The Free Online Burmese Lessons

Learn Myanmar Language, History & Culture

Action Words — Burmese Verbs

Learn Burmese Verbs

So far we have been using some Burmese verbs ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File in the sentences. Here is a review (Sortable):

sa3 eat
thwa3 go
lo2 need
ga1-za3 play
na3 rest
loat do something
pyay3 run
cha1 fight
la2 come
ku2 help
kjite like (something)
shi1 have (something)
ya1 be permitted; be available
sun3 try out (something)
yone2 believe; trust (someone)
leare2 visit
yu2 take
yay3 write
thi1 know (something)
khau2 call
yut park the car; stop (e.g., at the security check point, officer says "yut!")
nay2 stay
toe3 inch forward; push forward; move forward
hsoat go backward; to retreat
kway1 turn
ho3 stop (the vehicle)
tet go up (the vehicle, stairs)
hsin3 go down; get down (e.g, from vehicle)
lite come along
pay3 pay; give; hand over
leare3 exchange (money, merchandize, etc..)
kji1 watch
weare2 buy
ku3 cross the road. (Note: also to swim; to copy)
si3 ride (car, bus, horse, bicycle, rickshaw, plane, train, boat, elevator, hot air balloon, etc..)

In English, to watch is to look more attentively, not a casual glance by turning your head. You look, you see, and you watch if you like what you see. You see something only after you look — not you see first then look.

Myanmar language does not differentiate between "look" and "watch". kji1 in Burmese means to watch as in TV kji1Watch TV as well as to take a look.

The negative imperative phrase will be ma1-kji1 neare1 which means either "Don't Watch" or "Don't look".

myin2, on the other hand, is perceiving or seeing something as you turn your head. So,

myin2 dine3 ma1-kji1 neare1 means "Don't look (and pay attention) every time you see something."

Don't look every time you see

In English, to watch is to look more attentively, not a casual glance by turning your head. You look, you see, and you watch if you like what you see. You see something only after you look — not you see first then look. Myanmar language is opposite. (ကြည့် | kji1) in Burmese means to watch as in (TV ကြည့် | TV kji1) — Watch TV as well as to take a look. The negative imperative phrase will be (မကြည့်နဲ့ | ma1 kji1 neare1) which means either "Don't Watch" or "Don't look". (မြင် | myin2) on the other hand, is perceiving or seeing something as you turn your head. So, (မြင်တိုင်းမကြည့်နဲ့ | myin2 dine3 ma1 kji1 neare1) means "Don't look (and pay attention) every time you see something." [49 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Saturday, May 21, 2016
D-Yan & Jenny at April Queens 3 Water Festival Stage Show

Now, we will build up more vocabulary:

Category: Cleaning up

a-woot shau2 — wash clothes (clothes + wash)

ba1-gun2 hsay3 — wash dishes (plates + wash)

let hsay3 — wash the hand (hand + wash)

yay2 cho3 — take a bath or shower (water + bathe)

pfone2 thoat — to dust (dust + wipe out)

a-khan3 shin3 — tidy up the room as in room service (room + tidy-up)

How to make requests in Burmese?

To say, "I want to ... " the general format is:

xxxx chin2 deare2, where you substitute xxxx with the verb of your choice.


a-woot shau2 chin2 deare2 — I want to wash clothes.

yay2 cho3 chin2 deare2 — I want to take shower.

lite chin2 deare2 — I want to come along.

To suggest something, add the particle "ba2" after the verb with the format:

xxxx ba2

ba2 softens the tone from ordering to suggesting. Note the difference:

tet — officer ordering the soldier to go up.

tet ba2 — Driver politely telling the passenger to go inside (up) the vehicle.

ba2 ome3 — softens the tone even more.

Sa3 ba2 ome3 "Won't you have (eat) some?

Please refer to Lesson 2 and 3 for basic sentence constructions. If you know the general pattern, you can just substitute the verbs in most cases.

Note: Most of the action words have noun used as a prefix word in front of the verb. Commands can be stand alone verbs, but in phrases and complete sentences, related noun must be used as a prefix to avoid ambiguity.

