Where? in Thai
How to ask for locations in Thai. All the question types, examples, and answers
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Lingo Ninja Research Team
4 min read · published May 13, 2021 · last update June 16, 2021

Where in Thai

There are multiple ways of asking "Where?" in the Thai language. Click on the words to hear the sound:
Let's look at these ways in more detail.

Polite particles

In the examples below, we will leave out the polite particles so that our examples are more concise. But for you, it is a good habit (and polite) to finish your question with คะ question for women
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(for women) and ครับ polite word for men
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(for men).
Also, end your replies with ค่ะ polite word for women
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(for women) or ครับ polite word for men
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(for men). To learn more, read this article on Thai polite particles.

...ที่ไหน?

ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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is the standard form to ask "Where?" in Thai. It is placed at the end of the sentence and literally means "place-which?".

If you ask for the location of an action, you use the following structure:

([subject]) + [verb (=action)] + ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?

As usual in Thai, the subject is often left out.

This question can be abbreviated further to "[verb (=action)]ไหน where; which
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?". See the separate explanation below.


For the location of an object or person, Thais use the following structure:

[object/person]อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?

This can be abbreviated to "[object/person]ไหน where; which
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?". See the explanation and examples below.

Example Questions and Answers

You will notice that the Thai questions and answers are rather short. Thai speakers love shortening their sentences and to leave out all the information that can be derived from context.

Q: Where do you want to go?
     คุณ Ms, Mrs, Mr; you
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อยาก would like to
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ไป go; too
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: You - want - go - place - which?
A: (I) want to go to the restaurant.
     อยาก would like to
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ไป go; too
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: want - go - place - shop - food

Q: Where do (you) want to go?
     อยาก would like to
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ไป go; too
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: want - go - place - which?
A: To the restaurant.
     ที่ at (for locations)
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: place - shop - food

Q: Where are you?
     คุณ Ms, Mrs, Mr; you
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อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: You - to be - place - which?
A: (I) am at the restaurant.
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: to be - place - shop - food

Q: Where do you work?
     คุณ Ms, Mrs, Mr; you
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ทำ do, make, cook
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งาน job, work
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: You - do - job - place - which?
A: At the restaurant.
     ที่ at (for locations)
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: place - shop - food
A: (I) work at the restaurant.
     ทำ do, make, cook
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งาน job, work
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: do - job - place - shop - food

...ตรงไหน? vs ...ที่ไหน?

ตรง straight; punctually, exactly
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ไหน where; which
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is similar to ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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, but it asks for a higher level of detail. This means ตรง straight; punctually, exactly
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ไหน where; which
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is like "Where exactly?", or "Which location exactly?"

Examples ...ตรงไหน? vs ...ที่ไหน?

Q: Where are you?
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: to be - place - which?
A: (I) am at the restaurant.
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: to be - place - shop - food
Q: Where exactly?
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ตรง straight; punctually, exactly
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: to be - location- which?
A: (I) am next to the window.
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ติดกับ next to
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หน้าต่าง window
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.
     Literally: to be - window - next to

Excursion: ที่ไหน and ตรงไหน also mean "any place"

ไหน where; which
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also has the meaning "any", which turns ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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and ตรง straight; punctually, exactly
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ไหน where; which
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into "any place" or "anywhere". In a question, the words appear always at the end, while when they mean "any place" they can appear anywhere in the sentence. 

For example:

...อยู่ไหน?

As said many times and in many other articles before, Thais love to shorten their sentences. So it's not surprising, that the common phrase "... อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?" is abbreviated.
อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ไหน where; which
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is short for อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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. You can use it with objects:

[object] + อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ไหน where; which
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This phrase is more colloquial, but it is frequently used by most Thai speakers. 

Examples

Q: Where are you?
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: to be - which?
A: (I) am at the restaurant.
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: to be - place - shop - food

Q: Where is (your) house?
     บ้าน house, home
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อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: house - to be - which?
A: (It) is in Phuket.
     อยู่ is (located at); live (at); happening now
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ที่ at (for locations)
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ภูเก็ต Phuket
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.
     Literally: to be - place - Phuket

...ไหน?

This is another frequent abbreviation in the Thai language, used when asking for the destination of an action

[verb (=action)] + ที่ at (for locations)
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ไหน where; which
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?
is abbreviated to:
[verb (=action)] + ไหน where; which
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?

Examples

Q: Where are (you) going?
     ไป go; too
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ไหน where; which
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?
     Literally: go - which?
A: To the restaurant.
     ไป go; too
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: place - shop - food

Q: Where (is it) good to eat?
     กิน eat
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ไหน where; which
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ดี good
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?
     Literally: eat - which - good?
A: To the restaurant.
     ไป go; too
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ร้าน shop, store
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อาหาร food
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.
     Literally: place - shop - food



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