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10 Filipino Sentence Patterns You Should Learn By Heart

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Despite the complexity of the Tagalog language, learning it won’t be as difficult if you’re familiar with the most basic Filipino sentence patterns. The best thing about learning Tagalog is that it’s not that different from the English language when it comes to sentence patterns. Tagalog is quite flexible, too, so it’s not that hard to read and understand a simple sentence, as long as you’re keeping brushed up on your Filipino vocabulary.

But why study Tagalog sentence patterns in the first place? Simple: Having this knowledge lets you craft a variety of sentences so that you’re not limited to one or two patterns every time you’re speaking or writing. More importantly, knowing simple patterns helps you have an easier time whenever you come across long sentences when you’re reading or having a conversation with a Tagalog-speaking friend.

Because we want to help you improve your communication skills in Tagalog, we’ve decided to create a guide on basic Filipino sentence patterns. From making requests to asking directions, here are the ten most basic and practical sentence patterns in Tagalog.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B.
  2. Using Adjectives to Describe: A is [Adjective].
  3. Expressing Want (I Want… / I Want to…)
  4. Expressing Need (I Need… / I Need to…)
  5. Expressing Like (I Like… / I Like to…)
  6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something
  7. Asking for Permission (May I…? / Can I…?)
  8. Asking for Information About Something (What is…?)
  9. Asking About Time (When is…?)
  10. Asking About Location or Direction (Where is…?)
  11. You Can Learn More Than Just Sentence Patterns with FilipinoPod101

1. Linking Two Nouns: A is B.

Sentence Patterns

Simple Filipino sentences are formed in the same manner as English sentences are—with a subject and a predicate. In this section, you’ll learn how to connect two nouns in order to form a sentence that expresses a complete thought. 

When it comes to linking two nouns in Tagalog, there’s only one word you need to remember, and that is the word ay.

As mentioned in our entry on Tagalog Word Order, ay is an inversion marker, and is used when switching from the V-S-O or V-O-S to the S-V-O sentence structure.

Here are several Filipino sentence examples showing how to link two nouns:

  • Si Moon ay ang alaga kong aso. (“Moon is my pet dog.”)
  • Ang asawa ko ay isang flight stewardess. (“My wife is a flight stewardess.”)
  • Si Julienne ay kapatid na babae ni Jay. (“Julienne is Jay’s sister.”)
  • Ang teleponong ito ay Samsung. (“This phone is a Samsung.”)
  • Si Kobe ay kalaro ko dati. (“Kobe was a playmate of mine back in the day.”)

2. Using Adjectives to Describe: A is [Adjective].

When using adjectives to describe nouns, the marker ay is still very much present. Check out the following examples of this Filipino sentence construction:

  • Ang tuta ay makulit. (“The puppy is annoying.”)
  • Si Maria ay matapang. (“Maria is courageous.”)
  • Ang nobyo niya ay tapat. (“Her lover is faithful.”)
  • Si Shirley ay maingay. (“Shirley is loud.”)
  • Si Ted ay tahimik. (“Ted is quiet.”)

3. Expressing Want (I Want… / I Want to…)

Sentence Components

The Tagalog word used to express desire is gusto. It can be used to express the English words “want,” “like,” and “wish.” The word nais can also be used for stronger emotions, such as “longing” and “desire,” although it’s almost exclusively used in formal writing.

1- I want…

  • Gusto ko ng baboy. (“I want some pork.”)
  • Gusto ko ng tubig! (“I want water!”)

2- I want to…

  • Gusto kong kumain ng puto. (“I want to eat some rice cake.”)
  • Gusto kong pumasa sa pagsusulit. (“I want to pass the test.”)
  • Gusto kitang bigyan ng pabuya. (“I want to give you a reward.”)
  • Nais kong makarating sa London balang araw. (“I long to visit London someday.”)
  • Nais kong malaman mong ikaw ang aking iniibig. (“I long for you to know that it’s you I desire.”)

If you wish to convey your hope of doing something, use the word sana, a word that expresses hope.

  • Gusto ko sanang dumalaw sa kanya. (“I was hoping I could visit her.”)
  • Gusto sana kitang makita noong panahong iyon. (“I was hoping I could see you that time.”)

And if you want to convey the opposite message, you simply replace the word gusto with ayaw, which expresses unwillingness.

  • Ayaw ko ng baboy. (“I don’t want pork.”)
  • Ayaw kong dumalaw sa kanila. (“I don’t want to go to their place.”)
  • Ayaw kitang kausap. (“I don’t want to speak with you.”)

4. Expressing Need (I Need… / I Need to…)

The word “need” or “have” can be translated to the Tagalog word kailangan.

1- I need…

  • Kailangan ko ng pagkain. (“I need some food.”)
  • Kailangan ko ng kasama. (“I need a companion.”)
  • Kailangan ko ng payo mo. (“I need your advice.”)

2- I need/have to…

  • Kailangan kong ibigay ito kay Elsa. (“I need to give this to Elsa.”)
  • Kailangan kong makarating doon kaagad. (“I have to reach that place fast.”)
  • Kailangan kong makabili ng bigas. (“I need to buy some rice.”)
  • Kailangan kong gawin ito. (“I need to do this.”)
  • Kailangan kong sundin ang payo niya. (“I have to follow his advice.”)

If you want to say that you don’t need or don’t have to do something, you simply use the word hindi

  • Hindi ko kailangan ng pagkain. (“I don’t need food.”)
  • Hindi ko kailangan ang payo mo. (“I don’t need your advice.”)
  • Hindi kita kailangan. (“I don’t need you.”)
A Girl Studying for Her Exams

Kailangan kong makapasa sa exams. (“I need to pass the exams.”)

5. Expressing Like (I Like… / I Like to…)

“Like” is gusto in Tagalog. The word “love” (not in a romantic sense) can also be translated to gusto. The word hilig can be used to express love, too, especially when referring to something one is inclined to doing. Take a look at the following examples of this Filipino sentence structure in action:

1- I like…

  • Gusto kita. (“I like you.”)
  • Mahilig ako sa mga aso. (“I love dogs.”)
  • Hilig ko ang larong basketball. (“I love the game of basketball.”)

Pinoys also like using “slang” words when showing appreciation.

  • Type ko ang bago mong sapatos! (“I like your new shoes!”) 
    • This is just another way of saying: “Those are my type of shoes!”
  • Bet ko siya para sa’yo! (“I really like him for you!”) 
    • This is just another way of saying: “I’m betting on him for you!”

2- I like/love to…

  • Gusto kitang bisitahin. (“I would like to visit you.”)
  • Gusto kong makita ang ginawa mo. (“I would love to see your work.”)
  • Mahilig akong gumala. (“I love to travel.”)
  • Mahilig talaga akong sumayaw. (“I really love to dance.”)
  • Mahilig akong kumanta habang naliligo. (“I love to sing while taking a bath.”)
A Man in a Business Suit Pointing at Someone across from Him

Gusto kita. Tanggap ka na. (“I like you. You’re hired.”)

6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something

There’s no direct translation for the word “please” in Tagalog. If you want to make a request, you simply add paki- before the verb you’re using. Paki- is a verbal prefix derived from the word pakiusap, which is Filipino for “request.” 

In the English language, the word “please” can be placed either at the beginning or the end of the sentence. In Tagalog, however, the verb used for making a request (paki + verb) is always placed at the beginning of the sentence. There’s no strict rule as to how to attach the affix paki to a verb. In most cases, you simply attach paki to the verb without separating the two with a dash.

  • Pakibigay ng pera kay Daryl. (“Please give the money to Daryl.”)
  • Pakiiwan ng mga gamit ko sa loob ng kwarto. (“Please leave my stuff inside the room.”)
  • Pakibukas ng pinto. (“Open the door, please.”)
  • Pakisabi sa nanay mo na dumaan ako. (“Please tell your mom that I dropped by.”)
  • Pakiabot ng ketchup, Louise. (“Ketchup, please, Louise.”)

It’s also not unusual for Filipinos to attach paki- to English verbs:

  • Paki-delete na lang ng files ko. (“Please delete my files as well.”)
  • Paki-send na lang mga pictures sa e-mail. (“Just send the pictures through email, please.”)
  • Paki-off ng washing machine. (“Turn off the washing machine, please.”)

In other cases, the word maaari (“can” or “may”) is enough to express a polite request.

  • Maaari bang magtanong? (“Can I ask a question, please?”)
  • Maaari ko bang makuha ang susi? (“May I have the keys, please?”)

One more thing. Don’t forget to say salamat (“thank you”) after making a request.

  • Paki-serve na lang ng dessert pagkatapos naming kumain. Salamat! (“Just serve the dessert right after we eat, please. Thanks!”)
A Man Kissing a Woman’s Hand

I said “keys,” not “kiss.”

7. Asking for Permission (May I…? / Can I…?)

Filipinos are known for being courteous. Despite what some people say about how there’s something questionable with the way respect has evolved in the Philippines and the world in general, most Filipinos remain very polite and respectful. 

One way Pinoys show respect is in how they ask for permission through the expressions “may I” and “can I.” Both are expressed in Tagalog using the words pwede or maaari. Keep in mind, though, that maaari has a more formal tone to it.

In Filipino culture, asking permission is very important. Below are some instances that would call for asking permission in the Philippines.

Asking a friend’s mom or dad for permission to invite them someplace:

  • Pwede ko po bang yayain si Lydia na mamasyal? (“May I invite Lydia to go for a stroll?”)
  • Maaari po ba naming isama si Aya sa birthday party ni John mamayang gabi? (“May we take Aya with us to John’s birthday party tonight?”)

Asking for permission to leave:

  • Pwede na ba akong umalis? (“Can I leave now?”)
  • Mauna na po kami. (“We should be running along.”)

*Note: There are some instances where the words pwede and maaari are not used when asking permission, although you’d be better off using them if you want to maintain that polite vibe.

Asking permission to borrow something:

  • Pwede ko bang hiramin ang lapis mo? (“Can I borrow your pencil?”)
  • Maaari bang manghiram ng kaunting barya? (“May I borrow some spare change, please?”)

Here are more examples:

  • Pwede ko bang makita ang loob ng kahon? (“Can I see what’s inside the box?”)
  • Pwede ba akong tumabi sa’yo? (“May I sit with you?”)
  • Pwede na ba kaming pumasok? (“May we come in now?”)
  • Maaari ko bang hingin ang iyong numero? (“Can I have your number?”)
  • Maaari ba kitang dalawin bukas ng gabi? (“May I visit you tomorrow evening?”)

And finally, let’s not forget how a Filipino gentleman asks for the hand of the lady he loves from the lady’s parents:

  • Pwede ko po bang hingin ang kamay ng inyong anak? (“May I ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage?”)
A Man Proposing to His Girlfriend on a Bridge

Pwede ba kitang maging asawa? (“Will you be my wife?”)

8. Asking for Information About Something (What is…?)

When asking for information in Tagalog, we use the word ano, which is Filipino for “what.” 

Let’s start with the most common “what” questions:

  • Ano ang pangalan mo? (“What is your name?”)
  • Anong cellphone number mo? (“What is your phone number?”)
  • Anong problema mo? (“What’s your problem?”)

What if you’re asking about the date?

  • Anong petsa na ngayon? (“What is the date today?”)
  • Anong araw ngayon? (“What day is today?”)

And if you forgot a person’s name?

  • Ano nga ba ulit ang pangalan mo? (“What was your name again?”)

Let’s say you found a bug you’ve never seen before…

  • Anong tawag sa insekto na ito? (“What is this insect called?”)

Want an update on your friend’s love life? 

  • Ano na ang nangyari sa boyfriend ni Jessica? (“Whatever happened to Jessica’s boyfriend?”)

And if you want to clarify things…

  • Anong ibig mong sabihin nung sinabi mong ayaw mo na? (“What did you mean when you said you’re quitting?”)
  • Ano yung sinabi mo tungkol sa akin? (“What was that you said about me?”)

9. Asking About Time (When is…?)

The Tagalog word for “when” is kailan, so when asking for information about when something is going to happen, we start the sentence with kailan. Here are examples of the basic Filipino sentence structure for this kind of question:

  • Kailan ang kaarawan mo? (“When is your birthday?”)
  • Kailan nga yung meeting natin kay Bernadette? (“When is our meeting with Bernadette, again?”)
  • Kailan ang uwi ng papa mo galing sa London? (“When is your father arriving from London?”)
  • Kailan ka huling pumunta doon? (“When did you last go there?”)
  • Kailan ang punta mo ng Maynila? (“When will your trip to Manila be?”)

Keep in mind that you can also use the shortened spelling kelan instead of kailan. However, it’s not considered standard and is often used in informal settings, such as in text messages or on social media.

  • Kelan ulit tayo magkakape? (“When are we having coffee again?”)
  • Kelan siya babalik? (“When is she coming back?”)
  • Sabi mo magpapa-party ka. Kelan na mangyayari ‘yon? (“You said you’re throwing a party. When is it happening?”)

10. Asking About Location or Direction (Where is…?)

Location and direction are the two most important things you need to know when traveling or when staying in a different country for the first time. Since Filipinos are naturally accommodating, you won’t need to worry about asking for directions in case you get lost; they’ll be glad to help. The only thing you need to make sure is that you know the exact words to say when asking about a certain location or when asking for directions.

When asking about location or direction in Filipino, we use the Tagalog word saan, which directly translates to “where.” Here are some examples of how to craft a sentence in Filipino to ask for directions with this word:

  • Saan banda ang pinakamalapit na botika? (“Where is the nearest drugstore?”)
  • Saan po may bangko na malapit dito? (“Where is the nearest bank from here?”)
  • Alam niyo po ba kung saan ang klinika ni Dr. Akhunzada? (“Do you know where Dr. Akhunzada’s clinic is located?”)
  • Saan po banda ang National Museum? (“Where can we find the National Museum?”)
  • Saan ka na banda? (“Where are you now?”)
  • Pare, saan ang kotse ko? (“Dude, where’s my car?”)

A Man Lost Somewhere and Talking on the Phone

Where na you? Here na me.

11. You Can Learn More Than Just Sentence Patterns with FilipinoPod101

Now that you’ve learned some basic sentence patterns in Tagalog, there’s no question that you’ll be more confident with your Tagalog speaking and writing skills. But do you know that you can move beyond the basics to more advanced Filipino grammar proficiency? Yes, you can, with FilipinoPod101.com.

FilipinoPod101 is one of the leading Tagalog language-learning systems today, so if you’re looking for resources and tools to help you improve your Tagalog, don’t think twice about visiting us today. With FilipinoPod101, you’ll learn everything from basic Filipino grammar and the Filipino alphabet, to more  practical language lessons. Whether you’re an auditory or visual learner, you can rest assured that there are tools here designed just for you.

Want to know Tagalog inside and out within a shorter time frame? Our MyTeacher feature is exactly what you need. This is a Premium PLUS feature that lets you learn Tagalog with your own teacher, so that you’ll have someone to give you real-time feedback, making sure you’re always improving.

Did you like this article on Filipino sentence patterns? If you did, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section!

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The Adverb in Filipino: The 100 Most Common Filipino Adverbs

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Telling oneself to never use adverbs in speech or writing is like advising a bird to cut off one of its wings—it’s simply preposterous. That’s how important adverbs are. 

Most people think of an adverb as any word that ends with “-ly” (at least in the English language), but in reality, there’s more to adverbs. They’re not always just a single word used to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. It’s one of the four core parts of speech, without which one can’t construct a logical sentence. That’s the exact reason we’re studying the adverb in Filipino today.

To begin, what is “adverb” in Tagalog? (Ano ang adverb sa Tagalog?

In Tagalog, an adverb is referred to as pang-abay. And as mentioned, they’re words or phrases that modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb in a sentence. Unlike the commonly used adverbs in English that usually end in “-ly,” however, Filipino adverbs do not have a specific format in terms of spelling or word endings.

There are a dozen types of pang-abay, most of which have an equivalent in the English language. Let’s take a look at the most common types of Tagalog adverbs, shall we? And afterward, you can study our list of Filipino adverbs with examples!

