Write & CorrectEnglish
Tagalog Grammar Lite Lesson 19 Ay Sentences
is; are; inversion marker
you (ang-form, singular, at start of phrase)
Looking at the basic-sentence:
Ex: Naglinis si Stephen ng bahay.
= Stephen cleaned the house.
you can probably tell that the subject is Stephen. Stephen is in the middle of the Tagalog sentence, which is normal. But it’s also possible the express the same thing, with the subject first, by inverting the sentence. This lesson is about sentences created using the ay-inversion, which I call ay-sentences for short. They sound a bit bookish or formal, but this is the most common way to make subject-predicate sentences.
Warning – Your goal should be to recognize and understand these when you encounter them, but I recommend you don’t use these in colloquial speech. You will not be wrong or misunderstood if you do, but you won’t be talking like a native if you frequently use these. And because native English speakers often find these easier to produce because of their English-like Subject-Predicate structure, there is a great temptation to do just that. So to discourage that habit I will limit their use to this lesson.
Here are some examples made from structures we’ve already seen:
Subject is Noun Sentence <subject, noun>; Mario is the president.
Ex: Si Mario ang presidente.
= Ang presidente ay si Mario.
Subject is Adjective Sentence <adjective, subject>; The girl is beautiful.
Ex: Maganda ang babae.
= Ang babae ay maganda.
Basic-sentence <verb, actor, object, IO>; Stephen cleaned the house.
Ex: Naglinis si Stephen ng bahay.
= Si Stephen ay naglinis ng bahay.
Gusto/Ayaw Noun Sentence <gusto/ayaw, experiencer, object>; Hugo wants the house.
Ex: Gusto ni Hugo ang bahay.
= Ang bahay ay gusto ni Hugo.
Mahilig Noun Sentence <mahilig, experiencer, object>; I like adobo.
Ex: Mahilig ako sa adobo.
= Ako ay mahilig sa adobo.
Sino/Ano Interrogative Sentence <sino/ano, ang, basic-clause>; Who cooked the adobo?
Ex: Sino ang nagluto ng adobo?
= Ang nagluto ng adobo ay sino?
Hindi sentence <hindi, verb, actor, object> Miguel didn’t read the book.
Ex: Hindi nagbasa si Miguel ng libro.
= Si Miguel ay hindi nagbasa ng libro.
Those should be enough to give you a feel for them. You will probably be able to glean the meaning off of future ay-sentence constructions.
Ikaw is used instead of ka at the beginning of sentences.
The singular form of you often gets brought to the front in ay-sentences, so remember that you need to use ikaw in those cases.
Ex: Maganda ka.
= Ikaw ay maganda.
The contracted form of ay is y
You can contract ay to y if the preceding word ends in a vowel, n or w (y replaces the n or w). In colloquial speech it’s more common to hear y than ay. Loanwords and names from other languages normally don’t take y.
Ex: Ang babae ay maganda. = Ang babae'y maganda.
Answer with ay-sentences; use y where possible
Will you study Tagalog tomorrow?
Ikaw ba’y mag-aaral ng Tagalog bukas?
Who read the book?
Ang nagbasa ng libro ay sino?
Stephen’s wife didn’t cook adobo for us(incl).
Ang asawa ni Stephen ay hindi nagluto ng adobo para sa atin.
Do you like dogs?
Ikaw ba’y mahilig sa aso?
She is cleaning the house for me.
Siyay naglilinis ng bahay para sa akin.
Jessica is the student.
Ang estudyante ay si Jessica.
We won’t dine at 6 o’clock.
Kamiy hindi maghahapunan nang alas sais.
Beth hates cats.
Ang mga pusa ay ayaw ni Beth.
Ben is brushing his teeth.
Si Ben ay nagsisipilyo ng ngipin.
The water is green.
Ang tubig ay berde.
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