Vocabulary for This Lesson
When you meet someone that you do not know well, the conversation will have a more formal sound. Listen and practice saying these words.
For male speakers, ผม means I or me. For either gender ผม also means hair, on the head only. Other types of hair, such as body hair or animal fur is called ขน (kǒn).
I, me (female, polite)
For female speakers, ดิฉัน means I or me. You can use ฉัน or ดิฉัน. ดิฉัน is usually considered more formal and will sound strange when used with friends, shopkeepers, food vendors, etc. However, using it with very old people or those that you do not know will sound very polite.
For female speakers, ฉัน means I or me. It is used when a female speaker is talking about herself to friends, or in a casual setting. ดิฉัน, the more formal sounding form, is not widely used, except in special cases.
The word เขา refers to he or she, him or her, and them or they in informal speech, but as in English เขา is not used unless the subject is already known. If not then you would use their name. When clarification is need, พวกเขา (púak-kǎo) can be used for they and them.
คุณ means you, but is also used the same as the English honorifics Mr. , Mrs. and Miss before a person's first name. It should always be used when in formal settings and when you do not know the person well.
polite particle (male speaker); affirmative response
For male speakers, the polite particle ครับ should be added to the end of a statements or questions in conversations where you are speaking with people you don't know, older people, and those in a position of authority. Forgetting to use the polite particle can give your speech an abrupt or rude sound, so when in doubt, use it often.
polite statements (female); affirmative response
For female speakers, the polite particle ค่ะ should be added to the end of a statements in conversations where you are speaking with people you don't know, older people, and those in a position of authority. Forgetting to use the polite particle can give your speech an abrupt or rude sound, so when in doubt, use it often.
polite question particle
For female speakers, the polite question particle คะ should be added to the end of a questions in conversations when speaking with people you don't know, older people, and those in a position of authority. Forgetting to use the polite particle can give your speech an abrupt or rude sound, so when in doubt, use it often.
The word แล้ว means already, but can also be used to connect two sentences together like and or so.
Loosely translated, ละ means what about. It is used when asking a question that refers to a previous question, where the topic is already known, as in the English:
Q - How are you?
A - I'm fine. And you?
question particle; silk
Although the word ไหม is a noun which means silk, ไหม, along with หรือ, is one of the Thai question particles. It is added to the end of basic statements to turn the sentence into a question. Note that in syllables beginning with ห + ม the ห is silent, but the tone follows the rules for its high class. And, whenever the word is spoken quickly, it is often said with high tone, so it will sometimes be spelled มั้ย / mái )
สวัสดี is said as a greeting, and also used when you depart, as in hello or goodbye. In formal settings, with older people, or those whom you do not know well, always add the gender specific polite particle ครับ or ค่ะ.
สบาย means comfortable. It can be used in combination with other words for a modified meaning, as in สบายดี (sà-baai-dee, comfortable + good = to be well)
The word ดี means good. It is also added to other words as a kind of modifier.
to be well, to feel well
สบายดี means to be well, to feel well, or to be in good health. It is quite common to use it in greetings, as in สบายดีไหม, for the English equivalent of how are you?
thank you, to thank
ขอบคุณ means thank you. It is most often used together with the polite particles ครับ and ค่ะ, even in casual conversations.
The word หรือ, along with ไหม, is one of the Thai question particles. It can be added to the end of basic statements to turn the sentence into a question. These type of questions either a negative or affirmative response is expected. หรือ can also be used as the conjunction or where it is used to join clauses, sentences or words.