The word ay is often translated into English as ‘is’ or ‘are’ or ‘am.’

Ako ay babae.
I am a woman.

Ikaw ay lalaki.
You are a man.

Sila ay nars.
They are nurses.

Si Juan ay tamad.
John is lazy.

These sentences above though sound too stilted for everyday usage. Most Filipinos prefer to invert sentences and do away with the ay.

Babae ako.
I am a woman.

Lalaki ka.
You are a man.

Nars sila.
They are nurses.

Tamad si Juan.
John is lazy.


Ako ay = Ako’y. Ikaw = Ikaw’y or Ika’y.

Siya ay = Siya’y. Sila ay = Sila’y.

Kayo ay = Kayo’y. Tayo ay = Tayo’y.

Unrelated to the meaning above, the word by itself can be an interjection.


Ay, Diyos ko.
Oh, my God.