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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 Tell the Time In Thai

Want to learn how to tell the time in Thai?  You’ve come to the right place.

Saying the time in Thai is different from English and may seem a little confusing at first, but if you stick with it, and drill the rules covered in this post then you will start to get the hang of it.

First, you’ll need to be confident with Thai numbers. We have a great post all about numbers in Thai so check it out if you haven’t learned those yet.

Already brushed up on Thai numbers? Ok, time to dive in!

how to tell time in thai

Quick Reference for Telling Time in Thai

When telling the time in Thai, the first thing you need to know is that Thai people think about the day a little differently than you might.  In English we split the day up into AM and PM when telling the time, in Thai the day is split up into multiple parts.  Different words are used when telling the time for each of these different parts of the day.  This takes some getting used to so we recommend just learning one part of the day at a time as opposed to trying to memorize this all at once.

Look at the table below to see how the day is split up when telling the time in Thai.  We’ll use the important time word ตอน (ttawn) which means in this case “a period of time,” but it can also function like “at a particular time” depending on how it’s used.

Parts of the DayTime From / ToParts of the Day in Thai
Morning1am - 11:59amตอนเช้า (ttawn chao)
Noon12pmตอนเที่ยง (ttawn tee-ang)
Afternoon1pm - 3pmตอนบ่าย - (ttawn baai)
Evening4pm - 6pmตอนเย็น - (ttawn yen)
Night-time 7pm - 11pmตอนค่ำ (ttawn kham)
*Around 9 or 10pm it switches to "late night"
ตอนดึก (ttawn duek)
Midnight12am เที่ยงคืน - thii-ang koen

1am – 5am: Morning ตอนเช้า (ttawn chao)

(Use ตี (ttee) + the HOUR)

For telling the times from 1am to 5am the word ตี (ttee) is placed before the number of the hour.  The word ตี (ttee) means to hit or strike and refers to a tradition of a nightwatchman striking a drum on the hour from 1am – 5am.  I’m sure everybody in town appreciated someone making a lot of noise all night.

TimeThai ScriptTransliteration
1amตีหนึ่งttii neung
2amตีสองttii sorng
3amตีสามttii saam
4amตีสี่ttii sii
5amตีห้าttii haa

6am – 11am: Morning ตอนเช้า – (ttawn chao)

(Use HOUR + โมง (mohng*)

* Sometimes people add เช้า​ (chao) which means “morning” at the end, but it’s usually dropped.

For 6am to 11am use the pattern as in these examples:

The word โมง (mohng) is named after the sound of a large gong which was traditionally hit hourly on these morning hours.  It also forms part of the word ชั่วโมง (chua mong) which is the Thai word for “hour”.

เช้า (chao) means “morning”.  If it’s clear from the context that you are referring to the morning hours then the word เช้า (chao) will often be dropped so it’s perfectly fine to use just the HOUR + โมง (mohng).

TimeThai ScriptTransliteration
6amหกโมง (เช้า)hok mong chao
7amเจ็ดโมง
(เช้า)
jed mong chao
8amแปดโมง(เช้า)ppaed mong chao
9amเก้าโมง(เช้า)gao mong chao
10amสิบโมง (เช้า)sip mong chao
11amสิบเอ็ดโมง(เช้า)sip ed mong chao

12pm: Noon(time) ตอนเที่ยง (ttawn tee-ang)

เที่ยง (tee-ang) 

The word for midday in Thai is

However, in most circumstances วัน (wan) – the Thai word for day – is dropped and เที่ยง (tee-ang) alone is used.  

The word เที่ยง (tee-ang) can also be combined with other words to create a new meaning:

1pm-3pm: Early Afternoon ตอนบ่าย (ttawn baai)

(Use บ่าย (baai) + HOUR*)

*1pm is an exception.  We just say บ่ายโมง (baai mohng) for 1pm.

In the afternoon – from 1pm to 3pm – the word บ่าย (baai) is used.  

In the case of 1pm, the number 1 is dropped and Thais only say บ่ายโมง (baai mong).  For 2pm and 3pm the number is placed between บ่าย (baai) and โมง (mong).  However, the word โมง (mong) is usually dropped in everyday speech.  So 2pm is บ่ายสอง(โมง) (baai sorng mong) and 3pm is บ่ายสาม(โมง) (baai saam mong).  

TimeThai ScriptTransliteration
1pmบ่ายโมงbaai mong
2pmบ่ายสอง(โมง) baai sorng (mong)
3pmบ่ายสาม(โมง) baai saam (mong)

 

4pm – 6pm Evening – ตอนเย็น (ttawn yen)

โมง(เย็น) (mong yen) 

For the times 4pm to 6pm the words HOUR (4, 5 or 6) + โมง (mong yen) are used.  Sometimes, people may add (yen) เย็น afterwards as in ห้าโมงเย็น (haa mohng yen)

The word เย็น (yen) refers early evening –  though when used as an adjective it means cold or cool.  When เย็น (yen) is combined with the Thai word for rice  – ข้าว (khaao) – it means “evening meal” or “dinner.”   This word เย็น (yen) is the same word used when ordering iced (as opposed to hot) drinks like coffee.

TimeThai ScriptTransliteration
4pmสี่โมง(เย็น)sii mong (yen)
5pmห้าโมง(เย็น)haa mong (yen)
6pmหกโมง(เย็น)hok mong (yen)

7pm – 11pm: Night ตอนค่ำ (ttawn kham) AND Late-Night ตอนดึก (ttawn duek)

  • The word ค่ำ or ตอนค่ำ is often used once it starts getting dark or shortly after dark.  Depending on location and time of year, the time of this can vary, but it functions like “early evening.”
  • Once a certain individual time threshold has passed, it becomes “late night” or ตอนดึก (ttawn duek).  We have found that ตอนดึก starts around 9 or 10 pm for most people and goes until midnight after which time it becomes morning again.

