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How to Say How in Thai

In this post we’re going to learn how to say an important Thai question word – “how?”.

If you are just starting out in learning Thai then knowing how to say “how” in Thai is useful as you can use it a lot in your daily life in Thailand.  You can make conversation with Thai people and ask them questions like “how is the food?” or even “how do you say this in Thai?”.

How in Spoken Thai:

If you’re looking for the quick answer, the way to say “how” in colloquial or spoken Thai is:

“How” Questions in Thai

To make a “how” question in Thai language, the structure is simply:

Example Thai Phrases:

Below are a handful of basic verbs and then how you would combine “how” with each verb to create a basic Thai phrase.

Thai Grammar Tip

In Thai, verbs are not conjugated.  This means that unlike English, the form of the verb is always the same in Thai, regardless of the tense and whether or not the sentence is singular or plural.

You might think that this makes things more difficult for foreigners to learn Thai.  Sure, it might be a little confusing at first but as you improve and get used to it, you will find that you can usually pick up from the context what the tense is and whether the speaker is referring to something singular or plural.  And there is also the added benefit that you don’t need to remember all of the different forms for every verb in the Thai language, as you do in English.

How To Say “how is it?”or “how are they?” in Thai

If you would like to ask “how is it?” or “how are they?” in Thai we need to use the verb “to be”.  In Thai the verb “to be” is:

Just like in the examples above, we add the verb เป็น (ppen) before ยังไง (yang ngai).

Now, if we want to ask “how is xxxx?” then we just need to add a noun to the start of this question.  So the structure is:

Examples:

เป็นยังไง (ppen yang ngai) is also used as an informal way to ask “how are you?” in Thai. The word บ้าง (baang) is often added to the end of this question. บ้าง (baang) doesn’t have a direct translation in English but it is often added to the end of a question when it’s expected that a more wide-ranging answer may be given.

 How to Say HOW in Formal or Written Thai

The “how” covered above is used in everyday spoken Thai, however there is an official form of this word that is used in formal situations and in written Thai. You’ll need to know both, but you’ll find that people will usually use ยังไง (yang-ngai) in conversation.

The formal or written version of HOW in Thai is:

อย่างไร (yaang rai) can be used in all of the same situations as ยังไง (yang ngai).

Examples:

How to Say “How Do You Say This in Thai?”

One of the best ways for beginners to learn Thai is to start practicing speaking Thai with real people as soon as possible.  You can do this by making conversation with restaurant staff, your Thai friends or even on a video call with a Thai tutor via apps like iTalki.  When you are practicing speaking Thai there will be some words that you don’t know how to say.  Instead of reverting back to speaking English when you don’t know a Thai word or phrase, you can ask the Thai question “how do you say this in Thai?”.

Examples of ways to ask how to say something is:

You can replace อันนี้ (an nii) with any English word that you want to know in Thai.

Examples Sentences:

More Examples of HOW in Thai:

There are some situations where we don’t use ยังไง (yang ngai) or อย่างไร (yaang rai) for how in Thai.

Situation 1)

When we want to know how much or how many of something and it is expected that the answer is a numerical value we can use:

Or

Example using เท่าไหร่ (tao rai):

Example using กี่ (kkii):

Situation 2)

When we want to ask a “how much” question where the expected answer is the degree or extent of something we can use:

  • แค่ไหน (kaeh nai) – how much; to what extent (used when the expected answer is not a numerical value)

For example:

Conclusion 

Now that you know all of the different ways to say “how” in Thai, you can get out there and start making conversations with your Thai friends.  And finally, we would like to ask you… วันนี้เรียนเป็นยังไง (wan nii riian ppen yang gnai) – how was today’s lesson?

How to Say Similar in Thai

If you’ve been to Thailand before you might have heard the phrase “same same” and “same same but different” (maybe you even bought the t-shirt!).  

In this post we’re going to learn how to say “similar” and “the same” in Thai.  These words can come in handy in everyday conversations if you want to say something like “we’re wearing similar shirts” or “I feel the same”. 

how to say similar or same in thai

เหมือนมั้ย

Similar in Thai – The Quick Answer

If you’re looking for a quick answer, the way to say similar in Thaiซ

  • ๆ- is a Thai symbol which indicates that the preceding word should be repeated (some Thai words can be repeated to add emphasis or to intensify the meaning).  
  • กัน (kkan) – means “together” or “each other”

Example sentence:

Doubled Up Thai Words

In Thai, some adjectives can be repeated in order to emphasize, or intensify the meaning. Here are some examples:

Different Ways to Say Similar in Thai

Although in many situations คล้ายๆ กัน (klaai klaai kkan) will be the best way to say similar in Thai, you may hear a number of different variations of this:

All of these variations can be used interchangeably to mean “similar to”.

