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How to Say How Are You in Thai

“How are you?” is one of those core Thai phrases you need to know right away.  As with English there are a few different ways to ask this question in Thai language.

We’ll also go over a few different answers to these questions so that you have more than just one expression up your sleeve.

how are you in thai

เป็นยังไงบ้าง

Sabai Dee Mai ? (สบายดีไหม) = How are you?

This is the most basic way to ask “how are you?” in Thai and the main answer you will find on the internet.  If you haven’t seen someone in a while, this is a great phrase to use, but Thai people don’t really use it as often as we say “How are you doing?” in English.

However, it is also not the BEST way to ask this question in most cases.  Thai people use a number of much more colloquial phrases when asking their friends, acquaintances and colleagues how they are doing.

Spoken Thai Tones Tip:

Thai is a tonal language and mastering the Thai tones is an important part of learning Thai.

The yes/no question marker ไหม (mai) has a RISING tone much like the intonation we use an English when we are a little skeptical of what we are hearing: REALLLY?? 

However, in real daily Thai conversation, this question marker word ends up being pronounced as มั้ย (mai) with a HIGH tone.  To say a high tone correctly, you need to start at the high end of the spectrum of your voice’s comfort zone and then slide up a tiny bit higher.

Try to click back and forth between the 2 variations and see if you can hear any difference.  Don’t be discouraged if they sound the same as your ear will probably require lots of exposure before you can distinguish them with easy.

  • ไหม (mai) with a RISING tone
    • A rising tone starts at the low end of your voice and moves across the spectrum of your voice to the top of YOUR comfort zone.
  • มั้ย (mai) with a HIGH tone
    • A high tone starts at the high end of the comfort spectrum of your voice and pops up a tiny bit higher.

The Best Ways to Ask “How are you?” in Thai (Informal)

While we have broken down the vocabulary in each phrase below, we strongly recommend that you just memorize these set phrases as Thai people use them every single day as “how’s it going?” or “what’s happening?” with their friends.

เป็นยังไงบ้าง (ppen yang-ngai baang?) – How’s it going?

Did you eat rice yet??? A Thai greeting.

You’ll often hear this phrase stacked in with a “how are you?” It literally means “Did you eat rice yet?,” but Thai people use it so often that it functions more like a greeting.  I would mark this as one of the top 5 most useful Thai sentences you will ever learn.  Check out our great post on Thai greetings for more examples of this phrase.

This Thai phrase is also used every single day and is arguably even more important than เป็นยังไงบ้าง (ppen yang-ngai baang?)  It literally means “Eat rice or not yet?”  but Thai people often use it as a show of concern for the well being of people they encounter in their daily life.

You can answer this question with either:

If you have ever spent time speaking to Thai people – you will know how much Thai people love to think and talk about food which is understandable given how delicious the food is in Thailand.  It’s a common topic of conversation and a good conversation starter so it’s often used as a greeting amongst Thais.

It’s worth learning all 3 of these phrases in the table below as you will often encounter 2 or even all 3 of them stacked together within one exchange.

Top 3 Ways to Ask “How are you?” in Thai

EnglishThaiRomanization
How are you doing?เป็นยังไงบ้างppen yang-ngai baang?
Did you eat yet? กินข้าวรึยังkkin khaao rue yang?
How are you?สบายดีมั้ยsabaai dee mai?

4 Ways to Answer “How are you?” in Thai

*Thai Grammar Note:

Even though we’ve translated the phrases below to include “I’m,” in Thai, you usually drop the pronoun so we have not included the Thai pronoun since you it’s a bit unnatural to use it in most situations where you’d say these sentences.

Just like in English, there are a number of commonly used variations that let people know that you are doing just fine (or at least that’s what you’d like them to believe!)

This is the vanilla answer to ” sa-baai dee mai / how are you?” and what you’d learn in a beginner text book or a Thai language class.

This is a soft “I’m good” and feels like when you say “I’m fine” in English and it’s ambiguous whether you mean it or not.

This comes from the “OK” you already know in English.  Sometimes people drop the “K” and just say โอ (Ohh).