Farang Tip:

Please keep in mind that this system is very colloquial and may vary a little bit from person to person and place to place.  Because of this, it’s a good idea to just have a general idea of how the day is split up and gradually learn the time system for each segment of the day separately.

We recommend starting with 6-11 am first, then 4-6 pm as they make the most sense in that it’s just HOUR + time-of-day-word.   Once you can fire off those at will, learn 7-11pm.  And finally, 1-3pm and 1-5am.  It will take a bit of work, but there’s no way around it if you want to really learn how to speak Thai.

Make sure you have mastered the Thai numbers first, of course, or this will be harder than it needs to be.

ทุ่ม (tum) 

From the hours 7pm to 11pm the word ทุ่ม (tum) is used.  ทุ่ม (tum) is named after the sound of the drum that is hit on the hour during these times.  

This is where things start to get a little unfamiliar for people who are new to Thai language.  According to Thai time – 7pm is the official start of night-time so counting starts again from one. So 7pm is หนึ่งทุ่ม (neung tum) – one “tum”.  8pm is สองทุ่ม (sorng tum) – two “tum” and so on, all the way up to 11pm.  For 7pm, the หนึ่ง (neung) – “one” is often dropped so you will often here people refer to 7pm as just ทุ่ม (tum). 

TimeThai ScriptTransliteration
7pmหนึ่งทุ่ม OR  ทุ่มหนึ่งnueng tum OR tum nueng
8pmสองทุ่มsawng tum
9pmสามทุ่มsaam tum
10pmสี่ทุ่มsii tum
11pmห้าทุ่มhaa tum

12am / Midnight

เที่ยงคืน (teeang keun)

Remember how we used the word เที่ยง (teeang) for midday?  Well we can use the same word for midnight combined with the Thai word for “night” – คืน (kuen).  So the Thai word for midnight is:

How To Say Minutes Past the Hour in Thai

Now that we know how to say the hours in Thai, we need to learn how to say minutes past the hour.  The Thai word for minutes is นาที (naatii).

In Thai it is always minutes past the hour, never minutes to the hour.  For example, in English we can say twenty to eight or five to three whereas in it would always be seven forty or two fifty five. For half past the hour, the word ครึ่ง (kreung) is used however there is also no version of quarter past the hour so in Thai the number fifteen is used instead. 

The structure for saying minutes past the hour in Thai is:

In every day speech the word นาที (naatii) is often dropped.

Example sentences.

 

ตอน (tton) + Time Of Day

It’s also useful to understand how Thai people break the day up in to different parts.  When referring to different parts of the day, the word ตอน (tton) is used which acts as a preposition similar to – “at” (night) or “in the” (morning).

Common Thai Time Sentences

Useful Thai Time Vocabulary:

Now, Go Out and Tell the Time in Thai

Now you know how to tell the time in Thai, it’s time to get out there and start practicing.  Want to learn more time related words in Thai?  After you have the hours down, try learning the Thai days and months

 

How To Say The Months In Thai

Learning the months of the year in Thai is a great way to increase your vocabulary when learning Thai.  Just like the days of the week in Thai, you might find that Thai months often come up in day to day conversations like “I’m going on holiday in June”.

how to say the months in Thai

เดือนนี้จะเรียนอะไรบ้าง

It may require a bit of brute force to get all the months into your head as some of the month names are quite long and not related to anything else a beginner is likely to encounter.  You will remember them faster if you can associate each month with important or meaningful events for example “my birthday is in September” or “Christmas is in December.”  Just spend a few minutes a day on these until you get them.  Come back anytime and use the flashcards towards the end of the lesson to help you review.

Thai Months: A Quick Reference

*In colloquial speech, you can drop the last syllable of each month.

Thai Months Flashcards

These 12 flashcards are for the colloquial, spoken version of the Thai months.  That means we’ve left off the last syllable.  It’s easier to learn the main part of each word first.  After you know these, it’s easy to add on the last syllable if you know how many days are in each month.

In formal documents, it’s usually alright to write the abbreviation (see table below), but

  • ยน (yon) is added on to months with 30 days.
  • ​-คม​ (khom) is added on to months with 31
  • พันธ์ (phan) is added on to February
  • มกรา
    มกรา
    January (mok-ka-raa)
  • กุมพา
    กุมพา
    February (kum-paa-phan)
  • มีนา
    มีนา
    March (mee-naa)
  • เมษา
    เมษา
    April (meh-saa)
  • พฤษภา
    พฤษภา
    May (preut-sa-paa)
  • มิถุนา
    มิถุนา
    June (mi-thu-naa)
  • กรกฎา
    กรกฎา
    July (ka-rak-ka-daa)
  • สิงหา
    สิงหา
    August (sing-ha)
  • กันยา
    กันยา
    September (kan-yaa)
  • ตุลา
    ตุลา
    October (ttu-laa)
  • พฤศจิกา
    พฤศจิกา
    November (preut-sa-ji-kaa)
  • ธันวา
    ธันวา
    December (than-waa
  • All Done!

How To Say The Thai Months

Month (English)Month (Thai) - FullAbbreviation
Januaryมกราคม (mok kka raa khom)ม.ค.
Februaryกุมภาพันธ์ (kkum paa pan)ก.พ.
Marchมีนาคม (mee naa khom)มี.ค.
Aprilเมษายน (may saa yon)เม.ย.
Mayพฤษภาคม (preud sa paa khom)พ.ค.
Juneมิถุนายน (mi tu naa yon)มิ.ย.
Julyกรกฎาคม (kka rak ka daa khom)ก.ค.
August สิงหาคม (sing haa khom)ส.ค.
Septemberกันยายน (kkan yaa yon)ก.ย.
Octoberตุลาคม (ttu laa khom)ต.ค.
Novemberพฤศจิกายน (preud sa ji kkaa yon)พ.ย.
Decemberธันวาคม (tan waa khom)ธ.ค.

