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alequin0923Monday 21st of February 2005 11:02:31 PM
BASIC GRAMMAR - As in English, each sentence in Filipino consists of a topic (what the sentence is about) and a comment (what is said about it). Unlike English, the common practice is to have the comment come before the topic.

For example:
Tumakbo (comment) si Juan (topic) = John (topic) ran (comment).

This is possibly the most striking difference between Filipino and English, and takes a bit of getting used to.

Sentences do sometimes use the same order as English, and in this case the topic is connected to the comment by the partice "ay".

For example:
Si Juan (topic) ay (particle) tumakbo (comment).

Filipino nouns do not show the difference between singular and plural by altering the form of the word, as English does by adding "s" to the end of most nouns. Instead the word mga is used before the noun, e.g. mga aklat "books", mga bata "children".

The word "ang" corresponds to the English definite and indefinite articles "the", "a" and "an", e.g. ang bata "the child".

There is also a set of markers that are used in front of nouns (including the names of people) to indicate their function in the sentence, such as whether they are the subject performing the action or the object of an action.

For example, with a person's name "si" is used to indicate that they are the subject, e.g. "Tumakbo si Juan" John ran,"Nakita ko si Juan" John was seen by me i.e. I saw John, whereas "ni" indicates possession, e.g. "Mga anak ni Juan ay mabait" John's children are good. With other nouns, "ang" indicates the subject, e.g. "Ang balaraw ay matulis" The dagger is sharp, whereas "ng" indicates a direct object or possession, e.g. "Kumain ako ng isda" I ate fish. "Ang baro ng babae ay bago" The woman's dress is new.

Filipino pronouns are as follows in the subject case:

I ako
We (including the person addressed) tayo
We (excluding the person addressed) kami
You (singular informal) ikaw
You (polite or plural) kayo
He/She siya
They sila

Filipino does not have verbs that equate with most uses of English "to be" or "to have". Instead the particle ay (which does not change in form) is used where English uses "is", "are", "was", "were" etc. e.g. Ang balaraw ay matulis "The dagger is sharp". Ang mga bata ay mabait. "The children are good". Ang baro ay mura "The dress was cheap".

The word "may" is used in sentences where English generally uses the verb "to have" or the phrase "there is", e.g. May matalinong anak si Maria. "Maria has an intelligent child". May bagong baro ka ba? "Do you have a new dress?", May tao sa labas ng pinto "There's someone outside the door".

Filipino verbs do not vary in form according to who or what is performing the action, but they do change quite dramatically to indicate present, past or future tenses. These changes occur not at the end of the word as in most of the European languages, but at the beginning or even in the middle, by means of a complex system of prefixes, repeated syllables, and syllables inserted in the middle of the base form.

Fortunately it is easy to make requests in Filipino. The base form of the verb is used as a command, and the addition of the prefix "paki" turns it into a polite request, e.g. Paki-abot pô ng baso "Please hand the glass over to me". Pô and opô are particles added in order to make the sentence polite. Negative commands and request are expressed with the word "huwag" e.g. Huwag hawakan "Please do not touch".

To ask questions, use the particle "ba", e.g. Nagsasalita ba kayo ng Ingles? "Do you speak english". Maaari ba akong manigarilyo dito? "Can I smoke here?".

To make a sentence negative, use the word "hindi", e.g. Hindi ako maninigarilyo "I don't smoke".
MangoshadeSaturday 18th of June 2005 06:38:15 AM
Tagalog - Alequin.... wow, I already learned a lot from that one post!
Kamusta ka? (first, would you say the "ka" if it's conversational with a person roughly the same age -as opposed to "kamusta kayo'?)
Ako don't know saan to start with the language... can you help me out?

alequin0923Monday 20th of June 2005 06:16:34 AM
Reply - Hi there!

You're right, you need to use the word "ka" if you are talking to a friend or a person of the same age. "Kayo" is used when talking to an elderly person or to a group of people, it is also advised to use the word "pô" as well.

For example:

Kumusta pô kayó? Kumusta pô kayóng lahat?