The word กับ (kkap) means “with” – though when it is combined with คล้าย (klaai), it just means “similar to”.

Examples Sentences:

All 4 of these sentences mean “Thai language is similar to Lao language.”

*กับ functions like “with” in these patterns.

Vocabulary:

How to Say The Same in Thai

Now that we know the Thai word for “similar” let’s look at how to say “the same” in Thai.  The word เหมือน (muean) can also mean similar, but it tends to be stronger (and closer to being the same) then saying คล้าย (khlaai).   

So it’s important to remember that เหมือน while technically meaning “same” is often used as “very similar to” or “like”

The Thai word for “the same,” but it has a couple forms depending on what you want to say. 

Example sentence:

Just like the Thai word for “similar”, you may also hear a couple of different variations of the Thai word for “the same”.

Here the English sentence is:

“He has the same shoes as his older brother”

How to Say “The Usual Please” 

If you go to the same coffee shop every day and order the same drink, after a while the staff will know you well enough to remember your order.  So you can just tell them “I’ll have the usual please”.

The way to say this in Thai is:

เอา เหมือนเดิม ครับ / ค่ะ (ao muean duem khrap / kha) – I’ll have the usual please (+ polite particle)

We use the phrase เหมือนเดิม (muean duem) when we are referring to something that is the same as before.  

Here are some other examples:

 

Same Same But Different

There doesn’t seem to be a consensus on where the phrase “same same but different” came from.  While this phrase can be heard in tourist areas all across Thailand, it’s by no means exclusive to this country – it can also be heard in a number of other South East Asian countries.  

However, since this is a Thai language blog, we’re going to throw in our two baht on how this phrase could have originated in Thailand.

Here goes…

In Thai language, there is a phrase that is used when things are similar but not exactly the same:

Same same but different could be a rough translation of this Thai phrase.  Although, in the original Thai, the word “similar” (คล้ายๆ – klaai klaai) is used, but in the English version the word “same same” is used.  This could be because when Thai words are repeated for emphasis, they tend to be short, one or two syllable words. 

So “same same” is simply easier and faster for Thai people to say than “similar similar”. 

While “same same but different” sounds funny to us in English, the original Thai version actually makes a lot more sense. 

What do you think?  Are we on the right lines or do you have a different theory on where this phrase originated?

Conclusion

Hopefully you know how to say the same and similar in Thai now.  So you can get out there and start practicing what you’ve learned!

How to Speak Thai at the Hotel

Planning on going on holiday to Thailand?  In most cases, you will probably have already booked your accommodation in advance of your trip but you might still need to talk with the hotel staff or want to ask some questions like “what time is check out?” or “is there a swimming pool”.  Of course, the staff won’t expect you to be a fluent speaker of the Thai language, but they’ll probably appreciate it (and be impressed) if you know a little bit of Thai.

In this post we’ll give you some handy Thai hotel phrases and also take a look at the different types of accommodation common in Thailand so you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need for a stress-free holiday.

Thai Hotel Phrases

มาเช็คอินครับ

Types of Accommodation In Thailand

It’s no wonder Thailand is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. It has a rich culture, world-class cuisine and stunning natural beauty; from the rolling mountains of northern Thailand to the white sandy beaches of Koh Chang in the south.  Given that Thailand is such a popular destination for tourists from all over the world; there is a wide array of accommodation options to choose from; budget backpacker hostels to luxury hotels; quirky boutique guesthouses to back-to-nature camping – Thailand has it all.

Luckily, a lot of the Thai words for the different types of accommodation come from the English language so they should be easy for you to remember.  Just make sure that you say the words in a Thai accent if you want to sound authentic (you can click on each word and listen to the audio to see how they sound when spoken in Thai).

ThaiTransliterationEnglish
โรงแรมrohng raemHotel
โฮสเทลhoh-stelHostel
เกสต์เฮาส์gaest-haoGuesthouse
โฮมสเตย์hohm-sttaeHomestay
บังกะโลbang-kka-lohBungalow
แคมป์ปิ้งcaem-ppingCamping
แอร์บีเอ็นบีaeh bii en biiAirbnb

Hotel – โรงแรม (rohng raem)

Hotels in Thailand range from budget hotels offering a single room with just a fan (and no air-con). To small-scale boutique hotels – often with unique, chic or minimalist decor. To 5 star luxury hotels which are of a similar standard to Western luxury hotels but much cheaper.  Many of the more expensive hotels will also have a spa on-site, too so you can get your joints cracked back into position with a Thai massage.