While this expression is tricky for beginners to pronounce, it’s also a really great answer.  เรื่อยๆ means something that something is happening continuously so in this context, if someone asks you “How’s it going?” it would be like answer “Yeah, it’s going.”  This phrase isn’t negative, so it’s a neutral way to answer similar to “I’m doing ok.”

Need help learning the tone system or how to pronounce the tricky vowels of Thai?  Check out my online Thai program which has 4 courses to get you started at speaking and reading Thai

 

Other Common Phrases to Answer “How are you?” in Thai

It’s useful to add in a time phrase when you want to say things like “today I’m …..” or “lately I’m ….”

I'm tired today.วันนี้เหนื่อย (wan-nee nueay)  
I'm very busy latelyช่วงนี้ยุ่งมาก(chuang-nee yung maak)
Lately, I'm great.ช่วงนี้ดีมาก (chuang-nee dee maak)
So-so; mehเฉยๆ (cheoy-cheoy)

 

Sample Thai Conversations for “How are you?”

Now let’s look at a few short exchanges in Thai so you can see how these phrases might come up in the wild.

Formal / Polite:

We have to include this, but it’s very stiff and we recommend using more fun phrases than these.

Example 1:

Example 2:

This is a much more colloquial and often used exchange.  The reply here can have a feeling like “yeah nothing special is happening.”

Example 3:

You aren’t always going to be feeling great and there are times when you want to tell people how you really feel.  So, here’s an example to use when you want to say you are tired in Thai.

Example 4:

In this dialogue, see how you can stack 2 of the main sentence patterns together.  This is very common in Thai greetings.

Example 5:

Remember how we said that we usually drop the pronouns?  Well, if you want to ask someone how someone else is, you’ll need to specify that person.  In this example, one person asks their friend how their mother is.  We know WHOSE mother we are talking about based on the context alone.  It is not necessary (or natural) to clarify that we are talking about their mother.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to say “how are you” in Thai (and how to answer) it’s to get out there and practice!

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How to Say I Miss You in Thai

Today we’re going to learn how to say “I miss you” in Thai.  While this is the perfect phrase to show that special someone that you’re thinking of them, it’s also used to say that you miss your family, friends, places and times of your life. 

miss you in Thai

คิดถึงจัง

I Miss You in Thai

The main Thai phrase for “I miss you” is คิดถึง (kít tĕung).

The phrase คิดถึง (kít tĕung) literally translates as something like “thinking of you” or “(my) thoughts reach (you)” however it’s used just like we use “I miss you” in English.  

Thai Grammar Note:

Thai is a very contextual language which means we will very often drop any information that is already understood by both speaker and listener.  The most common example of this is dropping the pronouns as in “I miss you.”  We really only need to say the “miss” part.  If I say คิดถึง (kít tĕung)  to you, everybody involved or in earshot knows who misses who.

How to Say I REALLY Miss You in Thai

You can use any of these phrases to when you want to tell someone you miss them a lot.

In case you really want to impress your significant other, use this one.  Be warned that the person you use this on may very well swoon.

I Miss You NA นะ (NA: The Special Softener Particle)

Thai language has a lot of very short words called “particles.”  Particle words often don’t have a a meaning like most words.  Rather they add a bit of emotional color to the sentence that they are modifying.  In non-tonal languages, we do this with intonation.  NA นะ is one of the most common particle words that you will encounter in Thai.

I call it “the softener” because it makes whatever you are saying sound softer/nicer/more pleasant.  The extent of this “softness” is contextual.  So if people in a relationship say it to each other, or someone says it to a small child, it can have a cute feeling to it.

คิดถึง vs คิดถึงนะ – Both of these phrases mean “I miss you,” but the na adds a pinch of niceness.

More Formal/Polite Ways to Say I Miss You in Thai

The main word for you in Thai is คุณ (khun), but it is not used in Thai like we us “you” in English.  The Thai คุณ (khun) has a very formal feel to it which is similar to “mr.” or “mrs.” so we don’t recommend using it very much.  However, you will come across it in texts and in Thai dramas where the dialogue tends to be unrealistically polite so we’ll give you some examples.

It would sound nice on a card, but it would sound a little silly if you said to someone.  Because, generally, if you are close to someone, you would never call them คุณ (khun) – “you.”

