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Remembering Tagálog, Part 3: Forgotten Rules Concerning Punctuation Marks

Friday, 2nd November 2012

The following lesson on the use of punctuation marks when writing Tagálog is taken from:

Lesson 42 of the «Sálitikán ng̃ wikag̃ pag̃bansâ», authored in 1940 by José N. Sevilla y Tolentino, Rosa L. Sevilla de Alvero, and Aurelio Alvero y Sevilla; and printed by Imprenta Sevilla in Manila.

Please note that the original text makes use of the Tagálog letter ( g̃ ) which was expunged from the alphabet in 1940 by Lope Santos y Canseco. He found its similarity to the Spanish letter ( ñ ) to be uncomfortably reminiscent of foreign cultural influence and thus, unworthy for patriotic Filipinos to use.

For the sake of the modern reader unused to reading pure Tagálog, this has been transcribed as ( ng̃ ).


UKOL SA DATIK (karugtón).

Ankuwit ( , ), antuldókwít ( ; ), ankambáltuldók ( : ), antuldók ( . ), at antutuldók ( ), ay mg̃a datikkatulong̃ ng̃ Palásulután, upáng̃ ihudyát sa bumábasa ang̃ kaníkanyáng̃ diwà.



Ankuwit ( , ) ay isang̃ datik ná nagbabadhâ ng̃ paghíhiwaláy ng̃ mg̃a salitâ, pang̃ung̃usap o saysáy ná linálamán ng̃ siphanay ná nang̃áng̃ailang̃an noón.


Ang̃ lahát, batà at matandâ, babai at lalaki, marunong̃ at hang̃ál, mayama’t mahirap, ay paraparang̃ dapat tuming̃kalâ kay Bathalà.



Antuldókwít ( ; ) ay datik ná ginágamit ná pang̃hiwaláy ng̃ saysáy ná may kaganapan na, ng̃uni’t may kinálaman sa labuuan ng̃ siphanay.


Siyá ay aking̃ inandukâ at minahál, pinalaki at pinaaralan, at halos pinakain sa palad; kung̃ ang̃ lahát ng̃ iyón ay dî niyá itinúturing̃, mahang̃ay ay huwág ko ná siyáng̃ nákilala.




Ankambáltuldók ( : ) ay ginágamit sa mg̃a wakas ng̃ unang̃ talatà ng̃ liham ná nauukol sa pagbati:


  1. Minámahál kong̃ kapatid:
  2. Pinagpípitaganan kong̃ ginoo:
  3. Ititatang̃i kong̃ kaibigan:
  4. Ginoo:
  5. Pinakamámahal kong̃ nanay:


Sa mg̃a taltang̃ ang̃ súsunód ay paguulat ng̃ mg̃a bahaging̃ may kinalaman sa una.


Ang̃ sang̃púng̃ utos ni Bathalà ay nauuwî sa dalawá:

Ibigin mo Siyá ng̃ lalò sa lahát, at ibigin mo ang̃ kápuwâ mo tao, alang̃alang̃ sa Kaniyá.



Antuldók ( . ) ay ginágamit sa mg̃a wakas ng̃ siphanay, at patuloy ná sinúsundán ng̃ mulíng̃ pasimulâ sa talatà ring̃ tinuldukan kailan ma’t ang̃ salaysáy ná sumúsunód ay may kinálaman pa sa buód ng̃ náuná.


« … Bagam’t marami sa inyó ay nakalilimot ná samantalang̃ ang̃ isáng̃ bayan ay nagpápapanatili ng̃ kanyáng̃ katutubong̃ wikà, ay nanánatili ng̃ kanyá ang̃ sagisag ng̃ kalayaan, gaya ng̃ tao ná pinanánatilihan ng̃ kasarinlán habang̃ nanánatili sa kanyá ang̃ ang̃kíng̃ pagwawari. Ang̃ wikà ay siyáng̃ diwà ng̃ mg̃a bayan. »

RIZAL. —El Filibusterismo.


Wakás iyaóng̃ itinútuldók sa wakás ng̃ talatà kung̃ ang̃ diwà ng̃ sinúsulat ay sumukdól ná sa wakás. Ang̃ kasunód ná talatà ay pinasisimulang̃ panibago sa sumúsunód.



Antutuldok ( ) ay ginágamit kailan ma’t di nasang̃ ipagpatuloy ang̃ sinúsulat ná dî sa palang̃ náwawatasan ná ng̃ bumabasa, o dilì kayâ’y iliníliblíb ang̃ sásabihin o súsulatin upang̃ huwág makabalino ang̃ isásaysáy. Hindî dapat kulang̃in ang̃ tuldók sa tatló at dî dapat humigit sa limá.


Ang̃ taong̃ iyán ay waláng̃ pang̃imì, mapaglaláng̃ ng̃ mg̃a pariralang̃ pang̃guhò ng̃ táhanan at puri at … kung̃ anó lamang̃ ang̃ másasabi ko; mahang̃ay ay huwág ná nating̃ pagusapan pa.



  1. ¿Kailán ginágamit an kuwit?
  2. ¿Antuldókwít ay anó ? ¿ Kailán itó ginágamit?
  3. ¿Saan dako ng̃ saysáy ginágamit an kambáltuldók?
  4. ¿Antuldók bagá ay anó ? ¿ Iláng̃ urìng̃ tuldók mayroón?
  5. ¿Saán sinísimulan ng̃ talatà, pagkalagáy ng̃ tuldók?
  6. ¿Anó bagá iyaón tutuldok?
  7. ¿Anó bagá iyaóng̃ tinatawag ná tuldók sa tuluyan?
  8. ¿Anó iyaóng̃ tinatawag ná tuldók ná pang̃wakás?
  9. ¿Sa aling̃ bahagi ng̃ siphanay ginágamit ang̃ tutuldok?
  10. Gumawâ kayó ng̃ isáng̃ salaysáy ná kágagamitan ng̃ mg̃a datik ná kuwit, tuldókwít, kambáltuldók, tuldók tuluyan at tuldók ná wakás.


Isaysáy ang̃ tahasip ng̃ sumúsunód ná sáwikain:


“Ang̃ dî magmahál sa wikà

Ay mahigít sa hayop at malansáng̃ isdâ.”


  • Pardo de Tavera, T. (1884). Contribucion para el estudio de los antiguos alfabetos Filipinos. Losana, Spain: Imprenta de Jaunin Hermanos.
  • Signey, R. (2005). The evolution and disappearance of the “G̃” in Tagálog orthography since the 1593 Doctrina Cristiana. Philippine journal of linguistics, 36(1-2), 1-10.
  • Sevilla, J., Sevilla, R., & Alvero, A. (1940). Sálitikán ng̃ wikag̃ pag̃bansâ. Manila, Philippine Islands: Imprenta Sevilla.
  • Wolfenden, E. (1961). A re-statement of Tagalog grammar: Appended with José Rizal’s Nueva ortografía del lenguaje Tagálog. Manila: Summer Institute of Linguistics and Institute of National Language.
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