What does เธอ really mean

by | Aug 11, 2020 | Vocabulary

If you look up เธอ (ter) in the dictionary, you will most likely see that it means “she”. เธอ (ter) does mean she, but it also means “you”.

Let me explain to you what you should know and the 2 meanings of เธอ.

1. She

One of the meanings of เธอ (ter) is “she”.

However, a common mistake I see is thinking that the only way to say “she” is เธอ. In fact, it is more common to use เขา (kăo) to mean she. เขา (kăo) can mean either he or she.

You can also say ผู้หญิงคนนั้น (pôo-yĭng-kon-nán) which means that woman. This is also more common than เธอ (ter).


  • Give it to her
    เอาให้เธอ / เอาให้เค้า / เอาให้ผู้หญิงคนนั้น
    ao hâi ter / ao hâi káo / ao hâi pôo-yĭng-kon-nán

  • Tell her to come here
    บอกให้เธอมาที่นี่ / บอกให้เขามาที่นี่ / บอกให้ผู้หญิงคนนั้นมาที่นี่
    bòk hâi ter maa têe nêe / bòk hâi kăo maa têe nêe / bòk hâi pôo-yĭng-kon-nán maa têe nêe

2. You

Another meaning of เธอ (ter) is an informal way of saying “you”. Using เธอ is not rude but you should not use it in a business setting.

Here you can use เธอ for either a male or a female (although mostly for female).


  • You are tall
    ter sŏong

  • I love you
    chăn rák ter

  • You, you, you, what is your name?
    เธอ เธอ เธอ เธอชื่ออะไร
    ter · ter · ter · ter chêu à-rai

I hope you now understand the 2 meanings of เธอ (ter) and stop making the common mistakes that a lot of people make.

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