4 Easy Tips On Making Philippine Words Plural

Making Philippine Words Plural

Suppose you’re making a list of gifts you’ll give to your Filipino friend. But you want to speak Tagalog properly without butchering many Tagalog words. Basically, there are tons of plural Filipino words with different pronunciations, forms, and meanings. How do you memorize all these rules as a beginner? The best way is to find out how to make this Tagalog word plural first. Making Philippine words plural is easy as memorizing vocabulary! Find out here!

Other Philippine languages also have their form of plural words. However, Tagalog is the most common language you’ll find Filipinos speaking globally. So, there’s no stopping you from learning more about Tagalog vocabulary! Especially if you’ve decided to become a master of Tagalog. That said, plural forms are regular for any basic sentence, and you will encounter these words from the Titos and Titas to the manong sorbetero (ice cream vendor) you’ll buy a sorbetes from. But how do you buy more than one ice cream without speaking a single English word?

If you’re eager to learn more about Tagalog nouns and how to speak Tagalog naturally, read our tips on making Philippine words plural.


Pointers When Making Philippine Words Plural

Before you say hello to your Filipino friends, let’s recap how an English root word is made plural. The English sentence structure puts an additional letter(s) on the root words of a singular noun or a counter noun to change it to the plural form. Sometimes, English words are irregular nouns that modify the word to become plural. There is another set of rules if a root word ends with an x or a z.

How about for Philippine words? Is Filipino grammar very different from the English language? Let’s find out!

Adding The Word Mga Before The Noun(s)

You’ll see the most common words in the Tagalog language: ang, mgana, and ng. These are markers or particles for identifying nouns in sentences and giving emphasis. However, mga is a particle that denotes a plural form for common and sometimes proper nouns.

The marker mga, when added to a word, means adding an s at the end of the Tagalog nouns. So, for example, if you want to say artists, you will say mga artista.

Still confused? Here are some examples to practice with:

KidsMga bata
ClassroomsMga silid-aralan
ClassmatesMga kaklase
BooksMga libro
NeighborsMga kapitbahay
PencilsMga lapis
They went to the store to buy books.Sila ay pumunta sa tindahan para bumili ng mga libro.
Making Philippine Words Plural Numerals

Indicating A Number Before The Nouns

Similar to English words, the Tagalog language also uses numbers (numerals) to highlight how many nouns there are. In Tagalog, you don’t have a similar rule of adding an s at the end of a word. Hence, the root word with the number before it is enough to indicate that it’s not a singular word.

Let’s take a look at the sentence examples for this rule:

  1. He had already sold two yachts. = Dalawang yate na ang nabenta niya.
  2. Thirty passengers were left by the jeepney (jeep). = Tatlumpung pasahero ang naiwan ng jeepney (jeep).
  3. One hundred pictures were destroyed because of the fire. = Isang daang litrato ang nasira sa isang malaking sunog.

Adding A Counter Before The Countable And Uncountable Nouns

How about countable nouns? Adding s at the end of these words doesn’t make sense. For example, in the English language, you don’t say milks. Instead, you add another word, such as jug (jugs) of milk, to make it countable and change it to the plural form. So, for countable and uncountable nouns, Tagalog also adds a counter to measure or count things, actions, and events.

Sometimes, Tagalog words still add mga in front of these countable nouns to emphasize their plurality.

Check out these examples:

One sack of riceIsang kaban ng bigas
One bundle of vegetables Tatlong bigkis ng gulay
Jugs of milkMga pitsel ng gatas
One group of teachersIsang grupo ng mga titser
Five battalions of soldiersLimang batalyong sundalo

Inserting A Prefix On The Adjective To Change Its Number

In English, rules for plural forms are non-existent for adjectives. The adjectives, whether masculine or feminine, stay the same. On the other hand, the Tagalog language includes having a plural form for Tagalog adjectives for emphasis. So which way do you change it?

Ma- is usually the word you’ll use for Tagalog adjectives to make them plural.

Here are a few examples to ponder:

Beautiful womenMagagandang babae
Old menMatatandang lalaki
Intelligent studentsMatatalinong magaaral
Fertile farmlandsMayayabong na sakahan
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Improve Your Tagalog Sentences With Ling

Marami ka pang mga Tagalog na salitang pagaaralan. You still have many words to learn.

Languages are a window to discovering how the world revolves. The best way to communicate with people is to speak their native language. So what is the next step when learning a new language? Practicing them daily, of course!

If you want to use these Tagalog conversations on the go, why not download the Ling app? It is a handy language-learning app that contains 60+ languages with 200+ Tagalog grammar lessons and more. Moreover, you’ll enjoy chatting with an AI chatbot that feels like you’re talking to native speakers.

You need to learn with a handy app like Ling! Download it now on the Play Store or App Store and learn Tagalog like a pro!

Suppose you’re like me and want to know more about Tagalog grammar. In that case, you can check out our articles for Tagalog verbs, learn vocabulary for Filipino shopping, or even learn the unique words you’ll find in Tagalog. Don’t get stuck in the singular form of new nouns you’ve learned in Tagalog. Learn Tagalog with Ling app now!

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