Sentence Formation - Parts of a Sentence
In Tagalog, the word order for sentences is usually reversed from what you'd expect in English.
Let's take two simple sentence constructions as examples:
- 1.) Simple describing sentences
- 2.) Simple verb + actor sentences
Simple Descriptive Sentence Structure
To describe something in Tagalog you can use this structure:
"[Adjective] ang [item]."
Notice how in Tagalog the adjective comes before the item you're describing in the sentence, which is the reverse of English.
In English you'd say "The cat is fat," but in Tagalog you'd say "Fat is the cat."
To describe a named person you use the same structure, but use "si" instead of "ang":
The cat is fat.
Matab ang psà.
The dog is smart.
Matalno ang so.
Jane is nice.
Mabat si Jane.
Martin is ugly.
Pngit si Martin.
Isko is skinny.
Payt si Isko.
Jose is smart.
Matalno si Jose.
Inverted Form: Ay
So far you've seen sentences with their word order in the reverse order from what you'd expect in English.
However, there is a way to say the same sentences in the same word order as you'd say in English, using the word "ay," which is called an "inversion marker."
Sentences like this are used much less commonly in Tagalog, and are mostly used for stylistic reasons to create variation in a person's writing style. You'll also see it used more often in formal prose and less often in casual speech.
Even though this form is less common and is something you should stay away from as a beginner learner, you should know how it works for when you encounter it in texts and speech in the real world: