Finally, this is Lesson 66 in the Ultimate Thai Pathway for Beginners. Should I move on to "Daily Conversations in Thai - Beginner (x 25 Videos)" when I have finished studying this current pathway and reviewing it; or should I choose a different pathway? What would you recommend?

P.S. Thank you for all your great answers. I haven't been replying to them as I don't want to spam the comments section but I am learning a lot from them and I appreciate the detailed answers you give.

Hope you have a fantastic Friday!


ThaiPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 05:22 PM
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Hello Matti,

Thank you very much for your comment and pointed out the mistake. It's should be นี่ nîi (your spelling is in corrected). The different between the two is นี่ nîi is a pronoun which can stand a lone, while นี้ níi is an adjective which modify classifiers. 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 Thai.

Have a nice day.


Team ThaiPod101.com

Tuesday at 06:05 PM
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นี้ níi this in Vocabulary, but in video lesson นื่. Which one is correct?