Markers in Tagalog

Markers in Tagalog play a role similar to that of articles and prepositions in English.

A marker is, in fact, a word that comes before a noun.

Depending on the focus of the verb a marker indicates the role that the noun plays in the sentence: a marker may mark a noun as actor, object, location, direction etc.

ANG and SI/SINA

These markers are used to point out the focus of the sentence.

1. ANG (or ANG MGA if the focus of the sentence is a plural) marks a word as the focus of the sentence except for nouns that are the names of people that are marked by SI (singular) or SINA (plural)

Examples:

Pumunta ang empleyado sa opisina (singular)=the office worker went to his office

Pumunta ang mga empleyado sa opisina

Pumunta si Mario sa opisina

Pumunta sina Mario at Grace sa opisina

NG and NI/NINA

These markers are used when the noun is not the focus of the sentence

Example:

Binasa ng estudiante ang libro=the book is what the student read (the student is not the focus of the sentence, rather it is the book)

Binasa ng mga estudiante ang libro

Binasa ni Mario ang libro

Binasa nina Mario at Grace ang libro

NG also indicates possession

Example:

Ang libro ng estudiante (the book that belongs to the student)

Ang libro ni Mario

SA and KAY/KINA

These markers have to do with direction, location and beneficiary and correspond to prepositions in English

Examples:

BENEFICIARY

Ibinigay ng titser ang isang libro sa estudiante (or sa mga estudiante=plural)=the teacher gave a book to the student

Ibinigay ng titser ang isang libro kay Mario (or kina Mario at Grace)

DIRECTION

Pumupunta ako sa bahay=I am going (sa=to in this context) home

Pumupunta ako kay Mario=I am going to Mario

LOCATION

Example:

Mayroon ang isang Jollibee restaurant sa Milan, Italy=there is a Jollibee restaurant in Milan

SA also marks a future time

Example:

Magbabakasyon ako sa Agosto=I’ll go on vacation in August

Adjectives in Tagalog

An adjective describes a noun

Adjectives are words like beautiful, awesome and any other word that gives some information about the thing, the place, the person, the idea or the animal described by a noun.

In Tagalog there are adjectives that are formed by a root word+an affix (like maganda=beautiful) and adjectives that don’t require an affix (like bobo=stupid).

Here is a list of affixes that are used to form compound adjectives

1 ma– having a certain quality
Example: maganda=beautiful

2. maka- having a certain inclination
Example: makalaman=fleshly

3. maka- having a certain ability
Example: makadurug-puso=having the ability to break one’s heart

4. mala- being like
Example: malasibuyas=like an onion

5. mapag- having a certain habit
Example: mapagbiro=having the habit to joke

6. mapang~ mapan~ mapam~ one who does on a regular basis the thing described by the root word
Example: mapang-away= one who regularly engages in a quarrel

7. pala- one who is constantly doing the thing described by the root word
Example: palaisip=always thinking

8. pang-~ pan-~ pam– instrumental
Example: pampatibay=encouraging

9.-an~ han one who possesses the quality described by the root word to a large extent
Example: duguan=inclined to a large extent toward bloodshed

10. in- like the thing described by the root word
Example: sinampalok=like a tamarind

11. in/-hin one who easily catches the thing described by the root word
Example: lagnatin=one who easily catches the flu

12. ma- -in/-hin one who possesses the quality described by the root word to a large extent
Example: maawain=full of mercy

Balarilang Tagalog-Bahagi 5: mga Pang-uri (adjectives) at mga Panlaping Makauri

Ang isang importanteng bahagi ng pagsasalita ay ang mga pang-uri.

Ang mga pang-uri ay nagbibigay ng impormasyon tungkol sa isang pangngalan.

Gaya ng binanggit ko sa post tungkol sa mga pangngalan, ang isang pangngalan ay ang isang salitang tumutukoy sa:

  • Isang persona ex presidente
  • Isang lugar ex kusina
  • Isang ideya o konsepto ex katalinuhan
  • Isang hayop ex aso
  • Isang bagay ex mesa

Ang mga pang-uri ay nagbibigay ng impormasyon tungkol sa isang pangngalan. Halimbawa ang isang mesa ay may iba’t ibang katangian: may mga mesa na maganda, may mesa na pangit. Sa katulad na paraan may mga tao na pangit, maganda, matalino, bobo etc.