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“I’m so excited to learn about Filipino adverbs!”
Table of Contents
  1. Kinds of Pang-Abay
  2. The 100 Most Practical Tagalog Adverbs
  3. Master Your Tagalog Adverb Skills with FilipinoPod101

1. Kinds of Pang-Abay

1 – Pamanahon (“Time”)

A pang-abay na pamanahon or “adverb of time” describes when, for how long (duration), and how often (frequency) an action happened. There are three types of pang-abay na pamanahon.

May pananda (with a marker). Examples of this type of pang-abay na pamanahon are: noon (“then”), sa (“on”), kung (“when”), tuwing (“whenever”), hanggang (“until”), kapag (“when”), and nang (“when”).

Walang pananda (without a marker). Tagalog adverbs under this category include: kanina (“earlier”), kahapon (“yesterday”), ngayon (“now”), mamaya (“later”), and bukas (“tomorrow”).

Nagsasaad ng dalas (states the frequency). In the English language, these are referred to as adverbs of frequency. Araw-araw (“every day”), tuwing umaga (“every morning”), taon-taon (“every year”), kada minuto (“every minute”), oras-oras (“every hour”), and tuwing pasko (“every Christmas”) are some adverbs that belong to this category. 

2 – Panlunan (“Place”)

A pang-abay na panlunan or “adverb of place” talks about the place where the action has been, is being, or will be carried out. In Filipino grammar, the most commonly used adverbs of place are: sa, kina, and kay. Sa is usually followed by a common noun or a pronoun. 

Kina and kay, on the other hand, are usually followed by a proper noun, particularly a name of a person. For example:

Kay answers the question, “From whom?” So while it seems to function as a preposition here, it actually serves as an adverb.

3 – Pamaraan (“Manner”)

An adverb of manner in Tagalog is pang-abay na pamaraan. These words describe how an action has been, is being, or will be done. These adverbs utilize na, nang, and -ng. Examples of pang-abay na pamaraan are: mabilis (“fast”), malakas (“loudly”), dahan-dahan (“slowly”), mahigpit (“tightly”), and mabuti (“carefully”).

4 – Pang-Agam (“Doubt”)

The word agam is Tagalog for “doubt,” which means pang-abay na pang-agam are adverbs that express a lack of certainty about how an action is done. Examples include marahil (“perhaps”), siguro (“maybe”), tila (“apparently”), and parang (“it seems”).

woman struggling with complex math equation
One thing’s for sure—you’re gonna need help with these adverbs.

5 – Pananggi (“Disagreement”)

A pang-abay na pananggi or “adverb of disagreement” expresses negation or disagreement. Words under this category include hindi (“no,” “not,” “never”), ayaw (“not,” “never”), huwag (“don’t”), and wala (“nothing”).

6 – Pang-abay na Panang-ayon (“Affirmation”)

Pang-abay na panang-ayon is the opposite of pang-abay na pananggi. These adverbs in Filipino include words such as tunay (“really,” “truly”), sadya (“assuredly,” “definitely”), talaga (“really,” “surely,” “certainly”), syempre (“of course,” “naturally”), and sigurado (“undoubtedly,” “surely”).

7 – Pang-abay na Panggaano o Panukat (“Number or Measure”)

A pang-abay na panggaano o panukat answers questions like “How much?”, “How far?”, “How heavy?”, and “How long?” Examples are tatlong litro (“three liters”), limang kilometro (“five kilometers”), marami (“a lot”), and kaunti (“a little”).

8 – Pang-abay na Panulad (“Adverbs of Comparison”)

Pang-abay na panulad or “adverbs of comparison” are used to compare two or more objects in a sentence. It usually involves the adverbs mas (“more”) and kaysa (“than”).

9 – Pang-abay na Ingklitik (“Enclitic”)

These adverbs are words that normally come right after the first word in a Tagalog sentence. They don’t necessarily have direct English equivalents, but are very crucial Filipino adverbs. Some of these words are na, naman, nang, yata, kaya, muna, pala, sana, ba, pa, din/rin, and daw/raw.

10 – Pang-abay na Benepaktibo

These adverbs talk about the benefits of an action done in a sentence. They’re normally formed with the help of the phrase para sa or “for the.”

11 – Pang-abay na Kawsatibo

These adverbs state the reason an action has been done in a sentence. They’re normally formed with the help of the phrase dahil sa or “because of.”

12 – Pang-abay na Kondisyonal

These adverbs state the condition or reason an action was done in a sentence. They’re normally formed with the help of kung (“if”), kapag/pag (“when”), and pagka (“when”).

Now that you know the types of adverbs in Tagalog, let’s check out 100 Tagalog adverb examples in sentences.

2. The 100 Most Practical Tagalog Adverbs

Top verbs

1 – Pamanahon (“Time”)

1

sa 
“on”
Pupunta kami kina Ligaya sa Sabado.
“We will go to Ligaya’s on Saturday.”

2

tuwing
“whenever,” “every time”
Nagluluto si lola ng tinola tuwing bumibisita kami.
“Grandma cooks chicken soup every time we visit.”

3

buhat
“since”
Nag-iba ang ugali ni Ron buhat ng maaksidente siya.
“Ron’s personality changed since he had the accident.”

4

noon
“before”
May ganyang damit din ako noon.
“I also had a shirt like that before.”

5

kapag
“when”
Magsampay ka kapag nakita mong lumabas ang araw.
“Hang the clothes when you see the sun coming out.”

6

kinabukasan
“the following day”
Umuwi na rin si Tiyo Willie kinabukasan.
“Uncle Willie left the following day.”

7

hanggang
“until”
Nanatili sila sa bahay ni Rey hanggang umaga.
“They stayed at Rey’s place until morning.”

8

kanina
“earlier”
Umulan nang malakas kanina.
“It rained hard earlier.”

9

kahapon
“yesterday”
Kahapon sila dumating.
“They arrived yesterday.”

10

bukas
“tomorrow”
Bukas na lang ako papasok sa trabaho.
“I’ll go to work tomorrow instead.”

11

ngayon
“now”
Bakit di ka nalang pumunta doon ngayon?
“Why don’t you just go there now?”

12

mamaya
“later”
Susunduin kita mamaya, ha?
“I’ll fetch you later, okay?”

13

araw-araw
“every day”
Araw-araw mo dapat iniinom ang gamot mo.
“You’re supposed to take your medicine every day.”

14

taon-taon
“yearly,” “every year”
May family reunion kami taon-taon.
“We have a family reunion every year.”

15

kada minuto
“every minute”
Sinisilip niya ang sanggol sa kwarto kada minuto.
“He checks on the baby in the room every minute.”

16

bawat oras
“every hour”
Nagpapalit sila ng guwardiya bawat oras.
“They change guards every hour.”

17

linggo-linggo
“every week”
Nagsisimba si Carmen linggo-linggo.
“Carmen goes to church every week.”

18

tuwing umaga
“every morning”
Tumatakbo si JR tuwing umaga.
“JR runs every morning.”
man studying Filipino on his laptop
Araw-araw kong ginagamit ang FilipinoPod101. (“I use FilipinoPod101 every day.”)

2 – Panlunan (“Place”)

Notice how sa, kina, and kay take on different meanings depending on their use. Also, while some of their equivalents may appear to function as prepositions when translated in English, they actually function as adverbs, or pang-abay, in Filipino. That’s one way in which Filipino grammar is unique!

19

sa
“in”
Buksan mo ang bintana sa kusina.
“Open the window in the kitchen.”

20

sa
“at”
Nanonood sila ng laro ngayon sa plaza.
“They’re currently watching the game at the plaza.”

21

sa
“for”
Ibigay mo ang bayad para sa karne.
“Give the payment for the meat.”

22

kay
“from”
Bumili ako ng bag kay Leni.
“I bought a bag from Leni.”

23

kina
“at”
Doon ako kumain kina Henry.
“I ate there at Henry’s.”

24

kay
“to”
Paki-abot nito kay Karla.
“Please pass this over to Karla.”

25

kina
“at”
Hanapin mo ang nawawalang pusa kina Shirley.
“Look for the missing cat at Shirley’s place.”

3 – Pamaraan (“Manner”)

More essential verbs

26

mahigpit
“tightly”
Hinawakan niya ako nang mahigpit.
“She held me tightly.”

27

malakas
“loudly”
Sinigawan niya nang malakas ang kawatan.
“He shouted loudly at the thief.”

28

madali
“easily”
Madaling nahuli ni MJ si Charles.
“MJ caught Charles easily.”

29

mabilis
“quickly”
Kumain siya nang mabilis upang hindi mahuli.
“He ate quickly so as not to be late.”

30

marahan
“softly”
Marahan niyang ibinulong ang mensahe.
“He softly whispered the message.”

31

tahimik
“silently”
Tahimik siyang pumasok sa silid.
“She entered the room silently.”

32

dahan-dahan
“slowly”
Tumayo siya nang dahan-dahan.
“She got up slowly.”

33

mabuti
“carefully,” “intently”
Tinitigan niya nang mabuti ang papeles.
“She stared intently at the documents.”

34

papilit
“forcefully”
Papilit na hinila ni Diana ang kapatid na babae.
“Diana forcefully pulled her sister away.”

35

pahapyaw
“passingly”
Nag-aral nang pahapyaw si Lorie.
“Lorie only studied passingly.”

36

pabalang
“disrespectfully”
Pabalang niyang sinagot ang ama.
“He answered his father disrespectfully.”

37

padabog
“angrily”
Padabog siyang lumabas sa kwarto.
“He angrily (stomping his feet and slamming the door behind) left the room.”
The verb dabog is an action of anger that involves stomping of the feet or slamming of the door, and is often associated with tampo. Adding the affix pa- transforms it into an adverb of manner, since one of the uses of the affix pa- is to denote how an action is done, as in pabulong (“softly” as in a whisper), pabaliktad (“inversely”), and paatras (“backward”).

4 – Pang-agam (“Doubt”)

38

baka
“perhaps”
Baka hindi tayo umabot.
“We might not reach on time.”

39

siguro
“maybe”
Nakaalis na siguro si papa.
“Maybe dad left already.”

40

tila
“seemingly”
Tila lalakas pa ang bagyo.
“The storm is seemingly getting stronger.”

41

parang
“it seems”
Parang ayaw sumama ni John sa atin.
“It seems John doesn’t want to come with us.”

42

marahil
“probably”
Marahil ay na-traffic sila.
“They probably got caught in traffic.”
a bunch of model toy cars
Hate the traffic? Study from home.

43

wari
“estimate,” “reckon”
Wari ko ay matagal tayong hindi magkikita.
“I reckon we won’t be seeing each other anytime soon.”

44

malamang
“most likely”
Malamang hindi na matutuloy ang programa.
“The show would most likely not push through.”

45

yata
“it seems,” “I think”
Dumating na yata ang mga bisita.
“It seems that the guests have arrived.”

46

mukha
“it looks like,” “it seems”
Mukha yatang wala na tayong pag-asang manalo.
“It looks like we no longer have any chances of winning.”

47

para
“it looks like,” “it seems”
Para ngang uulan, ano?
“Indeed, it seems like it’s going to rain, doesn’t it?”

5 – Pananggi (“Disagreement”)

48

ayaw
“do not,” “would not”
Ayaw niyang sagutin ang tawag ko.
“She doesn’t want to answer my call.”

49

hindi kailanman
“never”
Hindi kailanman nagyabang si Michael.
“Never did Michael boast.”

50

hindi
“not”
Hindi magandang sabihin sa iba na mataba sila.
“It’s not good to tell someone they are fat.”

51

hinding-hindi
“never ever”
Hinding-hindi kita iiwan.
“I will never ever leave you.”

52

huwag
“do not,” “never”
Huwag kang makialam sa kanya.
“Don’t interfere in his business.”

53

huwag na huwag
“do not ever”
Huwag na huwag ka nang magpapakita.
“Don’t you ever show your face again.”

54

wala
“nothing”
Walang kwenta ang buhay kung malayo ka sa akin.
“Life has no purpose if you are far away from me.”

6 – Panang-ayon (“Affirmation”)

55

sadya
“just,” “simply”
Sadyang mabilis magsalita si Aristotle.
“Aristotle just/simply talks fast.”

56

tunay
“really”
Tunay na mabait ang Diyos.
“God is really good.”

57

talaga
“surely”
Talagang masungit si Miss Minchin.
“Miss Minchin is surely ill-tempered.”

58

syempre
“of course”
Syempre, mamamasko kami kina mama.
“Of course, we’ll spend Christmas at Mama’s.”

59

sigurado
“undoubtedly,” “definitely”
Siguradong matatalo tayo sa kanila.
“We will undoubtedly lose to them.”

60

walang duda
“no doubt”
Walang duda na siya yung tumawag sayo.
“No doubt, it was he who called you.”

61

siyanga
“indeed”
In response to a statement:

Siyanga!
“Indeed!”

62

totoo
“truly”
Totoong nagbago na ako.
“I have truly changed.”

63

oo
“yes”
Oo, galit ako!
“Yes, I am mad!”

64

opo
“yes”
Opo, lolo, ako po ito.
“Yes, Grandpa, it’s me.”
grandson giving his grandfather a cup of coffee
Opo, lolo, ako po ito. (“Yes, grandpa, it’s me.”)

7 – Pang-abay na Panggaano o Panukat (“Number or Measure”)

Unlike most types of Tagalog adverbs, pang-abay na panggaano o panukat does not have specific words that belong under its category. These adverbs simply state the weight, distance, length, or price of an object in a sentence.

65

anim na talampakan
“six feet”
Anim na talampakan ang lalim ng hukay.
“The ditch is six feet deep.”

66

tatlong kilo
“three kilos”
Bumili ako ng tatlong kilong bigas.
“I bought three kilos of rice.”

67

tatlong litro
“three liters”
Kaya kong ubusin iyang tatlong litrong tubig.
“I can finish off that three liters of water on my own.”

68

dalawang piso
“two pesos”
Tumaas nang dalawang piso ang presyo ng asukal.
“The price of sugar went up two pesos.”

69

dipa
“an arm’s length”
Isang dipa lamang ang layo ng leon kay Sheila.
“The lion was only an arm’s length away from Sheila.”
depiction of Indian Gaur Mata
“The lion was only an arm’s length away from Sheila.”

70

limang kilometro
“five kilometers”
Nagbisikleta si JD nang limang kilometro.
“JD rode his bike for five kilometers.”

71

apatnapung yarda
“forty yards”
Apatnapung yarda ang tinakbo ni Eddie.
“Eddie ran forty yards.”

8 – Pang-abay na Panulad (“Adverbs of Comparison”)

72

mas marami
“a lot more”
Mas marami siyang alam kaysa kay Ben.
“He knows a lot more than Ben.”

73

higit na magaling
“way better”
Higit na magaling umawit si April kaysa kay Ann.
“April sings way better than Ann.”

74

mas maingay
“noisier”
Mas maingay doon kaysa dito.
“It’s more noisy (noisier) there than here.”
Keep in mind that unlike in the English language, we don’t add -er to comparative and -est to superlative forms of adverbs. Instead, we simply place mas (“more”) before the adverb. If translated literally, “noisier” would be mas maingay. In the same manner, mas maingay in English is not “more noisy,” but “noisier.”
a woman smiling and holding lots of books
Mas marami akong alam na pang-abay kaysa sa’yo. (“I know more adverbs than you do.”)

75

mas mabilis
“faster”
Mas mabilis ang kotse niya kaysa sa kotse ko.
“His car is faster than my car.”

76

mas malayo
“farther”
Ang bahay nila ay mas malayo sa paaralan kaysa sa bahay namin.
“His house is farther from the school than our house.”

77

mas malaki
“greater”
Ang talo niya ngayong taon ay mas malaki kaysa noong nakaraan.
“His loss this year is greater than his loss last year.”

78

mas malakas
“stronger”
Alam kong mas malakas ka kaysa sa kanya.
“I know you are stronger than her.”

9 – Pang-abay na Ingklitik (“Enclictic”)

79

kaya
“that is why, therefore”
Na-traffic ako kaya nahuli ako sa klase.
“I got caught in traffic that’s why I was late in class.

80

yata
“it seems”
Masaya yata si Andrew ngayon ah.
“It seems that Andrew is cheerful today.”

81

muna
“first”
Magmerienda muna kayo bago umalis.
“Have some snacks first before leaving.”

