3 Types of Yes/No Questions in Thai
Learn how to use ไหม, ใช่ไหม, หรือเปล่า, หรอ, ...
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Lingo Ninja Research Team
5 min read · published May 26, 2021 · last update August 13, 2021

Yes/No Questions in Thai

Yes/No questions are questions to which you only can answer in a positive or negative form. They are a subcategory of  Closed questions which we describe in this article: More on Closed Questions in Thai

In this article, we discuss these four forms of simple yes/no questions: 
  • ไหม - questions (Yes/No)
  • Aไม่A - questions (alternative Yes/No)
  • ใช่ไหม - questions (..., isn't it? ..., correct?)
  • หรือเปล่า - questions (... or not?)
Let's go through these patterns in detail one by one.

This article contains audio. Click or press on the yellow words to hear their sounds.

Note: We substitute all polite particles in this article with [polite particle]. It is up to you which polite particle you use. To be more concise, our examples do not use polite particles -- but you should definitely use them. The default particles are: ครับ polite word for men
See in Dictionary
for men and ค่ะ polite word for women
See in Dictionary
for women. In questions women use คะ question for women
See in Dictionary

For more options and details on how to use them, please refer to our article on Thai polite particles.

One simple way to answer

Except for the ใช่ไหม - questions (..., isn't it? ..., correct?), all the questions above can be answered the following way:
  • Yes: [short statement] + [polite particle]
  • No:  ไม่ no, not
    See in Dictionary
    + [short statement] + [polite particle]
[short statement] is the original statement of the question, but often extremely abbreviated up to a single word only.

Examples

Q: Is (it) far?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes/no?
A:  Yes.
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary

     Literally: far
A:  No.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ไกล far
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - far

ไหม - yes/no question in Thai

This question is formed using ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
at the end of a statement. In spoken Thai ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
can be replaced by มั้ย yes/no question; colloquial
See in Dictionary
, มะ question word
See in Dictionary
or ป่ะ or not? (colloqial)
See in Dictionary
:
  • statement + ไหม yes/no question
    See in Dictionary
    [polite particle]? (formal)
  • statement + มั้ย yes/no question; colloquial
    See in Dictionary
    [polite particle]? (spoken)
  • statement + มะ question word
    See in Dictionary
    [polite particle]? (spoken)
  • statement + ป่ะ or not? (colloqial)
    See in Dictionary
    [polite particle]? (slang)
This question is answered by repeating the same or a shortened statement.:
  • Yes: [short statement] + [polite particle]
  • No:  ไม่ no, not
    See in Dictionary
    + [short statement] + [polite particle]

Examples

Q: Is (it) far?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes/no?
Q: Is (it) far?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
มั้ย yes/no question; colloquial
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes/no?
Q: Is (it) far?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
มะ question word
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes/no?
Q: Is (it) far?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
ป่ะ or not? (colloqial)
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes/no?
A:  Yes.
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary

     Literally: far
A:  No.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ไกล far
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - far

Q: Do (you) want to go and watch a movie? 
     อยาก would like to
See in Dictionary
จะ will (in the future)
See in Dictionary
ไป go; too
See in Dictionary
ดู watch, look
See in Dictionary
หนัง a movie
See in Dictionary
ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: Want - will - go - watch - movie - yes/no?
A:  Yes.
     อยาก would like to
See in Dictionary

     Literally: want
A:  No.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
อยาก would like to
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - want

Alternative Yes/No questions

One way to ask yes/no questions is using the following pattern:
This question type allows only single verbs, not long statements.

You answer in a similar way to normal ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
questions:

Examples

Q: (Are you) going or not?
     ไป go; too
See in Dictionary
ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ไป go; too
See in Dictionary

     Literally: go - not - go
A:  (I am) going.
     ไป go; too
See in Dictionary

     Literally: go
A:  (I am) not going.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ไป go; too
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - go

Q: (Are you) buying (it) or not?
     ซื้อ buy
See in Dictionary
ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ซื้อ buy
See in Dictionary

     Literally: buy - not - buy
A:  (I am) buying (it).
     ซื้อ buy
See in Dictionary

     Literally: buy
A:  (I am) not buying (it).
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ซื้อ buy
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - buy

ใช่ไหม - ...isn't it? ...correct? in Thai

This question is formed using ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary
ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
at the end of a statement. In spoken Thai, ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
can be replaced with the colloquial forms มั้ย yes/no question; colloquial
See in Dictionary
or มะ question word
See in Dictionary
:
This question is answered differently from the other questions in this article. To answer it, you reply:

Examples

Q: (It) is far, isn't it?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary
ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes - yes/no?
Q: (It) is far, isn't it?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary
มั้ย yes/no question; colloquial
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes - yes/no?
Q: (It) is far, isn't it?
     ไกล far
See in Dictionary
ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary
มะ question word
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: far - yes - yes/no?
A:  Yes.
     ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary

     Literally: yes
A:  No.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - yes

Q: (Your) mother is Thai, correct?
     แม่ mother
See in Dictionary
เป็น be, is, am, are
See in Dictionary
คน person, human; person
See in Dictionary
ไทย Thai; Thailand
See in Dictionary
ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary
ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: Mother - be - person - Thai - yes - yes/no?
A:  Yes.
     ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary

     Literally: yes
A:  No.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ใช่ yes, correct
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - yes

หรือเปล่า - ...or not? in Thai

This question is formed by putting หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
See in Dictionary
เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary
or หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
See in Dictionary
ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
at the end of a statement. In spoken Thai, หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
See in Dictionary
can be replaced with รึ or (colloqial)
See in Dictionary
:
The answer is formed by repeating (and abbreviating) the statement. The statement is often shortened to the verb only.
Negative answers can be one-word only: เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary
, or they can be  preceded by ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
. A third way to form the negative answer is to combine the first two: เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary
+ [polite particle], and then ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
+ [short statement] to soften the answer and give more information.
  • Yes: [short statement] + [polite particle]
  • No:  เปล่า plain, empty, blank
    See in Dictionary
    + [polite particle]
  • No:  ไม่ no, not
    See in Dictionary
    + [short statement] + [polite particle]
  • No:  เปล่า plain, empty, blank
    See in Dictionary
    + [polite particle] + ไม่ no, not
    See in Dictionary
    + [short statement] + [polite particle]
Note: If the question refers to the past and uses a stative verb, the answers require the use of ได้ can; get
See in Dictionary
after ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
. More information in this article: More on Closed Questions in Thai

Examples

Q: He likes (it), or not?
     เขา he; she, they
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
See in Dictionary
เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: he - like - or - no?
Q: He likes (it), or not?
     เขา he; she, they
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
See in Dictionary
ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: he - like - or - not?
Q: He likes (it), or not?
     เขา he; she, they
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
รึ or (colloqial)
See in Dictionary
เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: he - like - or - no?
Q: He likes (it), or not?
     เขา he; she, they
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
รึ or (colloqial)
See in Dictionary
ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: he - like - or - not?
A:  Yes.
     ชอบ like
See in Dictionary

     Literally: like
A:  No.
     เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no
A:  No.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - like
A:  No.
     เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary
ครับ polite word for men
See in Dictionary
ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
ครับ polite word for men
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - polite - no - like - polite

Other Yes/No questions

The ending is an abbreviation of หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
See in Dictionary
เปล่า plain, empty, blank
See in Dictionary
. They are formed using the following patterns:
  • statement + หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
    See in Dictionary
    + [polite particle]? (spoken)
  • statement + รึ or (colloqial)
    See in Dictionary
    + [polite particle]? (spoken)
  • statement + หรอ or (colloquial); at the end of a yes or no question; colloquial
    See in Dictionary
    + [polite particle]? (spoken)
The answers are formed similarly to the questions with ไหม yes/no question
See in Dictionary
above. Positive answers can consist of a polite particle only (e.g. ครับ polite word for men
See in Dictionary
or ค่ะ polite word for women
See in Dictionary
). Negative answers use ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
.
  • Yes: [polite particle] (e.g. ครับ polite word for men
    See in Dictionary
    or ค่ะ polite word for women
    See in Dictionary
    )
  • Yes: [short statement] + [polite particle]
  • No:  ไม่ no, not
    See in Dictionary
    + [short statement] + [polite particle]

Examples

Q: He likes (it), does he?
     เขา he; she, they
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
หรือ or; at the end of a yes or no question
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: he - like - agree?
Q: He likes (it), does he?
     เขา he; she, they
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
รึ or (colloqial)
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: he - like - agree?
Q: He likes (it), does he?
     เขา he; she, they
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary
หรอ or (colloquial); at the end of a yes or no question; colloquial
See in Dictionary
?
     Literally: he - like - agree?
A:  Yes.
     ชอบ like
See in Dictionary

     Literally: like
A:  Yes.
     ครับ polite word for men
See in Dictionary

     Literally: yes
A:  No.
     ไม่ no, not
See in Dictionary
ชอบ like
See in Dictionary

     Literally: no - like
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