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20 Common Thai Verbs You Should Know

May 15, 2022

Learning a new language is understandably daunting. There are so many intricacies that you will need to learn and memorize before you can even form start forming sentences. Then, you face the challenge that is vocabulary. There are so many words you need to know and use on a regular basis, so how would you even begin? Well, one place I recommend is with some of the more common verbs. Here we have put together a list of the more common Thai verbs you will likely need for those of you looking to learn Thai or just prepare for your visit on your next holiday,


What Do You Define As Common Thai Verbs?

As a reminder, verbs are the ‘doing words’ in a sentence that explain the action that the subject of a sentence is performing. There are a whole variety of different verbs that you will need to learn. The idea of ‘common’ Thai verbs are those that you will be using often or even on a daily basis in the country.

What is classed as common may differ between each country based on their culture and how their sentences are formed. For example, verbs are particularly important in Thai as they are often used as a way to say yes or as a way to respond in agreement when answering a question. Overall, they are some of the more useful vocabulary you can learn. This includes words like eat, drink, want, and more. 

As you can imagine, this knowledge would be very useful to know when speaking with locals like when ordering food. Travellers should also take note of these words if they plan to visit the kingdom as it will make things go much more smoothly. Besides, Thai people will appreciate that you have taken the time to learn so of their language. If that isn't reason enough to practice your common thai verbs, then i don't know what is.


Common Thai Verbs 

So let’s just jump right into the list of 20 common Thai verbs - in no particular order with examples of these verbs being used so that you can get an idea of how to use them in sentences of your own.

As a note, Thai sentence structure generally follows an SVO word order. This is where the subject (the thing that the sentence is about) comes first, followed by the verb (the ‘doing’ word), and ends with the object (what the verb is being done to). It is not uncommon however to drop the subject part of the sentence if it is obvious from the context.

Verbs in Thai English translation Usage in Thai sentence English translation Remark
นอน (nɔɔn) To Sleep ฉัน นอน ไม่หลับ ทั้งคืน ค่ะ (chán nɔɔn mâi-làp táng-kʉʉn kà) I couldn’t sleep the whole night
ใช้ (chái) To Use เรา ใช้ ไมโครเวฟ ได้ (rao chái mai-kroo-wép dâi) We can use the microwave
You can use ใช้ for many things such as using time, using a machine and using a tool.
ดูหนัง (duu-nǎng) To Watch A Movie ผม ดูหนัง กับ เพื่อน (pǒm duu-nǎng gàp pʉ̂ʉan) I watched a movie with my friends
ดู means 'to watch' and หนัง means 'movies'. So ดูหนัง means to watch a movie.
พูด (pûut) To Say อย่า พูด อย่างนั้น นะ ฉัน เศร้า มาก นะ (yàa pûut yàang-nán ná chán sâo mâak ná) Don’t say that
If you want to say 'I speak Thai', then use ฉันพูดภาษาไทย (chǎn pûut paa-sǎa tai).
วิ่ง (wîng) To Run เธอ วิ่ง (təə wîng) She runs
มี (mii) To Have ฉัน มี น้องชาย ๑ คน (chǎn mii nɔ́ɔng-chai nʉ̀ng kon) I have one younger brother
เรียน (riian) To Learn ฉัน เรียน ภาษา เยอรมัน (chǎn riian paa-sǎa yəə-rá-man) I learn German
ทาน (taan) To Eat (formal) ฉัน ทาน ข้าว (chǎn taan kâao) I eat rice It's a formal way
กิน (gin) . To Eat (informal) ฉันกินผลไม้ (chǎn gin pǒn-lá-mái) I eat fruit
กิน (gin) is used more popularly in daily conversation than ทาน (taan). It is also used to say 'to drink' something. For example, ฉันกินน้ำ (chǎn gin nám) means 'I drink water'.
อ่าน (àan) To Read เขา อ่าน หนังสือ ภาษา จีน (kǎo àan nǎng-sʉ̌ʉ paa-sǎa jiin) He reads a Chinese book
ดื่ม (dʉ̀ʉm) To Drink เธอ ดื่ม กาแฟ ร้อน (təə dʉ̀ʉm gaa-fɛɛ rɔ́ɔn) She drinks hot coffee
ซื้อ (sʉ́ʉ) To Buy ฉัน ซื้อ ขนมปัง (chǎn sʉ́ʉ kà-nǒm-bpang) I buy bread
If you want to say 'to go shopping', you can say ไปซื้อของ (chǎn bpai sʉ́ʉ kɔɔng)
หนัก (nàk) To Weigh ฉัน หนัก 41 กิโลกรัม (chǎn nàk sì-sìp-èt gì-loo-gram) I weigh 41 kilograms
ฟัง (fang) To Listen ฉัน ฟัง เพลง จีน (chǎn fang pleeng jiin) I listen to a Chinese song
ร้องเพลง (rɔ́ɔng pleeng) To Sing ฉัน ร้องเพลง เป็น (chǎn rɔ́ɔng pleeng bpen) I can sing a song
เต้น (dtên) To Dance คุณ อยาก เต้น ไหม (kun yàak dtên mǎi) Would you like to dance?
วาด (wâat) To Draw เด็กผู้ชาย วาดรูป แอปเปิ้ล (dèk-pûu-chaai wâat-rûup ɛ́ɛp-bpə̂ən) The boy draws an apple
วาด (wâat) means 'to draw', รูป (rûup) means 'a picture'. You can use both วาดรูป (wâat-rûup) and วาด (wâat).
ชอบ (chɔ̂ɔp) To Like ฉัน ชอบ ว่ายน้ำ (chǎn chɔ̂ɔp wâai-nám) I like swimming
ต้องการ (dtɔ̂ɔng-gaan) To Want ฉัน ต้องการ แจ้ง อุบัติเหตุ ทาง รถยนต์ (chǎn dtɔ̂ɔng-gaan jɛ̂ɛng ù-bàt-dtì-hèt taang rót-yon) I want to report a car accident
รัก (rák) To Love ฉัน รัก คุณ (chǎn rák kun) I love you



A Great Starting Point

As stated, knowledge of these common Thai verbs will prove to be very useful in day-to-day life. You can take it a step further too by learning to read Thai writing. Anything attempt you make in improving your Thai ability would be greatly appreciated by the locals in the country so we highly recommend you give it a try. For that, you are in the right place too.

Try the Ling Thai app which will help to walk you through the common Thai verbs, as well as the less common ones that you may come across. Start working on your language learning skills by testing your abilities with Ling.

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