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Thai numerals ( ) are a set of numeral traditionally used in Thailandmarker, although the Arabic numerals are more common. Thai numerals follow the Hindu-Arabic numeral system commonly used in the rest of the world. In the Thai language, numerals often follow the modified noun and precede a measure word, although variations to this pattern occur.

Main numbers

Zero to nine

Thai for zero, which also means center, depending on context, is clearly from Sanskrit śūnya, as are context-driven names for Alternate numbers 2 to 4, given below; but not one or its alternatives. Thai names for regular digits two through nine resemble those in Cantonese as spoken in Southern China, putative homeland of the Tai. That they are even closer to Minnan (Teochewmarker/Hokkien) may be because most Thai Chinese are Teochew. Numerical digit characters, however, are almost identical to Khmer numerals. Shown below is a comparison between three languages using Cantonese/Minnan characters and pronunciations. The Thai transliteration uses the Royal Thai General System of Transcription (RTGS).

Number Thai RTGS Khmer Archaic Cantonese Minnan
0 ศูนย์ sun (Sanskrit śūnya) 零 (ling4) 空 (khong3)
1 หนึ่ง nueng อ้าย(âai) 一 (yat1) 一 (it4)
2 สอง song ยี่(yîi) 二 (yi2) (雙 (seung1) = pair) 二 (ji7) (雙 (song1, lit.) )
3 สาม sam สาม(sǎam) 三 (saam1) 三 (sam1, lit.)
4 สี่ si ไส(sài) 四 (sei3) 四 (si3)
5 ห้า ha งั่ว(ngùa) 五 (ng5) 五 (go.7)
6 หก hok ลก(lòk) 六 (luk6) 六 (liok8, lit.)
7 เจ็ด chet เจ็ด(jèd) 七 (chat1) 七 (chit4)
8 แปด paet แปด(pàed) 八 (baat3) 八 (pat4, lit.)
9 เก้า kao เจา(jao) 九 (gau2) 九 (kau2)
10 ๑๐ สิบ sip ១០ จ๋ง(jǒng) 十 (sap6) 十 (tzhap2)
[lit. = literary pronunciation]

Ten to a million

Sanskrit lakh designates the place value of a digit (ตําแหน่งของตัวเลข), which are named for the powers of ten: the unit's place is lakh nuay (หลักหน่วย); ten's place, lakh sip (หลักสิบ); hundred's place, lakh roi (หลักร้อย), and so forth. The number one following any power of ten becomes et (Cantonese: 一, yat1; Minnan: 一, it4). The number ten (sip) is the same as Minnan 十 (sip8, lit.). Numbers from twenty to twenty nine begin with yi sip (Cantonese: 二十, yi6sap6; Minnan: 二十, lit. ji7sip8). Names of the lakh sip for 30 to 90, and for the lakh of 100, 1000, 10,000, 100,000 and million, are almost identical to those of the like Khmer numerals.

Number Thai RTGS
10 ๑๐ สิบ sip
11 ๑๑ สิบเอ็ด sip et
12 ๑๒ สิบสอง sip song
20 ๒๐ ยี่สิบ yi sip
21 ๒๑ ยี่สิบเอ็ด yi sip et
22 ๒๒ ยี่สิบสอง yi sip song
100 ๑๐๐ ร้อย roi
1 000 ๑๐๐๐ พัน phan
10 000 ๑๐๐๐๐ หมื่น muen
100 000 ๑๐๐๐๐๐ แสน saen
1 000 000 ๑๐๐๐๐๐๐ ล้าน lan

The hundreds are formed by combining roi with the tens and ones values. For example, two hundred and thirty-two is song roi sam sip song. The words roi, phan, muen, and saen occur should with a preceding numeral (nueng is optional), so two hundred and ten, for example, is song roi sip, and one hundred is either roi or nueng roi. Nueng never precedes sip, so song roi nueng sip is incorrect. Native speakers will sometimes use roi nueng (or phan nueng, etc.) with different tones on nueng to distinguish one hundred from one hundred and one. However, such distinction is often not made, and ambiguity may follow. To resolve this problem, if the number 101 (or 1001, 10001, etc.) is intended, one should say roi et (or phan et, muen et, etc.).

Numbers above a million

Numbers above a million are constructed by prefixing lan with a multiplier. For example, ten million is sip lan, and a trillion (1012) is lan lan.

Decimal and fractional numbers

Colloquially, decimal numbers are formed by saying จุด (chut, dot) where the decimal separator is located. For example, 1.01 is หนึ่งจุดศูนย์หนึ่ง.

Fractional numbers are formed by placing ใน (nai, in, of) between the numerator and denominator. For example, ⅓ is หนึ่งในสาม (neung nai sam).

