Additional Notes on Tagalog Word Order

1. A Sa phrase (p. 59) indicating location or direction may be placed at the beginning of a sentence for emphasis or to show contrast.

Kumain sa school ang babae.

Kumain ang babae sa school.

The woman ate at school.

Sa school kumain ang babae.

The woman ate at school.

It’s at school that the woman ate.

Sa school kumain ang babae. Sa bahay naman kumain ang lalaki.

The woman ate at school, while the man ate at home.

Sumulat kay Mary ang babae.

Sumulat ang babae kay Mary.

The woman wrote (to) Mary.

Kay Mary sumulat ang babae.

The woman wrote (to) Mary.

It’s Mary that the woman wrote (to).

Kay Mary sumulat ang babae. Kay John naman sumulat ang lalaki.

The woman wrote (to) Mary, while the man wrote (to) John.

2. Describing words expressing time or location may be placed at the beginning of a sentence for emphasis or to show contrast.

Nag-aral si Mary dito.

Nag-aral dito si Mary.

Mary studied here.

Dito nag-aral si Mary.

Mary studied here.

It’s here that Mary studied.

Dito nag-aral si Mary. Doon naman nag-aral si John.

Mary studied here, while John studied there.

Aalis si John bukas.

Aalis bukas si John.

John is leaving tomorrow.

Bukas aalis si John.

John is leaving tomorrow.

It’s tomorrow that John will leave.

Bukas aalis si John. Hindi’ ngayon.

John is leaving tomorrow, not today.

See also: Expressing location (p. 255), Expressing time, frequency or duration (p. 265)

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