Word Study

 

Point 1. Ordinal numbers. These are numbers which tell the order of something, such as 'first,' 'second,' 'third,' and so on. Thai examples:

Ordinal Numbers

thîinʉ̀ŋ
ที่หนึ่ง

first

thîisɔ̌ɔŋ
ที่สอง
second
thîisǎam
ที่สาม
third
thîisìi
ที่สี่
fourth
thîihâa
ที่ห้า
fifth

Regular Numbers

nʉ̀ŋ
หนึ่ง
one
sɔ̌ɔŋ
สอง
two
sǎam
สาม
three
sìi
สี่
four
hâa
ห้า
five

You will see at once that Thai ordinal numbers are just like the regular numbers except that they are preceded by thîi. All of the rest of the ordinal numbers are made in exactly the same way. With large numbers many people pronounce the thîi as a separate word, e.g.,

thîi sìirɔ́ɔy cètsìpkâw
ที่สี่ร้อยเจ็ดสิบเก้า

the four hundred and seventy-ninth

But with the smaller numbers the thîi is ordinarily run together with the regular number, as in thîinʉ̀ŋ, thîisɔ̌ɔŋ, so that the two parts are spoken as a single word. Another important phrase containing thîi is thîi thâwray, which may be translated literally 'the how manyeth,' as in:

chán khun yùu nay hɔ̂ŋ thîi thâwray
ชั้นคุณอยู่ห้องที่เท่าไหร่

What room is your class held in?

hɔ̂ŋ khun yùu chán thîi thâwray
ห้องคุณอยู่ชั้นที่เท่าไหร่

What floor is your room [on]?

Questions like this are usually answered by an ordinal number, but sometimes by a regular number, e.g.,

chán phǒm yùu nay hɔ̂ŋ thîi sǎamrɔ́ɔy hâasìp
ชั้นผมอยู่ในห้องที่สามร้อยห้าสิบ

My class is held in Room 350 (the three hundred and fiftieth room)

chán phǒm yùu nay hɔ̂ŋ sǎamrɔ́ɔy hâasìp
ชั้นผมอยู่ในห้องสามร้อยห้าสิบ

My class is held in Room 350.

hɔ̂ŋ phǒm yùu chán thîicèt
ห้องผมอยู่ชั้นที่เจ็ด

My room is on the seventh floor.

 

Point2. Omission of rʉ̌ʉ. In the Basic Sentences of this unit you learned the phrase

raw càʔ yùu sɔ̌ɔŋ sǎam wan thâwnán
เราจะอยู่สองสามวันเท่านั้น

We'll stay only two or three days.

which, when translated into English, has the word 'or' but in Thai lacks the equivalent word rʉ̌ʉ. Between numbers, as in the phrase above, rʉ̌ʉ may be omitted or inserted without any difference in meaning, provided the sentence is a statement. Therefore you may also say:

raw càʔ yùu sɔ̌ɔŋ rʉ̌ʉ sǎam wan
เราจะอยู่สองหรือสามวัน
We'll stay two or three days.

If the sentence is a question, however, the rʉ̌ʉ cannot be left out, e.g.,

khun càʔ yùu sɔ̌ɔŋ rʉ̌ʉ sǎam wan khráp
คุณจะอยู่สองหรือสามวันครับ
Will you stay two [days] or three days?

 

Point 3. The word tháŋ. This word, which means 'all, all of, the whole of, ' is used very frequently with numbers, e.g.,

tháŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ
ทั้งสอง
both
tháŋ sǎam
ทั้งสาม
all three
tháŋ sìi
ทั้งสี่
all four
tháŋ hâa
ทั้งห้า
all five
tháŋ hòk
ทั้งหก
all six

Expressions like those just given are used with pronouns and with nouns. They are sometimes followed by a classifier, sometimes not, but this fact makes no difference in the meaning. Examples:

raw tháŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ khon pen chaawnaa
เราทั้งสองคนเป็นชาวนา
Both of us are farmers.
khun tháŋ sǎam khon càʔ pay nǎy
คุณทั้งสามคนจะไปไหน
Where are the three of you (all three of you) going?
phûuchaay tháŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ khon pen phɛ̂ɛt
ผู้ชายทั้งสองเป็นแพทย์
Both men are doctors.

