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The Codaphrase in Thai Syntax

by Don Sena

(This description is mainly an adaptation and reworking of the treatment by Richard B. Noss of the Foreign Service Institute as found in his linguistically-oriented Reference Thai Grammar, 1964.)

The codaphrase is a clause-final syntactic unit consisting of an ordered arrangement of one to four lexical units. These minor form-class lexemes that make up the codapharase are termed “sentence particles.” The codaphrase is not essential to every sentence spoken, but is quite common nonetheless, especially in spoken Thai. While a sentence may contain a codaphrase at the end of each constituent sentence clause, a given sentence particle normally occurs no more than once in a given sentence. (The exception is the sub-class of particles that occur in the third position of the codaphrase.) This general limitation is the reason for the term “sentence particle,” rather than “clause particle.”

The codaphrase expresses the speaker’s attitude toward the subject under discussion. The collection of sentence particles chosen by a speaker is a reflection of reactions, feelings and-or notions entertained by the speaker with regard to the context of his utterance.

While there are very many more than four such particles in the language, no more than four can occur at a time. It appears also that, since the Vietnam Era, few, if any, new particles have been coined and that few, if any, have fallen into disuse.

An example of a full codaphrase of four—infrequent, since particles in position-four are not often used—is shown below:
‘Well, [you mean] you’re not going out with them?!’ (You, young lady, you’re not going ?!)
I’ll be using square brackets [ ] to indicate locations of sentence particles within any one sentence clause. Thus,
เธอไม่ไปเที่ยวกับพวกเขาหรอกเหรอจ๊ะนี่  ➔  เธอไม่ไปกับพวกเขา [หรอก] [เร๋อะ] [คะ] [นี่]
In position-one: [หรอก] ‘no way, definitely not’
In position-two: [เร๋อะ] ‘is that actually true?’
In position-three: [คะ] ‘I, your affectionate elder / friend (in question mode)’
In position-four: [นี่] ‘[calling out to] *you* [to whom I’m speaking]’
This last particle coincidentally has the same form as one other particle and also the demonstrative ‘here, this one.’ In any case, position-four particles don’t often occur in the Thai sentence. Some particles appear exactly like members of other form classes in Thai (or even like other sentence particles), so that some confusion may result at the outset.

If a certain location of a sentence particle is not filled, the brackets will simply appear empty: [ ]. The empty brackets will simply mean that the speaker chose not to use a sentence particle that occurs in a certain position.

What needs to be understood at this point is that there are four sub-classes of sentence particles, corresponding, respectively, to the four possible positions in which they can occur. The particles that are of any one sub-class are mutually exclusive in their use by the speaker in that the speaker selects (at most) only one particle from the same sub-class. Speaker’s selection of any one particle from the position-one sub-class, for instance, automatically excludes use of any other particle from that same sub-class. Since each particle can occur only in the position that corresponds to its parent sub-class (corresponding to one of the four possible positions), the codaphrase necessarily consists of an ordered sequence. Thus, any two or more particles in the same codaphrase can only occur in a particular sequence; the question of which particle comes before another is not arbitrary.

In general, speaker selects:
zero or just one particle from the set [หรอก, ไง, ไหม, ...]
      followed by
zero or just one particle from the set [หรือ, แหละ, ล่ะ, ...]
      followed by
zero or just one particle from the set [ครับ, ค่ะ, จ้ะ, ...]
      followed by
zero or just one particle from the set [นี่, นั่น, ...]

Position-One Sub-Class


หรอก (less frequently ดอก) No way! Definitely not (after negatives); what I urge you to believe, realize, be made aware of; mark my words; wait and see! (after affirmatives)’

หรอก at the end of a question indicates the speaker is incredulous that something didn’t happen or is not so.
ผมไม่ได้ไปหรอก  ➔  ผมไม่ได้ไป [หรอก] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘I didn’t go (I surely didn’t!).’

เขาไม่มาทำไมหรอกน่ะ  ➔  เขาไม่มาทำไม [หรอก] [น่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘(Just) why wouldn’t he come??’
The position-two particle น่ะ invokes the listener’s sympathy toward the question and tends to make it more polite.
ไม่ใช่รถของฉันหรอกน่ะ  ➔  ไม่ใช่รถของฉัน [หรอก] [น่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘It’s not my car (don’t you see).’
Here, occurrence of น่ะ appeals for the listener’s sympathetic attention.
เดือนที่แล้วคุณไม่ได้ไปเที่ยวลอยกระทงหรอกหรือ  ➔  เดือนที่แล้วคุณไม่ได้ไปเที่ยวลอยกระทง [หรอก] [หรือ] [ ] [ ]
‘You didn’t go to the Floating-Basket Festival last month???’ (That’s odd; it seems you should have.)
The particle sequence หรอกหรือ expresses the attitude: “you mean to tell me … actually did not/does not …???” or “didn’t you,/he/ she,/they … do …??!! (implying the action should be or should have been performed)”
ผมล้อเล่นหรอก อย่าโกรธเลย  ➔  ผมล้อเล่น [หรอก] [ ] [ ] [ ] อย่าโกรธเลย
‘I was just kidding! (Oh, come on, now! You should know I was just kidding.) Don’t be getting all fired up.’

เดี๋ยวได้หัวแตกกันมั่งหรอก  ➔  เดี๋ยวได้หัวแตกกันมั่ง [หรอก] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Before you know it, you guys are going to get your heads split.’ (Better believe it.)
มั่ง, a variant of บ้าง, here means ‘at some time or other.’
เธอไม่ไปเที่ยวกับพวกเขาหรอกเหรอจ๊ะนี่  ➔  คุณไม่ไปกับเขา [หรอก] [เร๋อะ] [คะ] [นี่]
Well, [you mean] you’re not going out with them?!’
(See the example in the introduction).

1B. The point is...

น่ะ ‘I mean this thing. The point is actually this thing.’ (Listener is usually assumed to be familiar with the situation.) น่ะ here is not to be confused with the position-two particle น่ะ in the examples above.
ก็คุณเองน่ะซี  ➔  ก็คุณเอง [น่ะ] [ซี] [ ] [ ]
‘Well, it was you yourself.’ (That’s who it was.)
The position-two particle ซี expresses the attitude ‘this is how it is; That’s the fact.’
น้องหมวยน่ะเหรอ สอบได้  ➔  น้องหมวย [น่ะ] [เหรอ] [ ] [ ] สอบได้
‘Did little Muay really pass the exam?’ (You are talking about her, right?)
เหรอ is a variant of the second-position particle หรือ ‘is it true?’
มันจะถูกหัวตัวเองน่ะนา  ➔  มันจะถูกหัวตัวเอง [น่ะ] [นา] [ ] [ ]
‘Why, you might hit yourself in the head with it.’ (You do see what I mean.)
นา here is a variant form of the position-two particle น่ะ and politely asks the listener to see the speaker’s point.
คุณน่ะแหละ ชอบทำเสียงดังนัก  ➔  คุณ [น่ะ] [แหละ] [ ] [ ] ชอบทำเสียงดังนัก
‘You really like to make a lot of noise.’ (I see that you’re the one who does it.)
แหละ occurs in second position with the meaning ‘so that’s it; here’s what we’ve been trying to find!’ (A sense of discovery is implied).

