Thai Language Blog

The Word ‘Gaw’ Posted by on Mar 4, 2013 in Beginner

The Thai word gaw3 ก็ is one of the top ten most common words in the Thai language. However, it can be a bit difficult to understand for a beginner due to a lack of an English-language equivalent. The best literal translation I’m aware of is ‘likewise’ or ‘therefore’, but it doesn’t quite match correctly. For example:

I was hungry, therefore I ate.

Pom5 hew5 gaw3 gin1



I am lonely, so I want a girlfriend.

Pom5 ngaow5 gaw3 yaak2 mee1 faen1



The word gaw3 can also translate as ‘ummmmmm,’ or the sound people make when they are thinking about what next to say. For example:

Ummmmmm . . . I don’t know.

Gawwwwwwwwwww3 . . . mai3 ruu4

ก็ . . . ไม่รู้


Gaw3 can mean ‘and then…’. For example:

Get married and then have kids.

Dtaeng2ngaan1 laew4 gaw3 mee1 luuk3



Gaw3 can mean ‘that is’ or just ‘is’. For example:

A boyfriend is someone you love.

Faen1 gaw3 kue1 kon1 tee3 kun1 rak4



To never do anything wrong is to never do anything.

Tum1 a1rai1 mai3 pid2 loy1 gaw3 kue1 mai3 tum1 a1rai1 loy1

ทำอะไรไม่ผิดเลย ก็คือไม่ทำอะไรเลย


Gaw3 can mean ‘whatever is ok’, as in the following three examples:

Whatever is ok.

A1rai1 gaw3 dtaam2



Anything is fine.

A1rai1 gaw3 dai3



Play as much as you’d like.

Len3 gee2 krang4 gaw3 dtaam2



If you add the word loy1 เลย (which roughly means ‘entirely’) after gaw3, you can get a more slangy sounding ‘totally’ (as opposed to ‘therefore’). For example:

Kids are cute, so I totally love them.

Dek1 man1 naa3rak4 gaw3 loy1 rak4 dek1

เด็กมันน่ารัก ก็เลยรักเด็ก


If you combine gaw3 with dai3 (means ‘can’), you can get ‘ok’:


Gaw3 dai3!



But if you include it after a phrase it translates closer to ‘could’.

I could go home.

Pom5 glab2 baan3 gaw3 dai3.






ก็ Gaw3 Likewise, also, too; ummmmm
แล้วก็ . . . Laew4 gaw3 and then . . .
. . . ก็ได้ Gaw3 dai3 Ok, could
. . . ก็ตาม Gaw3 dtaam2 Accordingly, no matter, whatever
ก็เลย . . . Gaw3 loi1 Therefore, totally
. . . ก็คือ . . . Gaw3 kue1 Is, that is
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