Changes in the Basic Sentence

The Addition of Enclitics

Order of Enclitics

Enclitics (e.g., na, pa, nga, etc.) normally occur after the first full word of the sentence. In a sentence with more than one enclitic, the normal order is as follows:

  1. na; pa
  2. nga
  3. din
  4. lamang
  5. daw
  6. kaya
  7. naman
  8. sana; pala; yata

Functions of Enclitics

The usual meanings or uses of the enclitics are as follows:

  1. nga
    • affirmation marker
  2. kaya
    • speculation marker
  3. daw; raw
    • reported speech marker
  4. din; rin
    • "too"
  5. lang; lamang
    • "only"
  6. na
    • "already"
  7. pa
    • "still"
  8. pala
    • surprise marker
  9. sana
    • optative marker
  10. yata
    • uncertainty marker
  11. naman
    • "instead"

Nga' when added to the sentence indicates affirmation, assertion, or emphasis.

Pupunta nga siya sa party.
  • (You're right,) he is going to the party.
Gwapo nga siya.
  • He certainly is handsome.
Tama nga ang nanay.
  • Mother is definitely right.
Ikaw nga ang nasa parada.
  • You (for sure) were the one in the parade.
Kumanta nga ang artista.
  • The actress did sing.

Daw/raw marks indirect discourses. It means "according to; it is said." Daw indicates that the sentence represents what someone other than the speaker said. Raw, a variant form of daw, occurs after vowels.

Maganda raw si Aleli.
  • It is said that Aleli is beautiful.
Matigas daw ang ulo ni Nestor.
  • Someone said Nestor is hard-headed.

The use of pala in a sentence expresses a sudden realization or surprise at an unexpected event or happening. It follows one-syllable pronouns or other enclitics.

Dumating pala si Romulo.
  • So Romulo arrived.

Pala is also used to signal change of topic in a conversation.

Siyanga pala, umalis na siya.
  • And by the way, he left.
Oo nga pala, ako na.
  • Oh, yes, it's my turn.

Din is commonly used to express similarity between two situations. It is usually translatable by "too" or "also". A variant form is rin, which occurs after vowel sounds.

  • "Maganda si Cora." (Cora is pretty.)
  • "Si Estelita rin." (And so is Estelita.)
  • "Maganda rin si Estelita." (Estelita is pretty, too.)

In general, na denotes completed action or action about to be performed while pa denotes non-completed, continuous, resumptive action, or action in addition to other actions, or action to be performed sometime in the future. Pa and na usually follow the first word in the predicate.

With non-verbal sentences beginning with time expressions, na denotes shortness of time, pa denotes length of time.

Bukas pa ang iksamin.
  • The exam is still tomorrow (there's plenty of time till then).
Bukas na ang iksamin.
  • The exam is already tomorrow (there's little time before then).

In imperative or command sentences, na denotes immediate performance of an action, pa denotes resumption or continuation of the action.

Kumain ka na.
  • Eat now.
Kumain ka pa.
  • Eat some more.

With verbs in the contemplated aspect, na and pa have the same meanings as in the previous paragraph. However, pa can have a second meaning, that the action expressed by the verb is an additional one not yet begun, to a series of other actions.

Kakain na ako.
  • I'll eat now (I haven't eaten yet).
Kakain pa ako.
  • I'll eat some more, or I'm still going to eat (because I've been doing other things and haven't eaten yet).

With verbs in the incompleted aspect, na is equivalent to English "already" and pa to "still, yet."

Kumakain na ako.
  • I'm already eating.
Kumakain pa ako.
  • I'm still eating.

With verbs in the completed aspect, na denotes completion of an action, sometimes unexpectedly prior to another action, while pa denotes an action performed in addition to a past action.

Kumain na ako.
  • I have already eaten.
Kumain pa ako.
  • I ate some more.

With adjectives, na indicates a non-existent quality before, whereas pa indicates a continuing quality.

Maganda na siya.
  • She's pretty now (she wasn't before).
Maganda pa siya.
  • She's still pretty.

With existentials (may, mayroon, wala), na indicates the existence of something which was non-existent before, whereas pa indicates the continuing existence of something. Na with wala means non-existence of something which existed before. Pa with wala means non-existence yet.

May pera na siya.
  • He now has money (he didn't before).
Wala na siyang pera.
  • He has no more money.
May pera pa siya.
  • He still has money.
Wala pa siyang pera.
  • He doesn't have money yet.

The degree marker lang and its variant lamang mean "just, only." When modifying a noun or adjective, lang has belittling connotation, a depreciation of someone or someone's accomplishments. The variant lamang is seldom used in casual speech.

Guwapo si Dirk, pandak lang.
  • Dirk's good-looking, except he's short.

Naman is used to express a contrast between two situations, a shift in role or viewpoint, a mild reproach (in imperative sentences), or a critical attitude. It is often glossed as "on the other hand" or "instead."

(Contrast) Kuripot naman si Carmen.
Carmen (on the other hand) is stingy.
(Shift) Kumusta ka naman?
And how are you?
(Reproach) Tumahimik naman kayo.
Do keep quiet.
(Critical) Ang ingay naman dito!
How noisy it is here.

Yata is used in statements to express uncertainty or lack of conviction.

Wala yatang tao.
  • There seems to be no one (I'm not sure).

Sana is commonly used to express a hope.

Umaaraw sana bukas.
  • I hope the sun shines tomorrow.

Kaya expresses speculation usually in questions.

Darating kaya siya?
  • Do you suppose he's coming?