#3-01 pronouns, who’s who?
Thai grammar is quite simple compared to other languages, but that’s not the case with its complicated personal pronouns.
Although you can get by learning just a few of the more common ones, a native Thai will switch personal pronouns many times a day depending on the situation, who they’re talking to, their age difference and social status. The variety of pronouns range from the very formal to the casual and insulting. There are also differences between male and female usage.
One thing that makes it slightly easier is that subject pronouns and object pronouns are the same, so there’s no difference between ‘I’ and ‘me’ or ‘he’ and ‘him’ for instance. Also, personal pronouns are frequently omitted if they can be implied from the context.
For beginner learners, it’s safe to use just the seven words below and you’ll never offend anybody.
chăn · I / me (feminine)
phŏm · I / me (masculine)
khun · you
khăo · he/him
ther · she/her
phûuak rao · we/us
often abbreviated to just rao
phûuak khăo · they/them
man · it
In the next lesson you’ll learn some useful verbs, then we’ll put it all together into simple sentences.