Site Feedback

Resolved questions
Mapápantayán -- Meaning of the affix "Mapá-" on "pantay" and similar roots

Learning the song "Dahil sa iyo", I stumbled upon the word "pagmamahál" which turns out to be a deep tender feeling, or love according to the paper Tagalog-English Dictionnary.

However, what intrigates me is the sentence given in example using the word:

"Ang pagmamahál ng iná sa anák ay hindî mapápantayán." and followed by its English translation : "The love of a mother for her child cannot be equalled."

Thus, I would think that mapá-pantay-án means "to be able to be equal".

Usually, the dictionnary I'm using gathers, under a root, the possible affixes that you can add for a word. "Mapá- and -an" isn't one of them.

In fact, there's none mapá- for this verb, which leads me to think that it's a general affix you can add to verbs that has a meaning of "to be able to get someone to..." or in this case "to be able to..." Am I right?

The one that I knew for sure that did this effect is "Maka-" that is frequently used, even on English words, to mean "to be able to-".

Additional Details:

I couldn't finish the question because I didn't have characters left:

Would there be any difference if the author would have used "makapantayan" instead of "mapápantayán"?

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


1 comment

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    HI Valeugraph!

    There is indeed a difference between MAPA- and MAKA-.

    MAPA- generally means "to be able to be." Thus, in the song you mentioned, "Mapapantayan" means "to be (able to be) equalled." Usually it is just "MA-." It just becomes "MAPA-" since the main/root word is "pantay" which means "equal." There is this doubling of the "pa" syllable in "pantay" to indicate that the word "MAPAPANTAYAN" implies an ongoing attribute. So in the sentence, "Ang pagmamahál ng iná sa anák ay hindî mapápantayán." the phrase "ay hindi mapapantayan" indicates an ongoing attribute or an adjectival phrase to describe the love of a mother. In some cases, you may find it just "MAPANTAYAN" which means "to match or to equal" like in the sentence : "Ang nais ko ay mapantayan siya." (What I want is to equal/match him.")

    MAKA- on the other hand indicates a quality/attribute. It is usually added before a noun to create an adjective describing a subject. E.g. "Maka" + "bayan" >> "Makabayan" which means patriotic ("bayan" means country/nation). "Maka" may also be added before a verb to indicate an "opportunity" or to mean also "to be able to" just like "MAPA" above. E.g. "Maka + tikim" >> "Makatikim" (to be able to taste), "Maka + kita" >> "Makakita" (to be able to see), "Maka + pantay" >> "Makapantay" (to match)
    ***My example above ("Mapantayan") can also be "Makapantay" but not "Makapantayan" as there is no such word. "Ang nais ko ay ang makapantay sa kanya." (What I want is to be equal with him)

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.