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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


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

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 lately ช่วงนี้ยุ่งมาก(chuang-nee yung maak)
Lately, I'm great. ช่วงนี้ดีมาก (chuang-nee dee maak)
So-so; meh เฉยๆ (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.


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

Need to know 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 - 11:59am ตอนเช้า (ttawn chao)
Noon12pm ตอนเที่ยง (ttawn tee-ang)
Afternoon1pm - 3pm ตอนบ่าย - (ttawn baai)
Evening4pm - 6pm ตอนเย็น - (ttawn yen)
Night-time 7pm - 11pm ตอนค่ำ (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
1am ตีหนึ่งttii neung
2am ตีสองttii sorng
3am ตีสามttii saam
4am ตีสี่ttii sii
5am ตีห้าttii 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
6am หกโมง ( เช้า)hok mong chao
7am เจ็ดโมง
( เช้า)
jed mong chao
8am แปดโมง( เช้า)ppaed mong chao
9am เก้าโมง( เช้า)gao mong chao
10am สิบโมง ( เช้า)sip mong chao
11am สิบเอ็ดโมง( 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
1pm บ่ายโมงbaai mong
2pm บ่ายสอง( โมง) baai sorng (mong)
3pm บ่ายสาม( 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
4pm สี่โมง( เย็น)sii mong (yen)
5pm ห้าโมง( เย็น)haa mong (yen)
6pm หกโมง( 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
7pm หนึ่งทุ่ม OR   ทุ่มหนึ่งnueng tum OR tum nueng
8pm สองทุ่มsawng tum
9pm สามทุ่มsaam tum
10pm สี่ทุ่มsii tum
11pm ห้าทุ่มhaa 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


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
    January (mok-ka-raa)
  • กุมพา
    February (kum-paa-phan)
  • มีนา
    March (mee-naa)
  • เมษา
    April (meh-saa)
  • พฤษภา
    May (preut-sa-paa)
  • มิถุนา
    June (mi-thu-naa)
  • กรกฎา
    July (ka-rak-ka-daa)
  • สิงหา
    August (sing-ha)
  • กันยา
    September (kan-yaa)
  • ตุลา
    October (ttu-laa)
  • พฤศจิกา
    November (preut-sa-ji-kaa)
  • ธันวา
    December (than-waa
  • All Done!

How To Say The Thai Months

Month (English)Month (Thai) - FullAbbreviation
January มกราคม (mok kka raa khom)ม.ค.
February กุมภาพันธ์ (kkum paa pan)ก.พ.
March มีนาคม (mee naa khom)มี.ค.
April เมษายน (may saa yon)เม.ย.
May พฤษภาคม (preud sa paa khom)พ.ค.
June มิถุนายน (mi tu naa yon)มิ.ย.
July กรกฎาคม (kka rak ka daa khom)ก.ค.
August สิงหาคม (sing haa khom)ส.ค.
September กันยายน (kkan yaa yon)ก.ย.
October ตุลาคม (ttu laa khom)ต.ค.
November พฤศจิกายน (preud sa ji kkaa yon)พ.ย.
December ธันวาคม (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:


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
Capricorn ราศีมังกร (raa see mang kkorn) มกร (ma kka ra)
Aquarius ราศีกุมภ์ (raa see kkum) กุมภ์ (kkum)
Pisces ราศีมีน (raa see meen) มีน (meen)
Aries ราศีเมษ (raa see mayd) เมษ (mayd)
Taurus ราศีพฤษภ (raa see preud sop) พฤษ (preud sa)
Gemini ราศีมิถุน (raa see mi tun) มิถุน (mi tun)
Cancer ราศีกรกฎ (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)
Libra ราศีตุลย์ (raa see ttun) ตุล (ttun)
Scorpio ราศีพิจิก (raa see pi jik) พิจิก (pi jik)
Sagittarius ราศีธนู (raa see ta nuu) ธนู (ta nuu)


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


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.


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 you ขอบคุณครับ (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:


ไม่เลย (mai leoi)

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



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



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:



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:


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.


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.