1C. My point is...

นี่ or นิ่ ‘Take note of, or notice, this thing. I have this point to make.’ (Listener is usually not assumed to be familiar with the situation.)

In the use of either นี่ or น่ะ (from 1B above), speaker draws attention to something that is not considered to be brand-new, or only now relevant, but usually something that has been true (at least in the mind of the speaker) for some time.
ก็เขารู้จักกันอยู่แล้วนี่นา  ➔  ก็เขารู้จักกันอยู่แล้ว [นี่] [นา] [ ] [ ]
‘But they already know each other.” (I mean to point this out for your notice.)

ก็มันจะถูกกระจกนี่นา  ➔  ก็มันจะถูกกระจก [นี่] [นา] [ ] [ ]
‘Well, you might hit the window with it.’ (Oh, don’t you see?)

ก็ไม่มีใครชวนดิฉันนี่ค่ะ  ➔  ก็ไม่มีใครชวนดิฉัน [นี่] [ ] [ค่ะ] [ ]
‘Well, no one invited me.’ (So that’s why I’m not going.)
ค่ะ is a position-three particle that refers back to the speaker’s identity as a female.

1D. Recall that...

ไง ‘This thing I just said is what that other thing was about. It’s what I (or someone) was talking about. That’s what it was. Here’s what I mean. (That which I just now said is what I or someone meant earlier).’

The clause ending in ไง refers back to something already known and generally relevant in context (usually something recently mentioned). ไง elaborates on, or further explains, the subject previously discussed. Use of ไง tends to be explanatory.
อ้าว! ทำไมใส่แบบเกาหลีมาอีกล่ะ ไหน บอกว่าไม่ชอบไง  ➔  อ้าว! ทำไมใส่แบบเกาหลีมาอีก [ ] [ล่ะ] [ ] [ ] ไหน บอกว่า ไม่ชอบ [ไง] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Why on earth are you wearing [that] Korean outfit again? [I thought] you said you didn’t like it!’ (What you said explains my asking.)
ล่ะ in second position means ‘I‘ve got to know!’

ไหน here is a response with a meaning somewhat like “Well, how can that be?’; ‘Huhhh?’; or ‘How’s that again?’ and indicates momentary puzzlement. A response is an isolative, occurring as a single-item clause in its own right. The salutation สวัสดี, for instance, is an isolative (though it can be followed by a codaphrase).
ฉันซื้อเสื้อท่อนบนมาตัวหนึ่ง เหมือนกับของเธอ นี่ไง  ➔  ฉันซื้อเสื้อท่อนบนมาตัวหนึ่ง เหมือนกับของเธอ นี่ [ไง] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘I bought a new blouse-top, just like yours. This is it.’

น้ำต้มจากรากของต้นไม้ ที่เพื่อนของเขานำมาขายให้เขาเป็นยารักษาอาการปวดเอว น้ำต้มก็จริงอยู่ แต่มันมีการตกตะกอนของรากต้นไม้ไง
‘It was water boiled with tree roots, which a friend of his had sold him as a medication to treat his lower-back pain. The water was boiled, all right, but it contained the sediment of the tree roots, you see.’ (That’s how it was.)

1E. How strange...

แน่ะ, เนี่ยะ ‘What’s this business? This is strange, new, unexpected, from out of the blue, bizarre. Wow, get this! Here’s something really new!’

Unlike ไง, neither แน่ะ nor เนี่ยะ here refers back to something previously known, but expresses a certain sense of surprise at something truly new, and not previously relevant in context..
ดูเขาทำอะไรแน่ะ  ➔  ดูเขาทำอะไร [แน่ะ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Look at what they’re doing now.’ (Look at this new thing.)

‘I just bought a laptop for you.’ (Surprise!)

ฉบับเดี่ยวเนี่ยะเหรอ  ➔  ฉบับเดี่ยว [เนี่ยะ] [เหรอ] [ ] [ ]
‘Just the one copy??’ (That’s all??)
เหรอ in position two is a true-or-not question particle.
ไปไหนกันเนี่ยะ  ➔  ไปไหนกัน [เนี่ยะ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Where’s he going??!’ (It seems strange that he should be going that way.)
Or: ‘Where do you think you’re going?
กัน here is a postposition linked to the interrogative ไหน indicating that the speaker doubts that there’s a reasonable answer to the question.

1F. In that case...

ละ ‘Switching off to this other course of action, now doing this other thing’ A transition within the flow of events is being recognized or noticed by the speaker.
อิ่มแล้วละซี  ➔  อิ่มแล้ว [ละ] [ซี] [ ] [ ]
‘Now you must be full!’
ซี in second position imparts the notion of ‘That’s how it is!’
คุณจะไปละเหรอ  ➔  คุณจะไป [ละ] [เหรอ] [ ] [ ]
‘(So,) are you going now?’ (Seems you weren’t just a minute ago.)

เอาละ พอเท่านี้ก่อน  ➔  เอา [ละ] [ ] [ ] [ ] พอเท่านี้ก่อน
‘All right, then. This will be enough for now—for the time being.’

ถ้ายังงั้น ฉันจะไม่ไปละ
‘In that case, I won’t go, then.’

ดิฉันต้องไปก่อนละนะ  ➔  ดิฉันต้องไปก่อน [ละ] [นะ] [ ] [ ]
‘I’d better be going, now, OK?.’
Second-position particle นะ appeals to the listener’s sympathetic understanding.
เห็นจะมากไปละมั้ง  ➔  เห็นจะมากไป [ละ] [มั้ง] [ ] [ ]
‘Maybe it’s too much already.’
Second-position particle มั้ง expresses the notion ‘That could be; possibly that just mentioned’

1G. Is that so...?

ไหม, มั้ย ‘Is that how you see it?’ (Tell me whether you do or not.)

Use of this question particle contrasts with the choice of หรือ (as in second example under 1B, for instance) in that ไหม or มั้ย is generally more subjective than หรือ. ไหม seeks the personal impression or perspective of the subject of the sentence on the situation at hand somewhat more so than does หรือ. ไหม cannot terminate a question in which the verb is negated; a negative question can only be terminated by หรือ.

Though often pronounced มั้ย, this particle is almost always written as ไหม, except in very informal writing. Pronunciation tends to favor ไหม, however, in more formal circumstances, including reporting over the broadcast media.

เข้าใจไหม  ➔  เข้าใจ [ไหม] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Do you understand?’

คุณไม่เข้าใจหรือ  ➔  คุณไม่เข้าใจ [ ] [หรือ] [ ] [ ]
‘You do not understand?’

