Cambodian Language/Printable version
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Introduction[edit | edit source]
The Cambodian script (called Khmer letters) are all probably derived from various forms of the ancient Brahmi script of South India. The Cambodian script has symbols for thirty-three consonants, twenty-four dependent vowels, twelve independent vowels, and several diacritic symbols. Most consonants have reduced or modified forms, called sub-consonants, when they occur as the second member of a consonant cluster. Vowels may be written before, after, over, or under a consonant symbol.
Some efforts to standardize Khmer spelling have been attempted, but inconsistencies persist, and many words have more than one accepted spelling. A two-volume dictionary prepared under the direction of the Venerable Chuon Nath of the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh is the standard work on Khmer lexicography.
Khmer is divided into three historical stages: Old Khmer (seventh to twelfth century A.D.), Middle Khmer (twelfth to seventeenth century A.D.), and Modern Khmer (seventeenth century to the present). It is likely that Old Khmer was the language of Chenla. The language of Funan was most probably a Mon-Khmer language. The earliest inscription in Khmer, found at Angkor Borei in Takev Province south of Phnom Penh, dates from A.D. 611.
Consonants and Sub-consonants[edit | edit source]
There are thirty-three letters in the Cambodian writing system. They are arranged in five groups according to the position of the articulation, proceeding from the back to the front of the mouth, and a sixth group labeled as miscellaneous. The consonants in modern Cambodian are also divided into two categories or series. The first series is voiceless and the second series is voiced (sometimes are called light voiced and heavy voiced).
When two consonants are pronounced consecutively within a word, the second consonant's symbol is written in a special sub-consonant form which is placed below the first consonant. The sub-consonant always follows the consonant in the pronunciation. The form of the sub-consonant is in most cases a smaller version of its consonant version but some look completely different from the superscript.
The table below provides the symbol of all consonants sounds in IPA symbol with the first and second series sound, and the corresponding sub-consonant form.
Vowels[edit | edit source]
The Cambodian vowel may consist of one or a combination of elements written before, above, below, or after the initial consonant. There are 24 vowels in Khmer. Since the abstract vowel (AA) is embedded in a consonant, there are only 23 vowels shown in the table below. The pronunciation of a vowel in Khmer is determined by the series of the initial consonant that it accompanies.
The pronunciation of a vowel in Cambodian is determined by the two series of consonants (first and second series). The table below provides the symbol of all vowel sounds in IPA symbol with the first and second series sound.
Independent Vowels[edit | edit source]
Independent vowels are known as /Sra? phñ tue/ (complete vowel) becasue they incorporate both an initial consonant and a vowel. In the table below, independent vowel from 1 to 5 and 10 to 11 include an initial /q-/ and are listed in the official dictionary along with other words that are spelled with an initial G and the equivalent vowel. Independent vowel 6 and 7 include an initial /r/ and are listed in the official dictionary along with an initial r and the equivalent vowel. Independent vowel 8 and 9 includes an initial /l/ and are listed in the official dictionary along with an initial consonant l .
Diacritics[edit | edit source]
Bantaq ( ់ )[edit | edit source]
Diacritic Bantaq occurs on the top of the final consonant of a syllable and it is used to shorten the vowel of that syllable. All Khmer consonant there is an inherent vowel. The inherent vowel for first series consonant is /AA/ and second consonant is /OO/. In a syllable with invisible vowe, bantaq signalls the short inherent vowel. Froexample, vowel /AA/ change to /A/ after afirst series consoant, and /OO/ change to /u/ or /u(e/ after the second series consonant. The vowel ( - a ) /aa/ followed by the Bantaq ( ' ) will pronounced shorter /a/ after the first series consoant and after the second series consonant, vowel ( -a ) /aa/ is pronounced /o(e/ or /e(e/.
Treysap ( ៊ )[edit | edit source]
Treysap is used to convert four of the first series consonants s h b and G which have no second series counterpart to the second series consonant s~ h~ b~ and G~ .
Mousekatoan ( ៉ )[edit | edit source]
Mousekatoan is used to convert six of the second series consonants g Baj m y r and v which has no second series counterparts to first series consonants g" Baj"" m" y" r" and v" . Mousekatoan is used to convert a first series consonant b to b" and from which b" has the conterpart in the second series B .
