Difference between ยาว and นาน

by | May 13, 2020 | Video, Vocabulary

A common mistake I see a lot of Thai learners make is not knowing the difference between ยาว and นาน (yaao and naan) and when to use each. ยาว and นาน both mean long but each word is used in different contexts.

นาน naan

นาน (naan) means long when talking about time. You cannot say เวลายาว (way-laa yaao) when saying ‘long time’ you must say เวลานาน (way-laa naan).


  • I haven’t seen you in a long time.
    chăn mâi dâai jer kun maa naan láew

  • Did you wait long?
    kun ror naan măi

  • It is going to take a long time.
    man jà chái way-laa naan

  • I feel like today is so long
    róo sèuk wan née naan jang

  • I haven’t been back to America for so long
    mâi dâai glàp à-may-rí-gaa naan láew


ยาว yaao

ยาว (yaao) is used when saying that something (other than time) is long.


  • Your clothes are long
    sêua pâa kŏng kun yaao

  • My arm is long
    kăen kŏng chăn yaao

  • He told a long story
    kăo lâo rêuang yaao

  • the finger is not long
    níw mâi yaao


I hope you now know the difference between ยาว and นาน (yaao and naan) and when to use each. นาน means long when talking about time while ยาว means long when not talking about time.

Sign up to my newsletter and get your free E book!


You will receive my E-book which contains useful phrases and expressions. You will also get corresponding audios so you can practice listening!

I will also keep you updated on new content and courses I make!