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

Commands and Requests in Tagalog

Lapit, mga kaibigan at makinig kayo

Ako'y may dala-dalang balita galing sa bayan ko

Nais kong ipamahagi ang mga kwento

At mga pangyayaring nagaganap sa lupang ipinangako - Balita by Asin


"Lapit mga Pilipino at bumasa kayo ng blog ko, ako ay may mahalagang impormasyon tungkol sa wika ninyo, nais kong ipamahagi ang kaalamang ito....."


In the lyrics of this song we can see a couple of commands:


For example we can see the expression "makinig kayo" or, in other words, the infinitive form of the verb makinig (to listen) followed by the second person pronoun kayo.


Lapit mga kaibigan is a shortened form of "lumapit kayo mga kaibigan".


To soften a command and make it sound more polite, Filipinos use the particles nga or naman, kind of like when in English a command is followed by please.




makinig kayo (listen)

makinig kayo nga (listen please)

makinig kayo naman ("""""""")


A request in Tagalog is called "pakiusap" and the expression used to make a request is the expression PAKISUYO before the sentence, or the prefix PAKI- added to the verb root followed by the second person NG pronoun, mo or ninyo.


To soften the request nga and naman could be used


paki (please) + (verb) + naman




"Paki-lapit (naman) mga kaibigan at pakisuyo makinig kayo"="would you please draw close my friends and hear what I have to say?"


"paki-abot (nga) ang asin"="could you pass me the salt?"


To add emphasis to the request and say something like "please, please", I could add sige na naman.


Or I could introduce the request with baka naman pwede (maybe it is possible for you)


Another interesting expression is makisuyo or makisuyo naman




Nakikisuyo ako, lumapit kayo mga kaibigan....


Using the right words to express commands and requests is very important in the Filipino culture because Filipinos frown upon a Westerner who comes across as arrogant.


You can't for example tell a waiter "magdala ka ng..... (whatever it is that you are ordering)". It is way better to use softer expressions like "pakisuyo, pwede po ba ninyong dalhin ang.....?".


So these are the Tagalog expressions for commands and requests and make sure that you use the proper degree of these expressions depending on who you are talking to and in what context




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