More Useful Thai Phrases Related to “I Miss You”

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How to Say What is Your Name in Thai

One of the most important phrases you’ll need to know when you’re meeting new people is asking their name.  Below we will break down everything you need to know about how to say “What’s your name?” in Thai.

How you (should) speak to people in Thai will often depend on a few factors such as your age in relation to theirs, the situation or the person’s status so we’ll cover both the formal/polite and informal sentences you can use when speaking with Thai people.

You can learn the basics of the Thai alphabet and sounds in 10-20 hours study and master it within a couple months of very part-time study.  If you put in an at least an hour a day, you can learn it a lot faster, but finding your own ideal pace is a big part of learning a new skill.

how to say what is your name in thai cartoon

ชื่อ อะไร

Formal/Polite: How to Say “What is your name?” in Thai

First let’s take a look at the formal way to say ‘what is your name’ in Thai. Thai people might use this in a setting when they are speaking with older people or people who are higher in the social or work hierarchy.  This could be used in the context of a business meeting, for example. 

The structure of ‘what is your name’ in Thai looks like this:

Example:

Often when we speak to a person in Thai that we don’t know, someone older or someone who has some level of status, we’ll add on the polite gender based particles:  ครับ Khrap (male) and ค่ะ Kha (females).

If you are in a formal setting or a situation where you don’t know who you are speaking with yet, such as on the phone, at the immigration office, at a bank or business meeting, it’s probably best to use this formal version of “what is your name?” in Thai.  But for normal social settings, you can use the informal version of ‘what is your name’ which we cover later in this article.

Formal: How to Say ‘My Name is…’

If you are in a formal setting, it is possible that you will be asked the formal version of ‘what is your name’ so it’s important to learn the formal response of ‘my name is…’

The structure of “my name is…” in Thai looks like this:

Male Speaker:

Female Speaker:

Sample Dialogue 1: 

Sample Dialogue 2: 

Bonus Tips:

*When we say “formal” or “polite,” it’s hard to define every possible situation you might encounter, but here are a few good ground rules to follow:

  1.  You would never use “คุณ (khun) – you” with children and very rarely with people much younger than you.  This word has a feeling similar to “Mr” or “Mrs” in Thai so while it’s not likely anyone will correct you, it will sound very strange.
  2. It’s not IMPOLITE to drop pronouns, so if you aren’t sure which pronoun to use (or if you should use one) it’s always ok to drop them.  Just use the polite gender particle ครับ / ค่ะ (khrap/kha) and you will still be speaking politely.

Thai Vocabulary Flashcards

Now that we’ve looked at a few phrases, why don’t you spend 2 or 3 minutes drilling the key Thai words in this lesson?  It’ll make it easier for you to understand the sentences in the rest of this post.

  • คุณ
    คุณ
    you(khun)
  • พี่
    พี่
    older-sibling(pii)
  • น้อง
    น้อง
    younger-sibling(nawng)
  • ผม
    ผม
    I(phom) *male
  • ฉัน
    ฉัน
    I(chan) *female
  • ถาม
    ถาม
    ask(thaam)
  • ชื่อ
    ชื่อ
    name(chue)
  • อะไร
    อะไร
    what(ah-rai)
  • All Done!

Informal: How to Ask “What is your name?” in Thai

Part of crafting the most natural sentence in Thai language is knowing whether to use a pronoun at all and in situations where they are appropriate, deciding which one to use.

As we’ve seen above, even in formal setting you can drop the pronoun คุณ (khun) entirely and just make sure to add the polite gender-based particle ครับ/ค่ะ (khrap/kha).

In some social settings you can may hear or want to use to use an informal pronoun.

Thai speakers will often use พี่ (pii) ‘older brother/sister’ and น้อง (nong) ‘younger brother/sister’ when speaking with close friends, acquaintances, siblings and strangers alike.  It is even common for Thai speakers to call their spouse or partner พี่ (pii) or น้อง (nong).

Sample Informal Situation:

You eat at a restaurant or a cafe a number of times and start to get to know one or more of the staff at the shop and you’d like to ask their name*.  Since you are a customer, they may use the polite word for “you,” คุณ (khun) + your name to address you.  If they are clearly younger than you, you can refer to them as น้อง (nawng) which means “younger sibling.”

