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Tagalog Grammar Lite Lesson 44 Adverbs
An adverb is a word or clause that modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, a sentence and just about anything else. The definition is very broad, so there are many types of adverbs, and there are variants within each type. Some adverbs that you’ve already encountered are enclitic particles and expressions of time.
It wouldn’t be very productive for me to try to list all the remaining types of adverbs and associated grammar rules here. Instead I’m going to divide them into adverbs of manner, place, time, frequency and degree. I’ll give you some samples for each and tell you how we’ll use them the sample sentences. It’s my hope that when you encounter new adverbs in the wild, knowing these patterns will help you assimilate them.
Adverbs of Manner (quickly, well, etc)
Adverbs of manner describe in what manner the action takes place. If the sentence is imperative, put nang adverb on the end.
Ex: Magluto ka ng adobo nang mabilis.
= Cook adobo quickly. (imperative)
But for non-imperative sentences it’s more common to put the adverb before the base sentence. In this case the adverb is an enclitic magnate, and there’s an optional linker before the verb.
Ex: Mabilis kang nagluto ng adobo.
= She cooked adobo quickly. (non-imperative)
Word order for imperative <base-sentence, nang, adverb>
Word order for non-imperative <adverb, linker, base-sentence>
Adverbs of Place (here, outside, etc)
Adverbs of place describe where the action takes place.
Ex: Nagtanghalian kami sa labas kahapon.
= We ate lunch outside yesterday.
Ex: Nagtanghalian kami dito kahapon.
= We ate lunch here yesterday.
In the first sentence you see sa labas. All sa-phrases that indicate location are adverbs. But there are many single word adverbs of place that don’t need to be marked with sa. Dito is an example of this in the 2nd sentence.
Word order <base-sentence, adverb, time>
Adverbs of Time (on Friday, later, etc)
Adverbs of time describe when the action takes place. They are more common at the end of the sentence, as shown below, so that’s what we’ll use from now on. Here’s an example using a sa-phrase:
Ex: Pupunta siya sa Biernes.
= He’ll go on Friday.
And here’s an example using a single word adverb of time that doesn’t need to be marked with sa:
Ex: Pupunta siya mamaya.
= He’ll go later.
Word order <base-sentence, adverb>
Adverbs of Frequency (often, every Wednesday, etc)
Adverbs of frequency describe how often the action takes place.
Ex: Madalas na pumupunta si John sa SM.
= John often goes to SM.
There’s a lot of overlap between these adverb types, and madalas can be considered an adverb of manner or frequency, so this sentence follows the same rules as adverbs of manner above. But:
Ex: Magbabasa ako ng libro tuwing Miyerkules.
= I will read a book every Wednesday.
Ex: Tuwing Miyerkules magbabasa ako ng libro.
= I will read a book every Wednesday.
Tuwing Miyerkules doesn’t take a marker and can go before or after the sentence. There are no fixed rules for it; we’ll just put it in front.
Word order <tuwing Weekday, base-sentence>
Adverbs of Degree (really, almost, etc)
Adverbs of degree describe to what extent the action takes place.
Ex: Kumain talaga siya ng dalawang pizza.
= He really ate two pizzas.
Ex: Halos nahulog ako.
= I almost fell down.
Note that talaga normally goes after the verb, but halos normally goes before. There are no fixed rules for these; you will just have remember which is acceptable.
Connectors omitted unless required. Focus in italics where required.
Magbisikleta ka nang mabilis!
The teacher taught Tagalog well.
Mahusay na itinuro ng guro ang Tagalog.
I got the medicine for the child outside.
Ikinuha ko ng gamot ang bata sa labas.
They will walk here tomorrow.
Lalakad sila dito bukas.
Give your mother a car on Friday sir.
Bigyan mo ng kotse ang iyong nanay sa Biyernes.
Joe looked for a drink for Maria later.
Naghanap ng inumin si Joe para kay Maria mamaya.
She listens to the radio often.
Madalas siyang nakikinig ng radyo.
Jorge drinks milk every Wednesday.
Tuwing Miyerkules umiinom si Jorge ng gatas.
They are really studying English now.
Nag-aaral talaga sila ng Ingles ngayon.
I almost returned home.
Halos bumalik ako sa bahay.
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