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Word Connectives / Ligatures

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Keep In Mind:
Ligatures merely connect two words to indicate a relationship, and don't have definition on their own.

Word connectives or “ligatures” are a unique part of the Filipino language that are used to link two words together.


When to use Ligatures

There are a variety of grammar patterns that require words to be connected by ligatures.

The first pattern to learn, is that you should connect nouns and the adjectives that describe them using ligatures.
For example, in the phrase: “the red car”, the words “red” and “car” should be connected with a ligature in the Filipino language.


Three Types of Ligatures

1.) If the first word ends in a vowel, the ligature -ng is attached to the end of that word to connect it to the next word.
Markup
Examples:
kawawa + ba
kawawang ba (pitiful child)
mabi + gamót
mabisang gamót (effective medicine)
matabâ + lalaki
matabáng lalaki (fat man)
matandâ + babae
matandáng babae (old woman)
Markup
Examples:
kawawa + bata
kawawang bata (pitiful child)
mabisa + gamot
mabisang gamot (effective medicine)
mataba + lalaki
matabang lalaki (fat man)
matanda + babae
matandang babae (old woman)
2.) If the first word ends in the letter N, the ligature -g is attached to the end of that word to connect it to the next word.
Markup
Examples:
mayaman + lalaki
mayamang lalaki (rich man)
sabón + mabangó
sabóng mabangó (fragrant soap)
pinggán + malinis
pinggáng malinis (clean plate)
masunurin + mámamayán
masunuring mámamayán (obedient citizen)
Markup
Examples:
mayaman + lalaki
mayamang lalaki (rich man)
sabon + mabango
sabong mabango (fragrant soap)
pinggan + malinis
pinggang malinis (clean plate)
masunurin + mamamayan
masunuring mamamayan (obedient citizen)
3.) If the first word ends in any consonant other than "N", the word na is used to connect two words.
Markup
Examples:
maalat + pagkain
maalat na pagkain (salty food)
mabaít + estudyante
mabaít na estudyante (nice student)
malusóg + ba
malusóg na ba (healthy child)
mahimbíng + natutulog
mahimbíng na natutulog (sleeping soundly)
Markup
Examples:
maalat + pagkain
maalat na pagkain (salty food)
mabait + estudyante
mabait na estudyante (nice student)
malusog + bata
malusog na bata (healthy child)
mahimbing + natutulog
mahimbing na natutulog (sleeping soundly)
Changing of Sequence

Changing the sequence of words does not change the meaning of the phrases. It retains the denotation and follows the same rules for using ligatures.
Markup
Examples:
salty food
maalat na pagkain
pagkaing maalat
kind student
mabaít na estudyante
estudyanteng mabaít
healthy child
malusóg na ba
batang malusóg
effective medicine
mabisang gamót
gamót na mabi
fat man
matabáng lalaki
lalaking matabâ
old lady
matandáng babae
babaeng matandâ
fragrant soap
sabóng mabangó
mabangóng sabón
obedient citizen
masunuring mámamayan
mámamayang masunurin
Markup
Examples:
salty food
maalat na pagkain
pagkaing maalat
kind student
mabait na estudyante
estudyanteng mabait
healthy child
malusog na bata
batang malusog
effective medicine
mabisang gamot
gamot na mabisa
fat man
matabang lalaki
lalaking mataba
old lady
matandang babae
babaeng matanda
fragrant soap
sabong mabango
mabangong sabon
obedient citizen
masunuring mamamayan
mamamayang masunurin

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