“ไหน” [năi] comes from “ที่ไหน” [tîi năi], which means “where”. However, in colloquial language, it is used in many more contexts than just asking about location. For example: “ไหน บอกมาซิ” [năi bàwk maa sí] Tell me! tell me! “ไหน ขอดูหน่อยซิ” [năi kŏr duu nòi sí] Let me see! let me see! In these sentences, ไหน [năi] is used to express curiosity. ไหน ไม่เห็นจะเป็นอย่างที่แกบอกเลย [năi mâi hěn jà pen yàng tîi gae bàwk loei] “How? It’s not like what you told me at all”. Here, the speaker is confused and surprised as something turns out to be different from what he is told and uses ไหน to ask for an explanation. Similary, “ไหนบอกว่า” means “I thought you told me…” and it is used when things turn out to be different than what one is told or expected. For example, B has learned that A hated PadThai and one day, A is ordering PadThai so B says to A “ไหนบอกว่าไม่ชอบผัดไทยไง?” [năi bàwk wâa mâi chôrb pàd Thai ngai?] “I thought you told me that you didn’t like PadThai!”. It implies “Why did you order it?”.
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