Word Study

 

Point 1. More about primary and secondary verbs.

lên

dèk lên náam
เด็กเล่นน้ำ
The children are playing [in] the water.
khun càʔ dəən lên thîi chaayhàat mǎy
คุณจะเดินเล่นที่ชายหาดไหม
Will you go for a walk ('walk for pleasure') along the beach?

 

thʉ̌ŋ

rótfay thʉ̌ŋ hǔahǐn lɛ́ɛw
รถไฟถึงหัวหินแล้ว
The train's got to ('reached') Huahin.
raw kamlaŋ phûut thʉ̌ŋ khun
เรากำลังพูดถึงคุณ
We were talking about you.

 

yuu

khǎw yùu bâan
เขาอยู่บ้าน
He stayed home.
khǎw kin ʔaahǎan yùu
เขากินอาหารอยู่
He is eating ('is in the process of eating')
raw kamlaŋ phûut thʉ̌ŋ khun yùu thiaw
เรากำลังพูดถึงคุณอยู่เทียว
We were just talking ('in the process of talking') about you.

As was pointed out in the preceding unit (Section B.1, Point 3), a secondary verb adds something to the meaning of the primary verb with which it is used. Thus len as a primary verb means 'to play', but as a secondary verb it means 'for pleasure'. In the same way th used alone means 'reach', but when it is used with phuut to talk' it adds the meaning 'about'; hence phuut th means 'to talk about'. Similarly, bon th means 'to complain about', ruu th means 'to know about', and so on. Sometimes the verb in secondary position cannot be translated by a single word in English. One verb of this sort is yuu, which, when occupying a position secondary to another verb, adds the meaning 'in the process of', as in kin yuu. 'to be in the process of eating', phûut yùu 'to be in the process of talking'.

In the last example provided above under yùu, we have a sentence containing two verbs in secondary position. First we have thʉ̌ŋ going with phûut to give phûut th 'to talk about'; then yùu is added to this to give phûut thʉ̌ŋ yùu 'to be in the process of talking about'.

 

Point2. The combination of two or more primary verbs.

Examples:

raw pay plìan khrʉ̂atɛ̀ɛŋtua tht
เราไปเปลี่ยนเครื่องแต่งตัวเถิด

Let's go change clothes!

phrûŋníi khǎw càʔ maa yîam phǒm
พรุ่งนี้เขาจะมาเยี่ยมผม

He'll come visit me tomorrow.

raw pay nâŋ dʉ̀ʉm kaafɛɛ nay ráan nán thə̀ət
เราไปนั่งดื่มกาแฟในร้านนั่นเถิด

Let's go sit [and] drink coffee in that shop!

These sentences illustrate a very important point to remember about primary verbs and secondary verbs. This is that not every verb which follows another verb is a secondary verb; it may be another primary verb. Thus is the first example above plian does not change or modify the meaning of pay; it simply adds on a new and separate idea which is on a par with the idea expressed by pay. Therefore both pay and plian are primary verbs. The same remarks apply to the use of maa and yiam in the second example above and also to the use of pay, nâŋ, and dʉ̀ʉm in the third example.

Point3. A note on the use of hay.

Examples:

khǎw sɔ̌ɔn hây dìchǎn wâaynáam
เขาสอนให้ดิฉันว่ายน้ำ

He taught me to swim or He taught me how to swim.

khǎw sɔ̌ɔn dìchǎn hây wâaynáam
เขาสอนดิฉันให้ว่ายน้ำ

He taught me to swim or He taught me how to swim.

dìchǎn càʔ rîak phîi lə̌əm hây maa chûay
ดิฉันจะเรียกพี่เหลิมให้มาช่วย

I'll call chalm to come help.

khǎw bɔ̀ɔk hây phǒm maa yîam khǎw
เขาบอกให้ผมมาเยี่ยมเขา

He told me to come visit him.

Here hay 'to have, let' is used as a secondary verb with primary verbs like sɔ̌ɔn, rîak, and bɔ̀ɔk, and its function is to introduce a new clause telling who was taught, called, or told to do what.
In the first example above the word dichan follows hay and functions as the subject of the primary verb of the second clause. In the second example, on the other hand, the word dichan precedes hay and functions as the object of the primary verb of the first clause. Since the object of the primary verb of the first clause and the subject of the main verb of the second clause are the same, the word dichan does not have to be put in both places; instead it may be put in either place with no significant difference in meaning. The same rule applies to the remaining examples.

 

Point 4. The word day, way, and pen.

