How to ask Where in Thai | Difference between ที่ไหน ตรงไหน อยู่ไหน ไหน ที่นี่ ตรงนี้

by | Aug 10, 2020 | Vocabulary

Many people are a little vexed by the word Where in Thai. Because what they learned from the book is not what they hear when talking to locals. Let me help you…

ที่ไหน têe năi

This is the most standard form of the word ‘where’. In language books and simple dictionaries, you will definitely find this as the translation. The word consist of ที่ (têe) which means ‘place’. And ไหน (năi) which means ‘which’. Let’s see some examples:

  • Where do you want to go travel?
    kun yàak bpai tîeow têe năi

  • Where is the party today?
    wan née mee bpaa dtêe têe năi

  • Where do you want to stay?
    kun yàak yòo têe năi

Another meaning of ที่ไหน (têe năi) is wherever. Let’s look at these examples.

  • wherever you are, that’s where I will be
    ที่ไหนมีเธอ · ที่นั่นจะมีฉัน
    têe năi mee ter · têe nân jà mee chăn

  • Wherever I go, all the shop are closed
    mâi wâa jà bpai têe năi ráan káa gôr bpìt mòt

ตรงไหน dtrong năi

ตรงไหน (dtrong năi) is more specific than ที่ไหน (têe năi).

Let’s take a look at this conversation

  • A: where are you?
    kun yòo têe năi

    B: at a mall
    yòo têe hâang

    A: where are you (in more detail)?
    yòo dtrong năi

    B: at KFC 3rd floor
    อยู่ตรง KFC ชั้น 3
    yòo dtrong KFC chán săam

  • A: Where is your house?
    bâan kun yòo têe năi

    B: At Bangkok
    yòo têe grung tâyp ká

    A: Where in Bangkok?
    yòo dtrong năi kŏng grung tâyp

  • Where should I place this one?
    waang dtrong năi dee

  • Where can I use the bathroom?
    chái hông náam dtrong năi dâai ká

อยู่ไหน yòo năi

This word is a shortened form of อยู่ตรงไหน ( yòo dtrong năi) and อยู่ที่ไหน (yòo têe năi). It is more colloquial. Thais omit the word ที่ and ตรง. You can practice this to sound more like Thais. Let’s look at more examples.

  • Where is house
    bâan yòo năi

  • Where is phone
    meu tĕu yòo năi

ไหน năi

Normally this word means ‘which’ but here it is a shortened form of ตรงไหน (dtrong năi) and ที่ไหน (têe năi). Let’s take a look at some examples.

  • Where are you going?
    bpai năi

  • Where should I eat today?
    wan née gin năi dee

ที่นี่ ที่นั่น ที่โน่น VS ตรงนี้ ตรงนั้น ตรงโน้น têe nêe · têe nân · têe nôhn VS dtrong née · dtrong nán · dtrong nóhn

ที่นี่ têe nêe VS ตรงนี้ dtrong née = BOTH mean HERE and are completely interchangeable.

ที่นั่น têe nân VS ตรงนั้น dtrong nán = BOTH mean THERE and are completely interchangeable.

ที่โน่น têe nôhn vs ตรงโน้น dtrong nóhn = BOTH mean OVER THERE (farther away) and are completely interchangeable.

You can explore more about here, there, over there in another blog that I wrote.

I hope you now know how to ask Where in Thai. To summarize, you can always use ที่ไหน (têe năi) but if you want to be more specific or sound more like a local, try some of the other ways.

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