Simple repitition of adjective

Hi everyone,

One thing that Thai language is different from other languages is we use “reduplication”

Reduplication (the repetition of a word, either in part or full) is another common method of modifying the meaning of adjectives in Thai.

The two main forms of adjectival reduplication are simple repetition of the adjective and repitition of the adjective with tonal change.

In this blog I will talk about ‘simple repetition of the adjective’.

One function of this type of reduplication is to make the meaning less precise, corresponding approximately to the adjectival suffix -ish in English;

sĭi dam dam       = a blackish colour


aa-hăan pèt pèt  = spicy-ish food


nám yen yen      = coolish water


This type of reduplication sometimes indicates that the preceding noun is plural:

năng-sŭe dii dii = good books


pûu-yĭng sŭay sŭay = beautiful girls


And when you tell or ask someone to do something, the adverb of the sentence is often repeated.

For example;

พูดช้าๆ ได้มั้ย [pûut cháa cháa dâi-mái?] = Can you speak slowly please?

เดินเร็วๆ สิ [dern reo reo sì] = walk quickly!

นวดเบาๆหน่อย [nûat bao bao nòi] = please massage gently.

Now you can put this into practice and start speaking like Thais 😉

If you would like to learn more Thai one-to-one or learn Thai via Skype, please contact me at

kop kun ka


Let's keep in touch!

Sign up for my newsletter to stay tuned with the latest news and information. You will also receive my free eBook with 190 Words You Already Know. Just enter your name and e-mail address below to sign up. ☺

, , , ,

17 Responses to Simple repitition of adjective

  1. คารโล 29/02/2012 at 04:54 #

    สวัสดีครับครูมด 🙂
    ผมก็นึกว่า “ดีๆ” คือ “ดีมาก”
    ยกตัวอย่างถ้าอยากกินอาหารเผ็ดมาก บอก “ขอเผ็ดๆนะครับ” ได้ไหม
    หนังสือเล่มนี้ดีๆ = ดีมาก และผู้หญิงคนนี้สวยๆ = สวยมาก ใช่ไหม

  2. MJ Klein 26/09/2011 at 22:07 #

    reduplication comes from Chinese. very common in that language.

  3. HEperon 28/02/2011 at 02:33 #

    Wow !

    I find that I completely misunderstood the meaning of this kind of reduplication.
    In the former case, I took that น้ำเย็ is cool water, and น้ำเย็นๆ is cooler water than น้ำเย็. Less precise!? I should take น้ำเย็นๆ as “somewhat” cool water.

    And the latter case, I have never thought that this expression is possible to mean “plural” ! I thought simply as หนังสือดี is good book, and หนังสือดีๆ is better book than หนังสือดี.

    Thank you! Mod

    • Mod 28/02/2011 at 09:04 #

      Your welcome! Thank you for visittig my site. I am pleased to know that it is helpful:)

Leave a Reply