7.7 Key Vocabulary and Useful Expressions

Key Vocabulary
IPA English
jɔng to want
jɔm-naek khnhom venh/jɔm-naek khnhom as for me. . .
jool-jet to like
haet-ey? why?
thoo-nia-kia bank
klaeng kite
suan-jbaa park
sey badminton
Key Expressions
IPA English
Khnhom thloab jia kruu-peet. I used to be a doctor.
koat jɔng tvəə-jia kruu bɔng-rian. She wanted to be a teacher.
koat jɔng tvəə-jia kruu bɔng-rian daer. He wanted to be a teacher too.
Khnhom mən-souw jool-jet kaa-ngia nih dtee. I do not like this job very much.
khnhom chob tvəə kaa-ngia nih yuu haəy. I quit that job a long time ago.
meen-dtee? Is that right?
khnhom ɔt tvəə via dtia dtee. I do not do it anymore.
Summary of Grammar Points
Grammar Point Summary
Infinitive form Unlike English, Cambodian does not have the infinitive form of “To”. The base verb form is used after the main verb, for example, I want to drink water. “khnhom jɔng pək dtək.”
The word Daer “also” in Khmer The word Daer “also, too, as well” is placed at the end of a sentences, for example: I also teach Khmer. “Khnhom bɔng-rian pia-saa Khmer daer.”
The past simple of “To be” The verb “To be” Jia​ is replaced by the word Nouw “at” when talking about the the simple past, for example: I wanted to be a teacher when I was a child. “Khnhom jɔng tvəə- jia kruu-bɔng-rian bpeel khnhom nouw dtooch.”
“Used to”+ infinitive We use Thloab “used to” to talk about habits or repeated actions in the past that we don’t do in the present. We also use it to talk about states in the past which are no longer true. The word Thloab  is placed in front of the main verb, for example: I used to drink tea. “Khnhom thloab pək dtək.”
The construction មិនសូវ…ទេ “mən souw​ ..dtee” The construction មិនសូវ…ទេ “mən-souw…dtee”​ meaning “not really, not very, not much” is used to indicate partiality and it is placed before the main verb. អត់សូវ…ទេ “ɔt- souw…dtee” is its alternative.

The construction “mən-souw…bpon-maan- dtee” has exactly the same meaning of “mən-souw…dtee”​


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