The word ของ (kɔ̌ɔng), which means “of” in English, is used to show possession. For example, “Josh’s car” or “your friend.” It’s a pretty simple grammatical concept for Thai, thankfully. All you have to do is remember the structure:

Noun + ของ + possessor

I put it in big text so you won’t forget! (That’s the kind of nice guy that I am.)

Here are a few quick examples:

My car: รถของผม
(rót kɔ̌ɔng pǒm)
car – “of” – I/me

Your friend: เพื่อนของคุณ
(pʉ̂an kɔ̌ɔng kun)
friend – “of” – you

I told you it was simple!

When I first started learning this, I came up with the “double possessive” scenario – a term I came up with and have no idea if that’s technically correct or not. Anyway, I’m talking about what to do when you want to express a possessive concept such as “my mother’s friend’s dog.” In a nutshell, you string the nouns and possessives together and separate each with ของ:

My mother’s friend’s dog: หมาของเพื่อนของแม่
(mǎa kɔ̌ɔng pʉ̂an kɔ̌ɔng mɛ̂ɛ)
dog – “of” – friend – “of” – mother

Just be careful with the order in which you place your nouns; the first few times I tried it was actually saying “my friend’s mother’s dog.”

One last quick note, native Thai speakers – just to mess with our heads, I’m convinced – will often eliminate ของ. (You have to understand that Thai people love to condense the language as much as possible and remove words that aren’t 100% necessary if the speaker/writer can be understood.) I suggest that as both farang and new Thai learners, keep ของ in and don’t tempt fate.