L25 - Adverbs

The simple definition of an adverb is a word that modifies a verb. That is they describe how the action is performed. Adverbs are similar to adjectives. Adjectives describe nouns, adverbs describe how a verb is performed. In fact, adverbs can also modify adjectives or other adverbs but for the sake of this lesson, we will keep it simple.

For example, 'slow' is an adjective. You can describe something as slow, e.g. 'it is a slow bus'. If you want to use 'slow' as an adverb to describe a verb, you would change it to 'slowly', e.g. 'he walks slowly'.

Adding 'ly' to the the end of an adjective is a common way for the English Language to turn an adjective into an adverb. It is not the only way to form an adverb but it is the most common.

Thai has a simlar technique to change adjectives into adverbs, you repeat the word twice. Lets look at a few examples.


slow cha slowly cha cha
fast ray-oh quickly ray-oh ray-oh
gentle bao gently bao bao
strong raeng strongly raeng raeng
loud dung loudly dung dung
quiet ngee-ap quietly ngee-ap ngee-ap
correct took correctly took took
incorrecty pit incorrectly pit pit
easy ngai easily ngai ngai
clear chut clearly chut chut
good dee well dee dee
beautiful suay beautifully suay suay

Thai grammar rules for adverbs are the same as for adjectives. that is they should always come after the word that you are modifying:

mah dtua nee rayoh - This is a quick dog
mah wing ray-oh ray-oh - The dog runs quickly


lom bao - Gentle wind
tam bao bao - Do it gently


kreu-ang see-ang dung - Loud machine
poot dung dung - Speak loudly


ah-hahn dee - Good food
gin dee dee - Eat well


koon suay - You are beautiful
koon yim suay suay - You smile beautifully


This duplicating the word rule is not strictly adhered to in everyday Thai speech. Thais will often say the word only once even when they are using it as an adverb. They will also often repeat words just for the sake of emphasis, rather than because they are using it as an adverb. It is a matter of slowly becoming familiar with Thai speaking habits.





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