Sanyok-sanha ( ័ )[edit | edit source]
Sanyok-sanha has the same value as the (- a ). It is used in a certain words which borrowed from Pali or Sakrit. Usually, if the final consonant is silent, the words can be spelled with different way. If the sanyok-sanha plus a final y, it is pronounced (ai) in the first series and (ei) in the second series. If the s sanyok-sanha plus a final ( r ) /r/, it is pronounced ( oa).
Robaat ( ៌ )[edit | edit source]
Robaat is the reflex of an origanal /r/ in Sanskrit words. In most words, when the (robaat) occurs over a final cononant, both the consonant and the robaat are not pronounced. In some cases, the effect of the robaat is to change the vowel/OO/ to /Oe/. When the robaat appears over a medial consoant, the robaat is pronounced.
Punctuation[edit | edit source]
Khan ( ។ )[edit | edit source]
This is Cambodian full stop. It occurs less frequently than the full stop in English. It can be at the end of a single sentence or several sentences dealing with a single topic.
bāriyaosān ( ៕ )[edit | edit source]
Bāriyaosān is a full stop that marks the the entire end of a chapter or an entire text.
Laq (។ល។ )[edit | edit source]
Laq is used to indicate "etcetera".
Leiktoo ( ៗ )[edit | edit source]
Leiktoo is used to indicate that the word or phrase after which it occurs is to be repeated.
Numbers[edit | edit source]
Ordinals[edit | edit source]
Cambodian numeral system based on five. From 6 to 9 is form by 5 + 1, 5 + 2, 5 + 3, and 5 + 4.
Number 7 is pronounced (prampii) in reading or formal speech; in mormal speech it pronounced (pramphl).
10,000 (muey mehn ) also can be counted as (dAp po).
100,000 (muey saen ) can be counted as ( dAp mehn ) or (muey rOOy po)
From 11-19 the numbers are pronounced in two different forms, the written and a colloquial.
In Cambodian numerals involving four or more symbols, a period is placed after every three symbols, counting from the right.
|៣||បី / bey/||3|
|៤||បួន / buen/||4|
|១០||ដប់ / dAp/||10|
|១១||ដប់មួយ / dAp muey/||11||/muey dAndAp /|
|១២||ដប់ពីរ / dAp pii/||12||/pii dAndAp /|
|១៣||ដប់បី / dAp bey/||13||/bey dAndAp /|
|១៤||ដប់បួន / dAp buen/||14||/buen dAndAp /|
|១៥||ដប់ប្រាំ / dAp pram/||15||/pram dAndAp /|
|១៦||ដប់ប្រាំមួយ / dAppram muey/||16||/pram muey dAndAp /|
|១៧||ដប់ប្រាំពីរ / dAp pram pii/||17||/pramphl dAndAp /|
|១៨||ដប់ប្រាំបី / dAp pram bey/||18||/pram bey dAndAp /|
|១៩||ដប់ប្រាំបួន / dAp pram buen/||19||/pram buen dAndAp /|
|២១||ម្ភៃមួយ /mephhy muey/||21|
|៣០||សាមសិប / saamsep/||30|
|៣១||សាមសិបមួយ / saamsep muey/||31|
|៤១||សែសិបមួយ / saesep muey/||41|
|៥០||ហាសិប / haasep/||50|
|៥១||ហាសិបមួយ / haasep muey/||51|
|៦០||ហុកសិប / hoksep/||60|
|៦១||ហុកសិបមួយ / hoksep muey/||61|
|៧០||ចិតសិប / cetsep/||70|
|៧១||ចិតសិបមួយ / cetsep muey/||71|
|៨១||ប៉ែតសិបមួយ / paetsep muey/||81|
|៩១||កៅសិបមួយ / kawsep muey/||91|
|១០០||មួយរយ /muey rOOy/||100|
|១០១||មួយរយមួយ / muey rOOy muey/||101|
|១.០០០||មួយពាន់ / muey po(en/||1,000|
|១០.០០០||មួយម៉ឺន / muey mehn/||10,000|
|១០០.០០០||មួយសែន / muey saen/||100,000|
|១.០០០.០០០||មួយលាន / muey lien/||1,000,000|
Cardinals[edit | edit source]
The particle ទី (tii) is used to place in front of ordinal number in order to change the ordinal number to Khmer cardinal number.