Hostel – โฮสเทล (hoh-stel)

These can often be modern and quirky and tend to be backpacker-focused.  They often have a bar and/or restaurant on-site so you’ll be able to order a coffee or a beer.  They are a great place to meet other travelers.

Guesthouse – เกสต์เฮาส์ (gaest-hao)

A guesthouse is a small purpose built mini-hotel or a converted home.  They tend to cater for low to medium budgets with rooms ranging from basic single rooms with a fan to double rooms with air-con, mini-bar and TV.  A guesthouse in Thailand will also often have a tour desk at reception.

Homestay – โฮมสเตย์ (hohm-sttae)

You can choose to go with a more immersive stay and experience the local culture and hospitality with a Thai homestay.

The accommodation at a homestay may consist of a spare room in a family home or a separate outbuilding.  It can range from full-board to self-catered.

Homestays are often located in rural areas so it’s a great way to support the local economy.

Bungalow – บังกะโล (bang-kka-loh)

These are small private villas within the grounds of a resort.  Bungalow resorts can often be found on the beach-fronts of the Thai islands.  They tend to consist of a large double room and ensuite bathroom.  Bungalows can be great for couples seeking a more romantic option.

Camping – แคมป์ปิ้ง (kaem-pping)

Campsites are often found in the Thai national parks.  You can use your own equipment or you can rent equipment from the park for a small fee.  Bear in mind that campsites are often closed during the rainy season (around May-October).

Airbnb – แอร์บีเอ็นบี (aeh bii en bii)

Airbnb is a good way to find serviced condos. This can be a good choice if you’re planning a longer stay in Thailand.  Some places will offer discounts for longer stays so it usually works out cheaper than a hotel – and you can have the benefit of cooking facilities (although they are often quite basic).

Top Ten Handy Hotel Phrases

You don’t need to learn Thai fluently in order to make yourself understood. Learning a few core phrases is a great start. Here are our top ten phrases that will hopefully come in useful during your stay.

ThaiTransliterationEnglish
มีห้องว่างมั้ยmii hawng waang maiDo you have any rooms available?
ห้องคืนละกี่บาทhawng kuen la kkii bahtHow much is the room per night?
ราคานี้รวมอาหารเช้ามั้ยraa-kaa nii ruam aahaan chao maiIs breakfast included in the price?
ขอดูห้องก่อนได้มั้ยkor duu hawhng gawn dai maiMay I see the room first?
เช็คเอาท์กี่โมงchek ao kii mohngWhat time is check-out?
มีสระว่ายน้ำมั้ยmii sa waai-nam maiIs there a swimming pool?
ห้องมีเครื่องซักผ้ามั้ยhawng mii krueang sak paa maiDoes the room have a washing machine?
ห้องมีตู้เย็นมั้ยhawng mii ttuu yen maiDoes the room have a fridge?
ฝากกระเป๋าไว้ที่นี่ได้มั้ยfaak kkra-ppao wai tii nii dai maiCan I leave my bags here?
มีไวไฟมั้ยmii wai fai maiIs there wifi?

Polite Particles in Thai

In the Thai language, there are special “polite particles” that are used at the end of sentences to make a sentence sound softer and more polite. These should be used at the end of a sentence when making requests or enquiries.  The polite particle for a man is ครับ and for a woman it is คะ (with a high tone) when asking questions and ค่ะ (with a falling tone) for all other sentences.  You can add these particles to any of the questions above to make them sound more polite.

So, a male speaker would say:

And a female speaker would say:

ThaiTransliterationEnglish
เตียงเดียวttiiang ttiiaoSingle bed
เตียงคู่ttiiang kuuDouble bed
ผ้าเช็ดตัวpaa ched ttuaTowel
ผ้าปูpaa ppuuSheets
สบู่sa-buuSoap
แชมพูchaehm puuShampoo
กุญแจkkun-jaehKey
คีย์การ์ดkii kkaadKeycard
แม่บ้านmaeh baanHousekeeper
ห้องน้ำhawng namBathroom
ห้องฟิตเนสhawng fid-naedFitness room
ตู้เซฟttuu saefSafe (safety deposit box)
แอร์aehAir-conditioner
อาหารเช้าaahaan chaoBreakfast

Bonus: Thai Bathroom Etiquette

Most modern accommodation in Thailand will have a western-style bathroom, though in rural areas you might come across squat toilets.

