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“Thank You” in Thai: 11 Ways to Express Appreciation in Thai

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At first glance, it might seem that saying “thank you” in Thai is as simple as learning ขอบคุณ (cop coon). While that is the correct way to say “thank you”, there are some alternatives to express your gratitude in Thai.

It is very important to show respect to the person you are speaking with in Thai culture, so knowing these different ways to say “thank you” is a must!

Table of contents

Quick List: 3 Common Ways to Say “Thank You” in Thai

Here are 3 of the most common ways to say “thank you” in Thai:

  • ขอบคุณ (kop khun) – “thank you”
  • ขอบคุณมาก (kop khun mak) – “thank you very much”
  • ขอบใจ (kop jai) – “thank you” (informal)

However, don’t forget that Thai gives a lot of importance to politeness. These ways to say “thank you” are not exactly complete: they lack some ending particles that will make them much more fit for use.

Keep on reading to learn what I am talking about.

A Quick Review of Thai Grammar: How Ending Particles Soften Sentences (and Make Them More Polite)

​​Before we get started, it is important that you understand a vital aspect of the Thai language.

Thai contains words called ending particles that are very frequently used at the ends of sentences. They soften what is being said and show respect to the person you are talking to.

These ending particles might be compared to using the word “please” or saying something like “if you don’t mind” at the end of a sentence or request.

Often, they do not have a literal meaning but instead change the tone of what you are trying to say, usually to make a sentence more polite or respectful. It’s similar to the difference between bluntly saying “give me that” versus a kinder “could you hand me that please?”

These particles are such an important part of the Thai language that they are among the most used words in everyday conversation. Forgetting to include them or not learning how to properly use them could result in your Thai sounding harsh or blunt.

The ending particles that we will be discussing in this article are:

  • ครับ (krap)
  • ค่ะ (ka)
  • นะ (na)
  • จ้า (jaa)

Keep in mind that the ending particle you use depends on who the speaker is, it does not change based on who you are speaking to.

ครับ (krap)

ครับ (krap) is an ending particle that is used by male speakers and it is added at the end of a sentence to soften it and make it sound more polite.

It does not have a direct translation but is used very frequently in spoken Thai. You could consider it a polite period to the end of your sentence.

ค่ะ (ka)

Female speakers use the ending particle ค่ะ (ka). It’s the equivalent of ครับ (krap) mentioned above. Female speakers use it in the same way, and it carries the same meaning.

นะ (na)

Both male and female speakers can use นะ (na) to make a polite statement.

นะ is often used when making requests.

If you would like to be extra polite you can say นะ (na) right before ครับ (krap) or ค่ะ (ka).

จ้า (jaa)

จ้า (jaa) is an ending particle that, technically, both male and female speakers can use, but it is much more often used by female speakers.

It is considered less polite and would often only be used when speaking with people who are younger than you or of a lower status.

Now that you’ve learned a few of the more important ending particles, I’m going to show you how these can be used to properly say “thank you” in Thai.

How to Say “Thank You” in Thai – ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun krap/ka)

The most commonly used phrase in Thai to say “thank you” is ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun krap/ka).

If you are a male speaker you would say ขอบคุณครับ (kop khun krap) and if you are a female speaker you would use the phrase ขอบคุณค่ะ (kop khun ka).

ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun krap/ka) is the most commonly used way to thank someone and this can be safely said 99% of the time. You can say this when you’re speaking with someone younger than you as well as someone older and of a higher status.

In the Thai language, there is often an extremely formal and informal way to say the same thing. ขอบคุณครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun krap/ka) strikes the perfect balance of showing respect while not being too formal. It could be used with your boss or someone else of higher status but at the same time would not be unusual to say to a friend or colleague.

How to Say an Extra Polite “Thank You” in Thai – ขอบคุณนะครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun na krap/ka)

If you would like to show an extra level of politeness, you can use the phrase ขอบคุณนะครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun na krap/ka). นะ (na) adds an extra level of respect and consideration for the person you’re thanking.

You can use ขอบคุณนะครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun na krap/ka) to thank someone who is going out of their way to help you with something, or if you are not very familiar with someone and want to show a little bit more respect towards them.

How to Say “Thank You Very Much” in Thai – ขอบคุณมากครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun mak krap/ka)

If you would like to say “thank you very much” in Thai, you can use ขอบคุณมากครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun mak krap/ka). The word มาก (mak) means “much” or “very”, so you are showing a higher level of gratitude.

Similar to ขอบคุณนะครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun na krap/ka) you would use ขอบคุณมากครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun mak krap/ka) when someone has done something extra kind for you.

This phrase is considered respectful and kind with anyone and it’s always a good thing to say when someone has helped you out.

A fun feature of the Thai language is that you can often repeat a word for emphasis. This is so common that there is a symbol in written Thai called a ไม้ยมก (mai yah-moke) that indicates you should repeat the previous word a second time.

