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Free Language Lessons

How To Express Must And Should In Thai
By:Rippa Sama

There are certain times that you need to express "must" and "should" in Thai. For example, when you want to express that it's time that you should sleep now or that you simply must go to the toilet now.

Well, to express that you must do something, you would say something like, "Pom dtong...". To express that you should do something, you would say, "Pom kuan ja...".

How to express "must" using dtong (¨Óµéͧ)

To express "must" in Thai, simply place a verb after the thai word dtong to express what you must do. Here are some examples to illustrate how you can use dtong (must) in various situations.

Pom ja dtong pai dieow nee laew. I must go now already.

Wan nee pom dtong kian jot maai. I must write a letter today.

Dieow nee chan dtong gin kow. Now I must eat.

Koon dtong maa eek krang na. You must come again.

Pom ja dtong pai hong suam dieow nee laew. I must go to the toilet now.

In the 1st example, you would notice a new thai word, dieow nee. Dieow nee means now in Thai and laew means already.

Notice the word nian in the 2nd example? Do you still remember what's rian? It's study! By changing the first letter to n you will get nian which means to write in Thai.

Jot maai means letter in Thai. So, nian jot maai means??? To write a letter! Good, you're improving already! :-)

Do you know what's kow in the 3rd example. Kow simply means rice but in this context it means meal. Why? In Thailand, rice is the staple food so when you say gin kow, it is understood that you mean to eat (a meal).

In the 4th example, notice the word maa (come) and eek krang (again). Also notice the na at the end of the sentence. The Thai word na is used to soften or make a sentence polite.

Also notice the Thai word in the last example, hong suam which means toilet. If you would like to know where's the toilet, you can simply ask "Hong suam you tee nai?".

So far so good... are you still with me? :-) Okay, let's recap what we had learned earlier:

Dtong pai (must go)

Dtong kian (must write)

Dtong gin (must eat)

Dtong maa (must come)

How to express "should" using kuan (¤Çà )

If you would like to express that someone should do something, you can say "Koon kuan...". Just like dtong (must), all you need to do is to simply place a corresponding verb right after kuan (should) to express the meaning you desire.

Below are some simple examples using kuan (should) that you can learn from. Be sure to study each example carefully and make sure that you understand them perfectly.

Kao kuan rong pleng. He should sing.

Wan nee pom kuan ja khao chaan. I should meditate today.

Koon kuan pai jeen. You should go to china.

Pom kuan ja naawn dieow nee laew. I should sleep now already.

I'm sure you have no problem understanding the 1st example... kao means he/she/him/her/they or them. In the 2nd example, there's an interesting thai verb, khao chaan which means to sit down and meditate.

Jeen in the 3rd example means the country China and naawn in the last example means to sleep.

Before I wrap up this lesson, let's do a quick recap on kuan (should):

Kuan rong pleng (should sing)

Kuan ja khao chaan (literally, should will meditate)

Kuan pai (should go)

Kuan naawn (should sleep)

Rippa Sama

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