Point IV : The Words 'Pen' and 'Yùu'


     Both of these words are often translated by the English word 'to be,' but they cannot be substituted one for the other.  Observe the following examples selected from sentences you have already learned:


   khun  chuˆaŋ pen  tháhăanbòk.    'chuˆaŋ is a soldier.'
   khun  phoŋ   pen mɔ̆ɔ.    'phoŋ is a doctor.'
   khăw pen  phʉˆan  khɔ̆ɔŋ   phŏm.    'He is my friend.'
   ráanʔaahăan yùu thiˆinăy.    'Where is the restaurant?'
   rooŋrɛɛm  yùu  thiˆinoˆon.    'The hotel is over there.'
   phŏm yùu nay  kruŋtheˆep.    'I live in Bangkok.'

          A simple way of describing the difference between pen and yùu is this: pen is used when you want to say what something is, while yùu is employed when you want to say where something is.  The word yùu is also used in the meaning 'to live, stay (in a certain place),'as is illustrated in the last example above.


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