How to express plural forms in Cebuano

Asked by Vincent Isles on 2007-10-22

Cebuano expresses plural forms by prepending the plural article "mga" to nouns to indicate their plurality. That is, "tree" in English would be "kahoy" in Cebuano, and "trees" would be "mga kahoy". "mga" is considered a separate word. The default form is the non-plural (without "mga").

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Solved by:
Carlos Perelló Marín
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Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) said : #1

Vincent, thank you for that. What we need to know now is which numbers use "mga" and which don't. For example, English has "zero trees", "one tree", "two trees". Does Cebuano have "0 kahoy", or "0 mga kahoy"? For which numbers wouldn't you use "mga"?

"mga" would never be used for "one tree", "mga" would always be used for n>1, and it may or may not be used for n=0.

Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) said : #3

By "may or may not be used for n=0" do you mean that "mga" is used for zero with some words, but not with others? If so, we'll need three plural forms in the translation system: one for 0, one for 1, and one for every other number.

I mean that to a native speaker, there is very little difference between using "mga" or not using it for n=0. Using "mga" will still be still be grammatically correct, as well as not using it. So we can just decide whether or not to use "mga". I would say we would not use it.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #5

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Christian Reis (kiko) said : #6

Still needs doing.

I just updated Cebuano to have two plural forms and using the formula 'n > 1' so the first form will be used for n = 0 and the second form will be for n > 1

Thanks Carlos Perelló Marín, that solved my question.