Common Uses of Tagalog Ng Markers

1. Showing possession or belonging (“of”).

bag ng babae

a/the woman’s bag

Lit. bag of a/the woman

bag ni Mary

Mary’s bag

Lit. bag of Mary

apartment nina Alfred at Mary

Alfred and Mary’s apartment

Lit. apartment of Alfred and Mary

bubong ng bahay

roof of a/the house

presidente ng Pilipinas

president of the Philippines

2. Expressing various kinds of specification (“of”).

grupo ng babae

group of women

bote ng beer

bottle of beer

picture ng aso

picture of a/the dog

teacher ng Math

teacher of Math

manlalaro’ ng basketball

basketball player

Lit. player of basketball

tambakan ng basura

garbage dump

Lit. dumping place of garbage

isang kilo ng mangga

a kilo of mangoes

3. Only for ng and ng mga: Marking the non-POD object of an action. A non-POD object is an object that is part of the News (p. 30) instead of the POD (p. 30). The non-POD object is often indefinite (“a/an/some” + noun).

Kumain* ng mangga ang babae.

The woman ate a mango.

The woman ate some mangoes.

Kumain ng ice cream ang babae.

The woman ate (some) ice cream.

4. Marking the non-POD doer of an action (“by”). A non-POD doer is a doer that is part of the News (p. 30) instead of the POD (p. 30). In most cases, the non-POD doer is definite (“the” + noun).

Kinain* ng babae ang ice cream.

The woman ate the ice cream.

Lit. The ice cream was eaten by the woman.

Kinain ni Mary ang ice cream.

Mary ate the ice cream.

Lit. The ice cream was eaten by Mary.

* The difference between kinain and kumain is explained in the chapter on verbs (p. 89).

To make the non-POD doer unambiguously indefinite, isang may be added.

Kinain ng isang babae ang ice cream.

A woman ate the ice cream.

Lit. The ice cream was eaten by a woman.

5. Only for ng: Indicating direction. In some cases, ng may be used to indicate direction. This direction should be a place (not a movable object or person). Examples:

Pumunta ng school ang babae.

The woman went to school.

Pumunta ng Pilipinas ang babae.

The woman went to the Philippines.

Umakyat ng bundok ang babae.

The woman climbed a mountain.

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