The basic predicate-subject order of Tagalog statements can be reversed. If the subject is shifted to precede the predicate, the inversion marker ay is inserted between the two elements.
To convert an affirmative sentence into a negative, the negative particle hindi is placed before it.
|Pilipino si Joyce.
|Hindi Pilipino si Joyce.
|Joyce is not a Filipino.
When the subject is a pronoun, that pronoun is shifted before the predicate and thus follows hindi.
|Hindi siya abala.
|He is not busy..
In the inverted order, hindi always follows ay and precedes the predicate.
Yes-no questions are usually formed by inserting the question marker ba after the first full word of a sentence. There are affirmative yes-no questions and there are negative yes-no questions. A third type is the tag-question.
|Affirmative Yes-No Question
|Abala si Jorge.
|Abala ba si Jorge?
However, when the subject is the pronoun ka or any one-syllable pronoun, then ba follows the pronoun.
|Matipid ka ba?
Ba also follows one-syllable particles such as na and pa.
|Umuwi ka na.
|Umuwi ka na ba?
|Malakas pa ang ulan.
|Malakas pa ba ang ulan?
To construct negative yes-no questions, ba is inserted after hindi in negative statements.
|Negative Yes-No Question
|Matulungin si George.
|Hindi ba matulungin si George?
The single-syllable pronoun ka precedes ba but pronouns having more than one syllable must follow ba.
Hindi ba is a negative tag question in Tagalog. In rapid speech, it is reduced to di ba.
|He's an actor, isn't he?
Unlike in English, there is no affirmative tag question in Tagalog. Usually, negative statements are followed by the tag question ano.
|Hindi Pilipino si Art,
|Art isn't a Filipino, is he?
|Sundalo ba si Jorge?
|Oo, sundalo si Jorge.
|Yes, Jorge is a soldier.
Plain oo (yes) can stand for the whole affirmative response. In Tagalog, it is common to agree to a negative comment by saying oo followed by the negative statement.
|Hindi doktor si Jorge, ano?
|Oo, hindi siya doktor.
|Yes, he isn't a doctor.
In English, of course, a negative response is reinforced by another negative expression (e.g. "No, he isn't a soldier.").
In contrast to a negative sentence, the negative response has two occurrences of the particle hindi.
|Hindi siya sundalo, ano?
|Hindi, hindi siya sundalo.
|No, he's not a soldier.
The common interrogative words are:
To invert a question, the ang phrase is shifted to initial position in the sentence, which is followed by the question marker ba, the inversion marker ay, and then the interrogative word. The question words sino, ano, alin, and kailan allow inversion.
Infinitive forms of the verbs are used for commands and the actor is limited to the second person form of the personal pronoun.
|You clean the house.
|You get the clothes.
Huwag instead of hindi is used in negative commands.
The verbal prefix paki- and the particle nga express a request. The verb stem with paki- takes an object as the subject of the sentence. The pronoun as actor is limited to the mo/ninyo forms.
Note the occurrence of mo before nga and ninyo after nga. Requests of this form are usually said with a rising intonation.
An exhortation construction expresses a wish that an action takes place. It takes the plural pronoun tayo for actor-focus and natin for goal-focus verbs. This imperative construction is equivalent to the English construction introduced by "let's."
The use of nga or naman adds meaning of politeness or mild suggestion to the exhortation.
Kaya' (perhaps) indicates uncertainty.
Actually, the use of nga, kaya and the plural pronoun is an indirect way of giving a command. The most direct command is the first sentence below and the most indirect way of giving a command is the fourth sentence.