Para bumuo ng isang pang-uri kadalasang ginagamit ang isang panlaping makauri. Mayroon din maraming pang-uri na hindi nangangailangan ng panlapi gaya ng bobo, pangit at marami pa.

Ang iba naman ay nangangailangan ng panlapi tulad halimbawa ang pang-uring mabuti

MGA PANLAPING MAKA-URI

1 ma– pagkakaroon ng katangian na nasa salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: maganda=pagkakaroon ng ganda

2. maka- nagbibigay ng ideya ng pagkiling o pagkahilig sa bagay na nasa salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: makalaman=may hilig para sa mga pagnanasa ng laman

3. maka- nagbibigay ng ideya ng isa na may kakayahang gawin ang nasa salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: makadurug-puso=may kakayahang durugin ang puso

4. mala- nagbibigay ng ideya ng pagiging gaya ng kung ano ang itinatawid ng salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: malasibuyas=gaya ng sibuyas

5. mapag- tumutukoy sa isang ugali
Halimbawa: mapagbiro=may ugali na magbiro

6. mapang~ mapan~ mapam~ isa na regular na gumagawa ng tinutukoy ng salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: mapang-away= isa na regular na nagsasangkot ng sarili sa awayan

7. pala- isa na laging gumagawa ng tinutukoy ng salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: palaisip=lagi nag-iisip, sobra nag-iisip

8. pang-~ pan-~ pam– tumutukoy sa instrumental na paggamit
Halimbawa: pampatibay=upang patibayin

Ang mga salita na nagsisimula sa pam- ay pwede kapwa ituring pangngalan o pang-uri. Sa halimbawang nasa itaas, kung sinasabi ko “pampatibay na salita” ang pampatibay ay isang pang-uri dahil nagbibigay ng impormasyon tungkol sa pangngalang “salita”. Kung sasabihin ko “kailangan ko ang isang pampatibay” sa pagkakataong ito ang salitang pampatibay ay ang isang pangngalan.

9.-an~ han pagkakaroon ng katangian na nasa salitang-ugat nang higit sa karaniwang dami, laki o tindi
Halimbawa: duguan=mahilig sa dugo ex duguan ang pag-iisip, marahas na tao

10. in- tulad sa tinutukoy ng salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: sinampalok=tulad ng sampalok

11. in/-hin katangian ng isa na madaling nagkakaroon ng tinutukoy ng salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: lagnatin=isa na madaling nilalagnat

12. ma- -in/-hin isa na nagtataglay sa malaking antas ng katangian na nasa salitang-ugat
Halimbawa: maawain=may maraming awa

Balarilang Tagalog-Bahagi 4: mga Pangngalan (Nouns) at mga Panlaping Makangalan

Ang isang pangngalan ay ang isang salita na tumutukoy sa:

Isang bagay-halimbawa mesa

Isang persona-halimbawa presidente

Isang lugar-halimbawa: tindahan

Isang ideya-halimbawa: katalinuhan

Ang karamihan ng mga salitang-ugat na walang panlapi ay mga pangngalan

Ang ilan ay katutubong Tagalog na mga salita samantala marami ay nagmumula sa Espanyol (silya, mesa) o Ingles (kompyuter, gadyet)

Bukod sa mga pangngalan na walang panlapi mayroon maraming uri na may isa o mahigit sa isang panlaping makangalan.

Heto ang isang medyo kumpletong listahan ng mga halimbawa

MGA PANLAPING MAKANGALAN

Ka- kasama

ex kainuman, katrabaho

ka-….-an or ka-…-han: isang ideya o konsepto
Ex: kagandahan, kaalaman, kaunawaan

Pan-: instrumento
Ex: pantulong

“-an” at “-han

1. lugar kung saan masusumpungan maraming mga bagay na tinutukoy ng salitang ugat.

