Simple Sentences

Subjectless Sentences

The ang phrase, which serves as the subject of the sentence, does not occur in a special set of sentences. In these sentences, none of the participants in the event is the subject or focus of the sentence.

Sentences with gusto (like or want) followed by a noun phrase functioning as object or goal, do not require a subject when the object is indefinite.

Non-Subject Actor Non-Subject Indefinite Object
Gusto ng bisita ng litson.
Gusto ni Dan ng halu-halo.

When the object is definite, it must be the subject.

Actor Subject Definite Object
Gusto ng bisita ang litson.
Gusto ni Dan ang halu-halo.

When a verb is present in the gusto sentence in a construction similar to the English "likes to eat," or "likes to hike," the actor-focus verb requires no subject, whereas the object-focus verb requires a subject. Notice the linker na/-ng after the actor.

  • Gusto ni Dan na kumain ng litson.
  • Gusto ni Pedrongkainin ang litson.

Ibig and nais are synonymous of gusto. Avoid the stilted nais. The negative of gusto is ayaw.

  • Ayaw ng tsuper ng ulan.
  • Ibig mo ba ng tubig?

Sentences whose predicates consist of verbs starting certain acts of nature, when inflected as -um- verbs, don't show a subject phrase.


  • It rained

Umulan nang malakas.

  • It rained hard.

Other roots in this class are:

araw sun Umaaraw na!
ambon drizzle Umambon kanina.
kulog thunder Kumulog kamakalawa
dilim darkness Dumilim sa salas.
liwanag light Lumiwanag sa kusina.

The last two roots allow some flexibility in that they may also show a subject phrase.

  • Dumilim ang panahon.
  • Lumiwanag ang panahon.

Indeed, they seem to belong to a class by themselves in that they are the only two roots in this class that accept the verbal affix nag-.

  • Nagdilim sa salas.
  • Nagdilim ang salas.

Phenomenal roots, when inflected as -in- verbs, require a subject phrase.

Binaha ang Maynila.
Nilindol * ang San Francisco.

* Remember, -in- becomes ni- in roots beginning with the sound l.

Of course when these words are used in the non-phenomenal sense, they require a subject phrase even when taking the -um- affix.

Lumiwanag ang mukha ni Joaquin.
Dumilim ang pag-asa ni Grant.

Sentences that refer to time or phrases of the day are also subjectless.

  • Tanghali na.
  • Katanghalian na.
  • Alas-tres na pala.
  • Gabi na naman.

Similarly, when inflected as -in- verbs, they require a subject.

  • Ginabi si Mario.
  • Inumaga si Damian sa madyungan.

Ka- marks a recently completed action of the verb. Like the rest of the sentences in this section, it has no subject phrase. It is often followed by the adverbial particle lang. The recently completed aspect is formed by the affix ka- followed by the reduplicated first consonant-vowel of the verb root. The reduplication signals action started.

  • ka + li + linis

Ka + ba + balik lang ni Lourdes.

  • Lourdes just returned.

Sentences in which the predicate or its adverbial modifier is made the focus of an exclamation have no subject. The focus word is marked by ang.

Ang bilis ng babae!

  • How fast the woman is!

Ang takbo ni Ben!

  • How Ben ran!

To turn a simple sentence into an exclamation sentence:

  • Replace the subject marker with a non-subject marker

    • Mahusay ang mekaniko. -> ... ng mekaniko.

  • Remove the affixes of the adjective or verb modifier

    • Mahusay ang mekaniko -> ... husay ng mekaniko.

  • Introduce the sentence with an exclamation marker.

    • Mahusay ang mekaniko -> Ang husay ng mekaniko.

Adjectives are the most common word bases in this construction. Adverb and verb word bases also occur.

Adverb Base
Mabilis tumakbo si Bjorn. Ang bilis tumakbo ni Bjorn.
Mabagal lumakad si Josefa. Ang bagal lumakad ni Josefa.
Verb Base
Tumakbo si Kurt. Ang takbo ni Kurt!
Umiyak si Martin. Ang iyak ni Martin!

When the focused word is an adjective or an adverb, the marker anong and kay may be used instead of ang.

  • Anong bilis ni Ben.
  • Kay yaman ng Sultan.

These markers may not combine with focused verbs.

  • *Anong takbo ni Ben.
  • *Kay kain ng Sultan.

When a verb has an adverbial modifier, only the modifier can serve as the focus of the exclamation sentence.

Mabilis umusad si Nina. Ang bilis umusad ni Nina
*Ang mabilis usad ni Nina.

To express the strongest exclamation, reduplicate the adjective root, prefix it with pagka-, and introduce the sentence with anong.

  • Anong pagkabilis-bilis ni Ben!
  • Anong pagkayaman-yaman ng Sultan!

An adjective predicate or an adverbial modifer may be intensified by dropping their affixes and prefixing napaka- to the root. The subject marker is replaced by the appropriate non-subject marker. Thus:

  • Replace the subject marker with a non-subject marker

    • Mahusay ang mekaniko. -> ... ng mekaniko.

  • Replace the affixes of the adjective or verb modifier with napaka-

    • Mahusay ang mekaniko -> Napakahusay ng mekaniko.


  • Masaya ang piknik. -> Napakasaya ng piknik.