82

pala1. Nandito ka pala?
“Oh, so you’re here?”

2. Kahapon ka pa pala dumating? Akala ko bukas pa ang flight mo.
“So you arrived yesterday? I thought your flight was supposed to be tomorrow.”
Perhaps you’re wondering why pala doesn’t have an English translation. Well, it’s because it’s one of the few untranslatable Filipino words. Based on the examples, however, you can assume that it’s used to express a sense of being surprised by newly learned information.

83

sana
“I hope,” “I wish”
Sana manalo na ako ngayon.
“I hope I win this time.”

84

lang
“just”
Sandali lang akong maglalaro.
“I won’t take long playing.”

85

din
“also”
Marunong din akong tumugtog ng gitara.
“I also know how to play the guitar.”

86

na
“already”
Naayos na ang sasakyan.
“The vehicle has already been fixed.”

87

naman
“again”
Nakatulog ka na naman.
“You fell asleep again.”

88

pa
“yet”
Hindi pa dumadating ang padala ni Ate.
“The parcel from big sister hasn’t arrived yet.”

89

nga
“in fact,” “indeed”
Masipag si Ed. Niligpit nga niya ang mga kalat dito eh.
“Ed is diligent. In fact, he got rid of all the mess here.”

90

man
“whether”
Paglilingkuran ko ang lahat, mayaman man o mahirap.
“I will serve anyone, whether rich or poor.”

91

ba1. Nakarating na ba tayo?
“Are we there yet?”

2. Sinagot niya na ba ang email mo?
“Did he respond to your email already?”

3. Kumain ka na ba?
“Have you eaten already?”
Ba is another untranslatable Tagalog word. It’s often used with questions.

92

tuloyHindi ka nag-aral; hindi ka tuloy pumasa sa exam.
“You didn’t study; that’s why you didn’t pass the exam.”
Just like pala and ba, tuloy in this usage has no equivalent English word. In essence, however, it has a similar function as that of the English word “therefore,” and implies consequence. Take note that this is different from the two other tuloy words that mean “to come in” and “to continue.”

10 – Pang-abay na Benepaktibo

para sa
“for the”
1. Magluto ka ng arroz caldo para sa maysakit.
“Cook some rice broth for the sick patient.”

2. Ang kinolektang  pera ay para sa ikabubuti ng paaralan.”
“The money collected is for the benefit of the school.”

3. Para sa kinabukasan mo ang ginagawa ng tatay mo.
“What your dad is doing is for your future.”
a man deep in thought while studying
Nag-aaral ako ng pang-abay para sa kinabukasan natin. (“I’m studying adverbs for our future.”)

11 – Pang-abay na Kawsatibo

94

dahil sa
“because of”
Naubos ang pera niya dahil sa kawawaldas.
“He lost all his money because of his unnecessary spending.”

95

sanhi ng
“cause of”
Sanhi ng kanyang pagkalungkot ang pagkamatay ng alagang aso.
“The cause of his depression was the death of his dog.”

96

bunga ng
“a result of”
Bunga ng kakulangan sa “human connection” ang pagiging adik sa computer games.
“Computer game addiction is a result of a lack of human connection.”

97

dulot ng
“a result of”
Dulot ng pagkain ng karne ang maraming pinsala sa kalusugan.
“Many human ailments are a result of too much meat consumption.”

12 – Pang-abay na Kondisyonal

98

kung
“if”
Sasama lamang ako kung sasama si Ellen.
“I will go only if Ellen does.”

99

kapag
“whenever”
Masaya ako kapag nandyan ka.
“I feel happy whenever you’re around.”

100

pagka
“once”
Pagka nakita kong tumino ka na, saka lamang ako maniniwala.
“I will only believe you once I see that you’ve changed your ways.”

3. Master Your Tagalog Adverb Skills with FilipinoPod101

There’s no way you won’t master the different kinds of adverbs in Filipino after studying 100 of the most common Filipino adverbs, right? Well, how we wish it were so. But learning a new language takes a lot of time and effort. That’s why FilipinoPod101 is here for you.

With FilipinoPod101, you can easily enhance your vocabulary, improve your Tagalog-speaking skills, and speak Tagalog with confidence. And you can do all that simply by starting your free trial today. Doing so will give you access to a number of fun audio and video lessons you can take with you wherever you are. 

You’ll also have access to several Filipino language-learning resources, as well as FilipinoPod101’s very own mobile app that lets you learn Filipino pronunciation and the Filipino alphabet. It even lets you create your own vocab list to study and master.

That said, learning about adverbs in Filipino is just one of the many things you can do here at FilipinoPod101. If there are more things you wish to know about Tagalog adverbs, or anything about the Filipino language in general, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments section. Thanks! 

We hope you enjoyed this lesson!

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Filipino Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Filipino

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Filipino! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Filipino keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Filipino Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Filipino
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Filipino
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Filipino on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Filipino Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Filipino Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Filipino

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Filipino

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Filipino language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Filipino websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Filipino teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Filipino

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Filipino. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Filipino, so all text will appear in Filipino. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Filipino on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Filipino language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

1. Go to Settings > Change PC Settings > Time & Language > Region & Language.

2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Filipino.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Filipino with the note “language pack available.”

3. Click on “Filipino” > “Options” > “Download.” It will take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.

4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Filipino (US Keyboard).” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Filipino.”

4. Expand the option of “Filipino” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Filipino.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Filipino,” and add the “Filipino” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Filipino Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Filipino will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Filipino keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Filipino” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “Filipino” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Filipino Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Filipino can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Filipino keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

  • You can actually just use the English (US) keyboard, which is also the default keyboard in all the devices in the Philippines. The letters are almost equivalent with those in the English alphabet (aside from enye, the letter ñ), so it’s the perfect fit.
  • Typing the letter “enye” – Ñ / ñ:
    Press the “Alt” key, then type “164” with the number pad to input a lowercase “ñ,” or type “165” to input a capital “Ñ.” Some laptops require that you hold down both “Fn” and “Alt” keys when typing these numbers.

2- Mobile Phones

  • Long press until “enye” appears: Use the letter “N” for “Ñ” and “n” for “ñ.”

7. How to Practice Typing Filipino

As you probably know by now, learning Filipino is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Filipino typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a FilipinoPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Filipino keyboard to do this!

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Learn the Basics of Filipino Verb Conjugation

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We’ve already talked about how to tell time in Filipino. We’ve studied the verb in Tagalog, as well. If you’re still wondering why you need to learn both, well, this article might be able to enlighten you a little bit. In this lesson, we’re going to explore a subject that deals with both time and action: conjugation.

Conjugation deals with verb tenses. Verb tenses tell listeners what time period a sentence is referring to: past, present, or future. Tagalog conjugation, in particular, can be quite complex, but that’s the reason we’re here—to help you learn about verb conjugation in Filipino in an easy and enjoyable way.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. What is Conjugation?
  2. Verb Groups
  3. Irregular Verbs and Their Conjugations
  4. Quiz Time!
  5. FilipinoPod101 Will Help Eliminate any Confusion

1. What is Conjugation?

Top Verbs

In grammar, conjugation refers to the process of how a verb transforms, particularly for the purpose of expressing tense, person, and mood. Unlike in English, conjugating verbs using Tagalog is quite unique in the sense that Filipino verbs are morphologically complex and are conjugated in terms of their progressiveness, rather than their tense. I know that’s a lot to take in right now, but you’ll understand things a lot better once we get deeper into the discussion. 

Before we start studying how to conjugate Tagalog verbs, I would suggest that you first take a look at our post on the 100 most practical Filipino verbs, which covers the basics of pandiwa or “verbs.” 

And now, let’s take a look at how Tagalog verbs are conjugated according to verb groups.

2. Verb Groups

More Essential Verbs

Tagalog verbs can be grouped depending on how they’re conjugated. As mentioned in our Filipino Verbs article, the easiest way to understand and learn Filipino verb conjugation is to memorize the common affixes (panlapi) used in Tagalog grammar. These affixes are mag-, ma-, um-, in-, and i-, and Tagalog verbs can be grouped according to these affixes.

Tagalog verbs can also be distinguished either as actor-focus verbs or object-focus verbs. Don’t worry, because we’ll get to learn and understand these two verb groups, as well, as we go through the verb affixes we mentioned above.

1 – MAG Verbs

MAG verbs are among the most commonly used Tagalog verbs. They are actor-focus verbs, and are so-called because they’re formed by adding the prefix mag- to the beginning of the verb. The prefix mag- is used if the verb is in the future and imperative forms. 

Let’s take a look at some examples of common MAG verbs:

Root VerbPastPresentFutureImperative
aral (“to study”)nag-aral (“studied”)nag-aaral (“studying”)mag-aaral (“will study”)mag-aral (“study”)
basa (“to read”)nagbasa (“read”)nagbabasa (“reading”)magbabasa (“will read”)magbasa (“read”)
salita (“to talk,” “to speak”)nagsalita (“talked,” “spoke”)nagsasalita (“talking,” “speaking”)magsasalita (“will talk,” “will speak”)magsalita (“talk,” “speak”)
sulat (“to write”)nagsulat (“wrote”)nagsusulat (“writing”)magsusulat (“will write”)magsulat (“write”)
saulo (“to memorize”)nagsaulo (“memorized”)nagsasaulo (“memorizing”)magsasaulo (“will memorize”)magsaulo (“memorize”)

Right now, you may be wondering, “How do I conjugate MAG verbs?” Let us show you.

Notice in the table above that in the four different tenses, the root verb changes form simply by adopting affixes.

Let’s take the verb aral, or “study,” for example.

To form the future tense of aral, we simply attach the prefix MAG- to the verb and repeat the first syllable, so that it becomes mag-aaral. Keep in mind that a hyphen or gitling is required between mag– and any verb that begins with a vowel.

For the imperative form of the verb, mag– is attached to the verb, and the original form is retained. 

So if you want to tell someone to study, you say: Mag-aral ka nang mabuti. (“Study well.”)

A Teacher Helping Her Students Study

Mag-aral ka nang mabuti. (“Study well.”)

To form the present tense, replace MAG- with NAG-, and again, repeat the first syllable of the verb. In this case, aral becomes nag-aaral.

The same goes for the past tense, except that you no longer have to repeat the first syllable: nag-aral

2 – MA Verbs

After the MAG verbs are the MA verbs, which are also actor-focus verbs. And just like MAG verbs, MA verbs are formed by attaching a prefix, which in this case is ma-, to the verb.

Root VerbPastPresentFutureImperative
kinig (“to listen”)nakinig (“listened”)nakikinig (“listening”)makikinig (“will listen”)makinig (“listen”)
nood (“to watch”)nanood (“watched”)nanonood (“watching”)manonood (“will watch”)manood (“watch”)
tulog (“to sleep”)natulog (“slept”)natutulog (“sleeping”)matutulog (“will sleep”)matulog (“sleep”)
ligo (“to bathe”)naligo (“bathed”)naliligo (“bathing”)maliligo (“will bathe”)maligo (“bathe”)
pasyal (“to stroll”)namasyal (“strolled”)namamasyal (“strolling”)mamamasyal (“will stroll”)mamasyal (“stroll”)

Conjugating MA verbs is as easy as conjugating MAG verbs since the rules are similar. 

Let’s look at the Filipino conjugation of the verb nood, or “watch.” To conjugate it in the future tense, all you need to do is attach the prefix ma- to the verb and repeat the first syllable no-. Nood will now become manonood.

Simply by attaching ma- to the verb and retaining the original form of the root verb, you’ll be able to come up with the imperative form, which is manood.

For the past and present tenses, na- is added as a prefix. Once again, the first syllable is repeated in forming the present tense, but not in forming the past tense. That said, the present tense of nood is nanonood, while its past tense is nanood.

*Note: For some MA verbs that begin with the letter “p,” “p” is changed to “m” when conjugating. Pasyal, for instance, becomes namasyal (past), namamasyal (present), mamamasyal (future), and mamasyal (imperative). The same goes for the verb patay (“to die”), which is conjugated as namatay (past tense) instead of napatay, which is actually the past tense of the same verb in the IN form.

Speaking of which, some verbs can be both UM verbs and IN verbs, although others can only be MAG verbs and IN verbs, depending on the focus.

3 – UM Verbs

UM verbs are actor-focus verbs. They’re formed with the help of the infix um, which is placed within the verb to construct the past, present, and infinitive forms of the verb. Take a look at the Filipino verb conjugation table below for some examples of UM verbs.

Root VerbPastPresentFutureImperative
kain (“to eat”)kumain (“ate”)kumakain (“eating”)kakain (“will eat”)kumain (“eat”)
kanta (“to sing”)kumanta (“sang”)kumakanta (“singing”)kakanta (“will sing”)kumanta (“sing”)
tawa (“to laugh”)tumawa (“laughed”)tumatawa (“laughing”)tatawa (“will laugh”)tumawa (“laugh”)
higa (“to lie down”)humiga (“laid down”)humihiga (“lying down”)hihiga (“will lie down”)humiga (“lie down”)
sigaw (“to shout”)sumigaw (“shouted”)sumisigaw (“shouting”)sisigaw (“will shout”)sumigaw (“shout”)

The rules for conjugating UM verbs are a bit different. Let’s look at the verb tawa (“to laugh”), for instance. By observing the table above, you’ll see that the past and infinitive forms of the verb are the same—tumawa. The infix is inserted after the first letter of the word.

To form its future tense, the infix is not added, but the first syllable is repeated. In this case, tawa becomes tatawa.

Now, to form the present tense of the verb, take the future tense first and insert the infix um after the first letter of the word. This time, tatawa (future tense) becomes tumatawa (present tense).

Keep in mind that to form the future tense of an UM verb whose first syllable ends in a consonant (such as in the case of kanta, where the first syllable is kan-), only the first two letters are to be repeated. The future tense of kanta, therefore, is kakanta and NOT kankanta.

4 – IN Verbs

Unlike the first three verb groups, which are actor-focus verbs, IN verbs are object-focus verbs. This means that in a sentence, the focus is on the object and not the actor. Let’s take a look at the table below to see how IN verbs are formed:

Root VerbPastPresentFutureImperative
kain (“to eat”)kinain (“ate”)kinakain (“eating”)kakainin (“will eat”)kainin (“eat”)
basag (“to break”)binasag (“broke”)binabasag (“breaking”)babasagin (“will break”)basagin (“break”)
sabi (“to say”)sinabi (“said”)sinasabi (“saying”)sasabihin (“will say”)sabihin (“say”)
pilit (“to insist,” “to force”)pinilit (“insisted,” “forced”)pinipilit (“insisting,” “forcing”)pipilitin (“will insist,” “will force”)pilitin (“insist,” “force”)
tawag (“to call”)tinawag (“called”)tinatawag (“calling”)tatawagin (“will call”)tawagin (“call”)

Conjugating IN verbs isn’t that complicated. Let’s start with the future tense using the verb basag. To conjugate basag to its future tense, simply repeat the first syllable, ba-, and add –in as a suffix so that basag becomes babasagin

In some instances, -hin is added instead of -in, such as in the case of sabi, which in the future tense is sasabihin. The same is true for basa (“to read”), which is babasahin in the future tense.

For the imperative form, the rule is to simply add -in as a suffix, transforming basag to basagin.

To conjugate basag to its present tense, begin with the future tense, which is basagin, and then add IN between the first and second letters. Next, remove the suffix -in, transforming the word to binabasag. You can also get the same result by repeating the first syllable and then inserting IN between the first and second letters.

IN is simply added right after the first letter of the root verb to transform it to its past tense. Basag then becomes binasag.

The rules are different for IN verbs starting with the letter “L” when conjugating in present and past tenses. Take the word linis, for example. To transform this to the present tense, the first syllable is repeated and ni- is attached as a prefix so that linis becomes nililinis. For the past tense, ni- is simply added as a prefix to the root form: nilinis.