Ex: aklatan, bigasan

2. Ganapan ng isang kilos
Ex: aralan, lutuan

3. Panahon na ang kilos ay nangyayari sa malaking antas
Ex: pistahan, anihan

4. Kilos na ginagawa bilang pagtugon
Ex: barilan, suntukan

5. Malaking antas ng bagay na tinutukoy ng salitang ugat
Ex: duguan

in o hin

1. relasyon
Ex: tiyuhin, inapo

2. Kahugis ng salitang ugat
Ex: sinampalok

ka

1. Bahagi ng isang grupo
Ex: kabayan

2. Kasama sa kilos na isinasaad ng salitang ugat
Ex: kalaro

kaan

1. Grupo ng mga bagay na tinutukoy ng salitang ugat
Ex: kabahayan

2. Sukdulan ng isang situwasyon
Ex: kainitan

mag

1. Relasyon sa loob ng pamilya
Ex: mag-ama

2. mag– + dinodoble ang unang pantig ng salitang ugat=propesyon
Ex: manggagamot

tag

1. season
Ex: tag-ulan

taga

Trabahador
Ex: tagalinis

Marami talaga ang mga panlaping makangalan. Pero hindi pa tapos ang listahan ng mga panlapi.

Bukod sa mga panlaping makangalan at makadiwa na nakubrehan ko na mayroon pa ang mga panlaping makauri na tatalakayin ko sa susunod na artikulo.

Nouns in Tagalog

In Tagalog, there are nine basic parts of speech: verbs (pandiwa), nouns (pangngalan), adjectives (pang-uri), adverbs (pang-abay), prepositions (pang-ukol), pronouns (panghalip), conjunctions (pangatnig), ligatures (pang-angkop) and particles.

I started with the verbs because they are the easy as well as the tricky part, the easy part being the fact that Tagalog verbs have aspects rather than tenses and the tricky part being all the different affixes that one has to stick to the root-word depending on the focus of the sentence.

But let’s address other parts of speech and in this post I am going to talk about nouns.

What is a Noun?

A noun is a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.

I have already mentioned that in Tagalog many words are formed by combining a root-word with one or more affixes.

In Tagalog, most root words function as nouns and these includes such roots as ganda, talino and many other roots. When a root-word has no affixes attached to it that word is usually a noun.

Some nouns have Austronesian origins while many others are borrowed from other languages such as Spanish, English, other Philippine languages, etc.

Spanish: silya, mesa, aparador, kotse

English: motor, kompyuter, tren, gadyet

Many other nouns are formed by sticking one or more affixes to the root.

NOUN AFFIXES OR PANLAPING MAKANGALAN

ka-indicating a companion or colleague

ex kainuman:drinking buddy, katrabaho: work colleague

ka-….-an or ka-…-han: collective or abstract noun.
Example: kagandahan=beauty, kaalaman=knowledge, kaunawaan=insight

Pan-: denoting instrumental use of the noun.
Example: pantulong=aid

“-an” and “-han

1. A place where you can find many of the things described by the root word.

Example: aklatan (a place with many aklat or books=library), bigasan=rice shop

2. Place where the action described by the root word takes place
Example: aralan (place where the aral or lesson takes place), lutuan (place where luto or cooking is made), laruan, labahan

3. time in which the action indicated by the root word takes place to a large extent
Example: pistahan=time for celebration, anihan=harvesting time

4. actions done for revenge
Example: barilan=shooting, suntukan=punching

5. something numerous or very large
Example: duguan=bloodshed

in or hin

1. relationship
Example: tiyuhin=uncle, inapo=offspring

2. something that has the same shape as the thing defined by the root-word
Example: sinampalok=something having the shape of sampalok or tamarind

ka

1. part of a group
Example: kabayan=fellow countryman

2. relationship
Example: kalaro=fellow player

kaan

1. group of things described by the root word
Example: kabahayan=group of houses

2. the climax of a situation
Example: kainitan=under the sun, in a very hot environment

mag

1. family relationship
Example: mag-ama=father and son

2. mag– + repetition of the first syllable of the root word=profession
Example: manggagamot=someone who works in the field of medicine

tag

1. season
Example: tag-ulan=rainy season

taga

1. one who does the job indicated by the root word
Example: tagalinis=cleaner

This list shows that in Tagalog there are really a lot of affixes.

But it doesn’t stop here. In addition to verbal and noun affixes there are also affixes that are used to form adjectives.

I will cover those in another post.

Verbal Focus in Tagalog

One of my goals in this blog is to share my knowledge of the Tagalog grammar and, in the process, study it again, as I studied it many years ago and never revisited it.

