20 Common Thai Verbs You Should Know

May 28, 2020

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 ending 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.


1. นอน (nɔɔn) To Sleep.

I couldn’t sleep the whole night

chán nɔɔn mâi-làp táng-kʉʉn kà

ฉัน นอน ไม่หลับ ทั้งคืน ค่ะ


2. ใช้ (chái) To Use. 

You can use ใช้ for many things such as using time, using a machine and using a tool.

We can use the microwave

rao chái mai-kroo-wép dâi

เรา ใช้ ไมโครเวฟ ได้


3. ดูหนัง (duu-nǎng) To Watch A Movie. 

ดู means 'to watch' and หนัง means 'movies'. So ดูหนัง means to watch a movie.

I watched a movie with my friends

pǒm duu-nǎng gàp pʉ̂ʉan

ผม ดูหนัง กับ เพื่อน

ดู can also be used as "look" when you want to say something looks ___ (adjective).


4. พูด (pûut) To Say. 

Don’t say that

yàa pûut yàang-nán ná chán sâo mâak ná

อย่า พูด อย่างนั้น นะ ฉัน เศร้า มาก นะ

If you want to say 'I speak Thai', then use ฉันพูดภาษาไทย (chǎn pûut paa-sǎa tai).


5. วิ่ง (wîng) To Run. 

She runs

təə wîng

เธอ วิ่ง


6. มี (mii) To Have. 

I have one younger brother

chǎn mii nɔ́ɔng-chai nʉ̀ng kon

ฉัน มี น้องชาย ๑ คน


7. เรียน (riian) To Learn. 

I learn German

chǎn riian paa-sǎa yəə-rá-man

ฉัน เรียน ภาษา เยอรมัน


8. ทาน (taan) To Eat (formal). 

I eat rice

chǎn taan kâao

ฉัน ทาน ข้าว


9. กิน (gin) To Eat (informal). 

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'.

I eat fruit

chǎn gin pǒn-lá-mái



10. อ่าน (àan) To Read. 

He reads a Chinese book

kǎo àan nǎng-sʉ̌ʉ paa-sǎa jiin

เขา อ่าน หนังสือ ภาษา จีน


11. ดื่ม (dʉ̀ʉm) To Drink. 

She drinks hot coffee

təə dʉ̀ʉm gaa-fɛɛ rɔ́ɔn

เธอ ดื่ม กาแฟ ร้อน


12. ซื้อ (sʉ́ʉ) To Buy. 

I buy bread

chǎn sʉ́ʉ kà-nǒm-bpang

ฉัน ซื้อ ขนมปัง

If you want to say 'to go shopping', you can say ไปซื้อของ (chǎn bpai sʉ́ʉ kɔɔng)


13. หนัก (nàk) To Weigh. 

I weigh 41 kilograms

chǎn nàk sì-sìp-èt gì-loo-gram

ฉัน หนัก 41 กิโลกรัม


14. ฟัง (fang) To Listen. 

I listen to a Chinese song

chǎn fang pleeng jiin

ฉัน ฟัง เพลง จีน


15. ร้อง (rɔ́ɔng) To Sing. 

I can sing a song

chǎn rɔ́ɔng pleeng bpen

ฉัน ร้อง เพลง เป็น


16. เต้น (dtên) To Dance. 

Would you like to dance?

kun yàak dtên mǎi

คุณ อยาก เต้น ไหม


17. วาด (wâat) To Draw. 

วาด (wâat) means 'to draw', รูป (rûup) means 'a picture'. You can use both วาดรูป (wâat-rûup) and วาด (wâat). 

The boy draws an apple

dèk-pûu-chaai wâat-rûup ɛ́ɛp-bpə̂ən

เด็กผู้ชาย วาดรูป แอปเปิ้ล


18. ชอบ (chɔ̂ɔp) To Like. 

I like swimming

chǎn chɔ̂ɔp wâai-nám

ฉัน ชอบ ว่ายน้ำ


19. ต้องการ (dtɔ̂ɔng-gaan) To Want. 

I want to report a car accident

chǎn dtɔ̂ɔng-gaan jɛ̂ɛng ù-bàt-dtì-hèt taang rót-yon

ฉัน ต้องการ แจ้ง อุบัติเหตุ ทาง รถยนต์


20. รัก (rák) To Love. 

I love you

chǎn rák kun

ฉัน รัก คุณ


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 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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