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Tagalog Grammar Lite Lesson 11 IO, sa & para sa
In this lesson we’re going to use sa-form quite a bit, so it might be a good time to go back and review Appendix A.
Indirect Object (IO)
In English, some verbs don’t take objects, some take 1, some take 2 and some can take any combination of those. When a verb takes 2 objects, the first one is called the direct object, or just object, and the second one the IO.
Ex: Marcus gave a flower to Maria.
In this sentence flower is the object and Maria the IO. How can you tell which is which? The thing you are verbing is the object. In this case, you are giving a flower, you aren’t giving a Maria, so flower is the object. Now look at the sentence
Ex: Jane cleaned the house for mother.
In this sentence house is the object but mother isn’t an IO. Here is the litmus test for whether something is an IO.
Ex: Marcus gave Maria a flower.
XXX Jane cleaned mother the house. = not a valid sentence
Put the sentence in the order <actor, verb, IO, object>. If it makes sense, you have a double-object verb, an object and an IO. If it doesn’t, you have a single-object verb, an object and a prepositional phrase (PP). This is true for Tagalog too.
IO vs para+PP
If you fail the litmus test for IO it means you have a PP and you have to put para in front of it. Compare these sentences
Ex: Nagbigay ng bulaklak si Marcus kay Maria.
= Marcus gave Maria a flower.
Ex: Naglinis si Jane ng bahay para sa nanay.
= Jane cleaned the house for mother.
In the first sentence Maria is an IO and doesn’t require para, but in the second sentence nanay is a PP and does require para. Here is a helpful rule of thumb - in general when you have to use for in the English translation, then you have to use para in the Tagalog sentence. That works most of the time, as shown above.
Unfortunately there are some English verbs that don’t require for, but para is still required in Tagalog
Ex: Mother cooked Maria chicken.
= Nagluto ang nanay ng manok para kay Maria.
Much less common, some English verbs that require for don’t require para in Tagalog. But throughout this book for will mark a PP, not an IO in the associated Tagalog sentence.
One last thing to note – sometimes you can use para to convert an IO to a PP, thus changing the meaning of the sentence
Ex: Magbabayad ako ng limang piso kay Mark.
= I will pay five pesos to Mark.
Magbabayad ako ng limang piso para kay Mark.
= I will pay five pesos for Mark. (as in, on Mark’s behalf)
this lesson applies to basic-sentences of all verb types, but the exercises are mag-verbs only, so follow the rules for mag verbs except for the following
word order for IO is <verb, actor, object, IO, location, time>, IO takes sa-form
word order for PP is <verb, actor, object, para, PP, location, time>, PP takes sa-form
if the English translation contains for, use para in the Tagalog sentence
Mother cooked chicken for Maria.
Nagluto ang nanay ng manok para kay Maria.
They are teaching Matt and Michael Tagalog.
Nagtuturo sila ng Tagalog kina Matt at Michael.
Maria will read a story to us(incl).
Magbabasa si Maria ng kuwento sa atin.
He cleaned your room for y’all.
Naglinis siya ng kuwarto ninyo para sa inyo.
Abby is bringing food to him.
Nagdadala si Abby ng pagkain sa kaniya.
I will clean the room for them.
Maglilinis ako ng kuwarto para sa kanila.
She taught a class for me yesterday.
Nagturo siya ng isang klase para sa akin kahapon.
Juan will bring you flowers later.
Magdadala si Juan ng mga bulaklak sa iyo mamaya.
She’s cooking adobo for us(excl).
Nagluluto siya ng adobo para sa amin.
Mindy read a book to Marco.
Nagbasa si Mindy ng libro kay Marco.