Notice that the months end with either –คม (khom) or –ยน (yon) with the exception of February which ends with พันธ์ (pan).

The easy way to remember this pattern is that all of the months that have 31 days end with คม (khom) whereas all the months that have 30 days end with –ยน (yon). February is the odd one out here as it only has 28 or 29 days so it ends with พันธ์ (pan).  

It’s always good to remember the full version but if you can’t remember which month ends with –คม (khom) or –ยน (yon), don’t panic as the endings are often dropped in everyday speech.  

The abbreviations are for written Thai only.  If you read the newspaper in Thai then you might see the abbreviated version of the month, but if you were to read it out loud, you would still say the full version.

How To Say The Date in Thai

To be able to say dates in Thai you’re going to need to be confident with Thai numbers first.

To say ordinal numbers in Thai (first, second, third etc) you just need to add ที่ (tee) before the number. 

For example:

Now to say the date you just add the Thai word for “day” –  วัน (wan) before ที่ (tee) and combine them together to make: 

So the structure for saying the date is:

How to Ask the Date in Thai:

วันนี้วันที่เท่าไหร่

Let’s look at some examples:

Example Sentences With Thai Months

Last Month, This Month, Next Month

Sometimes you might want to say “last month”, “this month”, “next month” in Thai.  The way to say this is:

 

 

Let’s look at some example sentences with these words:

Months and Months – How They Came To Be

All of the months in Thai are named after the signs of the zodiac.  Like many words in Thai, the names of the months are derived from Sanskrit.  For example the Thai word for January – มกราคม(mok kka raa khom) comes from the Sanskrit word มกร (ma kka ra) meaning “sea monster”.  In Thai, the word for Capricorn is ราศีมังกร(raa see mang kkon). 

The words อาคม (aakhom), อายน (aayon) and พันธ์ (pan) are derived from Sanskrit and each mean “to come” or “the arrival of”.  So the Thai word for January – มกราคม (mok kka raa khom) means “the arrival of Capricorn”.  February – กุมภาพันธ์ (kkum paa pan) means “the arrival of Aquarius” and so on.

Zodiac Sign (English)Zodiac Sign (Thai)Sanskrit Word & Meaning
Capricornราศีมังกร (raa see mang kkorn)มกร (ma kka ra)
Aquarius ราศีกุมภ์ (raa see kkum)กุมภ์ (kkum)
Piscesราศีมีน (raa see meen)มีน (meen)
Ariesราศีเมษ (raa see mayd)เมษ (mayd)
Taurusราศีพฤษภ (raa see preud sop)พฤษ (preud sa)
Gemini ราศีมิถุน (raa see mi tun)มิถุน (mi tun)
Cancerราศีกรกฎ (raa see kko ra kkod)กรกฎ (kko ra kkod)
Leo ราศีสิงห์ (raa see sing)สิงห (sing ha)
Virgo ราศีกันย์ (raa see gan)กันย (gan ya)
Libraราศีตุลย์ (raa see ttun)ตุล (ttun)
Scorpioราศีพิจิก (raa see pi jik)พิจิก (pi jik)
Sagittariusราศีธนู (raa see ta nuu)ธนู (ta nuu)

Conclusion

Well done!  Now you know how to say all of the months of the year in Thai.  Remember the best way to memorize each month is to associate it with an important event.  And the most important thing is to get out there and practice what we’ve just learned in real life. 

How To Say No In Thai

In Thai language, the use of “yes” and “no” isn’t quite as universal as it is in English and there isn’t always a direct translation that can be used in every situation.

How you say “no” in Thai will usually depend how the question is worded.

No in Thai is MAI

ไม่เลย

How To Say No In Thai

No – ไม่ (mai)

If you’re looking for the quick answer, the closest translation of “no” in Thai is:

However, this word is often not the best way to answer “no” to a question in Thai.  Read on to find out how to say “no” like a real Thai.

How To Say “No” Like a Real Thai

When someone asks you a question in Thai that ends with the yes or no question word ไหม (mai) the answer to the question is not simply “yes” or “no” as it would be in English.   To answer “yes” you need to repeat the verb or adjective that was used in the question.  To answer “no” you use the word ไม่ (mai) – which means “no” or “not” –  plus the verb or adjective that was used in the question.

It may sound strange at first, but this is perfectly normal exchange in Thai:

Although ไม่ (mai) alone can be used (without the verb or adjective) to answer “no” to a question, it may come across as somewhat blunt so it’s usually better to include the verb or adjective from the question that you were asked.  Where ไม่ (mai) is used without the verb or adjective, it may be followed by นะ (na). นะ (na) is a Thai particle which makes the word or sentence preceding it sound softer.

Example:

How To Say “No Thank You” In Thai

This phrase literally means something like “not take” or “not want”.

ไม่เอา (mai ao) is a handy phrase to learn when you are in Thailand.  If you are walking through a touristy area there will often be hawkers trying to sell you everything from suits to massages to tuk tuk rides.

Some common phrases you might hear are:

  • Hello, massage!
  • You want tuk tuk?
  • Hello, taxi!

To say “no thank you” in these types of situations you can just say:

Even though it can be kind of annoying having people trying to sell you stuff on every corner, it’s still best to try and keep it polite and not get into any kind of confrontation in Thailand.  So just remember to add the polite particle ครับ (khrap) for a male speaker or ค่ะ (kha) for a female speaker.

