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BANGKOK 23 July 2019 18:13
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snowleopard

Passive Voice Construction In Thai

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When passive voice is used in English,the action described by the verb can be either pleasant or unpleasant!

Example 1:

I was given these wonderful presents by my fiancee.

These wonderful presents were given to me by my fiancee. :D

Example 2.

Game warden Jim was first shot by a poacher and then eaten by hungry lions.(very pleasant for the lions :o )

I got fined for poaching.(very unpleasant for a leopard :D)

It seems to me that the passive voice in Thai is mainly used for describing unpleasant happenings. :D

This passive voice is formed by using either the auxiliary ถูก="thook" or โดน="don".

Examples

เขาถูกสุนัขกัด "kao thook soo-nak gut"=He was bitten by the dog.

นักเรียนโดนครูตี "nak-ree-an don kroo dtee"=The pupil received corporal punishment at the hands of the teacher.

What's the best way of expressing life's pleasant moments in Thai by using its passive voice construction- like when you get hit with several expensive surprises on your birthday while passively receiving them with your mouth agape?

Right now I can think of ได้รับจาก="dai rahp jahk" for such an incident ;but I'm sure there are several other ways. :D

Get on the case folks and begin brainstorming for solutions! :wub:

Cheers.

Snowleopard.

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Hi Snowleopard and all you other language junkies who come here for your daily fix,

I happened to take a closer look at the Thai passive a few years ago, and it is generally accepted among Thai linguists that SUBJECT "thuuk" / "doon" (AGENT) + VERB are both used in negative contexts, whereas SUBJECT + "dai rap" + VERB or SUBJECT + "dai rap" + NOUN is the one to choose for most positive and neutral contexts.

However, it should be noted that the use of passive construction is used with a lot more restriction in Thai writing (except for some translations from other languages)... and that it is advisable for the translator to at least always consider choosing the active voice instead.

David Smyth also mentions the following pattern (in his 'Thai: An Essential Grammar' ):

Passive expressions like 'it is well known that...', 'it is generally accepted that...' and so on, can be formed by using the pattern

pen thii + VERB + kan + waa ...:

pen thii saap kan dii waa

เป็นที่ทราบกันดีว่า ...

It is well known that ...

pen thii yawm rap kan dooy thua pai waa ...

เป็นที่ยอมรับกันโดยทั่วไปว่า ...

It is generally accepted that ...

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Hello meadish_sweetball and snowleopard:

Here's something I'd love to share. Thais have borrowed from the English language passive voice, as you can always see in journalistic writing style: ตาย (tai) 2 บาดเจ็บ (baad jeb) 4 = 2 Dead, 4 Injured. The only GENUINE Thai passive voice is "thuuk" / "doon" (AGENT) + VERB are both used in negative contexts," as meadish_sweetball explains; other passive voice forms are not genuine Thai but often used.

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Thank you very much for the clarification, Username2004:

It is great to become aware of the fine nuances in the language, and even better to know when they may mean something ambiguous or rude... :o

I believe I have also heard people use "ทำร้ายตัวเอง" (tham raay tua eeng); literally for "masturbate", in a joking way. Can you confirm this please, Username2004?

Cheers,

Meadish

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While doing graduate study in linguistics at university, I wrote one of my research papers on the Thai passive voice. At the time I had access to several previous studies on the topic from PhD students at Chula, and I also surveyed native speakers, sampled textbooks of the time, etc.

As has already been noted the use of the thuuk/dohn construction is generally negative in spoken Thai. However in scientific Thai, one does find the thuuk construction (but not dohn, which is more colloquial anyway) used in a neutral fashion, in the same way the passive voice is used in English technical writing (but far less frequently).

That was nearly 20 years ago, and I don't read Thai scientific writing much anymore, so can't say whether this is something that still holds true.

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Passive expressions like 'it is well known that...', 'it is generally accepted that...' and so on, can be formed by using the pattern

pen thii + VERB + kan + waa ...:

pen thii saap kan dii waa

เป็นที่ทราบกันดีว่า ...

It is well known that ...

pen thii yawm rap kan dooy thua pai waa ...

เป็นที่ยอมรับกันโดยทั่วไปว่า ...

It is generally accepted that ...

I was taught by my Thai Achaan that these constructions noted that Thai, especially in its more formal and written forms, is more a topic focused language than a subject focused language. Thus one is more likely to begin a sentence:

As for the stars in the night sky...

as opposed to

The stars in the night sky....

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Hi Guys,

Sorry to butt in here with a change of topic but you 5 folk seem to be the most informed here (and the most enthusiastic). I know nothing of linguistics and there are some key phrases or words you use that, if I knew the meaning I feel would open up a whole new world of understanding for me.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I wish I had studied English further at school. but alas.......