5 – I Verbs

I verbs are object-focus verbs like IN verbs, although some of them can be actor-focus verbs, as well. Here’s a table of some common I verbs:

Root VerbPastPresentFutureImperative
inom (“to drink”)ininom (“was drank”)iniinom (“being drunk”)iinumin (“will be drank”)inumin (“drink”)
hinto (“to stop”)inihinto (“was stopped”)inihihinto (“being stopped”)ihihinto (“will be stopped”)ihinto (“stop”)
bigay (“to give”)ibinigay (“was given”)binibigay (“being given”)ibibigay (“will be given”)ibigay (“give”)
guhit (“to draw”)iginuhit (“was drawn”)iginuguhit (“being drawn”)iguguhit (“will be drawn”)iguhit (“draw”)
deklara (“to declare”)idineklara (“was declared”)idinideklara (“being declared”)idideklara (“will be declared”)ideklara (“declare”)

Let’s take a look at how I verbs are conjugated. Let’s use the verb deklara (“to declare”). Like some I verbs, deklara can also be a MAG verb.

Here’s deklara as a MAG verb:

  • Magdedeklara ang punong-guro na walang pasok bukas. 
    “The school principal will declare that classes are suspended for tomorrow.”

In this sentence, the focus is on the actor, which is the punong-guro, or the “principal.”

Now, here’s deklara as an I verb:

  • Idedeklara ng punong-guro na walang pasok bukas. 
    “It will be declared by the school principal that classes will be suspended for tomorrow.”
Principal Standing with Arms Crossed, in Front of Students

“That moment the principal says there are no classes tomorrow.”

This time, the focus is on the object, making the verb deklara both a MAG verb and an I verb.

So, how do we conjugate I verbs? Let’s use the verb guhit (“to draw”). To form the future tense of this word, repeat the first syllable of the root verb and attach the prefix i- so that guhit (“to draw”) becomes iguguhit (“will be drawn”).

    Ang larawan ni Rose ay iguguhit ni Jake. 
    “Anna’s portrait will be drawn by Jake.”

The imperative form is the simplest since you only need to attach i- to the root verb. The imperative for guhit, then, is iguhit.

    Iguhit mo nga ang mukha ng aso sa isang pirasong papel. 
    Draw the dog’s face on a piece of paper.”

3. Irregular Verbs and Their Conjugations

Negative Verbs

So, how do you conjugate Filipino verbs that are irregular?

In the English language, irregular verbs are verbs that don’t follow the simple rule of attaching “-d” or “-ed” to the end of the word to construct its past tense. In Tagalog grammar, verbs are not categorized in such a manner, although most English irregular verbs, if not all, have an equivalent word in Filipino. 

Take the word “drank,” for instance. It’s the past tense of “drink,” and in Filipino, it’s translated either as uminom (“UM” actor-focus verb) or ininom (“IN” object-focus verb). 

With this in consideration, it’s clear that in this case, the irregularity of the verb “drank” in the Filipino language is not simply in the spelling, but in the usage. Let’s use it in a sentence for you to better understand what I mean:

    Uminom ako ng kape. 
    “I drank some coffee.”

Uminom, in this sentence, functions as an actor-focus verb. The same is true for its English equivalent, “drank.”

Let’s compare it to this sentence:

    Ininom ko ang kape. 
    “I drank the coffee.”

Ininom, in this sentence, is an object-focus verb, while its English equivalent “drank” remains an actor-focus verb.

Man Drinking Coffee from the Coffee Pot

“I take my coffee very seriously.”

Here are more examples, using some of the most common irregular English verbs with their conjugation and their equivalent in Tagalog:

1 – Awake

Root VerbSimple PastPast Participle
gising (“awake”)nagising (“awoke”)nagising, ginising (“awoken”)

Simple Past

    Nagising ako nang may tuwa sa aking puso. 
    “I awoke with joy in my heart.”

Past Participle

    Nagising (actor-focus) ako sa mahimbing na pagkakatulog. 
    “I have awoken from a deep sleep.”

    Ginising (object-focus) ako ng ingay. 
    “The noise has awoken me.”

2 – Bite

Root VerbSimple PastPast Participle
kagat (“bite”)kinagat (“bit”)nakagat, kinagat (“bitten”)

Simple Past

    Kinagat ko ang aking mga labi. 
    “I bit my lips.”

Past Participle

    Nakagat siya ng alaga niyang pusa. 
    “She was bitten by her pet cat.”

    Kinagat ako ng ahas. 
    “I was bitten by a snake.”

3 – Break

Root VerbSimple PastPast Participle
sira (“break”)sinira, nasira, sumira (“broke”)nasira, sinira, sira (“broken”)

Simple Past

    Sinira niya ang laruan ni Stephan. 
    “He broke Stephan’s toy.”

    Siya ang sumira ng tablet. 
    “He was the one who broke the tablet.”

    Nasira lang siya nang basta-basta. 
    “It just broke.”

Past Participle

    Nasira ang sasakyan niya dahil sa baha. 
    “His car had broken down because of the flood.”

    Sinira nila ang mga panuntunan. 
    “They had broken the rules.”

    Matagal nang sira iyan. 
    “It’s been broken for some time now.”

4 – Eat

Root VerbSimple PastPast Participle
kain (“eat”)kinain, kumain (“ate”)nakakain, nakain, kakakain (“eaten”)

Simple Past

    Kinain niya ang natirang ulam. 
    “He ate the leftover food.”

    Kumain kami ng halo-halo. 
    “We ate halo-halo.” →Nasira ang sasakyan niya dahil sa baha.

Past Participle

    Nakakain ka na ba nito? 
    “Have you ever eaten this?”

    Nakain si Jonah ng malaking isda! 
    “Jonah was eaten by a huge fish!”

    Salamat! Kakakain lang namin. 
    “Thanks! We’ve just eaten.”

5 – Forget

Root VerbSimple PastPast Participle
limot (“forget”)nakalimutan (“forgot”)nakalimot, nakalimutan (“forgotten”)

Simple Past

    Nakalimutan kong mag-agahan. 
    “I forgot to eat breakfast.”

Past Participle

    Nakalimot ka na ba?
    “Have you forgotten?”

    Nakalimutan ko ang pangalan niya.
    “I have forgotten her name.”

4. Quiz Time!

Here’s a five-item quiz for you to apply what you’ve just learned about Filipino conjugation. You can then refer to the answers and their explanations in the next section.

1.) ___________ ni Joey ang regalong natanggap.
(“Joey opened the gift she received.”)

Choices: a.) Binubuksan b.) Binuksan c.) Bubuksan d.) Buksan

2.) ___________ si Joshua nang limang taon bilang presidente ng paaralan.
(“Joshua will serve as president of the school for five years.”)

Choices: a.) Silbi b.) Magsisilbi c.) Nagsilbi d.) Nagsisilbi

3.) Huwag mong ___________ ang dalawang mama na nag-aaway.
(“Don’t try to pacify the two men who are fighting.”)

Choices: a.) inawat b.) aawatin c.) inaawat d.) awatin

4.) ___________ na lang ako ng sine.
(“I will just watch a movie instead.”)

Choices: a.) Manonood b.) Nanood c.) Manood d.) Nanonood

5.) Si Andrew ay ___________ habang naliligo.
(“Andrew is singing while taking a bath.”)

Choices: a.) kakanta b.) kumanta c.) kanta d.) kumakanta

Man with Hands Up in Victory After Boxing Match

“I don’t always ace my quiz…just kidding, yes I do!”

Now, let’s see how well you did.

1-  “Joey opened the gift she received.”

What was your answer for the first item? If you answered B (Binuksan), then you’re correct! The verb “opened is in the past tense, and its equivalent in Filipino is binuksan, which in this case is an IN verb.

Answer: Binuksan

2- “Joshua will serve as president of the school for five years.”

The auxiliary verb “will” + the verb “serve” indicates that the action is going to take place in the future. It’s also clear that the choices are all MAG verbs because of the prefixes mag- and nag-. But since the verb is in the future tense, nagsilbi and nagsisilbi are out of the question. Silbi is also not a valid choice since it’s in the root form. That leaves us with magsisilbi, or “will serve.”

Answer: Magsisilbi

3- “Don’t try to pacify the two men who are fighting.”

Pacify” in this sentence is awat in Filipino, and is in its imperative form. The choices are inawat, aawatin, inaawat, and awatin, which belong to the IN verb category. 

According to the rules for conjugating an IN verb to its imperative form, we simply add the suffix -in to the root form. In this case, that’s adding -in to awat, which gives us awatin. 

Answer: awatin

4- “I will just watch a movie instead.”

“Will watch” speaks of a future action. To find the correct answer, let’s first check which verb group the choices belong to. In this case, all of the choices are MA verbs: manonood, nanood, manood, and nanonood. 

We’re only interested in figuring out which of these four choices is the future tense of “watch” or nood. Going back to our rules for conjugating a MA verb to its future tense, what we need to do is attach the prefix ma- to the root verb and repeat its first syllable. That would give us ma + no + nood. The answer, therefore, is B, Manonood.

Answer: Mananood

5-  “Andrew is singing while taking a bath.”

The verb “singing” (kanta) is clearly in the present tense, while all the choices are under the UM verb category. All we need to do to find the correct answer is determine the present tense of kanta. Again, to form the present tense of an UM verb, we first conjugate it to its future tense and insert the infix um after the first letter of the word. That means repeating the first syllable ka and then adding um right after the first k. That gives us the word kumakanta.

Answer: kumakanta

5. FilipinoPod101 Will Help Eliminate any Confusion

We admit that learning Tagalog conjugation can be a real challenge, but again, that’s what FilipinoPod101 is here for. There’s still more for you to learn about verb conjugations in Filipino, and we’re here to guide you in your journey.

At FilipinoPod101, we can provide you with the tools you need to master the Filipino language. If you want to improve your vocabulary, for instance, you can check out our list of the 100 most common Tagalog words. We also have a Filipino vocabulary list that you can use in different contexts. And if you want to learn Tagalog in a fun and casual way, you can check out our blog page, as well.

Want to fast-track your learning curve? You can also do that with Premium PLUS, which allows you to learn Filipino with a teacher we’ll provide for you. All you need to do is sign up, and you’ll immediately have access to all of our exclusive tools and resources.

Meanwhile, if you still have questions about verb conjugation in Filipino, just let us know in the comments section below. It will be our pleasure to help you!

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A Comprehensive Guide to Filipino Verbs

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Filipinos are a hardworking people. They love to work, work, and work. But that doesn’t mean they don’t take time to play and have fun with friends and family. While Pinoys work hard, they also play hard. In short, they love action! Speaking of action, one of the things you really need to master when studying Filipino grammar is action words or verbs. 
The verb in Tagalog is referred to as pandiwa. This part of speech plays an important role in communication as it’s used to describe motion. Without the verb, or pandiwa, a sentence can’t exist or stand on its own. In the same manner, life isn’t complete without action. So, without further ado, let’s get down to business and learn 100 of the most common Filipino verbs.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. The Two Kinds of Pandiwa
  2. The Five Aspects of Pandiwa
  3. The Linking Verb in Filipino: Keeping Things Simple
  4. Verb Usage
  5. Learn More About Verbs in Tagalog with FilipinoPod101!

1. The Two Kinds of Pandiwa

Top Verbs

Before we proceed to our list of the 100 most common Filipino verbs, let’s do a quick study of pandiwa first. There are two kinds of pandiwa: palipat and katawanin.

1 – Palipat

This type of pandiwa needs a direct object to receive the action done in a sentence. The direct object usually comes after the verb and is preceded by the following prepositions:

  • Ng
  • Ng mga
  • Kay
  • Kina

Examples:

  • Gumuhit ng larawan ang kanyang anak na lalaki.

“His son drew a picture.”

  • Si Butch ay magaling sumayaw ng tinikling.

“Butch dances tinikling really well.”

  • Sumunod kay Maria ang kanyang alagang aso.

“Maria’s pet dog followed her around.”

2 – Katawanin

Unlike palipat, katawanin doesn’t need a direct object to receive the action done in a sentence; it already has a complete idea and can stand on its own.

Examples:

  • Tumalon si Happy!

“Happy jumped!”

  • Sina Max at Hazel ay umalis.

“Max and Hazel left.”

  • Nagkukuwentuhan sa loob sina Carlo at Connie.

“Carlo and Connie are chatting inside.”

2. The Five Aspects of Pandiwa

More Essential Verbs

The first three aspects of pandiwa show the tenses of the verb or the time the action took place. Not all verb tenses in Filipino have an equivalent in English grammar, just as not all Filipino words have a direct English translation. Nevertheless, we can’t study verbs in Filipino without touching on tenses.

1 – Naganap/Perpektibo

The first of these Filipino verb tenses shows that the action has already been done, or is in the past tense. Verbs in this category are usually affixed with nag-, um-, -um-, -in-, and -an.

Examples:

  • Nagluto siya ng hapunan.

“She cooked dinner.”

  • Umalis kaagad ang binata.

“The young man left immediately.”

  • Si Diana ay inalis sa group.

“Diana was removed from the team.”

  • Nagpalakpakan ang mga manonood.

“The audience roared in applause.” 

Note that in the last sentence, nag- is added before the verb palakpak, or “clap,” and –an after it.

2 – Pangkasalukuyan/Imperpektibo

This describes an action verb in Tagalog that is always, or is currently, being done. The verb is affixed with -na, -nag, or -um at the beginning, and the root word is usually repeated.

Examples:

  • Naglalaro si Jose sa ulan.

“Jose is playing in the rain.”

  • Kumakain ang mga aso sa labas.

“The dogs are eating outside.”

  • Nanonood ako ng pelikula sa Netflix nang dumating si Marie.

“I was watching a movie on Netflix when Marie arrived.”

3- Kontemplatibo

This aspect of the verb in Tagalog implies that an action has not yet been performed, or is in the future tense. To change a verb into this tense, simply affix ma- or mag- before the word and repeat the first syllable of its root word. For some words, ma- and mag- are no longer necessary.

Examples:

  • Uunlad din ang bansa natin balang araw.

“Our country is going to progress someday.”

  • Magtitinda ako ng mga damit sa Facebook.

“I will sell some clothes on Facebook.”

  • Magsisimula na ang programa.

“The show is about to start.”

Meanwhile, the two other aspects of pandiwa express the voice of the verb, with tahasan being the active voice, and balintiyak being the passive voice.

4 – Tahasan

In this aspect of pandiwa, the action word serves as the subject. In English grammar, it’s referred to as the active voice of the verb, wherein the subject is the one performing the action stated by the verb.

Examples:

Nagdilig si Joey ng kanilang mga halaman.

“Joey watered the plants.”

Pumunta kami sa Mall of Asia nung nakaraang araw.

“We went to the Mall of Asia the other day.”

Si Harry ay kumakain ng hipon.

“Harry is eating shrimp.”

5 – Balintiyak

This is the opposite of tahasan, where the one performing the action is not the subject, and the performer of the action is positioned right after the pandiwa. In English grammar, it’s the passive voice of the verb.

Examples:

  • Ang clean-up drive ay pinangunahan ng Mayor.

“The clean-up drive was led by the Mayor.”

  • Ang giyera ay sinimulan ng mga terrorista.

“The war was started by the terrorists.” 

  • Ang Warriors ay tinalo ng Raptors.

“The Warriors were beaten by the Raptors.”

3. The Linking Verb in Filipino: Keeping Things Simple

Commonly used linking verbs in English include “am,” “is,” “are,” “was,” and “were.” There’s also “been,” “being,” “had,” and “has.” In Filipino, we only have the linking verb ay regardless of the tense.

And since there’s only one linking verb in Tagalog, using it in a sentence is very simple and easy. Simply place the word ay after the subject and right before the predicate. We told you Filipino is an easy language to learn!

Examples:

  • Ako ay nag-aaral ng Filipino.

“I am studying the Filipino language.”

  • Ako ay ipinanganak sa Mindanao.

“I was born in Mindanao.”

  • Si Daniel ay palaging naglalaro ng Mobile Legends.

“Daniel is always playing Mobile Legends.”

4. Verb Usage

Negative Verbs

How do you conjugate verbs in Filipino? What about Filipino subject-verb agreement?

The case system of Tagalog verbs is quite complex, but we can still learn proper usage of the action verb in Tagalog by following a few simple rules on how to conjugate them. The fastest way to learn about proper verb placement in a sentence is to learn common affixes used in Filipino action words. These Tagalog verb affixes are mag-, ma-, um-, in-, and i-, all of which are used to indicate verb tense. 

