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aanon

The Handy "fixed Constructions" Thread

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ID: 1   Posted (edited)

Fixed constructions in Thai can be really handy to know, and also quite difficult to understand by just doing a literal translation. So I thought that this could be an area where we could help each other out.

Not being aware of any other place to find 'fixed constructions' easily, I thought we could start a thread with constructions we come across and find useful. The idea would be to:

1) show each construction with X's and Y's to make it clear which words can be varied,

2) say what type of word can be put in for X and Y (eg. noun, adjective, verb)

3) give an explanation/translation of what the construction means and

4) give a real example of usage (a simple example, if possible)

5) give a translation of the example

I'll give a common one as a start:

construction: X แล้ว X เล่า

type of word(s): X needs be a noun

meaning: one X after another; X after X

example: แม่ตามหาลูก วันแล้ววันเล่า

translation: Day after day, the mother searched for her child.

all the best.

ps. i wonder how many of these we will find?

Edited by aanon
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Fixed constructions in Thai can be really handy to know, and also quite difficult to understand by just doing a literal translation. So I thought that this could be an area where we could help each other out.

Not being aware of any other place to find 'fixed constructions' easily, I thought we could start a thread with constructions we come across and find useful. The idea would be to:

1) show each construction with X's and Y's to make it clear which words can be varied,

2) say what type of word can be put in for X and Y (eg. noun, adjective, verb)

3) give an explanation/translation of what the construction means and

4) give a real example of usage (a simple example, if possible)

5) give a translation of the example

I'll give a common one as a start:

construction: X แล้ว X เล่า

type of word(s): X needs be a noun

meaning: one X after another; X after X

example: แม่ตามหาลูก วันแล้ววันเล่า

translation: Day after day, the mother searched for her child.

all the best.

ps. i wonder how many of these we will find?

That is tough, you have the only one I think, I have just taken instruction and if anyone wonders เล่ว is better than saying อีก which is only the meaning! (TIT) If I find any others I shall certainly contribute, and look forward to any found by anyone else.

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construction: Xอยู่ได้

type of word(s): X needs be a verb

meaning: please go on with X (ironically)

example: บ่นอยู่ได้

translation: Please keep on complaining (ironically said, in reality you want them to stop complaining).

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construction: X ใคร X มัน

type of word(s): X needs to be a noun

meaning: each person's X is their own

example: ชีวิตใครชีวิตมัน

translation: each person's life is their own

all the best.

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construction: X ใคร X มัน

type of word(s): X needs to be a noun

meaning: each person's X is their own

example: ชีวิตใครชีวิตมัน

translation: each person's life is their own

all the best.

Yes, the very pity, "ของใครของมัน" - "to each his own". Simple construction; clear meaning.

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ID: 6   Posted (edited)

thanks for the responses, here's a relatively obscure fixed construction that i learned about here a while back:

construction: X แหล่ มิ X แหล่

type of word(s): X needs to be a verb or adjective*

meaning: to be right on the verge of X

example: "เอาน่ามือถือชั้นตังค์มันจะหมดแหล่มิหมดแหล่อยู่แล้ว"

translation: "Oh c'mon, the credit on my mobile is right on the verge of running out!"

* some examples, ตาย, หมด, ขาด, พัง - you might think of them as either verb or adjective

all the best.

Edited by aanon

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In thai2english they leave out the first แหล่

for example : ตายมิตายแหล่

And they translate is as "to be half dead", which can be interpreted as "to be right on the verge of dying"

I am wondering if the meaning of this construction changes if you leave out the first แหล่

I am also wondering if you can replace the มิ with ไม่ in this construction

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In thai2english they leave out the first แหล่

for example : ตายมิตายแหล่

And they translate is as "to be half dead", which can be interpreted as "to be right on the verge of dying"

I am wondering if the meaning of this construction changes if you leave out the first แหล่

I am also wondering if you can replace the มิ with ไม่ in this construction

ok, that's interesting. do you know if there's a way to search for 'blank' constructions in general on thai2english? eg. ...มิ...แหล่

i've also come across this without the first แหล่ and i believe the meaning is exactly the same. in doing a few google searches before making my last post, i noticed that i was getting more results for the version with the first แหล่. i hadn't though of substituting ไม่ for มิ, but did another search just now and found a roughly equal number of results for ตายแหล่มิตายแหล่ and ตายแหล่ไม่ตายแหล่.

thanks for the new angle.

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Do you know if there's a way to search for 'blank' constructions in general on thai2english? eg. ...มิ...แหล่

Not that I know of. I just bumped into the example by accident.

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i got the idea and example for this one from a post over at andrew biggs' forum: http://www.andrewbiggs.com/smf/index.php?topic=2167.0

construction: X ไปได้ *

type of word(s): X needs to be a verb

meaning: what a silly thing to X; i can't believe [somebody] did X

example:

ตำรวจ: สังเกตเห็นอะไรผิดปรกติแถวๆ นี้ไหม?

หญิงตาบอด: ฉันตาบอด ฉันมองอะไรไม่เห็น

ตำรวจ: ถามไปได้

translation:

Policeman: Did you see anything unusual around here?

Blind woman: I'm blind. I can't see anything.

Policeman: Right, dumb question.

all the best.

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ok, back to something you can use everyday:

construction: ยิ่ง X ยิ่ง Y

type of word(s): X and Y can be verbs, adjectives (or phrases based on these) in any combination

meaning: the more X, the more Y

example: ยิ่งคิดยิ่งเครียด

translation: the more i think about it, the more stressed i become

all the best.

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ID: 12   Posted (edited)

ok, that's interesting. do you know if there's a way to search for 'blank' constructions in general on thai2english? eg. ...มิ...แหล่

A google search of "มิ*แหล่ site:thai2english.com" gives only the example given by kriswillems. Searching for "แหล่มิ*แหล่ site:thai2english.com" gives no results. Searching the open web for "มิ*แหล่ -แหล่มิ" gives 53,700 results, while "แหล่มิ*แหล่" gives only 1,700. It seems that both constructions are equivalent, but people tend to use the shorter version more often.

A search for "มิ.*แหล่" in the SEAlang dictionary gives these three results:

ตายมิตายแหล่(WebRank:6) 1 V be half dead

จะหลับมิหลับแหล่(WebRank:6) ja ˈlàp mí ˈlàp, ˈlɛ̀ɛ 1 to be on the verge of falling asleep.

จะ (...) มิ (...) แหล่(WebRank:) ja⁐ (...) mí⁐ (...) ˈlɛ̀ɛ 1 be on the verge, on the point of.

Edited by ElZorro

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After realizing that on the SEAlang dictionary this kind of structures appear with (...) for the variable, I did a search for just that and this is the result.

cool, thanks elzorro, there should be some useful info to mine there! which is just as well, cause i'm having trouble thinking of too many more or these fixed constructions. :-)

all the best.

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BANGKOK 27 July 2017 03:32
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