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lesson 4 - classifiers

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lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by SitapatrJay on Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:10 am

once again, i wrote a super long, super detailed explanation only to have my connection fail and lose it all. So... here we go again.

Classifiers are a little confusing for most and to be honest are really an intermediate, not beginners issue, but it does require some explanation for those serious about the language.

We use classifiers in English but tend to reserve them for reference to bulk/group items or non countable nouns. It's actually very simple in theory. So let's start with a theory overview in relation to the English language.

Example 1:
In English we do not say 1 sugar, we say one spoon of sugar, or one bag or cup of sugar right? That's because sugar is non countable and we use the other countable noun to classify the sugar (in this case, the spoon, cup, bag or lump acts as a classifier).

Example 2:
We say a sheet or piece of paper, a lump or piece of ice. Lumps, sheets and pieces all act as the classifier (for these non countable nouns).

Example 3:
In bulk references we often use classifiers such as pack, box, carton, load.... is it making sense yet?

Example 4:
This is the most relevant because it is the one most similar to Thai... and (ironically enough) is about beer. We use the word glass to classify beer in English (normally) ie: a glass of beer / 2 glasses of beer. Thai does the same, the word for glass is the classifier for number of drink ie: beer nung geow

The main difference between these examples and thai language is that thai language will use a classifier for all and every object regardless of whether it is countable or not, this is the part that confuses people - this, and the fact that they have so many different classifiers for classes of words.

Shopping
In relation to shopping here are some common classfiers:

tdua - clothing
luke - fruit
chin - pieces of food
bai - hats and bags
koo - shoes
kruang - phones / appliances
An - general, non specific
kan - car
fong - eggs
geow - drinks
jaan - plates of food
choot - sets of things
kon - person/human/child/offspring
lang - houses / buildings

some examples to start you off.

1- i have a car - pom mee rot nung kan
(NOTE: normally, low level speakers of thai will say: "pom mee rot" which is acceptable however not really correct)
2- I have a big car - Pom mee rot kan yai
3- I have a new car - Pom mee rot kan mai
4- I sold my old car - Pom kai rot kan gow leow
5- I have a shirt - Pom mee sua nung tdua
6- I which shirt do you like? - Khun chaub sua tdua nai?
7 - This shirt? - tdua nee?
8 - That shirt? - Tdua nan?
9 - I have a child - pom mee luke 1 kon
10- i have 25 children (in a class for example) - pom mee dek/nakrian 25 kon
11- i like that house - pom chaub bahn lang nan
12- you have a big house - khun me bahn lang yai

naturally, the grammar will become bastardised and become more slangy in the spoken form, but it is always better to learn to speak correct form and listen to slang than the other way around (to keep you sounding polite)

hope it helps, keep working at it everyone, it's worth it. Clap
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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by Snowflake on Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:14 am

Sorts it out for me then... All I have to do now is to make sure that I say it correctly and that the dumb person listening to me tries to understand it!

It does however bring up one more question from me, but that will come later as it is more advanced than this!

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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by SitapatrJay on Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:18 am

what's the question? maybe it warrants a thread of its own.
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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by Guest on Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:13 am

If your not sure what classifier to use, can you use "An"?
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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by Snowflake on Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:23 pm

SitapatrJay wrote:what's the question? maybe it warrants a thread of its own.

It will and that is why I will wait for Unit 29 to ask it!

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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:18 pm

SitapatrJay, in No 10, you say dek or nakrian for a child.

Dek = child and nakrian = child at school. Is that correct?

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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by SitapatrJay on Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:54 pm

yeh, if you are talking about school already and you obviously do not have 25 offspring then dek = nakrian=child, it's about the context. Dictionary thai dek = child and nakrian = student, but thai language is real context based (for example they will miss off subject and pronoun if the subject and pronoun are already understood).

In answer to Doyen's question "an" is a general, non specific classifier that you can use when in doubt, it is not always the best classifier to use but it will get you understood - normally i notice Thais will accept that as a classifier but then repeat the sentence with the correct classifier.... also, remember, listen for clues in their questions - eg:

i am looking ofr a shirt - "pom maa haa sua"
they then may ask:
how many shirts? - "gee tdua?"
you now know tdua is the clsassifier

or.....

I want a pack of smokes - cor buri noi

they may ask....

hard or soft pack? - song sof(t) ruh song keng?

now you know "song" is a classifier for packs of smokes.
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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by BOON RAWD BREWERY CO LTD on Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:30 am

Why are half of yous worrying about learning Thai when you can't even speak English Whistle

Guess that would point up too you!!!
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Re: lesson 4 - classifiers

Post by Snowflake on Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:45 am

Stick to the topic, only talk about language here, for those who wants to learn something new.

Do NOT stray off topic here!


Last edited by Snowflake on Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:54 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Tightening the rules!)

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