เอา (ao) is also used when asking if somebody wants something. The structure is:

For example:

Remember: if you want to say “yes” to the question you use the verb that was asked in the question.  So in this case, the way you say yes is:

If someone is giving something to you, remember to say thank youขอบคุณครับ (khop khun khrap) for a male speaker or ขอบคุณค่ะ (khop khun kha) for a female speaker

How To Say “Not” In Thai

We can use the same structure from ไม่เอา (mai ao) to form other sentences too.  The structure is just:

Most common phrases with ไม่ (mai)

ไม่มี (mai mee) – I don’t have it

Customer (female speaker):

Shopkeeper (male speaker):

You can use this when you are shopping or in a restaurant.  Just add the item that you want after the word มี (mee):

ไม่ชอบ (mai chorp) – I don’t like it

ไม่เผ็ด (mai ped) – not spicy

This is handy when you are ordering food.  After you’ve ordered your food you can add at the end:

ไม่สวย (mai suay) – Not beautiful

สวย (suay) – beautiful – is a useful word to have in your arsenal as you can use it to describe people, places, clothes and objects.  A similar word is น่ารัก (naarak) which is the Thai word for “cute”.  You can use this to describe people, animals, clothes and objects.

ไม่อร่อย (mai aroi) – Not delicious

Other common  ไม่ (mai) + verb or adjectives

Thai Pronunciation Tip: What’s the difference between ไม่ (mai) and ไหม (mai) and มั้ย (mai)?

ไม่ (mai) means “no” or “not” and is a falling tone.  ไหม (mai) is a question word that is used at the end of a sentence to turn a statement in to a yes or no question.  It has a rising tone in formal written Thai but when used in everyday speech it is usually spoken with a high tone – มั้ย (mai).  Click on the audio a few times to try to differentiate between the two tones, but know that your brain takes time to get used to tonal differences.  There’s no need to panic if you can’t hear the difference yet.  If you stick with Thai language, it will eventually be super easy.

For now, just know that even before you can hear the tones you will almost always know from the context which version of the word you are hearing.

ไม่ใช่ (mai chai) – No

Some questions in Thai end with ใช่ไหม (chai mai).  This is roughly similar to how we use “right?” or “isn’t it?” at the end of a statement in English to turn it into a question.  This question is usually used when seeking confirmation for something.  For these questions you can respond with ใช่ (chai) – yes – or ไม่ใช่ (mai chai) – no.

For example:

  • เป็นคนอเมริกัน ใช่ไหม (not found)
    (ppen kon amerikka chai mai) – You’re American right?

เปล่า (pplao) – No

Although เปล่า (pplao) translates as “no” it is not commonly used when answering a question.  It is more commonly combined with รึ (ru) “or” to make รึเปล่า (ru pplao) and then used at the end of a sentence to make an “or not” question.

For example:

If we want to say “no” to this question, we can just use the same structure that we learned above: ไม่ + verb or adjective.

So the best way say “no” to this question is:

  • ไม่มา (mai maa) – I’m not coming (Literally: “not come”)

Bonus: How To Say “No Way” In Thai

ไม่มีทาง (mai mee taang)

If you want to say “no way” in Thai to show that you strongly disagree with something or say “no” in the strongest terms then you can say:

Example:

ไม่เลย (mai leoi)

Another way to say “no” in the strongest terms is:

Example:

Conclusion

Now you’ve got a good understanding of how to say “no” in Thai, it’s time to get out there and practice.  You can also ask Thai people questions too and practice listening to the different ways that Thai people say “no”.

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How to Say How Much in Thai

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

เท่าไหร่ครับ

 

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

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:

You can also use เท่าไร (tao rai) when asking someone’s birthday.  You just need to put add the word อายุ (aayoo) – age – at the front.

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.

Other Useful Phrases with กี่ + classifier:

Again – If you want to ask about a specific item, just as you can say อันนี้เท่าไร (an nii tao rai), you can swap เท่าไร (tao rai) for กี่บาท (gii baht). Like this:

*There is no rule for when it is more appropriate to use เท่าไร (tao rai) vs กี่บาท (gii baht) as both can be used interchangeably in every situation where you want to ask “how much”.

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:

Or

Examples:

If you want to ask “how much per ___” just add เท่าไร or กี่บาท:

*Depending on what you are asking about, a classifier could be “per hour”, “per person”, “per kilogram” etc.

Example with เท่าไร (tao rai) at the massage shop.   If you’d like to learn more Thai massage phrases, check out How to get a Massage using Thai language.

Example with กี่บาท (gii baht) at the bus station:

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:

OR

Example 1 with กี่บาท :

Example 2 with เท่าไร :

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

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.

To say that something is cheap in Thai you can just add the word ไม่ (mai) followed by แพง (paeng). Like this:

Useful Thai Grammar:

For example:

Another way to say that something is cheap is:

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:

This sounds more on the polite side and would be used at a restaurant (rather than at a street food stall).

The more informal way to ask for the bill uses the informal word for money – ตังค์ (ttang).  ด้วย (duay) may also be dropped in an informal setting.

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:

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.

Conclusion

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.

 

How To Say Merry Christmas In Thai

Whether you’re holidaying in Thailand over the Christmas period or just want to wish your friends “Merry Christmas” in Thai we’re going to teach you how to wish your Thai friends seasons greetings. 

Nearly 95% of the people in Thailand are Buddhist so the religious aspects of Christmas aren’t widely celebrated.  Despite this, Thai people love having an excuse to have fun and celebrate something so you’ll still see lots of festive decorations in shopping malls, restaurants and coffee shops.  The staff might even wear Christmas hats or festive jumpers.  You’ll also definitely hear Christmas music in shopping malls and Starbucks.  

If you already know how to say Happy New Year in Thai then saying Happy Christmas in Thai will be a breeze.

merry christmas in thai

เมอรี่ หรือ แมรี่ ?

The Quick Answer to How to Say Merry Christmas in Thai

The most common way to say Merry Christmas in Thai is to just use the English version.  This is literally just the words “Merry Christmas” written in Thai script.  

