Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary: Double อยู่ Sounds

Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary to learn Thai

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Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary: Double อยู่ Sounds…

As promised, the sound files to the Double อยู่ post….

Did you notice at the top of this post where it says “by Cat & Hugh”? Well, that’s because the previous post, where it says “by Hugh & Cat”, Hugh was in the driver’s seat. Now it’s my turn.

To recap, in Hugh’s Double อยู่ post he explained: “The Double อยู่ construct is used to describe an unexpected or surprise action. Depending on how colorful you want to be, it’s interesting how this construct can be translated (or rather, interpreted) into English in so many ways”.

And as promised, it’s now my turn to share the sound files to Hugh’s post as well as the sound files to any answers in the comments. I’ve also decided to come up with a few answers too.

To give myself some breathing room, I’ll start by adding sound files to the phrases Hugh has already given as samples:


อยู่ๆ เขาก็ร้องไห้
Out of nowhere she just started crying.

อยู่ๆ ตำรวจก็เข้ามา
The policeman burst in unexpectedly.

อยู่ๆ ครูก็หยุดสอน
All of a sudden the teacher stopped teaching.

อยู่ๆ หัวหน้าก็มาหา
Without notice the boss came to see me.

อยู่ๆ เธอก็เรียก
With no warning she called (out to me).

How would you say the following in Thai?…

Keith picked up the gauntlet when Hugh asked, “how would you say the following in Thai?” And to keep him company, I joined in too (wish us luck!)

But before we start, here’s a tip from Hugh: “I find that in trying to solve most problems it is best to break them down into their constituent parts and solve the little parts first. That is how we wrote computer programs that were millions of lines long. It works that way with language too (as I learned teaching English). To show you what I mean, I’ve separated the first sentence for you.”

1) I was just hanging out when
2) he came
3) to see me

I was just hanging out when he came to see me.

Keith: อยู่ๆ เค้าก็มาหาผม

Cat: อยู่ๆ เขาก็มาหาฉัน

They came unexpectedly.

Keith: อยู่ๆ พวกเขาก็มาแล้ว

Cat: อยู่ๆ เขาก็มา

Unpredictably, the customer called (phoned).

Keith: อยู่ๆ ลูกค้าก็โทร.มา
Cat: อยู่ๆ ลูกค้าก็โทรมา

My friend moved in without giving any notice.

Keith: อยู่ๆ เพื่อนผมก็ย้ายมาอยู่

Cat: อยู่ๆ เพื่อนก็ย้ายมาอยู่(ด้วย)

The workman, without saying anything, took a break (rest).

Cat: อยู่ๆ คนงานก็หยุดไปพัก

How would you interpret the following?…

Interpreting was fun because Hugh made a point to mention, “be as colorful as you wish…”


Keith: All of a sudden, the weather is hot.
Cat: I don’t know what happened! (The weather went to hell in a handbasket).


Keith: The students abruptly went home.
Cat: The students all ran away home! (Drat! I don’t know what I said to offend them).


Keith: The dog just up and died.
Cat: The dog just up and died on me.


Keith: The chairman broke into a smile.
Cat: The president went from mean to smiling (and now I’m shaking in my boots).

What say you? Do you have a different interpretation?

Using the Double อยู่ patterns…

The Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary posts will be all about taking us out of our Thai language comfort zone. I was reluctant at first but after I got started it was quite fun. Thanks Hugh.

Using the patterns, here’s a few phrases I put together:

อยู่ๆ แฟนเขาก็โทรมาหาฉัน
I’m not sure why, her boyfriend called me.

อยู่ๆ ทุกคนก็ลุกขึ้น
Everybody stood up without a clear reason.

อยู่ๆ นายจ้างก็ ยอมให้
Man oh man was I surprised, the boss agreed!

อยู่ๆ หัวหน้าก็ไม่เห็นด้วย
I don’t understand why the leader didn’t agree (what’s going on?)

อยู่ๆ ตำรวจก็เรียก นักท่องเที่ยว ให้มาหา
Uh oh. The policeman called the tourist over (what’s up?)

And now to the comments…

When Keith brought up อยู่ดีๆ, Hugh replied, “อยู่ดีๆ is a good one. According to อยู่ดีๆ = everything was just going fine… (when suddenly and unexpectedly). อยู่ดีๆ can be used exactly like อยู่ๆ and means the same thing.

Then Mia chimed in with, “now I couldn’t get rid of อยู่ดีๆ or อยู่ๆ off my head. This remind me of a lot of Thai songs worth listening and practicing the use of อยู่ดีๆ or อยู่ๆ”

Example: อยู่ดีๆ

อยู่ดีๆน้องหาว่าพี่โกหก รู้มั้ยน้ำตาพี่ไหลตก เสียอกเสียใจน้องไม่ฟังพี่
Out of the blue, you are accusing me of lying.

Example: อยู่ๆ

Suddenly you’re gone, I couldn’t bear it my dear.

Using the High Frequency Thai Vocabulary List…

The High Frequency Thai Vocabulary List is still on the second ‘official’ version, with more edits to come. For those who haven’t downloaded it yet, below is the list. Also for download are the audio files for this post:

High Frequency Thai Vocabulary: download
Double อยู่ Audio files: download

Before I sign off, a megga thanks goes to Hugh for the great อยู่ๆ post, as well as Mia and Keith everyone else who contributed in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Using High Frequency Thai Vocabulary: Double อยู่ Sounds”

  1. Gaelee,
    หาว่า/hâa wâa means accusing/blaming someone of doing something.
    eg. อยู่ดีๆ น้องหาว่าพี่โกหก/ out of the blue you accusing me lying.
    เปลือง/[to] waste ; cost ; consume
    มีแต่เปลืองน้ำตา means there are only tears wasted.

  2. I meant to mention, the line from the second song in my question above, that’s the last line of the song.

  3. The sound files are stellar. They are great for hearing the rhythm of the sentence, especially as Hugh said, for those of us who don’t live in Thailand.

    I also enjoyed the music videos, but they led to more questions (yes I tell people if you like BIG endless puzzles, learn Thai…). Perhaps you will indulge me?

    From the first song:
    อยู่ดีๆ น้องหาว่าพี่โกหก

    What does หา do in this sentence? Is หาว่า a common phrase? ‘Suddenly you [come to find me] to say I lie.’ Or perhaps just a harmless way to get enough beats?
    (ok enough speculating on my part)

    From the second song:

    Is the meaning ‘I have no tears left’ or is ‘I have nothing left but tears’ closer to the meaning?

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to this. Great post!

  4. The sounds are indeed a fantastic feature. Good for all of you. Such hard work you all put in, thanks 🙂

  5. Shanell, thanks for the reminder. I’ve added the sound files as a download. In the coming months I’ll add sound files to all of the posts on WLT plus create a separate page just for downloads. It’s long overdue …

  6. Just wanted to give a big thanks for the lesson and especially the audio. Is there any way to download the audio? I’d like to use it with my SRS cards.

  7. Wow! I never thought I could speak Thai so well! 😉 ขอบคุณมากครับคุณ Phairoa 🙂

  8. The recordings are really done well. They are clear and what is best in my opinion is that they are spoken very naturally with natural speed. Very beneficial, especially for people not in Thailand and who need to hear native spoken Thai.

    Great job to all.


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