The typical simple sentence in Tagalog has a subject (or topic) and a predicate (or comment about the topic). The normal order of these elements is Predicate then Subject. In contrast, in English the order is Subject then Predicate.
The subject can be a noun, a pronoun, a demonstrative, an adjective, a verb, or a prepositional phrase.
In terms of the way they are marked, noun subjects divide into two general classes: personal names marked by si versus all other nouns, which are marked by ang. Examples of sentences with personal nouns as subjects:
The last two examples have subjects which are personalized names of a dog and a cat. Non-human animate subjects when personalized are marked by si.
Non-personal nouns are marked by ang. These are common nouns and any inanimate nouns including what, in English, are considered as proper nouns, such as names of places, buildings, books, etc.
|Noli Me Tangere..
Kin terms and civic terms are marked by either ang or si. Ang is less personal and a bit more respectful.
|si / ang
|si / ang
The plural of personal nouns is formed by replacing the marker si with sina. The plural of non-personal nouns is formed by adding mga (pronounced manga) to ang.
|Singular Noun Markers
|Plural Noun Markers
Non-personal proper nouns may also be pluralized, although the need for it seldom arises.Magkakasinglaki ang mga San Fernando.
Common nouns may be personified. They take the personal marker si.
|Personified Common Noun
Personal names can be used as common nouns, in which case the marker ang is used, as well as the form mga when plural.
The forms of pronoun subjects are distinguished according to person: first, second, or third, and number: singular or plural. In the first person plural, an added distinction is made between exclusive (excluding the hearer) and inclusive (including the hearer). Pronouns are not preceded by ang or si.
Pronoun Subject Set
Ikaw usually occurs initially while ka occurs elsewhere.
The form kita (kata in some dialects), not in the chart above, refers to the singular hearer and the speaker. It is also used in place of the subject and the object in sentences lilke "I saw you."
Demonstratives indicate the relative distance of objects from the speaker and the listener.
|Demonstrative Subject Set
In rapid speech, the i- of the demonstrative is dropped. The plural forms are constructed by adding ang mga before the demonstratives.
|Singular Demonstrative Subject
|Plural Demonstrative Subject
The form of the basic Tagalog adjectives is ma + root.
When used as subject, adjectives are preceded by the subject marker ang.
|Singular Adjective Subject
When in the plural, the first consonant and vowel of the root is reduplicated; mga is optionally added after the marker ang.
|Na-gong ang mga pangit.
|Na-gong ang mga *papangit.
|Nauntog ang mga pandak.
|Nauntog ang mga *papandak.
Verbs can also be used as subject. They are preceded by the subject marker ang, and additionally by mga when plural.
|Singular Verb Subject
|Plural Verb Subject
|ang mga natulog.
|ang mga lalangoy.
Prepositional phrases can also be used as subject.
These phrases can be given both singular and plural readings. When the subject phrase expresses location, its plurality can be made explicit by the addition of mga to the marker.
|ang mga nasa kusina.
|ang mga nasa kuhon.
The Predicate can be a verb, an adjective, a noun, or a prepositional phrase.
Time expressions like bukas, mamaya, kahapon, etc. are treated as prepositional phrases, although they do not show a preposition-like marker.