I am publishing (and rivisiting and updating) posts about the Tagalog grammar in Tagalog, English and Italian because I want to master the Tagalog grammar terminology in these 3 languages.

Tagalog is an agglutinative language.

An agglutinative language is a type of language that uses agglutination.

Agglutination means that words are formed by stringing together morphemes (the smallest meaningful unit in a language) without changing them in spelling or phonetics.

As I have said in my first post about the Tagalog grammar, in Tagalog agglutination happens by combining one or more affixes with a root-word.

There are 3 main categories of affixes in Tagalog being:

Maka-uri: to form adjectives like maganda=beautiful

Maka-ngalan: related to nouns like mag-kapatid or mag-asawa

Maka-diwa: used to form verbs and to indicate verbal focus

Maka-diwa affixes and verbal focus in Tagalog

in Tagalog you have to use the right affix to form a verb, depending on the focal point of the sentence, and there are many verbal affixes in Tagalog like -um-, mag-, maka-, makapag-, ma-, magpa-, i-, -in, -an.

You also need to use the right marker (something like what we call an article in Western languages) like ang, ng, sa (or si, ni and kay if you are talking about a person).

The focus of the sentence also determines which personal pronouns you are going to use.

The actor focus personal pronouns are:

Ako=I

Ikaw (or ka)=you

Siya=he or she

Kami or tayo=we (I’ll talk about the difference in another article)

Kayo=You

Sila=they

The object focus personal pronouns are :

Ko

Mo

Niya

Namin or natin

Ninyo

Nila

To illustrate how all of this works, let’s take the root word basa, which conveys the idea of reading and let’s say that we want to say something like “I (or you, he/she, we, You, they) read a book”

In this sentence we’ve got:

A personal pronoun (I)

A verb (to read)

A marker (or article being “a”)

In this sentence I can basically emphasize two elements:

The one who is reading thereby answering the question “who reads the book?”

The object or the thing being read which answers the question “what is being read?”

ACTOR FOCUS

The first type of focus is the actor focus type of sentence:

In this kind of sentence I am going to use such verbal affixes like -um- (that goes between the first consonant and the first vowel of the root word) or mag-.

The markers I am going to use in connection with the actor are ang or si (if the actor is a personal name, like “si Eduardo”).

And the personal pronouns are ako, ikaw etc.

MAG- VERBS

Let’s make a few examples:

“The man is reading a book”

In Tagalog that would be: “Ang tao ay nagbabasa (present “tense” or, more accurately “incompleted aspect” of magbasa) ng isang aklat”. Notice that I am using the “ay” which inverts the order of the sentence that could also be rendered as “nagbabasa ang tao ng aklat”.

“Eduardo is reading the book”

“Si Eduardo ay nagbabasa ng aklat” (or “nagbabasa si Eduardo….”).

“I am reading the book”

“Ako ay nagbabasa ng aklat”

In the examples above I have used the verbal affix “mag” which turns the root word basa into a mag- verb, which is only one type of actor focus verb.

The completed aspect of magbasa is nagbasa (mag becomes nag)

The incompleted aspect is nagbabasa (mag becomes nag and I am doubling the first syllable)

The contemplated aspect (basically the “future tense”) is magbabasa.

The abilitative form (expressing the ability to do the action) of a mag- verb is makapag-, so to convey the idea that one has the ability or the possibility to read I say makapagbasa.

-UM- VERBS

The other common actor focus affix is -um- by using which with basa the verb is bumasa (past: bumasa, present: bumabasa, again I am doubling the first syllable, future: babasa, I am removing the um to form the future) and the corresponding abilitative form is maka-

MA- VERBS

Another actor focus affix is ma- for actor focus verbs like:

Matulog (to sleep)

Makinig (to listen)

Maligo (to take a bath)

Manood (to watch)

OBJECT FOCUS

The second type of focus is the object focus in which case I am answering the question “what is being read?”

-IN VERBS

Examples:

“The book is what the man is reading”

“Binabasa (present “tense” or incompleted aspect of basahin) ng tao ang aklat”

“The book is what Eduardo is reading”

“Binabasa ni Eduardo ang aklat”

“The book is what I am reading”

“Binabasa ko ang aklat”

In this case I have used a verb that ends in -in like basahin, inumin, ayusin etc. (Past: binasa, present: binabasa, future: basahin)

I- VERBS

Another common object focus verb is the one that begins with i- like ituro, idiin, itago etc. (past: itinuro, present: itinuturo, future: ituturo).