The word tháŋ also occurs in expressions like tháŋ ʔaathít 'all week' in which the number-word is omitted but the classifier is required. However, the number-word omitted here is nʉ̀ŋ 'one' and this expression is therefore just like those you learned about in Unit 7 (Point 1). When the quantity intended is more than 'one' the proper number-word must of course be used to make this clear. Memorize the following phrases:

Without Number-Word

tháŋ wan
ทั้งวัน

'all day'

tháŋ khʉʉn
ทั้งคืน
'all night'
tháŋ ʔaathít
ทั้งอาทิตย์
'all week'
tháŋ dʉan
ทั้งเดือน
'all month'

With Number-Word

tháŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ wan
ทั้งสองวัน
'both days'
tháŋ sǎam khʉʉn
ทั้งสามคืน
'all three nights'
tháŋ hâa ʔaathít
ทั้งห้าอาทิตย์
'all five weeks'
tháŋ pɛ̀ɛt dʉan
ทั้งแปดเดือน
'all eight months'

Examples in sentences:

lom phát càt tháŋ wan tháŋ khʉʉn
ลมพัดจัดทั้งวันทั้งคืน
The wind blew hard all day [and] all night.
khǎw yùu thíinîi sǎam ʔaathít, lɛ́ʔ fǒn tòk nàk tháŋ sǎam ʔaathít.
เขาอยู่ที่นี่สามอาทิตย์และฝนตกหนักทั้งสามอาทิตย์
He stayed here three weeks, and it rained hard all three weeks.

 

Point 4. The word ʔaw and phaa.  The word ʔaw 'to take' is used to refer to small things, while phaa 'to take, accompany' is used to refer to people or larger things. In-between things may be referred to by either ʔaw or phaa. Both words are frequently used in combination with the words pay 'to go' and maa 'to come' with a corresponding difference in meaning. Thus ʔaw pay and phaa pay mean 'to take,' while ʔaw maa and phaa maa mean 'to bring.' Examples:

khǎw ʔaw nǎŋsʉ̌ʉ pay bâan
เขาเอาหนังสือไปบ้าน
He took the books home.
khǎw phaa nǎŋsʉ̌ʉ pay bâan
เขาพาหนังสือไปบ้าน
He took the books home.
pròot ʔaw ʔaahǎan maa thîinîi.
โปรดเอาอาหารมาที่นี่
Please bring the food here.
pròot phaa ʔaahǎan maa thîinîi.
โปรดพาอาหารมาที่นี่
Please bring the food here.
khun càʔ phaa nɔ́ɔŋchaay khɔ̌ɔŋ khun pay duu nǎŋ mǎy
คุณจะพาน้องชายของคุณไปดูหนังไหม
Will you take your younger brother to the movies?
phǒm càʔ phaa nɔ́ɔŋsǎaw maa dûay
ผมจะพาน้องสาวมาด้วย
I'll bring [my] younger sister also.

In these examples you will notice that the word for the object (in this case what is taken or brought) is placed between ʔaw or phaa and pay or maa. In the illustrations above the object is shown in boldface letters.

 

Point 5. Some Thai words of similar meaning.

a. rooŋrɛɛm and hooten. Both of these words have exactly the same meaning, namely 'hotel,' but the first one is an original Thai word while the second one is simply the word 'hotel' pronounced in Thai fashion. Both words are used widely.

b. kin and ráppràthaan. As far as their meaning is concerned these two words can be used interchangeably, for both refer to consuming food or drink. However, of the two words, ráppràthaan is the more formal and is therefore used when speaking to elders or superiors. It is also often used among equals for the sake of politeness. Note particularly that ráppràthaan is used to refer to people only. When speaking of lower beings (animals, fish, fowl), it is necessary to use kin.

Example:

khun ráppràthaan ʔaahǎan lɛ́ɛw rʉ̌ʉ yaŋ khráp
คุณรับประทานอาหารแล้วหรือยังครับ
'Have you eaten yet?'
kày chɔ̂ɔp kin khâaw
ไก่ชอบกินข้าว
'Chickens like to eat rice.'

c. rúu and sâap. The word rúu refers specifically to knowledge, as in

khǎw rúu wíchaaphɛ̂ɛt
เขารู้วิชาแพทย์
'He knows medicine.'