|Khmer Number||Ordinal Name||Ordinal Number||Cardinal Name||Cardinal Number|
|១||មួយ /muey/||1||ទីមួយ /tii muey/||1st|
|២||ពីរ /pii/||2||ទីពីរ /tii pii/||2nd|
|៣||បី /bey/||3||ទីបី /tii bey/||3nd|
|៤||បួន /buen/||4||ទីបួន /tii buen/||4th|
|៥||ប្រាំ /pram/||5||ទីប្រាំ /tii pram/||5th|
Currency[edit | edit source]
Cambodian has its own currency, called រៀល /riel/. There are the following types of bank notes or ក្រដាសប្រាក់ /kratāsbrāk/:
- 100 riel = ១០០ រៀល
- 200 riel = ២០០ រៀល
- 500 riel = ៥០០ រៀល
- 1000 riel = ១.០០០ រៀល
- 2000 riel = ២.០០០ រៀល
- 5000 riel = ៥.០០០ រៀល
- 10000 riel = ១០.០០០ រៀល
- 20000 riel = ២០.០០០ រៀល
- 50000 riel = ៥០.០០០ រៀល
- 100000 riel = ១០០.០០០ រៀល
Personal Pronouns[edit | edit source]
One of the most difficult problems in Khmer for a foreign student is the choice of appropriate pronouns; there is a much larger number of pronouns than in English because they are context oriented, since they reflect gender, relative age, and social status of the speakers to the addressee. Thus there are no general pronouns such as "you" which are appropriate for all situation. The tables below provide the commonest Khmer personal pronoun and their explanation:
First Person[edit | edit source]
|Singular (I)||Address||Plural (We)||Address|
|ខ្ញុំ /kʰ*ñuṅ/||Polite, to elder ot same age person||យើង /yæŋ/||Polite pronoun, to elder, younger and same age persona|
|ខ្ញុំបាទ /kʰ*ñuṅ bād/||Same as "ខ្ញុំ"||យើងខ្ញុំ /yæŋ kʰ*ñuṅ/||Same as "យើង"|
|គ្នា /g*nā/||Polite, to same age person||ពួកយើង /puak yæŋ/||Same as "យើង"|
|អញ /ʔañ/||Impolite, to unrespectable person or close friend (very sensitive!)||ពួកគ្នា /puak g*nā/||Same as "យើង"|
- I go to school
- ខ្ញុំ : khnyom
- ទៅ : dau
- សាលារៀន : sālārian
- គ្នាដើរទៅផ្សារ សុខចង់ទៅផ្សារជាមួយគ្នា ?
- I walk to the market, Do you want to go with me Sok?
- We want to study Khmer.
- We are students.
- We study Khmer with teacher Sam.
Second Person[edit | edit source]
|Singular (You)||Address||Plural (You all)||Address|
|លោក /lōk||Polite masculine, to elder, younger, or superior in formal situation ("Mr.")||អស់លោក /ʔas lōk/||Polite masculine, to elder, younger or superior in formal situation ("Mr. all")|
|លោកស្រី /lōk s*rī/||Polite feminine, to elder, younger or superior in formal situation ("Mrs.")||អស់អ្នក /ʔas ʔ*nak/||to a group of approximately the same age people. ("You all")|
|អ្នក /ʔ*nak/||To same age person ("You")|
|ឯង /eŋ/||Impolite, to younger ("You")|
- លោកចង់ពិសារគុយទាវទេ ? = Do you want to eat noodle soup?
- លោកស្រីស្នាក់នៅឯណា ? = Where do you stay?
- អ្នកឈ្មោះអី ? = What is your name?
- អស់លោកមកពីប្រទេសណា ? = Where are you all from?
- អស់អ្នកស្នាក់នៅឯណា ? = Where do you all stay?