When Merry Christmas is written in Thai script it is pronounced slightly differently than the English version so listen to the audio a few times and practice saying it with the correct Thai pronunciation.

How To Say “Happy Christmas” In Thai

This phrase is the slightly more formal Thai version of Merry Christmas in Thai.  This is what you might write on a xmas card.  It’s fine to say this one as well.  

This is a slightly more formal version which tends to be used more in written Thai than in spoken Thai.  So if you were to write a Christmas card in Thai, you could use this version.

When you are wishing someone “happy (something)” the word that you need to use is:

If you learn this pattern then it will be easy for you to wish someone Happy New Year and Happy Birthday in Thai too. 

Thai Polite Particles Tip:

When speaking Thai to anyone other than close friends, it’s common to add the polite particles ครับ khrap (for a male speaker) and ค่ะ kha (for a female speaker) at the end of a sentence.  So the two versions of “Merry Christmas” in Thai that we learned above would sound like this:

Useful Christmas Words

Thai Vowel Pronunciation Tip

Let’s compare this with other Thai vowels:

  • เมรี่ (meh-ree) – In this word the Thai vowel เ is pronounced “ay” similar to “lame”. This sounds a bit more like how people pronounce the “merry” in English.
  • แมรี่ (mae-ree) Here the Thai vowel แอ is pronounced a lot like the “a” in “dad” or “mad.”

Wrap Up

It’s time to wrap up this Christmas post and say เมอร์รี่คริสต์มาส (meu-ree khrit-maat).  Give yourself or someone you love the gift of levelling up in Thai Language!

How to Say Happy New Year in Thai

Did you make a New Year’s resolution to improve your Thai language skills?  Or maybe you are planning on travelling to Thailand for the New Year and want to learn how to say “Happy New Year”? 

In Thailand there are actually two New Year’s Days which are celebrated, Jan 1st as well as Songkran สงกรานต์ (song kkraan), which is the Thai New Year based on the Buddhist calendar.  It’s also the world famous nationwide water-fight that I can say from many years of experience is super fun.

The “Happy New Year” in Thai that we will learn in this lesson is used for both holidays.  

*A Note about the Thai years: The year in Thailand follows the Buddhist Era which is 543 years ahead of the year of the Gregorian Calendar.  So to work out the Thai year, you just add 543 to the year of the Gregorian Calendar.  So if you were born in 2000, your Thai birth year would be 2543.  

happy new year in thai

แฮปปี้นิวเยียร์

3 Ways to Say Happy New Year in Thai

สวัสดีปีใหม่(sawad dee ppee mai)

The most common way to say Happy New Year In Thai is:

You may recognize the first part – สวัสดี (sawad dee) – as this is the standard Thai greeting.

The next part is ปีใหม่ (ppee mai) which just translates as “New Year”.

This can be used universally with family, friends or passing strangers on the street. 

Thai Grammar Tip: Whereas in English, the structure is adjective + noun, in Thai the structure is reversed so it is noun + adjective. So “New Year” in English, is said “Year New” in Thai.  Here are some other examples:

สุขสันต์วันปีใหม่ (suk san wan ppee mai)

Another way to say “Happy New Year” in Thai is:

สุขสันต์ (suk san) can be used for other celebrations where you want to wish someone happiness or send them your blessings.  It works a bit like “happy” or “merry” do in English. 

Examples:

แฮปปี้นิวเยียร์ (haeppee niw yee-ah)

The English version of Happy New Year may also be used amongst friends and family.  Just remember to say it with a Thai accent if you want to sound authentic.

If you’re a fan of bad jokes (we are) then you can switch the word เยียร์ (yee-ah) for the similar sounding เมีย (mee-ah).  This is the Thai word for “wife”.  So this sentence ends up sounding like “happy new wife” or “congratulations on your new wife”.  It might be fun to use this with your Thai friends (or your girlfriend!) and watch the reactions it gets (probably a combination of groans and face-palms).

Thai people like to use the English version for other kinds of greetings too. 

For example:

Wishing People Happiness in Thai

At important festivals such as New Year, it’s common to offer your blessings – อวยพร (uay porn) – to friends and family.

When you want to wish someone something the structure is:

A very common message people send at weddings, retirement ceremonies, sad goodbyes is:

Thai Grammar Tip: Notice that there are no pronouns in this sentence.  In Thai, it’s common to drop pronouns when it’s obvious from the context who the target of the sentence is.

Thai Script Tip: The Thai symbol ๆ is a repeater signal.  It is placed after a word to signal that the word (and sometimes a phrase) should be repeated.  In Thai saying a word twice has a few different functions such as adding emphasis or changing the grammatical form of a word.

Have a Great New Year!

Hopefully you now know how to say Happy New Year in Thai and wish all of your Thai friends health and happiness for the New Year.  So now it’s time for us to say สวัสดีปีใหม่ (sawad dee ppee mai) Happy New Year and ขอให้เก่งภาษาไทย (kor hai geng phaasaa thai) I wish for you to speak great Thai!

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”

Learn to Speak and Read Thai

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How to Say Delicious in Thai

Thai food is some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the world.  Thailand often tops lists of “best street food in the world” such as this one by CNN.  So it’s hardly surprising that Thai people are passionate about their food.  If you’ve ever spent much time with Thai people, you’ll find that the conversation can often quickly turn to the subject of food.

In fact, food is so important within Thai culture that one of the most common ways to say hello in Thai language is by asking if the person you are greeting has eaten yet:

So if there’s one word that you should learn for your trip to Thailand, it’s “delicious” – you’re going to need it!

how to say delicious in thai - aroi

อร่อยมาก

The Word for Delicious in Thai for Every Situation

Luckily, this very useful Thai word does not require any pronunciation acrobatics so you should be able to say it correctly without too much effort. 