In this case, that would mean you can say มาก (mak) twice to show that you really appreciate the person you are speaking with. The way to say this is ขอบคุณมากๆครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun mak mak krap/ka).

How to Say an Extra Polite “Thank You Very Much” in Thai – ขอบคุณมากนะครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun mak na krap/ka)

What if someone you don’t know very well has been very kind to you and you want to make sure to thank them in a respectful way?

In that case, you would want to use ขอบคุณมากนะครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun mak na krap/ka). มาก (mak) adds an extra level of appreciation and นะ (na) shows more consideration and politeness.

How to Say “Thank you, Sincerely” in Thai – ขอบคุณจริงๆครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun jing jing krap/ka)

Another way to express appreciation is to use the phrase ขอบคุณจริงๆครับ/ค่ะ (kop khun jing jing krap/ka) which translates to “thank you, sincerely.”

Notice that the word จริง (jing) which means “true” is repeated twice to add emphasis. This is a heartfelt way to show the person you are talking to that you are truly grateful for what they did for you.

This is a phrase that would be appropriate to use with everyone you are speaking with.

How to Say an Informal “Thank You” in Thai – ขอบใจ (kop jai)

Of course, you wouldn’t speak with your close friends in the same way you would speak to a boss or teacher. So how should you thank your close friends?

You can use ขอบใจ (kop jai) when speaking with friends or people who are younger than you or of a lower status. Amongst friends, using ขอบใจ (kop jai) is a way to show closeness and familiarity.

You would not usually use ขอบใจ (kop jai) when speaking with someone you don’t know well as it could be considered rude.

How to Say an Informal “Thank You” in Thai for Female Speakers – ขอบใจจ้า (kop jai jaa)

A phrase that is generally used by female speakers to thank someone close to them is ขอบใจจ้า (kop jai jah).

This is still an informal way to thank someone. You should only use it with those you feel close to and those who are younger or of a lower status.

How to Say “Thank You” in Thai through Gesture – ไหว้ (wai)

In Thai culture, there is a gesture of respect that you will often see Thais do to one another. This is called the ไหว้ (wai) and it is done by placing your hands together, palms touching, at around chest to neck level. It can sometimes come with a small bow to show respect.

This is a way that Thais greet each other and sometimes it will be done when thanking one another.

As a Thai learner, you should always look for the opportunity to ไหว้ (wai) to someone out of gratitude, especially if someone does the ไหว้ (wai) gesture to you first.
For extra kindness and politeness, you can use any of the above phrases along with the ไหว้ (wai) gesture.

The only exception to this are the informal phrases that you would use amongst friends. It would be a bit unusual to ไหว้ (wai) to a close friend.

How to Say “Thank You Very Much for the Delicious Food” in Thai – ขอบคุณมากสำหรับอาหารอร่อยๆ (kop khun mak sahm rap ah-han ah-roy ah-roy)

If you are in Thailand, chances are that you are eating something delicious.

If you would like to thank someone for preparing a wonderful meal, you can say ขอบคุณมากสำหรับอาหารอร่อยๆ (kop khun mak sahm rap ah-han ah-roy ah-roy) which translates to “thank you very much for the delicious food.”

How to Say “You’re Welcome” in Thai – ไม่เป็นไร (mai pen rai)

If someone is thanking you, you might wonder how you should respond.

A very common phrase to use is ไม่เป็นไร (mai pen rai). This literally translates to “it’s nothing” and is very common in spoken Thai. It can be used with just about everyone and is a gracious and kind way of saying “you’re welcome.”

ไม่เป็นไร (mai pen rai) it’s used in the sense of “it’s no problem at all.”

Interestingly, ไม่เป็นไร (mai pen rai) can also be a polite way to say “no” to someone. Instead of responding to someone with a direct ไม่ (mai) meaning “no,” it can be more respectful to use the phrase ไม่เป็นไร (mai pen rai)

In this case, it has a meaning closer to “no thank you.”

Another Way to Say “You’re Welcome” in Thai – ยินดีครับ/ค่ะ (yin dee krap/ka)

If you would like to add a more personal touch to “you’re welcome”, you can use the phrase ยินดีครับ/ค่ะ (yin dee krap/ka). This literally translates to “joyful” and implies the idea of “it was my pleasure.”

This phrase is obviously a little more heartfelt and can be used with anyone when you would like to let them know that you were happy to help.

Ready, Set, Go… ขอบคุณ!

Now you have all you need to show your gratitude in Thai!

If you are looking for more ways to improve your Thai, be sure to check out Fluent in 3 Months’s top resources for learning Thai along with 10 games and exercises that can help you grow in your language ability.

author headshot

Jarek Lewis

Language and Travel Writer

Jarek is a language learning and travel writer from California. He has traveled to 30 countries and spent several years living abroad in Asia.

Speaks: English, Thai, Spanish

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