Third Person[edit | edit source]
|Singular (He/She/It)||Address||Plural (They)||Address|
|វា /vā/||To inferior, child, otherwise insulting, animal "It"||ពួកវា puak /vā/||To a group inferior, group of children or animals|
|គាត់ /gāt/||Polite unisex, to older, adult "He or She"||ពួកគាត់ puak /gāt/||To group of the same age or older people|
|គេ /ge/||To people we don't know "He, She, One, or Someone"||ពួកគេ puak /ge/||To group of unknown people|
|នាង /nāŋ/||Polite feminine, to younger "He or She"||ពួកនាង puak /nāŋ/||To group of young feminine|
- ក្មេងនេះវាមកពីណា ? = Where is this kid come from?
- គាត់រៀនខ្មែរនៅសាលាណា ? = At what school does he or she study Khmer?
- គេចង់ទៅណា ? = Where is he or she want to go?
- នាងនោះធើ្វការអីនៅស្រុកខ្មែរ ? = What does she do for a living in Cambodia?
- ថ្ងៃនេះមានក្មេងច្រើនណាស់មកលេង សួននេះ។ ពួកវាមកពីណា ? = Today, there are many children in this park. Where are they all from?
- ពួកគាត់រៀនខ្មែរនៅសាលាណា ? = At what school do they study Khmer?
- ពួកគេចង់ទៅណា ? = Where do they want to go?
- ពួកនាងធើ្វការអីនៅស្រុកខ្មែរ ? = What do they do for a living in Cambodia?
Intonation and Question Particles[edit | edit source]
Statements[edit | edit source]
Statements are normally accompanied by a falling contour on the last words of the sentence, for example:
- ញុំ សុខសប្បាយជាទេ = I am quite well.
Rising contour may also occur at the end of statements. In this case, the statement seems to be obvious, for example:
- ខ្ញុំ សុខសប្បាយជាទេ = I am fine [of course]
Questions[edit | edit source]
Questions are formed in three ways in Cambodian, question requesting specific information, question requiring a yes or no answer and the question that occur without question particle or question words.
Questions are usually accompanied by rising contour on the last words of the sentence. The rising contour question reflects deference, politeness and formality, for example:
- លោកអញ្ជើញទៅណា ? = Where are you going, Sir?
The Question Particle តើ /tæ/[edit | edit source]
The question particle (តើ) are always occurs at the beginning of an interrogative clause in formal questions. When the question particle (តើ) is used, it signal the fact that a question follows and the rising and falling intonation of question is not necessary. For example:
- លោកអញ្ជើញទៅណា ? = Where are you going, Sir?
- តើលោកអញ្ជើញទៅណា ? = Where are you going, Sir?
Questions Requesting Specific Information[edit | edit source]
Questions requesting specific information require a question words for example: Question words: Where ណា (nā), What អី (aī) / អី្វ (aīv)
- ទៅណាហ្នឹង សុខ ? ខ្ញុំទៅណោះ មួយភ្លែត។ = Where are you going? I go there for a moment.
- លោកអញ្ជើញទៅណា ? ខ្ញុំទៅសាលា។ = Where are you going? I go to school.
- លោកមានការអីដែរ ។ ខ្ញុំចង់ជួបលោក សំណាង។ = What are you doing? I want to meet Samnang.
- អ្នកឈ្មោះអី្វ ? ខ្ញុំឈោ្មះ ផល។ = What is your name? I'm Bhal.
Questions Requiring Yes or No Answer[edit | edit source]
Question requiring yes- or-no answer require a final question particle ទេ (de) . The full form of particle (de) is ឬទេ (ȳde) .
- លោកសុខសប្បាយ ទេ ? បាទ ខ្ញុំសុខសប្បាយទេ។ = How are you? I'm fine.
- លោកស្រីសុខសប្បាយ ឬទេ ? ចាស ខ្ញុំសុខសប្បាយទេ។ = How are you doing? I'm fine.
Response Particles: Yes បាទ /bād/, ចាស /cās/[edit | edit source]
The function of the response particles បាទ (a respond by men) and ចាស (a respond by women) is a polite acknowledgment of a previous utterance speech by other speakers, whether the previous utterance was a statement or a question. Following a question, the occurrence of a response particle as the sole constituent of the response implied affirmation.
