|Polite Particle (male)||ครับ|
|Polite Particle (female)||ค่ะ|
|Hello (male)||สวัสดี ครับ|
|Hello (female)||สวัสดี ค่ะ|
|Are you ok? (male)||สบายดี ไหม ครับ|
|I am fine. (female)||สบายดีค่ะ|
|I am also fine.||ผมก็สบายดี|
During a conversation in Thai the word kráp ครับ or kâ ค่ะ is placed onto the end of the sentence in order to make the sentence sound polite. If this wasn’t on the end it would be impolite if you were speaking with someone of the same or higher status as you, such as your colleague or elder. It can also be used to:
- agree with a question.
- reply when spoken to.
- used at the end of a name to attract their attention.
The word kráp is used by male speakers and ká is used by female speakers. So if I am speaking with my mother then to my father and I am male, then in both cases I would put kráp on the end of the sentence as it Is not the gender of the person you are speaking to that matters but the speaker’s gender only.
- Chris: sà-wàt-dii kráp.
- Ploy: sà-wàt-dii kâ.
- Chris: sà-baai dii mái kráp.
- Ploy: sà-baai dii kâ. kun lâ ká.
- Chris: pōm gâaw sà-baai dii.
Notice the change in tone from kâ to ká when Ploy is asking a question. ká is a question particle.
The word kráp can be used with and without the Scottish roll. Using the Scottish roll of the ‘r’ is formal. You will hear this being pronounced either on the TV or in the classroom with 30 children! Usually, during conversation it would be pronounced as káp คับ.
There are several more polite particles in Thai. I will touch upon two more for now to just make you aware. The first is Já ( จ๊ะ )/ Jâ ( จ้ะ ) which is used by male or females in the same manner as kráp and ká/kâ with close friends/acquaintances to make it sound very kind and friendly. The second is ná ( นะ ) which is used by male or females to make the sentence softer for example: 'what!' a-rai ( อะไร) to 'say again?' a-rai na ( อะไรนะ)
If you enjoyed this lesson please leave a review! Moreover, please read and use the Q&A menu in the left-hand sidebar for additional support/learning. To catch up on fundamentals please feel free to read the Thai Beginner article here.