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

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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