Verbal Aspect in Tagalog

Unlike many Western languages, Tagalog verbs have “aspects” rather than tenses.

What this means, in a nutshell, is that, while in most languages tenses are concerned with time (past, present and future) and with when a certain action happened, Tagalog verbal aspects only tell you if an action has been completed or not.

For example kumain ako means that I have completed the action of eating but it gives you no clues about when this happened, whether it happened one second ago or 1000 years ago.

Tagalog has 3 aspects being:

  • Completed like kumain ako
  • Incompleted like kumakain ako (action in progress)
  • Contemplated like kakain ako (I am contemplating the idea of eating but I am not communicating if I will eat 2 seconds from now or one million years from now)

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