Whether it’s dinner and a few drinks with your Thai friends or a formal business lunch – the word for delicious that you need to use is:

This can be used in both formal and informal situations but for formal situations just remember to add the polite particle ครับ (khrap) for male speakers OR ค่ะ (kha) for female speakers like this:

It’s important to note that Thai people use their word for delicious far more often than most native English speakers do.  This is likely based partially on the high quality of the food in Thailand, but it’s also in important cultural difference.

In English, we reserve the word for food that is ESPECIALLY tasty, while in Thai, it’s more of a question of “tastes great” or “doesn’t taste good.”

How to Say REALLY Delicious in Thai

If you’re very impressed with the food you’ve just eaten (which there’s a good chance you will be) – you can add มาก (maak) – very.

Basic Thai Grammar Point

In Thai language, nouns and adjective position is opposite to English.  It will feel weird at first, but you’ll get used to it so don’t try to memorize this rule.  Just remember one phrase like the one below.  

For example, where we would say “red ball” or “delicious food,” in Thai, you are need to say “food delicious” or “ball red.”

Here’s another simple example phrase:

How to Ask if the Food is Delicious in Thai?

Now that we know that aroi (อร่อย)  means “delicious,” the next thing we need to know is how to ask – “is the food good?”  The structure for this is very simple:

    • ไหม (mai) – is a question word used at the end of a sentence to turn a sentence in to a yes or no question.  Like both the words for “smells nice” and “smells bad,” it takes a RISING tone.

Example:

In Thai you can answer this kind of yes or no question by answering with the verb or adjective that was used in the question.  While there are words for yes and no in Thai, in most cases, “yes” does not work like it does in English.

So two simple and common answers to this question are:

Seven Degrees of Thai Deliciousness

The taste of food is very important in Thailand.  This by no by means covers all possible ways to express your pleasure (or displeasure!) with a Thai dish, but it will give you a range of phrases to come back and learn.

  1. อร่อยมากๆ (aroi maak-maak) That’s very-very delicious!
  2. อร่อยมาก (aroi maad) That’s very delicious!
  3. อร่อย (aroi) That’s tasty; That’s good
  4. กินได้ (gin daai) I can eat that.
  5. เฉยๆ (cheuy cheuy) It’s fine.
  6. ไม่อร่อย (mai aroi) It’s not good.
  7. ไม่อร่อยเลย (mai aroi leuy) It’s awful / It’s terrible (literally: it’s not good at all)

How to Say That Looks Delicious in Thai

Thailand has some of the best markets in the world – from the floating markets of Bangkok to the vast, bustling Walking Street Night Markets of Chiang Mai.  There are countless food stalls selling everything from fried rice to fried crickets. If you’re walking around the market with your Thai friends – you will at some point hear or want to say “that looks delicious.” The way to say “that looks delicious” in Thai is:

  • น่ากิน (naa gin) – worthy of eating (appears like it would be nice to eat)

*In English, we might say “That looks good.”   In Thai, you add น่า (naa) in front of a number of verbs to show that doing that ACTION would be pleasant/fun/nice or worthy of doing.

      • น่าไป (naa ppai) – worthy of going (Appears/sounds like it would be good/fun to go there)
      • น่านั่ง (naa nang) worthy of sitting (appears like it would be nice/comfortable to sit/chill there)
      • น่าดู (naa doo) worth of seeing (appears like it would be worth watching)
      • น่าอ่าน (naa aahn) worthy of reading (appears like it would be worth reading)

If you remember the Thai word for delicious mentioned above, you can also add this น่า (naa) in front of it as a different way of saying “looks like it would be good/pleasant to eat.”

  • น่าอร่อย (naa aroi) – Which means something like:  This appears/smells like if I tasted it, it would taste good.

Useful Thai Phrases with น่า (naa):

Another way to think about this pattern is that it’s comparable to adding “-able” in English so in the example below, the the meaning is literally: “loveable” or “worthy of love” although น่ารัก (naa rak) is always used as way to describe something or someone as “cute.”  If you’d like to see more examples of this very common pattern, check out our full post on “How to Say Cute (and beautiful) in Thai.”

For example:

In this case น่าเที่ยว (naa tiiao) roughly translates as “a great place to visit” or “worth visiting”

In this sentence น่าอยู่ (naa yoo) translates as “looks like it’d be a great place to live”.

Thai Grammar Note:

Thai is a very contextual language.  This means that we will often omit any information that is obvious.   In the phrases above, we will know what is good to watch/eat/read based on who we are talking to and what we are looking at and/or talking about.  If the speaker and listener know what we are talking about, you often don’t need to say it.

 

How to Say Food Smells Good in Thai

The food culture in Thailand is going to stimulate all of your senses, from all the vibrant colors of the food, the taste and of course the smell.  If you walk around any food market in Thailand, there will be all kinds of food simmering, barbecuing and or being stir fried up. Your mouth will be watering from all the amazing smells.  So another phrase you’ll need is “that smells good.”

  • หอม (hom) – (It/something) smells nice.
    • *Not just limited to food.

How to Say Something Stinks or Smells Bad in Thai

On your walk around a Thai market at some point you are going to walk past a stall that’s selling durian.   The first time you smell durian or ทุเรียน (thu-rian) in Thai you’ll be able to decide whether it’s a good smell or not.  It’s powerful enough that many hotels try to ban people from bringing durian into the rooms by threatening a fine.

So if you smell a durian, you might not be using the word หอม (hom).  If you don’t like the smell (and many people don’t!) you’ll want to know the following Thai word which is used for things that stink or smell bad.   Rotten food, farts and smelly armpits (and sometimes durian!) all fall under the following Thai word:

Thai Tone Tip:

Both of these smell words in Thai have a rising tone.  The rising tone in Thai is very similar to the way we make the word “Really?” rise up in English when we are looking to confirm if something is real.  Click on each word a few times to try to get a feel for what a rising tone should sound like.

