THAI LANGUAGE LESSONS
L5 - mee, mee mai & mai mee
We are going to use the word 'mee' to demonstrate two important uses of the word 'mai'. That is to show how to turn a statement into a simple question and how to make a negative statement.
|... mai||Placed at the end of a statement with a rising tone it turns the statement into a question.|
|mai ...||Placed before a statement with a falling tone it turns the statement into a negative.|
Mee - To Have
We can make a simple statement:
mee naam - to have water.
Note that in Thai it is common to omit pronouns if the speaker thinks it is obvious who he is talking about. So if somebody says 'mee naam' he probably means 'I have water'.
Mai - To Indicate a Question
Now you want to turn this statement into a question. You go into a shop and want to ask if they have water.
mee naam mai ? - do you have water?
Easy - you add 'mai' to the end of the statement. This 'mai' should have a rising tone in the same way that questions in English can have a rising tone.
To Indicate an Affirmative
If the shopkeeper has water he has three ways to answer in the affirmative:
mee - he can just say 'have'.
mee naam - 'have water'; he repeats your question without the 'mai'.
krup - he can use the polite particle as an affirmative
Mai - To Indicate a Negative
If the shopkeeper does not have water he will use the negative 'mai'. This 'mai' is placed before the statement with a falling tone:
mai mee - he can just say 'don't have'.
mai mee naam - he can say 'don't have water'. That is repeat your question but drop the rising 'mai' from the end and put the negative 'mai' at the start.
sanook mai krup? - Is it fun?
sanook ka - Yes it is fun.
ahroy mai ka? - Is it tasty?
mai ahroy krup - No it is not tasty.
nee dee mai? - Is this good?
dee - Yes, good
mai dee - No, not good