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Hello, Goodbye

One of the first things to learn in any language is how to greet and part with people you meet. Study the phrases below, paying attention to the tone markings. Remember, when you say these phrases, you will add ครับ   /khrapH/ at the end if you are male, and ค่ะ   /khaF/ if you are female. (Ladies, also remember to use คะ   /khaH/ for questions, like "How are you?")


สวัสดีsaL watL deeMHello; Goodbye; Good morning; Good evening
สบายดีหรือsaL baaiM deeM reuuRHow are you?
ยินดีที่ได้รู้จักyinM deeM theeF daiF ruuH jakLPleased to meet you.
แล้วพบกันใหม่laaeoH phohpH ganM maiLSee you later.


Let's take a closer look at some of these phrases. Here's a more detailed look at the words that you haven't learned yet. All of these words are common words that are useful in basic conversation, so it's worth taking some time to memorize them. Some of these words have many different uses; here, we'll show the English definition that fits closest with the phrases given in this lesson.

สวัส saL watLblessing; good fortune
ดี deeM[is] good
What do we mean when we put "is" in the definition? In Thai, most adjectives which describe states or conditions can be used without a verb. In this mode, they take the place of a verb and they're called predicative adjectives. We don't need to worry about this too much for now, but you can click here if you're interested in the details.

In Thai, attributive adjectives come after the noun that they modify, unlike English. We say "small cat," which is แมวเล็ก  /maaeoM lekH/ ("cat small") in Thai. "Green shirt," is เสื้อเขียว  /seuuaF khiaaoR/, or, word-for-word, "shirt green."

Knowing this, we can see that สวัสดี  /saL watL deeM/ means "good blessing" or "good fortune."
สบาย saL baaiM[is] happy; comfortable; content; fine; well; cool; o.k.; good; nice
Similarly, you can see that สบายดี  /saL baaiM deeM/ means "good comfort."
ยิน yinMto feel pleased
And ยินดี  /yinM deeM/ means "good pleasure."
ที่ theeFfor; to
This word is a very flexible preposition in Thai; it can mean “at,” "which," "that," "where," and more.
ได้ daiF[auxiliary verb]
This is a very common and important verb that is usually translated as "can" or "to be able." It also used to form auxiliary verbs and indicate certain tenses. We'll be seeing a lot of this word later.
รู้จักruuH jakL[of a person or place] to know
There is different word to use for knowing a fact or piece of information; this one usually means to know a person.
แล้ว laaeoHso then...
This is another very common Thai word which can be used to indicate tense, or the time period you are speaking about. Usually it indicates the past, but in the phrase in this lesson, it indicates continuation into the future.
พบกันphohpH ganMto meet with a person
ใหม่ maiLnew; anew
You can practice distinguishing your low tone from your rising tone and falling tone with the words ใหม่   /maiL/, ไหม  /maiR/, and ไม่   /maiF/. In fact, if you put the first two of them together, you have a complete sentence, ใหม่ไหม  /maiL maiH/—"Is it new?"

Can you guess the meaning of ไม่ใหม่ไหม /maiF maiL maiH/? Click here for the answer.


Try matching up each word to the phrases in which it's used, looking only at the Thai letters.


Erik is meeting Naiyana's friend Boonsri for the first time at the train station.

Erik: สวัสดีครับ  /saL watL deeM khrapH/   Hello.
Boonsri: สวัสดีค่ะ  /saL watL deeM khaF/   Hello.
Erik: ยินดีที่ได้รู้จักครับ  /yinM deeM theeF daiF ruuH jakL khrapH/   Pleased to meet you.
Boonsri: ค่ะ . สบายดีหรือคะ /khaF   saL baaiM deeM reuuR khaH/   Thank you, how are you?
Erik: สบายดีครับ  /saL baaiM deeM khrapH/   Fine thanks.

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