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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Mabuhay! Hello everyone! Betsey: here.
Becky: Hi everyone, I’m Becky. And welcome to the grammar portion of FilipinoPod101.com's All About series! This is All About Lesson 3 - Painless Filipino Grammar.
Betsey: Uh oh. I don’t think anyone’s looking forward to this lesson! Grammar is usually what we’d like to avoid in language learning. But don't worry, because Filipino grammar isn't that bad at all! And we will take it step by step so we don’t overwhelm ourselves.

Lesson focus

Becky: No need to take another set of lessons just to understand the workings of its grammar, right?
Betsey: Right. We won't need to go through the complex systems and rules. Strictly the basics.
Becky: And we’ll be going through it with simple sentence examples to help you get an easier understanding of it. So for those listeners who are already losing hope, don't worry!
Betsey: So listeners, I’ll give you the good news first.
Becky: Ok!
Betsey: And this is how good it is. Filipino grammar doesn’t require you to think about gender, and it isn't affected by plural and singular words!
Becky: Okay. Sounds good so far… Can you tell us more?
Betsey: We’ll get into that later on. Let’s take a quick look at a couple of other aspects of Filipino first.
(Nouns and root words)
Betsey: Let’s get into how words are made and modified to fit into sentences. First off, let's talk about nouns and root words.
Becky: In Filipino, all the words are more or less based on root words.
Betsey: A ‘root word’ means one that is a stem for all different types of words, whether they are verbs, adjectives, or adverbs, and so on.
Becky: That’s right. This means that once you understand a new word in the language, it’s quite easy to understand and learn more words that stem from it. This can also happen in English. The word “bomb” is the root word of “bombed” which is the act of bombing.
Betsey: So, let’s give some examples. The root word ‘Bato’ which means “Rock” in Filipino, can be used in the word ‘Babato’ which means, “to throw”. You just add ‘Ba’ to ‘Bato’. ‘Babato’.
Becky: That wasn’t so complicated, was it?
Betsey: Of course, it’s not always about repetitive syllables, but a lot of times it is. So keep that in mind.
Becky: Now let’s get into another very basic grammatical concept - verbs.
Betsey: Verbs indicate action, such as “run” and “eat”.
Becky: And for every language, verbs are the easiest and most useful way to start learning.
Betsey: That’s right. Now let’s get into the rules of verbs in Filipino. Now, just like English, Filipino has the factor of time, also known as tense, when using verbs.
Becky: So time indicates the past, present, and future. Verbs are modified to fit these tenses.
Betsey: For example, let’s look at the word ‘Kain’, which is the root word for “Eat”. The past tense would be ‘Kumain’, where ‘UM’ is added to the middle of the root word. The present tense would be ‘Kumakain’, where you add ‘UM’ and ‘KA’. And lastly, with the future tense it would be ‘Kakain’, adding ‘KA’ to the root word. If you listen closer, the different tenses still maintain the root word, but have ‘UM’ or repetitive sounds like ‘KA’.
Becky: It might sound tricky, but like any new language, it’s all about getting used to it. Once we start giving you conjugated words with examples, and you get the gist of it, you can challenge yourself by conjugating the new words you learn.
Betsey: Remember, the key is to practice, and the rest is easy!
Becky: Now let’s get into another special thing with Filipino grammar. Markers!
Betsey: Yes! Markers are important because they are used a lot in spoken Filipino.
Becky: They sure are. A marker, by definition, is a word that comes before a noun to indicate the focus of the sentence.
Betsey: Markers in Filipino are ‘Ang’ and ‘Ng’ (Nang). And those are the basic ones you need to know to have conversations in Filipino. They’re pretty simple. You will use ‘Ang’ before the noun that’s your focus, and ‘Ng’ for the relational word.
Becky: Betsey, how about some examples?
Betsey: Sure! The sentence, “The lady is beautiful” can be translated as ‘Maganda ang babae’. ‘Maganda’ would be “beautiful”, and ‘Babae’, which means “lady”, would be the focus. So put ‘Ang’, before ‘babae’.
Becky: Now that wasn’t so bad at all was it? Naturally, it will be less simple when we get to more complex sentence structures. But don't worry, because we're going to take it step by step.
Betsey: That’s right. So now we've got that settled, let’s move on to the easy part!
Becky: Yes! Some relief.
Betsey: At the beginning, I mentioned the good news. And I’m sure you still remember.
Becky: Of course!
Betsey: I knew you wouldn’t. So, as I mentioned, Filipino is a gender-neutral language. As simple as that! Pronouns that identify people are all common for both genders.
Becky: Grammar is much easier without this factor!
Betsey: Right! But keep in mind - gender can sometimes be used in some loan words from Spanish.
Becky: Yes, usually those used for occupation and family.
Betsey: Aunts and uncles are referred to as ‘Tita’ and ‘Tito’, and a Filipino person can be referred to as a ‘Filipino’ or a ‘Filipina’ if they’re female.
Becky: But that’s basically as far as it goes, and it doesn't change the grammar itself.
Betsey: Now let’s talk about Plurality.
Becky: In English, plurality and numbers influence the way we use words.
Betsey: In the sentence, “Our siblings” you will have to put “s” to indicate plurality. But in Filipino, this would be ‘Ang aming mga Kapatid’. ‘Kapatid’ is “sibling” and to indicate plurality you simply put ‘mga’ (Manga) before it.
Becky: That’s right. Well listeners, I hope we’ve given you a better understanding of Filipino grammar in this lesson.


Becky: Well listeners, that’s going to do it for this lesson! Make sure to check the lesson notes, and we’ll see you next time!
Betsey: Paalam! Bye bye!