Pseudo-verbs in Tagalog

In the English language there are the so-called modal verbs that are used to talk about needs and wants (must, shall, will, should, would, can, could, may, and might).

In Tagalog there are the so-called pseudo-verbs that have a more or less similar function.

The reason why they are called pseudo-verbs is because they have no verbal aspect, so they are not conjugated (in Tagalog there are only verbal aspects not tenses like in English), nor do they have any affixes attached to them indicating focus.

These verbs are:

Gusto like

Ayaw dislike

Kailangan need

Pwede can

Maaari might

Dapat must

PWEDE-DAPAT-MAAARI

These 3 pseudo-verbs can be used both in sentences where the doer of the action is in focus and in sentences where the actor is not in focus

Examples:

Actor in focus:

Pwede akong pumunta sa bahay ni Mario

Maaaring tumawag ang asawa ko sa akin (in this case, because the pseudo-verb comes before the verb, it is linked to it by –ng)

Dapat akong bumili ng pagkain

Actor not in focus

Example

Pwede kong tulungan sila

Maaaring ibigay ko ang isang regalo sa anak ko

Dapat kong isulat ang isang liham

GUSTO/AYAW

These pseudo-verbs always go with ng pronouns so you never say gusto ako but always gusto KO or ayaw KO.

Ayaw ko can be shortened as ayoko

Examples:

“Nanay, tatay, gusto kong tinapay” (or a more modern version: “nanay, tatay, gusto ko isang tagay….”)

Gusto kong bilhin ang pagkain

Gusto kong bumili ng pagkain

Ayaw kong bumili ng pagkain (or ayoko bumili ng pagkain)

Gusto ko ng alak

Ayoko ng alak

6 thoughts on “Pseudo-verbs in Tagalog

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