How to use เลย

by | Nov 26, 2020 | Thai Particles, Thai

Have you ever come across the word เลย (loie and find it difficult to understand?

เลย (loie) is a very commonly used word in Thai that has a few different meanings. In this article, we will take a look at all of the meanings and their uses.

Uses of เลย


The first use of เลย is to say “to pass” (like walking past, driving past, pass the house, etc).


  • Passed it (like if a car passes another car)
    loie bpai

  • Drive past the hospital and turn left.
    kàp loie rohng pá-yaa-baan maa láew líeow sáai

  • Look to your left carefully, don’t walk past it.

  • Pass it.
    pàan loie

  • Time passed, the boy became a young man.
    เวลาผ่านเลยไป เด็กชายเริ่มโตเป็นหนุ่ม
    way-laa pàan loie bpai · dèk chaai rêrm dtoh bpen nùm

  • What has passed, let it pass.
    à-rai pàan láew gôr hâi man pàan loie bpai

  • to be overdue, to be late
    loie way-laa

  • I sent the test already. It’s overdue already.
    ส่งข้อสอบได้แล้วคะ เลยเวลาแล้ว
    sòng kôr sòp dâai láew ká · loie way-laa láew

  • to be overdue, to be late
    loie gam-nòt

  • Borrowed books, if you are late returning you will get fined.
    หนังสือที่ยืมมา ถ้าเลยกำหนดจะถูกปรับ
    năng-sĕu têe yeum maa · tâa loie gam-nòt jà tòok bpràp


One of the most common way to say ‘so, therefore’ is ก็เลย (gôr loie). It’s a fixed expression and can not be separated. If you want to see more uses of ก็ please read my article. Now let’s see some example of ก็เลย.


  • I’m tired of my job so I resigned.
    chăn bèua ngaan chăn gôr loie laa òk

  • I like to travel, therefore, I bought a ticket.
    chăn chôp bpai tîeow chăn gôr loie séu dtŭa

Sometimes Thais shorten ก็เลย to เลย. The only way to tell which definition of เลย is for each sentence really depends on the context. Therefore, you have to listen attentively.

  • I’m tired of my job so I resigned.
    chăn bèua ngaan chăn loie laa òk

Not at all

In a negative sentence, เลย is used to mean ‘not at all’. The formula is ไม่ + verb/adjective + extra information + เลย. เลย is always placed at the back of the sentence. Let’s take a look at some examples.


  • I don’t like coffee at all.
    chăn mâi chôp gaa-fae loie

  • Soda (pop) is not good for health at all.
    nám-soh-daa-mâi-dee dtòr sùk-kà-pâap loie


This is a very difficult word to translate in English because there is no direct equivalent. It conveys a sense of OK!, nice, completely, totally, a lot!. Let’s take a look at some examples


  • Go ahead, let’s get going

  • It must be him, surely!

  • Yesterday I ate sooo much.

  • My head is sooo painful today.

  • You play ping-pong really well

Right away

เลย can also be used to mean right away. This one also is highly dependent on context.


  • Nice! In that case, let’s start eating right away
    ดีเลย งั้นเริ่มกินกันเลย
    dee loie · ngán rêrm gin gan loie
  • Just eat (right away), don’t have to wait
    กินเลย ไม่ต้องรอนะ
    gin loie · mâi dtông ror ná
  • When you arrive home rush up stair right away
    tĕung bâan láew rêep kêun bpai bon hông loie ná

A province

Loei province (จังหวัดเลย) is a moderately popular province located in the northern area of Thailand. Thai locals love to travel to Loei during the cold season (November – February) because of the beautiful mountains and river, cool temperature, morning dew, and national parks.

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