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Kailanan ng Pangngalan: Isahan, Dalawahan, Maramihan (Filipino Lesson, Quiz and Worksheets)

Nouns in Filipino can either be isahan (singular), dalawahan (dual), or maramihan (plural). Learn how to identify these three kailanan ng pangngalan and test your knowledge with our free online quiz and worksheets for grades 1 to 3.

What is kailanan ng pangngalan? In English, it means grammatical number; in Filipino, dami o bilang ng pangngalan (noun quantity or number).

The two types of grammatical number in English are simply singular or plural.

In Filipino, there are three kailanan ng pangngalan: isahan, dalawahan, maramihan.

  • Isahan – pangngalang likas na nag-iisa lamang ang bilang (nouns that are naturally singular in number)
  • Dalawahan – pangngalan na may dalawang bilang lamang (nouns that refer to a pair or are two in number)
  • Maramihan – pangngalang mahigit sa dalawa ang pinag-uusapan (nouns that are three or more in number)

How can you tell if a noun is isahan, dalawahan, or maramihan?

Isahan

  • Most nouns, by themselves, are isahan (singular).
  • The following words (articles or case markers) are found before a singular noun in Filipino:
    • Si, kay, ni – before proper nouns (pangngalang pantangi)
    • Ang, ng, sa – before common nouns (pangngalang pambalana)

Halimbawa (example):
Ang aklat ni Ana ay ibinigay ko sa pinsan nya na si Pedro. (I gave Ana’s book to her cousin Pedro.)

Aklat, Ana, pinsan, and Pedro are all isahan (singular) and they have the words ang, ni, sa, and si before them, respectively.

Dalawahan

A pangngalang dalawahan can be identified by a number of ways:

  • The articles/case markers for pangngalang dalawahan are the plural form of those used for isahan. (The same plural-form articles/case markers are also used for pangngalang maramihan.)
    • Sina, kina, nina – before proper nouns (pangngalang pantangi)
    • Ang mga, ng mga, sa mga – before common nouns (pangngalang pambalana)
    • Note: if the nouns that follow these markers do not specifically indicate a number of two, they are instead considered maramihan. (Example: “Ang mga estudyanteng sina Juan at Miguel” would be considered dalawahan; “ang mga estudyante” would be assumed to be maramihan.)
  • A noun itself may naturally indicate a quantity of two — for example: kambal (twins) — in which case you can tell that the noun is dalawahan (two in number) even though it uses the article “ang” (e.g., ang kambal).
  • Some nouns can be conjugated to reflect a dalawahan number by adding the prefix mag-. This is usually for nouns that indicate a relationship.
    • Examples: magkaibigan (two friends), magpinsan (two cousins), mag-asawa (a married couple; asawa alone means spouse).
    • These nouns would also use the article “ang” before them (e.g., ang magkaibigan, ang magpinsan, ang mag-asawa).
  • If the word “dalawa” is used before the noun, it is also considered dalawahan. Example: ang dalawang bata (the two kids).

Halimbawa (example):
Ang magkapatid na sina Mila at Maria ay pumunta sa bahay nina lolo at lola. (The siblings Mila and Maria went to grandfather and grandmother’s house.)

Magkapatid, Mila at Maria, and lolo at lola are all dalawahan.

Maramihan

A pangngalang maramihan can also be identified by a number of ways:

  • As mentioned above, pangngalang maramihan uses the same articles/case markers as pangngalang dalawahan:
    • Sina, kina, nina – before proper nouns (pangngalang pantangi)
    • Ang mga, ng mga, sa mga – before common nouns (pangngalang pambalana)
  • Some nouns can be conjugated to reflect a maramihan number by adding the prefix mag- + the first 1-2 letters of the root word.
    • Examples: magkakaibigan (three or more friends), magpipinsan (three or more cousins)
  • Collective nouns are also considered maramihan (example: hukbo) although they use the singular case markers (e.g., ang hukbo).
  • If a number of three or more is specified, the noun is considered maramihan.
    • Examples: ang tatlong ibon (the three birds), ang limang maliit na matsing (the five little monkeys).

Halimbawa (example):
Ang magkakapatid na sina Ana, Mila at Maria ay bumili ng isang daang regalo para sa kabataan ng Payatas. (The siblings Ana, Mila, and Maria bought a hundred gifts for the youth of Payatas).

Kailanan ng Pangngalan: Mga Halimbawa (Examples Chart)

Isahan

Dalawahan

Maramihan

si Nanay

sina Nanay at Tatay

sina nanay, tatay, ate, at kuya

ang ibon

ang dalawang ibon

ang mga ibon

kay Juan

kina Juan at Pedro

kina Juan, Pedro, at Miguel

Special examples of nouns that are conjugated to reflect number:

Mga Pangngalang Isahan

Mga Pangngalang Dalawahan

Mga Pangngalang Maramihan

ama (father)

mag-ama (father & child)

mag-aama (father & children)

ina (mother)

mag-ina (mother & child)

mag-iina (mother & children)

kaibigan

magkaibigan

magkakaibigan

kaklase

magkaklase

magkakaklase

kalaro

magkalaro

magkakalaro

kapatid

magkapatid

magkakapatid

kapitbahay

magkapitbahay

magkakapitbahay

kasama

magkasama

magkakasama

katunggali

magkatunggali

magkakatunggali

pinsan

magpinsan

magpipinsan

Kailanan ng Pangngalan Quiz

Use this Buzzfeed-style, multiple choice online quiz to see if you’ve understood the concept of isahan, dalawahan, at maramihan.

Kailanan ng Pangngalan

Kailanan ng Pangngalan Worksheet for Grade 1

Sort the following nouns and noun phrases into the correct boxes for kailanan ng pangngalan: isahan, dalawahan, maramihan.

You can download a printable PDF copy of this worksheet here: Kailanan ng Pangngalan Worksheet for Grade 1  

Note: you can reduce the size of the worksheet by zooming out your browser screen. For Windows users, scroll down the mouse wheel while pressing the Ctrl key in your keyboard.

Kailanan ng Pangngalan Worksheet for Grade 2 and Grade 3

Complete this chart of examples of the kailanan ng pangngalan.

You can download a printable PDF copy of this worksheet here: Kailanan ng Pangngalan Worksheet for Grade 2 and Grade 3 

Note: you can reduce the size of the worksheet by zooming out your browser screen. For Windows users, scroll down the mouse wheel while pressing the Ctrl key in your keyboard.

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