Pronunciation ‘Ng’ and ‘Nga’

Unique in Tagalog is ng which as a letter of the alphabet is pronounced ‘nga.’

The nga sound may seem difficult at first, but if you can say ‘sing along’ in English and slur those two words together, you’ll have no problem with nga in Tagalog after some practice chopping off ‘si’ from the beginning and ‘long’ from the end of ‘singalong.’

ngayon
now (today)

ngipin
tooth

nganga
to have the mouth agape

nguso
snout

tingin
a look

pangit
ugly

 

bangus
milkfish

 

By itself,
ng serves as a possessive or genitive marker in Tagalog sentences.

 
An easy way to look at one of its uses is to see it as meaning ‘of’ in English.

balat ng hayop
skin of an animal
(animal’s skin)

anak ng babae
child of a woman
(a woman’s child)

ulo ng tao
head of a person
(a person’s head)

Examples of ng used in another way:

Uminom ako ng kape.
I drank coffee.

Kumain ako ng tinapay.
I ate bread.