MA- VERBS

Some ma- verbs are actor focus like makinig while others are object focus like:

Makita (to see)

Marinig (to hear)

Mapansin (to pay attention)

-AN VERBS

Some object focus verbs end in -an like:

Buksan (to open)

Takpan (to cover)

LOCATION/DIRECTION 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)

INSTRUMENTAL FOCUS

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.

Balarilang Tagalog-Bahagi 3: Pokus ng Pandiwa

Gaya ng sinabi ko sa dating mga post ko tungkol sa balarilang Tagalog ang aking layunin sa mga post na ito ay hindi upang ipakita kung gaano kahusay ako kundi ang layunin ko ay ibahagi lang ang aking personal na mga nota tungkol sa wikang Tagalog.

Nag-aaral ako ng balarilang Tagalog noong 2001-2006 at paminsan-minsan kailangan kong repasuhin ito.

Bukod dito ang pag-aaral na ginawa ko noon ay sa wikang Ingles samantala sa ngayon gusto kong maging pamilyar sa terminolohiyang Tagalog.

Kaya wala akong balak na ituro ang balarilang Tagalog sa mga Pilipino.

Pero, gaya ng sinabi ko na, ang aking impresyon ay na maraming mga Pilipino, kahit mas marunong magsalita ng Tagalog kaysa sa aming mga foreigner, ay hindi masyadong pamilyar sa balarila.

Tiyak na maraming mga Pilipino ay nag-aaral ng balarila sa paaralan pero habang lumalaki ang isang tao madaling nakakalimutan niya ang mga impormasyong ito.

Para sa akin mahalaga ang pag-aaral ng balarila ng sariling wika dahil napakaraming mga Pilipino ay nag-aabroad at kailangan nilang matuto ng ibang wika at di-hamak na mas madaling gawin ito kapag ang isa ay may kaalaman tungkol sa balangkas ng sariling wika.

Sa akin huling post binanggit ko ang aspekto ng pandiwa.

Ito ang madaling bahagi ng wikang Tagalog.

Ang mahirap para sa aming mga foreigner na nagnanais matuto ng Tagalog ay ang dami ng mga panlapi na ikinakabit sa salitang ugat para bumuo ng isang pandiwa.

Para sa aming mga foreigner ay talagang mahirap malaman kung kailan gamitin ang um, mag, -in,-an, magpa-, maka-, makapag- at iba pa.

At ang problema ay na kapag tinatanong namin ang mga Pilipino (tulad halimbawa ang asawa ko) hindi nila alam kung papaano ipaliwanag ang mga bagay na ito.

Kaya ginawa ko ang isang balangkas para maging maliwanag kung anu-anong mga panlapi ang dapat gamitin may kaugnayan sa mga pandiwa.

Bukod sa mga panlapi na ikinakabit sa mga pandiwa mayroon din ibang uri ng mga panlapi pero sa ngayon ang pinag-uusapan ko ay ang pokus ng pandiwa.

Ang uri ng panlapi na ginagamit sa bawat situwasyon ay nakadepende sa pokus.

Ano ba ang pokus?

Pokus ang tawag sa relasyong pansemantika (ang salitang semantika ay may kaugnayan sa kahulugan ng isang salita, parilala o pangungusap)
ng pandiwa sa simuno o paksa ng pangungusap.

  • Aktor-pokus o pokus sa tagaganap o sa isa na gumagawa ng kilos

Ang pokus dito ay nasa kung sino ang gumagawa ng isang bagay at ang mga panlapi ay
MAG, NAG, MA, NA at UM.

Halimbawa: sino ang bumabasa ng aklat? Sagot: “bumabasa si Mario (aktor) ng aklat”. Dito si Mario ang pokus

  • Pokus sa layon

Ito ay sumasagot sa tanong na “ano?”.

Dito ang mga panlapi ay IN, I, AN, NA.

Halimbawa: “ano ang binabasa ni Mario?” Sagot: “Binabasa ni Mario ang aklat“. Sa halimbawang ito ang aklat ang pokus.

