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