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In Twenty Eight Lessons.

Abridged from the Grammars
Of the Recoleto
Fathers, Guillen, Nicolas and Zueco

And translated into English for the use of the American people


R. P. Fr. Pedro Jimenez

Cebú - 1904
Imprenta de «El Pais»



Por el tenor de las presentes y por lo que á nos toca, damos licencia
para que pueda imprimirse y publicarse la Gramática Anglo-Visaya
escrita por el R.P.Fr. Pedro Gimenez, Recoleto, atento á que según
lo manifestado por el M.R. Vicario Provincial de la órden, ha sido
censurada por dos Religiosos de la misma, que la han juzgado digna de
que se dé á la estampa, no conteniendo cosa alguna contraria á la fé
y buenas costumbres, y mandamos que se inserte este nuestro permiso
al principio de cada ejemplar.

Dadas en Cebú, firmadas de nuestra mano, selladas con el de nuestro
oficio y refrendadas por el infrascrito Secretario de Gobierno á
treinta de Enero de mil novecientos cuatro.


(Hay un sello) (Hay una rúbrica)

Por mandado de SS. el Sr. Gobernador Eclesiástico.

(Hay una rúbrica.)


In presenting this English-Bisaya Grammar I do not pretend to
be considered an author, my only aspiration is to be useful to my
American brethren in the priesthood, in order that they in turn, may
be so to the Bisaya people. The priest for the Bisaya people must
be one who will devote all his attention to them, live among them,
study their ways, their character, their tendencies, and therefore,
the study of their dialect is absolutely necessary to him, since
they, for the most part, do not know how to speak either Spanish or
English. In preparing this compilation I have used every effort to do
it as well as possible, but I am only a pupil in both the English and
Bisaya languages, and I believe, the work is not as perfect as would
be desired, but I indulge a hope that the kindness of my readers will
excuse my faults.


The letters made use of in the Bisaya alphabet, are twenty in number
as follows:

A. Ah. N. Ai-nay.
B. Bay. Ng. Ai-ngay.
C. Thay. Ñ Ai-nyay.
D. Day. O. Oh.
E. A or ay. P. Pay.
G. Hay. Q. Coo.
H. Atchay. S. Es say.
I. EE. T. Tay.
L. Ai-lay. U. OO.
M. Ai-may. Y. EE (griega).

The vowels are A, E, I, O, U, and Y at the end of a word. The vowels
are never silent, except U in the syllables que, qui, the sound of
which corresponds to that heard in the English words Kedge, Keep, Key.

A sounds always like A in alam.
B sounds like B in back
C before a, o, u, sounds like K in English, as - caadlaoon - The
dawn of the day - Coco - Nail of the fingers.
D at the beginning of a word or in the middle, if preceded by a
consonant, is pronounced like in English. At the end of a word
or between two vowels has a sound between D and R, which may be
obtained by placing the tip of the tongue against the higher
teeth turning the thick part towards the roof of the mouth.
G has always a very smooth sound like in English before a, o, u,
as - ginicanan, forefathers - gintoon-an, scholar.
H has a slight aspirated sound like a very faintly aspirated h in
English in the words horse, hog - as - hocom, judge - habagat, a
strong wind - hilanat, fever.
E, I these vowels although sound like in English, nevertheless,
natives confound them very often: the same shall be said of the
vowels O and U; and this is the reason why the P. John Felix's
Dictionary employs but I and O, instead E, I - O, U.
L sounds like in English, as - lamdag, brightness - libac,
M sounds like in English: as - mata, eye - motó-top.
N sounds like in English; as - nipis, fine, thin.
Ng this letter has no equivalent in English, and it must be heard
from the natives.
Ñ this letter has a strong nasal sound resembling that of n in the
English word "poniard" out of Bohol province, where it is
pronounced as in the English word - manger and written ny: as,
caninyo, bonyag, instead of caniño, boñag.
O sounds like in English; as - olan, rain - úhao, thirst.
P sounds as in English: - pito, seven - ponó, fill.
Q is always followed by u, and pronounced like K; as, quinabuhi,
life, quilay, eyebrow, quilquil, scratching.
S has always a harsh, hissing sound like ss in English. There is
not a word in Bisaya beginning with s followed by a consonant.
T sounds as in English, as - tabang, help, tiao, joke.
U sounds like in English in the words "proof, goose" but it is
frequently confounded with O. (See I and E on the preceding
Y sounds like ee in English at the end of a word; but before a
vowel, or between two vowels, sounds like in the English words
"joke, jolt" as - yabó, pour. - This letter when after a noun or
pronoun, if the same noun or pronoun, is employed instead of the
particle ang, being as it does, an article of appellative nouns.
Examples: I did that - acó ang nagbuhat niana, or, acoy nagbuhat
niana - What is the reason of that. - ¿Onsa ba ang hingtungdan
niana? or ¿Onsay hingtungdan niana?