Examples:

wanníi khun pay wâaynáam dây mǎy
วันนี้คุณไปว่ายน้ำได้ไหม
Can you go swimming today?
khun wâaynáam tɔ̀ɔ pay wǎy mǎy
คุณว่ายน้ำต่อไปไหวไหม
Can you ('are you capable of') swim [any] further?
khun wâaynáam pen mǎy
คุณว่ายน้ำเป็นไหม
Can you ('do you know how to') swim?

In the examples above the words day, way, and pen are all translated 'can' in English. This is almost always the most natural translation for all of them. However, the three words are not interchangeabl in Thai. Therefore you will need also to remember other more specific meanings for them so that you can use them properly when speaking Thai. Note the following remarks:

dây
ได้
'to be able to' is the most general of the three terms and can often be used in place of the other two.
wǎy
ไหว
'to be capable of' or 'to have the capacity to' is generally used in referring to activities requiring strength.
pen
เป็น
'to know how to' is generally used in referring to activities requiring a skill which must be learned.

Note also the following examples showing these words used in combination with may 'not':

phǒm pay wâaynáam mây dây, phrɔ́ʔ fǒn tòk
ผมไปว่ายน้ำไม่ได้ เพราะฝนตก
I can't go swimming, because it's raining.
phǒm wâaynáam tɔ̀ɔ pay mây wǎy, phrɔ́ʔ nʉ̀ay mâak lɛ́ɛw
ผมว่ายน้ำต่อไปไหว เพราะเหนื่อยมากแล้ว
I can't ('am incapable of') swim any further, because I'm very tired.
phǒm wâaynáam mây pen, phrɔ́ʔ mây mii khray sɔ̌ɔn hây.
ผมว่ายน้ำไม่เป็น เพราะไม่มีใครสอนให้
I can't ('don't know how to') swim because I had no one to teach me how.

 

Point 5. The use of content question words with kɔ̂ʔ dây.

Examples:

khun càʔ pay mʉ̂aray.
คุณจะไปเมื่อไร
mʉ̂aray kɔ̂ʔ dây.
เมื่อไหร่ก็ได้
When are you going? Any time or Any time will do ('It can be any time').
khun càʔ hây khray pay kàp khun.
คุณจะให้ใครไปกับคุณ
khray kɔ̂ʔ dây.
ใครก็ได้
Who do you want to go with you? Anybody.
khun tɔ̂ŋkaan bùrìi chánít nǎy.
คุณต้องการบุหรี่ชนิดไหน
chánít nǎy kɔ̂ʔ dây.
ชนิดไหนก็ได้
What kind of cigarettes do you want? Any kind.
wanníi khun yàak càʔ pay thîinǎy.
วันนี้คุณอยากจะไปที่ไหน
thîinǎy kɔ̂ʔ dây
ที่ไหนก็ได้
Where do you want to go today? Anywhere.
khun yàak càʔ tham ʔàray.
คุณอยากจะทำอะไร
ʔàray kɔ̂ʔ dây.
อะไรก็ได้
What do you want to do? Anything.

 In the answers to the questions above you will notice that the phrase kɔ̂ʔ dây is preceded by a content question word like maray, khray, and so on. When accompanied by kɔ̂ʔ day 'it can be' these words no longer function as questions; instead, a word like 'when?' comes to mean 'anytime', 'who?' comes to mean 'anybody', and so on. Since these expressions are frequently used in answers to content questions you should observe that the same content question word is used both in the question and in the answer.
It is not necessary for these expressions to be used only in answers to questions; they are also used in other types of statements. An example found in the Basic Sentences of this unit. (Sentence No. 10) is:

khray yàak càʔ loŋ náam kɔ̂ʔ dây, khray yàak càʔ yùu bon fàŋ kɔ̂ʔ dây.
หนังสือบางเล่มแพงเกินไป
Whoever wants to get in the water can [do so], whoever wants to stay on shore can [do so].

 

Point 6. The use of yiŋ.

Examples:

yîŋ rew, yîŋ dii.
ยิ่งเร็ว ยิ่งดี
The sooner, the better. ('The more it is soon, the more it is good' or Increasingly soon, increasingly good.')
phráʔaathít khʉ̂n lɛ́ɛw. yîŋ sǎay, yîŋ rɔ́ɔn khʉ̂n.
พระอาทิตย์ขึ้นแล้ว ยิ่งสาย ยิ่งร้อนขึ้น
The sun is already up. The later it is, the hotter it gets.
mʉ̂a phǒm taam khǎw, khǎw yîŋ dəən rew khʉ̂n.
เมื่อผมตามเขา เขายิ่งเดินเร็วขึ้น
When I followed him, he walked [all] the faster (or 'increasingly fast').

