Thai Vocabulary Resource: Preposition for Place (คำบุพบทบอกสถานที่ต่างๆ)

In this post, we will look at some useful Prepositions of Place (kam but-pha-bod bawk sa-tan-thee) which are used to show where something or someone is located. They answer the question word “thee-nai?” (ที่ไหน) or “dtrong nai?” (ตรงไหน), which mean “Where?” When using Preposition of Place in Thai, please remember the following rule:

A Preposition of Place follows the verb “yoo” (อยู่)

When expressing that something or someone exist in a particular position or place, a “PREPOSITION OF PLACE” is always placed after the word “yoo” (อยู่) which means “to be located” or “to be situated“. It is equivalent to the verb “to be” in the English language – is, are and am. Therefore, the structure yoo + preposition is equivalent to saying is/are/am/be….(at, on, near, opposite, next to, etc)

Look at the following examples below:

kao yoo thee baan
(He is at home)

chan yoo nai tha-naa-karn
(I am in the bank)

tuk-kon yoo nai hawng-krua
(Everyone is in the kitchen)

baay rot-may yoo glai rong-rian
(The bus stop is near the school)

thee-jawd-rot yoo kaang-lang haang
(The car park is behind the shopping mall)

thoo-ra-sap yoo kaang-kaang naa-dtaang
(The telephone is by the window)

raan-nang-seua yoo kaang-kaang raan-gaa-fae
(The bookstore is beside the coffee shop)

List of Useful Prepositions of Place

thee (ที่) / dtrong (ตรง) = at / exactly at
jaak (จาก) = from / out of
nai (ใน) = in
bon (บน) = on
kaang-kaang (ข้างๆ) = beside / at the side of / by
kaang saay (ข้างซ้าย) = left side
kaang kwaa (ข้างขวา) = right side
kaang kwaa meu (ข้างขวามือ) = right hand side
kaang saay meu (ข้างซ้ายมือ) = left hand side
kaang-nai (ข้างใน) = inside
kaang-nawk (ข้างนอก) = outside
kaang naa (ข้างหน้า) = in front of / at the front of
kaang lang (ข้างหลัง) = behind / at the back of
kaang bon (ข้างบน) = above / at the top of (noun: upstairs / upper level)
kaang laang (ข้างล่าง) = underneath / below (noun: downstairs / lower level)
dtaai (ใต้) = underneath / under
neua (เหนือ) = above / over the top of
glai (ใกล้) = near / by / close to
dtid gap (ติดกับ) = next to / against
ra-waang (ระหว่าง) = between / in the middle of
dtrong-kaam (ตรงข้าม) = opposite / across

Practice Exercise:

Translate the following sentences into Thai and bring in to your next lesson, so we can go through them together.

1. Your feet are under the table.
2. Who is that person standing behind you?
3. I live across from the supermarket.
4. The bookshop is close to the train station.
5. The coffee shop is next to the Chinese restaurant.
6. Your breakfast is on the table.
7. The train station is opposite the bus station.
8. There is a police car behind us.
9. Mum is in the garden, planting tomatoes.
10. Your car key is upstairs, in the bedroom, on the cabinet next to the bed.