Here are some more useful verbs and phrasal verbs:

Seeing a Doctor

hsay3 thout — take medication in liquid or tablet form (medicine + drink)

hsay3 hto3 — inject with needle (medicine + punch or poke through)

pya1 — to show

hsa1-ya2-woon2 pya1 — see a doctor. (doctor + show)

hsa1-ya2-woon2 khau2 — call a doctor. (doctor + call)


ba2-dtha2 pyan2 — translate. (language or subject + translate)

pfone3 khau2 — make a phone call. (phone + call)

e3-may3 po1 — send email. (email + send)

Emergency Situation

tet-si2 khau2 — call taxi. (taxi + call)

thun2-yone3 thwa3 — go to the embassy. (embassy + go)

yeare3 tine2 — make a police report. (police + report)

dau2-la2 leare3 — exchange dollar into local currency.(dollar + exchange)

Waking Up in the morning

ate-ya2 hta1 — wake up. (bed + stand)

ain2-dtha2 win2 — go to the bathroom. (toilet + enter)

myet-hna2 thit — freshen up by washing the face. (face + new)

thwa3 tite — brush teeth. (tooth + knock or rub)

moat-hsate yate — shave. (beard + shave)

Preparing to go to work

mate-kut lain3 — put on make-up and cosmetics. (cosmetic+ rub)

tha1-nut-kha3 lain3 — put on burmese traditional cosmetic made from bark of a type of tree. Burmese women and children use this paste for protection from the sun.(a type of tree bark + rub)

goun3 pfe3 — comb hair. (head + to comb)

a-woot leare3 — change clothes. (clothes + change)

ma1-net sa2 sa3 — have breakfast. (morning + portion + eat)

pfa1-nut si3 — put on footwear. (slippers, shoes + ride)

hti3 hsoun3 — use an umbrella. (umbrella + put up)

Morning Rush Hour

Yangon morning rush hour

a-loat thwa3 — go to work. (work + go)

kjoun3 thwa3 — go to school. (school + go)

a-loat sha2 — look for work. (work + search)

but-sa1-ka3 soun1 — wait for the bus. (bus + wait)

but-sa1-ka3 si3 — take a bus. (bus + ride)

ka3 moun3 — drive a car. (car + drive)

Note: Public buses are now called line3 ka3 where line3 refer to the route indicated by the route number. Rates in Yangon as of July 2016 range from 200 Kyat to 300 Kyat for the entire trip covering greater Yangon that stretches as far as 15 miles.

On January 16, 2017 a new bus system (YBS) with new numbers were introduced in Yangon. See the routes with all the bus stops and detailed maps at

At Work

a-loat tet — start work as in start of the shift. (work + go up)

a-loat loat — to work (work [noun] + to work [verb])

hsway3-nway3 — discuss

twet-chet — calculate; do the math.

yi2-twet — count

pyin2-hsin2 — prepare

kjau2-nya2 — advertise

sin3-za3 — think

say1-sut — negotiate

lu2-hnga3 — hire people. (people + rent/hire)

hnga3-yan3 — to rent

sit-hsay3 — inspect

htain3-thain3 — maintain

pyin2 — repair

sun3 — to test

sin2 — assemble

htoat — pack

youn3 weare2 — buy & sell. (sell + buy)

hsone3-pfyut — make decisions.

si2-mun2 khan1-gweare3 — manage

a-loat kjan3 loat — do a menial work. (job + rough + do)

za1-ga3 pyau3 — chit-chat (spoken language + speak)

a-chain2 pfyone3 — waste time. (time + waste)

Lunch Time

nay1-leare2 za2 sa3 — have lunch. (afternoon + portion + eat)

let hsay3 — wash the hand. (hand + wash)

let thoat — dry or clean the hand with napkin. (hand + wipe)

ba1-zut thoat — wipe the mouth clean with napkin. (mouth + wipe)

yay2 thout — drink water. (water + drink)

a-pau1 thwa3 — go to the restroom. (urine + go)

a-na3 yu2 — rest. (a rest + take)

Back to Work

a-loat pyan2 loat — resume work. (work [noun] + return + to work [verb])

la1-pfet-yay2 thout — drink tea. (tea + drink)

na2-yi2 kji1 — look at the clock. (watch or clock + look or watch)

thwa3 bo1 pyin2 — prepare to go. (go + for + prepare)

End of Shift

a-loat hsin3 — to end work as in the end of shift and knock-off time (work [noun] + go down)

Oddly enough, it also refers to start work in the beginning of shift. For the later case, the reference point is probably going down the stairs of one's home.

kjoun3 hsin3 — finish class. (school + to go down); never use this for start of class.

ain2 pyan2 — go back home. (house + to return, to repeat)

Back Home

da1-ga3 pfwin1 — open the door. (door + open)

pfa1-nut choot — remove footwear. (slippers, shoes + take-off)

It is a Burmese custom to remove footwear at the door.