The examples above show that yi corresponds to the English expression 'the more' (or 'the ... -er', as in 'the hotter'). It may also be rendered 'increasingly', if one wants to give a still more literal translation. Sometimes there are two paralled statements containing yiŋ, as in the first two examples above, but at other times there is only one statement containing the word, as in the last example.

Note carefully that yiŋ does not always precede the word with which the expression 'the more' may happen to be placed in English; instead, it is placed immediately before the main verb of its clause. The last example illustrates this point well, since yiŋ precedes dəən, not rew.

Point 7. The use of kɔ̀ɔn with units of time
Examples:

mʉ̂a ʔaathít kɔ̀ɔn
เมื่ออาทิตย์ก่อน
last week ('the week before [this]')
mʉ̂a dʉan kɔ̀ɔn
เมื่อเดือนก่อน
last month ('the month before [this]')
mʉ̂a nâarɔ́ɔn kɔ̀ɔn
เมื่อหน้าร้อนก่อน
last summer
mʉ̂a nâanǎaw kɔ̀ɔn
เมื่อหน้าหนาวก่อน
last winter

The expressions given here should be memorized because they are the most common and most useful of their type. Note that there is a similar expression containing wan 'day' which has a slightly different meaning:

mʉ̂a wan kɔ̀ɔn
เมื่อวันก่อน
the other day (i.e., an  unspecified day in the past)

Point 8. The use of baay

Examples:

weelaa bàay mooŋ
เวลาบ่ายโมง
one o'clock in the afternoon
weelaa bàay sǎam mooŋ
เวลาบ่ายสามโมง
three o'clock in the afternoon
weelaa cèt mooŋ cháaw
เวลาเจ็ดโมงเช้า
seven o'clock in the morning
weelaa cèt mooŋ yen
เวลาเจ็ดโมงเย็น
seven o'clock in the evening

Note carefully that bàay 'afternoon' must precede the hour of the day, whereas cháaw 'morning' and yen 'evening' must follow it.

In the first example above you will notice that the word nʉ̀ŋ 'one' is omitted. This phrase should be memorized because the word nʉ̀ŋ is so commonly omitted in this case that its insertion would sound rather strange.

Point 9. A new use for phîi and nɔ́ɔŋ

Examples:

phîi lə̌əm yaŋ mây maa
พี่เหลิมยังไม่มา
Lm hasn't come yet
nɔ́ɔŋ lǔay pay lɛ́ɛw
น้องหลวยไปแล้ว
Luay has already gone.

Here the words phîi 'older brother or sister' and nɔ́ɔŋ 'younger brother or sister' are used as titles in front of proper names. One uses phîi as a title only with the name of one's older brother or sister (or with the name of a person who is treated as such). By the same token one uses nɔ́ɔŋ as a title only with the name of one's younger brother or sister (or with the name of a person who is treated as such). You should note how these titles are used in the Basic Sentences of this unit. You will observe at once that kàsǒm, who is not related to chàlə̌əm and chàlǔay, calls them khun chàlə̌əm and khun chàlǔay, respectively. In contrast to this, chàlə̌əm and chàlǔay, who are brother and sister, refer to each other as phîi lə̌əm and nɔ́ɔŋ lǔay, respectively.

 

Point 10. A note on khn and lo

phǒm càʔ loŋ náam
ผมจะลงน้ำ
I'm going to get in the water.
khǎw loŋ pay lɛ́ɛw
เขาลงไปแล้ว
He got in already.
phǒm càʔ khʉ̂n fàŋ
ผมจะขึ้นฝั่ง
I'm going to get out on the bank.
khǎw khʉ̂n pay lɛ́ɛw
เขาขึ้นไปแล้ว
He got out already.

When one is talking about getting in or out of the water, lo means 'to get in' (lit., 'to descend') and khn means 'to get out' (lit., 'to rise'). Do not neglect to memorize the examples above and take care always to use lo and khn when speaking of getting in and out of the water. If you fail to take special note of this, you may lapse into the error of using other Thai words which also mean 'to get in' and 'to get out', though in different circumstances.

Point 11. The use of r in negative questions

khǎw tɛ̀ɛŋtua yaŋ mây sèt rʉ̌ʉ
เขาแต่งตัวยังไม่เสร็จหรือ
Isn't she through dressing yet?
khun càʔ mây pay rʉ̌ʉ
คุณจะไม่ไปหรือ
Aren't you going to go?
wanníi khǎw pay duu nǎŋ mây dây rʉ̌ʉ
วันนี้เขาไปดูหนังไม่ได้หรือ
Can't he go to the movies today?

The above example serve to illustrate that whenever a yes-or-no question contains a negative word like may 'not', then the question-word must be rʉ̌ʉ. In other words, it is not possible to substitue may for rʉ̌ʉ in negative question.