We’ll have a separate article for Filipino verb conjugation, though, so right now, let’s move on to our Filipino verbs list of the 100 most practical verbs you should know.

1- At Home

Filipino homes are the foundation of the Philippine culture. Because of that, we want to start this list with commonly used verbs inside the home.

1

kumain
“to eat”
Oras na para kumain.
“It’s time to eat.”

2

matulog
“to sleep”
Matulog ka na.
“Go to sleep now.”

3

gumising
“to wake up,” “to be awake”
Bakit gumising ka na?
“Why did you wake up already?”

4

magluto
“to cook”
Magluluto ako ngayon para bukas.
“I’ll cook food now for tomorrow.”

5

magsaing
“to cook rice”
Magsaing ka na para makakain na tayo.
“You better cook rice now so we can eat already.”

6

manood
“to watch,” “to observe”
Manonood na lang ako sa YouTube.
“I’ll just watch it on YouTube.”

7

uminom
“to drink”
Mahilig uminom ng gatas si Stephan.
“Stephan loves to drink milk.”

8

maghugas
“to wash”
Sino ang maghuhugas ng mga kinainan?
“Who’s going to wash the dishes?”

9

maglaba
“to do the laundry”
Day off ko; maglalaba ako.
“It’s my day off; I’m going to do the laundry.”

10

maglinis
“to clean”
Bakit walang gustong maglinis nito?
“Why isn’t there anyone who wants to clean this?”

11

magwalis
“to sweep the floor”
Magwalis ka ng sahig.
“Go sweep the floor.”

12

magpunas
“to wipe”
Magpunas ka ng mesa pagkatapos kumain.
“Wipe the table after eating.”

13

magdilig
“to water”
Joe, magdilig ka ng halaman mamaya ha?
“Joe, water the plants later, okay?”

14

humiga
“to lie down”
Gusto ko humiga buong araw.
“I want to lie down all day.”

15

umubos
“to finish off”
Hindi ko maubos ang pagkain ko.
“I can’t finish off my food.”

16

magbihis
“to change clothes”
Doon ka magbihis sa loob.
“Go change inside.”

17

magsuot
“to wear”
Magsuot ka nito mamaya.
“Wear this later.”

18

magbukas
“to open”
Magbukas ka ng de lata na sardinas.
“Go and open a can of sardines.”

19

magsara
“to close”
Magsara naman kayo ng pinto.
“Please close the door, guys.”

2- School and Work

20

mag-isip
“to think”
Hindi ako makapag-isip nang mabuti.
“I can’t think properly.”

21

mag-aral
“to study”
Kailangan niyong mag-aral nang mabuti.
“You all need to study hard.”

22

magturo
“to teach”
Magaling magturo si Amy.
“Am can teach really well.”
Woman Helping a Child with Homework

23

magsaulo
“to memorize”
Hindi ganun kahirap magsaulo.
“It’s not that difficult to memorize.”

24

magtrabaho
“to work,” “to go to work”
Ayaw niya nang magtrabaho.
“She doesn’t want to work anymore.”

25

magsulat
“to write”
Hindi marunong magsulat ang matanda.
“The old woman doesn’t know how to write.”

26

magbasa 
“to read”
Mabilis siyang matutong magbasa.
“He quickly learned how to read.”

27

magtanong
“to ask,” “to inquire”
Magtatanong lang po sana ako.
“I would like to ask something.”

28

sumagot
“to answer,” “to reply”
Sumagot si Sheldon sa tanong ni Penny.
“Sheldon answered Penny’s question.”

29

umintindi
“to understand”
Mahirap bang umintindi ng Tagalog?
“Is it that difficult to understand Tagalog?”

30

mag-analisa
“to analyze”
Matuto kang mag-analisa.
“You need to learn how to analyze.”

31

magsalita
“to speak,” “to talk”
Huwag kang magsalita ng masama.
“Don’t speak evil.”

32

magpadala
“to send”
Napadala mo ba ang mensahe?
“Were you able to send the message?”

33

gumuhit
“to draw” (as in a picture)
Mahusay gumuhit si Jose.
“Jose draws well.”

34

tumayo
“to stand,” “to get up”
Huwag kang tumayo.
“Do not stand up.”

35

umupo
“to sit down”
Umupo ka diyan sa sahig.
“Go sit on the floor.”

36

magpahinga
“to rest,” “to take a break”
Magpahinga ka muna.
“Take a break for a while.”

37

bumati
“to greet”
Bumati ka sa bagong manager.
“Go and greet the new manager.”

38

mag-presenta
“to volunteer”
Dapat sana nag-presenta ka.
“You should have volunteered.”

3- The Outdoors

39

maglaro
“to play”
Naglalaro ang mga bata sa labas.
“The kids are playing outside.”

40

maglakad
“to walk”
Maglalakad lang daw sila pauwi.
“They said they’ll just walk home.”

41

tumakbo
“to run”
Araw-araw si Benjie tumatakbo.
“Benjie runs every single day.”

42

tumalon
“to jump”
Huwag kang tatalon pagkatapos kumain.
“Don’t go on jumping after eating.”
Man Doing Parkour

43

umalis
“to leave”
Umalis na ang bisita nila.
“Their guests left already.”

44

maghintay
“to wait”
Dito tayo maghintay.
“Let’s wait here.”

45

kumuha
“to take,” “to get”
Bakit hindi ka kumuha ng lisensya?
“Why don’t you get a license?”

46

pumunta 
“to go,” “to head to,” “to come”
Pwede ka bang pumunta dito?
“Can you come here to my place?”

47

dumating
“to arrive”
Anong oras sila dumating kagabi?
“What time did they arrive last night?”

48

gumamit
“to use”
Umuulan. Gumamit ka ng payong.
“It’s raining. Use an umbrella.”

49

bumitbit
“to carry”
Paki bitbit ng mga dala ko.
“Please carry my things for me.”

50

magdala
“to bring”
Pwede bang magdala ng kasama?
“Is it okay to bring someone?”

4- Traveling

The Philippines is composed of over 7,000 islands, making it an excellent place to visit if you love traveling. If you want to tour the country, though, you need to add these twenty useful Filipino travel phrases to your arsenal.

51

bumiyahe
“to travel”
Madalas bumiyahe si Drew.
“Drew travels a lot.”

52

magmaneho
“to drive”
Si Roxanne daw ang magmamaneho.
“Roxanne said she’ll drive.”

53

sumakay
“to ride,” “to take a ride”
Araw-araw siyang sumasakay ng tren.
“She takes/rides the train everyday.”

54

huminto
“to stop”
Ihinto mo ang sasakyan.
“Stop the car.”

55

umabante
“to move forward”
Umaabante na sila.
“They’re moving forward now.”

56

umatras
“to step back,” “to move backward”
Umatras ka muna para makadaan siya.
“Move backward first so she can pass.”

57

mag-empake
“to pack up”
Mag-empake ka habang maaga pa.
“Pack your things up while it’s early.”

58

bumaba
“to get off,” “to go down”
Dito na lang ako bababa.
“I’ll just get off here.”

59

lumipad
“to fly,” “to take off”
Lumipad na ang eroplano.
“The plane already took off.”

60

sumundo
“to pick up”
Sino ang sumundo sa inyo sa airport?
“Who picked you up from the airport?”

61

maghatid
“to deliver,” “to take someone someplace,” “to see someone off”
Ihahatid daw kami ni kuya.
“Big brother is going to take us to the airport and see us off.”

62

mamasyal
“to look around,” “to explore”
Gusto kong mamasyal doon.
“I would love to explore those areas.”

63

pumara
“to hail” (as in a taxi)
Pumara ka ng taxi
“Call a taxi.”

How do you catch a taxi in the Philippines? Here’s how.

Guy Waiting for a Cab

64

magmadali
“to hurry up”
Magmadali ka dahil mahuhuli na tayo.
“Hurry up because we’re getting late.”

65

pumila
“to fall in line,” “to queue up”
Pumila ka palagi sa tamang pilahan.
“Always get into the right queue.”

5- Expressing Emotions

Filipinos are very emotional people. Don’t forget to check out this lesson on how to describe feelings and emotions in Filipino as well.

66

magmahal
“to love”
Kaysarap magmahal.
“It’s so good to love.”

67

magalit
“to get mad or angry”
Huwag sana siyang magalit.
“I hope she doesn’t get mad.”

68

magtampo
“to feel bad,” “to sulk”
Walang dahilan para magtampo ka.
“There’s no reason for you to feel bad.”

69

tumawa
“to laugh”
Ang lakas mong tumawa.
“You laugh really loud.”

70

umiyak
“to cry”
Umiiyak ka na naman.
“You’re crying again.”

71

masaktan
“to get hurt”
Ayoko nang masaktan.
“I don’t want to get hurt anymore.”

mag-alala
“to worry”
Huwag kang mag-alala.
“Don’t you worry.”

73

maawa
“to have or to show compassion”
Hindi siya marunong maawa.
“He doesn’t know how to show compassion.”

74

kumalma
“to calm down”
Kumalma ka muna nang kaunti.
“Why don’t you calm down a bit.”

75

magkulitan
“to goof around with someone”
Itigil niyo na nga ang pagkukulitan niyo.
“Stop goofing around, guys.”

76

sumimangot
“to frown”
Huwag ka ngang sumimangot diyan!
“Stop frowning!”

77

sumigaw
“to shout”
Gusto kong sumigaw!
“I want to shout!”

78

mang-insulto
“to insult”
Ang galing mo mang-insulto!
“You really know how to insult somebody!”

6- Verbs for Actions Done When Angry

Are you looking for stronger emotional words to add to your Filipino vocabulary? Verbs that describe angry actions are always useful.

Speaking of fighting, why don’t you check out our video on how to fight language-learning failure? Here, you’ll discover why many people fail at learning a new language and find out how you can beat the said problem. 

79

sumuntok
“to punch”
Malakas sumuntok si Manny.
“Manny punches really hard.”

80

sumipa
“to kick”
Sinubukan niyang sumipa subalit mintis.
“He kicked but missed.”

81

humampas
“to hit,” “to clobber”
Gusto ko siyang hampasin ng unan.
“I want to hit him with the pillow.”

82

bumugbog
“to beat”
Binubugbog ni Manny si Keith.
“Manny is beating Keith.”

83

tumulak
“to push”
Tinutulak mo ako!
“You’re pushing me!”

84

maghagis
“to throw”
Hinagis niya ang kalaban niya sa sahig.
“He threw his opponent on the floor.”

85

umatake
“to attack”
Umaatake na siya.
“He is attacking now.”

7- Miscellaneous Everyday Verbs

Before anything else, if you haven’t checked out our feature on the top 25 everyday Filipino verbs, make sure you do so! And now, on to the final leg of our Filipino verbs list. 

86

pumasok
“to enter”
Nakita ko siyang pumasok sa kwarto.
“I saw him enter the room.”

87

lumabas
“to go outside”
Lumabas siya nang walang paalam.
“He went outside with no permission.”

88

tumanggap
“to receive,” “to accept”
Tumanggap ng gantimpala ang babae.
“The lady received a reward.”

89

sumunod
“to follow”
Sumunod lamang daw sila sa utos.
“They said they simply followed orders.”

90

bumili
“to buy”
Palagi siyang bumibili kina Edna.
“He always buys at Edna’s store.”

91

tumawag
“to call”
Bilis! Tumawag ka ng ambulansya!
“Quick! Call an ambulance!”

92

maghanap
“to look for something”
Oras na para maghanap ka ng nobya.
“It’s time for you to look for a girlfriend.”

93

magbigay
“to give”
Magbigay ka ng paliwanag.
“Give an explanation.”

94

makiramay
“to condole,” “to sympathize”
Nakikiramay kami sa inyo.
“We sympathize with you.”

95

kumagat
“to bite”
Ayaw kumagat ng preno.
“The brakes won’t bite.”

96

tumapak
“to step on something”
Tapakan mo ang ipis!
“Step on the cockroach!”

97

magpa-andar
“to turn on”
Paandarin mo ang bentilador.
“Turn on the electric fan.”

98

umistambay
“to hang around”
Mahilig umistambay sa labas si Andre.
“Andre loves hanging around outdoors.”

99

umiwas
“to avoid”
Bakit ka umiiwas sa akin?
“Why are you avoiding me?”

100

sumang-ayon
“to agree”
Hindi ako sumasang-ayon sa’yo.
“I don’t agree with you.”

5. Learn More About Verbs in Tagalog with FilipinoPod101!

Today, you’ve learned the basics of pandiwa, or the verb in Filipino, as well as 100 of the most practical basic Filipino verbs. (You should also see our collection of 100 adjectives and 100 nouns!)

Adding these words to your Filipino language arsenal is already an advantage, but do you know that you can further refine your vocabulary by taking advantage of FilipinoPod101’s advanced features? That’s right. 

Aside from fundamental lessons like how to learn Filipino verbs, there are more advanced lessons that can help fast-track your learning. The MyTeacher service, for instance, is a premium service that lets you do one-on-one lessons with a FilipinoPod101 teacher, as well as receive a personalized learning program tailored just for you. And with the InnovativeLanguage101 App, you can do all of your lessons anytime, anywhere!

Before you go, let us know in the comments if there are any Filipino verbs you still want to know. We look forward to hearing from you!

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The Pronoun in Tagalog/Filipino: Your Ultimate Guide

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There are many types of words we use in our everyday lives when communicating with each other, and pronouns are among them. You may not realize it, but you frequently refer to other people or things using pronouns in your everyday conversations. Pronouns are used primarily to replace nouns in order to avoid redundancy. 

The pronoun in Tagalog is referred to as panghalip. Just like in English grammar, there are several categories of the panghalip as a part of speech. Keep in mind, though, that not all English pronouns have direct equivalents in Filipino. Moreover, some Filipino pronouns may be used in more ways than English pronouns, and there are also categories under panghalip that aren’t found in English grammar.
The first type of panghalip is called panghalip panao.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Panghalip Panao (Personal Pronouns)
  2. Panghalip Pamatlig (Demonstrative Pronouns)
  3. Panghalip Pananong (Interrogative Pronouns)
  4. Panghalip Panaklaw (Indefinite Pronouns)
  5. Panghalip Pamanggit (Relative Pronouns)
  6. Panghalip Patulad
  7. Conclusion

1. Panghalip Panao (Personal Pronouns)

Introducing Yourself

The personal pronoun in Tagalog is panghalip panao. The term panao is derived from the word tao, which is Filipino for “man” or “human.” And as the term suggests, the role of panghalip panao is to take the place of nouns that name people.

Before we move forward, you need to understand that Filipino pronouns are categorized by case. They can either be Direct (ANG pronouns), Indirect (NG pronouns), or Oblique (SA pronouns). The following are Filipino personal pronouns under each of these three categories:

A- Filipino ANG Pronouns

Personal pronouns in this category are the ones a sentence focuses on. 

In EnglishIn Filipino
“I”ako
“you”ikaw
“he” / “she”siya
“we”tayo (inclusive) / kami (exclusive)
“you all”kayo
“they”sila

1 – ako or “I” (singular first person)

Examples:

Ako ang may-ari ng bahay na ito. 

I am the owner of this house.”

Ako ay pupunta sa kasal ni Ellen. 

I am going to Ellen’s wedding.”

2 – ikaw or “you” (singular second person)

Examples:

Ikaw ang dahilan kung bakit ako pumunta dito.

You are the reason that I came here.”

Ikaw na lang ang kumain ng keyk.

You eat the cake.”

Woman being Offered a Piece of Cake

3 – siya or “he” / “she”

In this day and age, due to gender issues, people are more careful when it comes to using pronouns. However, in Filipino grammar, pronouns show no distinction between “he” and “she.” Instead, the word used for Filipino gender pronouns in the singular second person is simply siya. That’s definitely one trick to learn when studying Filipino.

Examples:

Siya ang nakita mo sa mall kahapon.

She’s the one you saw at the mall yesterday.”

Siya yung pogi na sinasabi ko sa’yo!

He’s the cute guy I was telling you about!”

4 – tayo (inclusive) / kami (exclusive) or “we” (plural first person)

Examples:

Tayo ang dapat lumapit sa kanya.