hta1-min3 chet — cook rice. (rice + cook)

hin3 chet — cook a dish which is eaten with rice. (dish + cook)

ain3-ji2 choot — take off the shirt. (shirt + take off)

goun3 shau2 — shampoo hair. (head + wash)

yay2 cho3 — take a bath or shower. (water + bathe)

mi3 pfwin1 — switch on the lights. (fire or light + open)

mi3 htoon3 — shine a flashlight or light up the lamp. (fire or light + light up)

chin2 zay3 htoon3 — light up or to spray mosquito repellents. (mosquito + chemical compound + light up)

Dinner Time

hta1-min3 sa3 — general term to have a meal. (rice + eat)

hsu1 toun3 — say Grace. [Christian rituals] (wish or trophy + ask for)

nya1 za2 sa3 — have dinner. (night + portion + eat)

za1-bweare3 shin3 — clean up the table. (table + tidy up)

yay2 pfwin1 — turn on the water, e.g., from the tap, faucet, pipe. (water + open)

ba1-gun2 hsay3 — wash dishes. (plates + wash)

yay2 pate — turn off the water, e.g., from the tap, faucet (water + close)

Before going to bed

ray2-de2-yo2 na3 htoun2 — listen to the radio. (radio + listen)

ti2-bwe2 kji1 — watch TV. (TV + to watch)

sa2 pfut — read a book; to study. (literature, letter, words + read)

pan2-ka2 pfwin1 — turn on the fan. (fan + open)

eare3-koon3 pfwin1 — turn on the air-conditioner. (air-cond. + open)

pfa1-ya3 shit-kho3 — say prayers. [Buddhist rituals] (God or the Buddha or a symbol representing the Buddha + pay respect)

ti2-bwe2 pate — switch off TV. (TV + close)

chin2-doun2 cha1 — set up a mosquito-net in the sleeping area. (mosquito net + pull down)

mi3 pate — switch off the light. (light or fire + close)

ate — sleep

Category: Basic Body Motions and 5 senses

htine2 — sit

hta1 — stand up (to maintain upright position)

hleare3 — lie down

ma1 — lift up

toon3 — push

hsweare3 — pull

htan3 — carry on the shoulder

kja3 — hear

myin2 — see

yu2 — take

kine2 — hold with the hand

kine2 hta3 — keep holding on tight

hloot lite — release by ungrasping of the hand, by withdrawal of the foot, letting go mentally, or to physically release a captive.

pyau3 — tell

pyan2 pyau3 — repeat what one said. (repeat + say)

au2 — shout or scream

pyan2 loat — repeat or do it one more time. (repeat + do)

Category: Office and Clerical

mate-tu2 ku3 — make photocopies. (photocopy + copy)

dut-pone2 yite — take photos. (photos + hit or strike)

pfoun2 pfyay1 — fill up the form. (form + fill up)

let-hmut hto3 — sign one's name. (signature + punch)

pike-hsun2 pay3 — pay money. (money + pay)

let-hmut hto3 — formal word to sign one's name.

ngway2 thwin3 — make payment at the counter (money + deposit)

cha1-lun2 htoat — get the receipt (receipt + issue).

Category: Leisure

yay2 ku3 — swim (water + swim)

hlay2 hlau2 — row a boat. (boat + row)

ywet-hlay2 hlau2 — sail a boat. (sailing boat + sail)

toun2 tet — climb a mountain. (hill or mountain + go up)

lun3-shout htwet — go out for a walk. (walk + come out)

set-bain3 si3 — ride a bicycle. (bicycle + ride)

zay3 weare2 — go shopping. (market + buy)

gout-thi3 yite — play golf. (golf + hit or strike)

eare1-dtheare2 pfyau2-byay2 — entertain guests. (guest + entertain)

chin3-lone3 khut — play a non-competitive sport participated by a small group of people [usually 4 or 5] facing each other in a circular formation, where the objective of the game is to keep the ball made of cane in the air as long as possible by means of foot, shoulder, head, and parts of the body except the hand, and by passing around. (cane basket + ball + toss with foot)

a-yet thout — drink alcohol (alcohol + drink)

tha1-chin3 hso2 — sing a song (song + sing)

Sing a song in Burmese

yoat-shin2 kji1 — watch movie (movie + to watch)

pfa1-ya3 bweare3 thwa3 — go to night time festival at the pagoda compound where there are all-night shows as well as stalls selling food and variety of items in a Carnival style environment. (Pagoda + festival + go)

pfeare3 yite — play cards (playing cards + hit or strike)

loun3-ga1-za3 — gamble (gamble + play)

Color Codes: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, interjections.

Read this page with Myanmar Script

To be or not to be...

If that was the question, the answer is "forget it!" You can forget about the direct translation of "is", "are", "am", "to be" such as in "He is a doctor.", "They are here.", "I am fine.", and so on.