  • Pokus sa ganapan o lokatibo

Ito ay sumasagot sa tanong na “saan?” o sa ibang salita ang pokus ay nasa lugar kung saan ginaganap ang isang kilos.

Ang mga panlapi ay: pag-/-an , -an/-han , ma-/-an , pang-/-an , mapag-/-an, pinag/an, in/an.

Halimbawa: “Ang bukiran ay pinagtaniman ng gulay”. Ang bukiran ay ang pokus ng pangungusap na ito.

  • Benepaktibong pokus o pokus sa tagatanggap

Ang pokus ay ang ang tumatanggap.

Ito ay sumasagot sa tanong na “para kanino?“. Ang mga panlaping i- , -in , ipang- , ipag- ang ginagamit.

Halimbawa: “ipinagbili ko ang bata ng kendi”. Bata ang tumatanggap kaya siya ang pokus.

  • Instrumentong pokus o pokus sa gamit

Ang pokus ay nasa bagay na ginagamit upang makagawa ng kilos. Ito ay sumasagot sa tanong na “sa pamamagitan ng ano?”

Ang ginagamit ay ang mga panlaping ipang- , maipang-

Halimbawa: “ipangluto ang kaldero ng pagkain”. Ang kaldero ay ang instrumento na ginagamit para magluto at siya ang pokus.

  • Kosatibong pokus o pokus sa sanhi

Ang pokus ay ang sanhi ng kilos. Ito ay sumasagot sa tanong na “bakit?” at ginagamit ang mga panlaping i- , ika- , ikina-

Halimbawa: “ikinalungkot ko ang kamatayan ng aso ko” (ang kamatayan ng aso ko ay ang sanhi kung bakit malungkot ako).

  • Pokus sa direksyon

Ang pokus ay ang direksyon ng kilos. Ito ay sumasagot sa tanong na “tungo saan/kanino?” at ang ginagamit ay ang mga panlaping –an , -han , -in , -hin.

Halimbawa: “sinulatan ko ang pinsan ko”. Ang pinsan ko ay ang pokus dahil siya ang direksyon ng aking pagsusulat.

Ito ang isang balangkas ng iba’t ibang mga panlapi na ginagamit sa bawat uri ng pokus at ito ang pinakamahirap para sa aming mga foreigner na nagnanais matuto ng Tagalog….

Introduction to Tagalog Grammar and Verbal Aspect in Tagalog

A Tagalog course in Italian based on the book “Conversational Tagalog” by Teresita Ramos
My journey with the Tagalog language started with this course…. the only material available here back in 2001

In this post I am going to cover the basics of the Tagalog grammar.

The reason why I am including this kind of posts in my blog is because from time to time I need to brush up my knowledge of the Tagalog grammar and, in so doing, I also share it with anyone who may be interested in learning this language, like some Western guy married to a Filipina for example.

I must give credit to a couple of sources that have greatly helped me to grasp the grammar of my wife’s native language: “Conversational Tagalog” by Teresita Ramos and the website http://www.seasite.niu.edu/tagalog/tagalog_mainpage.htm

  • HOW WORDS ARE FORMED IN TAGALOG

Learning Tagalog is almost like playing with Lego blocks, as the seemingly long words are, in reality, the result of the combination of a root word and one or more affixes: English speakers are already familiar with this concept because in English a number of words are formed by adding an affix to a root word. For example the root word beauty can be combined with ful to form the adjective beautiful. Take for example the Tagalog root word ganda (that conveys the idea of beauty): if you combine it with the affix ma– you form the adjective maganda or beautiful; if you combine it with –um– (between the first consonant and the first vowel) you form the verb gumanda and if you put the prefix ka– before the root word and the suffix –an after it you form the noun kagandahan. As I said, it is almost like playing with Legos and putting the pieces together: depending on the affix that you stick to the root word you can form an adjective, a verb or a noun A root word is simply a basic, core word that can be used to make other words. This is the starting point to understand the structure of the Tagalog language and what I can say is that I’ve found out that the structure of Tagalog is much easier than that of most Western languages, especially when you are learning verbs, speaking of which….

