Filipino Body Language and the Importance of Non-verbal Communication with your Filipina

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 As you may have gathered, if you have been following my blog for a while, I can speak Tagalog, and I have even created a series of blog posts that touch on the subject of Tagalog grammar. Because I am interested in making my marriage with my Filipina not only work but actually thrive, I have been taking the study of the Filipino language and culture very seriously since I entered this relationship back in 2000. Now I am at a point where my wife and I can quickly and easily switch from Italian and English to Tagalog. Yet, being able to communicate verbally is just a tiny part of the equation of effective communication. Many experts talk about the idea that around 93% of human communication occurs through non-verbal cues and only the remaining 7% is accomplished through words. When I look at this issue through this lens I realize that my efforts to master the Filipino culture and language count for very little if I don't work on improving my non-verbal communication. So in this post

Pseudo Verbs in Tagalog

 In the English language there are the so-called modal verbs that are used to talk about needs and wants (must, shall, will, should, would, can, could, may, and might).


In Tagalog there are the so-called pseudo-verbs that have a more or less similar function.


The reason why they are called pseudo-verbs is because they have no verbal aspect, so they are not conjugated (in Tagalog there are only verbal aspects not tenses like in English), nor do they have any affixes attached to them indicating focus.


These verbs are:


Gusto like


Ayaw dislike


Kailangan need


Pwede can


Maaari might


Dapat must


PWEDE-DAPAT-MAAARI


These 3 pseudo-verbs can be used both in sentences where the doer of the action is in focus and in sentences where the actor is not in focus


Examples:


Actor in focus:


Pwede akong pumunta sa bahay ni Mario


Maaaring tumawag ang asawa ko sa akin (in this case, because the pseudo-verb comes before the verb, it is linked to it by -ng)


Dapat akong bumili ng pagkain


Actor not in focus


Example


Pwede kong tulungan sila


Maaaring ibigay ko ang isang regalo sa anak ko


Dapat kong isulat ang isang liham


GUSTO/AYAW


These pseudo-verbs always go with ng pronouns so you never say gusto ako but always gusto KO or ayaw KO.


Ayaw ko can be shortened as ayoko


Examples:


"Nanay, tatay, gusto kong tinapay" (or a more modern version: "nanay, tatay, gusto ko isang tagay....")


Gusto kong bilhin ang pagkain


Gusto kong bumili ng pagkain


Ayaw kong bumili ng pagkain (or ayoko bumili ng pagkain)


Gusto ko ng alak


Ayoko ng alak

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