Learn Tagalog 16

Enclitic Words: Special cases

Welcome back! In the previous video, we’ve seen the general rules of enclitic words. Now, let’s have a look at some special cases.

The first special case consists of the markers ang, si, ng, ni, sa, kay, and a few more. We’ve only covered ang and si so far. Well, they’re never immediately followed by enclitic words. For example, you could point at a picture and ask:

Si Jen  ba  ito?

Literally [Si] Jen  [question]  this?

Is this Jen?

Normally, you’d expect ba to follow the first word, but because that’s the marker si, it comes after Jen instead.

Our next special case is may, which cannot be immediately followed by enclitic words either.

For example, you say:

May susi’ ka.You have a key.
And May bisikleta ka ba?Do you have a bicycle?

There are more such words, which cannot be immediately followed by enclitic words. You can find a list in the grammar.

The next set of special cases are phrases that are not split by enclitic words.

You have names, such as Mario Cruz.

And then, you have numbers, dates, and so on. You’ll find more details about those in the grammar.

To give you an example:

Si Mario Cruz  ba siya? Is he Mario Cruz?

Ba and siya are enclitic, but they can’t follow si, because it’s a marker and they can’t split the name Mario Cruz, so they have to wait until after Cruz.

Lastly, some words may, but don’t have to be immediately followed by enclitic words.

For example, you can say:

Bakit  sila  umalis?Why did they leave?
Or Bakit umalis  sila? Why did they leave?

Both are fine.

So, that was an overview of enclitic words. As you can see, enclitic words are a rather important topic because:

- they’re very common,
- there are about 30 of them,
- some have several meanings,
- and there are special cases.

In my opinion, the easiest way to learn them is with natural dialogues. After a while, you’ll get a feel for how they work and you’ll be able to use them correctly without thinking. It’s just a matter of getting used to them.

To learn more about enclitic words, go to our website at: learningtagalog.com/grammar/enclitic_words.html

In the next video, we’ll talk about Ang, Ng and Sa phrases in Tagalog.

Thank you for watching.

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