1.a The article in the Bisaya dialect is divided into determinate
and indeterminate and of the proper names.

2.a The determinate article is ang for singular, and ang mga or sa
mga according to the cases for plural.

3.a The indeterminate article is usa, one for the singular; and uban,
pila or mapila, some for the plural.

4.a The article of the proper names is si for both masculine and

Declension of the Articles.



N. The dog. Ang iro.
G. Of the dog. Sa iro.
D. To the dog. Sa iro.
Ac. The dog. Sa iro.
Vc. Oh dog. Sa iro.
Abl. With the dog. Sa iro.


N. The dogs. Ang mga iro.
G. Of the dogs. Sa mga iro.
D. To the dogs. Sa mga iro.
Ac. The dogs. Sa mga iro.
Vc. Oh dogs. Sa mga iro.
Abl. With the dogs. Sa mga iro.



A letter. Usa ca sulat.
A dog. Usa ca iro.
One and another Ang usa ug ang usa


Some wish, while others do not - ang uban bu-ut, ang uban dili - Some
of the trees, which are there - Pipila sa mga cahuy dihá.

The Article of the Proper Names


N. Peter. Si Pedro.
G. Of Peter. Ni Pedro.
D. To Peter. Can Pedro.
Ac. Peter. Can Pedro.
Vc. Peter. Oy Pedro.
Abl. With Peter. Can Pedro.

Remark l.a The article of the proper names is used also to point out
a person and his companions, as:

N. Joseph and his friends. Sila si José.
G. Of Joseph and of his friends. ila ni José.

2.a This article serves also to express kindness or love: as. - My
Mother, Si nanay. - My father, Si tatay. - The female child, Si
inday - The parish Priest, Si amoy - My eldest sister, Si manang.

3.a The English compounded words, wooden, golden etc. change the
affix en into nga, as: - The wooden cross, Ang cruz nga cahoy - The
golden ring, Ang singsing nga bulauan.

4.a When we point out the destination of a thing, it is employed the
article sa - Thus: The water vat, Ang tadyao sa tubig. - The bottle of
wine, Ang botella sa vino.

5.a When it refers to the property of any one, it is as
follows. - John's hat, Ang calo ni Juan.

6.a The article sa is employed, when the thing it refers to is
determinate, but when it is indeterminate, the article ug must be used,
as: Bring the money, Magdala ca sa sapi. Give me money, Taga-an mo
acó ug salapi.


1.a The plural is formed in Bisaya by placing mga after the article
ang or sa.


N. The cats Ang mga iring
G. Of the cats Sa mga iring
D. To the cats Sa mga iring
Ac. The cats Sa mga iring
Vc. Oh cats Mga iring
Abl. With the cats Sa mga iring

2.a When the possessive case is placed before the name, it must
be placed between ang and mga, thus - My friends, ang acong mga
higala - Your shoes, ang imong mga sapin.

