Foreigner Teaching Tagalog: the Plural in Tagalog

Sometimes I like to squeeze some little “pills” of Tagalog grammar between my posts in case some Western husband of a Filipina is interested in learning some Tagalog.

Generally, in order to turn a singular noun into a plural, Filipinos add the word mga between the markers ang and ng and the noun like in the following examples:

  • “Ang mga Pilipino ay umiinom ng gin” meaning “Filipinos drink gin” (which is true, by the way) and the focus is on the actors.
  • Iniinom ng mga Pilipino ang gin” meaning the same thing the focus being on the object

So, when you find the little word “mga” between the marker and the noun that indicates that the noun is plural.

This means for example that if you go to a Filipino party don’t just bring ang isang bote (one bottle), rather always bring ang mga bote (ng gin).

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