Easy Tagalog Grammar: An Epic Guide For 2021!

May 13, 2021

Tagalog grammar is known in the Philippines as balarila (the art of correctly using Filipino grammar)or plainly grammatika (the structural rules governing the use of a language). Whether you are learning for fun or for seriously acquiring the language, proper grammar structure is essential to study to create exciting and impactful sentences. In fact, your level of grammatical correctness can reflect how educated and professional you are to native speakers!

Tired of using broken Tagalog word combinations? This post is perfect for you as we will walk you through an overview of Tagalog grammar is the easiest way.

Aside from the easy writing system of the Filipino people, what makes the Tagalog language such an easy one to learn is the fact that it does not have complicated grammar rules. Add to that is the fact that the pronunciation and accent are straightforward, and even if you make a few mistakes, Filipinos will just give you a pat on your back and tell you how much they appreciate you trying to learn their beautiful language.

Unlike other nationalities, the Filipinos are one of the warmest people globally, and they are always willing to help you out learn their language even on the road! And if you can't express something, you can just use English or Taglish.

Interestingly, if you know Spanish from the start, you can easily follow and have a good grasp of the language right away as it has dramatically influenced Tagalog. If you check the Tagalog and Spanish dictionary, you will see a number of loan words that are still being used today. Here are a few examples:

TagalogSpanish
problemaproblems
gobyernogobierno
pelikulapelícula
publikopúblico
imahenimagen
sabadosábado 
bulsabolsa
brásobrazo
teoryateoría
artikuloartículo

As you can find from the table above, a few letters may be different here and there, but the meaning of each is practically the same. Therefore, navigating the Tagalog language is going to be a walk in the park, especially if you understand how to use the words in a complete sentence.

In today's post, we will give you a rundown on important grammatical points such as the vowels and consonants (ideal for pronunciation practice), pronouns, adjectives, and sentence patterns. There are still other critical points to discuss, but this is already a good starting point to form a sentence like a total pro.

 

Tagalog Grammar: What You Need To Remember

If you want to learn Tagalog and speak it right away, one of the top points you focus on is understanding how basic grammar works. This Malayo-Polynesian language can be a bit tricky for English speakers, but it is definitely not impossible. BY setting aside time and practicing the language any chance that you get, we bet that your level will increase in no time.

But, let's be honest about one thing: to learn Tagalog, you must understand that it has certain features such as the following:

  • The word order is different in the sense that the Tagalog sentences usually start with verbs followed by objects or sentence functions.
  • There are 5 verb focus forms as denoted by ang and ng. The Tagalog grammar focuses on actor, object, instrumental, locative, and beneficiary.
  • There are tons of prepositions, but they are not all using the syllable sa.
  • Some sentences can be turned into questions by simply adding ba or na along with a rising intonation.

Markers In Some Tagalog Texts

The Tagalog language uses five vowels which are a, e, i, o, u, but please note the e is mainly used for loan words. Pure Tagalog words only use a,i,o,u. There really is nothing much different in terms of the pronunciation of the Filipino alphabet. Still, it would be best if you remembered that there are accent markers or tuldik in Tagalog to be familiar with, such as the pahilís (to denote the syllable to be stressed), paiwà (to denote glottal stop and that the vowel before it must be stressed), and pakupyâ (stress and glottal stop).

For your reference, please take note of the examples below to know better what we mean.

Word Meaning 
kaibígan  friend
kaíbigan partner
káibigán consent
sukà vinegar 
suka vomit
gábi taro root
gabi night

Pronouns

Many people can attest that pronouns can give an added headache since using the wrong one can significantly change the meaning. To help you get on your foot and really form a correct sentence adhering to Tagalog grammar rules, check out the personal and possessive pronouns in the table below.

Personal Singular English Version Plural English Version
1st Person ako  I tayo , kami we (including, excluding)
2nd Person Ikaw, ka, kayo you kayo you 
3rd Person siya she, he sila they 
Possessive Singular English Version Plural English Version
1st Person ko my natin, namin our (including, excluding)
2nd Person ninyo, my your ninyo your
3rd Person niya her, his nila their

Degree Of Adjectives

Unlike other languages, denoting superlative adjectives are super fun when it comes to Tagalog. In fact, you can just simply repeat a few adjective words to show intensity. Read and review the sample change below:

Tagalog Meaning 
Magandang-maganda Very beautiful
Makinis na makinis Very smooth
Matandang-matanda Very old
Mabuting mabuti Really good
Mabisang mabisa Very Effective

Another way by which you express that something is of intense level is by learning how to add the following prefixes' such as napaka and pinaka. Frequently, these are used in day-to-day conversations than the examples mentioned above I highlighted before this. Review the examples below to know more about how to use it and what we really mean.

Tagalog Meaning 
Napakagandang  Very beautiful
Napakakinang Very sparkly
Pinakapangit Ugliest
Pinakamahusay  Best
Pinakamalinis Cleanest

Sentence Patterns

Before we describe the sentence patterns, allow us to first expand your vocabulary by giving you the Tagalog counterparts for the usual words that you will come across when creating a sentence.

  • Sentence - Pangungusap
  • Noun - Pangngalan
  • Verb - Pandiwa
  • Adjective - Pang-uri
  • Adverb - Pang-abay

When it comes to forming a sentence, the basic pattern is different from English or other European languages since it does not follow the Subject - Verb- Object pattern. For instance, you can simply ask have you eaten? but in Tagalog, it must be kumain ka na ba? In this example, kumain refers to the verb eat. Amazing, right? Also, you can use adjectives first, like saying maganda ang babae or the girl is beautiful. The Tagalog adjective used is the word maganda. As you would probably notice, the Tagalog grammar does not have the verb "to be," instead it uses ang as a particle marker.

 

Learn Tagalog And Speak Like A Pro Today!

As you reach the end of this post, we'd like to congratulate you because now you understand how basic Tagalog grammar works. If you are interested to learn Tagalog and speak like a native speaker, we highly recommend that you continue practicing and immersing yourself in this language. You can do this by simply listening to Tagalog music, watching their movies and TV series, or using an app to get the right motivation.

And speaking of application, why not check out the Ling App and Learn by Simya Solutions? These mobile applications are all available for free, and it was established to mainly support your language journey no matter what level you are at right now. Instead of purchasing an expensive book or signing up for classes without knowing if you can really commit to learning, then using language apps can be the best thing! Download the Ling App and Simply Learn today to kick start your language adventure on the right foot!

 

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