* In most cases, when you ask a Thai person their name, they will give you their nickname.  Thai names tend to be quite long and are rarely used informally.

**Check out our posts on ordering beer or coffee to learn more about this very important sentence pattern.

Choosing the Right Thai Pronoun:

Thai has a lot of pronouns and I don’t recommend trying to learn them all at once.  The easy answer in all situations is to use คุณ (khun) which is the polite way to say “you” in Thai.  However, it’s rarely the best or most natural answer.   Thai culture has a built-in friendliness/closeness within a status-based hierarchy.

The pronoun you use is at least partially determined by your age in relation to the other person.  So your friend who is 1 week older than you is your พี่ (pii).  If you had a twin brother/sister that was born 5 minutes before you, they are also your พี่ (pii) as they are a bit older.  You can use this word up to approximately the age of your parents.

Although these terms are somewhat informal (a student wouldn’t refer to their teacher as พี่ (pii) for example), it is still perfectly polite and respectful to use these terms in most every day social situations as it displays a level of friendliness and familiarity which is a natural part of Thai culture.

Sample Informal Situation:

You shop at a market, or a food stall you can use these terms if the food seller is considerably older than you.  There isn’t a set age difference, but think in terms of your parent’s age.  If you are 25-35 and the food seller is 50 or 70, you should use the terms for “aunt” or “uncle” in Thai.

In these situations, can just refer to them as “aunt” or “uncle,” and it isn’t necessary or unfriendly to not ask their name.

Go Practice Speaking Thai:

Now that you know how to ask ‘what is your name?’ in Thai for almost every situation you will find yourself in, it’s time to get out there and start making some friends. You will be sure to impress your new found Thai friends and make a great first impression.  Looking for more basic Thai language content?  I’d recommend learning all the different ways to greet people in Thai with this post on saying hello.   Looking for Thai language tutors?  Check out iTalki.

Or maybe you are looking to get conversational or fluent in Thai?  If so, check out my Thai core skills program: the Learn Thai Inner Circle

*While we have added transliteration (and AUDIO!) to the Thai words and phrases in the above Thai lesson, if you would like to be able to speak Thai conversationally (or fluently!) at some point, we strongly recommend that you learn to read the Thai script.   It can appear intimidating, but being able to separate the sounds of Thai from English (and/or your own native language) will make going deep into Thai language much easier.

How to Say I Love You in Thai

 

how-to-say-i-love-you-in-thai

รักต้นไม้บ้างมั้ย = RAK thon-mai baang mai? (Do you LOVE trees?)

How to Say I Love You in Thai?

The quick answer is: chan rak ter or ฉันรักเธอ, but I’d recommend reading further because in context-light language like Thai, choosing the right words and sentences depends on who is talking as well as who you are talking to.

You can click on the blue words and phrases to hear the audio of the Thai word or sentence.

Whether you are studying Thai or just have a significant other that you are trying to impress,  you may be interested in learning how to say I love you in Thai.  Even if you don’t go very deep into Thai language, learning short phrases like this can really win you some bonus points with your partner.

Aside from just knowing how to use and pronounce these Thai phrases correctly, you’ll also hear many of them in Thai songs, Thai soaps and Thai movies.  

In addition to learning the different Thai phrases for “I love you,” we’ll also introduce some of the more common expressions and useful sentences that use the word “love” which is “rak” or รัก in Thai language.

Words for ‘I Love You’ in Thai

how-to-say-i-love-you-in-thai2

หมีมีความรักด้วย

 

The most common expression you’ll probably encounter for “I love you” in Thai across all forms of media is ฉันรักเธอ (chan rak ter).  ฉัน (chan) is generally used as the primary female pronoun, but guys use it in love songs and sometimes on Thai tv and movies. I don’t recommend using this in real life, however if you are male as it can sound a little silly.  You can either drop the pronoun entirely, or use one of the other choices below.  

One thing you will notice pretty quickly in Thai is that the pronouns (like ‘I’ and ‘you’) is often dropped.

When in doubt, just pay attention to how Thai people talk to each other (in real life as opposed to on tv) and copy what they do.  It may take a while sometimes before you can find the answer, but it’s worth the effort.