Here is the level of my lack of knowlege.

1) Noun - naming word: chair, bike etc

2) Adjective - can't remember, is that a describing word? Like Fat or fascinating?

3) Verb - To Do (the auto pilot in my brain is still working I think) ie.. - no, I'm not sure. Does that mean I'm "going to go shopping" and "going" is the verb?

Jeez I feel really stupid now.

But my point is I know so very little to be able to deconstruct and discuss the language and you guys understand these words as well as you know the names of the fruit at the market. And I'd love to learn too. I could look the words up in the dictionary but it's not as much fun and not nearly as informative as hearing it from a (or several) human being(s).

So far (just in this thread) the words who's meanings have escaped me are:

Passive voice

Agent

Auxiliary

There must be so many more and I really should buy a book on the subject. To be honest though, I can't remember being taught any of this at school. All I remember is reading 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'.

Anyway, please forgive me if I'm out of line and out of context with this intrusion and I will accept your correction on my post in this thread without embarrassment but any advice on any of the above that might open my eyes further in the world of language would be gratefully received.

Cheers

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Hi Guys,

Sorry to butt in here with a change of topic but you 5 folk seem to be the most informed here (and the most enthusiastic). I know nothing of linguistics and there are some key phrases or words you use that, if I knew the meaning I feel would open up a whole new world of understanding for me.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I wish I had studied English further at school. but alas.......

Here is the level of my lack of knowlege.

1) Noun - naming word: chair, bike etc

2) Adjective - can't remember, is that a describing word? Like Fat or fascinating?

3) Verb - To Do (the auto pilot in my brain is still working I think) ie.. - no, I'm not sure. Does that mean I'm "going to go shopping" and "going" is the verb?

Jeez I feel really stupid now.

But my point is I know so very little to be able to deconstruct and discuss the language and you guys understand these words as well as you know the names of the fruit at the market. And I'd love to learn too. I could look the words up in the dictionary but it's not as much fun and not nearly as informative as hearing it from a (or several) human being(s).

So far (just in this thread) the words who's meanings have escaped me are:

Passive voice

Agent

Auxiliary

There must be so many more and I really should buy a book on the subject. To be honest though, I can't remember being taught any of this at school. All I remember is reading 'To Kill a Mocking Bird'.

Anyway, please forgive me if I'm out of line and out of context with this intrusion and I will accept your correction on my post in this thread without embarrassment but any advice on any of the above that might open my eyes further in the world of language would be gratefully received.

Cheers

So far (just in this thread) the words who's meanings have escaped me are:

Passive voice

Agent

Auxiliary

Hi there Ollie and welcome onboard!I'm sure you're gonna love getting tangled up in the language threads around these fora. :D

Hope you'll learn the ropes quickly. :o

I'll try to give you some hints on the three words you asked about!

1.Passive Voice

Active voice is when the subject of the verb does the action while passive voice is when the subject has the action done towards him and receives it in a passive fashion.The object then becomes the agent doing the action.

For this construction,you need a transitive verb with an object.

Sentence 1:(single transtive verb)

Active Voice:"The snowleopard kills a deer."

Passive Voice:"A deer is killed by the snowleopard."

Sentence 2:(double transitive verb,i.e.2 objects)

Active Voice:"Mary gave Tom a kick in the groin." :D

Passive Voice 1"Tom was given a kick in the groin (by Mary)."

Passive Voice 2:"The kick in the groin was given to Tom by Mary."

2.Auxiliary Verb

It's a verb that helps in forming a tense,passive voice and such.

In the sentences,"I have read that thread" and "That post is nicely written",the "have and is " are the auxiliaries that are joined with past participle to form tense and voice.

3.Agent

This is the code name for the active force that performs the action in a sentence.

That's it! :D

I'm afraid that I'm not at liberty to divulge much more information about our top secret agent,who's sometimes referred to as... " 007", because all his dossiers are still classified! :D

If you really,really wanna know some more about this agent,...well,then I guess I could tell you a little something...but upon hearing it you would have to be immediately and permanently silenced by... :wub:

Just kidding;but,did you notice the passive voice construction in the last instance?

Let's see if somebody else can explain "the agent" even better.

When you've got some questions on Thai language just post them here;and,I'll try to help you out as much as possible.

If I can't,then I'm sure Username,Meadish or another knowledgeable linguist can jump in and deal with the issue successfully.

Cheers.

Snowleopard.