ทานกาแฟอีกมั้ย  ➔  ทานกาแฟอีก [มั้ย] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Will you have some more coffee?’ (Subjective response sought)

ทานกาแฟอีกหรือ  ➔  ทานกาแฟอีก [ ] [หรือ] [ ] [ ]
‘You’re having more coffee, oh are you?’ (Objective response sought)

‘Is she pretty? (Do you think so?)

‘Is she pretty?’ (Is she actually, as a matter of fact?)

‘Do you like (the whole idea of) being in the military?’ (Does it appeal to you?)
or ‘Would you like to join the military?’

‘Do you [actually] like being in the military?’ (Is this something you really like?)

‘Are they studying together?’ (Are they doing it as a matter of choice—are they cool with the idea?)
or ‘Do they study together?’ (Do they like to, prefer to?)

‘Did they study together?’ (Did they actually?)
or ‘Are they going to be studying together?’ (Have they been or are they now scheduled to?)

เมื่อวานนี้ไปเที่ยวดรีมเวอลด์ สนุกมั้ย
‘Was it fun going to Dream World yesterday?’

เราไปเที่ยวดรีมเวอลด์ ดีมั้ย
‘Shall we go to Dream World?’ (Would that be a neat idea?)

ฉันซื้อกระโปรงนี่มาฝาก หนูชอบมั้ยล่ะ  ➔  ฉันซื้อกระโปรงนี่มาฝาก หนูชอบ [มั้ย] [ล่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘I bought you this skirt—do you like it?’ (How about it—do you?)
The second-position particle ล่ะ expresses expectation of an answer. Notice, by contrast:
ฉันซื้อกระโปรงนี่มาฝากพี่พิกุล เธอชอบมั้ยนะ  ➔  ฉันซื้อกระโปรงนี่มาฝากพี่พิกุล เธอชอบ [มั้ย] [นะ] [ ] [ ]
‘I bought this skirt for (big-sister) Phikun—will she like it? (Do you suppose she will?)
Use of second-position particle นะ here poses the question non –demandingly; opinion of listener is simply requested.) Consider the following exchange:
. คุณมีขันเงินใหญ่ ๆ บ้างมั้ย
A. ‘Do you have any large, silver bowls?’

. ผมไม่มีเลย สักใบหนึ่ง
B. ‘I don’t have any at all—not even one.’

. เอ๊อ คุณจิต เขาจะมีมั้ยนะ
A ‘Say! I wonder if Jit would have any.’

. เขาไม่มีหรอก
B. ‘Oh, no—he won’t have any.’
Notice that the construction of interrogative pronoun, adjective or adverb + ไหม leads to the English concept of indefinite pronoun, adjective or adverb, respectively, with corresponding meaning.
‘What do they want?’

‘Do they want something?’ or ‘Do they want anything?’

1H. Let's...

เถอะ, เถิด ‘Let’s do it; oh, go ahead and do it; come on, go for it.’ เถิด occurs in the more formal contexts. It is seen also in writing, both very formal and elegant informal. Use of เถอะ is generally exhortative.
เราไปกันเถอะ  ➔  เราไปกัน [เถอะ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Let’s go.’
กัน is the plural pronoun in this sentence.
สายแล้ว ไปกันเถอะน่ะ  ➔  สายแล้ว ไปกัน [เถอะ] [น่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘It’s late. Let’s get going.’
Second-position particle น่ะ here makes the idea more suggestive to the listener.
คุณกินซะเถอะ  ➔  คุณกินซะ [เถอะ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Go ahead and eat it up.’ (Oh, go ahead, insofar as you know you want to.)
ซะ is a postposition to the main verb กิน, affecting the aspect of the verb such that the action of “eating it up” is treated as a unit, or as an action that is done as a completed fact. Verb + ซะ correspond approximately to the preterit tense of the same verb in the Romance languages (Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese et al.). Compare the following:
กินซะซิ  ➔  กินซะ [ ] [ซิ] [ ] [ ]
‘Eat it up!’ (Eat it, since it’s only right that you eat it.)
ซิ makes the content of the sentence a requirement.
กินซะ เถอะซี่  ➔  กินซะ [เถอะ] [ซี่] [ ] [ ]
‘Please go ahead and eat it!’ (After all, you know you should.)

คุณแบ่งให้ผมถือมั่งเถอะ  ➔  คุณแบ่งให้ผมถือมั่ง [เถอะ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Why don’t you let me carry some of them?’
มั่ง should not be confused with the second-position particle มั้ง shown in the last example under 1F. มั่ง here is a variant of บ้าง ‘some,’ ‘somewhat.’) Consider the following exchange, exemplifying the use of เถอะ:
. มากินข้าวกันเถอะ ฉันหิวจะตายแล้ว  ➔  มากินข้าวกัน [เถอะ] [ ] [ ] [ ] ฉันหิวจะตายแล้ว
A. ‘Come on, let’s eat. I’m practically starving (already).’

. ถ้างั้นคุณกินซะเถอะ ไม่ต้องคอยฉันหรอก  ➔  ถ้างั้นคุณกินซะ [เถอะ] [ ] [ ] [ ] ไม่ต้องคอยฉัน [หรอก] [ ] [ ] [ ]
B. ‘In that case, you go ahead and eat. No need to wait for me.’
In a more formal contexts, เถิด is used:
จงกินเสียเถิด เพราะนี่คือร่างกายของเรา (มัดธาย ๒๖: ๒๖)
‘Eat it, for this is my body.’ (Mt 26: 26)
เสีย would likely be pronounced as if written ซะ.

Position-Two Sub-Class

2A. Inquiring

หรือ, เหรอ, รึ, เร๋อะ, เอ๋อ ‘Is what I just said factually correct?”

Several compound lexemes separately combining รึ with ยัง, ไม่, เปล่า and ไง function as single sentence particles in their own right. In reality, these derivatives actually belong to the position-one sub-class, since they can be followed by certain position-two sub-class particles.
รึยัง ‘Is it done or not yet done?’ (รึยัง sometimes reduces simply to ยัง)
รึไม่ ‘Is it so or is it not?’
รึไง ‘Is it as stated or what?’
รึเปล่า ‘Is it as stated or otherwise?’ (Alternately in free speech: รึป่าว)
The form หรือ occurs with loud sustained stress in isolation as a response (page 7, subclass 1D), with a meaning somewhat like ‘Oh, did he/ did they, does she …?’
ยังงั้นหรือ  ➔  ยังงั้น [ ] [หรือ] [ ] [ ]
‘Is that so?

รถคันนั้นเหรอ  ➔  รถคันนั้น [ ] เหรอ [ ] [ ]
‘That car?’

