คือ Continuing with the discussion of “to be” words” that started with Part 1 and Part 2, the word คือ /kʉʉ/ also means “to be.” Let’s explore how it’s used…

A shorty but goody, hopefully. The word คือ /kʉʉ/ is used when you want to equate things, when you want to give an exact description to something. For example:

นั่นจักรยานของผม
/nân jàk-​grà~​yaan kɔ̌ɔng pǒm/
(that bicycle of me)
That is my bicycle.

Another great explanation comes from James Higbie’s book “Thai Reference Grammar.” In the book, he compares both “He is my teacher” and “He’s a teacher.” While I will not reprint the contents of his book directly here, it does well to show a subtle but important distinction. “He is my teacher” shows a direct equivalence of him (the person) and my teacher. “He is a teacher” is a descriptive, well… description, of the person.

Hope this helps, and it should complete my series on “to be.” But never say never…