  • VERBAL ASPECT VS TENSES

Another aspect that made it relatively easy, at least for me, to learn Tagalog is that there is only one kind of past tense, present tense or future tense not many like in Italian for example. Technically those are not even called “tenses” but rather “verbal aspects” because they only convey the idea that a certain action has been accomplished, is being accomplished or is being “contemplated” but they give no clue as to “when” it has been accomplished or will be accomplished. For example the verb “bumasa” (to read) has the following aspects: Bumasa ako ng aklat=I have read the book (the action has been accomplished, it doesn’t tell you the when) Bumabasa ako ng aklat=I am (in the process of) reading the book Babasa ako ng aklat=I have the intention to read it, I am contemplating the idea of reading it but I am not communicating when in the future I will do it (unless I use a time expression like bukas=tomorrow etc).

A nice way to illustrate the difference between a tense and the verbal aspect is the example of the boss of a company and the secretary (which I’ve found on the Tagalog page of the official website of the department of Asian studies of the University of Illinois): the boss of a company is only concerned with whether his employee has done his job or not, the secretary is concerned with when the employee did his job because she has to calculate the amount of his paycheck. Similarly the verbal aspect only communicates if a certain action has been done or not while a tense communicates when the action has taken place or will take place.

If I say something like binasa ko ang aklat (I read the book) that expression simply tells me that I did the action of reading the book, it could have happened one moment ago, yesterday, one year ago, 20 years ago. If I say babasahin ko ang aklat I am stating my intention to read the book: it could happen in 5 minutes or 5 years. So, in order to give the listener a clue about the when Filipinos need time expressions like kanina (earlier), kahapon (yesterday), ngayon (today), mamaya (later), bukas (tomorrow) and many others. In my language (Italian) not only do we have tenses but we have plenty of them, 21 to be specific. We have 8 tenses in the indicative mode, 4 in the subjunctive, 2 in the conditional, one in the imperative, 2 in the infinitive, 2 in the participle and 2 in the gerund, imagine that!

  • LINKERS

Filipinos often use either ng or na to connect two words, usually an adjective and a noun. If the word that appears before the linker ends with a vowel they use ng, if it ends with a consonant they use na like in the following two examples: Masamang kalagayan (bad situation) Mahirap na kalagayan (difficult situation) So, in the first example, because masama ends with a vowel I used ng, while after mahirap that ends in a consonant, I used na. The same applies when you are linking two numbers like: Limang daan Apat na raan

  • NUMBERS

The first time I heard numbers like labingisa or isang daan at labindalawa etc. I wondered “how am I possibly going to learn this stuff”? In reality, if you are interested in learning numbers in Tagalog, all you really need to memorize are the numbers from one to ten being: isa dalawa tatlo apat lima anim pito walo siyam sampu. Then, the numbers from 11 to 19 are really easy because all you need to do is add labin to the numbers you’ve already learned: 11=labingisa 12=labindalawa and so on. Then, as for the numbers 20, 30, 40 etc. they all end like 10 or sampu: Dalawampu Tatlumpu and so on Between 20, 30, 40 etc. you just add ‘t isa, ‘t dalawa etc.: Example: 21=dalawampu’t isa 22=dalawampu’t dalawa ….. 51=limampu’t isa And so on As for the “hundreds” you just have to learn …ng daan (except for apat and other numbers that end in a consonant where you’ve got na raan) the pattern is: Isang daan Dalawang daan …. Apat na raan ….. Anim na raan Then for higher numbers you add: Libo=1000 Milyon Bilyon And so on.

  • PLURALS

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 in the plural number. 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)…..

  • THE “AY” INVERTER

In Tagalog there is no such thing as the verb to be. You will often come across expressions like: ako ay Pilipino. Well, that doesn’t literally translate as “I am Filipino”. That is just an inverted form of Pilipino ako where ay simply inverts the order in the sentence. Well, this blog is mainly about how to have a thriving marriage with a Filipina but, from time to time I also like to talk about the Tagalog language and grammar. I started doing it in the past a little randomly and so in some future articles I will cover this kind of material in a more systematic way….and in so doing I’ll review the Tagalog grammar myself since I haven’t been doing it for quite a while…

A Very Useful Website to Learn Tagalog

In this brief post I just want to mention a very interesting website that has immensely helped me to grasp the structure of the Tagalog language.

The link is http://www.seasite.niu.edu/Tagalog/Tagalog_mainpage.htm

I think this link can be very useful to Westerners who are trying to learn Tagalog