ทุ่มยี่สิบรึคะ  ➔  ทุ่มยี่สิบ [ ] [รึ] [คะ] [ ]
‘Twenty after seven?’
คะ is the question form of a position-three particle indicating a female speaker.
หล่อนชื่อวิภาเหรอคะ  ➔  หล่อนชื่อวิภา [ ] [เร๋อะ] [คะ] [ ]
‘Her name is Wipha??’


มีหรือ จิงโจ้จะยืนเขย่งได้  ➔  มี [ ] [หรือ] [ ] [ ] จิงโจ้จะยืนเขย่งได้
“Is there such a thing as a kangaroo that can stand on tiptoes?

‘Have they gone already?’

‘You haven’t eaten yet?’
Notice that a negative question requires หรือ. The codaphrase cannot contain ไหม (or มั้ย) if the verb is negated.
เธอกินแล้วรึยัง  ➔  เธอกินแล้ว [รึยัง] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Did you eat yet?’ or ‘Have you eaten yet?’
(Recall that derivatives of รึ with ยัง, ไม่, เปล่า and ไง occur in first position.)
‘Are they singing yet?’

เขาจะซ่อมรถรึไม่  ➔  เขาจะซ่อมรถ [รึไม่] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Are they fixing the car or not?’

เขาสอบได้รึเปล่า  ➔  เขาสอบได้ [รึเปล่า] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Did he pass or not?’

เขาจะโทรมาหาเรารึไง  ➔  เขาจะโทรมาหาเรา [รึไง] [ ] [ ] [ ]
‘Are they going to call us or what?’

‘Do you miss me?’

คุณไม่สนใจหล่อนรึไง ถึงขนาดไม่ค่อยไปคบเลย
‘Are you not interested in her or what—you hardly ever go see her.’

คุณไม่ไปวัดเหรอคะ  ➔  คุณไม่ไปวัด [ ] [เร๋อะ] [คะ] [ ]
‘Aren’t you going to the temple?’

เขาไม่ไปโรงเรียนเหรอนั่น  ➔  เขาไม่ไปโรงเรียน [ ] [เร๋อะ] [ ] [นั่น]
‘You mean he’s not going to school?’
Position-four particle นั่น seeks the attention of the listener.
หมดเวลาแล้วเหรอนี่  ➔  หมดเวลาแล้ว [ ] [เร๋อะ] [ ] [นี่]
‘Is the time up already?!’
As a position-four particle, นี่ is similar to นั่น. Notice the following exchange:
. ผมเพิ่งซื้อหนังสือดี ๆ มาฝากเล่มหนึ่งแน่ะ  ➔  ผมเพิ่งซื้อหนังสือดีๆมาฝากเล่มหนึ่ง [แน่ะ] [ ] [ ] [ ]
A. ‘Here’s a good book I just bought for you.’
แน่ะ is the particle 1E on page 7, presenting something previously unknown (the book) as now suddenly relevant.
. เล่มหนา ๆ เนี่ยะเหรอคะ  ➔  เล่มหนาๆเนี่ยะ [ ] [เร๋อะ] [คะ] [ ]
B. ‘This thick one?’ (You mean this thick one, and not some other one?)
เนี่ยะ here is a demonstrative postposition to the noun phrase เล่มหนาๆ. It is not the position-one particle shown in section 1E.
A. . ใช่ เล่มนั้นแหละครับ  ➔  ใช่ เล่มนั้น [ ] [แหละ] [ครับ] [ ]
‘Yes, that’s the one.’
Second-position particle แหละ expresses a sense of discovery. Here, it says: ‘That’s the one you’re asking about, the one you wanted to know about.’ For that reason, แหละ often follows demonstratives.

2B. Yes, really.

ซี, ซิ, สิ; ซี่ ‘I’m certain of this! This is how it is! This is what you should be doing! This is what is right! Get with it! My way is the right way! I’m sure of what I’m talking about!’

Use of this particle sometimes imparts an imperative nuance. ซี่ is an emphatic form, uttered with loud sustained stress (loudness level maintained throughout the duration of the syllable).
สวัสดีซะซี  ➔  สวัสดีซะ [ ] [ซี] [ ] [ ]
‘Say Hello!’
ซะ is a postposition to the isolative สวัสดี, which functions here like a verb. ซะ affects the aspect of สวัสดี such that the action expressed is treated as a unit. (See third example under 1H on page 14 above.)
เชิญนั่งซิค่ะ  ➔  เชิญนั่ง [ ] [ซิ] [ค่ะ] [ ]
‘Please have a seat!’

ไปซะหน่อยซิ  ➔  ไปซะหน่อย [ ] [ซิ] [ ] [ ]
‘Why don’t you go!’
หน่อย here is a “complementive,” a modifier to the verb ไป. It means that the action is to be regarded as being ‘no big deal.’
ไปซะทีสิ ไปซะที [ ] [สิ] [ ] [ ]
’Go on, go!’
ที here occurs as complementive (main-verb modifier) meaning ‘this one time, for once.’
มาดูอะไรนี่ซี  ➔  มาดูอะไรนี่ [ ] [ซิ] [ ] [ ]
‘Come look at something here!’
As with the question particles ไหม and หรือ, interrogative + ซี lead to corresponding indefinite. นี่ ‘here’ does not occur here as a particle.
‘Don’t go anywhere (now).’
Occurrence of “now” in this context is meant merely to strengthen a command or entreaty, not to indicate time of action.
ถ้ายังงั้น ฉันก็ไม่ได้ไปไหนสิ
‘In that case, I (just) won’t go anywhere (period)!’
Contrast with use of position-one particle นี่:
‘(Well) I didn’t go anywhere at all!’

นั่นซิครับ  ➔  นั่น [ ] [ซิ] [ครับ] [ ]
‘That’s exactly it.’ or ‘That’s just it.’

จะไป ก็ไปสิ
‘If you’re going, then go right ahead.’

‘Of course there are [some]!’

ดีซิค่ะ ทำไมจะไม่ดี  ➔  ดี [ ] [ซิ] [ค่ะ] [ ] ทำไมจะไม่ดี
‘Sure it’s good! Why wouldn’t it be good?’

2C. Wouldn't you say...?

นะ, น่ะ, นา; หนอ, น่า ‘True, huh? …isn’t it, though? …wouldn’t you say?’

นะ and its variants have a lightly interrogative implication for the listener. Questions terminated by นะ do not normally anticipate an answer, but generally do no more than simply express an observation, weakly asking for listener’s corroboration. As mildly expressed questions, clauses ending in นะ are among the most socially agreeable utterances in the language, as the inclusion of นะ in the codaphrase adds an added nuance of politeness to the speaker’s expression.

Since นะ is a position-two particle, นะ can—and often does—follow position-one question particle ไหม (described in 1G above). The resulting question does, in that instance, anticipate an answer, but does so only by politely appealing to the listener for a response. Because of its position-two status, นะ cannot follow the position-two question particle หรือ, since all particles of a given sub-class are mutually exclusive. Of all the sentence particles that occur in a particular position within the codaphrase, at most only one is ever chosen by the speaker.