ฉันรักเธอ (chan rak ter) – I love you.  

ฉัน chan I (primarily used by females)
รัก rak love
เธอ ter you (intimate); she

 

Basic Phrases for “I Love You” in Thai

Choosing the best phrase isn’t always easy.  You’ll probably come across these phrases in textbooks, phrasebooks and other web sites.  I don’t really recommend using them, but they won’t do you any harm.

ผมรักคุณ phom rak khun I love you.  (male speaker)
ฉันรักคุณ chan rak khun I love you.  (female speaker)

 

Thai Sentence Pattern: A รัก B

Here’s the basic sentence pattern saying ‘I love you’ in Thai.

“A loves B,” is what you want to start with, but choosing the correct pronouns to use in Thai can be a little complicated.  Gender, status, age and relationship all have an affect on the words that you should use to refer to both yourself and to whom you are speaking to.

As a learner of the language, you are expected to make mistakes so don’t worry about it too much.  It’s a pretty soft minefield so you won’t lose any limbs. Just keep in mind that the more familiar/intimate/close you are with a person, the more freedom you’ll have to use the informal expressions.

In Thai, it’s very common to drop pronouns when it’s obvious who the target is.  We’ll look at this more in the next section.

Informal ‘I Love You’ in Thai

Since declaring your love for someone tends to be a pretty informal situation to begin with, I’d really recommend becoming familiar with the more informal Thai love phrases you can use with your partner.  You can almost always drop one or both pronouns if it’s clear who is saying what to who.  You can also do this if you just aren’t sure which pronoun to use.

Which Thai pronoun to use?

How to Refer to Your Partner in Thai

Informal;
ผัว poo-ah husband (often used even if not married)
เมีย mia wife (often used even if not married)
Formal:
สามี saa-mee husband
ภรรยา pha-ra-yaa wife

 

General:
แฟน fan boyfriend/girlfriend/partner
ที่รัก thee-rak dear/lover/babe/sweetie

Bonus Thai Love Phrases

 

รักผมรึยัง rak phom rue yang Do you love me yet? (male speaker)
รักฉันรึยัง rak chan rue yang Do you love me yet? (female speaker)
รักไม่เป็น rak mai ppen I don’t know how to love.
ตกหลุมรัก tok lum rak Fall in love (fall-hole-love)
แสดงความรัก sa-dang kwaam rak to show or express love

 

 

Noun vs Verbs in Thai

The word รัก (rak) that we looked at above is going to act as a verb in most cases.  In order to form the noun version of “love” in Thai, you just add the word ความ (kwaam) in front of รัก (rak).  You’ll use the noun form in sentences where you are talking about the concept or idea of love.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to say “I love you” in Thai and this list is not exhaustive, but hopefully we’ve given you enough to get started with.  Remember, that part of learning a language (or any skill!) involves making mistakes and embracing this early on will make the journey go much smoother.

Want to Learn to Read Thai?

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Try a couple free lessons from my Thai foundation course which teaches everything you need to know about the script, sound system and tone rules of Thai.

How to Say Thank You in Thai

“Thank you” in Thai is khàawp khun (ขอบคุณ), but that’s not always the best phrase to use.  Read on for all the formal and informal versions of “thanks” in Thai.

*All Thai script in this post has audio which you can play by TAP/Clicking on the Thai words and there are flashcards for some of the most important words at the bottom of the post.  There’s also a video where myself and a Thai friend explain how to say the most important 3 ways to say thank you in Thai

How to Be Polite in Thai:

If you want to be extra polite, you can add kha ค่ะ (for females) and khrap ครับ (for males) at the end of the phrase.  These are gender based polite particles and you’ll hear and use them a lot in Thai language.

*Note about Spelling:  There are a number of different systems to transliterate the Thai language and none of them are very effective.  You may see other spellings for “thank you” in Thai such as; kob kun krap/ka. If you plan to learn Thai, I highly recommend learning the script as soon as possible.

Can't read Thai yet? Try a few free lessons from my basic Thai course.

How to say ‘thank you’ in Thai depends on few things such as your age and relationship to the person you are thanking.  This post covers all the important phrases you need to know how to say as well as a few common ones you might hear when in Thailand.