We are the ones who are supposed to approach him.”

Kakain kami sa Mang Inasal.

We are going to eat at Mang Inasal.”

5 – kayo or “you” / “you all” (plural second person)

Examples:

Kayo ang may pakana ng lahat ng ito.

You are the mastermind behind all of this.”

Kumain na kayo dito.

You all should eat here.”

6 – sila or “they” (plural third person)

Examples:

Sila ang mga napili na lumahok sa paligsahan.

They were the ones chosen to participate in the contest.”

Umuwi sila kaagad pagkatapos ng programa.

They all went home right after the program.”

B- Filipino NG Pronouns

Ng (pronounced nang) personal pronouns are used to replace unfocused nouns in a sentence. In Filipino grammar, possessive pronouns can also take this form, and these words can also serve as a replacement for an unfocused actor.

In EnglishIn Filipino
“my” / “of me”ko
“your” / “of you”mo
“his” / “her” / “of him” / “of her”niya
“our” / “of us”namin (exclusive) / natin (inclusive)
“your” / “of you”ninyo
“their” / “of them”nila

1 – ko or “my” / “of me” (singular first person)

Examples:

Expressing possession

Desisyon ko ang masusunod.

“It’s my decision that should be taken.”

As a substitute for an unfocused actor

Binili ko ang ang mga pagkain.

“The food was bought by me.”

2 – mo or “your” / “of you” (singular second person)

Examples:

Expressing possession

Sapatos mo yung nasa labas ng pinto.

“It seems that your shoes are on the doorstep.”

Cell phone mo ba yung ginagamit niya?

“Is that your cell phone that he’s using?”

3 – niya or “his” / “her” / “of him” / “of her” (singular third person)

Examples:

As a substitute for an unfocused actor

Kinuha niya ang lahat sa akin.

“He took everything from me.”

Binigyan niya ng pera ang kanyang nakababatang kapatid.

She gave her younger brother some money.”

4 – namin (exclusive) / natin (inclusive) or “our” / “of us” (plural first person)

Examples: 

As a substitute for an unfocused actor

Kinuha namin ang padala niya kahapon.

“The package was picked up by us yesterday.”

Nakayanan natin ang mga pagsubok.

“The challenges were overcome by us.”

5 – ninyo or “your” / “of you” (plural second person)

Example: 

Mali ang ginawa ninyo.

Your actions were wrong.”

6 – nila or “their” / “of them” (plural third person)

Example: 

Mali ang ginawa nila.

Their actions were wrong.”

C- Filipino SA Pronouns

Sa personal pronouns are used to indicate an unfocused direction and location in a sentence. They also indicate possession. In this case, they act as Filipino possessive pronouns or panghalip paari.

In EnglishIn Filipino
“me” / “my”akin
“you” / “your”iyo
“him” / “his” / “her”kanya
“us” / “our”amin (exclusive) / atin (inclusive)
“you” / “your”inyo
“them” / “their”kanila

1 – akin or “me” / “my” (singular first person)

Examples: 

Expressing location

Nasa akin ang bag mo.

“Your bag is with me.”

Expressing possession

Siya ay aking katrabaho.

“She is my colleague.”

2 – iyo or “you” / “your” (singular second person)

Examples: 

Expressing direction

Tatawag ako sa iyo bukas. 

“I am going to call you tomorrow.”

Naiinis daw siya sa iyo.

“She said she’s mad at you.”

3 – kanya or “him” / “his” / “her”

Examples:

Expressing location

Nasa kanya na ang susi ng kotse.

“The car key is with her already.”

Expressing possession

Yan ay kanyang mga damit.

“Those are her clothes.”

4- Formal Usage

Just as in many other languages, second- or third-person pronouns are used in formal or polite settings. For instance, when speaking with an elderly person, instead of simply saying Saan ka galing? we say, Saan kayo galing? meaning “Where have you been?” Notice that without the iteration po, the statement is still considered polite.

Woman Showing Respect to Elderly

D- Reflexive Pronouns

Reflexive pronouns, such as “myself,” “himself,” and “themselves,” always appear with the word sarili, meaning “self” in Filipino.

For instance, the equivalent of “himself” is either sarili niya or ang kaniyang sarili, depending on how you want to say it.

This quote from the film Heneral Luna is a great example:

Mayroon tayong mas malaking kaaway kaysa mga Amerikano—ang ating sarili.

“We have an enemy far greater than the Westerners—ourselves.” 

Pinahirapan nila ang kanilang sarili sa hindi pag-aaral nang mas maaga.

“They tortured themselves by not studying ahead of time.”

2. Panghalip Pamatlig (Demonstrative Pronouns)

Demonstrative pronouns are referred to as panghalip pamatlig in Filipino. They’re used to point to a specific noun in a sentence. In English grammar, there are only four demonstrative pronouns: “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” The case is different for panghalip pamatlig.

For instance, there are four types of panghalip pamatlig:

  • Pronominal
  • Panawag pansin
  • Patulad
  • Panlunan

Examples of Pronominal:

  • ito (“this”)
  • dito (“here”)
  • iyan (“that”)
  • niyan (“that”)
  • diyan (“there”)
  • iyon (“that”)
  • doon (“there”)

Ito ang gusto ko.

This is what I want.”

Regarding iyan and niyan, both words are translated into “that” in English, and both represent something that’s away from the speaker. The main difference between the two is that iyan is an ANG marker, while niyan is a NG marker. More importantly, iyan is usually placed at the beginning of a sentence, while niyan is placed at the end of a sentence.

Iyan ang gusto kong makita.

That is what I want to see.”

Ayaw ko niyan.

“I don’t like that.”

Gusto kong pumunta diyan.

“I want to go there.”

Examples of Panawag Pansin:

  • eto / heto (“here” / “this”)
  • ayan / hayan (“that”)
  • ayun / hayun (“there”)

Heto ako.

Here I am.”

Ayan sila.

That’s them.”

Ayun ang pera sa ibabaw ng kama.

There’s the money on the bed.”

Examples of Patulad:

  • anito / ganito (“like this”)
  • ganiyan / ganyan (“like that”)
  • ganoon / gayon (“like that” / “like those”)

Ganito ang ginawa niya.

“He did it like this.”

Ganoon ang pagkatumba niya sa motor.

“She fell on the motorbike just like that.”

Examples of Panlunan:

  • doon / naroon / nandoon (“there”)
  • diyan / riyan (“there”)
  • narito / nandito (“here”)

Nandoon ang mga taong hinahanap niyo.

“The people you’re looking for are there.”

Narito na ang pinakahihintay ng lahat.

“What you have been waiting for is finally here.”

3. Panghalip Pananong (Interrogative Pronouns)

Basic Questions

Interrogative pronouns in Filipino, or panghalip pananong, are pronouns used to make asking questions a lot less complicated.

Student Asking a Question

There are only five panghalip na pananong, which are the equivalents of the five in English grammar. However, unlike in English, panghalip pananong has a plural form.

Singular: 

  • Ano (“What”)
  • Alin (“Which”)
  • Sino (“Who” / “Whom”)
  • Kanino (“Whose”)

Ano ang sabi mo?

What did you say?”

Alin dito ang pinaka nagugustuhan mo?

Which one do you like the most?”

Sino ang kumuha ng salamin dito?
Who removed the mirror here?”

Sino ang pinagkakatiwalaan mo?

Whom do you trust?”

Kanino ang aso na iyan?

Whose dog is that?”

Plural:

  • Anu-ano (“What/Which ones”)
  • Alin-alin (“Which ones”)
  • Sinu-sino (“Who”)
  • Kani-Kanino (“Whom” / “Whose”)

In the plural form of panghalip pananong, the meaning may not change in English, but it’s emphasized in Filipino. 

For example:

Anu-ano ba ang mga sinabi niya?

What specific things did he say?”

Even if you use the singular form in Filipino, the meaning in English remains the same as long as the particle mga, which pluralizes countable nouns, is used.

So, Ano ba ang mga sinabi niya? could have the same translation in English as Anu-ano ba ang mga sinabi niya?

Alin-alin dito ang mga binigay mo sa kaibigan mo?

Which ones among these did you give to your friend?”

Sinu-sino ang mga dumalo sa miting?

Who among the guys attended the meeting?”

Kani-kanino itong mga nakakalat na laruan sa sahig?

Whose toys are these left lying on the floor?”

4. Panghalip Panaklaw (Indefinite Pronouns)

As the term suggests, indefinite pronouns don’t refer to any specific person or object. They are referred to in Filipino as panghalip panaklaw. Panaklaw comes from the root saklaw, which implies range or scope.

Commonly used panghalip panaklaw words are as follows:

1 – lahat (“everyone” / “everybody” / “everything” / “all”)

Gusto sumama ng lahat sa field trip.

Everybody wants to join the field trip.”

People Raising Their Hands

Ang lahat ay ibinoto siya na maging gobernador.

All voted for him to be governor.”

2 – sa lahat ng dako (“everywhere”)

Naghanap kami sa lahat ng dako pero hindi pa rin namin siya natagpuan.

“We searched everywhere and still didn’t find her.”

3 – sinuman (“anyone”)

Ang sinuman na hindi pupunta ay bibigyan ng parusa.

Anyone who does not attend will be given a penalty.”

4 – anuman / alinman (“anything”)

Itapon na lang ang anuman na wala nang silbi.

“Just throw anything that doesn’t serve any purpose.”

5 – kaunti (“few” / “a few”)

Kaunti na lang ang natirang tickets.

“There’s just a few tickets left.”

6 – madami / marami (“many” / “a lot”)

Marami sa kanila ang ayaw sa huling resolusyon na ipinasa ng mga miyembro ng board of directors.

A lot of them are not in favor of the recent resolution passed by members of the board of directors.”

7 – saanman (“anywhere” / “wherever”)

Saanmang dako ng mundo, ikaw ay susundan ko.

Anywhere you go, I am sure to follow.”

In some cases, a Tagalog pronoun is placed after saanman in the first and third persons, and the words saan (“where”) and man (“any”) are written separately.

Susundan ko sya saan man siya (third person) pumunta.

“I will follow her wherever she may go.”

Sinusundan niya ako saan man ako (first person) pumunta.

“He follows me wherever I go.”

And in the second person, a pronoun is placed between saan and man.

Susundan kita saan ka (second person) man pumunta.

“I will follow you wherever you go.”

Hahanapin kita saan ka (second person) man magtago.

“I will look for you wherever you may hide.”

8 – wala / wala ni isa (“none”)

Wala ni isa sa kanila ang nagtangkang magsalita.

None of them had the courage to speak.”

9 – isang tao / isa (“someone” / “somebody”)

May isa na dapat tanggalin sa group.

Someone has to be removed from the group.”

10 – bawat isa (“each”)

Ang bawat isa sa atin ay may papel na ginagampanan sa team na ‘to.

Each of us has a role to play in this team.”

5. Panghalip Pamanggit (Relative Pronouns)

Improve Listening

Relative pronouns in Filipino are called panghalip pamanggit. Their main function is that of introducing a relevant clause and connecting it to an independent clause.

The most common examples of panghalip pamanggit are na and ng.

Examples:

Ang drayber na nakabundol sa mag-asawa ay nahuli.

“The driver who hit the couple was caught.”

Huwag mong hawakan ang mga bagay na hindi mo pagmamay-ari.

“Don’t touch things that don’t belong to you.”

Mayroon akong kaibigan na ang kuya ay napaka kulit.

“I have a friend whose brother is so annoying.” 

Huwag na huwag magtitiwala sa tao na ang ulo ay napapanot.

“Never trust a man whose hair is balding.”

Ang mga binti ng kalabaw ay malaki.

“The legs of the water buffalo are large.” 

Although the direct equivalent of the word ng is “of” in English, it functions in this sentence as a panghalip pamanggit.

Again, the reason is that some Filipino words may have a direct equivalent in English, and yet they are used in a different manner.

That said, the relative pronouns “which,” “that,” “who,” “whom,” and “whose,” can all be translated to na.

6. Panghalip Patulad

Panghalip patulad is a Filipino pronoun category that isn’t found in English. Patulad comes from the root word tulad, which denotes similarity.

Words under this category are used to replace words that denote manner, or how things are performed or acted. 

For instance, “This is how we do it,” can be translated to Ganito namin ginagawa ‘yan. In this sentence, the word ganito is considered a panghalip patulad.

That said, the three major words used as panghalip patulad are ganito, ganyan, and ganoon.

1 – Ganito

The word ganito can be directly translated to “like this” or “in this manner.” It’s used when the object being spoken of is near the speaker.

In the following examples, observe how the use of the word ganito changes in the English translation depending on how it’s being used in the Filipino sentences.

Ganito kami sa Pilipinas.

“This is how we are in the Philippines.”

Ganito ang dapat nating gawin.

“This is what we should do.”

In some instances, the word alone (along with a demonstration from the speaker) is enough to answer a question about how something is done.

Paano mo ginagawa yan?

Ganito.

“How do you do it?”

“This way.”

2 – Ganyan

Ganyan can be translated to “like that” or “in that manner.” It’s used when the object being described is near the person being spoken to.

Ganyan ka mag-shoot ng bola!

That’s how you shoot a ball!”

Guy Shooting a Basketball

Ganyan pala maghiwa ng sibuyas.

“So that’s how you’re supposed to slice an onion.”

Pigain mo siya nang ganyan.

“Squeeze it in that manner.”

3 – Ganoon / Ganun

Just like ganyan, ganoon can also be translated to “like that” or “in that manner.” However, it’s used when the object being described is far from both the speaker and the person being spoken to.

Ganun din ang kotse na gusto kong bilhin.

That’s the same car model I want to buy.”

Nakita mo kung paano niya sinagot ang tanong? Ganoon ka din dapat sumagot.

“Did you see how he answered the question? You should answer in that same manner.”

7. Conclusion

Filipino is a bit of an inflected language, which may make it a bit confusing for those who are studying it. Even Pinoys themselves confuse the two terms Filipino and Tagalog. This is where the importance of studying the language further comes in.

If you want to learn more about Filipino and Tagalog pronouns, a good place to start is FilipinoPod101, a language-learning portal that provides students with a structured yet fun and enjoyable way of learning Filipino grammar. One of the many perks it provides is the ability to learn Filipino anywhere and anytime you want. FilipinoPod101 can also provide you with a personal tutor if you want to speed up your learning process.

Whether it’s 100 nouns or 100 adjectives you want to learn, or whether you want to learn how to say “Hello” or “I love you” in Filipino, you can rest assured that FilipinoPod101 will be able to guide you all the way through.

And before you leave, please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments section below what you think about this article and whether there are questions about pronouns in Tagalog you want to ask! We’ll do our best to help you out.

Happy Filipino learning!

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For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
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  • Speaking
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Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like JapanesePod101.com, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
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As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. FilipinoPod101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Filipino teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by FilipinoPod101.com in Feature Spotlight, Filipino Language, Filipino Online, Learn Filipino, Site Features, Team FilipinoPod101

Let’s Learn the Basics of Tagalog Sentence Structure!

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Any Filipino who grew up in the 80s would be familiar with Barok, one of the most popular Pinoy comic book characters at that time. His character was similar to those in America’s The Flintstones, but instead of speaking like Fred or Barney, he spoke like Tarzan. And you know what that’s like—words jumbled and all.

In the Philippines, a person who can’t speak straight Tagalog or English is labeled as someone who is Barok magsalita (one who speaks like Barok).

That is why it’s crucial to learn the proper Tagalog sentence structure. For one, it helps your readers or listeners understand the simplest sentences you’re trying to convey (not to mention it will keep you from being nicknamed Barok).

But don’t you worry, because if there’s one thing about Filipino grammar that’s not too difficult to learn, it’s Tagalog word order. What most learners of the Filipino language love is its flexibility when it comes to word order. You’ll find out what I mean later on when we get to the lesson proper.

