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The 10 Fundamental Filipino Questions and Answers

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Imagine living in a world without questions. 

Questions are an important part of life, and not just because they’re a part of the language we speak. Questions start conversations. Without questions, curiosity would be extinct. Without them, everyone would be trapped in ignorance. 

With this in mind, are you ready to start learning how to ask Tagalog questions? You’re in the right place, because that’s just what we’re going to talk about today! 

Generally, Filipinos are very inquisitive. Sometimes, though, that quality is abused. That’s why we have the terms chismoso and chismosa, which are Tagalog for “tattletale” or “gossip.”

But when used appropriately, the ability to ask the right questions can help you build rapport and establish relationships with the right people. So, without further ado, let’s explore the top ten Tagalog questions with answers that every student of the Filipino language should learn.

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  1. What is your name?
  2. Where are you from?
  3. Do you speak Tagalog?
  4. How long have you been studying Tagalog?
  5. Have you been to ___?
  6. How is ___?
  7. Do you like Filipino food?
  8. What are you doing?
  9. What’s wrong?
  10. How much is it?
  11. Nais Mo Bang Matuto Nang Mas Mabilis?

1. What is your name?

First Encounter

When meeting someone for the first time, the first thing you’d want to ask them is their name, right? Here’s how:

  • Anong pangalan mo?
    “What’s your name?”

You can also say:

  • Pwede ko bang malaman ang pangalan mo?
    “May I know your name?”

Ikaw si? (“You are?”) may be acceptable, although it’s a bit informal.

Responding to the question:

If you’re the one who’s being asked, you can reply by saying either of the following:

  • Ang pangalan ko ay ___.
    “My name is ___.”
  • Ako nga pala si ___.
    “I’m ___, by the way.”

You can also simply state your name.

Important words and their translation:

  • ano (“what”)
  • pangalan (“name”)
  • mo (“you”/”your”)
  • ako (“I”)
  • pala (“by the way”)

Following Up

After asking for a person’s name, Filipinos usually follow up by asking for that person’s age. Unlike in other cultures where it’s inappropriate to ask for someone’s age, in the Philippines, most people don’t mind being asked how “young” they are. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to remain sensitive and simply change the topic if the person doesn’t seem too comfortable answering the question. 

But in most cases, if you’re curious about a person’s age, you can simply ask them one of these Filipino language questions:

  • Ilang taon ka na?
    “How old are you?”
  • Ano ang edad mo?
    “What’s your age?”
  • Pwede ko bang malaman kung ilang taon ka na?
    “May I know how old you are?” / “May I know what your age is?”

Responding to the question:

  • Bente-uno pa lang ho ako.
    “I’m only twenty-one, sir/ma’am.”
  • Ang edad ko po ay trenta’y uno anyos. 
    “My age is thirty-one years.”

In casual conversations, however, most people use the first format.

Important words and their translation:

  •  Ilang taon ka na? (“How old are you?”)

    ilan (“how many”/”how much”)

    taon (“year”)

    ka (“you”)

    na (“already”)
  • Ano ang edad mo? (“What is your age?”)

    ano (“what”)

    ang (“is”)

    edad (“age”)

    mo (“you”/”your”)
  • Pwede ko bang malaman kung ilang taon ka na? (“May I know how old you are?”)

    pwede (“possible”)

    malaman (“know”)

    kung (“if”)

    taon (“year”)

2. Where are you from?

If you want to know where someone’s from, there are two basic ways to ask this question in Filipino: 

  • Taga saan ka?
    “Where are you from?”
  • Saan ka nakatira? 
    “Where do you live?”

And if you want to know where someone is staying, you can say:

  • Saan ka tumutuloy? 
    “Where are you staying?”

Responding to the question:

If you’re the one being asked, you can reply by saying:

  • Taga ___ ako
    “I’m from ___.”

To inform someone where you’re staying, you can say:

  • Sa ___ ako ngayon tumutuloy.
    “I currently stay at ___.”

For example:

  • Sa Muntinlupa ako ngayon tumutuloy. 
    “I currently stay at Muntinlupa.”

Important words and their translation:

  • Taga saan ka? (“Where are you from?”)

    taga – This word denotes one’s origin or residence. The great Filipino general and national hero, Antonio Luna, once used the pseudonym Taga-Ilog, which means “one who is from the river.” Interestingly, Taga-Ilog is also where we get the term Tagalog, which describes the Tagalog people being “people from [along] the river.”

    saan (“where”)
  • Taga ___ ako. (“I’m from ___.”)

    sa – This is a preposition that could mean “to,” “at,” “in,” or “on.” In this context, it’s used as “at.”

    ako (“me”)

    ngayon (“now”/”currently”)

    tumutuloy – from the root word tuloy, meaning to enter or stay in a house

3. Do you speak Tagalog?

Introducing Yourself

There are three ways to ask a person if they speak a certain language. To ask someone if they speak Tagalog, you can say any of the following:

  • Nagtatagalog ka ba? 
    “Do you speak Tagalog?”
  • Marunong ka bang magtagalog? 
    “Do you know how to speak Tagalog?”
  • Nakakaintindi ka ba ng Tagalog? 
    “Do you understand Tagalog?”

