How Do You Say...? (Questions of Manner in Thai)
Thai has multiple words for "How?" We compiled examples of questions and answers, and extracted the grammar rules.
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Lingo Ninja Research Team
2 min read · first published May 16, 2021 · last update June 16, 2021

Different words for "How?" in the Thai language?

There are multiple words for "How?" in Thai. Click on the yellow words to hear the sounds:
  • ... อย่างไร? อย่างไร (the formal way)
  • ... ยังไง? ยังไง (informal / spoken Thai)
  • ... ไง? ไง (informal / abbreviated)
Note: The above questions are called "Questions of Manner". They ask how something is done. There is a second type of "how"-questions, called "Questions of Degree", which usually start like "How long... ?", "How short...?", "How much...?", "How many...?", etc.
Questions of Degree are covered in the article How Much Do You Love Me? (Questions of Degree in Thai).

Let's look at the different forms of "How...?" in Thai more in detail:

... อย่างไร? (the formal way)

The official way to ask "How...?" is to use อย่างไร at the end of the question. See the examples at the end of this article. This is mainly used in formal or written language. Thai speakers will not use this form in most conversations, they will use a more informal question instead. 

... ยังไง? (informal / spoken Thai)

This is the most common way to ask "How...?" in the Thai language, mainly used in colloquial or everyday spoken Thai. To form this question, simply put the word อย่างไร at the end of the question. You can find examples below.

... ไง? (informal / abbreviated)

This is an extreme abbreviation of อย่างไร . Similar to the other forms, the question word ไง is put at the end of the question. This extreme abbreviation is easy to confuse and usually only appears in certain phrases (see examples below).

Notes:
  1. ไง sounds very similar to ไหน , which means "Where?". Make sure you listen carefully, so you don't make a mistake. You can learn about "Where?" questions in this article: How to ask "Where" in Thai
  2.  ไง can also mean "What?".

Example Questions & Answers

Polite Particles

The Thai language uses special words, so-called polite particles, to convey politeness. For the sake of brevity, the examples below drop the polite particles - but you should NOT do that. Please always append ค่ะ (if you are female) or ครับ (if you are male) to all the questions and answers below.

To learn more, please read this article on Thai polite particles.

Examples for ... อย่างไร? and ... ยังไง?

In all the following examples you can swap the words อย่างไร and ยังไง - the meaning will not change.

Q: How to say (it)?
     พูด อย่างไร
     Literally: say - how

Q: How do you say this in Thai?
     อัน นี้ ภาษา ไทย พูด ว่า อย่างไร
     Literally: thing - this - language - Thai - speak - how

Q: How to do (it)?
     ทำ อย่างไร
     Literally: do - how

Q: How to go (there)?
     ไป อย่างไร
     Literally: go - how

Q: How did (you) come (here)?
     มา อย่างไร
     Literally: come - how

Q: How to open (it)?
     เปิด อย่างไร
     Literally: open - how

Q: How to write (it)?
     เขียน อย่างไร
     Literally: write - how

Q: How are (you/things)?
     เป็น อย่างไร
     Literally: be - how

Examples for ... ไง?

Q: How are you? (informal, for friends)
     เป็น ไง บ้าง ?
     Please read "How are you?" in Thai, to learn more about this question
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