Consequently, when knowledge is referred to it is necessary to use the word rúu. In the commonly used expressions 'do you know?' or 'I don't know,' on the other hand, the words rúu and sâap may be used interchangeably as far as meaning is concerned. To use sâap, however, sounds somewhat more polite or elegant than to use rúu. Examples:

phǒm mây rúu khráp
ผมไม่รู้ครับ
'I don't know.' (Acceptable speech.)
phǒm mây sâap khráp
ผมไม่ทราบครับ
'I don't know.' (More polite or elegant speech.)

 

c. khǎw and khun. When used as a pronoun, the word khǎw always means 'he, she, they.' The word khun, however, which you had previously learned in the meaning 'you,' may also be used to mean 'he, she, they' when you wish to show respect to someone. When the hotel clerk uses the word in this sense in the Basic Sentences of this unit, it is because he wishes to be deferential to the guests of the hotel. What he says is:

bɔ̌ɔy, phaa khun tháŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ pay hɔ̂ŋ sɔ̌ɔŋrɔ́ɔy sìppɛ̀ɛt.
บ๋อย พาคุณทั้งสองไปห้องสองร้อยสิบแปด
'Boy, take these two gentlemen to room 218.'

If, instead of khun, he had used khǎw, it would be about like saying in English, 'Boy, take these two men to Room 218.'

 

Point 6. Some classifiers.

a. baan. This word is used for doors, windows, and mirrors. Examples:

pràtuu sìp baan
ประตูสิบบาน
'ten doors'
nâatàaŋ baan diaw
หน้าต่างบานเดียว
'a single window'

b. tua. You have previously learned that this word is used for animals and for coats. In this unit it is found to have still another use, namely for tables and chairs. Examples:

tóʔ tua diaw
โต๊ะตัวเดียว
'a single table'
tóʔ lɛ́ʔ kâwʔii lǎay tua
โต๊ะและเก้าอี้หลายตัว
'several tables and chairs'

When, as in the last example, two nouns have the same number-word plus classifier phrase may be used for both.

c. Some nouns are also their own classifiers. Two such words are hɔ̂ŋ 'room' and tiaŋ 'bed.' Examples:

hɔ̂ŋ hòk hɔ̂ŋ
ห้องหกห้อง
'six rooms'
hɔ̂ŋ diaw
ห้องเดียว
'a single room'
tiaŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ tiaŋ
เตียงสองเตียง
'two beds'
tiaŋ nǎy
เตียงไหน
'which bed?'

In the phrases where the classifier ordinarily follows the noun, the classifier may be omitted (as in the second and fourth examples above).

Point 7. Some special phrases.

paynɔɔn
ไปนอน
'to go to bed, to retire, 'lit. 'to go lie (down)'.
pay thîaw
ไปเที่ยว
'to go around' or 'to go out' (i.e., not stay home), as in,
(1) kha
̌w pay thîaw tháŋ wan 'he went around all day';
(2) kha
̌w pay thîaw thúk khʉʉn 'he goes out every night.'
tòk loŋ
ตกลง
'to fall down' or 'to agree (to do something).' This phrase is used with its literal meaning as well as with its special meaning, e.g., (1) khǎw tòk loŋ càak nâatàaŋ 'he fell out of the window,' lit. 'he fell down from the window'; (2) khǎw tòk loŋ càʔ pay tham ŋaan phrûŋníi 'he agreed to go to work tomorrow.'

 

Point 8. Some compounds.

cháawníi
เช้านี้
'this morning,' from cháaw 'to be early (in the morning), morning' + níi 'this.'
hɔ̂ŋʔaahǎan
ห้องอาหาร
'dining-room,' lit. 'food-room.'
hɔ̂ŋnáam
ห้องน้ำ
'water-room,' but originally the word was hɔ̂ŋʔàabnáam, lit. 'bathing-room,' from hɔ̂ŋ 'room' + ʔàapnáam 'to bathe.'
khʉʉnníi
คืนนี้
'tonight,' lit. 'this night.'
phrûŋníi
พรุ่งนี้
'tomorrow,' from phrû (rarely used elsewhere) + nîi 'this'