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A few grammar/usage questions
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  1. #1
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    A few grammar/usage questions

    Hi

    I’m doing self-study from outside of Thailand. I’ve sort of finished Becker’s Thai for Beginners, but I have a few questions left over. Would anybody be so kind as to answer them ? Thanks very much:


    1. Placement of time stamps

    Around page 117, there are several example sentences including times.

    I understand that the general rule for word-order is: TIMESTAMP + SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT;

    …and that there is also the case where someone does something every day, every week, etc. In this case, the word order is SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT + ء + timeperiod

    …but what about these examples where the ‘time’ element appears at the end of the sentence ? MY QUESTION 1a: What is the rule here ?

    ͧ ͹ ѹ
    ѹ ѹش ͹ ˹
    ͧ ͹
    ͧ ҡ Զع ֧ ԧ

    I notice that in all these examples the ‘time’ element is the purpose of the exchange. Is that the rule here – if the time that the event occurred (or the duration of the event) is the purpose of the sentence, then the timestamp goes at the end ?

    Then we have :
    ӧҹ
    MY QUESTION 1b: Why is the timestamp at the end here ? I notice that this is the only example in which the activity is ongoing or habitual (?imperfect tense). So is that a general rule? For habitual activity, is the timestamp always at the end?



    2. Have you ever ?

    At page 134, there are the following two exchanges:

    Question: س ͧ
    “Yes answer”:
    “No” answer:

    ..and

    Q: س
    Y:
    N: ѧ

    I notice that the second one includes an extra and ѧ. MY QUESTION 2a: Are we saying that the extra and ѧ are optional and you can either include or excude them at will, or is there something special about tuk tuk rides that requires them? If so, where else are they required ?


    3. Adverbs of frequency

    On page 135 there are some sentences using Ѩ (regularly) (often) and (normally).

    س ҹ Ш
    س ҹ
    س ӧҹ ѧ

    I notice that in the first two, the ‘adverb’ is at the end of the sentence but in the last one it is at the beginning. MY QUESTION 3a: Is this relocation of simply because the last one is a question, and the end of the sentence had to be reserved for the ѧ? If it had been the statement: ‘Mr Somchai normally goes to work’, would the have been at the end, like in the other two?

    [aside: actually this question is pretty similar to 1a and 1b, isn’t it?]
    [aside: as a native English speaker, I’d say that “often” and “regularly” are virtually synonymous. Is this the same in Thai ?]


    4. Can you ?

    Presumably page 152 is talking about exceptions to this standard construct for ‘can you’ questions:
    Question: س + VERB +
    “Yes” answer: (VERB) +
    “No” answer: (VERB) +

    i.e. the exceptions from this are that :

    4a: the verb “to swim” takes , instead of
    MY QUESTION 4a: Are there other verbs that do this?

    4b: In the exchange: Q: ; Y: ; N: ....
    The verb gets split to put the SUBJECT in the middle of it; and in the positive response and the “” sound is longer than ususal.

    4c: in the exchange: Q:Թ ; Y:Թ ; N: Թ .....
    the regular structure is ditched entirely, but and Թ are always adjacent to each other

    4d: in the exchange: Q: ͧ ; Y: ͧ ; N: ͧ . . .
    is ditched entirely and the negative response is irregular

    MY QUESTION 4b,c,d: Is my reading of this right? Are there other similarly irregular verbs? If so, what are they ?


    5: Use of ѧ as “what”

    In sentence 14a on page 193, the author uses ѧ where she has previously always used
    If it rains, what will you do ? - س ѧ

    MY QUESTION 5: Are the two interchangeable ? Or there is something special about rainy days that requires “how”? Are there other specific situations where this applies ?


    6: I like much most

    re: the use of ҡ in these sentences:
    س ͺ ҡ ش
    Դ ͺ մ ҡ

    MY QUESTION 6: Is there a general rule about when ҡ is used in these comparative sentences ? Or is it just used with ͺ ?


    7: How to use classifiers, page 217

    More of an observation than a question, but maybe it will help someone.

    Of the seven uses of classifiers that she gives, I notice that they fall into two categories:
    - where the classifier sits next to the noun
    - where the classifier is separated from the noun

    The uses where the classifier sits next to the noun (this noun; the nth noun; a adjective noun; and which noun) all sort-of relate to things which are in the singular.

