How To Say 'Beautiful' in Chabacano

Did you know that there is a difference between the usage of the words bonito and bonita in the Chabacano language?

In the Chabacano language, adjectives generally don’t have genders like in Spanish. The only time that adjectives will have gender in the Chabacano language is when referring to persons. For example, we say:

Alto mi hermano, Alta mi hermana
In English: My brother is tall, My sister is tall

Blanca el mujer, Blanco el hombre
In English: The girl is white, The boy is white

Flaco el mio tio, Flaca el mio prima
In English: My uncle is thin, My (female) cousin is thin

However, for inanimate objects or when referring to people in general, adjectives don’t have genders (they are always masculine). For example, we say:

Blanco el casa
In English: The house is white

Blando el cama mio
In English: My bed is soft

Negro el camisa suyo
In English: His/her shirt is black

With regards to the words bonito and bonita however, they exist independently with their own separate meanings. Bonito is used to say that something is nice while bonita is used to say that a girl is pretty.

Here are some examples of these two words being used:

Chabacano: Bonito el programa na TV ayer.
English: The program on TV yesterday was good.

Chabacano: Bonito el zapatos tuyo.
English: Your shoes are nice.

Chabacano: Bonito el tuyo pelo.
English: Your hair is nice.

Chabacano: Bonita el tuyo prima.
English: Your cousin is pretty.

Note that in Chabacano, we never use the word bonito to say that a boy or a man is good-looking. This word is only used for inanimate objects. Normally, we use the word guapo to say that a boy or a man is good-looking. For women, I have never heard anybody use the word guapa to say that a girl or a woman is pretty. As has already been established, the word bonita is used to say that a woman or a girl is pretty.

This word is pronounced and spelled by most as bunito and bunita. Camins' dictionary has the words bonito and bunito, while Santos' dictionary has bunito and bunita. Camins and Santos both defines the word bunito as 'good looking', although, I don’t think that you will meet anybody who will say bonito el hombre or bonito el mio amigo. To my ears at least, it just sounds really awkward if I will hear someone use the word bonito like this.

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