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From Proto-Austronesian *maʀ-, likely a portmanteau of the original actor trigger affix *-um- (inherited as Tagalog -um-) and *paʀ- (Tagalog pag-), as is the case in other actor trigger affixes (mang- from pang- + -um-, and ma- from pa-/ka- + -um-).



  1. Actor trigger/focus verb prefix, used to express:
    1. An action.
      Magluluto ako ng pagkain.I will cook food.
    2. The taking up of an occupation.
      Nagdoktor si Mary noong 1987.Mary became a doctor in 1987.
    3. The use or wearing of something.
      Hindi siya marunong mag-Ingles.He doesn't know how to speak (use) English.
      Mag-amerikana ka at malamig sa labas.Wear a coat because it's cold outside.
    4. A reciprocal action (for some verbs).
      Mag-usap muna tayo.Let's talk to each other first.
    5. (with CV reduplication): An action done repeatedly, continually, or intensely.
      Nagsisisigaw ang mga bata.The children are screaming so much.
    6. (with root word reduplication): A reciprocal action involving three or more doers.
      Magkikita-kita tayo sa susunod na linggo.We will see one another next week.
    7. (with root word reduplication): An action done occasionally, at random, a little, a bit, now and then, or here and there.
      Naglakad-lakad si Pedro sa mall.Pedro walked a bit in the mall.
  2. Verb prefix with no trigger/focus used to express being, occurrence, or existence.
    Magpa-Pasko na bukas!It will be Christmas tomorrow!
    Maghahating-gabi na.It is almost midnight.
  3. Noun prefix used to indicate:
    1. Relationship between two persons.
      mag- + ‎ama (father) → ‎mag-ama (father and child)
      mag- + ‎asawa (spouse) → ‎mag-asawa (married couple)
    2. (with CV reduplication): Relationship among three or more persons.
      mag- + ‎CV- + ‎ina (mother) → ‎mag-iina (mother and children)
      mag- + ‎CV- + ‎kapatid (sibling) → ‎magkakapatid (brothers and sisters, siblings)
    3. (with CV reduplication): Occupation.
      mag- + ‎CV- + ‎saka (farming) → ‎magsasaka (farmer)
      mag- + ‎CV- + ‎nakaw (something stolen) → ‎magnanakaw (thief, robber)

Usage notes[edit]

If the root word begins with a vowel or the root word is a proper noun, insert a hyphen after the prefix.

Also see usage notes at um-.

See also[edit]