Is the "Ay" Marker in Tagalog the Same as the English Verb "To be"?

One of the most common markers in the Tagalog language is ay. It may appear as if ay  is the equivalent of the English verb "to be", because, for example, the literal translation of a phrase like ako ay Pilipino is "I am  Filipino". However, in reality, far from being a verb, let alone the verb "to be", which doesn't really exist in Tagalog, the function of ay is simply to invert the order of a phrase, and in the example above ako ay Pilipino is merely the inverted form of Pilipino ako. In other words, because in Tagalog there is no such thing as the verb "to be", such phrases as "I am Italian", "she is beautiful" or "Mario is a doctor" in Tagalog have no verb and are literally rendered as "Italian I" ("Italiano ako"), "beautiful she" ("maganda siya") and "doctor Mario" ("doktor si Mario"). The "ay" marker simply switches the order of such phr

Markers in Tagalog

 Markers in Tagalog play a role similar to that of articles and prepositions in English.


A marker is, in fact, a word that comes before a noun.


Depending on the focus of the verb a marker indicates the role that the noun plays in the sentence: a marker may mark a noun as actor, object, location, direction etc.


ANG and SI/SINA


These markers are used to point out the focus of the sentence.


1. ANG (or ANG MGA if the focus of the sentence is a plural) marks a word as the focus of the sentence except for nouns that are the names of people that are marked by SI (singular) or SINA (plural)


Examples:


Pumunta ang empleyado sa opisina (singular)=the office worker went to his office


Pumunta ang mga empleyado sa opisina


Pumunta si Mario sa opisina


Pumunta sina Mario at Grace sa opisina


NG and NI/NINA


These markers are used when the noun is not the focus of the sentence


Example:


Binasa ng estudiante ang libro=the book is what the student read (the student is not the focus of the sentence, rather it is the book)


Binasa ng mga estudiante ang libro


Binasa ni Mario ang libro


Binasa nina Mario at Grace ang libro


NG also indicates possession


Example:


Ang libro ng estudiante (the book that belongs to the student)


Ang libro ni Mario


SA and KAY/KINA


These markers have to do with direction, location and beneficiary and correspond to prepositions in English


Examples:


BENEFICIARY


Ibinigay ng titser ang isang libro sa estudiante (or sa mga estudiante=plural)=the teacher gave a book to the student


Ibinigay ng titser ang isang libro kay Mario (or kina Mario at Grace)


DIRECTION


Pumupunta ako sa bahay=I am going (sa=to in this context) home


Pumupunta ako kay Mario=I am going to Mario


LOCATION


Example:


Mayroon ang isang Jollibee restaurant sa Milan, Italy=there is a Jollibee restaurant in Milan


SA also marks a future time


Example:


Magbabakasyon ako sa Agosto=I'll go on vacation in August

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