In English, the words “this” and “that” can be used both on their own and to modify words.
In English “This” can be both a modifier and a pronoun- “That table is mine”, “This is my table”. Simple right?
In Cebuano, it gets a little bit complicated. We have 3 demonstrative pronouns/adjectives.
(Object is near the subject)
That – Kana
(Object is far from the subject)
That(over there)- Kadto
(Object is very far from the subject, something that cannot be seen already)
Let’s try to dissect this one by one.
Using “This, That” as Modifiers
When using Kani, Kana, and Kadto, to modify an object and stating its location, a “nga” is placed after the modifiers.
This car- Kani nga sakyanan
That dog- Kana nga iro
That (over there) cat- Kadto nga iring
In Cebuano, we usually like to shortcut the words and phrases to make it shorter, like in the case of the words “salug” and “balay”, it is acceptable as well to say “sawg” and “baii”. In this case, instead of saying it “Kani nga Sakyanan” we end up saying it “Kaning sakyanan”. The “nga” is combined with the demonstrative modifier, with the letter “a” being taken out.
This glass- Kaning bildo
That dog- Kanang iro
That(Over there) cat- Kadtong iring
Using “This, That” as Pronouns
That(over there)- to
Compared using the “This, That” as modifiers, using them as pronouns entails a different sentence structure. Because we are not modifying anything already, the demonstrative pronouns are placed last on the sentence or phrase. This is in line with the Verb Subject Object arrangement that Cebuano has.
This is expensive- Mahal ni
That is a dog- Iro na
That(Over there) was delicious- Lami to
This wallet is really expensive- Kaning pitaka mahal kaau
What is that?- Unsa na?
Who is that?(Over there)- Kinsa to?