Common mistakes when you speak Thai


There are common mistakes I hear from students
#1- " I want to eat Som-tam” เอากินส้มตำ ao gin Som-tam 
Correct sentence is อยากกินต้มยำ yàak gin Som-tam

The word เอา ao is often translated as “to want” because it is used the same way, but in fact it literally means “to take” or "want to have" So when you want "to do something"you wouldn't say “I take eat”. or "I want to have eat" 

Actually the word for “to want (to do something)” is อยาก yàak, so “want to eat” is อยากกิน "yàak kin" in Thai.
...... want to go to Chiangmai = ....... yàak pai Chiangmai.


#2- “I watched a movie yesterday” – เมื่อวานฉันดูหนังแล้ว

mʉ̂awaan chán duu nǎng lɛ́ɛw.

Correct sentence is เมื่อวานฉันดูหนัง mʉ̂awaan chán duu nǎng
Tense does not really exist in Thai.!

Thais express time by using time-related words such as “now”  ตอนนี้, “yesterday เมื่อวานนี้”, “next week อาทิตย์หน้า”, "last Friday วันศุกร์ที่แล้ว"etc. 
The word แล้ว lɛ́ɛw means “already” It doesn't really express past tense, it expresses “completion” such as something being done already. In this case, the word เมื่อวาน mʉ̂awaan (yesterday) makes it clear by it self that it happened yesterday.


# 3 “It doesn’t rain.” ไม่ฝนตก mâi fǒn tòk.

ฝนตก fǒn tòk is in fact two words 
1. "ฝน fǒn" means “rain" (as a noun/a subject of the sentence) 
2. "ตก tòk" “to fall” ( as a verb)

Thai Structure : Subject (noun) + Verb = ฝน+ตก (rain fall)
OR Subject (noun) + mâi ไม่ (not/negative form) + Verb 
ฝน +ไม่ +ตก (rain not fall)

“It doesn’t rain” Correct sentence : ฝนไม่ตก fǒn mâi tòk

ไม่ฝนตก mâi fǒn tòk (literally, not-rain-fall), you should say instead that :           ฝนไม่ตก fǒn mâi tòk (rain-not-fall). 
Make better sense?

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