A negative reply is indicated by a response particle followed by the negative final particle ទេ or by ទេ alone.
In exchange between equals, response particles tend to be discontinued after the initial exchanges.
The exchange between a superior and an inferior, response particles tend to be used through the exchange by the inferior, but may be discontinued or not used at all by the superior party in the exchange.
Response particles usually occur with a falling intonation contour.
- លោកសុខសប្បាយទេ ? = Are you fine? -> ចាស (women) / បាទ (men)
- លោកស្រីទៅរៀនទេ ? = Is she going to school? -> ចាទេ (women) / បាទទេ (men)
Word ណា (nā)[edit | edit source]
ណា (nā) is used in many forms:
Interrogative forms[edit | edit source]
- លោក មក ពី ណា ? = Where have you been ?
- លោក ទៅ ណា ? = Where are you going ?
- លោក ស្នាក់នៅ កន្លែង ណា ? = Which place do you stay ?
- លោក ទៅ កន្លែង ណា ? = Which place are you going to ?
- លោក មកពី ប្រទេស ណា ? = Which country are you from ?
Indefinite forms (somewhere/anywhere/wherever)[edit | edit source]
- លោកស្រី ទៅ ណា ទេ ? = Are you going somewhere or anywhere ?
- ខ្ញុំ មិន ទៅ ណា ទេ។ = I am not going anywhere.
- លោកស្រី ចង់ ទៅ ណា ទេ ? = Do you want to go somewhere or anywhere ?
- ខ្ញុំ មិន ចង់ ទៅ ណា ទេ។ = I don't want to go anywhere.
- លោក ចង់ ទៅ ណា ក៏ បានដែរ។ = You can go anywhere or wherever (you wish).
- បើលោកស្រី ចង់ ទៅ ណា ខ្ញុំ អាច ជូន ទៅ បាន។ = If you want to go somewhere or anywhere I will take you. Or: Wherever you want to go, I will take you.
- លោកស្រី ចង់ ទៅ កន្លែង ណា ? = Do you want to go some or any place ?
- ខ្ញុំ មិន ចង់ ទៅ កន្លែង ណា ទេ។ = I don't want to go to any place.
- លោក ចង់ ទៅ កន្លែង ណា ក៏ បាន ដែរ។ = You can go any place (anywhere) you wish.
- បើ លោក ចង់ ទៅ ផ្សារ ណា ខ្ញុំ ជូនទៅ។ = If you want to go to any market I will take you. Or: Whatever / whichever market you want to go, I will take you.
Can also occur with the elements muey (one) and klah (some) as compound indefinite pronouns and adjectives:
- បើ លោក ចង់ បាន អាវ ណា មួយ ប្រាប់ ខ្ញុំ មក ។ = if you want (any shirt), just tell me.
- លោក ចង់ ទៅ កន្លែង ណា ខ្លះ។ = Wherever you would like to go, I will take you.
Word ចេះ /ce/ and ស្គាល់ /sgal/ "Know"[edit | edit source]
កិរិយាស័ព្ទ ស្គាល់ / Know a person, place or thing[edit | edit source]
The verb (ស្គាល់) here is use to express, be acquainted with person, to know and to know of.
Question: Subject + ស្គាល់ + person/place/thing + ទេ / ឬទេ ?
Response Female Male Positive ចាស ស្គាល់ បាទ ស្គាល់ Negative អត់ទេ អត់ ស្គាល់ ទេ
- សូមទោស លោក ស្គាល់ គ្រូភាសាខ្មែរ ទេ ? = Excuse me, do you know a Khmer teacher?
- សូមទោស លោក ស្គាល់ ភ្នំពេញ ទេ ? = Excuse me, do you know where Phnom Penh is?
- សូមទោស លោក ស្គាល់ ផ្ទះលោក សារ៉េត ទេ ? = Excuse me, do you know Saret's house?
កិរិយាស័ព្ទ ចេះ / Know how to do something[edit | edit source]
The verb (ចេះ) here is use to express the ability of knowing to do things.
Question: Subject + ចេះ + do something + ទេ / ឬទេ ?
