16 Thai Particles
Particles for requests, to express moods, soften harsh replies, etc.
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Lingo Ninja Research Team
5 min read · published July 11, 2021

Overview

In this section, we list particles grouped by function.

In the following sections, we look at each particle in more detail (in alphabetic order of their transcription).

Particles for requests
  • ด้วย - used for polite requests, apologies, cries for help 
  • น่ะ / น่า - "oh, come on, ..." - used when trying to persuade someone.
  • หน่อย - "a little" used for polite requests
  • ซี่ - commands / forceful requests
  • สิ / ซิ - polite request. Need to be followed by a polite particle
  • ที - "just this time" used for polite requests
  • เถอะ / เถิด / เหอะ - "Let's ...", "Why don't you/we ..." trying to press or push someone to do something.
Particles for emphasis
  • อีกละ - indicates mild irritation
  • ไง - as a response, when the responder thinks the statement is obvious/self-evident.
  • หรอก - as a response, when contradicting the addressee's beliefs. Softens the response.
    In positive statements หรอก indicates hesitation, sarcasm or annoyance.
  • ซี - emphasize positive responses or soften negative responses.
Other Particles
  • ละ - indicates state changes or situations about to change
  • นะ - "..., right?" - makes a sentence/command milder, by seeking approval.
    นะ is also used when asking to repeat something

ด้วย

ด้วย is used for polite requests, apologies, cries for help

Examples 

Sorry!
ขอโทษ ด้วย
Literally: Excuse me - polite request

The bill, please
เช็คบิล ด้วย
Literally: bill please - polite request

Help!
ช่วย ด้วย
Literally: help - request

อีกละ

อีกละ ("again") indicates mild irritation that something happens again.

Examples

(She) came (back) again.
มา อีกละ
Literally: come - irritated: again

(It is) her again.
เธอ อีกละ
Literally: she - irritated: again

ละ

ละ can indicate two things:
  • a situation is about to change. For this use it can also be combined with จะ ("will") 
  • a certain state has been reached

Examples

I am (about to) go home.
ฉัน กลับ บ้าน ละ
Literally: I - return - home - about to

(I am about to) go.
จะ ไป ละ
Literally: will - go - about to

(I am about to) go.
ไป ละ
Literally: go - about to

(That is) correct.
ถูก ละ
Literally: correct - state reached

(That is) good.
ดี ละ
Literally: good - state reached

(That is) enough.
พอ ละ
Literally: enough - state reached

นะ

นะ has multiple functions:
  • it is a polite particle (see this article)
  • "..., right?" or "..., ok?" - makes a sentence/command milder, by seeking approval.
  • ", again?", "...come again?" - used when asking to repeat something

Examples

What (was that again)?
อะไร นะ
Literally: What - again?

Who (was that again)?
ใคร นะ
Literally: Who - again?

(I am) going, ok?
ไป นะ
Literally: Going - ok?

Don't tell (it to anyone), ok?
อย่า บอก นะ
Literally: Don't - tell - ok?

น่ะ / น่า

The particles น่ะ / น่า are used when trying to persuade someone. (similar to the English "Come on, ...")

น่ะ is also used to indicate the topic of a sentence (similar to the English "ok", or "right"). 

Examples

(My) parents, right, (they) don't do anything.
พ่อแม่ น่ะ ไม่ ทำ อะไร
Literally: parents - right - not - do - whatever

Come on, just "take" it.
เอา น่า
Literally: take - trying to persuade
Note: this sentence means "Cool down.", "Let it go." or "Just accept the facts."
Explanation: เอา ("take") has the meaning of "accept".

Come on, don't go.
ไม่ ไป น่า
Literally: No - go - trying to persuade

หน่อย

หน่อย means "a little". It is used for polite requests.

Examples

Can (you) please speak slower?
พูด ช้าช้า หน่อย ได้ ไหม
Literally: speak - slower - polite request - can - question

Can (I) please have a look?
ขอ ดู หน่อย
Literally: ask for - look - polite request

Please turn off the light.
ช่วย ปิด ไฟ หน่อย
Literally: Please - turn off - light - polite request

ไง

ไง actually means "how" (see this article). But is also used with the following meanings:
  • as a response, when the responder thinks the statement is obvious/self-evident.
  • "here you are", when giving something to someone.

Examples

Here it is. Right here!
นี่ ไง . อยู่ ตรงนี้ เอง
Literally: this - obviously - be - right here - just

Here you are. (Spoken by a male speaker)
นี่ ไง ล่ะ ครับ
Literally: this - here you are - emphasis - polite particle for male speakers

หรอก

หรอก has two functions:
  • as a response, it is used when contradicting the addressee's beliefs. It softens the response.
  • in positive statements หรอก indicates hesitation, sarcasm, or annoyance.

Examples

(There is) no need. (E.g. as a response to an offer)
ไม่ ต้อง หรอก
Literally: no - must - softens response

Buyer: (It is) very expensive. 
            แพง มาก
            Literally: expensive - very
Seller: (It is) not expensive
            ไม่ แพง หรอก ครับ
            Literally: not - expensive - softens response - polite particle

(That is) not right.
ไม่ใช่ หรอก ค่ะ
Literally: no - softens response - polite particle

That is right, but (...)
นั่น ก็ จริง หรอก แต่ ...
Literally: that - also - true - hesitation - but

(Mildly annoyed): I can speak myself!
ฉัน พูด ได้ เอง หรอก
Literally: I - speak - can - myself - annoyance

ซี่

ซี่ is used for commands or forceful requests. 

Examples

Sit (down)!
นั่ง ซี่
Literally: sit - command 

Close the door!
ปิด ประตู ซี่
Literally: close - door - command 

ซี

ซี is used to emphasize positive responses or to soften negative or coflicting responses.

Examples

(I) would like to! (enthusiastic response)
อยาก ซี
Literally: good - emphasize response

A: (I) speak Thai not well. 
    พูด ภาษาไทย ไม่ เก่ง
    Literally: speak - Thai language - not - good
B: (You speak Thai) well!
    เก่ง ซี
    Literally: good - soften response

สิ / ซิ

สิ / ซิ indicates a polite request. The particle needs to be followed by a polite particle, otherwise, it sounds like a command. Both particles are roughly interchangeable.

Examples

Please sit
เชิญ นั่ง ซิ ค่ะ
Literally: please - sit - polite request - polite particle

Take a look
ดู ซิ ค่ะ
Literally: look - polite request - polite particle

ที

ที means as much as "just this time". It is used for polite requests.

Examples

Please turn off the light.
ช่วย ปิด ไฟ ที
Literally: Please - turn off - light - polite request

Sorry!
ขอโทษ ที
Literally: Excuse me - polite request

Use in Idioms

Don't!
ขอ ที
Literally: ask for - just this time

เถอะ / เถิด / เหอะ 

เถอะ / เถิด / เหอะ are used when trying to press or push someone to do something.  Similar to the English "Let's ...", "Why don't you/we ...".
  • เหอะ is used in informal speech
  • เถิด is used in literature and written Thai
  • เถอะ is used in formal and normal situations

Examples

Let us go (together).
ไป กัน เถอะ
Literally: go - together - urging

Let's go (together).
ไป กัน เหอะ
Literally: go - together - Let's

(Why don't you) come.
มา เถอะ
Literally: come - urging

Why don't you go?
ไป เหอะ น่า
Literally: go - urging - trying to persuade



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