Difference between นั่น and นั้น (that in Thai)

by | Jul 31, 2020 | Vocabulary

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“That” in Thai can be different words. The particular “that” that I will be discussing is like when you point at something and say “that” or you are talking about “that thing”.

If you look in a dictionary for the word “that” you will see these 2 options นั่น and นั้น (nân and nán). Let me explain the differences between them so you know when to use each.

The differences between นั่น and นั้น

  1. Pronunciation

    นั่น (nân) is pronounced with a falling tone.
    นั้น (nán) is pronounced with a rising tone.

  2. Meaning

    นั้น (nán) is used when talking about a particular/ specific item. นั้น comes after the classifier. Unlike English, where you say “that person”, in Thai, it would be “person that”. Let’s look at some examples:

    * that person คนนั้น kon-nán (literally: person that)
    * that cat แมวตัวนั้น maew dtua nán
    * that item อันนั้น an nán

    นั่น (nân), on the other hand, is used when talking about ‘that’ in general. Let’s look at some examples:

    * that is mine: นั่นของฉัน nân kŏng chăn
    * that is an elephant: นั่นคือช้าง nân keu cháang
    * I ate that: ฉันกินนั่น chăn gin nân

Let’s see some more examples with นั่น and นั้น

  • That (นั่น) is a computer and that (นั้น) computer is mine
    nân keu kom-piw-dtêr láe kom-piw-dtêr-nán bpen kŏng chăn

  • That’s (นั่น) wet because that (นั้น) hose is open.
    nân bpìak prór wâa săai chèet nám-nán bpèrt yòo

  • That (นั้น) animal is a donkey
    sàt dtua nán keu laa

  • That (นั้น) paper is white
    grà-dàat-pàen-nán bpen sĕe kăao

  • That (นั่น) is a small lizard.
    นั่นคือจิ้งจกตัวเล็ก ๆ
    nân keu jîng-jòk-dtua-lék ๆ

  • What is that (นั่น)?
    nân keu à-rai

I hope you now understand how to properly say “that” and know the difference นั่น and นั้น  (nân and nán) in Thai.