The word ครึ่ง (khrueng) is used for "half". It precedes the measure word if used alone, but it follows the measure word when used with another number. For example, kradat krueng phaen (กระดาษครึ่งแผ่น) means "half sheet of paper", but kradat nueng phaen krueng (กระดาษหนึ่งแผ่นครึ่ง) means "one and a half sheets of paper".

Negative numbers

Negative numbers are formed by placing ลบ (lop, minus) in front of the number. For example, -11 is ลบสิบเอ็ด (lop sip et).

Ordinal numbers

Ordinal number are formed by placing ที่ (thi, place) in front of the number. They are not considered a special class of numbers, since the numeral still follows a modified noun, which is thi in this case.
Thai RTGS meaning
ที่หนึ่ง thi nueng first
ที่สอง thi song second
ที่สาม thi sam third
ที่สี่ thi si fourth
ที่# thi # #st, #nd, #rd, #th

Alternate numbers


Aai ( ) first born (son) or Moon 1


Ek ( ) one (quantity); first (level greater than To โท second); lead (actor, role); in antiquity, a 7th daughter was called luk ek (ลูกเอก) though a seventh son was luk chet (ลูกเจ็ด).; from Pali ḗka ' one '


Et ( , Cantonese: 一, yat1; Minnan: 一, it4) one; used as last member in a compound number (see above).


Tho ( two; second (rank); from Pali dūā ' two '


Yi ( , Cantonese: 二, yi6; Minnan: 二, ji7) is still used in several places in Thai language for the number 2, apart from สอง (song): to construct 20 (2 tens) and its combinations 21-29; to name the second month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar; in the Thai northern dialect (TH: ถิ่น–พายัพ) refers to the Year of the tiger


Yip ( ) in colloquial Thai is an elision of ยี่สิบ (yi sip) at the beginning of numbers 21 through 29; therefore, one may hear ยีบเอ็ด (yip et), ยีบสอง (yip song), etc.


Sow ( ) 20 in the Thai northern dialect; it is also frequently heard in Isanmarker in the expression sow baht for 20 baht.


Tri ( ) three; third (rank); as a prefix, three(fold); from Sanskrit tráyaḥ, ' three ' .

Tone marks, education degrees and military ranks

The alternate set of numerals used to name tonal marks (ไม้, mai), educational degrees (ปริญญา, parinya), and military rankings derive from names of Sanskrit numerals.
Number Tonal Mark Educational Degree Military Ranking in the Royal Thai Army
Thai RTGS Value Mark Thai RTGS Tone Thai RTGS Degree Thai RTGS Meaning
เอก ek first -่ ไม้เอก mai ek first tone ปริญญาเอก parinya ek doctor's พลเอก phon ek General
พันเอก phan ek Colonel
ร้อยเอก roi ek Captain
จ่าสิบเอก cha sip ek Master Sgt. 1st Class
สิบเอก sip ek Sergeant (Sgt.)
โท tho second -้ ไม้โท mai tho second tone ปริญญาโท parinya tho master's พลโท phon tho Lieutenant General
พันโท phan tho Lieutenant Colonel
ร้อยโท roi tho Lieutenant
จ่าสิบโท cha sip tho Master Sgt. 2nd Class
สิบโท sip tho Corporal
ตรี tri third -๊ ไม้ตรี mai tri third tone ปริญญาตรี parinya tri bachelor's พลตรี phon tri Major general
พันตรี phan tri Major
ร้อยตรี roi tri Sub Lieutenant
จ่าสิบตรี cha sip tri Master Sgt. 3rd Class
สิบตรี sip tri Lance Corporal
จัตวา chattawa fourth -๋ ไม้จัตวา mai chattawa fourth tone พลจัตวา phon chattawa Brigadier General (Honorary)


  1. Online Royal Institute Dictionary, 1999 edition: select "ห" and enter หลัก
  2. ORID (Online Royal Institute Dictionary (1999); select อ enter อ้าย
  3. ORID (Online Royal Institute Dictionary (1999), select อ enter เอก
  4. Digital Dictionaries of South Asia Sir Ralph Lilley Turner (1888-1983) A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages entry 2462
  5. ORID (Online Royal Institute Dictionary (1999), select ท enter โท
  6. Digital Dictionaries of South Asia Sir Ralph Lilley Turner (1888-1983) A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages entry 6455
  7. ORID (Online Royal Institute Dictionary (1999), select ย enter ยี่
  8. ORID (Online Royal Institute Dictionary (1999), select ซ enter ซาว
  9. ORID (Online Royal Institute Dictionary (1999), select ต enter ไตร
  10. Digital Dictionaries of South Asia Sir Ralph Lilley Turner (1888-1983) A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages entry 5994

See also

External links

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