Oo vs. Meron

Just like there are two ways to say no, there are two ways to say yes.

Oo (Opo for formal, respectful situations) is used when answering questions of opinion or whether something got done.
Did you do the dishes?
Opo.
Did you pet the dog?
Oo.

Oo is pronounced like you are saying the name of the letter O twice, not as an ooh sound. O-o.

Meron is used to answer questions about whether you have something.
Do you have  dishes?
Meron.
Does the dog have food?
Meron.

Meron is pronounced differently than it looks to most foreigners. Me is between Meh and May, and ron is like roan. Like road but with a n at the end. meh-ROAN. Sometimes you will see it spelled mayron. I believe it’s because “may” is used to say something exists. “May pera.” (There is money.) Adding the -ng ending directly on to the end of “May” would sound awkward, so it got a whole other syllable and became it’s own word.
“May pera?” (Is there money?)
“Merong pera.” (There is money.) Or, just say, “Meron,” for, “There is.”

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3 thoughts on “Oo vs. Meron

  1. hello annie… i’m from the highlands north of manila (benguet province) and i’d like to help you out a bit if you don’t mind… 1a- “opo” is primarily used to reply to older people, strangers who are older, guests – you were right to say this is the formal or polite form; “oo” is a reply to equals, friends or younger people… 1b- and, yes, this is a short rounded sound much like what you would find in italian or spanish… 2a- as s a reply, the correct form is ‘meroN’ not ‘meroNG’… the latter form is used in questions or statements where it’s typically followed by the noun in question (e.g., Merong tao sa opisina? = lit. is there + person + in + office = Is anyone at the office?)… 2b- the particle ‘ng’ moves if any other word comes after ‘meron’ (e.g., Meron kaNG pera? = lit. is there + pronoun you + particle ng + money = Do you have money? or Meron ka baNG pera = lit. is there + pronoun you + query emphatic ba + particle ng + money)… 2c- in other cases, the particle ‘ng’ commonly indicates possession or ‘by’ (genetive case, so to speak)… i hope this makes sense… 🙂

    • Thank you, wrsurya! In my defense, many Americans can’t hear the difference between “meron” and “merong.” 😉 I will alter the original post! (Thank you for calling my attention to it, generally, as I spotted several other typos in the process.)

      • good morning, annie (it’s almost 6 am here in my highland city of Baguio)… no worries – i’m not judgemental i’ve been around people from several other countries, so i guess that helps make relatively open to each speaker’s little quirks when it comes to learning languages… wish you luck and chat with you soon! 🙂

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