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The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

The structure of Thai sentences

Moderator: acloudmovingby

The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby Brizo » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:27 pm

In English, when wanting to discuss a hypothetical situation or to ask a hypothetical question, we can prefix the question in many different ways to signal what is coming next is neither past, present or future ..its actually an imaginary situation which has not happened and might never happen:

"Just for talking sake...."
"Let's imagine...."
"Let's just say....."

eg:
"Just for talking sake....you win the lottery, what will you buy?"

Technically, it should be enough to write the following( "If" ) to signal the question as hypothetical:
"If you win the lottery, what will you buy?"

But, in normal usage, people might be more likely to say something like:
"Just for talking sake....If you win the lottery, what will you buy?"
-----------------

When chatting to Thais in English, I tend to prefix hypotheticals with the word "Imagine....", but, only once I've got them to look up "Imagine" in the Thai/Eng dictionary and ran through a few examples.

My question is, how best to do the same in Thai when asking a hypothetical question?

Obviously, direct word for word translations of the English below won't work, those phrases only work in English because they contain cultural resonance for native speakers, the literal meaning of the sentences are almost meaningless, "Let's imagine...." might be the exception.

"Just for talking sake...."
"Let's imagine...."
"Let just say....."

I'm essentially looking for a magic word/phrase in Thai that can be used to prefix hypothetical monologues & questions.

Hope that makes sense!
Brizo
 
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby David and Bui » Sun Jan 24, 2016 4:03 pm

Let's start with examples directly from the RID:

สมมุติว่าได้มรดกสิบล้าน จะบริจาคช่วยคนยากจน
If I were to inherit 10 million [baht], I would donate money to help poor people.

สมมุติว่าถูกสลากกินแบ่งรางวัลที่ ๑ จะไปเที่ยวรอบโลก.
If I were ever to win the first prize in the lottery, I would travel around the world.
David in Houston
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby Brizo » Mon Jan 25, 2016 6:39 pm

That's exactly what I'm looking for David, Thank you!

For some reason I though that was going to be really complicated :D
Brizo
 
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby theoldman » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:13 pm

Hi Brizo,

Somehow I've just saw your post. 555

David already told about สมมุติ

There are some different ways to say the same thing. For example:
(I'll translate from what David wrote in English, to make a point)

If I were to inherit 10 million [baht], I would donate money to help poor people.
ถ้าผมได้มรดกสิบล้าน...
(If I were to...)

As for what you mentioned, I will try to translated it literally first:
"Just for talking sake...." = คุยเล่นๆ นะ ถ้า
"Let's imagine...." = ลองคิด/นึก/จินตนาการดูนะ ถ้า
"Let just say....." = เอาเป็นว่า ถ้า

"Just for talking sake...." = คุยเล่นๆ นะ ถ้าถูกสลากกินแบ่งรางวัลที่ ๑
"Let's imagine...." = ลองคิดดูนะ ถ้า/ลองนึกดูนะ ถ้า/ลองจินตนาการดูนะ ถ้า/
"Let just say....." = เอาเป็นว่า ถ้า

It seems we could not do it without ถ้า (if)
theoldman
 
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby David and Bui » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:23 pm

Thank you, Monty. I wonder if there are other expressions in Thai that communicate various levels of possibility of impossibility similar to the use of the subjunctive in English to express impossible conditions. (e.g. "If I were a rich man, . . . ")

For example, how are the following used:

"ถ้าเผอิญ" "หากว่า" "ในกรณีท่ี่ว่า" ฯลฯ

Thanks.
David in Houston
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby theoldman » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:33 am

Hi David,

To express impossible conditions? In Thai, ถ้า can do that all (both possible and impossible conditions).

ถ้าผมตาย ผมอยากไปสวรรค์ (I might and might not die soon; I might and might not go the heaven.)
ถ้าผมรวย (I might or night not be rich)
ถ้าผมเป็นเขา (It's impossible to be him)

As ถ้าเผอิญ, หากว่า, ในกรณีที่ว่า (or สมมุติว่า ถ้า, ถ้าสมมุติว่า, ถ้า, ผิ, แม้, หาก, ถ้าว่า, ถ้าหากว่า, ผิว่า, แม้ว่า, หากว่า, ถ้าเช่นนั้น, ถ้าหาก, ถ้าหากว่า, ถ้าแม้ว่า, ถ้าแม้, หาก) have the same meaning as "ถ้า" They are just written/formal language. And they could convey both possible "and" impossible conditions.
theoldman
 
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby David and Bui » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:42 am

Thank you, Monty.
David in Houston
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby Richard Wordingham » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:25 pm

montyb wrote:To express impossible conditions? In Thai, ถ้า can do that all (both possible and impossible conditions).

And thereby fails to convey that a condition is impossible (or implausible).
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Re: The magic prefix & asking hypothetical questions?

Postby Tgeezer » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:57 am

Richard Wordingham wrote:
montyb wrote:To express impossible conditions? In Thai, ถ้า can do that all (both possible and impossible conditions).

And thereby fails to convey that a condition is impossible (or implausible).

That true: "if I were the man in the moon" .
คับที่อยู่ได้คับใจอยู่ยาก
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