Write & Correct

Tagalog Lite Appendix I – Verb Affixes

There are over 100 verb affixes, or verb types, in Tagalog. But there is a group of six, called “The Big Six” in this book, that are normally taught in all beginner texts because they account for about 75% of verb usage and are diverse enough to give learners a good grasp of verb manipulation. Here is a table of all verb types used in this book:
Freq. RankAffixUsageBig Six?1ma- 18.6%yes2-in17.3%yes3mag-13.6%yes4-um-13.0%yes5-an7.2%yes6ma-…-an6.1%7i- 5.7%yes8maka-3.8%9mang-3.5%10pag-…-an1.5%11magpa-1.3%15pa-…-in0.9%16makapag-0.9%37paki-0.0%Table 8: Frequency of all Verb Affixes in this Book (Makes up about 93% of verb usage in Colloquial Speech. Source: Language Tools Tagalog Conversations)
The learning of other verbs is important, but secondary to the big six, so sometimes we will refer to them as “second tier” verbs in this book. Ma-...-an verbs are not included in the big six because they are too similar to, and in some resources even treated as, ma- verbs. They do not add much diversity.
How were Verb Affixes chosen for this Book?
I first chose to include the 11 most used verb types. After that, Pa-...-in was added because it goes with magpa-, makapag- was added because it goes with maka-, and paki- was added to illustrate another way to say “please”.



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