Random Tagalog Lesson No. 1: May tanong ako. = I have a question.
- May = to have
- Tanong = question
- Ako = I
Following this pattern, you can substitute “tanong” with other nouns:
- May ballpen ako.
- May sakit ako. (sakit = sickness/disease)
- May pagkain ako. (pagkain = food)
- May sigarilyo ako. (sigarilyo = cigarette, pronounced the same way as the Spanish “cigarillo.”)
- May trabaho ako. (trabaho = work, pronounced the same way as the Spanish “trabajo.”)
- May asawa ako. (asawa = spouse)
- May girlfriend ako.
- May refrigerator ako.
- May phone ako. (The Tagalog for “phone” is “telepono” from the Spanish “telefono” but just saying “phone” or “cell phone” is ok.)
As you can see from the examples, you can actually just throw in an English word and people won’t find it weird at all. Anything electronic is almost always in English as these words are likely not to have Tagalog counterparts: computer, iPod, DVD, TV, etc.
Using the pattern above, can you think of other nouns to say the things that you have?
Which syllable to stress?
“May” is not pronounced like “May” as in the month. The “a” sounds like “uh.” [Although upon reading the word several times, I am beginning to think that both pronunciations are acceptable.]