Thai Pronouns

PRONOUNS vary in Thai according to age, status, and the relationship of the people speaking to each other. The best pronouns for "I" for non Thais are PHOM for men and CHAN for women. These are neither too respectful nor too intimate.

PHOM ผม
CHAN ฉัน
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When talking with a friend a name may be used for "you", especially the one-syllable nicknames that Thai people have. Some people also use their own names for "I".

In Thai, pronouns are often omitted in informal conversation, especially "I" and "you" and also 'she/he/they" if it's understood in context whom you're referring to. Pronouns don't change with part of speech. The same words are both "I" and "me", "he" and "him" , "she" and "her". Thai pronouns maybe used in more than one way, for example,THEUH is both "she" and 'you', and RAO can mean "we", "I", or "you" but normally "we".

I (spoken by a woman)
"CHAN"(ฉัน)
This is the most common, informal word for "I" for women. The pronunciation is"'high/short" informally, but rising/short in its written or formal form.

DI CHAN (ดิฉัน)
More formal, could be used, for example, in a meeting where you don't know the people very well. This form of "I" is too formal for everyday conversation.

RAO (เรา) This is used for “we” or “they” and if necessary as a 2nd. person pronoun.

POO-AK RAO (พวกเรา) “We” "Us" This is a variation of "RAO" above. It means “Our type of people” or “Our group”.

KOW (เขา) is informal for "he", "she" or "they".

NOO (หนู) is both "I" and "you" for young women, teenagers and younger children. This word means "mouse" or "rat", and sounds cute. If you find it difficult to pronounce the Thai phonetics used on this page then I highly advise you use this audio program to get the Thai pronunciation right.

I (spoken by men)
PHOM (ผม)
The most common word for "I" for men, neither too formal nor informal.
CHAN (ฉัน) Same as 'I" for women but more informal and intimate when used by men. It is used when speaking with children and intimate friends only.

KA PHA JAO (ข้าพเจ้า) Used mostly in Thai speeches.

TER (เธอ) “You” This form of address is used mainly by women talking to each other, a man talking to his wife or girl friend or when talking to small children.

KHUN (คุณ) “You” This pronoun can be used by either men or women. You will hear it being spoken often amongst intimates and is a good “polite” word used to address superiors.

MEUNG (มึง) “You” You will sometimes hear Thai people use this word when speaking to intimate friends. This is not a word that a foreigner should use unless deeply immersed in the Thai way of life and culture.

GOO (กู) “I” This is another word which you should never use. It is mentioned here because Thais often use it when communicating with a very close friend or family member.

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English Thai Play Phonetic
I (most common for males) หนึ่งทุ่ม
PHOM
I (most common for females) ฉัน
CHAN
I (formal) ดิฉัน
DI CHAN
we เรา
RAO
we(us our group) พวกเรา
PUAK RAO
I / you หนู
NOO
I (in speeches) ข้าพเจ้า
KA PHA JAO
You เธอ
TER
You คุณ
KHUN
You (impolite) มึง
MEUNG
I (impolite) กู
GOO
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