The difference between คิดอะไร and คิดยังไง

by | Nov 2, 2020 | Thai

I see a lot of students who are learning Thai have a hard time choosing between คิดอะไร (kít à-rai) and คิดยังไง (kít yang ngai). Here I will explain the difference between the two words and give real life examples.

Kid arai vs kid yang ngai

What are you thinking? คิดอะไร

คิด (kít): to think
อะไร (à-rai): what

This refers to the literal meaning of what are you thinking? Meaning what is going on in your head right now.


  • What are you thinking? Why are you not listening?
    คุณคิดอะไรอยู่อะ ทำไมไม่ฟัง
    kun kít à-rai yòo à · tam-mai mâi fang

    Sorry, I was thinking about other stuff
    ขอโทษ คิดเรื่องอื่นอยู่
    kŏr tôht · kít rêuang èun yòo

  • What were you thinking when you had the operation?
    dton-têe pàa dtàt kít à-rai yòo

    I thought that I would die
    kít wâa dtông dtaai nâe nâe

What do you think (about something)? คิดยังไง

คิด (kít): to think
ยังไง (yang ngai): how (shortened form of อย่างไร)

Translating directly to English may cause confusion ex: how you thinking?. Therefore we should not translate it directly.

This phrase means: what do you think (about something). The word for about that is commonly used in Thai language is เกี่ยวกับ and เรื่อง (gìeow gàp and rêuang). You can attach any of these after the phrase.


  • What do you think about this man
    kít yang ngai gìeow gàp pôo-chaai-kon-née

    I think he’s handsome but he’s not the one yet.
    kít wâa lòr dee dtàe yang mâi châi

  • What do you think about Thai politics?
    kít yang ngai rêuang gaan-meuang-tai

I hope you now understand the difference between คิดอะไร and คิดยังไง.

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