Learn how to say to move in Thai

by | Jul 3, 2020 | Vocabulary

Let’s learn 7 words in Thai that can be translated into English as to move. In this article, we will discover which one is used in which situation.

how to say to move in Thai language

Numbers 1,2,3 have exactly the same meaning and can be used interchangeably. They signify small movements such as hand movement, mouth, or body, etc. I have listed them in order of frequency.

I tend to use Number 1 most often. Number 4 is used the least often. Below I provide examples for you.

1.ขยับ kà-yàp = to move (a little)


I laugh too much, now I can’t move my mouth.
หัวเราะมากเกิน ตอนนี้ขยับปากไม่ได้เลยอะ
hŭa rór mâak gern dton-née kà-yàp bpàak mâi dâai loie à

2.เขยิบ kà-yèrp = to move (a little)


Can you move a little? (you are blocking the way)
kà-yèrp nòi dâai mái

3.เขยื้อน kà-yêuan = to move (a little)


The traffic is so heavy the car won’t move at all.
rót-dtìt-nàk mâi kà-yêuan loie

4. ขยับเขยื้อน kà-yàp kà-yêuan = to move (a little)

Number 4 also means exactly the same as 1,2,3. But it’s a double word. Meaning it’s a combination of words from numbers 1 and 3 combined. Whenever it’s a double word the meaning is stronger. There is more emphasis on what the speaker is trying to say.


There was an accident, now the body can’t move.
เกิดอุบัติเหตุขึ้น ตอนนี้ร่างกายขยับเขยื้อนไม่ได้เลย
gerd ù-bàt-dtì-hàyt kêun dton-née râang gaai kà-yàp kà-yêuan mâi dâai loie

5. เคลื่อน klêuan = to move (farther, longer than number 1,2,3)


I have a backache so yesterday I went to the doctor. He said that my backbone moved from its place (dislocated).
ปวดหลังเลยไปหาหมอเมื่อวาน แล้วหมอบอกว่ากระดูกหลังเคลื่อนที่
bpùat lăng loie bpai hăa mŏr mêua waan láew mŏr bòk wâa grà-dòok-lăng klêuan têe

The train is moving slowly
kà-buan rót fai kôi kôi klêuan bpai

Technically the word เคลื่อน klêuan in the two examples above can be replaced by number 1,2,3 and would still sound natural. BUT it will give a meaning. If you say that your backbone ขยับ kà-yàp (and not เคลื่อน klêuan) I would not think that you dislocated it. I would think that maybe it moved and went back to its place. Nothing so serious. In, the same way, if the train ขยับ kà-yàp (and not เคลื่อน klêuan) I would think it move so little maybe there’s a problem with the motor.

6. ย้าย yáai = to move house, location


I want to move to a country that doesn’t have snow
chăn yàak yáai bpai yòo bprà-tâyt têe mâi mee hì-má

The company moved to Vietnam already
bor-rí-sàt yáai bpai yòo têe wîat-naam láew

7. เลื่อน lêuan = to slide in order to move


Slide your butt (and come sit) here.
lêuan dtòot maa nâng nêe maa

Slide the glass this way, let me try drinking it.
เลื่อนแก้วมาทางนี้หน่อย ขอลองดื่มบ้าง
lêuan gâew maa taang née nòi kŏr long dèum bâang

ABSTRACT MOVING (moving schedule, time, to postpone)

The word most used you want to postpone an appointment, meeting, class, etc is เลื่อน lêuan. You can also alternatively use ย้าย yáai.


I’m sick today, can we move the class to some other day?
วันนี้ป่วย ขอเลื่อน/ย้ายเวลาไปเรียนวันอื่นได้ไหมคะ
wan née bpùay kŏr lêuan / yáai way-laa bpai rian wan èun dâai măi ká

There’s a lot of problems this year, so had to move the wedding to next year.
bpee née mee bpan-hăa lék nói loie dtông lêuan / yáai ngaan dtàeng ngaan bpai bpee nâa


There are quite a few words to say to move in Thai. ขยับ kà-yàp, เขยิบ kà-yèrp, เขยื้อน kà-yêuan all mean to move a little bit (such as moving your pencil).

ขยับเขยื้อน kà-yàp kà-yêuan is to add a bit more emphasis.

To say to move longer distances than the first 4 words you would use เคลื่อน klêuan.

To say to move locations you would use ย้าย yáai.

Lastly to say to slide or move in terms of time (such as postponing) you would use เลื่อน lêuan.

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