How to Say YES in Thai

The YES word that you want doesn’t really exist in Thai. The first word you’ll come across is ใช่ (chai), but that’s usually not what you should be using. If you are being asked a question, you generally say YES, by repeating the key word back to the person asking, or you negate that word to say NO, you are not doing that verb.

As is often the case in language learning, asking questions like “How to say YES in THai?” isn’t the right question. You usually can’t just translate a word into another language and expect it to function the same way.

In Thai, you say the equivalent of YES or NO based on the question. Note that we don’t need to use any pronouns at all here. If ใช่ (chai) isn’t in the question, then it’s probably best to not use it in the answer.

Q: ไปไหม (ppai mai) – Are you going? [Go + QUESTION_PARTICLE]

Q: ชอบพิซซ่าไหม (chawp pissa mai) – Do you like pizza?

  • A1: ชอบ (chawp) (I) like (it)
  • A2: ไม่ชอบ (mai chawp) (I) don’t like (it)
  • Now if someone wants to confirm that you like pizza, rather than just ask you, you may hear this:

Q: ชอบกินพิซซ่าใช่มั้ย – (chawp kin pissa chai mai) – (You) like eating pizza right?

  • A1: ใช่ – (chai) yup /that’s correct
  • A2: ไม่ใช่ – (mai chai) nope / that’s not correct

The above pattern works in many situations, but when we are talking about states, you are going to hear a different question pattern. Here is one of the most common questions you’ll encounter in Thailand.

Q: กินข้าวรึยัง (kin khaao ru yang?) – have you eaten yet? (lit. eat rice or not yet)

  • A1: กินแล้ว (kin laew) – eat already
  • A2: ยัง (yang) – not yet

Q: มีแฟนรึยัง (mee fan ru yang?) – Do you have a gf/bf/husband/wife yet?

  • A1: มีแล้ว (mee laew) – have already
  • A2: ยัง (yang) – Not yet

But, of course, it’s not like there are only 2 question types. Here’s another example where you would never use ใช่ (chai).

Q: พรุ่งนี้อยากไปดูหนังกันมั้ย – (phrung nee yaak ppai duu nang gan mai?) – Do you want to go see a movie tomorrow?

  • A1: อยากไป (yaak ppai) want to go
  • A2: ไม่อยากไป (mai yaak ppai) don’t want to go