Simple Expansions of the Basic Sentence

Identifying Other Participants

One way to expand a simple sentence is to identify the other participants in the event, where appropriate. We typically only report the actor and the object, making assumptions that the other participants are either understood or inconsequential. In addition to the actor and object participants, noun phrases may perform the roles of location, beneficiary, or instrument. Here's a sentence that includes all five participants.

Binasag (verb, broken)

  • ni Sandro (actor, by Sandro)
  • sa kusina (location, in the kitchen)
  • ang alkansya (object, the piggybank)
  • para kay Dan (benefactor, for Dan)
  • sa pamamagitan ng martilyo. (instrumental, with a hammer)

As shown earlier, one of the participants is focused as the subject or topic of the sentence; in the above example, this is alkansya. The subject word is introduced or marked by ang or si. When not functioning as subject, these phrases retain their own markings:

Non-Subject Noun Markers
Role Personal Non-Personal
actor ni ng
goal ni ng
location kay sa
beneficiary para kay para sa
instrument sa pamamagitan ni sa pamamagitan ng

Based on their markers, these phrases are grouped into two: those marked by ni and ng, called the ng-phrases, thus the actor, goal, and instrument phrases; and those marked by kay and sa, called the sa-phrases, which include the location and beneficiary phrases.

The ng and sa-phrases have pronoun and demonstrative counterparts. The following tables also gives the ang set that marks the subject of the sentence.

Noun Markers
Non-Subject Subject
Non-Personal (Singular) ng; sa ang
Non-Personal (Plural) ng mga; sa mga ang mga
Personal (Singular) ni; kay si
Personal (Plural) nina; kina sina
Person Non-Subject Subject
Singular 1 ko; (sa) akin ako
2 mo; (sa) iyo ikaw; ka
3 niya; (sa) kaniya siya
Plural 1 (inclusive) namin; (sa) amin kami
1 (exclusive) natin; (sa) atin tayo
2 ninyo; (sa) inyo kayo
3 nila; (sa) kanila sila
Non-Subject Subject
Object near speaker nito; dito ito
Object near listener niyan; diyan iyan
Object away from speaker and listener niyon; doon iyon