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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

Italian for Filipinos (and Foreigners in General)

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L'Italia è un bel paese (Italy is a beautiful country) Here in Italy we have a population of over 300,000 Filipinos. What makes communication difficult between Italian employers and their Filipino domestic helpers is the language barrier, as few Italians, including highly educated ones, are fluent in English and Filipinos (who, generally speaking are rather fluent in English) really struggle to learn Italian. I have published a few posts, both in Tagalog and in English, about Tagalog (for the benefit of foreign expatriates in the Philippines, Western husbands of Filipinas or Filipinos who want to learn their own language in a more systematic way). I also have a post about the Tagalog grammar written in Italian (which I haven't completed yet). In this post I will attempt to introduce the Italian language to Filipinos (or other foreign expatriates) who live here or are planning to come here. Italian is a very tricky language, very very tricky. One of the things that make Italian

Simuno at Panaguri sa isang Pangungusap

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  "Ang kape ay pampagana". Ano ang simuno dito, at ano ang panaguri? Sa isang pangungusap (o "sentence" sa English) ay mayroon dalawang bahagi: ang SIMUNO at ang PANAGURI. Ano ang SIMUNO at ano ang PANAGURI? SIMUNO Ang isang tao (o grupo ng mga tao) o ang isang bagay na pinag-uusapan. Ito ay ang paksa ng pangungusap. Halimbawa, sa isang pangungusap katulad: "si Maria ay maganda" sino ang pinag-uusapan? Syempre "si Maria". Sa pangungusap "ang bahay ko ay nasa ibabaw ng isang bundok" ano naman ang pinag-uusapan? Syempre "ang bahay". Kaya, sa mga halimbawa na nasa itaas ang tao (si Maria) na pinag-uusapan at ang bagay (ang bahay ko) na pinag-uusapan ay ang paksa o simuno. PANAGURI Ano kaya ang "panaguri"? Ang "panaguri" ay ang bahagi ng pangungusap na "nagsasabi" tungkol sa "simuno". Kaya sa dalawang halimbawa na nasa itaas ang mga panaguri ay: "ay maganda" At "ay nasa ibaba

Verbal Aspect vs Tense in Tagalog

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" Sumakay ako sa kariton": then I got down to take the picture above. If I said "sumasakay ako" I'd mean that I am still on the kariton There are Filipinos who use the expressions "kapanahunan ng pandiwa", which is the Tagalog term for "tense", and "aspekto ng pandiwa" interchangeably. But are "tense" and "aspect" the same thing? Are there real "tenses" in Tagalog, and in the Philippine languages in general? Even some English books and teachers mix the two and when they are asked about tenses in English they say that the past simple, the past continuous, the past perfect, the present simple, the present continuous and the present perfect are "tenses". In reality in the English language only the past and the present are, strictly speaking, "tenses" in the real sense of the word, as past and present deal with time. The "simple", the "continuous" and the "perfec