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(ข้าง)บน [(káang) bon] on, above, upstairs
(ข้าง)ล่าง [(káang) lâang] under, below, downstairs
(ข้าง)ซ้าย(ของ) [(káang) sáai (kǎwng)] on the left (of)
(ข้าง)ขวา(ของ) [(káang) kwǎa (kǎwng)] on the right (of)
(ข้าง)หน้า [(káang) nâa] in the front (of)
(ข้าง)หลัง [(káang) lǎng] in the back (of) / behind
(ข้าง)ใน [(káang) nai] in, inside
(ข้าง)นอก [(káang) nâwk] out, outside

* Remarks *

1. Use the structure “subject + อยู่ [yùu] + position + noun” to describe where something is located. For example, แมวอยู่ข้างบนกล่อง [maew yùu káang bon glàwng] “The cat is on the box.” You can omit the noun at the end in the case where it’s understood between the speaker and the listener, for example, แมวอยู่ข้างใน [maew yùu káang nai] “The cat is inside.” In this case, the listener understands the speaker means “inside the box.”

2. The word “ข้าง [káang]” is often omitted when the sentence structure “subject + อยู่ [yùu] + position + noun” is used. For example, you can say either แมวอยู่ข้างบนกล่อง [maew yùu káang bon glàwng] or แมวอยู่บนกล่อง [maew yùu bon glàwng] for “The cat is on the box.” But when the noun at the end is omitted, the word “ข้าง [káang]” is not. For example, you can’t just say “แมวอยู่ใน [maew yùu nai]” for “The cat is inside.” You must say แมวอยู่ข้างใน [maew yùu káang nai]. Otherwise, the listener would think you have not finished your sentence because they would expect to hear a noun after that.

3. There is another expression besides (ข้าง)ล่าง [(káang) lâang] that means “under” or “below,” and that is “ข้างใต้ [káang dtâai].” When the noun at the end is omitted, you can use either expression, although (ข้าง)ล่าง [(káang) lâang] is slightly more common. But when there’s a noun at the end (the position word functions as a preposition), “ข้างใต้ [káang dtâai]” must be used. For example, to say “The cat is under the chair,” you have to say “แมวอยู่ใต้เก้าอี้ [maew yùu dtâai gâo îi]. Just remember, there’s not supposed to be a noun after “ข้างล่าง [káang lâang].” “แมวอยู่ข้างล่างเก้าอี้” [maew yùu káang lâang gâo îi] sounds unnatural and strange to a Thai ear.

4. The word “ของ [kǎwng]” is generally said after “ข้างซ้าย [káang sáai]” or “ข้างขวา [káang kwǎa]” when there is a noun after it. For example, “แมวอยู่ข้างซ้ายของกล่อง” [maew yùu káang sáai kǎwng glàwng] “The cat is on the left of the box.” Do not use “ของ [kǎwng]” when there’s not a noun at the end. Note that we usually don’t use “ของ [kǎwng]” with any other words indicating positions.

5. The word “ด้าน [dâan]” can be used instead of “ข้าง [káang]” in more formal contexts.


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