Thai Language Blog

Gaw, and more Gaw Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Beginner

The word ‘Gaw3’ ก็ is one of the top 100 Thai words you should learn, given how common it is. I’ve already written a detailed article on the uses of gaw3 here: 

The word has another case which I didn’t mention before. In this case, it’s as if you are determining the answer to a question half-way through your answer. By saying it this way, you are implying you hadn’t thought about the answer before being asked about it.

For example, let’s say in English I ask,

”Are you hungry?”

If you hadn’t thought through the answer before speaking, you’d say something like,

”Well . . . uh . . . yea I guess so.”


In Thai, it’ll be:


Hew5 maai5



Hew5 gaw3 hew5


You simply take the word from the question, repeat it once to acknowledge the question, follow it with ‘gaw’, and then finally give your answer.

If you weren’t hungry, then you’d say:



More examples . . . words in brackets are understood through context:

[Is she] beautiful?


Suay5 mai5


[Is she] beautiful? Ummm, sure!


Suay5 gaw3 suay5


[Do you] want to go?


Yaak2 bpai1 mai5


Yea, [I will] go.


Bpai1 gaw3 bpai1


[Do you] love [me / her / him]?


Rak4 mai5


[Ummmm, yea, I] love [you / her / him].


Rak4 gaw3 rak4


Sometimes you can even cut out the first word – why repeat the question anyway?

[You] really love him?


Rak4 kow5 laaw5


Um, yes!


Gaw3 rak4


Isn’t [that] correct?


Chai3 maai5


Well, yes.


Gaw3 chai3


[You] really aren’t going?


Mai3 bpai1 laaw5


Well, no.


Gaw3 mai3


One last thing before I finish this article . . . I have no idea why ก็ is spelled as it is. It totally violates Thai spelling rules. If I were to invent the Thai language, I would have spelled it as ก้อ. My guess is, like most words that violate the rules, that it was transliterated from Sanskrit/Bali and something was lost in the transliteration process . . .

Tags: ,
Keep learning Thai with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it