Thai words for 'you' - Thai Language

Below is a list of pronouns meaning 'You' in Thai, in approximate order of how common they are in everyday speech. Although there is a great range of pronouns, they're actually used quite sparingly and often omitted unless it's absolutely necessary to convey the meaning. For instance, to say 'Where are you going ?' in Thai is just bpai nai (literally 'go where ?') - no pronoun necessary. Though this list might seem quite long, in reality you can easily survive knowing only khun.

khun

คุณ


Khun is a polite and very common word meaning 'You', which is appropriate for most everyday situations you will come across. It also doubles as the title put in front of people's name to be polite e.g. Mr Somchai would be known in Thai as Khun Somchai.
ter

เธอ


Ter is a more informal word for 'you' that can be used with friends or people you know well.
pee

พี่
Literally meaning "older brother / sister", this is quite a common word that can be used when you speaking to someone older than you.
norng

น้อง


The opposite of pee, this means "younger brother / sister". and can be used when talking to people younger than you.

[More information on pee/norng]
tan

 ท่าน


Tan is a very respectful word for you that is only used when talking to monks or others at a similary high level in Thai society.
meung / ayng / gair

มึง / เอง / แก


These is sometimes used by Thais when talking with close friends. In almost any other context, they are offensive words and only used as an insult to the listener. As a foreigner, you're better off avoiding it altogether. When used, they are often combined with goo which is a similarly offensive word for 'I/Me'.
noo

หนู


Literally meaning 'mouse', this is used to either to talk to very young children or to women who are much younger than the speaker. For instance, parents talking to their daughter will often use it, even if the daughter is an adult herself.
leu

ลื้อ
This is a word used only by Chinese Thais.
dtai-fah-la-orng-tulee-pra-baht

ใต้ฝ่าละอองธุลีพระบาท


This is a Royal Thai word, and is only used by those addressing the Thai King or Queen. The degree of reverence that the Royal Family is held in in Thailand can be seen with this word, which translates as (the speaker being) 'under the dust which is beneath the soles of your royal feet'.

Be warned that if you say this word in the wrong context, it may be taken as mocking the royal family and could land you in trouble.


This is not a definitive list of words (some sections of society e.g. royalty and the military have their own words that only they use, and family relationship terms are also often used as pronouns), but it includes most of the main ones.

A common way of saying 'you' which isn't listed is just using someone's name instead of a pronoun, and talk about them in the third person. Also, someone's title or position can be used instead of using a pronoun. For instance, students talking to their teacher will use a-jahn (meaning 'teacher') as a word for 'you' instead of one of the pronouns above.
If you've got any comments on this page, or can add to or correct it, then we'd love to hear from you.
Your name:
Comments

Comments may be edited for content or clarity.

<<Previous Page
Thai words for 'I / me'
>>Next Page
Thai Family Words
'
I congratulate you on the accurate rendering of the use of the numerous pronouns existing in the Thai language.
' Dennis M. Jones
All © Into Asia 2000-2014. All rights reserved. By using this site you agree to accept our terms of use.
Comments or suggestions welcome - admin@into-asia.com

Colombia Travel Guide
Ton Sai Beach
Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
Wat Yai Chaimongkol
Ayuthaya, Thailand