Write & CorrectEnglish
Tagalog Lite Lesson 21 – Para and Practice Changing Focus
to plant something somewhere (DF(DO), root = tanim)
to tell something to someone (DF(DO), root = sabi)
to eat from something; eat somewhere (DF(DO), root = kain)
In this lesson, we will look at how to use the handy preposition para, and we will practice using all three focuses.
Para roughly means “for” or “on behalf of”.
Standard Sentence + para + noun. (Tag.) = Standard Sentence for noun. (Eng.)
Note: Noun takes sa form. These are two phrase sentences; the hosts are the verb in the standard sentence, and the noun after para.
Ex: Nag-aral ako ng Tagalog para sa guro ko.
= I studied Tagalog for my teacher.
Ex: Buksan mo ang pinto para kay Maria.
= Open the door for Maria.
Ex: Pupuntahan niya si David para sa pangulo.
= He will visit David for the president.
If an English verb takes the preposition “for”, the Tagalog verb takes para. The only exceptions to this are verbs that have “for” built into their meaning. Maghanap (to look for something) and abangan (to watch out for something) have “for” built into their meaning, as do BF verbs, which you will see later, so they do not take para. However, you can still add a para phrase to the end of a sentence with these verbs:
Ex: Inabangan ko ang sasakyan para kay Joe.
= I watched out for the car for Joe. The first “for” in the English sentence is built into the verb abangan; the second one requires para.
When you use English definitions to determine whether you need para, pay careful attention to DO verbs. The preposition might be hidden, depending on how you translate the sentence:
Ex: Nagbigay ako ng manok sa iyo.
= “I gave you a chicken”, or “I gave a chicken to you”. This sentence does not require para because the English sentence takes “to”.
Contrast this with:
Ex: Nagbigay ako ng manok para sa iyo.
“I gave a chicken for you”, or “I gave a chicken on your behalf”. No surprises there, but:
Ex: Nagluto ako ng manok para sa iyo.
= “I cooked you a chicken” or “I cooked a chicken for you”. This sentence requires para because the English sentence takes “for”.
This is not all for para. We are using it as a preposition here, but in a future lesson we will use it as a conjunction.
Practicing Choosing focus
Well done – you now have the foundation required to begin practicing what many learners consider to be the most challenging, and interesting, quality of the grammar: choosing the correct focus and applying it!
Let’s do a quick recap. From our earlier discussions we know that we can focus on part of a sentence in English and Tagalog. In English, we normally do this by emphasizing the word we want to focus on. In Tagalog, we use the verb type and structure associated with the word’s part of speech – actor, object or X. So, learners need to hone this natural sense of what part of speech they are emphasizing, which leads to selecting the verb and producing the correct sentence.
It is important to start trying this early, and to stick with it, since it is quite different from English grammar. Remember that we have put the focus in italics in the English translations. For the sample sentences, you have already learned the correct verbs in previous lessons. You will need to recall them, conjugate them and create the Tagalog sentences. Please do not give yourself a “pass” if you get the focus wrong. Go back and review if necessary, but the buck needs to stop here. Focus is very important. Here is that handy form pattern table again for reference:
Table 3: The Three Form
Patterns for Standard Sentences
Let's plant a tree in the street for Maria and Angel.
Taniman natin ng puno ang kalsada para kina Maria at Angel.
Mrs. Castillo will teach you English at around four in the afternoon.
Magtuturo si Mrs. Castillo ng Ingles sa iyo nang mga alas-kuwatro ng hapon.
They did not tell him for us (incl.).
Hindi nila siya sinabihan para sa atin.
David eats adobo at Joaquin and Joshua’s house.
Kinakainan ni David ng adobo ang bahay nina Joaquin at Joshua.
The man walked to Parañaque for three days for us (excl.).
Naglakad ang lalaki sa Parañaque nang tatlong araw para sa amin.
Watch out for the basketball for five seconds for Mark. (soft)
Abangan mo nga ang basketbol nang limang segundo para kay Mark.
We planted some trees at home. (resp.)
Tinaniman po namin ng mga puno ang bahay.
I tell you the truth every day for him.
Sinasabihan kita ng totoo araw-araw para sa kaniya.
Will the chicken eat from the table tomorrow?
Kakainan ba ng manok ang lamesa bukas?
It is good to plant trees in the Philippines, isn't it?
Magandang magtanim ng puno sa Pilipinas, di ba?
Drills - Lesson 21
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