Verb-tense Prefix Synonymsm

Hello first time poster!

Though I have been using this website for many years. I would say one of the reasons I am conversationally fluent in Cebuano is in large part due to this website. But one of the things I still have difficulty with is the semantic overlap of various verb-tense prefixes:

To refer to the Future-Tense I have been using the prefixes: Mu-, Ma-, Mag-, & Mang-, virtually interchangly but i dont think this is the case.

Examples sentences to this would be:

  • "Mukaon ko'g isda" - I will eat fish
  • "Mamatay siya" - he/she will die
  • "Magbayad sila'g bill" -they will pay the bill
  • "Mangaon sila sa gawas" - they will eat outside

This can also be seen in Past-Tense as well with the prefixes: Ni-, Mi-, Na-, Nang.

Examples sentences for this would be:

  • "Niadto sila sa umahan" - they went to the farm
  • "Miabot si Jesus sa Herusalem" - Jesus arrived in Jerusalem

I was wondering are there differences in usage or meaning between these various prefixes or do they all synomymously  denote Future/Past-Tense respectively?

Is what prefix we use for a given verb determined by convention or  are there actual rules to how one employs these various prefixes?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
About that... by JCH