The variant น่ะ does not terminate sentence clauses containing either interrogatives (in English, ‘who, what, how’ et al.) or the question particle ไหม. Where น่ะ does occur, the speaker is more seriously suggestive than when using either นะ or นา.

หนอ and น่า, which are emphatic forms, are sounded with loud sustained stress—louder than normal, with sustained loudness level from beginning to end of syllable.
อย่าไปนา  ➔  อย่าไป [ ] [นา] [ ] [ ]
‘Oh, don’t go, OK?’ (Oh, won’t you reconsider?)
Here, the inclusion of the particle transforms the negative command into an appeal.
อย่าไปไหนนะ  ➔  อย่าไปไหน [ ] [นะ] [ ] [ ]
‘(Please) don’t go anywhere, OK?’ (I‘m hoping you won’t go away someplace.)

‘I didn’t go anywhere at all … did I?)’
This disclaimer is much milder than the following contrastive example:
ผมไม่ได้ไปไหนเลย ใช่ไหมล่ะ
‘I didn’t go anywhere at all, did I?!!’ (Well, how about it—did I??!!)
Here, the second-position particle ล่ะ expresses the attitude of ‘demanding to know’ an answer. Because ล่ะ occupies the same slot as นะ, occurrences of ล่ะ and นะ are mutually exclusive.
ไปเถอะน่า  ➔  ไป [เถอะ] [น่า] [ ] [ ]
‘Oh, go ahead … go.’ (Come on, now, go.)
Occurrence of the emphatic น่า imparts a strong sense of entreaty.
บอกแล้วน่ะนา ไม่เชื่อ  ➔  บอกแล้ว [ ] [น่ะ] [นา] [ ] ไม่เชื่อ
‘I did tell you already, did I not, only to have you not believe me?’

บอกแล้วนี่นะคะ ไม่เชื่อ  ➔  บอกแล้ว [นี่] [นะ] [คะ] [ ] ไม่เชื่อ
‘This is what I told you, was it not, only to have you not believe me?’

ไปทางไหนนะครับ  ➔  ไปทางไหน [ ] [นะ] [ครับ] [ ]
‘Which way is it that you are going?’

‘I wonder why that is.’

เขามองเห็นมั้ยนะ  ➔  เขามองเห็น [มั้ย] [นะ] [ ] [ ]
‘Do you think he can see it?’
Compare with เขามองเห็น ‘He can see it.’ and เขามองเห็นมั้ย ‘Can he see it?’ (Also see example of มั้ย + นะ under 1G on page 11.) Note that เห็น here functions as a completive (or resultative) verb indicating successful performance of main verb มอง.
ลาทีละนะ  ➔  ลาที [ละ] [นะ] [ ] [ ]
‘Goodbye, now …’
Like the fourth example under 2B, ที is a complementive with the meaning ‘this one time, for once.’ Position-one particle ละ imparts the notion of a changed situation in the impending departure of the listener.
สายแล้ว ไปกันเถอะน่ะ  ➔  สายแล้ว ไปกัน [เถอะ] [น่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘It’s late. Let’s get going, OK?’

เก่งจริงนะ  ➔  เก่งจริง [ ] [นะ] [ ] [ ]
That’s really clever, isn’t it?
Use of the emphatic หนอ imparts an intensified sense of wonderment or bewilderment:
‘What is to be done?’ or ‘What am I (or are we, are you …) going to do?’ (I wonder.)

‘Who would it be??’

‘Why is that???’
หนอ can also be used teasingly:
เต็มใจมั้ยหนอ โอบอุ้มฉันไปขึ้นบันได  ➔  เต็มใจ [มี้ย] [หนอ] [ ] [ ] โอบอุ้มฉันไปขึ้นบรรได
‘Think you might be willing to lift me up [in your arms and run me up] the stairs? or ‘… to carry me up the stairs?’

2D. Aha!

แหละ, หละ, เออะ, แหล่ ‘So that’s it! That must be what it was! That explains it! That’s what it is, no doubt! …for your information.’

Use of แหละ generally imparts a sense of discovery, either for the speaker or for the listener. The first three variants shown can be used interchangeably—that is, they are in “free variation.”

The emphatic form แหล่ occurs with loud sustained stress. (Compare with หนอ and น่า from 2C above.)
‘It’s deadlocked at the post office in Pathum-Thani, no doubt.’ (I’ll bet that’s where it is.)

นั่นแหล่ ผมบอกแล้วมั้ยล่ะ  ➔  นั่น [ ] [แหล่] [ ] [ ] ผมบอกแล้ว [มั้ย] [ล่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘That’s just it! Didn’t I tell you so?!’

คุณนิ่แหละค่ะ ชอบทำเสียงดังนัก  ➔  คุณ [นิ่] [แหละ] [ค่ะ] [ ] ชอบทำเสียงดังนัก
‘You’re the one who loves making all that noise.’ (You need to realize that you are the one.)
Compare this example with the fourth example under 1B.
‘I didn’t go anywhere at all!’

นี่เออะจ้ะ จะให้หนูใส่ไป  ➔  นี่ [ ] [เออะ] [จ้ะ] [ ] จะให้หนูใส่ไป
‘This is the one I want you to wear.’

‘Just that amount.’ or ‘That’s all, now.’ (There! That’s just how much it needs to be.)

‘That’s right!’ (Now I get it!)

2E. Tell me now!

ล่ะ, เล่า, ละ, หล้า ‘I must know! What’s the answer?!! How about it?! Tell me what I’m asking!!’

Sentences containing ล่ะ in the codaphrase are almost always imperative in nature, sometimes coldly so, and never tactful. Such sentences are more directly imperative than those containing ซี (2B) in the same position. Whereas ซี expresses the attitude “This is only right,” use of ล่ะ most often projects the attitude “I expect compliance.”

The most frequent use of this particle by Thai speakers is in questions containing either the position-one particle ไหม (มั้ย) in the same codaphrase or an interrogative pronoun, adjective or complementive. In all such questions, the speaker is insistent on an answer. ล่ะ is, of course, mutually exclusive with the position-two question particle หรือ.

A negative command terminated with a codaphrase containing ล่ะ becomes an outright demand.

ล่ะ and เล่า are in free variation, though เล่า is somewhat more formal. หล้า is an emphatic form and, as such, occurs with loud sustained stress. (See หนอ and น่า on page 21.)

The speaker selects the variant form ละ only if he also selects a position-three particle, such as ครับ or คะ, whereby the speaker refers back to himself (or to herself). In so doing, his codaphrase contains, in the second and third positions, the sequence [ ] [ละ] [ครับ] [ ]. This sequence necessarily signals a question, so that, while ครับ may be replaced in the same sequence by คะ (I, a female, asking), it cannot be replaced by ค่ะ (I, a female, declaring).

