To want = ao vs yàhk vs tôrng kaan = เอา vs อยาก vs ต้องการ

Now, what are the differences among these three words?

All of them refer to the desire to do or possess something.


ao + noun


Ao is used when you want something. You can use this when you are at a restaurant and trying to order some dishes, or at a shopping mall, trying to pick the clothes you like.

Here are the examples:

Chăn ao phàd thai mâi sài thùa ngôrk


Chăn ao seûa tua nán


Thâa jà pai kin khaâo khâang nôrk kan chăn mâi ao ahhăan kaolĕe, chăn mâi chôrb

ถ้าจะไปกินข้าวข้างนอกกัน ฉันไม่เอาอาหารเกาหลี ฉันไม่ชอบ


yàhk + verb


Yàhk is used when you want to do something in general.

Here are the examples:

Chan mâi yàhk kin khaâo yen phrór chăn yàhk lód khwaam ûan


Chăn yàhk dâi kràpăo bai née


Chăn yàhk hâi ther mah


Chăn mâi yàhk hâi ther lambàak


Note: dâi doesn’t only mean “can/to be able to”. When being placed at the correct position, it would also mean “to get to do” or “to get/to have”.


tôrng kaan + noun/verb


Tôrng kaan is used when you need something or need to do something. It is also considered rather formal as compared to “yàhk”.

Here are the examples:

Mánút tôrng kaan ahkàat haăi jai


Chăn tôrng kaan phób khun phôo jàd kaan khâ


Chăn mâi tôrng kaan khâa sĭa haăi



Some comparison:

Chăn ao wăen wong née ฉันเอาแหวนวงนี้

Chăn yàhk dâi wăen wong née ฉันอยากได้แหวนวงนี้

Chăn tôrng kaan wăen wong née ฉันต้องการแหวนวงนี้


Romeo and Juliet go to a shopping mall and one of the shops that catches Juliet’s eyes is, of course, Jewellery shop = Diamonds are women’s best friend. She tells Romeo that:

Chăn yàhk dâi wăen wong née

So after that they both go into the shop, and she tells a sales assistant that:

Chăn ao wăen wong née

The first sentence Juliet had said would mean that she was ‘hinting’ Romeo that she wished to have this ring. She was showing her desire to have that particular ring. But when they entered the shop, she told the sales assistant that she wanted this ring, or she had already chosen this ring. It would not be appropriate for her to say “Chăn yàhk dâi wăen wong née” to the sales assistant, because the response would have been something like “Yàhk dâi kôr séu sì = อยากได้ก็ซื้อสิ” which means, if you have a desire for this ring, then go ahead and buy it (what has it got to do with me anyway?).

I did not cite an example of “Chăn tôrng kaan wăen wong née” because here is not a formal conversation, neither is it that Juliet is in dire need of this ring. Tôrng kaan means need or want something that you cannot definitely do without:

Mánút tôrng kaan ahkàat haăi jai = Human needs breathing air. (something you cannot do without)

Chăn tôrng kaan phób khun phôo jàd kaan khâ = I need to see Mr. Manager. (formal conversation)

Chăn mâi tôrng kaan khâa sĭa haăi = I don’t need (you to pay) any damages. (Requirement/demand, or the lack of it)


Lesson 4 = Bòt Thêe Sèe = บทที่ ๔

Do you know that “Năi = ไหน” falls in the same category of “Khrai = ใคร” and “Àrai = อะไร” in terms of Thai grammar? It is considered as such because the answer to all three question words would be nouns.


Năi rawng thaáo khŏrng ther? = ไหนรองเท้าของเธอ

Khun jà pai năi? = คุณจะไปไหน


However, during lesson, I had explained that Năi should be treated like an adjective:

Noun + Classifier + Adjective


Therefore you should be getting something like this:

Noun + Classifier + Năi


The reason I explain in this manner is due to the fact that at times we do use Năi with classifier. For example, we say:


Nák rian khon năi mâi dâi tham kaan bâhn = นักเรียนคนไหนไม่ได้ทำการบ้าน

Khun chôrb kràpăo bai năi khá = คุณชอบกระเป๋าใบไหนคะ


So: Nák rian khon năi and kràpăo bai năi are placed in a position of subject and object, respectively. This follows Thai standard sentence structure of:

Noun + Action (+ Object) (+ Complement)


Now I realize that when we simply put Năi without classifier it sounds very casual (note: not impolite, a little bit colloquial). I would teach my student to use something not too formal, yet not overly casual. Hence it would be better to practice using Năi with the noun and its classifier.


Quiz: Can you try to transform the last 2 examples of Năi with classifier to the one without it?

Sàk nòi = สักหน่อย


Affirmative = please, a bit/a little


Pai duâi kan (sàk) nòi ná khá

Khŏr wehlah (sàk) nòi dâi măi khráb


Negative = (not) at all, really


Ráwng hâi thammai, mâi mee khrai taai sàk nòi.

= Why would you cry? There is nobody dies at all = no one really dies

Chuan rao pai kin khaâo thammai, mâi hĕn yàhk kin duâi sàk nòi.

= Why did you ask me out for dinner? I don’t really want to go out with you.


It would sound the same, with or without, but with “sàk nòi”, it sort of softens the tone.


Ráwng hâi thammai, mâi mee khrai taai sounds rather harsher than Ráwng hâi thammai, mâi mee khrai taai sàk nòi.

Lesson 3 = Bòt thêe săam = บทที่ ๓

Introduction to classifier

All countable nouns will have classifiers. Even when we are talking about uncountable nouns like water, surely you can count it if it is contained in a bottle = countable noun. This, of course, excludes abstract noun, unless you can qualify them. (Joking, you can never count abstract noun, no?)


Example of classifier:

Animal, Clothing, Furniture






Place, Serving/Seat



Paper, Container



Electronic Device



“Plan B”




These are just a small little part of the entire classifier universe. Thus, it is really advisable to pick up a classifier as soon as you learn a new countable noun.


Positioning of classifier


Noun + Qty + Unit/Classifier



The first box shows the first and foremost usage of this classifier. You use it when you are counting “countable nouns”.


Note: You may consider Thúk (ทุก), Laăi (หลาย), Kèe (กี่), etc as a quantity so as to recognize this pattern.



Noun (+ Unit/Classifier) + Adjective



This pattern is really interesting. From my memory, classifier should not be omitted when we use the following adjectives :



Kào (เก่า), Mài (ใหม่)

èun (อื่น)

Née (นี้), Nán (นั้น), Nóhn (โน้น), Nóon (นู้น)




Seûa kào (เสื้อเก่า) an old shirt, probably a few months old vs. Seûa tua kào (เสื้อตัวเก่า) the previous shirt, which may just be a day old because it has just been bought very recently.

Rót mài (รถใหม่) a new car, probably just a few months old vs. Rót khan mài (รถคันใหม่) the latest car, which may be a few years old but the fact is that I have “just” possessed this car, hence it is considered “new” to me.

All these can be so random so the best way to learn is to use more and make more mistakes to get corrected by Thai people. And hopefully it will stick!