10 Simple Thai Conjunctions: An Easy Guide

December 27, 2021
Betül Özkaynak

Conjunction words, which are also known as connecting words, are one of the most important elements of a language. As the name implies, conjunctions help us to bridge two or more clauses, expressions, or phrases into one sentence. You can extend a sentence as much as you want by using conjunctions. If you aim to speak like a native, then start adding them to create a fuller type of meaning.

Let's check this example in English, and then we'll see examples about Thai conjunctions.

  1. I met with Tom.
  2. We went to a cafe. = I met with Tom and we went to a cafe but he left early.
  3. He left early.

Two connecting words (and, but) are used to link three different clauses. You can decide which side sounds more fluent. Could that also be the case with the Thai language? Honestly, learning Thai conjunctions is easy but there are particular things you need to train yourself with. For instance, the functions of these conjunctions may differ and some of these words can even be used interchangeably to give a different meaning.

So now, you may feel that you have the hang of speaking Thai and saying some short phrases. These are usually shorter, simpler sentences that cover one topic. They may also be short replies to a question. But what do you do when you want to start developing deeper, more detailed sentences? That is where the conjunction words come in. Using these will help you get more information across rather than it being split into smaller parts. There are many examples of conjunctions and so today we will be covering a few to give you more variety. 

Thai Connecting Words

As in every other language, using conjunctions in Thai makes your speech easier to understand due to the semelessness of the speaking pattern. Conjunction means คำสันธาน (kham sǎn-thaan) in Thai. Grammatically, there are four types of Thai conjunction words:

  • คำสันธานที่เชื่อมความคล้อยตามกัน (kham sǎn-thaan thîi chûueam khwaam khláauy dtaam gan)

To connect sentences with similar meanings.

  • คำสันธานที่เชื่อมใจความขัดแย้งกัน (kham sǎn-thaan thîi chûueam jai-khwaam khàt-yáaeng gan)

To express opposition.

  • คำสันธานที่เชื่อมใจความให้เลือกอย่างใดอย่างหนึ่ง (kham sǎn- thaan thîi chûueam jai-khwaam hâi lûueak yàang dai yàang nùeng)

To express alternative.

  • คำสันธานที่เชื่อมใจความเป็นเหตุเป็นผลกัน (kham sǎn-thaan thîi chûueam jai-khwaam bpen hèet bpen phǒn gan)

To express cause and result.

Thai Conjunctions For Similar Meanings

1. และ (láe) - And

Sentence Pattern: noun+และ (láe)+noun / phrase+noun+และ (láe)+phrase

The Thai conjunction และ (láe) is used to link two or more sentences that have a similar meaning or have the same function to each other. กับ (gàp) means and as well. They can be used interchangeably.

Example: น้องสาวของฉันและฉันชอบแมว (N̂xng s̄āw k̄hxng c̄hạn læa c̄hạn chxb mæw)

English: My sister and I like cats.

2. ทั้ง…และ (tháng…láe) - Both...And

Sentence Pattern: ทั้ง+noun+และ+noun

The Thai conjunction ทั้ง…และ (tháng…láe) is used to express two words with the same importance level.

Example: เธอชอบทั้งกาแฟและชา (Ṭher chxb thậng kāfæ læa chā)

English: She likes both coffee and tea.

3. แล้ว (láaeo) - After

Sentence Pattern: sentence of earlier action+แล้ว (láaeo)+ sentence of later action

The Thai conjunction แล้ว (láaeo) is used to express an order among sentences. It connects the previous sentence to the latter. You can use this Thai word to order two actions that happen one after another. พอ…แล้ว (phaaw…láaeo) also means after, but the only difference is you must put พอ (phaaw) in front of the action that happens first. They can be used interchangeably.

Example: กินข้าวแล้วค่อยกินยา (Gin khâao láaeo khâauy gin yaa)

English: Take the medicine after the meal.

Thai Conjunctions For Opposite Meanings

1. แต่ (dtàae) - But

Sentence Pattern: sentence+แต่ (dtàae)+sentence / phrase+แต่ (dtàae)+phrase

The Thai conjunction แต่ (dtàae) is used to link two sentences with opposite meanings. You can hear this word a lot from Thai people.

Example: ฉันชอบพิซซ่าแต่ฉันไม่ชอบแฮมเบอร์เกอร์ (C̄hạn chxb phiss̀ā tæ̀ c̄hạn mị̀ chxb ḥæmbexr̒kexr̒)

English: I like pizza, but I don't like hamburgers.