The Burmese equivalent of such Verb trans (v.t) are usually found at the end of the sentence by positive affirmation ending words such as

"ba2" (particle), MP3 Audio File and

"deare2" (postpositional marker). MP3 Audio File

For example,

thu2 hsa1-ya2-woon2 ba2 MP3 Audio File

means "He is a doctor.", where

thu2 MP3 Audio File

is a pronoun "he" or "she", and

hsa1-ya2-woon2 (noun) MP3 Audio File

means doctor.

Negative ending word

"bu3" MP3 Audio File

is in an equivalent of "is not", "are not", "am not" and so on. This word is NOT a verb, but a particle in Myanmar grammar.

thu2 ma1-shi1 bu3 MP3 Audio File

means he or she is not here.

Unlike English word "is", you can still construct the Burmese sentence without using "ba2". MP3 Audio File For example,

thu2 hsa1-ya2-woon2 lay2 MP3 Audio File means "he is a doctor, don't you know?"

Such single-syllable ending words are not verbs, but known as

we1-but (postpositional markers) MP3 Audio File and

pyit-si3 (particles) MP3 Audio File

in Burmese grammar. They are important part of the Burmese sentence as explained in lesson 3.

Burmese grammar and verb-suffixes are further explained in lesson 59 for serious learners.

Types of Verbs in Myanmar Language

ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File from the Pali origin is the class of words that show one of the three things below:

pyu1 chin3 - action (does/do)

pfyit chin3 - occurrence (be/is/are/am)

shi1 chin3 - presence (is at/has/have)

Burmese equivalent of "be/is/are/am" such as deare2 MP3 Audio File are not verbs but postpositional markers, and they form verb clauses only in combination with verbs such as "go", "eat", "come", or adjectives such as "white", "wrong", "hot".

Similarly, ending particle words such as ba2 MP3 Audio File are combined with nouns: "doctor", "man", "Buddhist" to get the verb clause "be/is/are/am" something or someone.

Burmese verbs can be categorized by the above three characteristics. In addition, they can also be classified by three types of construction, so there are a total of six terms that students learn in Myanmar high schools.

pyu1 chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File - action words such as eat, walk, run, write, read.

pfyit chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File - words that show the occurrence, state, or condition. E.g.,

hta-min3 kjet byi2 - The rice is cooked. MP3 Audio File

shi1 chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File - words that describe the presence or existence of something. E.g.,

a-pau2-htut hma2 shi1 deare2 - It is upstairs. MP3 Audio File

pin2-go2 ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File - original words that cannot be broken up into two or more words. E.g.,

pu2-zau2 - make a devotional offering. MP3 Audio File

gome2-yay2-pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File - words that show the quality. Those are adjectives converted into verbs. E.g.,

thu2 tha2-ya2 nay2 deare2 - She is enjoying the experience. MP3 Audio File

The adjective tha2-ya2 meaning "enjoyable" or "pleasant" is modified into the verb by the ending postpositional marker.

poun3-sut ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File - compound verb followed by the ending postpositional marker. E.g.,

sa3-thout hsine2 hnite sa3-thout dthi2 - eat and drink or have a meal at the restaurant. MP3 Audio File

sa3-thout hsine2 (noun) MP3 Audio File refers to the restaurant. It is made up of the compound verb sa3-thout and the noun hsine2 meaning shop.

Burmese verbs do not change with tense like in English. Instead, verb-suffix words are appended to show the past tense, present tense, and future tense.

thwa3 meare2 - I will go. MP3 Audio File

kun2 dau1 meare2 - I am about to kick. MP3 Audio File

yout pfu3 deare2 - I have been there. MP3 Audio File

na3-leare2 thwa3 byi2 - I have understood now. MP3 Audio File

pyau3 kheare1 deare2 - I have told (him). MP3 Audio File

loat nay2 deare2 - I am doing (something). MP3 Audio File

Similarly, the same verb words are used for both plural and singular forms to say: "He does something" and "They do something."