Response Female Male Positive ចាស ចេះ បាទ ចេះ Negative អត់ទេ អត់ ចេះ ទេ
- លោក ចេះ និយាយ ភាសា ខ្មែរ ទេ ? = Do you know how to speak Khmer or Do you speak Khmer?.
- អ្នក ចេះ ច្រៀង ទេ ? = Do you know how to sing?
- អ្នកចេះ លេងភ្លេង ខ្មែរ ទេ ? = Do you know how to play Khmer music?
Word អី្វ /ʔaīv/ "What"[edit | edit source]
អី្វ /ʔaīv/ is used in many forms:
Interrogative forms[edit | edit source]
- លោក ទិញ អី្វ ? ខ្ញុំ ទិញ សៀវភៅ។ = What do you buy ? I buy a book.
- អ្នក លក់ អី្វ ? ខ្ញុំ លក់ ខោអាវ។ = What do you sell ? I sell clothing.
- លោក ទិញ សៀវភៅ អី្វ ? ខ្ញុំ ទិញ សៀវភៅ សរសេរ។ = Which book are you buying ? I buy a notebook.
- អ្នក លក់ ខោអាវ អី្វ ? ខ្ញុំ លក់ ខោអាវ បុរស។ = What clothing are you selling ? I sell men clothes.
Indefinite forms (somewhat/anywhat/whatever)[edit | edit source]
- គាត់ ទៅ ទិញ អី្វ នៅ ផ្សារ។ = He goes to buy something at the market.
- ខ្ញុំ លក់ អី្វ នៅ ផ្សារ។ = I sell something at the market.
- ខ្ញុំ មិន ចង់ ញុំា អី្វ ទេ។ = I don't want to eat anything.
- បើ លោក ចង់ បាន អ្វី ខ្ញុំ ទិញ អោយ។ = If you want anything I will buy it for you. or: whatever you want I will buy it for you.
- អ្នក ចង់ ទិញ ខោអាវ អី្វ ទេ ? ខ្ញុំ មិន ចង់ ទិញ ខោអាវ អី្វ ទេ។ = Do you want to buy any clothes? I don't want to buy any clothes.
- បើ លោក ចង់ បាន ខោអាវ អ្វី ខ្ញុំ ទិញ អោយ។ ? លោក ទិញ ខោអាវ អ្វី អោយ ខ្ញុំ ក៏បាន ដែរ។ = If you want any clothes I will buy it for you. You can buy any clothes for me.
- បើ អ្នក ចង់ ទិញ អី្វខ្លះ ប្រាប់មក ខ្ញុំ អាច ទិញ អោយ បាន។ = If you want me to buy something, just let me know, I will buy it for you.
- បើ អ្នក ចង់ ពិសារ អី្វមួយ ប្រាប់មក ខ្ញុំ ទិញ អោយ។ = If you want to eat anything just let me know I will buy it for you.
- បើ អ្នក ចង់ ទិញ សៀវភៅ អី្វមួយ ពី ស្រុក អាមេរិក ប្រាប់មក ខ្ញុំ អាច ទិញ អោយ បាន។ = If you want me to buy any books from America, just let me know, I will buy it for you.
Word ប៉ុន្មាន /bunmān/ "How much, How many"[edit | edit source]
Used forms[edit | edit source]
- លោក ត្រូវការ ស្ករ ប៉ុនា្មន គីឡូ ? ខ្ញុំ ត្រូវការ ស្ករ ២ គីឡូ។ = How many kilos of sugar do you want? I want 2 kilos of sugar.
- អ្នក ទិញ ទឹកសុទ្ធ ប៉ុនា្មន ដប ? ខ្ញុំ ទិញ ទឹកសុទ្ធ ១២ ដប។ = How many bottle of pure water do you want to buy? I buy pure water 12 bottles.
- ម៉ោង ប៉ុនា្មន ហើយ ? ម៉ោង ៨ ហើយ។ = What time is it now? It is 8 o'clock.
- គាត់ ត្រូវការ ប៉ុនា្មន គីឡូ ? គាត់ ត្រូវការ ៦ គីឡូ = How many kilos does he want? He wants 6 kilos
- រូបគំនូរ នេះ ថ្លៃ ប៉ុនា្មន ? រូបគំនូរ នេះ ថ្លៃ ១៨ ដុល្លា។ = How much is this painting? It is 18 dollars.
- លោក ត្រូវការ ប៉ុនា្មន ? ខ្ញុំ ត្រូវការ ២០ ។ = How much do you need? I need 20.
- លោក ចង់បាន ប៉ុនា្មន ? គាត់ ចង់បាន ១៥ = How much do you want? I want 15.
- ពួកគេ មាន ប្រាក់ ប៉ុនា្មន ? ពួកគេ មាន ប្រាក់ ៥០០ រៀល។ = How much money do they have? They have 500 riels.
Present Tense[edit | edit source]
Affirmative sentences[edit | edit source]
Unlike English, Khmer verbs do not take inflection in the present tense.
Simple Sentence with Intransitive Verb: Subject + Verb (intransitive)
- គាត់ យំ ។ = He cries.
- សិស្ស សើច។ = Student laughs.
- ពួកគេ ដើរ ។ = They walk.
- ខ្ញុំ ដេក ។ = I sleep.
Simple Sentence with Intransitive Verb and Adverb: Subject + Verb + Adverb
- ក្មេងៗ ដើរ តាមដងផ្លូវ។ = Children walk on the street.
- សំ រស់នៅ ក្នុងទីក្រុង ។ = Sam lives in the city.
Simple Sentence with Transitive Verb and follow by Object: Subject + Verb + Object
- ខ្មុំ ស្នាក់នៅ សណ្ឋាគារអាស៊ី ។ = I stay in Asie Hotel.
- ខ្មុំ ជួប គាត់ ។ = I meet him.
- ក្មេងៗ ចូលចិត្ដ ផ្លែឈើ ។ = Children like fruit.
- យើង ស្រឡាញ់ សន្ដិភាព ។ = We love peace.
Negative sentences[edit | edit source]
The negative sentence in Khmer is formed by inserting of a negative word ( មិន ) or ( អត់ ) between the subject and the main verb of a sentence and ( ទេ ) at the end of that sentence. Particle ( ទេ ) can be deleted from the negative sentence, but it doesn't sound natural. Subject + មិន or អត់ + ( Verb [intransitive] / Verb + Adverb / Verb + Object ) + ទេ
- គាត់ មិន/អត់ យំ ទេ។ = He doesn't cry.
- សិស្ស មិន/អត់ សើច ទេ។ = Student doesn't laugh.
- ពួកគេ មិន/អត់ ដើរ ទេ។ = They don't walk.
- ខ្ញុំ មិន/អត់ ដេក ទេ។ ។ = I don't sleep.
- ក្មេងៗ មិន/អត់ ដើរ តាមដងផ្លូវ ទេ។ = Children don't walk on the street.
- សំ មិន/អត់ រស់នៅ ក្នុងទីក្រុង ទេ។ = Sam deosn't live in the city
- ខ្មុំ មិន/អត់ ស្នាក់នៅ សណ្ឋាគារអាស៊ី ទេ។ = I don't stay in Asie Hotel.
- ខ្មុំ មិន/អត់ ជួប គាត់ ទេ។ = I don't meet him.
- ក្មេងៗ មិន/អត់ ចូលចិត្ដ ផ្លែឈើ ទេ។ = Children don't like fruit.
- យើង មិន/អត់ ស្រឡាញ់ សន្ដិភាព ទេ។ = We don't love peace.
Interrogative sentences[edit | edit source]
The question particle (តើ) always occours at the beginning of an interrogative clause in formal questions. When the question particle (តើ) is used, it signal the fact that a question follows and the rising and falling intonation of question is not necessary.
Question requiring yes- or-no answer require a final question particle ទេ (de)). The full form of particle (de) is ឬទេ (yde). តើ + Subject + ( Verb [intransitive] / Verb + Adverb / Verb + Object ) + ឬទេ ?
- តើ គាត់ យំ ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Does he cry?
- តើ សិស្ស សើច ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Does the student laugh?
- តើ ពួកគេ ដើរ ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do they walk?
- តើ ខ្ញុំ ដេក ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do I sleep?
