Point 1. Ordinal numbers. These are numbers which tell the order of something, such as 'first,' 'second,' 'third,' and so on. Thai examples:
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
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
What room is your class held in?
khun yùu chán thîi
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
My class is held in Room 350 (the three hundred and fiftieth room)
|chán phǒm yùu nay hɔ̂ŋ
My class is held in Room 350.
phǒm yùu chán
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
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
|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
|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.,
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:
sɔ̌ɔŋ khon pen chaawnaa
|Both of us are farmers.|
sǎam khon càʔ pay nǎy
|Where are the three of you (all three of you) going?|
|phûuchaay tháŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ khon pen phɛ̂ɛt
|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:
Examples in sentences:
|lom phát càt tháŋ wan tháŋ khʉʉn
|The wind blew hard all day [and] all night.|
|khǎw yùu thíinîi sǎam ʔaathít, lɛ́ʔ fǒn tòk nàk tháŋ sǎam
|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
|He took the books home.|
|khǎw phaa nǎŋsʉ̌ʉ
|He took the books home.|
|pròot ʔaw ʔaahǎan maa thîinîi.
|Please bring the food here.|
|pròot phaa ʔaahǎan
|Please bring the food here.|
|khun càʔ phaa nɔ́ɔŋchaay khɔ̌ɔŋ khun pay duu nǎŋ mǎy
|Will you take your younger brother to the movies?|
|phǒm càʔ phaa nɔ́ɔŋsǎaw
|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.
|khun ráppràthaan ʔaahǎan lɛ́ɛw rʉ̌ʉ
|'Have you eaten yet?'|
|kày chɔ̂ɔp kin khâaw
|'Chickens like to eat rice.'|
c. rúu and sâap. The word rúu refers specifically to knowledge, as in
|khǎw rúu wíchaaphɛ̂ɛt
|'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
|'I don't know.' (Acceptable speech.)|
|phǒm mây sâap khráp
|'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.
|'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
|nâatàaŋ baan diaw
|'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
|'a single table'|
|tóʔ lɛ́ʔ kâwʔii lǎay tua
|'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:
|'a single room'|
|tiaŋ sɔ̌ɔŋ tiaŋ
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.
|'to go to bed, to retire, 'lit. 'to go lie (down)'.|
|'to go around' or 'to go out' (i.e., not stay home),
(1) khǎw pay thîaw tháŋ wan 'he went around all day';
(2) khǎw pay thîaw thúk khʉʉn 'he goes out every night.'
|'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.
|'this morning,' from cháaw 'to be early (in the morning), morning' + níi 'this.'|
|'dining-room,' lit. 'food-room.'|
|'water-room,' but originally the word was hɔ̂ŋʔàabnáam, lit. 'bathing-room,' from hɔ̂ŋ 'room' + ʔàapnáam 'to bathe.'|
|'tonight,' lit. 'this night.'|
|'tomorrow,' from phrû (rarely used elsewhere) + nîi 'this'|