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What does 'ter' really mean?
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  1. #1
    Joe Guest

    shocked

    I have a question.
    I thought the word \'ter\' meant \'you\'.
    But now I see it means \'she, her\'.
    Which is the right one?

    You probably know the song \'ruk ter tee sut\' by
    Mint. It was really popular in Thailand and even I
    have it in CD..

    I know \' ruk ter tee sut \' means like
    \'I love you the best\'.....
    How come the word \'ter\' can be both thing?
    Wouldn't you have confusion when you use that word? And I thought \'kao\' means he/she/they ...
    I totally don't get it.
    Please clear it up for me...
    Thank you for your time and have a great day.

  2. #2
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    thumbs up

    According to The Fundamentals of the Thai Language (Fifth Edition) p. 143

    TER () "You"
    "This is a very familiar form of address used mainly by women talking to each other, a man talking to his wife or girlfriend, or when talking to small children.

    "It is also used as a 3rd person pronoun under the same conditions."
    Abandon wrongdoing. It can be done.
    Cultivate doing good. It can be done.

  3. #3
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    David Smyth, Thai: An Essential Grammar -
    "2nd/3rd person, sing. and plur.; as a second person pronoun it is paired with chan (ѹ) and signals a relationship of closeness; as a 3rd person it usually refers to a female"

    There is potential for confusion, perhaps this is why 'kao' is more common! The meaning is usually apparent from the context though. This is not the only pronoun with multiple meanings, means both 'we' and 'I', means 'he/she', 'them' and can be used by women to mean 'I', while 'pee' and 'norng' ͧ can mean 'I', 'you' and 'he/she' depending on the context.

    In songs btw, the pronouns used are very standard, it's almost always
    ѹ 'chan' - I
    'ter' - you
    'kao' - him / her / he / she

  4. #4
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    Good day,
    Mike, do you mean that a female can use 'ter' to address a male in the context of 'you'?

  5. #5
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    i don't think it can be used to address males. Please correct me if i'm wrong. It is only used to address females.

    "ter", in a different tone, has another interesting meaning. It can also mean "it's okay to do it" or "please go ahead to do something".
    e.g. chern ter - go ahead and make yourself at home
    gin kao ter - please go ahead and eat

  6. #6
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    But in female singer Cherry's song 'kon prot kon pleak'. There are many 'ter's. Is that referring to a male or female.

  7. #7
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    Okay, when it's used as a second person pronoun (you) "ter" can be used by, and used to address, either a male or a female.

    When it's used as a third person pronoun (he/she/him/her), I think I've only ever heard "ter" used when referring to female. However, the David Smyth and "The Fundamentals of the Thai Language" definitions seem to imply that it can also be used to refer a male, this is not very common though.

  8. #8
    AnGe|z^PI Guest

    question

    er........i thought Khun...mean u...in Thai...
    Ter is U in Thai or izzit Khun???
    im very confuse.....

  9. #9
    arsira Guest
    foreigner to thai - khun -you
    thai to foreigner - khun,than - you
    intimate and close friends - pee,ter
    older persons to younger(strangers) - khun - you
    older person to younger(family members) - ter - you
    younger person
    to older(strangers) - khun - you
    younger person to older
    (family members) - loong(uncle),pa/na(auntie) - you
    husband to wife - ter,khun - you
    wife to husband - khun,ter,pee - you
    man to married woman - khun-nai, khun - you
    man to unmarried woman - khun - you
    commoner to nobility - tai-thao,than -you
    peasants to one another - kae -you
    formal discourse,official documents - than - you

  10. #10
    AnGe|z^PI Guest

    so happy!

    o...thanxs...

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