Adverbial particles or enclitics give sentences many different meanings and nuances. They have additional cultural and content functions in addition to the normal functions of adverbs which are to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
Ramos and Cena have a whole chapter on the meaning, order usage, and grammar use in their text: Modern Tagalog, Grammatical Explanations and Exercises for Non-native Speakers (University of Hawaii Press, 1990). We will quote extensively from this text in this grammar section.
Whenever several adverbial particles are used together in a sentence, they follow a particular order.
1st NA (already); PA (still)
2nd NGA (affirmation marker)
3rd DIN/RIN (also)
4th LANG/LAMANG (just, only)
5th DAW/RAW (reported speech marker)
6th KAYA (speculation marker)
7th NAMAN (‘instead’)
8th SANA (hopefully; ‘wish that’); PALA (realization or surprise marker);
YATA (uncertainty marker)
As a general rule, adverbial particles are placed after the first word or phrase of a sentence.
GRAMMAR AND CULTURAL NOTES ON THE USES OF ‘NA’ AND ‘PA’
MANY advertisements in the Filipino American media in California and in other states feature the particles lang or lamang, naman, and particularly na and pa often in tandem.
This brings out the fact that adverbial particles or the so called ‘enclitics’ are an important part of Philippine languages.
They add a variety of nuances and meaning to phrases and sentences.
They also function as softeners and bring out the gentleness and politeness of the Filipino language. Ads for forwarders, balikbayan box deliveries, phone cards, money remittances and others banner statements such as: ‘Isang Dolyar Lang’ (Only One Dollar); ‘Mura na, Mabilis pa’; (Already Cheap, Furthermore Quick); ‘Eto na, Eto na, Mura pa ito’ (It’s now here, It is also cheap.)
In the first statement, lamang and its shortened form lang are generally translated as ‘only’. It may also be construed as ‘although’, ‘however’, ‘but’ or ’just’, as in ‘only cheap’ or ‘just cheap’.
The latter sometimes reflects a looking down on something or someone, and in other instances to introduce a counter statement.
Mga Halimbawa (Examples):
Mahusay siyang magtrabaho, mabagal lang. (He or she works well, although/only slow.)
Guwapo ang binata, mahina lang. (The young man is hand some, but weak.)
Karpento lang siya. (He is just a carpenter.)
Another adverbial particle that expresses contrast, a change or a shift is naman.
It may also be used to communicate a mild approach, a criticism, or a critical stance.
(See Ramos and Cena, 1990)
Maganda si Ana, matalino naman si Maria.
(Ana is beautiful, Maria on the other hand is intelligent.)
Mamaya ako naman ang magtatrabaho.
(Later I, in turn, will work.)
Huwag naman kayong ganyan. (/You- Plural/ Don’t be like that. i.e. a critical attitude)
Ang tamad mo naman. (You are so lazy. /A reproach/)
Finally na, generally translated as ‘already’ and pa, generally translated as ‘still’, may also have other meanings depending on context and also when they are used together.
Kumain na si Greg ng litson, kumain pa ng kare-kare.
(Greg already ate litson, and in addition ate kare-kare) Note that in this sentence, pa indicates an accretion or ‘further’ or ‘in addition to’.
Mura na, mabilis pa. (It’s already cheap, furthermore, it’s fast.)
Hindi lang matibay, mura na at maganda pa.
GRAMMAR AND CULTURAL NOTES ON THE USES OF ‘SANA’, ‘YATA’, AND ‘NAMAN’
THESE three adverbial particles or so called ‘enclitics’ have various uses to convey several shades of meaning.
Broad lexical translations of these terms are ‘wish that’ or ‘hope that’ for SANA; ‘perhaps’, ‘not sure’, or ‘uncertain’ for KAYA, and ‘also’, ‘on the other hand’, or ‘in turn’ for NAMAN. However, these terms have cultural features that may help us better appreciate the Filipino language.
The following statements that a father says while reprimanding a child are a case in point:
DIALOG/SCRIPT: (NOTE: Enclitics are capitalized in the Filipino version, and underlined in the English translation.) Due to nuances carried by these particles in Filipino, the English translation will sound stilted in the other language.
”Anak, SANA NAMAN huwag ka NAng masyadong nagsusugal. Hindi ka KAYA masaya sa kalagayan natin at madalas kang magsugal. SANA huwag kang maglulustay ng pera at isipin mo NAMAN ang hirap kong kumita sa trabaho ko. SANA mula ngayon ay magpakabait ka NAMAN at magsikap NA LANG sa pagaaral mo.”
(Son, I hope that soon you would instead not gamble too much. Are you perhaps not happy with our situation that you gamble often. Wish that you will not squander money and instead think how difficult it is to earn money from my work. Hopefully that from now on, you will in turn be good and soon just strive in your studies.)
Notice in the statements above that the parent “softens” his/her language in addressing an erring child. This is done through repeated use of SANA, NAMAN, and also KAYA. Even in reprimanding members of the family, the culture provides for language that is mild and gentle. This becomes even more important at work when addressing one’s subordinates and other people in different social situations.
Use the model sentence given below, and on line (a) replace the adverbial particle/enclitic ‘daw’ with the particle/enclitic given on the left column, and on line (b) translate the resulting sentences into English.
MODEL: a.) Magbabago [raw] ang anak mo.
b.) [They say] that you son will reform.
1. na a.)________________________________________
2. nga a.)________________________________________
3. rin a.)________________________________________
4. lang a.)_______________________________________
5. kaya a)_________________________________________
6. naman a) _______________________________________
7. sana a.)_________________________________________
8. pala a)___________________________________________