3.a Rem. The Bisaya article like the English, does not distinguish
the gender, but there are two ways of distinguishing the masculine and
feminine in this dialect: 1. By using different words: Ex, ang bana,
the husband; ang asaua, the wife; ang amahan, the father: ang inahan,
the mother. 2. By the suffixes lalaqui and babaye; Ex. ang iro nga
lalaqui, the dog, ang iro nga babaye, she dog; ang bata nga lalaqui,
the boy; ang bata nga babaye, the girl.

Examples of the article.

Joseph's soul, ang calag ni José - John's ground. ang yuta ni Juan,
or ang can Juan nga yuta - Who is at Peter's house, ang sa can Pedro
nga balay, or ang sa balay ni Pedro - Bring the rice: Magdala ca
ug bugas - My mother and sister are at John's cottage, Si nanay ug
si inday tua sa camalig ni Juan - My brothers are rich, Ang acong
mga igso-on salapia-non man - Are you Peter's father?, Icao ba ang
amahan ni Pedro? - I am, Acó man - Who is the owner? ¿Quinsa ba ang
tagia? - Where is your son?, Hain ba ang imong anac? - He is at the
cockfight, Tua sia sa bulangan - Has he much money?, Daghan ba ang iang
salapi? - He has but a few coins, Pipila lamang ca dacó - Let us go. Tala
na quitá - Good by. Ari na came - That man is a drunkard. Palahubóg
man canang tao - He is a drinker, but not a drunkard. Palainom man
sia, apan dili palahubóg - Where is my father?, ¿Hain ba ang acong
amahan? - Here he is; Ania dinhi - Who are those men?, ¿Quinsa ba canang
mga tao? - They are my friends. Mao ang acong mga higala.

Exercise I.

Have you the bread? - Yes, sir, I have the bread: Have you your
bread? - I have my bread. - Have you the salt? - I have the salt - Have you
my salt? - I have your salt. - Have you the soap? - I have the soap - Which
(onsa nga) soap have you? - I have your soap - Which shirt have you? - I
have my shirt, (ang acong sinina)? - Have you much money? - I have much
money - Where is your sister? - She is at the garden (tanaman sa mga
bulac) - Where is your father? - He is here.



Supposing the pupil knows the classification of the nouns into
proper, common or appellative &., we shall occupy ourselves with
their formation, being as it is, so much diverse and usual.

A great number of nouns and verbs are compounded in Bisaya by means
of roots and particles.

The root is the word which contains in itself the signification of
the thing, but can not express it without any other word, which we
call a particle, to which the root must be united.

1.a With the particle ca at the beginning of the root, and an
after, are formed collective nouns, and nouns of place, as: - Grove,
cacahoyan - Banana plantation, casagingan.

2.a With the particle ca before, are formed the nouns of quality,
as: - Whiteness, - Ang caputi.

3.a By placing the particle pagca before the roots, are formed the
abstract nouns, and those pointing out the essence of the things, as:

Sweetness. Ang catam-is.
Mercy. Ang calo-oy.
Kindness. Ang caayo.
Divinity. Ang pagca Dios.
Humanity. Ang pagca taoo.
Hardness. Ang pagca guhi.

4.a With the particle isigca before the root, are formed correlative
nouns, placing the possessive pronoun in genitive case, as:

My like. Ang isigcataoo co.

5.a With the particles mag and man are formed substantive and adjective
nouns, duplicating the first syllable of the roots, thus:

The writer. Ang magsusulat.
The tailor. Ang magtatahi.
The maker. Ang magbubuhat.
The surgeon. Ang mananambal.
The almsgiver. Ang manlilimos.

6. With the particle pala before, are formed several substantives, as:

The drunk. Ang palahubóg.
The tippler Ang palainom.
The writer. Ang palasulat.

7.a With tag before the root, are formed nouns expressing the owner
of a thing, as:

The owner of the house. Ang tagbalay.
The master of the vessel. Ang tagsacayan.
The owner of the world. Ang tagcalibutan.

