by: Axel2023 Jan 24 2023, 8:22am CST ~ 5 days ago.
Question: Kumusta, Can anyone help me, please? I can't understand the difference between "saan" and " nasaan" in some examples of the drill cards. I thought "saan" was for some kinds of movement and "nasaan" for locations but these cards puzzle me: "You are asking a person where she lives: correct answer: saan You are asking a person where the store is: correct answer: nasaan" Salamat
Hopefully the following isn't too confusing. The big difference between "saan" and "nasaan" is the little part "na", haha. The particle "na" (and its negative "wala") expresses the idea of 'to be (not to be) in a place'*. This "na" is part of other words like "narito" ("nandito"), "nariyan" ("nandiyan") and "naroon" ("nandoon") which indicates where something is, was or will be. The difference between "saan" and "nasaan" is similar to the difference between "sa" and "nasa". *from "A Grammar of the Tagalog Language"
From the TDC lesson, www.tagalog.com/less ons/lesson.php?lesso n_id=62&csid=139. Examples are provided in the lessons. The question word “where” can be translated into two different Filipino words. Depending on the context, it can be translated into saán or násaan. Násaán The question word “násaan” is used when you ask for the location of a person or thing (place/object/animal). Saán On the other hand, when you ask for the location of an action, you use the question word “saán”.
"Sa" indicates location or direction (“in, on, at, into, onto, to, towards, from, through etc.”) or possession ("with"). "Nasa" indicates where someone or something (place/object/animal) is. It is equivalent to (is/are/was/were) in/on/at/with/etc". (Note that "na kay" is two separate words but is like "nasa" that has been combined into one word from "na sa", as I understand it)
Both "nasa" and "sa" may be used to indicate where a place is. Sa may also be used to indicate where something happens.
"Saan" - in, on, at, etc. where, which (place/s), what "Nasaan" - where (is/are/was/were), which (place/s) (is/are/was/were)
Both "nasaan" and "saan" can be used to ask where a place is.
The particle "na" (and its negative "wala") expresses the idea of 'to be (not to be) in a place'*.
(Note that "na kay" is two separate words but is like "nasa" that has been combined into one word from "na sa", as I understand it)
It is “na” only when used to indicate actual possession of and directly linked to a named person, i.e., as you also mentioned, when “kay” is added after it. In other cases, it has to be “nasa”.
Ang libro ay NA KAY Maria. = The book is with Maria. Ang libro ay NASA kaniya. = The book is with her. Ang libro ay NASA bag ni Maria. = The book is in Maria’s bag. Ang libro ay NASA Thomas Jefferson Library. = The book is at the TJL.
Their negative counterparts are: Ang libro ay WALA KAY Maria. Ang libro ay WALA SA kaniya. ... WALA SA bag... ... WALA SA TJL.
@Axel2023 Here’s another way of differentiating “saan” from “nasaan”:
“Saan” is just “where” while “nasaan” is “where am/is/are/was/were something/someone”.
These examples may help you understand their difference better:
SAAN ka nakatirá? = WHERE do you live? NASAAN ang bahay mo? = WHERE IS your house?
SAAN mo inilagáy ang cellphone mo? = WHERE did you put your cellphone? NASAAN ang cellphone mo? = WHERE IS your cell phone?
SAAN nagtatago ang pusa? = WHERE is the cat hiding? NASAAN ang pusa? = WHERE IS the cat?
SAAN kayo pumuntá/nagpuntá kahapon? = WHERE did you go yesterday? NASAAN kayo kahapon? = WHERE WERE you yesterday?
SAAN ako pwedeng/puwedeng bumulí ng cellphone dito? = WHERE can I buy a cellphone here? NASAAN ang tindáhan/bilihan ng cellphone dito? = WHERE IS the cellphone store here?
Hindi ko alam kung SAAN kita makikita. = I don’t know WHERE I can/will see/find you. Hulaan mo kung NASAAN ako ngayon. = Guess WHERE I AM now.
Hindi niya matandaán kung SAAN niya náilagay/inilagáy ang mga susi kahapon. = He can’t remember WHERE he placed the keys yesterday. Hindi niya matandaan kung NASAAN ang mga susi ngayon. = He can’t remember WHERE the keys ARE now.