Point 1. More about primary and secondary verbs.
|dèk lên náam
|The children are playing [in] the water.|
dəən lên thîi
|Will you go for a walk ('walk for pleasure') along the beach?|
|The train's got to ('reached') Huahin.|
phûut thʉ̌ŋ khun
|We were talking about you.|
|He stayed home.|
kin ʔaahǎan yùu
|He is eating ('is in the process of eating')|
|raw kamlaŋ phûut thʉ̌ŋ khun
|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.
pay plìan khrʉ̂atɛ̀ɛŋtua
Let's go change clothes!
|phrûŋníi khǎw càʔ maa yîam phǒm
He'll come visit me tomorrow.
pay nâŋ dʉ̀ʉm kaafɛɛ nay ráan
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.
sɔ̌ɔn hây dìchǎn
He taught me to swim or He taught me how to swim.
sɔ̌ɔn dìchǎn hây wâaynáam
He taught me to swim or He taught me how to swim.
|dìchǎn càʔ rîak phîi lə̌əm hây maa chûay
I'll call chalm to come help.
|khǎw bɔ̀ɔk hây phǒm maa yîam khǎw
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.
|wanníi khun pay wâaynáam
|Can you go swimming today?|
|khun wâaynáam tɔ̀ɔ pay wǎy mǎy
|Can you ('are you capable of') swim [any] further?|
|khun wâaynáam pen mǎy
|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:
|'to be able to' is the most general of the three terms and can often be used in place of the other two.|
|'to be capable of' or 'to have the capacity to' is generally used in referring to activities requiring strength.|
|'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
|I can't go swimming, because it's raining.|
|phǒm wâaynáam tɔ̀ɔ pay mây wǎy,
phrɔ́ʔ nʉ̀ay mâak lɛ́ɛw
|I can't ('am incapable of') swim any further, because I'm very tired.|
|phǒm wâaynáam mây pen, phrɔ́ʔ mây mii
khray sɔ̌ɔn hây.
|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.
|khun càʔ pay mʉ̂aray.
mʉ̂aray kɔ̂ʔ dây.
|When are you going? Any time or Any time will do ('It can be any time').|
|khun càʔ hây khray pay kàp
khray kɔ̂ʔ dây.
|Who do you want to go with you? Anybody.|
|khun tɔ̂ŋkaan bùrìi chánít nǎy.
chánít nǎy kɔ̂ʔ dây.
|What kind of cigarettes do you want? Any kind.|
|wanníi khun yàak càʔ pay thîinǎy.
thîinǎy kɔ̂ʔ dây
|Where do you want to go today? Anywhere.|
|khun yàak càʔ tham ʔàray.
ʔàray kɔ̂ʔ dây.
|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.
|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.
|yîŋ rew, yîŋ dii.
|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.|
taam khǎw, khǎw yîŋ dəən rew khʉ̂n.
|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
|mʉ̂a ʔaathít kɔ̀ɔn
|last week ('the week before [this]')|
|mʉ̂a dʉan kɔ̀ɔn
|last month ('the month before [this]')|
|mʉ̂a nâarɔ́ɔn kɔ̀ɔn
|mʉ̂a nâanǎaw kɔ̀ɔn
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
|the other day (i.e., an unspecified day in the past)|
Point 8. The use of baay
|one o'clock in the afternoon|
|three o'clock in the afternoon|
|seven o'clock in the morning|
|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
|phîi lə̌əm yaŋ
|Lm hasn't come yet|
|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
|I'm going to get in the water.|
|khǎw loŋ pay lɛ́ɛw
|He got in already.|
|phǒm càʔ khʉ̂n
|I'm going to get out on the bank.|
|khǎw khʉ̂n pay lɛ́ɛw
|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
|Isn't she through dressing yet?|
càʔ mây pay rʉ̌ʉ
|Aren't you going to go?|
|wanníi khǎw pay duu nǎŋ mây dây rʉ̌ʉ
|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
|That's fine or That's quite suitable ('It fits exactly').|
|That's exactly right.|
kamlaŋ phûut thʉ̌ŋ khun yùu
|We were just talking about you ('talking about you, exactly [that]').|
phûut phaasǎathay dây
|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
|(name for a man)|
|(name for a woman)|
|(name for a man)|
|(name for a man)|
|(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
khun kɔ̂ʔ càʔ
wâay kèŋ mʉ̌ankan.
|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
|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.|
|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.|
|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
|'to take a sunbath'. Compare aapnaam 'to bathe'|
|'to get out on the bank', lit., 'to get up [on] the bank'|
|'to play in the water', lit. 'to play the water'|
|'to get in the water', lit. 'to get down [in] the water'|
|'to sun oneself', lit. 'to expose (oneself) to the sun'|
|thʉ̌ŋ yàaŋray kɔ̂ʔ dii
|'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
|'this afternoon', from bàay 'afternoon' + nîi 'this'|
|'dressing', i.e., 'the activity of dressing', from kaan 'activity' + tɛ̀ɛŋtua 'to dress'|
|'clothes', lit. 'dressing implementation', from khrʉ̂aŋ 'instrument, implementation' (rarely used alone) + tɛ̀ɛŋtua 'to dress'|
|'river', lit. 'mother of waters', from mɛ̂ɛ 'mother' + náam 'water'|
|'sailboat', from rʉa 'boat' + bay 'leaf' (but bay cannot be used alone to mean the leaf of a tree)|
|'bathing-suit', from sʉ̂a 'coat, upper garment' + ʔàapnáam 'to bathe'|