8.a Putting this same particle before the words signifying the seasons
of the year or the atmospherical changes, points out the time of these
changes: and placing it before words signifying the farming-works,
it shows the time of those operations. In some provinces are used
also in this same sense, the particles tig and tin, thus:

Rain time. tagolan.
Warm time. tiginit.
Harvest time. tagani - tinani, or tig-ani.

9.a The particle taga before the nouns of countries or nations,
serves to ask some one about his town, as:

Where are you from? Taga di-in ca ba?
I am from Spain. Taga España man acó.
Of which town? Taga di-in ca nga longsod?
From Cornago. Taga Cornago.

10.a Taga signifies also until, and points out the end of the action,

To the knee. Taga tohod.
To the neck. Taga liug.
As far as the floor. Taga salug.

11.a By means of the articles pag and pagca are formed the verbal
substantives. Ex:

Making or to make. Ang pagbuhat.
Walking or to walk. Ang paglacao.
Reading or to read. Ang pagbasa.
Resuscitating or to resuscitate. Ang pagcabanhao.
Dying or to die. Ang pagcamatay.

12.a Placing the particle tagi before the root it points out permanency
on a place, as:

Inhabitant of a place. Tagilongsod.
Countryman. Tagibanua.

Declension of the common nouns.


N. The cotton. ang gapas.
G. Of the cotton. sa gapas.
D. To the cotton. sa gapas.


N. The cottons. ang mga gapas.
G. Of the cottons. sa mga gapas.
D. To the cottons. sa mga gapas.

Practical examples

Don't approach the intoxicated Ayao icao dumo-ol sa palahubóg.
Hardness is the molave merit. Ang caayo sa tugás ana-a sa cagahi
Love your neighbour, for that is Mahagugma ca sa imong isigcataoo,
a commandment of God. cay gisugo sa Dios.
Don't sow nor plant in warm time. Sa tigadlao ayo pagtanom ug
God is the Maker of all things. Ang Dios mao ang Magbubuhat sa
The river water reaches as far as Ang tubig sa subá miabut tagahaoac.
the waist.
Who has my book? ¿Hain ba ang acong libro?
Where is my book? ¿Hain ba ang libro co?
I have it. Ania man canaco.
Where is the horse? ¿Hain ba ang cabayo?
I do not know. Ambut lamang.
How does that concern you? ¿Onsay imo dihá?
Every oneself. Iyahay lang quitá.
So must it be. Mao man cana unta.

Exercise II.

Good morning, how are you? - Very well, I thank you - Where are you
from? - I am from Spain - Of which town? - From Conago - Who (quinsa) has
my book? - I have it - Who is that young Lady? - She is Miss Kate - Where
is my trunk (caban)? - The servant has it - Have you my fine glasses? - I
have them - Have you the fine horses of my neighbours? - I have not
them - Who are you? - I am John - Are you Peter's father? - I am.



The father Encina divides the numbers into primitives, ordinals,
distributives and vicenales.

The primitive numerals are those which serve to count, and are the

1 One. Usá.
2 Two. Duha.
3 Three. Tolo.
4 Four. Upat.
5 Five. Lima.
6 Six. Unum.
7 Seven. Pito.
8 Eight. Ualo.
9 Nine. Siam.
10 Ten. Napolo.
11 Eleven. Napolo ug usá.
12 Twelve. Napolo ug duha.
13 Thirteen. Napolo ug tolo.
14 Fourteen. Napolo ug upat.
15 Fifteen. Napolo ug lima.
16 Sixteen. Napolo ug unum.
17 Seventeen. Napolo ug pito.
18 Eighteen. Napolo ug ualo.
19 Nineteen. Napolo ug siam.
20 Twenty. Caluha-an.
30 Thirty. Catlo-an.
40 Forty. Capat-an.
50 Fifty. Calim-an.
60 Sixty. Canum-an.
70 Seventy. Capito-an.
80 Eighty. Caualo-an.
90 Ninety. Casiam-an.
100 One hundred. Usa ca gatus.
101 One hundred and one Usa ca gatus ug usá.
200 Two hundred. Duha ca gatus.
300 Three hundred. Tolo ca gatus.
1000 One thousand. Usa ca libo.
1001 One thousand and one. Usa ca libo ug usá.
2000 Two thousand. Duha ca libo.

