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* I received some excellent corrections on an earlier text re: "gusto" and "ayaw", where it was suggested that I say "mahilig" for "I like" - for instance, "Mahilig ako sa libro" instead of "Gusto ko ang mga libro". Can I use a similar construction here, something like "Mahilig siya sa musika"?
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Exactly. Simply put it this way:
Gusto ko ng... I want...
Mahilig ako sa... I like...
Ano'ng gusto mong hapunan?
What do you want for dinner?
Mahilig ka ba sa pasta?
Do you like pasta?
I suggest you grab the feeling when the words are used not how they are defined. You get to feel more natural with using the words when you know the situation they are supposed to be used. You are doing very well. :)
“Gusto” applies more to specific choices or to mean “want”. Maybe the following examples may make that clearer.
Imagine a person describing her cousin:
My cousin likes sports. = Ang pinsan ko ay mahilig sa sports. (My cousin is fond of sports.)
But he likes (prefers) basketball over the rest. = Pero mas gusto (or pinakagusto) niya ang basketball sa lahat. (Here, “gusto” is used to refer to his specific choice from all the other sports. It does not necessarily mean though that he plays basketball.)
He likes to play basketball. = Mahilig siyang maglaro ng basketball. (He likes/is fond of playing basketball).
He likes to play basketball. = Gusto niyang maglaro ng basketball. (Notice that this is another translation of the same sentence, but this time, the meaning is really this: He likes/wants to play basketball (now).)
HOWEVER, when the object of the sentence is a person or persons, “gusto” would be the more politically-correct choice. In Tagalog though, when “gusto” is used and the object is a person, it can connote some degree of personal attraction. Hence, it should be used with caution.
I like polite people. = Gusto ko (sa) mga taong magalang. (This can simply be taken to mean one’s preference over those who are impolite.)
I like tall men. = Gusto ko (sa) mga lalaking matangkad. (As this includes a physical feature, it may suggest physical attraction towards men with such a characteristic. I suppose, the same as in English.)
I like her. = Gusto ko siya. (As is, this may suggest some physical attraction. A less personal statement to convey a similar idea may be, “OK siya” = (To me) she’s OK.)
If you are to use “mahilig” for such sentences -> “Mahilig ako sa mga taong magalang” may be taken to mean that you easily get intimate with polite people. Same idea, and perhaps more colorful, with tall men. “Mahilig ako sa kanya” is like saying you are addicted to someone. Surely you’ll raise some eyebrows for sounding prurient. :)
Your sentences are grammatically perfect. There are just 4 words that may need some explanations: downtown, restawran, siyang, and gusto.
In Manila, the word “downtown” exists and it means exactly what it does in English. We don’t have a specific Tagalog translation for it except perhaps to call it “gitna ng lungsod” (middle of the city) or “puso ng lungsod” (heart of the city). These days though, the word is no longer used here because there are already a number of modern business areas in various parts of Manila and neighboring cities that there is no longer a specific downtown. In some provinces though, “bayanan” or “kabayanan” is used to refer to the business district, but its meaning may not be at par with your concept of a real downtown.
“Restawran” and “restauran” are the Tagalog words for restaurant. However, most of us might actually say and write it as restaurant. No point in leaving out the last “t” when all the rest are in anyway. :)
This may be a cultural thing, but I felt that in “May nobyo siya, pero wala siyang anak”, the “siyang” (she) should have been “silang” (they). It’s the idea that if they are in a relationship, a child should be theirs and not just hers.
For “Gusto niya ng musika”, yes, it would be more correct to say “Mahilig siya sa musika” to mean “She likes music”. But is it correct to say “ayaw niya ng mga isports” (she does not like sports), or you may also say that as a milder “hindi siya mahilig sa mga isports” (she is not fond of sports).
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