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!


5 thoughts on “Lesson 3 = Bòt thêe săam = บทที่ ๓

  1. Sam says:

    Oh yes, wanted to ask, when we go to the restaurant, I know that most of thai ppl will say 2, 3,4,5 tee when the waiter ask how many people… but is it wrong if I use khon?

    • fluffyby says:

      You can use khon, not a problem. Some restaurants would use even a more respectful word = ท่าน = thâan.

      You can use any one of them. 🙂

    • fluffyby says:

      When you enter a restaurant, you can simply say “2, 3, 4 thee/khon/thaan”. And once you are ready to order, you can say “ao khaao phad kung 2 thee”.


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