how to say in thai Archives - Learn Thai from a White Guy

How to Say How in Thai

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

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

How in Spoken Thai:

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

“How” Questions in Thai

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

Example Thai Phrases:

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

Thai Grammar Tip

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

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

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

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

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

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

Examples:

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

 How to Say HOW in Formal or Written Thai

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

The formal or written version of HOW in Thai is:

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

Examples:

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

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

Examples of ways to ask how to say something is:

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

Examples Sentences:

More Examples of HOW in Thai:

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

Situation 1)

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

Or

Example using เท่าไหร่ (tao rai):

Example using กี่ (kkii):

Situation 2)

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

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

For example:

Conclusion 

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

How to Say Similar in Thai

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

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

how to say similar or same in thai

เหมือนมั้ย

Similar in Thai – The Quick Answer

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

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

Example sentence:

Doubled Up Thai Words

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

Different Ways to Say Similar in Thai

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

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

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

Examples Sentences:

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

*กับ functions like “with” in these patterns.

Vocabulary:

How to Say The Same in Thai

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

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

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

Example sentence:

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

Here the English sentence is:

“He has the same shoes as his older brother”

How to Say “The Usual Please” 

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

The way to say this in Thai is:

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

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

Here are some other examples:

 

Same Same But Different

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

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

Here goes…

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

How to Speak Thai at the Hotel

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

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

Thai Hotel Phrases

มาเช็คอินครับ

Types of Accommodation In Thailand

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

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

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

Hotel – โรงแรม (rohng raem)

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

Hostel – โฮสเทล (hoh-stel)

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

Guesthouse – เกสต์เฮาส์ (gaest-hao)

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

Homestay – โฮมสเตย์ (hohm-sttae)

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

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

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

Bungalow – บังกะโล (bang-kka-loh)

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

Camping – แคมป์ปิ้ง (kaem-pping)

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

Airbnb – แอร์บีเอ็นบี (aeh bii en bii)

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

Top Ten Handy Hotel Phrases

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

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

Polite Particles in Thai

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

So, a male speaker would say:

And a female speaker would say:

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

Bonus: Thai Bathroom Etiquette

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Vocabulary Flashcards

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

How to Say Handsome in Thai

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

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

How to Say Handsome in Thai

หล่อจัง

 

Handsome in Thai – LAWH (หล่อ)

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

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

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

How To Say “You’re Handsome” in Thai

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

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

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

พี่ (pii) – older brother/sister

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

น้อง (nawg) – little brother/sister

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

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

Thai Grammar Tip: 

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

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

How To Say “He’s Handsome”

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

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

Very Handsome! in Thai

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

Example Handsome Sentences

 

Bonus: Impress Your Boyfriend

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

Conclusion – Go Tell People They are Handsome

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

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

How To 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

กี่โมงแล้ว

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!