THAI LANGUAGE LESSONS
L15 - Yes & No

Thai does not have a simple direct translation to the English words 'yes' and 'no'. There are various standard forms of affirmative or negative reply depending on the context. Some we have seen already in previous lessons but we will recap them and also consider a new word 'chai'.

krup / ka yes
(polite particle as a confirmation)
mai not
chai yes
chai mai isn't it?
mai chai no it isn't (not yes)
bplao no

krup / ka

We have already seen the two polite particles can be used as a confirmation to a question or instruction:

mee naam mai krup ? - Do you have water?
ka - Yes.

bpai gin kaow - Go and eat.
krup - Okay.

mai

We have already seen the negative 'mai' placed before a statement:

mee naam mai ? - Do you have water?
mai mee - Don't have.

chai

This is probably the closest match to the English word 'yes'. It can be used as an agreement to a question or statement in much the same way we would use 'yes' in English. However, usually there is a better way to reply in the affirmative.

koon bpai poo-get mai ? - Are you going to Phuket?
chai - Yes.

This reply works but we have already seen that the more standard affirmative reply would be to simply repeat the verb 'bpai':

koon bpai poo-get mai ? - Are you going to Phuket?
bpai - Yes.

The most common use of 'chai' is in reply to the question form 'chai mai ?'.

chai mai ?

We could have included this in our list of question forms. However, it is most commonly used as a rhetorical question or as a request for confirmation that the previous statement is correct. It therefore roughly translates to the English question form 'isn't it?'

nee rot yon korng koon, chai mai ? - This is your car, isnt it?
chai - Yes.

koon ruk di-chan, chai mai ? - You love me, don't you?
mai chai - No.

mai chai

As we see above, the standard negative reply to the question form 'chai mai?' is 'mai chai'. This literally translates as 'not yes' and is therefore 'no' or 'no it is not'. It can also be used as a more general 'no'.

yai big
lek small

bahn korng koon bpen yai - Your house is big.
mai chai, bahn korng pom bpen lek - No, my house is small.

bplao

This is probably the closest match to the English word 'no'. It is most commonly used as a negative reply to the Thai question form 'reu bplao' that we have already seen in a previous lesson. It can also be used as a more general 'no'.

koon bpai poo-get mai ? - Are you going to Phuket?
bplao - No.

Again similar to 'chai', although this reply works there is usually a more standard negative reply:

koon bpai poo-get mai ? - Are you going to Phuket?
mai bpai - Not going.

 

 

 

 




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