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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cebuano Essential Grammar: How to use "Kaon" in the Object Focus



One of the things that my learners find challenging in Cebuano grammar is the different focuses.  Like English, we also have active and passive voice, however, we call them focus.   In Cebuano, there are five focuses: the actor focus, the object focus, the receiver focus, the location focus and the instrument focus. Out of the five focuses only the actor focus is the active voice, the rest are in passive voice.

Since 'kaon' is an important verb for us, let's use 'kaon' in the object focus:

Study this sentence:

Nikaon   si Tom    og mansanas   ganina.
Ate           Tom          an apple      earlier (within the day/ opposite of later).

 Verb      Subject/     Object            Time Expression.
                Actor

 V             S              O                      T. E.

This is how we would express that Tom ate an apple earlier where Tom is the focus, being that he is the subject in the sentence.  Remember that whatever the subject of the sentence is, that is the focus of the sentence.   
Compare the sentence above to this sentence:

Gikaon   ni Tom   ang mansanas    ganina.
  Eaten    by Tom    The apple         earlier.

 V            Actor      Object/Subject   T.E.

Did you notice the differences between the two sentences and the elements in each one?
And how the elements change?
In the first sentence, the subject is the actor "Tom."  This is the actor focus, because  Tom is the actor and at the same time it is the subject of the sentence.  In the second sentence, the subject is the object mansanas/apple.  This is the object focus sentence.

Notice the markers in each element in the sentence.  If you have any question, you can ask me, by leaving a comment after this post. 

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