Responding to the question:

To respond in the affirmative, you can say:

  • Oo marunong akong magtagalog. / Oo marunong akong magsalita ng Tagalog.  
    “Yes, I know how to speak Tagalog.”
  • Oo, nagtatagalog ako. 
    “Yes, I do speak Tagalog.”
  • Oo, nakakaintindi ako ng Tagalog. 
    “Yes, I can understand Tagalog.”

If you’re not confident with your Tagalog-speaking skills, you can say:

  • Hindi masyado. 
    “Not that much.”

Or:

  • Medyo pulupot pa ang dila ko. 
    “I still get tongue-tied once in a while.”

Important words and their translation:

  • Oo marunong akong magtagalog. / Oo marunong akong magsalita ng Tagalog. (“Yes, I know how to speak Tagalog.”)

    oo (“yes”)

    marunong (“has the knowledge”)

    ako (“me”/”I”)

    magsalita – from the root word salita, which means “speak” or “talk”

    nakakaintindi – from the root word intindi, which means “understand”

    magtagalog – In some cases, the prefix mag– is added to a noun to make it a verb. Magtagalog could mean “do Tagalog” or “use Tagalog” in English.
  • Medyo pulupot pa ang dila ko. (“I still get tongue-tied once in a while.”)

    medyo (“partly”/”a little bit”)

    pulupot (“twisted”/”coiled”)

4. How long have you been studying Tagalog?

Knowing how long someone has been studying a certain language can help you gauge that person’s knowledge of the language, as well as help you formulate your sentences in a way that’s appropriate to that person’s language skills.

  • Gaano ka na katagal nag-aaral ng Tagalog? 
    “How long have you been studying Tagalog?”

Responding to the question:

  • Mag-iisang taon na akong nag-aaral ng Tagalog. 
    “I’ve been studying Tagalog for almost a year now.”
  • Mga ilang buwan pa lang akong nag-aaral ng Tagalog. 
    “I’ve only been studying Tagalog for a few months.”
  • Kakasimula ko pa lang mag-aral ng Tagalog; mga isang linggo pa lang. 
    “I just started studying Tagalog; about a week or so.”

Important words and their translation:

  • Gaano ka na katagal nag-aaral ng Tagalog? (“How long have you been studying Tagalog?”)

    gaano – The word gaano is a Tagalog word used when asking about the extent or degree of how something is done.

    katagal – from the root word tagal, which refers to duration

    nag-aaral (“studying”)
  • Mag-iisang taon na akong nag-aaral ng Tagalog. (“I’ve been studying Tagalog for almost a year now.”)

    mag-iisang taon – This expression means “almost a year now.” In this case, the prefix mag– is added to denote that the action is still about to be completed. To say “almost two years now,” the number is changed from isa to dalawa (mag-dadalawang taon na), and so on, depending on the length of time involved.

    taon (“year”)

    nag-aaral – from the root word aral, meaning “to study”

    ilan – The word ilan is Tagalog for “count,” although in this context, it means “few.”

    kakasimula – This is from the root word simula, meaning “start.” The prefix kaka– in a context like this is often added to an action word to imply that it hasn’t been long since the action was started.

    mga isang linggo – The word mga is often used for estimation. For instance, if you’re not sure of the length of an object, you say, mga ganito kahaba or “about this long.”

    linggo – This is the Tagalog word for “Sunday,” which is the same word used for “week.”

    lang– the shortened form of lamang, which means “only” or “just”

5. Have you been to ___?

Being able to travel to a foreign country broadens your perspective and allows you to discover yourself while learning other people’s cultures at the same time. To ask someone if they’ve been to another country, like Italy, you can say:

  • Nakapunta ka na ba sa Italya? 
    “Have you been to Italy?”

Responding to the question:

If you’re the one being asked, you can respond in a variety of ways.

To respond in the affirmative, you can say:

  • Oo, nakapunta na ako sa Italya. 
    “Yes, I’ve been to Italy before.”

You can also use Oo, nakarating na ako ng Italya, which basically means the same thing.

To respond in the negative, you can say:

  • Hindi pa ako nakapunta sa Italya. 
    “No, I haven’t been to Italy yet.”

