In Thai we classify requests into four categories according to the speaker’s purpose as follows:

  1.   When you want to ask a person to do you a favor:
ช่วย chûay Verb หน่อย nòi
ช่วย

chûay

พูดภาษาไทย

phûut pha-asǎa Thai

หน่อย

nòi*

ช่วย พูดภาษาไทย หน่อย
help speak language Thai a little bit
Translated as: Could you please speak Thai?

Examples:

chûay phûut cháa cháa nòi khŕap

ช่วยพูดช้าๆ หน่อยครับ

Could you please speak slowly?

chûay khàp rót cháa cháa nòi khráp

ช่วยขับรถช้าๆ หน่อยครับ

Could you please drive slowly?

chûay jɔ̀ɔt tĥii n̂ii nòi khráp

ช่วยจอดที่นี่หน่อยครับ

Could you please stop here?

  1.   When you want to ask for something:
khɔ̌ɔ Noun nòi
khɔ̌ɔ náam nòi
ขอ น้ำ หน่อย
May I have water a little bit
Translated as: May I have some water?

Examples:

khɔ̌ɔ gaa-fɛɛ nòi khráp

ขอกาแฟหน่อยครับ

May I have some coffee?

 

khɔ̌ɔ naám sôm nòi khráp

ขอน้ำส้มหน่อยครับ

May I have some orange juice?

*When the number is specified, the particle “หน่อย nòi” is dropped:

Examples:      

khɔ̌ɔ gaa-fɛɛ sɔ̌ɔŋ thûay

ขอกาแฟสองถ้วย

May I (have) coffee two cup

Translated as: May I have two cups of coffee?

khɔ̌ɔ naám-sôm nẁŋ gɛɛ̂w

ขอน้ำส้มหนึ่งแก้ว

May I (have) orange juice one glass

Translated as: May I have one glass of orange juice?

  1.   When you want to ask for permission to do something:
khɔ̌ɔ Verb nòi
khɔ̌ɔ duu ruûp nòi
ขอ ดู หน่อย
May I look  picture a little bit
Translated as: May I look at the picture?

Example:

khɔ̌ɔ phûut gàp khun John nòi khráp

ขอพูดกับคุณจอห์นหน่อยครับ

May I speak with John?

*when making a request with khɔ̌ɔ or chûay you may add “dâay mái” which means “is it possible to” at the end of the sentence.

  1.   When you want to invite a person to do something:
chəən Verb
chəən dɯɯ̀m
เชิญ ดื่ม
invite drink
Translated as: Please have a drink.

Make the requests for each situation, using khɔ̌ɔ, chûay, or chəən properly.

khɔ̌ɔ / chûay / chəən

  1.   You want to see a menu at the restaurant.

= khɔ̌ɔ mee-nuu nòi khà

  1.   You want the taxi driver to drive more slowly.

= chûay khàp ch́aa ch́aa nòi kh̀a

  1.   You want to invite a guest to take a seat.

= chəən nâŋ khŕap

  1.   You want to order food at the restaurant.

=…………………………………………………………………

  1.   You want to speak to khun Jim.

= …………………………………………………………………

  1.   You want your friend to take a seat.

= …………………………………………………………………

  1.   You want to order food at the restaurant.

= ………………………………………………………………….

  1.   You want your driver to drive more slowly.

= ………………………………………………………………….

  1.   You want your secretary to send out the fax.

= ………………………………………………………………….

  1.  You want your driver to wait for you here.

= ………………………………………………………………….

  1.                 You want some sugar.

= …………………………………………………………………

  1.                 You want to ask someone to dance with you.

= ………………………………………………………………….

  1.                 You want to order a bowl of spicy soup and a plate of rice.

= ………………………………………………………………….