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Hi All! I am relearning Tagalog.

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Author Photo by: owenferrer Badge: Native Tagalog Speaker
Dec 26 2022, 1:24am CST ~ 1 mo., 6 days ago. 
Hi All! I am relearning Tagalog.
 
I realized that Tagalog does not have imperfect tenses (indicative mood) on its verb. "The imperfect is used to describe past habitual actions".
 
I wonder if my observation is correct?
 
For example:
Past: I played chess yesterday. = Ako ay naglaro ng chess kahapon
Present: I play chess. = Ako ay naglalaro ng chess.
Imperfect: I was playing chess when suddenly... = Ako ay naglalaro ng chess nang biglang...
which also sounds like a
Present progressive (an on-going action): I am playing chess = Ako ay naglalaro ng chess.
 
which makes me re-arrange the words (do we call this a change in the voice?)
Past: I played chess yesterday. = Naglaro ako ng chess kahapon
Present: I play chess. = Naglalaro ako ng chess.
 
Thanks in advance.
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Author Photo Juantutri Badge: Native Tagalog Speaker
Dec 27 2022, 10:54pm CST ~ 1 mo., 4 days ago. 
About the Imperfect (Progressive/Continuous) Tense, consider the following situations:
 
1) A question and answer between two guys jogging together in the park:
 
Q: Naglalaro ka ba ng chess?
A: Oo, naglalaro ako ng chess.
 
2) A opening conversation over the phone between two friends:
 
Q: Ano ang ginagawa mo ngayon?
A: Naglalaro ako ng chess.
 
Translate the conversations into English and you might find the answers you are looking for.
 
With regard to “voice”, it is not a feature of Tagalog grammar. Tagalog uses affixes to form verbs and give them "focus". It’s the affixes that could make a literal translation of a Tagalog sentence either appear like the active voice or an approximation of the passive voice.
 
The difference between
 
“Ako ay naglalaro ng chess/Ako ay naglalaro ng chess kahapon (1)“ and
 
“Naglalaro ako ng chess/Naglalaro ako ng chess kahapon (2)”
 
is just a matter of word arrangement and is not comparable to the English voice.
 
The former(1) makes use of the “ay” because the sentence begins with the actor/subject and is followed by the predicate. That structure is the same as the active voice in English.
 
The latter(2) starts the sentence with the verb, which is rather commonly done with short sentences. However, we would still translate them into English in exactly the same way as if they were written as “Ako ay naglalaro ... (1)”. That is, the rearrangement does change the meaning of the sentence at all.
 
Affixes and Focus:
 
MAGlaro (actor focus): Naglalaro ako ng chess kahapon/Ako ay naglalaro ng chess kahapon = I was playing chess yesterday. - active voice
 
laruIN (object focus): Nilalaro ko ang chess kahapon/Ang chess ay nilalaro ko kahapon. = (Lit.) Chess was being played *by me yesterday. - resembles the passive voice
 
I mentioned “approximation” and "resembles" above with regard to the passive voice because even if the sentence structures are practically the same, “ko” only translates to either “my“ or “I” and neither can be used to translate *“by me” properly.
 
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