Tagalog Aspects: Overview

The aspect of a verb indicates whether the action has been started or not, and, if started, whether it has been completed or not.

completed aspect

action has been completed

uncompleted aspect

action has been started but not completed or action is habitual or is a general fact

unstarted aspect

action has not been started

Some verbs have a fourth aspect.

recently completed aspect

action has been completed just before the time of speaking or just before some other specified time

Examples:

The different forms of the verb magluto’ (to cook) are given below:

aspect

sentence

meaning

completed

Nagluto’ ang babae.

The woman cooked.

Nagluto’ na ang babae.*

The woman has cooked.

The woman had cooked (when something happened).

uncomplet­ed

Nagluluto’ ang babae.

The woman cooks (e.g. every day).

The woman is cooking (e.g. right now).

The woman was cooking (when something happened).

unstarted

Magluluto’ ang babae.

The woman will cook.

The woman cooks (e.g. tomorrow).

The woman is cooking (e.g. tomorrow).

recently completed

Kaluluto’ lang ng babae.**

The woman has just cooked.

The woman had just cooked (when something happened).

aspect

completed

sentence

Nagluto’ ang babae.

meaning

The woman cooked.

sentence

Nagluto’ na ang babae.*

meaning

The woman has cooked.

The woman had cooked (when something happened).

aspect

uncomplet­ed

sentence

Nagluluto’ ang babae.

meaning

The woman cooks (e.g. every day).

The woman is cooking (e.g. right now).

The woman was cooking (when something happened).

aspect

unstarted

sentence

Magluluto’ ang babae.

meaning

The woman will cook.

The woman cooks (e.g. tomorrow).

The woman is cooking (e.g. tomorrow).

aspect

recently completed

sentence

Kaluluto’ lang ng babae.**

meaning

The woman has just cooked.

The woman had just cooked (when something happened).

* The completed form followed by na (p. 303) means has/had….

** The recently completed form is followed by either lang (p. 319) or pa lang (p. 313).

The rules for indicating aspect depend on the verb affix.

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