 

Point 12. The words thiidiaw and thiaw

mɔ̀ʔ thiidiaw
เหมาะทีเดียว
That's fine or That's quite suitable ('It fits exactly').
thùuk thiidiaw
ถูกทีเดียว
That's exactly right.
raw kamlaŋ phûut thʉ̌ŋ khun yùu thiaw
เรากำลังพูดถึงคุณอยู่เทียว
We were just talking about you ('talking about you, exactly [that]').
khun phûut phaasǎathay dây dii thiidiaw
คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ดีทีเดียว
You can speak Thai quite well.

The examples above show that the most common basic or underlying meaning of thiidiaw and thiaw is 'exactly', even though the smoothest English translation does not always contain this rendition.

Note also that thiaw is a contraction of thiidiaw. This is similar to English contractions, such as don't for do not, won't for will not, and the like.

 

Point 13. The shortening of given names

chàlə̌əm
เฉลิม
lə̌əm
เหลิม
(name for a man)
chàlǔay
ฉลวย
lǔay
หลวย
(name for a woman)
kàsǒm
กาสม
sǒm
สม
(name for a man)
pràsǒm
ประสม
sǒm
สม
(name for a man)
sàmə̌ə
สมอ
mə̌ə
หมอ
(name for a man)

Given names containing two syllables and a short vowel in the first syllable are frequently shortened by omitting the first syllable all together, as in the examples above.

 

Point 14. The abbreviation waay for waaynaam

phaaynay sɔ̌ɔŋ ʔaathít, khun kɔ̂ʔ càʔ wâay kèŋ mʉ̌ankan.
ภายในสองอาทิตย์ คุณก็จะว่ายเก่งเหมือนกัน
Inside of a couple of weeks, you'll be able to swim well, too.

Here wâay is used for wâaynáam because it is clear from the context that swimming is referred to. It is important to remember, however, that the full form wâaynáam must be used whenever the topic of swimming is first being introduced into the conversation. See also the remarks made about other abbreviations in Unit 13, Section B.1, Point 8.

Point 15. Some classifiers

lam
ลำ
It is a new classifier to be learned. It is used for all kinds of boats and also for certain other objects which float on the water.
lûuk
ลูก
It may be used a s the classifier for various objects of round shape. It is therefore the classififer for khln 'wave'. You have previously learned it as one of the classsifiers which may be used for different kinds of fruit.
sǎay
สาย
It is a word you have previously learned as the classifier for long ribbon-like or line-like objects, such as thanon 'street'. It is also the classifier for mnaam 'river'.

 

Point 16. Some special phrases

ʔàap dɛ̀ɛt
อาบแดด
'to take a sunbath'. Compare aapnaam 'to bathe'
khʉ̂n fàŋ
ขึ้นฝั่ง
'to get out on the bank', lit., 'to get up [on] the bank'
lên náam
เล่นน้ำ
'to play in the water', lit. 'to play the water'
loŋ náam
ลงน้ำ
'to get in the water', lit. 'to get down [in] the water'
tàak dɛ̀ɛt
ตากแดด
'to sun oneself', lit. 'to expose (oneself) to the sun'
thʉ̌ŋ yàaŋray kɔ̂ʔ dii
ถึงอย่างไรก็ดี
'however, nevertheless'. A literal translation does not help much in understanding this phrase. Note that exactly the same thing is true of its English equivalents 'however' (which contains 'how' and 'ever') and 'nevertheless' (which contains 'never', 'the', and 'less').

 

Point 17. Some compounds

bàayníi
บ่ายนี้
'this afternoon', from bàay 'afternoon' + nîi 'this'
kaantɛ̀ɛŋtua
การแต่งตัว
'dressing', i.e., 'the activity of dressing', from kaan 'activity' + tɛ̀ɛŋtua 'to dress'
khrʉ̂aŋtɛ̀ɛŋtua
เครื่องแต่งตัว
'clothes', lit. 'dressing implementation', from khrʉ̂aŋ 'instrument, implementation' (rarely used alone) + tɛ̀ɛŋtua 'to dress'
mɛ̂ɛnáam
แม่น้ำ
'river', lit. 'mother of waters', from mɛ̂ɛ 'mother' + náam 'water'
rʉabay
เรือใบ
'sailboat', from rʉa 'boat' + bay 'leaf' (but bay cannot be used alone to mean the leaf of a tree)
sʉ̂aʔàapnáam
เสื้ออาบน้ำ
'bathing-suit', from sʉ̂a 'coat, upper garment' + ʔàapnáam 'to bathe'