1.5 Key Vocabulary and Useful Expressions

Key Vocabulary
IPA English
bprɔɔ-dteh country
ey/a-vey what
naa where
chmuah name
juab to meet
Useful Expressions
IPA English
Rik-riay dael baan juab neak. Nice to meet you.
Sok-sa-baay dtee? How are you?
Khnhom sok-sa-baay,  ɔɔ-kun. I am fine, thank you.
Khnhom mook bpii bprɔɔ-dteh ii-taa-lii. I am from Italy.
Khnhom chumah ___. My name is___.
Joh-neak-venh? What about you?
Khnhom kɔɔ ey-jəng daer. Nice to meet you too.
Summary of Grammar Points
Grammar Points Summary
Subject pronouns There are some common pronouns used by beginners. However, bpuak-kee is replaced by bpuak-koat when the context is clear: the person who is referred to was previously mentioned. The word Niang (she) is not commonly used in spoken language and the word Koat is preferable.

table of IPA/English/Khmer for subject pronouns. IPA is Khnyom (I) Neak (You) Koat (He) Niang/Koat (She), Yəəng (We), bpuak-kee (They)

Title nouns Title nouns such as “look” (Sir, Mr., you for male speaker) and “look-srey” (Madam, Mrs., you for female speaker) can be used as pronouns to denote formality and politeness.

  • Look chmuah ey? = What is your name, sir?
  • Look-srey mook bpii bprɔɔ-dteh naa? = Where are you from, madam?

Similarly, when the term “look” is combined with kinship terms such as: Kruu “teacher”; Dtaa “Grandfather”; Bpuu “Uncle”, it denotes respect, politeness, and even endearment.

  • Look-dtaa sok-sa-baay dtee? = How are you, grandfather?
“Yes” in Khmer Baat (for male speakers) and  Jaa (for female speaker) are the terms for the English word “Yes”. When the word “Baat” or “Jaa”  precedes the sentence, it denotes the politeness, for example:

Jaa/baat, Jom-riab-lia, look. = Goodbye, Sir.









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