Khmer Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Khmer grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Khmer and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Khmer and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Khmer.

Prepositions
Khmer
and

និង

above

ខាងលើ

under

ក្រោម

before

មុន

after

ក្រោយមក / បន្ទាប់មក

in front of

នៅខាងមុខ

behind

ខាងក្រោយ

far from

ឆ្ងាយពី

near

ជិត

in

ក្នុង

inside

ខាងក្នុង

outside

ខាងក្រៅ

with

ជាមួយ

without

គ្មាន

about

អំពី

between

ចន្លោះ / រវាង

but

ប៉ុន្តែ

for

សម្រាប់ / ចំពោះ

from

ពី / មកពី

to

ទៅ/ឆ្ពោះ


Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules
Khmer
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun]

ខ្ញុំញាំ​មិន​បាច់​កាំបិត


she lives near the church
[verb + preposition]

នាង​រស់​នៅជិត​វិហ៊ារ


he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition]

គាត់​ខ្ពស់​ជាង​នាង


he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun]

គាត់​បាន​មក​ជាមួយ​ឆ្កែ​របស់​គាត់


can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun]

តើ​អ្នក​អាច​មក​ជាមួយ​ខ្ញុំ​ទេ?



Negation in Khmer

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules
Khmer
I understand you
[affirmative form]

ខ្ញុំ​យល់​អំពី​អ្នក


I don't understand you
[negation + verb]

ខ្ញុំ​មិនយល់​អំពី​អ្នក


this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective]

ពាក្យ​នេះមិន​ត្រឹមត្រូវ


don't leave me
[imperative negation]

កុំទុក​ខ្ញុំចោល


no problem
[negation + noun]

គ្មាន​បញ្ហា



Negative Sentences
Khmer
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense]

ខ្ញុំ​មិន​និយាយ​ភាសា​បារាំង


she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense]

នាង​មិនបាន​ទៅ​អាលីម៉ង់ទេ


he cannot see us
[negative modal verb]

គាត់​មិន​អាច​ឃើញ​យើង


can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation]

តើ​នាង​អាច​លេង​អុក​បានទេ?


we will not come late
[negation + future tense]

យើង​និង​មិន​មក​យឺតទេ



Questions in Khmer

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English
Khmer
how?

យ៉ាងម៉េច?

what?

អ្វី?

who?

អ្នកណា?

why?

ហេតុអ្វី?

where?

នៅណា?


More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules
Khmer
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb]

តើ​អ្នក​ស្នាក់នៅ​ទីណា?


does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb]

តើ​នាង​និយាយ​ភាសា​ចិនទេ?


how much is this?
[interrogative preposition]

តើ​នេះ​ថ្លៃ​ប៉ុន្មាន?


can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb]

តើ​អ្នកត្រូវការអ្វី?


what is your name?
[interrogative preposition]

តើ​អ្នក​ឈ្មោះ​អ្វី?



Adverbs in Khmer

It's time to learn the adverbs in Khmer. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs
Khmer
now

ឥឡូវនេះ

yesterday

ម្សិលមិញ

today

ថ្ងៃនេះ

tonight

យប់នេះ

tomorrow

ថ្ងៃស្អែក

soon

ឆាប់ៗ

quickly

យ៉ាងរហ័ស

slowly

យ៉ាងយឺតៗ

together

ព្រមជាមួយគ្នា

very

ណាស់

almost

ភាគច្រើន /ស្ទើរតែទាំងអស់

always

ជានិច្ចកាល

usually

តាមធម្មតា

sometimes

ពេលខ្លះ

rarely

ដោយកម្រ

never

មិនដែល


The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules
Khmer
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb]

តើអ្នកយល់ខ្ញុំហើយ​រឺនៅ?


I need help immediately
[noun + adverb]

ខ្ញុំត្រូវការ​ជំនួយ​ជាបន្ទាន់


she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective]

នាង​ឆ្លាតណាស់


I will always love you
[verb + adverb]

ខ្ញុំនិង​ស្រលាញ់​អ្នក​ជារៀងរហូត


can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question]

តើយើង​អាច​រៀន​ភាសាអាលីម៉ង់​ជាមួយ​គ្នា​ទេ?



Pronouns in Khmer

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Khmer. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns
Khmer
I

ខ្ញុំ

you

លោក/អ្នក

he

គាត់

she

នាង

we

យើង

they

ពួកគេ


Object Pronouns
Khmer
me

ខ្ញុំ

you

លោក/អ្នក

him

គាត់

her

គាត់

us

យើង

them

ពួកគេ


Possessive Pronouns
Khmer
my

របស់ខ្ញុំ

your

របស់លោក/អ្នក

his

របស់គាត់

her

របស់នាង

our

របស់យើង

their

របស់ពួកគេ


I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns
Khmer
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb]

ខ្ញុំ​ជាមិត្តអ្នក


you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb]

អ្នកនិយាយលឿន


he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb]

គាត់មានឆ្កែបី


she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb]

នាងអាចនិយាយភាសា​អាលីម៉ង់


we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun]

យើង​និង​មិន​មក​យឺតទេ


they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun]

គេទិញនុំប៉ាំងនិង​ទឹកដោះគោ



The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns
Khmer
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun]

តើអ្នក​អាច​ប្រាប់ឈ្មោះអ្នកបានទេ?


I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun]

ខ្ញុំ​និងអោយលុយអ្នក


she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun]

នាងសរសេរសំបុត្រ​អោយគាត់


they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun]

ពួកគេសូរសុខទុក​នាង​ម្សិលមិញ


can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun]

តើនាង​អាចជួយយើងបានទេ?


he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun]

គាត់អោយម្ហូបទៅពួកគេ



Possessive Pronouns
Khmer
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun]

ខ្ញឈ្មោះម៉ាយ៉ា


your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun]

បងប្រុសអ្នក​រស់នៅទីនេះ


her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun]

ម្ដាយនាងដាំស្លរអោយយើង


his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun]

ចំណូលចិត្ត​របស់គាត់​គឺ​អានសៀវភៅ


our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun]

សុបិនរបស់យើង​គឺ​ទៅលេង​ប៉ារីស


their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun]

ផ្ទះ​របស់​ពួកគេ​នៅ​មិន​ឆ្ងាយ​ទេ


One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns
Khmer
this is my house

នេះគឺជាផ្ទះ​របស់ខ្ញុំ

that restaurant is far

ភោជនីយដ្ថាន​នៅ​ឆ្ងាយ

these apples are delicious

ផ្លែប៉ម​ទាំង​នោះ​មានរស់ជាតិ

those stars are shiny

ផ្កាយ​ទាំងនោះ​មានពន្លឺ


I hope you learned a lot about the Khmer grammar in this lesson. If you have any question about this lesson please contact me here. The next lesson is below, have fun!



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Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus