In part 2 of my series of posts about the basic structure of the Tagalog language (https://italpinoy1967.com/2019/11/18/the-basic-structure-of-the-tagalog-language-part-2/) I touched on actor focus (mag-,-um-, ma-) and object focus (-in, i-,-an, ma-) verbs.
In this post I am going to cover
Beneficiary focus verbs
In Tagalog the affix -an is used to talk about a location, and this applies not just to verbs but also to nouns.
For example the word aklatan, which is formed by combining aklat (book) with –an means “library” or “the place or location where books can be found”.
The word basurahan, which is formed by adding -an to basura (garbage) is the place where people dispose of garbage.
Similarly verbs that end with –an generally refer to an action where the focus is either the location or the direction of the action.
For example if I am going to Juan’s house I can use the verb puntahan and the house of Juan is my pupuntahan.
If I do something in behalf of someone and this person is the receiver or the direction of my action, I also use an –an verb like bigyan where the verb (“to give”) is used to talk about the person to whom an object is given, like for instance bigyan ko ng bulaklak ang misis ko (“my wife is the one to whom I give the flowers”, so my action, the action of buying flowers is directed toward my wife).
Sometimes –an can also be used for object focus verbs (see part 2) or even beneficiary focus verbs, speaking of which let’s now talk about those
BENEFICIARY FOCUS VERBS
These verbs are used to talk about the beneficiary of an action like for example the verb bilhan (to buy for someone) ex. bilhan mo ang bata ng kendi (“buy the candy for the child”)
In addition to –an another beneficiary focus affix is ipag- like in the following sentence: ipagluto mo ng l ang mga bata ng fried chicken (“(you) cook some fried chicken for the children”), even though, to be honest, I don’t hear ipag- verbs very much in everyday speech (my wife never uses ipag- verbs but she does use –an beneficiary verbs)
An easy way to talk about the beneficiary of an action without having to learn the beneficiary focus is by simply using the expression para sa (“for something”) or para kay (“for someone”) in an actor focus or in a object focus sentence.
For example, instead of saying ipagluto mo ang mga bata ng fried chicken you could simply say magluto ka ng fried chicken para sa mga bata (or para kay Mario if you are using a personal name)
The last type of focus is the instrumental which talks about the tool or instrument one is using to do something.
The affix here is ipang- or ipan-
So I could say something like “I am using the walis tambo to sweep the floor” and, in this case I have to use ipanlinis ko ang walis tambo ng sahig
If I wanted to avoid using the instrumental focus I could simply use an actor or object focus verb + the expression sa pamamagitan (“by means of”) like nagwawalis ako ng sahig sa pamamagitan ng walis tambo and, in reality, I have never heard my wife using ipang- verbs, she always uses either an actor focus affix or an object focus affix followed by the expression sa pamamagitan.
So these are in a nutshell the various verbal focus affixes in Tagalog.
In future posts I’ll cover some more grammar rules.