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The Different Thai words for ‘Want’ Posted by on Jul 14, 2013 in Beginner

Thai has three main words that mean ‘to want’: yaakLอยาก, owMเอา, and dtawngF gaanM ต้องการ. Each one has a slightly differently meaning and used somewhat differently. And I’ll include ‘hope for’, which is usually about something that we want too.

 

Thai

Karaoke

English

อยาก yaakL Want (before verbs)
เอา owM Want, take (before nouns)
ต้องการ dtawngF gaanM Want, need (before nouns)
หวัง wangR Hope for, want

 

อยาก is used before verbs. For example, you want to perform a particular action.

[I] want to go travel.

YaakL bpaiM tieowF

อยากไปเที่ยว

 

[I] want to eat food.

YaakL ginM kaaowF

อยากกินข้าว

 

Why don’t [you] want to have a girlfriend?

TumMmaiM maiF YaakL meeM faenM

ทำไมไม่อยากมีแฟน?

 

เอา is used before nouns. For example, you want some particular object.

[I] don’t want [it].

MaiF owM

ไม่เอา

 

Why don’t [you] want a girlfriend?

TumMmaiM maiF owM faenM

ทำไมไม่เอาแฟน?

 

Do [you] want [it]?

OwM maiR

เอาไหม?

 

The word ‘ow’ can also mean to take, so be careful not to get confused with it.

Take it.

OwM bpaiM loyM

เอาไปเลย

 

ต้องการ is also used before nouns. For example, you want some particular object. It could also mean to ‘need’ a particular object. This is the most formal of the ‘want’ words.

I got what I needed.

PomR daiF kaawngR teeF dtawngF gaanM

ผมได้ของที่ต้องการ

 

Needs/requirements.

KwaamM dtawngF gaanM

ความต้องการ

 

System requirements for Windows 7.

KwaamM dtawngF gaanM kaawngR raHbobL WinMdowsF 7L

ความต้องการของระบบ Windows 7

 

People need food, a place to sleep, and clothing.

KonM dtawngF gaanM aaMhaanR teeF nawnM laeH seuuaF paaF

คนต้องการอาหาร ที่นอน และ เสื้อผ้า

 

While the final word for ‘want’ doesn’t really mean want, something that you hope for in a way is indeed a want. You hope for a good job, a bright future, good luck, etc.

[I] hope that I get a lot of money.

WangR waaF ja L daiF ngernM yueH

หวังว่าจะได้เงินเยอะ

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Comments:

  1. Sofearmyself:

    Please be careful when you use ‘ow’ in the following sentence (stated above):

    Why don’t [you] want a girlfriend?
    TumMmaiM maiF owM faenM
    ทำไมไม่เอาแฟน?

    It can be considered as a slang as “sexual activity” and you may make joke unintentionally as well as it’s generally impolite.

  2. Michel:

    And I think ขอ to ask for, can also enter in the category of “want” words