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Tagalog Grammar Lite Appendix G Focus

Appendix G –Focus
In English, when you want to focus on some parts of a sentence you can stress the corresponding word. In Tagalog, we match the grammar with the type of word we want to focus on. For example, let’s take the sentence Maria gave Joe a car. From English grammar, Maria is the actor, a car is an object and Joe is the indirect object (IO). Stressing one of these results in the corresponding sentence below:
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse kay Joe. (actor-focus)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Ibinigay ni Maria ang kotse kay Joe. (object-focus)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Binigyan ni Maria ng kotse si Joe. (indirect object-focus)
In Tagalog, there are 3 focuses: actor focus (AF), object focus (OF) and indirect object focus (IOF).
If you look carefully, you’ll notice there are 2 things that differ in the Tagalog sentences above.
1) The verb type (mag, i, an, etc). There is a relationship between the focus and the affix. For example, mag verbs are always AF. But the relationship isn’t always one-to-one, as noted in Table 4 below.
2) The forms (ang/ng/sa) of the actor, object and IO. Notice that for AF the actor takes ang-form, OF the object takes ang-form and IOF the IO takes ang-form. These are tabulated below.
focusformactorobjectIOAFangngsaOFngangsaIOFngngangTable 3: Simple Focus vs Form
This little table comes in very handy and is relatively easy to memorize.
focus
affix
form
actor
object
IO
AF
mag
ang
ng
sa
um
ma
maka
makapag
magpa
OF
ma
ng
ang
sa
in
i
an
paki
pa
-in
IOF
i
ng
ng
ang
an
Table
4: Focus vs Affix vs Form
Although there are many more affixes in Tagalog, this table contains all the ones in the book.
Some Helpful Tips for Selecting Focus
To stress something other than object or IO, use AF
Let’s add to the previous example:
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse sa Joe. (AF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Ibinigay ni Maria ang kotse sa Joe. (OF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Binigyan ni Maria ng kotse si Joe. (IOF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse sa Joe. (AF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse sa Joe. (AF)
Stressing a word isn’t the same as putting focus on it, but both are ways of drawing attention to a word. So when the question “how do you focus on something other than actors, objects and IOs?” comes up, the answer is technically “you don’t”. But you can emphasize other words in colloquial speech by stressing them, and just default to AF grammar since that’s usually the simplest for most learners. In other words, use AF unless you want to focus specifically on an object or IO.
If you’re not sure of the focus, choose AF
From the example above you can see how dominating AF is. Verb focus in Tagalog appears to be roughly 50% actor, 40% object and 10% IO (based on one simple statistical analysis and anecdotal evidence). Please don’t just use AF all the time though; that is a very common beginner mistake. But if you’re in a pinch and you have to guess, go with AF.
There are actually 11 focuses (optional reading)
Above I wrote that there are 3 types of focuses in Tagalog. In reality there are 11, but they only follow 3 different patterns. Let me spell out how we are deviating from reality. In this book
AF verbs are correctly identified
All verbs called OF in the dictionary are called OF here, but some verbs called OF here aren’t called OF in the dictionary
There is no focus called IOF in the dictionary
This simplification helped me immensely, and grammar that requires knowledge of 11 different focuses is unknown to me and beyond the scope of this book.

Edited

Corrections

Tagalog Grammar Lite Appendix G Focus
Appendix G – Focus
In English, when you want to focus on some parts of a sentence
, you can stress the corresponding word. In Tagalog, we match the grammar with the type of word we want to focus on. For example, let’s take the sentence Maria gave Joe a car. From In English grammar, Maria is the actor, a car is an the object [direct object (DO)?] and Joe is the indirect object (IO). Stressing one of these results in one of the corresponding three variations of the sentence below when written in Tagalog :
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse kay Joe. (actor-focus)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Ibinigay ni Maria ang kotse kay Joe. (object-focus)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Binigyan ni Maria ng kotse si Joe. (indirect object-focus)
In Tagalog, there are 3 focuses: actor focus (AF), object focus (OF) and indirect object focus (IOF).
If you look carefully, you’ll notice there are 2 things that differ in the Tagalog sentences above.
1) The verb type (mag, i, an, etc). There is a relationship between the focus and the affix. For example, mag verbs are always AF. But the relationship isn’t always one-to-one, as noted in Table 4 below.
2) The forms (ang/ng/sa) of the actor, object and IO. Notice that for AF the actor takes ang-form,
for OF the object takes ang-form and for IOF the IO takes ang-form. These are tabulated below . :
focusformactorobjectIOAFangngsaOFngangsaIOFngngangTable 3: Simple Focus vs Form
This little table comes in very handy and is relatively easy to memorize
. :
focus
affix
form
actor
object
IO
AF
mag
ang
ng
sa
um
ma
maka
makapag
magpa
OF
ma
ng
ang
sa
in
i
an
paki
pa
-in
IOF
i
ng
ng
ang
an
Table
4: Focus vs Affix vs Form
Although there are many more affixes in Tagalog, this table contains all the ones
used in the this book.
Some Helpful Tips for Selecting Focus
To stress something other than object or IO, use AF
Let’s add to the previous example:
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse sa Joe. (AF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Ibinigay ni Maria ang kotse sa Joe. (OF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Binigyan ni Maria ng kotse si Joe. (IOF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse sa Joe. (AF)
Maria gave Joe a car. = Nagbigay si Maria ng kotse sa Joe. (AF)
Stressing a word isn’t the same as putting focus on it, but both are ways of drawing attention to a word. So when the question “how do you focus on something other than actors, objects and IOs?” comes up, the answer is technically “you don’t”. But you can emphasize other words in colloquial speech by stressing them, and just default to AF grammar since that’s usually the simplest for most learners. In other words, use AF unless you want to focus specifically on an object or IO.
If you’re not sure of the focus, choose AF
From the example above you can see how dominating AF is. Verb focus in Tagalog appears to be roughly 50% actor, 40% object and 10% IO (based on one simple statistical analysis and anecdotal evidence). Please don’t just use AF all the time though; that is a very common beginner mistake. But if you’re in a pinch and you have to guess, go with AF.
There are actually 11 focuses (optional reading)
Above I wrote that there are 3 types of focuses in Tagalog. In reality there are 11, but they only follow 3 different patterns. Let me spell out how we are deviating from reality. In this book
AF verbs are correctly identified
All verbs called OF in the dictionary are called OF here, but some verbs called OF here aren’t called OF in the dictionary
There is no focus called IOF in the dictionary
This simplification helped me immensely, and grammar that requires knowledge of 11 different focuses is unknown to me and beyond the scope of this book.
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