8.7 Key Vocabulary and Useful Expressions

Key Vocabulary
IPA English
dtom-nee available/free
roo-vol busy
ey-jəng so/therefore
kaa-ri-yaa-lai office
nat bpeel to make an appointment
mian nat to have an appointment
Key Expressions
IPA English
khnhom jɔng juab koat. I want to meet him.
Koat kɔm-pong brɔɔ-jom. He is in the meeting.
Niang dtom-nee dtee? Is she available?
som toh! Excuse me!
look mian kaa ey daer? How may I help you?
Khnom som ni-yiay jia-muay look Sok baan dtee? May/can I speak to Mr. Sok?
ɔɔ-kun chraən! Thank you very much!
soom jam bɔng dtech. Please wait a moment.
Summary of grammar points
Grammar point Summary
Sub-consonant under final consonant of a word In written Cambodian, sub-consonant placed under a final consonant of a word are not pronounced. For example: សាន្ត (saan) and ពេទ្យ​ (bpeet).

Please also note that generally if there is a sub-consonant under a final consonant of a word, the word itself is a Pali or Sanskrit word and it is not pronounced as it spelled, for example, រដ្ឋ (roat) and ចក្រ (jak).

The pattern សុំ…បានទេ?​ and សូម “Please”. To make a request, the pattern សុំ…បានទេ​ is used. For example: ខ្ញុំសុំជួបលោកស្មីតបានទេ?​​ “Can I meet Mr. Smith?”. While សូម “Please” is used to indicate the politeness. However, from time to time, the word “សូម” and “សុំ” are  interchangeably​ used.


  • សូមចាំទីនេះ។ “Please wait here.”
  • សុំជួបលោកសុខបានទេ? “Can I meet Mr. Sok?”


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