List of Verbs with MP3 Audio (Sortable)
a-chain2 pfyone3 waste time
a-loat loat to work
a-loat-kjan3 loat do a menial work
a-na3 yu2 rest
a-pau1 thwa3 go to the restroom
a-woot leare3 change clothes
a-woot shau2 wash clothes
a-yet thout drink alcohol
ain2 pyan2 go back home
ain2-dtha2 win2 go to the bathroom
ate sleep
ate-ya2 hta1 wake up from bed
au2 shout or scream
ba1-gun2 hsay3 wash dishes
ba1-zut thoat wipe clean mouth area
ba2-dtha2 pyan2 translate
but-sa1-ka3 si3 take bus
cha1 to fight; to pull down
cha1-lun2 htoat get the receipt
chet to cook
chin2-doun2 cha1 set up a mosquito-net
choot remove
dau2-la2 leare3 exchange dollar
dut-pone2 yite take photos
e3-may3 po1 send email
eare3-koon2 pfwin1 turn on air-conditioner
ga1-za3 to play
goun3 pfe3 comb hair
gout-thi3 yite play golf
hin3 chet cook dishes
hlay2 hlau2 row a boat
hleare3 lie down
hloot release
hnga3-yan3 to rent
ho3 halt
hsa1-ya2-woon2 khau2 call doctor
hsa1-ya2-woon2 pya1 get medical examination
hsay3 wash (general term)
hsay3 hto3 give injection
hsay3 thout take medication
hsin2 assemble
hsin3 go down
hsine3 hto3 sign one's name
hso2 sing
hsoat go backward
hsone3-pfyut make decisions
hsway3-nway3 discuss
hsweare3 pull
hta1 wake up
hta1-min3 chet cook rice
htain3-thain3 maintain
htan3 carry on the shoulder
hti3 hsoun3 use an umbrella
htine2 sit
hto3 to punch; to poke
htoat pack
htoon3 shine the lamp
htoon3 light up a fire
htwet come out
khau2 to call
kine2 hold with the hand
kine2 hta3 keep on holding
kja3 hear
kjau2-nya2 advertise
kji1 watch
kji1 look
ku2 to help
ku3 cross the road
ku3 to copy
ku3 swim
kway1 to turn
la2 come
lain3 rub (a paste) on body
leare3 exchange
let-hmut hto3 sign the name
lite come along
loat do
loun3 ga1-za3 gamble
lu2 hnga3 hire people
lun3-shout htwet go out for a walk
ma1 lift up
ma1-net-sa2 sa3 have breakfast
mate-kut lain3 put on cosmetics
mate-tu2 ku3 make photocopies
mi3-bu2 tite iron clothes
mi3 pate switch off the light
moat-hsate yate shave beard
moun3 drive
myet-hna2 thit wash face
myin2 see
na3 rest
na3 htoun2 listen
nay1-leare2-za2 sa3 have lunch
ngway2 thwin3 make payment or make a money deposit
nya1 za2 sa3 have dinner
pan2-ka2 pfwin1 turn on the fan
pate close door
pate switch off
pay3 to pay; to give
pfa1-nut si3 put on footwear
pfa1-ya3 shit-kho3 do Buddhist rituals
pfa1-ya3-bweare3 thwa3 go to Pagoda Festivals
pfeare3 yite play cards
pfone2 thoat to dust
pfone3 khau2 make a phone call
pfoun2 pfyay1 fill up the form
pfut read
pfwin1 open
pfwin1 switch on
pfyau2-byay2 entertain
pfyay1 fill up
pfyone3 to waste
pike-hsun2 pay3 pay money
po1 send
pya1 to show
pyan2 loat repeat (work)
pyan2 pyau3 repeat and say
pyau3 tell
pyay3 run
pyin2 repair
pyin2-hsin2 prepare
sa2 pfut read; to study
sa3 eat
say1-sut negotiate
set-bain3 si3 ride a bicycle
sha2 search
shau2 wash clothes
shau2 shampoo hair
shin3 tidy up
shit-kho3 do religious rituals
si2-mun2 khan1-gweare3 manage
si3 ride
sin3-za3 think
sit-hsay3 inspect
soun1 wait
sun3 to test
tet go up; climb
tet-si2 khau2 call taxi
tha1-chin3 hso2 sing a song
thi1 know
thoat wipe
thout drink
thwa3 go
thwa3 tite brush teeth
ti2-bwe2 kji1 watch TV
ti2-bwe2 pate switch off TV
tine2 to report
toe3 push forward
toon3 push
toun2 tet climb a mountain
twet-chet calculate
weare2 buy
win2 enter
yay2 cho3 take a bath
yay2 ku3 swim
yay2 pate turn off the water
yay2 pfwin1 turn on the water
ray2-de2-yo2 na3-htoun2 listen to the radio
yeare3 tine2 make police report
yi2-twet count
yite strike; to hit
yoat-shin2 kji1 watch movie
youn3 weare2 buy & sell
yu2 take (something)
yut to park; to stop
ywet-hlay2 hlau2 sail a boat
za1-bweare3 shin3 clean up the table
za1-ga3 pyau3 chit chat
zay3 weare2 to shop