Ready to learn Thai grammar? In this post, we will teach a quick grammar lesson on the usage of hâi (ให้) in the Thai language. The Thai word hâi is often a difficult one for farangs to get their heads around because it seems to have so many meanings and is used in such a wide variety of contexts. Thai grammar books spend endless pages covering hâi and list all kinds of usages that end up confusing all but the hardcore Thai language learner.
In this lesson on how to use hâi in Thai, we will boil the usage of hâi down to the essentials, so that you can begin using hâi the right way and understand how it is being used when spoken around you.
The usage of hâi in the Thai language revolves around three types of giving. At MySakonNakhon.com, we call them the 3 Gs. Here is each one with a sample Thai sentence.
1) hâi (ให้) = Give (an item)
ให้ เบียร์ หน่อย
Hâi bia nòi
Give beer (soften).
Give me a beer please.
2) hâi (ให้) = Give permission to
ภรรยา ไม่ ให้ ฉัน กิน เบียร์ กับ เพื่อน
Pan-rá-yah mâi hâi chăn gin bia gàp phêuan.
Wife not give-permission-to consume beer with friend.
My wife won’t let me drink beer with my friends.
3) hâi (ให้) = Give an opportunity to
ไม่ได้ ตอนนี้ ครับ รอ ให้ ทุกคน มี เบียร์ ก่อน
Mâi-dâi dtawn-née khráp. Raw hâi thúk-khon mee bia gàwn.
Not now (polite). Wait give-opportunity-to everyone have beer first.
Not now. Wait until everyone has a beer.
And that’s your entire usage of hâi in a nutshell. See how easy Thai grammar is! Learning the Thai language doesn’t have to be hard.
Learn Thai Language Tip: There are probably some seasoned Thai language learners who are saying, “Wait a minute. I know some usages of hâi that don’t fit into the 3 Gs!” We think you’ll find that all of those instances that you are thinking of actually fall under the usage of hâi as an indicator of giving an opportunity for something to happen.
In order to know how to use hâi in the Thai language, we should remember that the Thai language and Thai people are less direct than the English language and English speakers. This in turn causes the Thais to think in a manner which is less linear than Western thinking — which is (in and of itself) not a bad thing.
We might say that A causes B, while a Thai person would say that A gives an opportunity for B to happen. A farang might say that they had someone do something. Whereas a Thai would say they gave an opportunity for someone to do something for them. Once you understand all the Thai contexts where someone or something is giving an opportunity for another thing to happen, you will have gone far in mastering how to use hâi in Thai.
Come back again for more free Thai grammar lessons online, as well as lessons on Thai Slang, Colloquial Thai, Thai Culture, as well as travel tips like How to Stop Diarrhea in Thailand.