How to Say Thank You Among Friends (and people younger than you):

These are the three main “thank you”s to use with your friends.

  1. ขอบคุณ [khawp khun] – It’s the same as above, but we can drop the polite particle.
  2. ขอบใจ [khawp jai] – thanks **

**ขอบใจ [khawp jai] – is a bit informal and shouldn’t be used with people older than you or with higher “status” (eg; your boss, your girlfriend’s parents).

This word can come across as a bit abrupt so it’s pretty common to throw a นะ (na) at the end. The นะ (na) is often used as a softener to make things sound nicer.

ขอบใจนะ [khawp jai] – Thanks.

ขอบใจน้า [khawp jai naa] – When typing this word, the short vowel นะ  may be written with the long vowel น้า and it’s often pronounced this way for emphasis and/or niceness.

ขอบใจจ้า – [khawp jai jaa] – As above, when typed this may be written with the longer vowel and is often pronounced this way.

  • แต้งกิ้ว – [tang kiw] – This is just a transliteration of “thank you” and is used ALL THE TIME so don’t feel bad or weird about using it.

**There’s a mini-joke/pun associated with it the word above.  If you pronounce the word as แทงคิ้ว [tang khiw] (or someone else says it) and then poke yourself in the eyebrow. Do it to a friend (or almost anyone really) and I promise you’ll get a laugh. You’re basically saying “stab (my) eyebrow.”

Close friends using the intimate (and rude if not intimate) particles กู (goo) / มึง (mueng) can be used with any of the above. So you will definitely hear things like:

*Sometimes แต้ง (falling tone) may be spelled/pronouncedแต๊ง (high tone)

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The Three Best Ways to Say Thank You in Thai

Learn Thai Flashcards – Practice Different Ways to Say Thank You with these Flash Cards

  • ขอบคุณ
    ขอบคุณ
    thank you
  • ขอบใจ
    ขอบใจ
    thanks (inf)
  • มาก
    มาก
    very; a lot
  • ไหว้
    ไหว้
    to wai
  • แต้งกิ้ว
    แต้งกิ้ว
    thank you (eng)
  • มึง
    มึง
    you (inf;rude)
  • กู
    กู
    I (inf;rude)
  • All Done!

 

 

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How to Say Thank You in Thai to Acquaintances and Older People:

The particle word used at the end of a phrase is very important both in terms of applying the appropriate level of politeness as well as “coloring” the feeling behind the sentence.  The first level of politeness, is just adding the polite gender particle ครับ /ค่ะ [khap / kha] for male/female respectively.

  • ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ – [khawp khun (khap /kha)] – Thank you. You can use this with older relatives or people at the office that you don’t feel you are close enough to drop the polite particle.

If someone is much older than you (grandparents age for example) or if someone goes out of their way to help you or do something for you, or is being celebrated for some reason (eg; retirement/wedding/etc) then you probably want toไหว้ [wai] them along with the more formal language.

  • ไหว้ [wai] – the wai is when you put your hands together in prayer-like position and it may or may not include a slight bow. The position of the hands in relation to the face/head as well as the deepness of the bow convey differing levels of respect. Thai kids have to wai their teachers everyday. Most Thai people will wai a monk on sight. Young people wai their elders. Employees wai their bosses. Learning when to do this is a very valuable skill in Thailand and it will endear you to just about everybody except for angry farang.

Example Situation: You get a flat tire on your motorbike and someone with a pickup truck stops to help you load up your bike onto their truck and drive you to a shop. Even if that person is the same age or a bit younger than you, this is the type of situation where a wai along with “ขอบคุณมากครับ /ค่ะ [khawp khun maak (khap / kha)] – Thank you so much” is appropriate.

 

Additional Notes:

  • มาก [maak] – very (falling tone) *Can be added at the end of any phrase to mean “very much” but place it before polite particle.
  • ขอบคุณมากครับ [khawp khun maak khrap] Thank you very much (polite)!
  • ครับ [khrap] – male polite particle (high tone, can drop the ร/r sound)
  • ค่ะ [kha] – female polite particle (falling tone)

Learn More Useful Thai Phrases

Check out these posts and more to learn lots of useful Thai phrases and sentence patterns.