Whether you’re browsing in the street markets of Thailand or want to take a taxi to the airport, if there’s one Thai phrase that you need to know, it’s how to say “How Much” in Thai.
If you are just starting to learn Thai language then this is one of the most useful phrases to learn as you will have plenty of opportunities to practice it in real life situations every day.
Even if you don’t know the Thai numbers yet, a good way to start hearing them is by asking people how much things cost.
How To Say “How Much?” In Thai
The Quick Answer:
- เท่าไร (tao rai) – how much?
- *You can point at anything in Thailand and say “how much?” with this phrase and all kinds of fun things will start to happen.
*Thai Grammar Note: Polite Particles
Thai language has these little “words” that are called particles. These particles don’t generally mean anything on their own, but they add the same emotional color/flavor/feeling to sentences that we do with intonation in English. The most common of these are the gender polite particles.
- (male speaker): เท่าไรครับ (tao rai khrap)
- ครับ (khrap) is added to the end of sentences by males to make a sentence more polite/respectful. In more formal situations, you’ll use it a lot, but when you are talking to people you are very close to, you’ll use it much less or not at all.
- (female speaker): เท่าไรคะ (tao rai kha)
- คะ (kha) is the female polite particle.
More Ways to Say How Much in Thai
- ราคาเท่าไร + ครับ / คะ (raakaa tao rai khrap / kha) – What is the price (+polite particle)?
This is just a longer version of of เท่าไร (tao rai) where you mention the word “price” and sounds slightly more formal. It’s good to keep in mind that in everyday spoken Thai, phrases are often shortened so it’s not necessary to use this longer version, but ราคา (raa-kaa) is a word you’ll need to know.
If you are browsing the markets in Thailand and want to know how much a specific item costs you can point at the item and say:
- อันนี้เท่าไร + ครับ / คะ (an nii tao rai khrap / kha) – how much is this one?
- อายุเท่าไร (aayoo tao rai) – Literally: age how much?
Another common way to say “how much” in Thai uses the word กี่ (gii) which is a question word asking for quantity. With this word, you put it in front of a classifier word to ask how many of that item/thing there are.
- กี่บาท + ครับ / คะ (gii baat khrap / kha) – literally: “how many Baht?”
Other Useful Phrases with กี่ + classifier:
- กี่คน (gii khon) – How many people?
- กี่วัน – (gii wan) – How many days?
- กี่แก้ว – (gii gaew) – How many glasses?
- อันนี้กี่บาท + ครับ / คะ (an nii gii baat khrap / kha) – how many baht is this one?
How Much Per…
Another useful phrase that you might need to say when you’re shopping is “how much per…”. The structure for asking “how much per” is:
*Depending on what you are asking about, a classifier could be “per hour”, “per person”, “per kilogram” etc.
- นวดไทยชั่วโมงละเท่าไร + ครับ / คะ (nuad thai chua mong la tao rai khrap / kha)- How much is a Thai massage per hour (+ polite particle)?
Example with กี่บาท (gii baht) at the bus station:
- ไปเชียงใหม่คนละกี่บาท + ครับ / คะ (kon la tao rai khrap / kha) – Literally: how many baht to Chiang Mai per person (+ polite particle)?
How Much To Go To .. (Taking a Taxi, Tuk-Tuk or Other forms of Transportation)
If you’re using a taxi, tuk tuk even motorcycle taxi to get around then you should agree the price with the drive before you sit down. If you agree the destination with a tuk tuk driver but don’t agree on the price, then when you arrive at your destination you may find that the driver will ask you for (or demand) an inflated price and we can tell you from personal experience that it’s not fun. It’s always best to agree the price before you start your journey and if the price you are quoted seems like a rip-off, you can try to negotiate the price down or just walk away and find another driver.
The way to ask “how much to go to” in Thai is:
Example 1 with กี่บาท :
- ไปสนามบินกี่บาท + ครับ / คะ (ppai sanaam bin gii baat khrap / kha) – how much is it to the airport?
Example 2 with เท่าไร :
- ไปเมญ่าเท่าไร + ครับ / คะ (ppai mayaa tao rai khrap / ka) – how much to go to Maya?
How To Say Something Is Cheap Or Expensive in Thai
Although prices have increased in recent years as the Thai Baht has strengthened, there are many things that are still a bargain when compared with Western countries, particularly food and services, such as taxis.
The way to say that something is expensive in Thai is
- แพง (paeng) – expensive
If you are shopping for something and think that it’s too expensive, you shouldn’t use this word directly with the seller since it would come across as confrontational which is something that Thai people usually try to avoid.
Useful Thai Grammar:
- ไม่ + adjective
Another way to say that something is cheap is:
- ถูก (tuuk) – cheap, inexpensive
At any street food stall or local-style restaurant the price of each dish is around $1.50. Given that Thailand has some of the best street food in the world you might consider this to be good value.
How To Ask For The Bill or Check in Thai
There are a couple of different ways to ask to pay for the food you’ve just eaten, depending on the type of place you’ve just eaten at.
If you’ve just eaten at a restaurant and you want to ask the waiter or waitress to bring the bill to your table, you can say:
- เก็บเงินด้วย ครับ / ค่ะ (gep ngeun duay khrap / kha) – collect money please (+ polite particle)
This sounds more on the polite side and would be used at a restaurant (rather than at a street food stall).
- เก็บตังค์ ครับ / ค่ะ (gep ttang khrap / kha) – literally: collect money please (+ polite particle).
- เก็บ (gep) – to collect
- ตังค์ (ttang)) – money (informal)
If you are eating at a street food stall, you often don’t need to ask for the bill to be brought to the table – you just need to walk up to the owner and pay them directly. Since you’re not asking for the bill, you can just say:
Another way of asking for the bill that you will hear is:
- เช็คบิล (chek-bin) – “check please”
This comes from the English “check bill” but when translated into Thai, the “L” sound at the end of “bill” sound becomes an “N” sound. Thai does not have an ending L or R sound.
Asking “how much” in Thai is definitely one of the first phrases you are going to need to know as you can use it pretty much every day whether you’re shopping for clothes, eating at a restaurant or having a coffee or a beer. So it’s time to get out there and practice what we’ve just learned.
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