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What are the differences in using 'sa' or 'nasa' in a Tagalog phrase or sentence?

I haven't been able to find finite information regarding the differences between the two terms. My general understanding is that they mean essentially the same thing. The exception being that 'sa' is not used at the beginning of a sentence or phrase. If anyone can share information on the specific rules of usage for these two terms I'd really appreciate it!

For learning: Filipino (Tagalog)
Base language: English
Category: Language


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    Hi Dan!

    Yes your right, they mean the same depending on the usage. So basically "SA" & "NASA" is used to answer the question "SAAN" & "NASAAN" (WHERE?). "SAAN & "NASAAN" is used to ask about the location of someone or something or where an action took/will take place. But like other languages "SA" & NASA" are also used for any other purposes other than answering a question "WHERE". As what I have said earlier, it's usage depends on the situation but most of the time it is used to answer the question "WHERE".


    Q: Nasaan ang salamin ko? (Where is my eye glasses?)
    A: Nasa loob ng bag mo. (Inside your bag.)

    Q: Saan mo nilagay ang salamin ko? (Where did you put my eye glasses?)
    A: Sa loob ng bag mo. (Inside your bag.)


    1. Ang cake na ito ay para sa lahat. ( This cake is for everybody.)
    2. Sa akin ang bag na ito. ( This bag is mine.)
    3. Isa ka sa pina kamagaling na guro. ( You are one of the best teacher.)
    4. Sa mga kamay mo nakasalalay ang iyong tagumpay. ( Your success lies in your hand.)

    Note: "SA" & "NASA" can be used in the beginning of the sentence.

    I hope this will help you.
    Enjoy learning "TAGALOG"

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