Learning the tones in languages like Thai takes some getting used to.  You won’t always be able to hear a tone the first couple of times, but with a bit of practice and exposure, I promise your brain will get used to it.  Thai has a set of tone rules that you can learn eventually be able to instantly know the tone of a word as soon as you see how it is spelled, but it does require a bit of practice.  If you want to be able to speak Thai one day, it’s totally worth the time investment.

The Five Thai Flavors

When you are just starting to learn Thai, you might find that the topic of food is a great conversation starter since eating is something that you do every day and it’s something that most Thai people have passionate opinions on.  So it’s worth having a few more food-related words up your sleeve when the conversation advances past อร่อย (aroi).  If you are not used to eating Thai food, you might find that some of the flavours – รส (rot) – can be intense at first as it often involves a complex combination of flavors.

There are five main flavors which make up Thai cuisine. They are:

1 – Spicy

Spicy flavors come from chili พริก (prik) chili (fresh, dried whole or dried powdered) and พริกไทย (prik thai) pepper.  Many Thai dishes will contain some level of spiciness to varying degrees depending on the dish.

One example of a spicy Thai dish is:

This dish uses fresh chilis, stir fried with holy basil usually served with rice.

2 – Sweet:

Sweet flavors will usually come from palm sugar, coconut sugar or regular refined white sugar.

An example of a dish that has sweet flavors is:

This dish uses น้ำตาลปี๊บ (nam ttaan biib) – palm sugar to balance out the spicy and sour flavors from the chili and fresh lemon.

3 – Bitter:

In Thai cuisine bitter flavors often come from a variety of fresh leaves or vegetables such as:

มะระ (ma ra) has a very bitter taste when which when boiled in a soup or stir fried reduces in intensity and adds a mild bitterness to the overall dish.

4 – Sour:

Sour flavors in Thai cuisine can come from มะนาว (ma naaw) lemon, น้ำส้มสายชู (nam som saai chuu) vinegar, มะขาม (ma kaam) tamarind or sour fruits.

A popular sour Thai dish is:

This is a sour and spicy soup.  The ส้ม (som) which happens to also be the word for “orange” (color + fruit) in this case is just another word meaning “sour.”  There are no oranges in แกงส้ม

The sourness in this dish comes from the juice or pulp of มะขาม (ma kaam) – tamarind.

5 – Salty:

Salty flavors often come from น้ำปลา (nam pplaa) fish sauce or ซีอิ๊ว (sii ew) soy sauce.

One example of a salty dish made with soy sauce is:

  • ผัดซีอิ๊ว (not found)
    (pad sii ew) – Literally: stir fried with soy sauce

This is a dish of large flat or fat noodles often made with Chinese broccoli stir fried in a thick starchy sauce.

Thai Seasonings

(the Mysterious 4 Glass Jars at Every Thai Noodle Restaurant)

If you go to any ร้านก๋วยเตี๋ยว (raan guay-ttiao) – noodle restaurant – in Thailand, you will notice that every table has a set of (usually four) condiments or เครื่องปรุง (kreuang pprung) in little glass jars on a metal tray.

This will include:

The bowl of noodle soup that arrives at the table is just the base – Thai people will usually taste the soup first to see what additional flavours it needs and then use the condiments to ปรุงรส (pprung) or “add flavor” to their dish according to their own taste.

How to Say I’m Hungry in Thai

After remarking on some food that smells HOM (หอม) it’s pretty common to let everyone around you know that you are feeling hungry.  And just like the word for smelling nice in Thai, to say “I’m hungry” is just one word.

If you want to ask someone else if they are hungry, you just add the yes/no question marker particle ไหม (mai?) after the word.  This turns the statement of “I’m hungry” into “Are  (you) hungry?”

Thai Language Grammar Note:

As Thai is a very contextual language, you will very often drop off words like pronouns when it’s already clear from the situation on who is saying/doing what.  While in English, we need to say “I AM hungry,” in Thai we just say HIW (หิว) and it is 100% clear from context that the person saying this word is also the person who is feeling hungry.  This may feel strange at first, but it is completely normal in Thai and forcing in pronouns like in English will feel weird in Thai, respectively.

Another Common Way to Say “I’m Hungry” in Thai

Rice, being the main staple in Thailand is often thought of as interchangeable with the concept of “food.” So, you’ll often hear Thai people say “I’m hungry for rice,” to mean “I’m hungry.”  Since rice is included in most meals this will match up most of the time, but it doesn’t have to specifically mean that they want to eat rice.  It’s just a variation on “I’m hungry.”

How to Say I’m Starving (to Death) in Thai

Another fun phrase you may want to try out is “I’m starving!” if you want to be a little dramatic.  Don’t use this one except with close friends though as it can come across a little rude if you don’t know someone well.

หิว จะ ตาย (hiw ja taai) – I’m starving *literally “hungry+ will die”

How to Say I’m Thirsty in Thai

Interestingly, there is not a separate word for “thirsty” in Thai so what we say is that we are “hungry + water.”

Again, there is no need or a pronoun here and it’s completely clear that the speaker of this word is the person who is thirsty.

How to Say I’m Full in Thai

After all this smelling, eating and drinking, you are going to get full.  In Thai language, expressing that you are full is also just 1 word.  While Thai doesn’t use spaces, we have separated the words into their parts in case you want to try to see how the Thai script works.

  • อิ่ม (im) – to be full; (I’m) full
    • *This is only when you are full from food or drink.  A different word is used when talking about filling a glass or petrol.
  • อิ่ม แล้ว – (im laew) – (I’m) full
    • *แล้ว translates to something like “already,” but it’s really just used to show a change of state in Thai so trying to translate that sentence into  “I’m full already” sound weird in English, but it’s normal in Thai.
  • อิ่ม มาก – (im maak) – (I’m) very full.
    • *Maak (มาก works just like “very” in English and can be added to the same type of words like very hot, very cold, very expensive, etc.

