Pronouns

pronouns

There are three groups of pronouns in Tagalog for different purposes.

E.g.

I love you.

You love me. (NOT You love I.)

My friend and I. (NOT My friend and me. NOR Me and my friend. Although conversational.)

Just like languages like English, French or German, there are different names for pronouns depending on whether the person is the subject, the object or the indirect object. Some of these terms include “nominative”, “accusative” or “dative”. However, assuming that you’ve never learnt another foreign language and even if you did, these terms still confuse you, and in order to save you from learning more jargon, we’ll name these groups of pronouns based on their roles within the sentences. Two of these groups are used as possessive pronouns which will be explained further down.

Subject pronouns

This group of pronouns refers pronouns that are indeed the subject of their sentences. The sentence puts emphasis on that pronoun.

NOTE: Some of these pronouns are similar to pronouns in Malay or Indonesian so knowledge in any of the two languages my help you.

English Tagalog
I ako
you ikaw
he/she/it siya
we (including 2nd person) tayo
we (excluding 2nd person) kami
dual kita
you (plural) kayo
they sila

NOTES

There are two words for “we”: tay0 and kami. Tayo includes the person you are talking with while kami doesn’t.

E.g.

      Pupunta kami sa party. (We‘re going to a party. (And you’re not coming.))

      Pupunta tayo sa party. (We‘re going to a party. (You’re coming with us.))

The word siya can refer to “he” or “she” so it doesn’t discriminate between genders. Because of this, a lot of the times, Filipinos do make the mistakes of mixing “he” or “she” when they’re speaking English.

The word kita refers to something like “I (verb) you”.

E.g.

      Mahal kita. (I love you)

      Nakikita kita. (I see you)

Try using kita instead of (verb) ko ikaw.

There is a pronoun for “you” but plural which is kayo. Sometimes, this is also a formal way of referring to the person you are talking with. In English, there is no equivalent although sometimes it’s either “you all” or “you guys” but they’re usually informal. FUN FACT: Some Tagalog-speakers in Marinduque might say kamo instead of kayo.

E.g.

      Kumain ka na? (Have you (just you!) already eaten?)

      Kumain na kayo? (Have you (and the others) already eaten?)

Ikaw means “you” however majority of the time in conversations, it can be shortened to ka as demonstrated above.

Yes, those were a lot of explanations but we’re not even close to finishing this article yet.

Object pronouns

This group of pronouns refer to pronouns being the object in their sentences, which subject is acting upon. These are also the first group of possessive pronouns.

English Tagalog
me ko
you mo
him/her niya
us (including 2nd person) natin
us (excluding 2nd person) namin
you (plural) ninyo
them nila

E.g.

      Iniwan ko ang sulat dito. (I left a letter here.) – This sentence puts focus on the letter.

      Tinanggap mo ang trabaho. (You accepted the job) – This sentence puts focus on the job.

      Ayaw niya ako. (She hates me.) – I am the focus of this sentence.

NOTES:

In conversational speech, ninyo can be pronounced as “nyo” instead of “nin yo”.

There are verbs where the doer of the verb is either the subject or the object of the sentence. Each verb unfortunately varies. There will be more on those later.

Possessive Pronouns A

This group of verbs can also be used as possessive pronouns. The pronouns however go after the noun that it possesses.

E.g.

      Kotse ko. (My car.)

      Pusa natin. (Our cat (doesn’t belong to you too))

      Bahay nila. (Their house)

Indirect object pronouns

These pronouns are acted indirectly upon by the subject within a sentence. There would usually be a preposition before these pronouns in a sentence. These are also the second group of possessive pronouns.

English Tagalog
(to) me (sa) akin
(to) you (sa) iyo
(to) him/her (sa) kanya
(to) us (including 2nd person) (sa) atin
(to) us (excluding 2nd person) (sa) amin
(to) you (plural) (sa) inyo
(to) them (sa) kanila

E.g.

      Dumating ka sa akin. (You came to me.)

     Para sa kanya. (For him.)

     Ito sa inyo. (This is yours. OR This belongs to you)

Possessive Pronouns B

This group of verbs is also used as possessive pronouns however they go before the noun that they possess.

If the pronoun ends with a vowel, “~ng” is put at the end.

If it ends with an “n”, just “g” goes at the end.

E.g.

      Ang aking kotse. (My car.)

      Ang ating pusa. (Our cat)

      Ang kanilang bahay. (Their house)

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