2. อย่างไรก็ตาม (yàang-rai gâaw dtaam) - However

Sentence Pattern: sentence+อย่างไรก็ตาม (yàang-rai gâaw dtaam)+sentence

The Thai conjunction อย่างไรก็ตาม (yàang-rai gâaw ddon't is used to connect two sentences with opposite meanings, just like the previous one.

Example: ฉันชอบเธออย่างไรก็ตามเธอไม่ชอบฉัน (C̄hạn chxb ṭhex rai gâaw dtaam ṭhex mị̀ chxb c̄hạn)

English: I like her. However, she doesn't like me.

3. ทั้ง ๆ ที่…(แต่) (tháng-tháng-thîi…[dtàae]) - Despite

Sentence Pattern: ทั้ง ๆ ที่ (tháng-tháng-thîi)+sentence+(แต่ [dtàae])+sentence

The Thai conjunction ทั้ง ๆ ที่…(แต่) (tháng-thándoesn't[dtàae]) is used to connect two sentences with opposite meanings. It is optional to add แต่ (dtàae).

Example: ทั้ง ๆ ที่อากาศหนาว เขายังกินไอศครีมอีก (Tháng-tháng-thîi aa-gàat nǎao khǎo yang gin ai-sà-khriim ìik)

English: Despite cold weather, he still eats ice cream.

Thai Conjunctions For Alternative Meanings

1. หรือ (rǔue) - Or

Sentence Pattern: noun+หรือ (rǔue)+noun

The Thai conjunction หรือ (rǔue) is used to offer alternatives. You can use this Thai word to give choices to the person you talk to.

Example: คุณชอบชาหรือกาแฟมากกว่ากัน? (Khuṇ chxb chā rǔue kāfæ mākkẁā kạn?)

English: Do you prefer tea or coffee?

2. ไม่…ก็ (mâi…gâaw) - Either...Or

Sentence Pattern: ไม่ (mâi)+noun+ก็ (gâaw)+noun

The Thai conjunction ไม่…ก็ (mâi…gâaw) is used to show alternatives.

Example: ฉันอยากเลี้ยงปลาหรือไม่ก็กระต่าย Chǎn yàak líiang bplaa rǔue mâi gâaw grà-dtàai)

English: I want either a fish or rabbit as my pet.

Thai Conjunctions For Cause And Result

1. เพราะ (phráw)- Because

Sentence Pattern: result+เพราะ (phráw)+cause

The Thai conjunction เพราะ (phráw) is used to connect two phrases about cause and result. You should put it after the result in Thai sentences.

Example: ฉันประสบความสำเร็จเพราะฉันเรียนหนัก (C̄hạn pras̄b khwām s̄ảrĕc phráw c̄hạn reīyn h̄nạk)

English: I am successful because I study hard.

2. เพราะฉะนั้น (phráw chà-nán) - So / Therefore

Sentence Pattern: cause+เพราะฉะนั้น (phráw chà-nán)+result

The Thai conjunction เพราะฉะนั้น (phráw chà-nán) is used after the cause in Thai. In this case, it is different than the previous one.

Example: คุณพ่ออยากสุขภาพแข็งแรงเพราะฉะนั้นท่านเลยออกกำลังกายทุกวัน (Khun phâaw yàak sùk-khà-phâap khǎeng-raaeng phráw chà-nán thâan looei àawk-gam-lang-gaai thúk-wan)

English: My father wants to be healthy therefore, he exercises every day.

 

Wrapping Up

Thai Conjunctions
Learn with Ling App

Having given the basic information about conjunction words, now we can get to the Thai language with some examples. We know that this topic may be a bit overwhelming but if you want to learn Thai or know more about the Thai language and culture, you can try Ling App by Simya Solutions for free!

If you want to learn more about conjunctions in Thai and other topics like Thai articles or Thai classifiers, try the Ling Thai app. It makes learning much more interesting with games and challenges to test your skills in the language.

The Ling App is a language learning app that includes more than 60 languages. It doesn’t only teach grammar and vocabulary, but also core language skills through its unique selection of games, quizzes, and content. This platform is also learner-centered in terms of design and content. And the best part? You can try it out for free by simply downloading it from the App Store and Play Store for free!

Start right now, and you will never regret learning!

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Betül Özkaynak

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