    The uses where the classifier is separated from the noun (n nouns; how many nouns; many nouns) all sort-of relate to things that will be plural.

    Whatever! I found that putting them into these two categories useful in remembering which word-order to use. Does this method hold water for wider uses of classifiers?


    TIA

  2. #2
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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    1. I don't think there really is a rule. Just like in English you can usually put the timeword at the beginning or the end of a sentence and both will be grammatically correct.
    You would choose one or the other because it sounds better (as in at the end of a sentence), because of topicalization, which means that you put the main topic or that what you want to emphasize at the beginning of the sentence.
    Or, as in your examples, if you answer a question you normally keep the same sentence structure for the answer. And because a questionword usually comes at the end of a sentence, the answer will then also likely be at the end of the sentence.

    2. They are not required, it's just a small variation in the answer.
    The is for emphasis, the ѧ is to leave the possibility open that you still might do it in the future.

    3. They always come at the end, with the exception of (and ) that usually come at the beginning of a sentence.

    4a. is the general word for "can", has a more limited meaning of "can", meaning you can do something because you have learned how to do it.
    So ¹ means "I can't swim", because you're tired, you didn't bring your swimsuit, you don't know how to swim, etc.
    ¹ however means "I can't swim", specifically because you never learned how to swim.

    4b. When comes first the vowel sound is short, when it comes at the end it is long. This also happens with for instance, so:
    -> short /ai/ and /am/ sound
    ¹ -> long /aai/ and /aam/ sound

    4c. Think of Թ as one word that can't be split

    4d. ͧ is a resultative verb, where the 2nd verb (to see) is a result of the first one (to look). ͧ is the standard way to negate it.
    There are lots of them, another common example is ͹Ѻ (lit. to lie down and sleep)

    5. That's a tricky one. They certainly aren't interchangeable. I would stick with and try to pick up how native speakers sometimes use ѧ in this case.

    6. The rule is:
    -verb + ҡ
    -adjective +

    7. I guess so. The only other thing that could come between a noun and a classifier is an adjective


    Hope this helps, good luck!!

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  4. #3
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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric67 View Post
    Hope this helps
    It certainly does.

    What fantastic answers. Thanks so much

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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    Just to follow up on no.5, when to use or ѧ:

    Kroo Mod, a well-known online teacher, got the same question on her facebookpage and she had this answer:

    Learn Thai with Mod:
    "What" in Thai is , used to ask for information i.e. سͺԹ (What do you like to eat?) سӧҹ (What do you do for work?)

    but when asking for opinion, ѧ (yang-ngai) is used instead although in English 'what' is used. The common questions are What do you think? سԴѧ and What should we do? ҷѧ䧴

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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    can also be used as: something

    ҡж - i've something to ask
    è - i've something to show u
    - you've got something? (usually followed by a verb)

    ҧ / ûҳ - somewhat / something like this (usually at the end of sentences)
    Դäس - i owe you something right..?
    ùʧ - there's something suspicious

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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    Learn Thai with Mod:
    "What" in Thai is , used to ask for information i.e. سͺԹ (What do you like to eat?) سӧҹ (What do you do for work?)

    but when asking for opinion, ѧ (yang-ngai) is used instead although in English 'what' is used. The common questions are What do you think? سԴѧ and What should we do? ҷѧ䧴


    To add to this from my point of view
    ѧ is speaking language, which formal form is ҧ same as 'how'
    so Thais often make common mistakes in English question ..how do you think? instead of what do you think?

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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    Addition to 4a: any verbs can do that if you understand the 2 concepts of and as eric has explained.

    Addition to 6:
    س ͺ ҡ ش
    Դ ͺ մ ҡ ....this answer should be ԴҪͺմҡش
    In the sentence ͺ is verb, and ҡ or ҡش is used the same way as 'more' and 'most', which are adjectives to expand the verb.

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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    I will try my best here since I do not have that book.

    1. Placement of time stamps
    Thai language is versatile. You would place the part of sentences that you want to emphasize at the beginning of the sentences. That’s why you see it both ways.

    I will compare 2 sentences that have same meaning.
    1. My birthday is in January. – You emphasize your birthday.
    2. January is my birth month. – You emphasize “ month”.

    Or ͧ ͹ ѹ

    1. I am going to Thailand in September.- You emphasize your action of “ going to Thailand.”
    2. In September, I will go to Thailand.- You emphasize the time “ September”.