After using the bathroom, Thai people wash rather than wipe. There is usually a hose fitted right next to the toilet so you can wash yourself while you’re sat on the seat. In rural areas, there may just be a large bucket of water next to the toilet instead of a hose.

Bear in mind that the Thai plumbing system is not great so you should throw toilet paper in the trash can (which is usually right next to the toilet) rather than flush it down.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this post has equipped you with some useful knowledge and phrases that you can use on your holiday to Thailand.  And you’ll be sure to impress the staff with your new Thai phrases.

Vocabulary Flashcards

  • โรงแรม
    โรงแรม
    Hotel
  • โฮสเทล
    โฮสเทล
    Hostel
  • เกสต์เฮาส์
    เกสต์เฮาส์
    Guesthouse
  • โฮมสเตย์
    โฮมสเตย์
    Homestay
  • บังกะโล
    บังกะโล
    Bungalow
  • แคมป์ปิ้ง
    แคมป์ปิ้ง
    Camping
  • แอร์บีเอ็นบี
    แอร์บีเอ็นบี
    Airbnb
  • พัก
    พัก
    to rest; stay at
  • ที่พัก
    ที่พัก
    accommodation
  • All Done!

How to Say Handsome in Thai

Want to know how to tell someone they are handsome in Thai?  Just like in English, the word handsome is used when referring to a man and a different word is used to call a woman beautiful (the Thai word for cute is a bit more versatile and can be used for both sexes, animals and more).

In today’s lesson we’re going to teach you how to say handsome in Thai.

How to Say Handsome in Thai

หล่อจัง

 

Handsome in Thai – LAWH (หล่อ)

If you’re looking for the quick answer.  The Thai word for handsome is

This is a handy word to know in Thailand as it’s common to comment on whether a man is handsome or a woman is beautiful.

Thai Culture Tip: When you speak with Thai people you might find that they speak more directly about physical appearance than Westerners are used to – or comfortable with.  For example, it’s not uncommon for a Thai person to tell a friend that they look like they’ve put on weight.  It’s usually not meant, or taken as an insult.

How To Say “You’re Handsome” in Thai

If you search Google or look in your Thai language phrasebook, it’s likely that you will see “you’re handsome” translated as:

  • คุณหล่อ (khun lawh)
    • คุณ (khun) – this can be translated as “you” however, in Thai, using this is generally too formal for most situations and has a feeling of “Mr” or “Mrs.”  While saying this isn’t “wrong”, it’s unnatural and we don’t recommend adding the “you.”

Thai people will often refer to each other based on how old the person they are talking to is in relation to them.  The Thai language has a built-in friendliness and/or respect so Thais will address family, friends, colleagues and strangers as auntie, older brother, little sister etc based on your relationship with them.  The most common pronouns that you will probably hear are พี่ (pii) and น้อง (nawg).

พี่ (pii) – older brother/sister

  • You can use this with people who are older than you up to around the age of your parents.

น้อง (nawg) – little brother/sister

  • You can use this with anybody who is younger than you although.

So if you want to tell someone who is older than you that they are handsome you can say:

Thai Grammar Tip: 

In the English sentence “he is handsome” or “you are handsome” we need to conjugate the verb “to be”.  However, in the Thai version of this sentence the verb “to be” is not used so we just say “he handsome” or  when talking directly to someone, you’d just say “ handsome”.

Here are some other sentences where the verb “to be” is not used:

How To Say “He’s Handsome”

If you’re talking with your Thai friend and you’re telling them about the handsome guy from work, you might want to say the phrase “he’s handsome” in Thai.  In order to say this, you need to use the word เขา (khao) – “he” (also used for “she”).  The official spelling of this word would give it a rising tone but when spoken in everyday Thai sentences it is usually pronounced with a high tone เค้า (khao).  Because of this, you’ll often see the colloquial spelling when you encounter this word on the internet, chat and social media.

Or if you see a handsome guy while you’re at the bar you can point to him and tell your friend:

Very Handsome! in Thai

If you’ve seen a really attractive guy and you want to add emphasis then you can add one of these words to your sentence:

Example Handsome Sentences

 

Bonus: Impress Your Boyfriend

You can show your love for your significant other by referring to them with this very sweet phrase:

Conclusion – Go Tell People They are Handsome

Now that you know how to say handsome in Thai, you can run out and start telling every guy you see that they are หล่อ (lawh).

Looking for more content like this?  Try some of these other basic Thai posts:

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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