It may seem, at first glance, that this particular variant of the 2E particles (namely, ละ) could be mistaken for the position-one particle ละ ‘New course of action’ (1F, page 8), since they’re exact duplicates of one another. The difficulty is resolved when we consider that [ละ] [ ] [ครับ] [ ] always terminates a statement, while [ ] [ละ] [ครับ] [ ] always terminates a question. Also, the 1F particle ละ can occur in a question only when followed immediately by the 2A particle หรือ.
ทำไมช้านักล่ะ  ➔  ทำไมช้านัก [ ] [ล่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘Why are you so late?!’
The following question has the same translation:
ทำไมช้านักละครับ  ➔  ทำไมช้านัก [ ] [ละ] [ครับ] [ ]
‘Why are you so late?!’
Here, ละ is the third of the four variants shown just above (at the heading 2E). It occurs only when immediately followed by a position-three particle like ครับ. Similarly:
แล้วฉันจะไปทางไหนละคะ  ➔  แล้วฉันจะไปทางไหน [ ] [ละ] [คะ] [ ]
‘Well, which way should I go?!’ (Well, tell me!)
Notice that ละ in position two determines the question form of the position-three particle (คะ, rather than ค่ะ). The principle variant form ล่ะ can also (like ละ) precede a position-three particle:
ทำไมล่ะครับ  ➔  ทำไม [ ] [ล่ะ] [ครับ] [ ]
‘Why is that?!’

‘Do you see it?!’ (Well, do you?!)

อิ่มแล้วละซี ใช่ไหมล่ะ  ➔  อิ่มแล้ว [ละ] [ซี] [ ] [ ] ใช่ [ไหม] [ล่ะ] [ ] [ ]
‘You must be full now, aren’t you?!’
In the first clause, ซี connotes the notion of ‘must,’ and ละ suggests a change of situation to what it is ‘now.’ The codaphrase in the first clause contains the 1F particle ละ ‘transitioning to new situation’ and the codaphrase in the second clause contains the 2E particle ล่ะ ‘I want to know!’
‘Don’t go anywhere!” (You heard me!)
Contrast with example shown for 2B particle ซี:
‘Don’t go anywhere (now).’
Use of ‘now’ does not, in this context, refer to the present moment, but, instead, simply reinforces the speaker’s expressed wish.
‘When would I ever be a rich guy?!’

ผมจะไปได้ยังไงกันหล้า  ➔  ผมจะไปได้ยังไงกัน [ ] [หล้า] [ ] [ ]
‘How the hell would I ever be able to get there?!!’
หล้า occurs here with loud sustained stress.

The postposition กัน takes the interrogative ยังไง as its coconstituent. Its use implies that the probable answer would be ridiculous or unreasonable, or is simply unfathomable. It should not be mistaken for a sentence particle.

ไง ‘This is who (or what) that was about’ (1D, page 6) is sometimes followed by ล่ะ in the same codaphrase. The effect, in this instance, is not a demand, but the remarkable nature of the explanation supplied in the use of the position-one sub-class particle ไง. Notice, for instance:
นั่นไงล่ะ ลูกจ้างผู้หญิงคนใหม่
‘There she is—the new female employee!’ (Wow! Isn’t she something?!)
Use of ไง here indicates that the existence of the new female employee is previously known from context. ไง + ล่ะ conveys the idea of ‘How about that?!’

2F. Perhaps...

มั้ง มัง กระมัง ‘Could be; maybe so; I guess so; that’s just possible’

The last variant, กระมัง, is used only in very formal circumstances. The first, มั้ง, occurs both with weak diminishing stress—as do most sentence particles—and as an emphatic form with loud sustained stress.

มั้ง is chosen in questions and มัง in statements whenever either is followed by a position-three particle. Otherwise stated, มั้ง determines selection of the question form and มัง the statement form of any sub-class-three particle that follows it.
เห็นจะมากไปละมัง  ➔  เห็นจะมากไป [ละ] [มัง] [ ] [ ]
‘It (seems it) may be a little too much.’
This same example appears under sub-section 1H, but with the variant มั้ง, instead of มัง.
คิดว่า หล่อนจะชอบมั้ง
‘Do you think she might like it?’

นี่คงใช่ ละมั้งค่ะนี่  ➔  นี่คงใช่ [ละ] [มัง] [ค่ะ] [นี่]
‘This must be the right one, all right.’
ละ here is the sub-class 1F particle indicating a transition. Its occurrence just before มัง creates an alternative to the 2D particle แหละ (‘so that’s it!’), which mutually exclusive with มัง.The position-four particle นี่ is a vocative, directly addressing the listener.
ท่าจะ (as well as ดูเหมือนจะ and เห็นจะ) is a modal verbal expression meaning ‘seem(s) to, apparently (do/does)’ and precedes the main verb. In addition to the three variants shown functioning as sentence particles, there are two other variants that act as complementives (main-verb modifiers)—namely, บ้าง and มั่ง ‘some, somewhat, sometime.’
ผมจะเอาไวน์ อีกบ้าง
‘I would like some more wine.’

ฉันอยากจะไปฮาวายมั่งซิ  ➔  ฉันอยากจะไปฮาวายมั่ง [ ] [ซิ] [ ] [ ]
‘I would like to go to Hawaii sometime.’
ซิ is the only sentence particle chosen by the speaker in her codaphrase.

Position-Three Sub-Class

When a speaker chooses to fill the third slot of his codaphrase, he is referring back to himself in terms of his gender identity and-or social status relative to the listener.


ครับ ‘I, a male speaker’; ค่ะ, คะ, ขา ‘I, a female speaker’

These are the classical gender-marker particles. Among the particles pertaining either to the male or female sex, there is also a separate statement form and question form. Sentence clauses that are not perceived to be definitively declarative are taken to be questions for the purpose of selection of either form. The male-speaker particle ครับ appears to have only one form in the orthography, but, in reality, is uttered with a full, constrictive high tone in its statement form and with the simpler plain high tone in its question form. (Compare the high tones on ฉัน [plain high] and ชั้น [constricted high] in the sentence ฉันไปชั้นที่หนึ่ง.)

A derivative of the male-speaker particle ครับ, ครับผม, is used to respond respectfully (in the affirmative) to verify something just uttered by his listener.

More generally, the statement forms ครับ and ค่ะ frequently occur as responses to confirm or acknowledge receipt of information just received from the listener, while not necessarily expressing agreement. Speaker may intermittently respond ครับ ... ครับ ... or ค่ะ ... ค่ะ ... in a manner analogous to the English colloquial response sequence “ya … ya …” to verify he understands what he is hearing. Very often, though, ครับ or ค่ะ—when uttered once as an isolative—indicates that the speaker does indeed verify the truth of what he (or she) has just heard. (The concept of isolative is described briefly on page 7.)

