This is a list of Khmer grammar rules we have collected.  It will be updated as we receive more.  Submit rules to be added in the comments and/or corrections:

Rule #1: When something is numerated (like “ម្ហូប​បី​មុខ”) make sure that the correct specifier is used for the noun. Create a list of classifiers and link them to their correct nouns (please add to this!): ក្បាល – copies of books, volumes, livestock ខ្នង – houses គូ – pairs of things គ្រាប់ – pellets, grains, tablets, bullets គ្រឿង – machinery ច្បាប់ – copies of pamphlets, newspapers, magazines ដើម – long, thin, stick like objects ដុំ – pieces and lumps តួ – letters of the alphabet, vehicle bodies, characters in a play.  number + នាក់ – ordinary people ប្រអប់ – suits of clothing, sets of tools and equipment ផែន – disks ម៉ាត់ – words, utterances, mouthfuls រូប – pictures, shapes, forms, images, persons សន្លឹក – sheets of paper, leaves សម្រាប់ – suits of clothing, sets of tools and equipment អង្គ – monks, exalted people, images of Buddha

Rule #2: When the word “របស់” is used have some rules as to what follows (I think normally a pronoun, is this correct?)

Rule #3: Pronoun in a noun phrase may not follow a number unless it follows “របស់”

Rule #4: Normally adjectives come before a number (when the number is followed by a classifier it must precede the number)

Rule #5: Adjectives can go in any order (big yellow, yellow big)

Rule #6: Check the location of negators (មិន អត់ – for instance, do they have to precede a verb?)

Rule #7: Check the location of នេះ​ and នោះ (are there any rules for placement?)

Rule #8: Checkthe location of គាត់ (ex: when there is a pronoun and then a posessive “I” it normally is followed by គាត់ – ម្តាយ​ខ្ញុំ​គាត់​ស្លាប់​ទៅ​យូរ​ហើយ។)

Rule #9: Check location of ដែល – if there is a pronoun + ដែល + then normally it is followed by a verb សិស្ស ដែល​ ចេះ ខ្មែរ​មិន​បាច់​រៀន​ទៀត។

Rule #10: Check the location of spaces (Is there a way to know when to put a space? For example, is there always a space before ហើយ​និង?)

Rule #11: When there is a មិន (or អត់) there is a ទេ​ before the ។

Rule #12: When there is a តើ there is a ទេ before the ។

Rule #13: When the phrase “ហើយ​ឬ​នៅ” is written, it always needs a ? added at the end of the sentence

Rule #14: Detect question words in order to make sure a ? is added at the end of the phrase. List of Question words (please add to this!): អ្នក​ណា ឯណា កាលណា ពី​អង្កាល ហេតុអ្វី យ៉ាង​ម៉េច ធ្វើ​អ្វី ម៉េច​ក៏

Rule #15: If អ្នក​ណា​​ is used as the Subject, it should be followed by Verb and the sentence should be ended by ? អ្នក​ណា​​ + Verb +…+ ?

Rule #16: If អ្នក​ណា​​ is used as the object, it is always preceded by preposition ​​ preposition + អ្នក​ណា

Rule #17:  ឯណា is always preceded by Verb, and the sentence should be ended by ?​​ ( I am not sure for this rule, because I am not sure that: – ទុក​​នៅ​ is a Verb – or it is separated, ទុក is a Verb and នៅ is a preposition )

Rule #18:  ហេតុ​អ្វី​ is followed by pronoun (subject) ហេតុ​អ្វី+ pronounce + verb

Rule #19: Possibly detect the usage of ចាន- a dish of food ដប- a bottle of water, wine, coke… កែវ- a glass of water, wine, juice…

Rule #20: How do you distinguish between the use of នឹង and និង?
និង = when it is between two clauses, two nouns, two sentences or two phrases (often there is a space before and/or after it)
នឹង = when it is after or before verbs, especially “will,” and when it is after a preposition, especially, “with.” (normally there is no space next to it)

Rule #21: ហើយនិង never ហើយនឹង

Rule #22: verb + ថា not ដែល

Rule #23: noun + ដែល not ថា

Rule #24:  ចង់​ + verb NOT ចង់​បាន

Rule #25:  ចង់​បាន + noun NOT ចង់

Rule #26: ចេះ + verb not with a noun

Rule #27:  ដឹង​អំពី​របៀប + verb ok

Rule #28: ដឹង never with a verb (it is for information only)

Rule #29: ស្គាល់ never with a verb (only for person or place) maybe we could make a rule for លោក ពូ that would require ស្គាល់ rather than ដឹង

Rule #30: ដឹង​ថា​ can be used with a person or place (example: តើ​អ្នក​មាន​ដឹង​ថា​លោក​ណាថាន​ទៅ​លេង​ផ្ទះ​ខ្នុំ​ទេ?)

Rule #31: ចង់​អោយ + subject + verb (exception: ចង់​អោយ + direct object + indirect object)

Rule #32: ពី is a preposition and ពីរ is a number. So verb + ពី NEVER BEFORE A CLASSIFIER + noun or ណា or អី or អ្វី or ពី and possibly + phrase (with noun, subject, and verb ex. ពី​ផ្ទះ​ខ្ញុំ​ទៅ​សាលា។). (sometimes a verb +) ពីរ + classifier or noun + ពីរ

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