Thai Language Grammar: Using “smell”

In this post, we are going to learn different ways of using the word “SMELL” in Thai language, so you understand how to express yourself correctly in different situations.

1. Noun: glin (กลิ่น)

When we are referring the pleasant or unpleasant smell of something that we notice when we breath in through the nose, we use the word “glin” (กลิ่น).

– glin hawm (กลิ่นหอม) = a pleasant smell / fragrant or scented smell

– glin men (กลิ่นเหม็น) = an unpleasant smell / bad odor

Observe the following examples below: 

nan glin arai?
(What is that smell?)

see nee mee glin run-raeng maak
(This paint gives off a very strong smell)

kao mee glin bpaak men phid-bpok-ga-dti, khun kuan phaa kao bpai haa maw-fan
เขามีกลิ่นปากเหม็นผิดปกติ คุณควรพาเขาไปหาหมอฟัน
(He has an unusual strong breath odor, you should take him to see a dentist)

mee glin hawm kawng ka-nom-bang thee pheung tham sed mai-mai ma jaak hawng-krua
(There’s a delicious smell of freshly baked bread coming from the kitchen)

2. Verb: dom (ดม)

When we are experiencing the smell of something by putting our nose close to it, the word “dom” (ดม) is used, which means “to smell” or “to sniff at“.

Observe the following examples below: 

khun gam-lang dom arai?
(What are you smelling?)

khun ma dom dawk-mai phuak-nee si, hawm maak
คุณมาดมดอกไม้พวกนี้ซิ หอมมาก
(Come and smell these flowers, very fragrant)

su-nak dom neua thee ter waang wai bon dto
(The dog sniffed at the beef she put on the table)

mee mai gee kon thee dom tu-rian laeo bawk waa hawm
(There aren’t many people who smell Durian and say that it’s fragrant)

3. Verb: dai glin (ได้กลิ่น)

When we want to express that we notice or recognize the smell of something, or able to experience the smell of things, we use the word “dai glin” (ได้กลิ่น), which is literally “to receive the smell” and it is equivalent to “can smell” or “could smell” in the English language.

Observe the following examples below: 

khun dai glin gas mai?
(Can you smell gas?)

chan kid waa chan dai glin arai mai
(I think I can smell something burning)

chan mai dai glin phraw waa chan bpen wad
(I can’t smell it because I have a cold)

chan dai glin hawm waan kawng cho-go-late un-un
ฉันได้กลิ่นหอมหวานของช็อคโกแลตอุ่น ๆ
(I could smell the sweet aroma of warm chocolate)

4. Verb: mee glin (มีกลิ่น)

When we want to express that something has or gives off a particular smell, we use the word “mee glin” (มีกลิ่น).

Observe the following examples below: 

nom nee mee glin men-bood
(This milk smells off)

hawng nee mee glin men-cheuhn lek-noy
(This room smells a bit damp)

thao kawng-kao mee glin men jing-jing
(His feet really smell)

5. Verb: mee glin meuan (มีกลิ่นเหมือน)

When we want to express that something has a particular smell like something else, we use “mee glin meuan” (มีกลิ่นเหมือน), which means “smell like…

Observe the following examples below: 

man mee glin meuan kai nao nai nee
(It smells like rotten eggs in here)

naam-hawm nee mee glin meuan dawk-gu-laab
(This perfume smells like roses)

thao kawng-kao mee glin men meuan gap bplaa nao
(His feet smell like rotten fish)