For now, let’s get to the basics of Filipino sentence structure first.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. An Overview of Tagalog Word Order
  2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object
  3. Filipino Word Order with Prepositional Phrases
  4. Word Order with Modifiers
  5. Transforming a Regular Sentence into a Question
  6. Translation Exercises
  7. FilipinoPod101 Will Help Ease the Confusion

1. An Overview of Tagalog Word Order

Improve Listening

The most common sentence structure used in the English language is S-V-O (Subject-Verb-Object). It’s acceptable to use the same word order in Filipino, which is what many beginners do. However, when it comes to spoken Filipino, using S-V-O will result in the speaker sounding awkward. Let’s take this sentence for example: 

 S       V     O

“I am studying Filipino.”

If you translate this into Tagalog, you will get: Ako ay nag-aaral ng Filipino

Now, this one is grammatically correct, but when spoken, it should be structured as:

V                S            O

“Studying     I     Filipino.”  →  Direct Translation

Nag-aaral ako ng Filipino.

That said, word order in Tagalog is primarily V-S-O, and S-V-O is considered an inverted form (Kabalikang Anyo in Tagalog). But then, it also follows the V-O-S structure

One very important thing you need to understand about Tagalog, though, is that it doesn’t always follow the subject-predicate structure. In the English language, the object within a sentence is always different from the subject. In Filipino, however, a word that follows a direct marker, like si or ang, is the subject. This means that the object can also function as the subject. Here’s an example:

 S          V         O

“Julia is studying Filipino.”

Si Julia ay nag-aaral ng Filipino.

Let’s translate this into Filipino using the V-S-O pattern.

V                      S            O

“Studying        Julia      Filipino.”  →  Direct Translation

Nag-aaral si Julia ng Filipino.

Now, let’s try using the V-O-S pattern instead.

V                      O            S

“Studying        Filipino     Julia.”

Nag-aaral ng Filipino si Julia.

Notice that in the S-V-O example, the sentence uses the word ay between the subject (Julia) and the verb (nag-aaral). It’s long been thought (and taught) that ay is the copula “to be.” More recent sources, however, say that ay is more of a replacement for a comma or a slight pause. The same sources say that it can’t be a verb since it can appear in a sentence along with other verbs, although in most cases, it seems that it’s the direct translation of the verb “is.” 

Keep in mind, too, that ay only appears in the S-V-O form of the sentence (which, by the way, is viewed as formal or literary). Here are a few examples:

  • “The child is playing.”

Ang bata AY naglalaro.

  • “Butch is drinking.”

Si Butch AY umiinom.

  • “Kobe is sleeping.”

Si Kobe AY natutulog.

  • “The lady is sewing.”

Ang ale AY nananahi.

    Need a dictionary for this lesson? The FilipinoPod101 Dictionary is one of the most complete free Filipino-English dictionaries online!

2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb, and Object

Compared to the English language, word order in Filipino is more flexible. In fact, you can construct certain sentences in up to six different ways. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at the following sentence:

“The man gave the woman some money.”

There are six different ways you can write or say this sentence in Filipino. Each of these sentences conveys the same meaning, and they all include the same grammatical components. And yet, as you can see, the words are ordered differently.

  • Nagbigay ng pera sa babae ang lalaki. 
  • Nagbigay ng pera ang lalaki sa babae.
  • Nagbigay sa babae ng pera ang lalaki.
  • Nagbigay sa babae ang lalaki ng pera.
  • Nagbigay ang lalaki sa babae ng pera.
  • Nagbigay ang lalaki ng pera sa babae.

Here, you can see that the verb (nagbigay) is always in the initial position, but the order of the rest of the words is adjustable. This shows how flexible Tagalog can be!

Woman Balancing a Ball in the Curve of Her Back

Did you say flexible?

Let’s try a simpler sentence this time. 

“I study Filipino.” 

This can be translated in a couple of ways:

S                V O

  • Ako ay nag-aaral ng Filipino.

V                 S         O

  • Nag-aaral ako ng Filipino.

Both of these translations are correct, but in normal conversations, you would usually use the second example: Nag-aaral ako ng Filipino.

Example: Nag-aaral ako ng Filipino ngayon sa FilipinoPod101. (“I am currently studying Filipino via FilipinoPod101.”)

3. Filipino Word Order with Prepositional Phrases

When it comes to sentences with prepositional phrases, the order of the words is similar to that in English. Let’s take the sentence below for example:

  • Place Preposition. “He studies at home.” (Nag-aaral siya ng Filipino sa bahay.)
  • Time Preposition. “He studies in the evening.” (Nag-aaral siya ng Filipino sa gabi.)
  • Preposition of Manner. “He studies with his friend.” (Nag-aaral siya ng Filipino kasama ang kaibigan niya.)

Based on the examples, you can see that the preposition is placed AFTER the object. This is how the words are ordered in conversations. But in writing, the preposition can be placed BEFORE the object as shown in the following examples:

  • Place Preposition. “He studies Filipino at home.” (Nag-aaral siya sa bahay ng Filipino.)
  • Time Preposition. “He studies Filipino in the evening.” (Nag-aaral siya sa gabi ng Filipino.)
  • Preposition of Manner. “He studies Filipino with his friend.” (Nag-aaral siya kasama ang kaibigan niya ng Filipino.)

Question: Can the preposition/prepositional phrase be placed at the BEGINNING of the sentence? Let’s see.

  • Place Preposition. “He studies Filipino at home.” (Sa bahay siya nag-aaral ng Filipino.)
  • Time Preposition. “He studies Filipino in the evening.” (Sa gabi siya nag-aaral ng Filipino.)
  • Preposition of Manner. “He studies Filipino with his friend.” (Kasama niya ang kaibigan niyang nag-aaral ng Filipino.)

Answer: ABSOLUTELY! In fact, the most natural way to say the given example sentences in Tagalog is by placing the preposition/prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence. 

4. Word Order with Modifiers

Modifiers have many functions, including clarifying, qualifying, or limiting a particular word in a sentence to add emphasis or detail. These grammatical elements are often in the form of adjectives and adverbs. 

In Tagalog grammar, a modifier can either be an adjective or an adverb depending on the word it’s modifying. For instance, if the word being modified in a sentence is a noun, then the modifier used is an adjective. If, on the other hand, the word being modified is a verb, the modifier is an adverb.

Take the word mabuti, for instance, which means “good.”

It can be used to describe a noun, like estudyante (“student”): estudyanteng mabuti (“good student”). 

In this sentence, mabuti functioned as an adjective.

It can be used to describe verbs, too. You can say: nag-aral nang mabuti (“studied well”). 

Here, mabuti now functions as an adverb.

In Tagalog, modifiers can appear either before or after the subject, but what plays a huge part here are the linkers na and –ng. Whenever you see these enclitics in a sentence, it means modification has taken place.

In these examples, the modifier appears before the subject:

  • mabait na estudyante (“kind/good student”)
  • matalinong estudyante (“bright student”)
  • masunuring estudyante (“obedient student”)

We can also place the modifier after the subject:

  • estudyanteng mabait (“kind/good student”)
  • estudyanteng matalino (“bright student”)
  • estudyanteng masunurin (“obedient student”)

As you’ve noticed, the meaning of the phrases didn’t change even if the position of the modifiers did.

A Man Holding an A+ Assignment

Matalinong estudyante. (“Bright student.”)

Oh, and before anything else, let’s talk about the markers na and ng for a second. Actually, -ng is simply a modified form of na. It’s used to replace na if the word that comes before it ends in a vowel. But what if na follows a word ending in the letter n? If that’s the case, we drop the n from ng so that it now becomes g. We use na if the word it follows ends in a consonant. 

We can see some of these rules applied in the recent examples, but let’s check out some more:

Noun + Linker + ModifierModifier + Linker + NounTranslation
lupang hiniranghinirang na lupa“chosen land”
asong maliitmaliit na aso“small dog”
bangkang papelpapel na bangka“paper boat”
balong malalimmalalim na balon“deep well”
payong na bagobagong payong“new umbrella”

Now, let’s try it with some verbs:

Verb + Linker + ModifierModifier + Linker + VerbTranslation
umiiyak na batabatang umiiyak“crying child”
lumilipad na ibonibong lumilipad“flying bird”
kumakantang babaekumakantang babae“singing lady”
tumutuklaw na ahasahas na tumutuklaw“striking snake”
tumatakbong sundalosundalong tumatakbo“running soldier”

Clear? Good. Now, let’s see how a regular sentence can be transformed into a question.

5. Transforming a Regular Sentence into a Question

Improve Pronunciation

In the Tagalog language, there is one go-to word for forming interrogative sentences. That word is ba. This marker is actually one of the several untranslatable Tagalog words. If you want to change a sentence from the simple or imperative forms to the interrogative form, you simply add the word ba. Let’s try it with some sentences.

  • Simple Form: Nag-aaral si Arlene ng Filipino. (“Arlene is studying Filipino.”)
  • Interrogative Form: Nag-aaral ba si Arlene ng Filipino? (“Is Arlene studying Filipino?”)
  • Imperative Form: Mag-aral ka ng Filipino. (“Go and study Filipino.”)
  • Interrogative Form: Mag-aaral ka ba ng Filipino? (“Are you going to study Filipino?”)

Ba is added either at the end of the sentence, or after the verb or the noun.

In the following examples, ba is positioned at the end of the sentence.

  • Simple Form: Nag-aaral ka. (“You are studying.”)
  • Interrogative Form: Nag-aaral ka ba? (“Are you studying?”)
  • Imperative Form: Mag-aral ka. (“Go and study.”)
  • Interrogative Form: Mag-aaral ka ba? (“Are you going to study?”)

What’s unique about the way Filipinos communicate is that they can do so even with just a single word (sometimes even with no words at all!). Let’s take this scenario, for example. 

A man just got home and asked his wife if their dog (who wasn’t feeling well) finally decided to eat.

Husband: Kumain ba? (“Did she eat?”) 

Wife: Oo. (“Yes.”)

If the husband only said Kumain? It would still be a valid sentence and would be understood as Kumain ba?

It gets crazier with this typical exchange by the elevator.

Man 1: Bababa ba? (“Is it going down?”)

Man 2: Bababa. (“It is going down.”)

Golly! That’s seven successive instances of a single syllable!

A Little Girl Counting on Her Fingers

Seven syllables. Did I count that right?

It’s not all the time, though, that ba is necessary. Just like in most languages, you can just add a question mark at the end of a declarative sentence to turn it into a question, particularly if the question has a tone of surprise to it.

  • Simple Form: Nag-aaral si Arlene ng Filipino. (“Arlene is studying Filipino.”)
  • Interrogative Form: Nag-aaral si Arlene ng Filipino? (“Arlene is studying Filipino?”)
  • Imperative Form: Mag-aral ka ng Filipino. (“Go and study Filipino.”)
  • Interrogative Form: Mag-aaral ka ng Filipino? (“You’re going to study Filipino?”)
A Man Looking Surprised at a Paper He’s Reading

Pumasa ako sa Filipino? (“I passed Filipino?”)

6. Translation Exercises

In this section, we’re going to apply what we’ve learned about Tagalog sentence structure so far. Again, there are several ways to arrange words in a Filipino sentence, but let’s just use the one that’s often used in casual conversations.

1. I study. ____________________

2. I study Tagalog. ____________________

3. I study Tagalog every day .____________________

4. I study Tagalog every day using FilipinoPod101. ____________________

5. I study Tagalog every day at home using FilipinoPod101. ____________________

6. I study Tagalog with my friend every day at home using FilipinoPod101. ____________________

Woman Using a Translation App on Her Phone

Okay, Siri, please translate…Oh, wait, you’re not Siri.

ANSWER:

1. I study. Nag-aaral ako.

2. I study Tagalog. Nag-aaral ako ng Tagalog.

3. I study Tagalog every day. Araw-araw akong nag-aaral ng Tagalog. (Remember how prepositional phrases should go at the beginning of the sentence?)

4. I study Tagalog every day with FilipinoPod101. Araw-araw akong nag-aaral ng Tagalog gamit ang FilipinoPod101.

5. I study Tagalog every day at home with FilipinoPod101. Araw-araw akong nag-aaral sa bahay ng Tagalog gamit ang FilipinoPod101.

6.  I study Tagalog with my friend every day at home with FilipinoPod101. Araw-araw akong nag-aaral sa bahay ng Tagalog gamit ang FilipinoPod101 kasama ang kaibigan ko.

7. FilipinoPod101 Will Help Ease the Confusion

We did our best to make this guide as simple and easy as possible for you. However, we also believe that one short post about Tagalog sentence structure can only do so much. But that’s why FilipinoPod101 is here, isn’t it? 

With FilipinoPod101, you can learn more than just how to arrange words in sentences. If you sign up today, you’ll gain exclusive access to a number of learning resources you won’t find elsewhere. This includes an introduction to the Filipino language, a few key Filipino phrases, and unique articles designed to help you learn Tagalog in a fun and interesting way.

And then there’s the Premium PLUS program that’s designed especially for students who want to develop their Filipino writing and speaking skills in just a short period of  time. What are you waiting for? If you want to learn more about Filipino sentence structure or polish your Tagalog conversation skills, don’t think twice about signing up at FilipinoPod101 today!

What are your first impressions about Tagalog word order and sentence structure? Let us know in the comments!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino

Anong Oras Na? A Must-Read Guide on Philippines Time

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Filipinos are known for following “Filipino Time” (also referred to as “late” in other countries). Despite that, there are still many people in the Philippines who are very much time-conscious. 

As a matter of fact, the Department of Science and Technology initiated a campaign called “Juan Time” several years ago with the aim of promoting the nationwide use of Philippine Standard Time.

That’s good news for anyone who values time. But what does this have to do with this post? Well, in this post, we’re going to learn how to tell the Philippines’ time, using the Filipino language, of course. 
Knowing how to read and tell time is a basic universal skill. And yes, learning how to tell time in Filipino or Tagalog is as easy as 1-2-3. You can always read and tell time in English when you’re in the Philippines, since most Pinoys can understand English anyway. But it’s no question that knowing how to tell time in Tagalog has many benefits and advantages.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time
  2. How Pinoys Tell Time
  3. Hours Divided into Minutes
  4. Time Adverbs
  5. Common Filipino Proverbs about Time
  6. Conclusion

1. How to Ask for the Time

Time

Knowing how to ask for the time is just as important as knowing how to read and tell time. Before anything else, let’s first learn how to ask for the time in Filipino. 

There are different ways you can ask this. Here are some of them:

1 –  What time is it? 

Anong oras na?

This is the most straightforward way of asking “What time is it? in Filipino. It’s rather informal and less polite. You can use this approach when asking someone you’re familiar with, like a friend or colleague. Never ask this way when talking to someone in authority, though.

2 – Do you know what time it is? 

Alam mo ba kung anong oras na?

This is a more polite approach, although it’s not that formal. You can use this question when asking someone you’re not too familiar with, such as a stranger. 

If you want a more polite approach, then use this one:

3 – May I know what time it is already? 

Maaari/Pwede ko bang malaman kung anong oras na? 

If you’re asking an older person or a person in authority, simply add the word po right after ko.

4- Asking What Time Something Will Start or What Time Something Happened

Now, if you want to ask what time something will start, you can simply say: Anong oras magsisimula ang palabas? (“What time will the show start?”)

More examples:

  • “What time is the plane arriving?” 

Anong oras dadating ang eroplano?

  • “What time is the meeting scheduled?” 

Anong oras ang schedule ng meeting? 

  • “What time did the game end last night?” 

Anong oras natapos ang laro kagabi?

2. How Pinoys Tell Time

Marunong ka bang magbasa ng oras? Do you know how to tell time? 

This is a question often asked of young Filipino kids. Just as in other countries, Pinoy kids are taught how to read time and dates at an early age. 

Kid Looking at Clock

In the Philippines, most people use the twelve-hour format. The Filipino word for “hour” is the same word used for “time,” which is oras. This is derived from ‘horas,’ the Spanish word for “time.”

Meanwhile, “o’clock in Tagalog is either la or las, both of which are Spanish for “the.”

There are two general ways of how to read time in Filipino. But before we go there, let’s talk about time markers first. 

1- Time Markers

The basic time markers or references are as follows:

UmagaMorning
TanghaliNoon
HaponAfternoon
GabiEvening
Hating-GabiMidnight
Madaling-ArawMiddle of the night

A – Umaga

Umaga in the Philippines usually begins at 5:00 a.m., depending on what time the sun rises. The time between the rising of the sun and 11:59 a.m. is considered umaga or “morning.” When asked what time it is, and your watch says it’s 10:30 a.m., you respond by saying: Alas diyes y medya ng umaga.

