Chapter 4.3: Helping Verb (Can / Could)

Chapter 4.3

The first sentence that you might have learned is "phûud phaa-sãa-Thai máy-dây" which means I cannot speak Thai. Therefore, many Thai learners know /day/ is the word 'can' in English. However, there are more than 1 word used as 'can' in Thai language. In this lesson, you will learn how to say 'can' in Thai with many great examples.

Summary:

  • สามารถ (sǎa-mâad) + verb is be able to (formal)
  • You can also use ได้ (dây) at the end of the sentence with สามารถ (sǎa-mâad)
  • ได้ (dây) is used as "can" for possibility, availability and permission.
  • เป็น (pen) is used as "can" for skills that you need to learn to acquire.

However, the word เป็น (pen) has some exceptions with a few verbs

  • กินทุเรียนเป็น (kin tú-rian pen) is not a skill, but it means that you can eat and enjoy durians.
  • กินทุเรียนได้ (kin tú-rian day) means you're down for eating durians.
  • พูดภาษาไทยได้ (pûud paa-sǎa-Thai dây) means you can speak Thai in general.
  • พูดภาษาไทยเป็น (pûud paa-sǎa-Thai pen) means you can speak Thai very well.

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