‘Ng’ versus ‘Nang’

‘Ng’ versus ‘Nang’

On Filipino Grammar

Any language is easy to use by its native speaker only if it is being used for conversational purposes. However, when it is used formally, proper grammar is required; and this surely poses a big challenge even to native speakers of that language.

Having said that, I am differentiating the Filipino words ‘ng’ and ‘nang’ from each other. Orally, these words are interchangeable; after all, they are homophones of each other [A homophone is a word that is pronounced the same as another word but differs in meaning, and may differ in spelling; ‘ng’ and ‘nang’ are homophones of each other]. However, when used in written form, they are not interchangeable; meaning, you should use them accordingly and properly.

Ng
Basically, ‘ng’ is the exact counterpart of the English preposition ‘of.’

As examples,
1.She is the leader of the group. [Siya ang pinuno ng grupo.]
2.This is the beginning of the movie. [Ito ang simula ng pelikula.]

In the Filipino language, ‘ng’ is used also to conjunct the verb to its object.

For example,
She bought a new car.

Translating that sentence in Filipino would require the Filipino conjunction ‘ng’ to conjunct the verb (bought [bumili]) to its object (a new car [bagong sasakyan]).

Therefore,
Siya ay bumili ng bagong sasakyan.

Nang
On the other hand, the Filipino word ‘nang’ is the counterpart of the English conjunction when.

As examples,
1.I was at school when the visitors arrived. [Nasa eskwela ako nang dumating ang mga bisita.]
2.Christine was crying in pain when I saw her. [Si Christine ay umiiyak nang makita ko siya.]

In the Filipino language, ‘nang’ is used also to conjunct the verb to the adverb modifying it.

For example,
Don’t run too fast.

Translating that sentence in Filipino would require the Filipino conjunction ‘nang’ to conjunct the verb (run [tumakbo]) to the adverb modifying it (too fast [sobrang bilis]).

Therefore,
Wag kang tumakbo nang sobrang bilis.

Note: In Filipino, ‘conjunction’ may translate to “pangatnig.”

The Last Leaf

When in conversational mode, the application of grammar in perhaps any language is not really strict or necessary as long as the idea or message the speaker is conveying is clear and understandable. This is what we may refer to as the communicative approach to language.

However, when the format is written, especially for formal purposes (for example: thesis, articles for publication, instructional materials, or formal letters) adherence to proper grammar becomes a requirement. And this applies also to the Filipino language (or any language, for that matter).