Noun Is Pangngalan, not Pangalan

Noun Is Pangngalan, not Pangalan

(On Some Basic Filipino-Grammar Terms)

I asked a friend of mine what her thoughts were on my plan to feature the Filipino counterparts of some basic English-grammar terms like noun, adverb, and other parts of speech in my literary column in Filipino Journal. She said, what for: Filipinos here in Canada have no use for such trivial information, especially the younger ones, who most likely no longer prefer to speak Filipino. For a moment, I nodded in agreement. However, after dwelling on the subject, I decided to pursue writing the topic after all. I realized that, if newspapers regularly feature gossips, scandals, and follies involving high-profile showbiz and political personalities, then what’s wrong with my featuring a topic that has something to do with literature and culture? Isn’t this a far more useful piece of information? Besides, educating readers about basic Filipino-grammar terms is practically the same as teaching them what the Philippine national dance is—it’s all about culture; and anything about culture should be important.

So, here it is – a list of some basic Filipino-grammar terms and their respective counterparts in English, especially dedicated to young Filipino-Canadian students who, I’m hoping, will find these pieces of linguistic information potentially useful and culturally empowering.

Filipino – English
Mga Bahagi ng Pangungusap at Iba Pa – Parts of a Sentence etc.
pangungusap – sentence
simuno – subject (of a sentence)
paksa – subject, as in topic or subject matter
panaguri – predicate (of a sentence)
sugnay – clause
parirala – phrase
salita – word
Mga Bahagi ng Pananalita – Parts of Speech
pangngalan – noun (Take note: pangalan [with one ‘ng’] is “name”)
panghalip – pronoun (“pamalit” or “panghalili”)
pandiwa – verb
pang-uri – adjective
pang-abay – adverb
pang-ugnay – prepositions, conjunctions

Mga Karaniwang Bantas – Common Punctuation Marks
tuldok – period (.)
tandang pananong – question mark (?)
tandang padamdam – exclamation point or exclamation mark (!)
kuwit – comma (,)
tuldukwit – semicolon (;)
tutuldok – colon (:)
kudlit – apostrophe (‘)
gitling – dash or hyphen (-)
mahabang gitling – em dash (—)
katamtamang gitling – en dash (–)
panaklong – parentheses ()
panipi – quotation marks (“”)
gatlang – underscore (_)

The Last Leaf
Many people are easy to dismiss trivial information as useless and a waste of time learning about. However, what they don’t realize is that this always comes in handy in random conversations. Like for instance, you’re at a social gathering, then out of the blue someone asked what the Filipino word alimuom is in English. Don’t you think it’s empowering to be able to shout the answer, “petrichor,” and to be able further to expound on the meaning of the word? Knowledge is power. Therefore, the more knowledge one has, the more powerful or empowered one becomes. v