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Hello meadish_sweetball and snowleopard:

Here's something I'd love to share. Thais have borrowed from the English language passive voice, as you can always see in journalistic writing style: ตาย (tai) 2 บาดเจ็บ (baad jeb) 4 = 2 Dead, 4 Injured. The only GENUINE Thai passive voice is "thuuk" / "doon" (AGENT) + VERB are both used in negative contexts," as meadish_sweetball explains; other passive voice forms are not genuine Thai but often used.

sabaijai Posted on Mon 2004-08-02, 17:57:25

As has already been noted the use of the thuuk/dohn construction is generally negative in spoken Thai. However in scientific Thai, one does find the thuuk construction (but not dohn, which is more colloquial anyway) used in a neutral fashion, in the same way the passive voice is used in English technical writing (but far less frequently).

Hi there Meadish,Username and Sabaijai! :D

I just came to think about this passive voice construction which I think could be used without either ถูก "toohk";or,โดน "dohn"! :D

เรื่องนี้เขียนโดยคุณเสือดาว "reu-ang nee kee-an doy kuhn seua-daow"This story is written by Mr Leopard.

It's not even negative! :o

What do you think about it guys? :D

Cheers.

Snowleopard.

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Hello all!!!!! :o

OOLEEBER, welcome to the board, too. :D

snowleopard, your explanation is exceptional! But may I add that auxiallary verbs can sometimes be called "model verbs" or "helping verbs," and that these verbs are verbs that tell time.

I just came to think about this passive voice construction which I think could be used without either ถูก "toohk";or,โดน "dohn"! 

เรื่องนี้เขียนโดยคุณเสือดาว "reu-ang nee kee-an doy kuhn seua-daow"This story is written by Mr Leopard.

It's not even negative! 

What do you think about it guys? 

I think it's okay and often used in Thai writing these days, but again, it's not GENUINE Thai. It's English-borrowing Thai.

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Thanks Guys,

For the welcome and the explanations. Snowleopard, I read your post twice and was mildly frustrated with myself for not understanding all of it but I just found a site explaining English grammar and lo and behold I now understand you.

I'll try to keep my posts limited to Thai queries now that I have a source for the grammatical questions although any links to Thai grammar or a brief overview would help greatly.

It's funny I believe I speak thai in the correct grammatical order but only because I copy everyone else but I don't know why sentences are constructed as they are.

Thanks Again - Have a great Sunday! :o

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เรื่องนี้เขียนโดยคุณเสือดาว "reu-ang nee kee-an doy kuhn seua-daow"This story is written by Mr Leopard.

It's not even negative! :o

What do you think about it guys? :D

I'll take a leap here and say I don't think Thais would consider this a passive voice construction. The trouble is the slippery nature of Thai verbs, most of which can slide from active to stative, and transitive to intransitive, depending on the context. I suppose this is the main reason you don't see much passive voice in Thai as it's not as necessary, Thai verbs being so inherently flexible.

Thus the เขียน verb phrase in this case doesn't need to be relativised with โดย. In fact I don't think a native speaker would write เรื่องนี้เขียนโดยคุณเสือดาว but rather something along the lines of เรื่องนี้คุณเสือดาวได้เขียน.

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Sabaijai,

I'll take a leap here and say I don't think Thais would consider this a passive voice construction.
Your post makes me think about this question: What is passive voice in Thai? I don't have the answer...
Thus the เขียน verb phrase in this case doesn't need to be relativised with โดย. In fact I don't think a native speaker would write เรื่องนี้เขียนโดยคุณเสือดาว but rather something along the lines of เรื่องนี้คุณเสือดาวได้เขียน.

The pattern in "เรื่องนี้เขียนโดยคุณเสือดาว" is quite common nowadays. Another example would be "หนังเรื่องนี้กำกับโดย Sabaijai" (This movie is directed by Sabaijai.)

เรื่องนี้คุณเสือดาวได้เขียน: A bit awkward. This sentence would be far more natural: เรื่องนี้คุณเสือดาวได้เขียนไว้เมื่อหลายปีก่อน (Snowleopard was written by snowleapard several years ago.)

--- ปรบมือ ----

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Ok, here goes. About 'agent':

In an active voice sentence, the one who actually does something is known as the subject.

Simon closed the door. Simon closes the door. Simon did close the door. Simon will close the door. Simon is about to close the door. Simon would have closed the door.

'Simon' is the subject.

In a passive voice sentence, the person who performs the action described, is the agent, but the SUBJECT of the sentence is something else. Example:

The door was closed by Simon.

'The door' is the subject. 'Was closed' is the verb. 'Simon' is the agent.

I hope that clarifies something, at least!

Cheers,

Meadish

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