Passive voice is used when a person or object is the receiver of an action. Here are a few English examples:

  • The car was stolen.
  • I was shot.
  • My friend was fired (from his job).

To create sentences in the passive voice is simple; just add the words ถูก /tùuk/ (literally “to touch” or “to contact”) or โดน /doon/ (literally “to strike” or “to hit”) in between the object and the verb.

Now that you understand the passive voice, let’s take a look at the sentences and translate them into Thai:

รถถูกขโมย
/rót tùuk kà-mooi/
(car “passive voice indicator” to steal)
The car was stolen.

ผมถูกยิง
/pǒm tùuk ying/
(I “male speaker” “passive voice indicator” to shoot)
I was shot.

เพื่อนของฉันโดนไล่ออก
/pʉ̂an kɔ̌ɔng chán doon lâi-ɔ̀ɔk/
(friend of me “female speaker” “passive voice indicator” to fire [from a job])
My friend was fired.

It is probably helpful to note that ถูก is more formal than โดน, so beginner Thai language learners may want to stay on the safe side and use ถูก.