Consider the following exchange (excerpted and transcribed from the mid-sixties manual Mastering Spoken Thai by Lt. Col.โกมล เกสรสุคนธ์):
นางพยาบาล – สวัสดีค่ะ ดิฉันจะช่วยอะไรคุณได้บ้างคะ
อุไรศรี – สวัสดีค่ะ ดิฉันอยากจะมาเยี่ยมคุณโกมล เกสรสุคนธ์ค่ะ
นางพยาบาล – เขามาอยู่ที่นี่นานแล้วรึคะ รอเดี๋ยวนะคะ ดิฉันจะตรวจดูรายชื่อคนไข้ ดูก่อน อ้อ อยู่นี่เอง เขาอยู่ห้องเลขที่หนึ่งร้อยยี่สิบ ชั้นสองค่ะ อุไรศรี – ขอบคุณค่ะ
อุไรศรี – สวัสดีค่ะ คุณโกมล วันนี้รู้สึกเป็นอย่างไรบ้างคะ ค่อยยังชั่วขึ้นบ้างไหม
Notice that คุณโกมล here is the vocative phrase and addresses the listener. Although it immediately follows the codaphrase, the vocative phrase is launched onto a separate new pitch contour.
โกมล – ค่อยยังชั่วขึ้นมากแล้วครับ ขอบคุณ ผมรู้สึกหายดีแล้วด้วยซ้ำไป
อุไรศรี – คุณต้องนอนอยู่กี่วันคะ
โกมล – ทั้งหมดห้าวันครับ หมอบอกว่า ผมจะลุกขึ้นเดินเหินก็ได้ ถ้าผมจะไม่หักโหมเกินไป
อุไรศรี – ดิฉันคิดว่า คุณกำลังค่อยๆแข็งแรงขึ้นแล้ว ใช่มั้ยคะ
The predicate กำลังค่อยๆแข็งแรงขึ้น here means ‘to be convalescing.’ The codaphrase in the final clause ใช่มั้ยคะ consists of a sentence particle in positions one (1G) and three (3A).
โกมล – ครับ ถูกแล้วครับ แต่หมอบอกว่า อย่าเพิ่งออกไปข้างนอก จนกว่าผมจะมีกำลังเหมือนเดิมซะก่อน
The postposition ซะ is briefly described at the top of page 14, where it occurs in the third example of 1H เถอะ. ครับ in this utterance is a response, an example of an isolative. (Compare with first example under 1D at top of page 7.)
อุไรศรี – น้ำหนักตัวของคุณคงลดลงไปไม่ใช่น้อยในระหว่างสัปดาห์ที่แล้ว
โกมล – ครับ คงลดไปมากแต่ผมหวังว่า ไม่ช้าผมก้อ คงหนักเท่าเดิมอีกครับ เพราะตั้งแต่ผมลุกขึ้นจากเตียงได้แล้ว ผมก็ทานจุยังกับอะไรดี
ทานจุยังกับอะไรดี is an idiom meaning ‘to eat ravenously.’
อุไรศรี – ในระหว่างนี้ก็ต้องประคับประคองตัวไปก่อนนะคะ คุณจะได้รู้สึกมีเรี่ยวแรงเป็นปกติจริงๆได้เร็ว
The predicate ต้องประคับประคองตัวไปก่อน here means ‘going to have to take things easy for the time being.’
โกมล – อย่าห่วงเลยครับ ผมปฏิบัติตามคำสั่งหมอทุกคำเลย
The third female-speaker variant ขา is used only very deferentially and not nearly as often as the other variants. It occurs at the end of the vocative phrase, a noun phrase directly addressing the listener and usually including the listener’s name.
ดิฉันเกรงใจท่านมากค่ะ คุณป้าขา
‘I’m so grateful to you, ป้า.’
The codaphrase here consists only of the position-three particle ค่ะ. The vocative phrase then follows, which is launched on a separate pitch contour of its own. A vocative phrase containing ขา is generally quite rare. The vocative phrase, in general, will either follow directly the codaphrase (in a clause of its own) or simply occur in isolation to engage the attention of a potential listener. If it follows the codaphrase, the statement form of the 3A subset will almost always be selected. If it is used (in isolation) to call the listener’ attention, the question form is more likely.
คุณสมบัติคะ (Speaker engages Sombat in a dialogue.)
ครับ (“คร้าบ”) (Listener responds.)
The polite response to the call takes on the variant form of คร้าบ, in which the vowel (though not normally shown in the orthography) is elongated.


จ้ะ, จ๊ะ, จ๋า, จ้า ‘With affectionate regard; I, your patronizing or affectionate elder or intimate friend’

An adult of either sex may address a prepubescent child of either sex, using this particle. Otherwise, it is practically forcing that at least one member of the conversation be female. A male and female courting each other are likely to express themselves using จ้ะ. In any context involving these 3B particles, จ้ะ will be the statement form, and จ๊ะ the question form.

The variant จ๋า is used in the vocative phrase when the speaker selects from the 3B subset:
สวัสดีจ้ะ จิมที่เป็นสุดที่รักยิ่งของน้องหนูจ๋า
‘Hello, my dearest darling, most beloved Jim” (most beloved of น้องหนู)
The emphatic variant จ้า is used with short, pithy declarative utterances:
’Very well, then’

น้องหนูจ้า (น้องหนู signing out at the bottom of her letter)
Consider the following exchange:
Here, the speaker in the first utterance uses a kinship term and her nickname in place of pronouns ‘you’ and ‘I.’ คุณพ่อ and ที่รักจ๋า are vocative phrases.


ย่ะ, ยะ ‘Unconventional male speaker; female speaker speaking crassly’

In a previous era, these were the male counterparts of จ้ะ.and จ๊ะ, respectively. Most males now use the particles shown in 3B with the meanings indicated, while those in 3C are now the province of the “กระเทย”—literally ‘hermaphrodite,’ but commonly applied now to homosexuals and male-to-female transsexuals.

The two 3C particles are also used by coarsely interacting females, at least one of whom expresses herself with a callous disregard toward her listener. Usually there is some hint of mockery, ridicule, derision and-or sarcasm. (TV actresses assuming antagonist roles commonly refer back to themselves with ย่ะ and ยะ.)
เธอซิยะ กระซิบกระซาบมาทั้งคืนน่ะ ฉันไม่คุยกระซิบย่ะ  ➔  เธอ [ ] [ซิ] [ยะ] [ ] กระซิบกระซาบทั้งคืน [น่ะ] [ ] [ ] ฉันไม่คุยกระซิบ [ ] [ ] [ย่ะ] [ ]
‘You … You’ve been whispering all night long … I don't chat in whispers!’
While the use of the 3C particles in not recommended, they are shown here so they may be recognized when and if encountered. It is not certain whether there exist 3C counterparts to the 3B variants จ๋า and จ้า.


ว่ะ, โว้ย, เว้ย ; วะ ‘Me, one of the guys, one of us’

This particle, once mainly used by males, has been adopted by colloquially interactive females. Except in very relaxed, informal environments, its use can come across as rude or contemptuous. It is clearly in vogue among peers chatting on a common familiar level, especially on social networking sites.