How to Say the Food Wasn’t Delicious in Thai

Obviously, you’ll want to be careful here because the following sentences can hurt people’s feelings.  If someone just cooked for you or you are at a restaurant and you didn’t like the food, you might want to use these expressions with your Thai friends to tell you how you really feel about the food.  However, it’s worth noting that Thai culture is not generally confrontational and many Thai people are more likely to not tell the 100% truth to the face of the person who has made or served them food that is not delicious.

  • ไม่ อร่อย (mai aroi) – (It’s) not delicious
    • *This has a stronger negative connotation in Thai than it does in English.  To say something is not aroi, is say it is pretty bad.

You can use this phrase in general discussions with your Thai friends about food where you want to express your opinion. For example if you are talking about durian and you don’t like durians, you can say:

Example:

So the structure is:

Thai Grammar Note:

Remember, in Thai you don’t need to to use the verb “to be” (is / are) between the noun and adjective as you would in English.

Or maybe the food wasn’t really bad, it was just kind of tasteless and bland.  This is also seen as pretty negative in Thai.  The following word means “bland” or “has no flavor,” which is considered pretty negative in Thai so use with caution.

In this case you can use the following word:

  • จืด (jeud) – bland; without (pleasant) taste/flavor

If you’ve just eaten at a restaurant and you didn’t like the food, remember to be careful not to offend the owner by saying ไม่อร่อย (mai aroi).  This is very blunt for Thai culture which tends to be less direct and confrontational as Western cultures so it would be impolite to say this directly to the owner or loud enough so that the owner heard you say it to your friend.  If you didn’t like the food because, for example, it was too spicy you can say:

Thai people will sometimes assume that foreigners can’t eat spicy food so they might reduce the amount of spice for you anyways regardless of what you ask for.  This is especially true in tourist areas where the restaurants will be catered more towards the western palette.  To be on the safe side, when ordering your food you can tell the waiter or waitress:

Ordering food and drinks in Thai is fairly straightforward (check out our posts on how to order a coffee and a beer).  The structure is this

Example sentence:

Now if you want to order the Thai green curry and you don’t want it to be spicy, all you need to do is add ไม่ เผ็ด (mai ped) to the end. So it would look like:

How to Say Good Night in Thai

In this post we’re going to learn how to say good night in Thai.  There are a number of ways to say good night depending on who you are speaking to and in what context.

Below, we’ve covered all the most common ways to say good night.  If you are looking to also learn how to say good morning Thai, check out this post.

how to say good night in Thai header image

กู๊ดไนท์

Before we get into all the possible phrases, in case you are just looking for a quick answer, this is the best way to say “good night” in Thai in most situations, both formal and informal.  It might sound familiar.  Read on to find out why.

กู๊ดไนท์ (guut nai) – good night

Thai language borrows many words from English and other languages and a large number of words are used all the time in daily conversation among Thai native speakers.

Formal:  Good Night in Thai

If you ask a Thai friend how to say “good night” in Thai, they are probably going to tell you this phrase so we need to get it out of the way.  However, the truth is that this is very rarely used in real conversation between Thai people so we don’t recommend using it unless you are trying to be silly.

Because being silly and making people laugh can do great things for helping you remember new words, and it might be worth a couple minutes of your time to learn.  Just keep in mind it’s not really a phrase that will occur naturally.

formal good night in thai

ราตรีสวัสดิ์ (raa-ttrii-sa-wat)

It’s considered formal, but even that isn’t really completely accurate.  A Thai person isn’t likely to use this with their boss or an official.  Phrases like this (and sawatdee!)  were created from Sanskrit words in the 30s and 40s in an attempt to internationalize Thailand.  Some of them caught on (due to government promotion) while others primarily show up in Thai dramas and when translating foreign media.

It’s much more common (even in formal situations) to just use this phrase borrowed from English.  They will be pronounced using the Thai sound system so they may sound strange at first until you get accustomed to Thai pronunciation.

*Pronunciation Notes:

Ir you haven’t yet mastered the Thai script and sound system then it may be a bit tricky to get the pronunciation right.

  • กู๊ด (goot) – good (high tone)
    • To get the ending sound correct here, you can pretend the word ends with a T, but when you get to the T sound, your tongue has to stay in place until the sound dies off
  • ไนท์ (nai) – night (high tone)
    • When saying this “nai” the back of your tongue will rise up a bit constricting the airflow in your throat, but it doesn’t cut the air off completely.

Informal Good Night in Thai (use with friends)

If you really want to be able to speak Thai fluently, then it’s a good idea to get into the habit of copying what native Thai speakers say rather than translating a set phrase from your native language which may sound strange in Thai.

Here are some phrases for “good night” that Thai people actually use with their friends and family.

And remember, if this seems too complicated, you can always just go with: กู๊ดไนท์(guut nai) – good night

ฝันดีนะ (fan dii na) is a widely used way to say “good night” in Thai and can be used amongst family members, couples and friends alike (although it’s not very common amongst straight male friends as it sounds a bit on the sweet side).

There are also some common ways to say “good night” in Thai which have come from English including the . Let’s have a look.

good night in Thai

กู๊ดไนท์ สวีทดรีม

Thai Vocabulary Related to Sleeping:

Here’s a few additional Thai words you might want to know.

to sleep; to lay down nawn (mid tone)นอน
to fall asleep nawn lap (mid + low tone)นอนหลับ
to be unable to fall asleepnawn mai lap (mid+falling+low)นอนไม่หลับ
to dreamfan (rising tone)ฝัน
good nightguut nai (high + high tones)กู๊ดไนท์

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