Thai Language Grammar: Using “for”

In English, the word “for” can be used as a preposition and a conjunction. In Thai, we have several words meaning “for” and we have to learn how to use each one correctly. Let’s look at them here…..

1. Preposition: sam-rap (สำหรับ)

When we want to state the purpose of an object (noun), the preposition “sam-rap” (สำหรับ) is used, therefore, it must be followed by a reason or purpose: noun + sam-ram + purpose

Observe the following examples below:

– hawng nee sam-rap VIP
(This room is for VIP)
– nan phaw laeo sam-rap wan-nee
(That’s enough for today)
– kao doo gae sam-rap aa-yoot kawng-kao
(He looks old for his age)
– bpum see daeng sam-rap bpid kreuang
(The red button is for turning the machine off)
– kao chawb seua-phaa thee ter seu ma sam-rap bpai-thio
(He likes the clothes she bought for the trip)
– chan seu bplaa ma sam-rap tham aa-haan-yen keun-nee
(I bought fish for making dinner tonight)

2. Preposition: pheua (เพื่อ)

When we want state the purpose of an action (verb), the preposition “pheua” (เพื่อ) is used, therefore, it must be followed by a reason or purpose: verb + pheua + purpose

Observe the following examples below:

– kao ma pheua chan
(He came for me)
– khun tham pheua chan dai mai?
(Can you do it for me?)
– khun ja chai man pheua arai?
(What will you use it for?)
– kao yaai bpai bpra-thed Thai pheua tham-ngaan
(He moved to Thailand for work)
– ter ma thee London pheua rian lak-sood garn-dtaeng-naa
(She comes to London for studying the make-up course)
– pheua sa-hade nee, chan dtad-sin-jai laa-awk jaak ngaan
(For this reason, I’ve decided to quit this job)

3. Preposition: hai (ให้)

The preposition “hai” (ให้) is used when we want to say that someone does something for someone else, so that person does not have to do it.

Observe the following examples below:

– ter jaai hai phuak-kao
(She paid for them)
– chan ao chaa ma hai khun
(I’ve brought a cup of tea for you)
– phom tham arai hai khun dai mai?
(Can I do something for you?)
– sa-mee kawng-ter tham tuk-yaang hai ter
(Her husband does everything for her)
– kao seu dawk-maai hai phan-ra-yaa kawng-kao, sam-rap wan-geud kawng-ter
(He bought some flowers for his wife, for her birthday)
– phaw-mae kawng-chan seu so-fa hai chan, sam-rap baan mai kawng-chan
(My parents bought a new sofa for me, for my new house)

4. Conjunction: bpen way-laa (เป็นเวลา)

When we want to state a duration of time, the conjunction “bpen way-laa” (เป็นเวลา) is used.

Observe the following examples below:

– phom dai raw ma bpen way-laa yee-sib na-thee laeo
(I’ve been waiting for 20 minutes)
– phuak-rao mai dai hen Kim bpen way-laa sak-phag laeo
(We haven’t seen Kim for a while)
– kao dai dtaai ma laeo bpen way-laa maak gwa sawng bpee
(He had been dead for more than two years)
– kao dai doo-laae ter ma bpen way-laa geuab neung bpee laeo
(He had been taking care of her for nearly a year now)
– phom dai raw thee sa-tha-nee nan ma bpen way-laa haa chua-mong
(I’ve waited at that station for five hours)