The first three shown (ว่ะ, โว้ย, เว้ย) are statement forms, of which the last two project added emotional involvement. The last (วะ) is the question form. Note the following exchange:
. ใครทำถ้วยแก้วแตกวะ
A. ‘Who broke the glass?’

. ไหน มันจะเป็นอะไรไปนา
B. ‘Huh? What does it matter?’

. อย่ามากวน ซิเว้ย
B. ‘Don’t come bother me with it!’

A. . บอกมาซิ ใครทำแตกล่ะ
‘Tell me, who broke it?!’

. ไม่รู้วะ
B. ‘I don’t know!’

A. . ไม่รู้จริง ๆ หรือวะ
‘You really don’t know??’

. บอกว่า ไม่รู้ ก็ไม่รู้ซิโว้ย
B. ‘When I say I don’t know, then I don’t!’
A member of either sex may well react to a taxi that drives right by, ignoring his (or her) attempt to hail it to a halt, saying:
‘Wha- a-at!!!’ (Distressed and momentarily angry)
Likewise, an unauthorized person—say, an intruder—may be rebuffed with:
ทำอะไรวะ ‘What are you doing?!’


เอย, เออ ‘Me, one of the girls’

These two particles seem to be variants of those presented in 3D. Their use seems to be mostly limited to members of the female sex.
วันนี้เราจะกินอะไรดีเอย  ➔  วันนี้เราจะกินอะไรดี [ ] [ ] [เอย] [ ]
‘I wonder what we should have to eat today?’

แหม แต่งตัวสวยจริง จะไปไหนเอย
‘Say, you’re really gorgeous, [the way] you’re attired! Where are you going?’

ฉันบอกให้ต้มน้ำทุกเช้า ทำไมนะเออ ไม่รู้จักจำ  ➔  ฉันบอกให้ต้มน้ำทุกเช้า ทำไม [ ] [นะ] [เออ] [ ] ไม่รู้จักจำ
‘I told you to boil water every morning! Why is it you never remember?!’
Note the following exchange:
. เขาจะมาหาคุณวันนี้ ใช่ไหม
A. ‘They’re coming to see you today, aren’t they?’

. จริงซิเออ ฉันลืมซะสนิท  ➔  จริง [ ] [ซิ] [เออ] [ ] ฉันลืมซะสนิท
B. ‘Oh, that’s right! I had completely forgotten!’
(For the complementive ซะ, see the third example under 1H)


ฮ๊ะ, ฮะ ‘I, a male speaker’; ฮ่ะ (ห้ะ), ฮะ ‘I, a female speaker’

These are relatively informal counterparts of the 3A particles. In the listing for each speaker, the statement form is followed by the question form. Spellings for this subset are not standardized, and native users of these particles will spell with either ฮ or ห in their writings (as on Facebook, for instance), both with and without a tone mark.

Both of the two variants for the make speaker occur with high tone. The first form is written as ฮ๊ะ to indicate that it carries the constricted high tone, the second ฮะ to indicate that it has only the plain high tone. (See first paragraph under 3A above.) The question form is the same for both sexes.

Position-Four Sub-Class


นี่, นิ่ ‘I’m talking to you, bringing this matter to your attention’

Unlike the position-three particles, which refer back to the speaker, these particles actually address the listener. While English terms of address like ‘Sir’ and Ma’am’ refer to the listener, the sub-class-four particles are far less formal. Essentially, position-four sentence particles are vocative particles, though they are not part of the vocative phrase (top of page 33), which, if used, follows the codaphrase.

The third example under the 2F particles is repeated below:
นี่คงใช่ ละมังค่ะนี่  ➔  นี่คงใช่ [ละ] [มัง] [ค่ะ] [นี่]
‘This must be the right one, all right.’


นั้น, น่ะ ‘I’m talking to you, bringing that matter to your attention’

The seventeenth example under the 2A particles is repeated below:
เขาไม่ไปโรงเรียนเร๋อะนั่น  ➔  เขาไม่ไปโรงเรียน [ ] [ ] [เร๋อะ] [นั่น]
‘You mean he’s not going to school?’
Among the four subclasses of sentence particles and corresponding positions, the least frequently filled position is the fourth. It may seem at this point that the speaker will choose up to four sentence particles in virtually any combination, with only these two restrictions:
  • No more than one particle is selected from each subclass.
  • The particles selected are ordered according to their parent subclasses.
However, a particle that is selected from subclass-one cannot, in general, be followed by just any particle at all from subclass-two. Likewise, the selection of a particle from subclass-two cannot, in general, be followed by just any particle at all from subclass-three. Further, only limited sequences of particles in one or more of the first three positions allow the use of a position-four particle. Because semantic compatibility is essential among the sentence particles selected, not all sequences are possible, even with the two restrictions stated above.


The table below summarizes the possible sequences of one, two, three or four consecutive sentence particles. Because each particle has several variants,—2A, for instance—only a typical variant is shown in a given position, usually the most likely. Examination of the table will show that each sentence-particle entry in any one position is actually part of more than one possible sequence.

In position-three, only the feminine sex-marker particles ค่ะ and คะ appear. They are visually more distinctive in the orthography than ครับ. Also, the subset 3A particles ครับ, ค่ะ and คะ are the most important for speakers of Thai as a second language. Nonetheless, wherever the context justifies particles form subsets 3B to 3F, corresponding substitutions for the statement and question particles ค่ะ and คะ can be made from the appropriate subset. ค่ะ/คะ indicates that either the statement or question form can be selected in a particular location.

Whenever the speaker does not select a particle in a given position, the symbol ‘-------’appears.

Codaphrase Flow Pattern : Sentence-Particle Selection Sequence
Sub-Class One Sub-Class Two Sub-Class Three Sub-Class Four
------- ------- ------- -------
ค่ะ/คะ -------
หรือ ------- -------
คะ -------
ซี ------- -------
นะ -------
แหละ -------
ล่ะ -------
มั้ง ------- -------
ค่ะ/คะ -------
หรอก ------- ------- -------
ค่ะ -------
เหรอ ------- -------
คะ -------
ซี ------- -------
น่ะ -------
น่ะ ------- ------- -------
เหรอ ------- -------
คะ -------
ซี ------- -------
นา -------
แหละ -------
นี่ ------- ------- -------
เหรอ -------
ซี -------
นา -------
แหละ -------
ไง ------- ------- -------
ล่ะ -------
แน่ะ ------- ------- -------
เหรอ -------
ละ ------- ------- -------
เหรอ ------- -------
คะ -------
ซี ------- -------
นะ -------
มั้ง ------- -------
ค่ะ/คะ -------
ไหม ------- ------- -------
นะ -------
ล่ะ -------
เถอะ ------- ------- -------
ค่ะ -------
ซี ------- -------
น่ะ -------

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