    Or
    1. Tomorrow I will go shopping with my friends.- You want to emphasize time “ tomorrow”.
    2. I will go shopping with my friends tomorrow.- You want to emphasize your action “go shopping”.

    Same rule applies here.

    ͧ ͹ ѹ
    ѹ ѹش ͹ ˹
    ͧ ͹
    ͧ ҡ Զع ֧ ԧ

    Again, same rule applies here.

    …and that there is also the case where someone does something every day, every week, etc. In this case, the word order is SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT + ء + timeperiod




    Then we have :
    ӧҹ - You want to emphasize the action “ ӧҹ”, not the time.

    ء ӧҹ - You want to emphasize the time” every morning”, not the action.—Every morning he comes to work.


    2. Have you ever ?

    Question: س ͧ
    “Yes answer”:
    “No” answer:


    ..and

    Q: س
    Y:
    N: ѧ


    I would say “” is equal to “already” and “ѧ” is equal to “ yet”.
    So you say” I have already.” or “ I haven’t yet”.
    It applies to all “have you” questions, i.e.,
    Have you tried riding an elephant?
    Have to tried deep-fried grasshoppers?

    Sometimes we also add another word at the end “ѧ ”
    Just to emphasize the “no” answer. We don’t use it with “yes” answer.


    3. Adverbs of frequency

    On page 135 there are some sentences using Ш (regularly) (often) and (normally).


    س ҹ Ш
    س ҹ
    س ӧҹ ѧ


    MY QUESTION 3a: Is this relocation of simply because the last one is a question, and the end of the sentence had to be reserved for the ѧ?

    Yes it is. But you can also say general statement using at the beginning of the sentence if you want to emphasize the frequency” ”.


    If it had been the statement: ‘Mr Somchai normally goes to work’, would the have been at the end, like in the other two?

    But if you say “Mr. Somchai normally goes to work” as a general statement, not the answer to the question, this is not a complete sentence.
    You have to say something after that, i.e.,
    Mr Somchai normally goes to work by bus. س ӧҹ öûШӷҧ
    Mr Somchai normally goes to work every morning. س ӧҹ ء
    Mr Somchai normally goes to work with his wife. س ӧҹ Ѻ

    [aside: as a native English speaker, I’d say that “often” and “regularly” are virtually synonymous. Is this the same in Thai ?]

    Not exactly the same in Thai. Often =
    Regularly = every day/month/year so it is like a pattern but often is not a pattern.

    Frequency: Ш>

    = things that happens almost all the time the same way BUT sometimes different things happens, i.e.,
    Mr Somchai normally goes to work by bus BUT today he drove his car. س ӧҹ öûШӷҧ ѹ Ѻ ö¹ ͧ



    4. Can you ?
    Eric already answered 4a.

    4b: In the exchange: Q: ; Y: ; N: ....
    The verb gets split to put the SUBJECT in the middle of it; and in the positive response and the “” sound is longer than ususal.


    The “” is not longer than usual.

    4c: in the exchange: Q:Թ ; Y:Թ ; N: Թ .....
    the regular structure is ditched entirely, but and Թ are always adjacent to each other


    Because Թ = hear or ѧ = listen. So 2 words stick together in this situation. Another word is ѧ. You can use ѧ to answer questions and ѧ stick together. But in general statement like “ I am listening to the new song.” You can use only ѧ.

    4d: in the exchange: Q: ͧ ; Y: ͧ ; N: ͧ . . .
    is ditched entirely and the negative response is irregular


    Not always—If I ask “ can you hear me?”. No, I cannot hear you.= Թ because Թ = hear. And if you want to emphasize a negative response, then add “” at the end of your answers.
    Թ = I can’t hear you at all.





    : I like much most

    re: the use of ҡ in these sentences:
    س ͺ ҡ ش
    Դ ͺ մ ҡ


    ҡ is a base word – a lot (much)
    ҡ is comparative- more
    ҡ ش is superlative- most

    MY QUESTION 6: Is there a general rule about when ҡ is used in these comparative sentences ? Or is it just used with ͺ ?

    You can use with “dislike ͺ, hate ”. You can use it with adjective “heavy, light”.


    Okay, hope this helps!! ☺ This is my longest answer ever!!

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  15. #9
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    Re: A few grammar/usage questions

    It's always a pleasure to learn from you, Syn.

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