In English, that translates to “10:30 in the morning.” In written form, that would be Alas-10 y medya n.u. N.u. is the abbreviation for ng umaga, or “in the morning.”

The same rule applies when telling time in Filipino at different times of the day.

B – Tanghali

Tanghali, on the other hand, is high noon, and is the time between 12:00 p.m. and 12:59 p.m. When reading time during tanghali, let’s say fifteen minutes past 12:00, you simply say:

Alas dose kinse ng tanghali. 

(Written form: Alas-12 kinse n.t.), kinse being “fifteen” in Spanish.

If you’re not too familiar with Philippine history, the reason there are a lot of Spanish words and expressions in the Filipino language is that the country has been under Spanish rule for more than 300 years. So, don’t be surprised if you come across a number of loanwords in your studies.

Now, back to the lesson.

C – Hapon

Hapon is the Filipino word for “afternoon.” It’s the time between 1:00 p.m. and 5:59 p.m. In written form, it’s abbreviated as n.h., or ng hapon (“in the afternoon”). In Filipino, 3:00 p.m. is spoken as Alas tres ng hapon. and written as Alas-3 n.h.

D – Gabi 

Gabi is the Filipino word for “evening.” You’ll know when it’s gabi in the Philippines once the clock strikes 6:00 p.m. Around this time, most Filipino families are already preparing for the evening meal. In the barrios, mothers are often heard yelling at their children to come home as it’s already dark. 

  • Mga anak, pasok na at alas sais na! Maghahapunan na tayo! 

“Come home now kids! It’s 6 o’clock, and it’s already time for dinner!” 

Gabi lasts from 6:00 p.m. until 12 a.m.

Family Having Dinner

E – Hating-gabi

It’s already hating-gabi, or midnight, once the clock strikes 12 a.m. Unless you’re working night shift, there’s very little chance someone is going to ask you what time it is at this hour.

Woman Sleeping under Moon

F – Madaling Araw

Madaling araw literally means “the day is breaking soon,” madali being “fast” and araw being “day.” As a time marker, however, this phrase translates to “in the middle of the night.” In Filipino, 4:00 a.m. is read as Alas kwatro ng madaling araw.

As mentioned, there are two general ways we tell time in the Philippines: the Filipino way and the Spanish way.

2- The Filipino Way

The Filipino way is a more formal approach to reading and telling time in the Filipino language. Let’s say it’s 10:00 a.m. and you’re asked what time it is. You reply with: Ika-sampu na ng umaga. 

Here’s a table of how to say the time in Filipino for your reference:

TimeIn Filipino we say…
1:00ika-isa
2:00ikalawa
3:00ikatlo
4:00ikaapat
5:00ikalima
5:00ika-anim
7:00ika-pito
8:00ika-walo
9:00ika-siyam
10:00ika-sampu
11:00ika-labing-isa
12:00ika-labing-dalawa

This is how we read exact hours in Filipino:

For 1:00 a.m., we say:

  • Ang oras ay ika-isa ng umaga. 

“The time is one o’clock in the morning.”

For 2:00 p.m., we say: 

  • Ang oras ay ikalawa ng hapon. 

“The time is two o’clock in the afternoon.”

Minuto

What if the clock says it’s 4:15? That’s when we read in hours and minutes. “Minute in Filipino is minuto. When reading the time in hours and minutes, we simply read the equivalent of the minutes in words.

Example: 

  • “It’s five fifteen in the afternoon.” 

Ang oras ay labinlimang minuto makalipas ang ikalima ng hapon.

Labinlima is Filipino for “fifteen,” while makalipas is Filipino for “past.” So that would be the same as saying, “The time is fifteen minutes past five in the afternoon.” 

Speaking of which, learning simple numbers in Filipino is another crucial step in this study, so make sure you find ways to do so.

3- The Spanish Way

Alternatively, you can use the Spanish way of reading time. In the Philippines, this is the more practical and common way people read and tell time. You don’t normally hear people saying, Ang oras ay dalawampu’t-limang minuto makalipas ang ika-siyam ng umaga (“The time is twenty-five minutes past nine in the morning”) unless it’s the disc jockey announcing the time over your favorite A.M. or F.M. station.

Woman in Recording Studio

So, when you ask a Filipino on the streets what time it is and it’s 5:15 p.m., you’ll most likely hear them respond with: Alas-singko kinse. The time marker, which in this case is ng hapon, is omitted unless the person asking has just awoken from a very long sleep over the weekend and has no idea what period of the day it is.

Menos

And then there’s the word menos, which is Spanish for “less.” In reading the time, we can use the term this way:

Ang oras ay menos kinse bago mag alas-kwatro. 

That’s fifteen minutes “minus” or “less” four o’clock, and indicates that the time is a quarter to four or fifteen minutes before four.

Meanwhile, here’s another table for your reference. This time, it’s for the Spanish way of reading time:

TimeAnother way we read time in Filipino is…
1:00ala-una
2:00alas-dos
3:00alas-tres
4:00alas-kwatro
5:00alas-singko
6:00alas-sais
7:00alas-siete
8:00alas-otso
9:00alas-nueve
10:00alas-dies
11:00alas-onse
12:00alas-dose

In order for you to be able to tell time in Filipino, you need to be familiar with Spanish numbers. This post might be able to help you with that.

3. Hours Divided into Minutes

Improve Listening

Reading and telling time in Filipino when hours are divided into minutes is also straightforward, although most Pinoys never read time in this manner.

1- Quarter

The direct equivalent for the word “quarter” in Tagalog is kwarter, but it’s not a commonly used word. That said, “It’s a quarter past seven in the evening,” is read as Alas-siete kinse ng gabi. 

To be more formal, you can say: Ang oras ay labinlimang minuto makalipas ang alas-siete ng gabi. 

2- Half

The Filipino word for “half” is kalahati. When reading 8:30 p.m., you say: Alas-otso y medya ng gabi. Or, in the more formal manner: Ang oras ay kalahating oras/tatlumpong minuto makalipas ang ika-walo ng umaga.

4. Time Adverbs

Using an adverb of time in Filipino when giving the time is very useful. There are a lot of time adverbs available, but we’ll give you a list of only the most commonly used time adverbs in Filipino, with examples of how to use them.

1 – Now/Right Now (Ngayon)

  • Anong oras na ngayon? 

“What time is it now?”

2 – Currently (Kasalukuyan)

  • Ang oras sa kasalukuyan ay sampung minuto makalipas ang ika-siyam ng umaga. 

“The current time is ten minutes past nine in the morning.”

 3 – Today (Ngayon/Ngayong araw)

  • Anong oras ka pupunta doon ngayong araw? 

“What time are you going there today?”

4 – Yesterday (Kahapon)

  • Pasado alas dose ng tanghali sila umalis kahapon. 

“They left past twelve noon yesterday.”

5 – Tomorrow (Bukas)

  • May deyt sila bukas ng gabi. 

They’ll have a date tomorrow evening.”

Man and Woman on Date

6 – Before (Bago)

  • Pinalampas ko ang alas otso ng umaga bago magluto ng agahan. 

“I waited until past eight in the morning before deciding to cook breakfast.”

  • Limang minuto na lang bago mag alas-dose ng hating-gabi. 

“There’s only five minutes left before twelve midnight.”

7 – After (Pagkatapos)

  • Sinundo siya ng drayber pagkatapos niyang tawagan ito ng pasado alas tres ng hapon. 

“The driver fetched her after she phoned him at past three in the afternoon.”

8. Soon/As soon as possible (Sa lalong madaling panahon)

  • Kailangan nilang tapusin ang proyekto sa lalong madaling panahon. 

“They need to finish the project as soon as possible.”

9. Later (Mamaya)

  • Manonood kami ng sine mamaya. 

“We’re going to watch a movie later.”

10. In a while/Shortly (Maya-maya/Sa ilang sandali)

  • Nandiyan na ako maya-maya

“I’ll be there in a while.”

  • Lalapag na ang eroplano sa ilang sandali. 

“The plane will be landing shortly.”

5. Common Filipino Proverbs about Time

Basic Questions

There aren’t a lot of time proverbs in the Philippines, but the few that are there truly echo how Filipinos are supposed to value time. Here are some of them:

1 – “The early comer is better than the hard worker.”

Daig ng maagap ang masipag.

This is a critique against the habit of many Filipinos of being late to meetings and appointments. It suggests that a person who’s always on time will always beat a person who’s more talented but never comes on time.

2 – “Time is gold.”

Ang oras ay ginto.

This doesn’t need much explanation. Time is valuable and must not be wasted.

3 – “Do today what you can do tomorrow.”

Gawin ngayon ang kaya mong gawin bukas.

Filipinos are known to be procrastinators, and are thus said to possess the mañana habit attitude. Mañana is a Spanish word that describes an indefinite time in the future. This proverb is targeted at those who have a habit of saying mamaya na or “later” when asked to work on an important task.

These next two sayings are related to the first three. They’re designed to encourage Filipinos not to put off doing something important—or they may regret their actions in the end.

4 – “Opportunity knocks but once. Grasp it before it disappears.”

Isang beses lang kumatok ang pagkakataon. Hawakan nang mahigpit bago pa ito maglaho.

5 – “What good is grass if the horse is dead?”

Aanhin pa ang damo kung patay na ang kabayo?

6. Conclusion

As promised, learning how to tell time in Filipino is trouble-free. Sure, you’ll need to learn a few basic Spanish terms (or English if it’s not your first language), but overall, it’s not very complicated. However, to accurately tell time—or both the date and time in the Philippines—you’ll need to take your ability to read and speak the Filipino or Tagalog language up a notch.

One way you can do this is through FilipinoPod101, an online portal that provides students who wish to learn Filipino with a way to learn the language and culture of the Philippines in a systematic yet fun and convenient manner. FilipinoPod101 can provide you with countless video lessons if you’re a visual learner, as well as audio tools if you’re the type who loves learning through listening. Most importantly, it gives you the opportunity to learn the Filipino language on your own. We hope you’ll continue to let us join you on your language-learning journey!

Before you go, let us know in the comments what time it is where you are, in Filipino! We look forward to hearing from you.

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Buwan ng Wika: Celebrating Filipino Language Month

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In many ways, language is both a culmination and an expression of culture. It allows for not only effective communication, but also communication that’s relevant in a given place, time, and context. 

In this article, you’ll learn how people in the Philippines celebrate Buwan ng Wika (Filipino Language Month) and gain some insight into the importance of the Filipino language. 

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Filipino Language Month?

A Row of Books with one Book Open in Front

For the entire month of August in the Philippines, people celebrate Buwan ng Wika, or Filipino Language Month. This holiday seeks to shed light on the importance of the Filipino language and the pagkakaisa (“unity”) it brought to the country. While the status of the Filipino language in the Philippines is debated, it serves as a marker of pagkakakilanlan (“identity”) for many! 

Before we cover how Filipinos celebrate Filipino Language Month, let’s see a few facts about Buwan ng Wika and the Filipino language. 

1 – Filipino or Tagalog? 

First, let’s clear the air. Are we talking about Filipino or Tagalog here (or any of the other 120+ languages spoken in the Philippines)? 

Many people are unsure of the difference between Tagalog and Filipino, and for good reasons. The thing you need to remember is that Filipino is basically a standardized version of Tagalog, making the two languages extremely similar, with nuanced differences. 

Buwan ng Wika celebrates the Filipino language specifically, though you should also note that most Filipino people speak Tagalog as their second language (and nearly a quarter speak it as their first). 

One of the Philippines’ official languages, Filipino has had a major role in unifying the bansa (“country”) through a more standard language. 

2 – History and Meaning of Buwan ng Wika

Buwan ng Wika was first celebrated in 1946 as a week-long holiday that coincided with the birthday of a famous Tagalog literary artist, Francisco Baltazar. This holiday lasted from late March to early April, though the dates were changed four times! 

In 1997, then-President Fidel V. Ramos signed a Proclamation that the holiday would now be a month-long celebration in August. This new timeframe allowed the holiday to coincide with the birthday and death anniversary of former President Manuel L. Quezon, who’s often labeled “The Father of the Filipino Language.” 

2. Celebrations and Events for Filipino Language Month

Folk Dancing

On August 1, there’s often a flag-raising ceremony and a speech about the relevance and significance of the Filipino language in modern times. The rest of the month is filled with tons of educational activities and events, usually geared toward children and younger generations. Each year, there’s a new Buwan ng Wika theme, focusing on a specific aspect of the language or kultura (“culture”). 

If you decide to visit the Philippines in August, definitely plan on attending one or more of the special events that take place throughout the country. 

1 – Buwan ng Wika Dance Competitions & Events

In different parts of the country, you’ll likely find a variety of dance competitions and events throughout August. During these events, many Filipinos and Filipinas enjoy doing a fun katutubong sayaw (“folk dance”), though there are also recent trends toward more modern dance styles. 

2 – Balagtasan (“Poetic Debate”)

During Buwan ng Wika, spoken poetry showings and poetic debates are common throughout the Philippines. How better than through a well-crafted tula (“poem”) in one’s language to show appreciation for it? 

In addition to these poetry readings and debates, many students are encouraged to participate in essay competitions. The topic of the essay usually correlates to the year’s theme. 

3 – Exhibits & Parades

There are many art and culture exhibits promoting the Filipino language, culture, and panitikan (“literature”) throughout the country. In addition, there are many parades during August that showcase different aspects of Filipino culture. 

4 – School Programs

Many schools like to get involved with the Buwan ng Wika celebrations, using games and fun lessons to teach students about the Filipino language and culture. 

3. Kuwentong-bayan (“Folk tale”)

A Group of Friends Whispering to Each Other

Oral storytelling has played a huge part in many cultures, and this is certainly true of the Philippines. There are numerous folk tales of Philippine origin, and during Buwan ng Wika, it’s not uncommon for people to tell these stories among themselves or for an audience. 

You may be familiar with the adage, “Haste makes waste.” Well, there’s a Filipino story with the same general message about the importance of taking your time. 

In this story, a man needs to travel a long distance on horseback with several coconuts in tow. Along the way, he meets a boy and asks him how much longer he’ll need to travel until he reaches the house. The boy tells him that if he travels slowly, he’ll get there early; if he travels quickly, he’ll get there late. Not understanding, the man sped up his horse only to have the coconuts fall off; he gathered them up again, and sped up the horse to the same effect. Because he didn’t take his time, he didn’t reach the house until after dark. 

    → Oral communication is great, but who doesn’t like a good book? Check out our list of the essential vocabulary for Talking About Books!

4. Essential Vocabulary for Filipino Language Month

White Slips of Paper with Words on Them

What better way to celebrate Filipino Language Month than by memorizing a few words? Here’s a list of some of the words from this article! 

  • “Language” — Wika [n]
  • “Word” — Salita [n]
  • “Culture” — Kultura [n]
  • “Literature” — Panitikan [n]
  • “Poem” — Tula [n]
  • “Legend” — Alamat [n]
  • “Folk tale” — Kuwentong-bayan [n]
  • “Folk dance” — Katutubong sayaw [n]
  • “Essay” — Sanaysay [n]
  • “Poetic debate” — Balagtasan [n]
  • “Unity” — Pagkakaisa [n]
  • “Country” — Bansa [n]
  • “Identity” — Pagkakakilanlan [n]

Remember that you can find each of these words with audio pronunciations on our Filipino Language Month vocabulary list

Final Thoughts

The development and adoption of the Filipino language was certainly a positive turning point for communication in the Philippines, making Buwan ng Wika a meaningful month for the country. 

What are your thoughts on this holiday, and the Filipino language in general? Does your country have a special holiday to celebrate its official language? Let us know in the comments! 

To continue learning about the Filipino language and culture, check out these free resources from the FilipinoPod101.com blog:

Whatever your reasons for wanting to learn Filipino or explore life in the Philippines, know that FilipinoPod101 has your back! Create your free lifetime account today and take advantage of our numerous learning tools: themed vocabulary lists, spaced-repetition flashcards, video and audio lessons, and so much more. 

Stay safe out there, and happy Filipino learning!

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