How to say for in Thai. Differences between เผื่อ, เพื่อ, เพื่อให้, สำหรับ, เอาไว้, มีไว้ (pèua · pêua · pêua hâi · săm-ràp · ao wái, mee wái)

by | Jul 17, 2020 | Vocabulary

In English ‘FOR’ is used in many situations. This causes confusion for native English speakers learning Thai because Thai has many different words for “FOR” depending on the situation. Here I will break down the word ‘FOR’ in Thai so that you understand it thoroughly and also know how to use it.

I made a video about this topic that you can check out:

เผื่อ pèua

In many cases, the word เผื่อ (pèua) is translated to ‘just in case’.
To understand the second translation which is ‘FOR’ you need to note that this word came from the word เผื่อแผ่ (pèua pàe) which means helpful and generous. Let’s take a look at both examples.


  • I bought a lot of food just in case it’s not enough.
    séu aa-hăan maa yúh pèua mâi por

  • I prepared an umbrella just in case it rains.
    dtriam rôm wái pèua wâa fŏn dtòk

  • I do for mom (I generously did it for my mom, (just in cases she can’t do it on her own or something makes her unable to do something)).
    chăn tam pèua mâe

  • Think for other people (Generously think for other people (in case they can’t think for themselves because they are young or incapable)
    kít pèua kon èun

เพื่อ pêua

เพื่อ (pèua) is used when you want to tell the reason for the action and is usually followed by noun or pronoun. The translation in English would be for, in order for, hence, or in order to benefit someone.


  • I do this for you (the action is to do)
    chăn tam sìng-née pêua ter

  • I didn’t work for money (the action is did not work)
    chăn mâi dâai tam ngaan pêua ngern

Let’s do a comparison between เผื่อ pèua and เพื่อ pêua and see the difference.


  • I do for mom (I do if for mom (what I did was for mom and not for myself)
    chăn tam pêua mâe

  • I do for mom ( do some task in mom’s place, just in case she can’t do it)
    chăn tam pèua mâe

  • You can think for other people (think about what action you can do to benefit other people) but don’t think for them (don’t think in their place).
    kít pêua kon èun dâai dtàe yàa kít pèua kon èun

เพื่อให้ pêua hâi

เพื่อให้ (pêua hâi) has the same meaning as เพื่อ (pêua) but is often followed by a phrase. The word เพื่อ (pêua) can be left out and left with only the word ให้ (hâi). So in the examples below เพื่อ is optional.


  • I do like this so you can be happy.
    chăn tam bàep née (pêua) hâi ter mee kwaam sùk

  • I will do everything so we can be together.
    chăn jà tam túk yàang (pêua) hâi rao dâai yòo dûay gan

สำหรับ săm-ràp

สำหรับ (săm-ràp) is used to tell about what the object or place you are talking about is for. What is it intended for? Let’s see some examples below.

Example 1:

  • This gift is for you (the object is a gift)
    kŏng-kwăn-née săm-ràp kun

Compare with :

  • I bought this gift for you. (the action is to buy)
    chăn séu kŏng kwan-née maa pêua kun

Example 2:

  • Bathroom for handicapped (the place is bathroom)
    hông náam săm-ràp kon pí-gaan

Compare with:

  • This bathroom was built for handicapped (the action is to build)
    hông náam tòok sâang kêun maa pêua kon pí-gaan

เอาไว้ ao wái, มีไว้ mee wái

This is a colloquial way of saying for in Thai. เอาไว้ ao wái means something is used for something. มีไว้ mee wái means to have something for the purpose of something.


A spoon is used for spooning rice.
chón ao wái chái dtàk kâao

Eyes are for looking, ears are for hearing
ตามีไว้มอง หูมีไว้ฟัง
dtaa mee wái mong hŏo mee wái fang

Omission of ‘FOR’

“I lived here for 3 years”

Which “for” in Thai should you use?

The answer is you don’t use any. You will simply say ‘I live here…3 years’ ฉันอยู่ที่นี่สามปี (chăn yòo têe nêe săam-bpee). Many times we add a word นาน naan which means long period of time to replace the word FOR in English. The sentence will become: ฉันอยู่ที่นี่นานสามปี (chăn yòo têe nêe naan săam-bpee). Let’s take a look at more examples.


  • I waited for him for 10 minutes
    chăn ror kăo (naan) sìp-naa-tee

  • I have known him for 10 years already.
    chăn róo jàk kăo maa · naan · sìp-bpee láew


I hope you now understand the differences and know when to use เผื่อ, เพื่อ, เพื่อให้, สำหรับ, เอาไว้, มีไว้ (pèua · pêua · pêua hâi · săm-ràp · ao wái, mee wái) to say for in Thai.

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