Thai Grammar

Thai Grammar | Cannot do | Can’t do | mâi-dâi ไม่ได้

By March 18, 2009March 17th, 2019No Comments

How to say Cannot do Cannot do | Can't do | Thai Grammaror Can’t do in Thai

Many foreigners or farang, buy Thai phrase books to learn Thai and I think they are useful. The students we have at our Thai Language School have so many! As a Thai Language Teacher, I’d like to say that it will be a pleasure if I could help you to understand Thai Grammar more.

At the moment I want to tell you a bit about “mâi-dâi(ไม่ได้)“. mâi-dâi means no (I can’t do something), no (not allow), or no (I didn’t do something), it depends on where you put it in the sentence.

For example:

If you say, “Can we go out tonight?- khuen-née-rao-òrg-bpai-khâang-nôrg-dâi-mái (คืนนี้เราออกไปข้างนอกได้มั๊ย)?” If the answer is, “No, we can’t, we have a lot of work to do – mâi-dâi-rao-mee-ngarn-thông-tham-yéuh (ไม่ได้ เรามีงานต้องทำเยอะ).”

Or

If you say, “You can’t go in there – khun-khâo-bhai-khâang-nai-mâi-dâi (คุณเข้าไปข้างในไม่ได้).”

Or

If you ask, “Did you see the movie? – khun-dâi-doo-ngăng-mái? (คุณได้ดูหนังมั๊ย)”, as the answer is “No, I didn’t – plào-mâi-dâi-doo (เปล่า ไม่ได้ดู)”

Or

If you say, “Have you got your money yet? – khun-dâi-ngern-rŭe-yang? (คุณได้เงินหรือยัง)”. If the answer is, “No, not yet – yang-mâi-dâi-loey (ยังไม่ได้เลย)”

Here are some more Cannot examples:

pǒm pûut paasǎa tai mâidâi         ผมพูดภาษาไทยไม่ได้

I can’t speak Thai.

chán gin aahǎan pèt mâIdâi         ฉันกินอาหารเผ็ดไม่ได้

I can’t eat hot food.

kaǒ tam kɔɔ̌sɔɔp mâidâi                 เขาทำข้อสอบไม่ได้

He can’t do the test.

rao châi intəənèt mâidâi               เราใช้อินเตอร์เนตไม่ได้

We can’t use the internet.

pǒm pai tamngaan mâidâI            ผมไปทำงานไม่ได้

I can’t go to work.

chǎn jam mâidâI                               ฉันจำไม่ได้

I can’t remember.

kaǒ dəən mâidâi                               เขาเดินไม่ได้

He can’t walk.

təə kiì mɔɔtəəsai mâidâi                     เธอขี่มอเตอร์ไซค์ไม่ได้

She can’t ride the motorcycle.

chǎn kàp rót mâidâi                         ฉันขับรถไม่ได้

I can’t drive.

rao jəə gan mâidâi                           เราเจอกันไม่ได้

We can’t meet each other.

I hope these Thai Grammar examples help you improve your Thai.

It is important to get these Thai phrases the right way around.

Beware of the position of “mâi dâi”!!!

If we place “mâi dâi” in front of the verb the meaning changes to “didn’t…”  for example

pǒm mâidâi tam gaanbaân           ผมไม่ได้ทำการบ้าน

I didn’t do the homework.

kaǒ mâidâi tamngaan                     เขาไม่ได้ทำงาน

He didn’t work.

Enjoy your practice!!!

Khru Gaew
Thai Language Teacher