The Middle Class Consonant

You will see three lessons that will help you to learn all the consonants belonging to the middle class, learn its tone rules, and how to read them.

Lesson 1

Learn and memorize these 6 consonants from the middle class. You can see each of them has their names. It is not a must to memorize the name and its meaning. You will be able to read Thai without knowing them.

However, knowing the names of the consonants will help you when you ask a Thai person to spell a word for you. Since some letters share the same sound, you need to know which letter is the correct one to use.

LetterSoundNameMeaning of the nameAudio
kɔɔไก่ (kày)a chicken
cɔɔจาน (caan)a plate
dɔɔเด็ก (dèk)a kid
tɔɔเต่า (tàw)a turtle
bɔɔใบไม้ (bay máay)a leaf
pɔɔปลา (plaa)fish

The word vowel in Thai is สระ (sará). Now, let’s learn these 6 vowels by listening to the audio and practicing saying them.

- ะ / ั a-า aa
- ิ i- ี ii
- ุ u- ู uu

Now, let’s talk about a changed vowel. The form of some vowels will change when a syllable has a final consonant. You see from the table above that there are two forms of the vowel -a.

For example,

จ + -ะ = จะ (cà)

จ + -ะ + บ = จับ (càp)

Let’s practice reading

Reading 1: You will see syllables with middle class consonants and all the six vowels you have learnt so far.

The audio is played in a left to right order.

Reading 2: You will read syllables with น and บ as a final consonant.

Did you notice that when a syllable has a final consonant, the type of vowel doesn’t affect the tone?

For example, Even though กัน (kan) has a short vowel, it is a middle tone because of น (n) ending.

Lesson 2

Are you getting bored with just a middle tone and a low tone? Let’s learn how to use the tone marks!

In this lesson, you will see the tone mark with its name, and what tone it makes when used with middle class consonants.

่ – ไม้เอก (máay ʔèek)

This tone mark makes low tone when used with middle class and high class consonants. In this lesson, you only see words with the middle class.


้ – ไม้โท (máay thoo)

This tone mark makes falling tone when used with middle class and high class consonants. In this lesson, you only see words with the middle class.


๊ – ไม้ตรี (máay trii)

This tone mark makes high tone. It is used only with middle class consonants.


๋ – ไม้จัตวา (máay càttawaa)

This tone mark makes rising tone. It is used only with middle class consonants.


Lesson 3

Let’s complete the rest of the middle class consonants here.

LetterSoundNameMeaning of the nameAudio
ʔɔɔอ่าง (ʔàaŋ)a basin, a sink
dɔɔชฎา (chá-daa)a headdress
tɔɔปฏัก (patàk)a goad

You can see that the consonant ฎ share the same sound with ด, and the consonant ฏ shares the same sound with ต.

Now, let’s add 4 more vowels. You will see 2 of them are the changed vowels.

โ-ะ / disappear โ-
เ-าะ / ็อ -อ
Here is how the vowel โ-ะ (-o) changes.

ก + โ-ะ = โกะ (kò)

ก + โ-ะ + บ (kòp)

Here is how the vowel เ-าะ (-ɔ) changes.

ก + เ-าะ = เกาะ (kɔ̀)

ก + เ-าะ + บ = ก็อบ (kɔ̀p)

Now, let’s talk about the letter อ and the vowel -อ.

Is อ a consonant or a vowel?

Well, อ is both a consonant and a vowel. When you see it’s used as a consonant, it works as a placeholder. So, you will read the vowel right away.


If you look at the word ออน from the table above, you will see that the first อ is a consonant, and the second -อ is a vowel.

Let’s practice reading


I did not put a word with ฎ and ฏ in the practice section because there is only few words starting with them. However, you will see them as a part many words in your future reading.

So, you should not ignore them. Remember their sounds will be very useful.

To wrap up

From lesson 1 to lesson 3, we have covered how to read words with middle class consonants in a correct tone. I put a list of everything you have learned from these three lessons.

  • 9 middle class consonants (ก จ ด ต บ ป อ ฎ ฏ)
  • All the tone marks ( ่ ้ ๊ ๋ )
  • 5 short vowels ( -ะ ิ ุ โ-ะ เ-าะ ) and 5 long vowels ( -า ี ู โ- -อ )
  • Use น and บ as a final consonant

Please make sure you know all the consonants, vowels, tone marks, and tone rules in this lesson well before moving on to the next lesson.