- តើ ក្មេងៗ ដើរ តាមដងផ្លូវ ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do children walk on the street?
- តើ សំ រស់នៅ ក្នុងទីក្រុង ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do Sam live in the city?
- តើ លោក ស្នាក់នៅ សណ្ឋាគារអាស៊ី ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do you stay in Asie Hotel?
- តើ លោក ជួប គាត់ ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do you meet him?
- តើ ក្មេងៗ ចូលចិត្ដ ផ្លែឈើ ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do children like fruit?
- តើ យើង ស្រឡាញ់ សន្ដិភាព ឬទេ/ទេ ? = Do we love peace?
Present Tense with Connecting Verb ជា /jā/[edit | edit source]
Note: The connecting verb (ជា ) can be dropped in from the affirmative, negative, or interogative sentence in the spoken form and the sentence still carries the same meaning.
Affirmative Sentence[edit | edit source]
The meaning of connecting verb (ជា) is (be, is) as in the sentence: Subject + Connecting verb (ជា ) + Noun
- ខ្ញ្ញុំ ជា ជនជាតិ អាមេរិក ។ = I am an American.
- គាត់ ជា សាស្រ្ដាចារ្យ ។ = He is a professor.
- ខ្ញ្ញុំ ជា គ្រូបង្រៀន ។ = I am a teacher.
- ពួកគេ ជា កសិករ ។ = They are frmers.
- អាគារនេះ ជា បណ្ណាល័យ ។ = This building is a library.
Negative Sentence[edit | edit source]
The negative sentence of simple sentence, with connecting verb ( ជា ), is form by inserting the negative word ( មិនមែន ) or ( អត់មែន ) between the subject and the main verb of a sentence and ( ទេ ) at the end of that sentence. Particle ( ទេ ) can be deleted from the negative sentence, but it doesn't sound natural. Subject + មិនមែន or អត់មែន + Connecting verb (ជា ) + Noun + ទេ
- ខ្ញ្ញុំ មិនមែន/អត់មែន ជា ជនជាតិ អាមេរិក ទេ។ = I am not an American
- គាត់ មិនមែន/អត់មែន ជា សាស្រ្ដាចារ្យ ទេ។ = He is not a professor.
- ខ្ញ្ញុំ មិនមែន/អត់មែន ជា គ្រូបង្រៀន ទេ។ = I am not a teacher.
- ពួកគេ មិនមែន/អត់មែន ជា កសិករ ទេ។ = They are not farmers.
- អាគារនេះ មិនមែន/អត់មែន ជា បណ្ណាល័យ ទេ។ = This building is not a library.
Interrogative Sentence[edit | edit source]
The interrogative clause, with connecting verb (ជា ), is form by adding particle (តើ) at the beginning of the clause and follows by ( មែនទេ ) at the end of the clause. តើ + Subject + Connecting verb (ជា ) + Noun + មែនទេ ?
- តើ លោក ជា ជនជាតិ អាមេរិក មែនទេ ? = Are you an American?
- តើ គាត់ ជា សាស្រ្ដាចារ្យ មែនទេ ? = Is he a professor?
- តើ នាង ជា គ្រូបង្រៀន មែនទេ ? = Is she a teacher?
- តើ ពួកគេ ជា កសិករ មែនទេ ? = Are they famers?
- តើ អាគារនេះ ជា បណ្ណាល័យ មែនទេ ? = Is this building a library?
Future Tense and Adverb of Time[edit | edit source]
Present Tense with connecting Verb គឺ /gȳ/[edit | edit source]
The Verb មាន /mān/ Occur After a Subject[edit | edit source]
The Verb មាន /mān/ Occur without a Subject[edit | edit source]
The Verb មាន /mān/ as a Modal[edit | edit source]
Past Tense and Adverb of Time[edit | edit source]
Modal Verb អាច /ʔāc/ and Completive Verb បាន /bān/[edit | edit source]
Noun and Noun Specifier[edit | edit source]
Possessive Pronoun[edit | edit source]
Word ខ្លួន /kʰluan/ as Reflexive Pronoun[edit | edit source]
Numerical Phrase Involving Time Specifier[edit | edit source]