Ten children. Napolo ca bata.
Twenty horses. Caluha-an ca cabayo.
Two hundred and twenty guns. Duha ca gatus caluha an ug duha ca
Five hundred and ninety one Lima ca gatus casiam-an ug usa ca
soldiers. soldalo.
One thousand men. Usa ca libo ca taoo.


1.a The English forms "a hundred, a thousand", are rendered into
Bisaya by usa ca gatus, usa ca libo. Expressions like "eighteen
hundred" must be translated as: - one thousand eight hundred, ex:
The year 1898. - Usa ca libo ualo ca gatus casiaman ug usa.

2.a The unity begins by a consonant duplicates, the first syllable,
when points out any quantity. The denaries are formed by putting before
unity the particle ca and an after, as we have seen. Ca serves also
to join the numbers to the nouns, thus: Usa cataoo. - Napolo ca pisos,
upat ca adlao.

Ordinal Numbers.

1st. Ang nahaona.
2d. Ang icaduha.
3d. Ang icatolo-tlo.
4th. Ang icaupat-pat.
5th. Ang icalima.
6th. Ang icaunum.
7th. Ang icapito.
8th. Ang icaualo.
9th. Ang icasiam.
10th. Ang icapolo.
11th. Ang icapolo ug usa.
12th. Ang icapolo ug duha.
13th. Ang icapolo ug tolo.
14th. Ang icapolo ug upat
15th. Ang icapolo ug lima.
20th. Ang icacaluhaan.
21th. Ang icacaluhaan ug usa.
30th. Ang icacatloan.
40th. Ang icacaupatan
50th. Ang icacalim-an
100th. Ang icausa ca gatus.

The month. - Ang bulan.
The day. - Ang adlao.
The week. - Ang semana.

What is the date to day. - ¿Icapila quita caron? - To-day is the sixth
of March of the year 1901. - Sa icaunum ca adlao sa bulan sa Marzo sa
usa ca libo siam ca gatus ng usa ca tuig.

Days of the week

Monday. Lunes.
Tuesday. Martes.
Wednesday. Miercoles.
Thursday. Jueves.
Friday. Viernes.
Saturday. Sabado.
Sunday. Domingo.

Months of the year.

(The months and the days of the week are taken from the Spanish

January. Enero.
February. Febrero.
March. Marzo.
April. Abril.
May. Mayo.
June. Junio.
July. Julio.
August. Agosto.
September. Setiembre.
October. Octubre.
November. Noviembre.
December. Diciembre.

A century. Usa ca siglo.
A year. Usa ca tuig.
A month. Usa ca bulan.
A week. Usa ca semana.
A day. Usa ca adlao.
An hour. Usa ca horas.
A minute. Usa ca minuto.
To day. Caron adlao.
Yesterday. Cahapon.
To-morrow. Ugma.
Next year. Tuig nga muabut.
Last year. Tuig nga miagui.
Day before yesterday. Cahapon sa usa ca adlao.
Day after to-morrow. Ugma damlag.
Three days ago. Canianhi.
Last week. Semana nga miagui.
At half past one. Sa á la una y media.
At a quarter past one. Sa á la una y cuarto.
At a quarter to one. Cuarto sa la una.

Partitive Numbers

The partitive numbers are formed by adding to the cardinals - ca
bahin - thus:

One part. Usa ca bahin.
The half. Ang ca tunga.
One third. Ang ica tlo.
One fourth. Ang ica upat.


The half of the heirdom belongs to Ang catunga sa cabilin nahatungud
me. canaco.
Divide among them the half of the Bahinan mo sila sa catunga sa
cocoa-nut. lubi.

Distributive numbers

The distributive numbers are formed by putting tag or tinag before

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