This lesson will teach you about itó, iyán and iyón, the Tagalog words for "this", "that" and "that (over there)", respectively, as well as their usage and how to use them properly.
The characters for this dialogue are Rosario and Pilar. The dialogue will be in Tagalog first, then an English translation will appear below the Tagalog original.
Sa Tagalog (In Tagalog)
- Rosario: Pilar, anó itó?
- Pilar: Itó ang susi sa bagong bahay ko.
- Rosario: Anó namán iyan?
- Pilar: Iyán namán ang bahay.
- Rosario: Ang gandá!
- Pilar: Alám ko. Gustó mong pumasok?
- Rosario: Sige.
Salin sa Inglés (English translation)
- Rosario: Pilar, what is this?
- Pilar: This is the key to my new house.
- Rosario: What is that?
- Pilar: That is the house.
- Rosario: It's so beautiful!
- Pilar: I know. Do you want to go inside?
- Rosario: Okay.
- Bahay: House
- Gandá: Beautiful (literally, "beauty")
- Itó: This
- Iyón/Iyán: That
- Pumasok: To go inside
- Sige: Okay
- Susì: Key
Tagalog uses three words to represent the words "this" and "that": itó, iyán and iyón. Itó means "this", while both iyán and iyón mean "that", depending on the context.
Ang paggamit ng itó (Usage of itó)
The word itó can be used in different ways, dependent on its location within the sentence. In most cases, if it is in the middle or at the end of a sentence, it is written by itself without modification, as in the cases of this sentence:
- Ang taong itó ay tulóg. (This person is asleep.)
- Anó itó? (What is this?)
The ligature -ng is attached when describing objects. This never happens at the end of a sentence and only occurs if itó is placed at the beginning or at the middle. Some examples include:
- Itóng aklat ay akin. (This book is mine.)
- Násaan itóng pook? (Where is this place?)
Attaching the ligature -ng and the case marker mgá makes itó plural, becoming "these", as shown by this sentence:
- Itóng mgá awto ay sa kanyá. (These cars are his/hers.)
Ang paggamit ng iyán at iyón (Usage of iyán and iyón)
Iyán or iyón are used depending on the relative distance of the referred object or person to the speaker and to the listener. The difference is as follows:
- Iyán is used when the referred object or person is far from the speaker but near the listener.
- Iyón is used when the referred object or person is far from both the speaker and the listener.
Let's have an example. Two kids named Santiago(Spanish for "James") and Corazon are pretty far apart. A cat passes near Lisa.
- Santiago: Lisa, anó iyán?
- Corazon: Iyan ay Pusà.
- Santiago: Lisa, What's that? (near you or close to you)
- Corazon: That's a cat.
Later on, Santiago and Corazon both see a spider crawling on the ceiling.
- Santiago: Lisa, anó iyón?
- Corazon: Gagambá.
- Santiago: Lisa, what's that (over there)?
- Corazon: That's a spider.
Ligatures are also used when describing objects. However, unlike itó, which attaches the ligature -ng, iyán and iyón attach the ligature -g, since both words end with the letter "N". The use of such ligatures are exemplified below:
- Iyáng kompyuter na iyán ay akin. (That computer near you is mine.)
- Iyóng pera na iyón ay para sa tao. (That money over there is for the people.)
When the case marker mgá is attached after iyáng or iyóng, it makes them plural, becoming "those", as shown below:
- Iyáng mgá gamit mo ay dapat linisin. (Those things of yours need to be cleaned up.)
- Iyóng mgá damít ko ay kailangang ipadalá sa opisina. (Those clothes of mine need to be delivered to the office.)