You can follow that up with a question of your own: 

  • Eh ikaw, nakapunta ka na ba ng Italya? 
    “How about you, have you been to Italy?”

Important words and their translation:

  • Nakapunta ka na ba sa Italya? (“Have you been to Italy?”)

    nakapunta – This is the past tense of the verb punta, which means “to go to.”
  • Oo, nakarating na ako ng Italya. (“Yes, I’ve been to Italy before.”)

    nakarating – This is the past tense of the verb dating, meaning “arrive.” In this context, the word means that the person speaking has been to Italy.


6. How is ___?

There’s not a single way to use “How is ___?” in Filipino since it could mean one of two things. Basically, though, the word to use here is kumusta.

Asking about someone

  • Kumusta na ang kuya mo? 
    “How is your big brother?”

Responding to the question:

To answer this kind of question, you can say:

  • Ayos naman po siya. Salamat sa pagtatanong. 
    “He’s fine. Thanks for asking.”

Asking about a person’s experience

  • Kumusta ang pamamalagi mo dito sa Pilipinas? 
    “So, how is your stay here in the Philippines so far?”
  • Kumusta ang salu-salo niyo kagabi? 
    “How was your party last night?”

Responding to the question:

To answer such questions, you can say:

  • Maayos naman. 
    “It’s fine.”
  • Masaya! 
    “It was fun!”

Important words and their translation:

  • Kumusta na ang kuya mo? (“How is your big brother?”)

    kumusta – from the Spanish como estas, meaning “How are you?”

    kuya (“brother”)
  • Kumusta naman ang pamamalagi mo dito sa Pilipinas? (“So, how is your stay here in the Philippines so far?”)

    pamamalagi (“stay”/”permanence”)

    dito (“here”)
  • Kumusta ang salu-salo niyo kagabi? (“How was your party last night?”)

    salu-salo (“party”/”get-together”)

    kagabi (“last night”)
Man and Woman Talking Over Dinner Date

Kumusta na ang kuya mo? (“How is your big brother?”)

7. Do you like Filipino food?

Food is an important aspect of the Filipino culture. In fact, it’s an important part of any culture. There’s just something about food that breaks cultural barriers. In Filipino culture, questions and answers about food can help break the ice in any conversation and guide the discussion. 

If you want to ask someone whether they like the food of a particular culture, like the Philippines, for instance, you can say:

  • Gusto mo ba ang mga pagkain dito sa Pilipinas? 
    “Do you like the food here in the Philippines?”
  • Gusto mo ba ng pagkaing Pilipino? 
    “Do you like Filipino food?”

If you’re asking about a person’s experience with food that they’ve tried in another country, you can say: 

  • Nagustuhan mo ba ang pagkain doon sa Japan? 
    “Did you like the food there in Japan?”

Responding to the question:

If you’re the one being asked this question, respond by saying:

  • Oo. Masasarap ang mga pagkain dito sa Pilipinas. 
    “Yes. The food here in the Philippines is all delectable.”

If you don’t like the food, you can be honest and polite at the same time by saying: 

  • Pasensya ka na, pero sa totoo lang, hindi ako masyadong nasasarapan sa mga pagkain dito. 
    “I apologize, but to be honest, I don’t really find the food here that desirable.”

Important words and their translation:

  • Gusto mo ba ang mga pagkain dito sa Pilipinas? (“Do you like the food here in the Philippines?”)

    gusto (“like”)

    pagkain (“food”)
  • Oo. Masasarap ang mga pagkain dito sa Pilipinas. (“Yes. The food here in the Philippines is all delectable.”)

    masasarap – This is from the root word masarap, which means “delicious.” Notice how the second syllable of the root word is repeated. This is done if the adjective refers to plural subjects.
  • Pasensya ka na, pero sa totoo lang, hindi ako masyadong nasasarapan sa mga pagkain dito. (“I apologize, but to be honest, I don’t really find the food here that desirable.”)

    pasensya – This is from the word “patience.” The word is an expression used when asking for an apology.

    pero (“but”)

    sa totoo lang (“in reality”/”the truth of the matter”)

    hindi (“no”/”not”)

    ako (“I”/”me”)

    masyado (“too much”)

    nasasarapan – This is from the word sarap, which means “palatable.” In this context, the word refers to the person’s experience of finding food delicious.


8. What are you doing?

We all love to know what our friends are up to at the moment, and what better way to find out than by asking?

To ask someone what they’re up to, you can say:

  • Anong ginagawa mo ngayon? 
    “What are you doing right now?”
  • Anong ginagawa mo diyan? 
    “What are you doing there?”

To ask someone what they were doing at an earlier time, you can say:

  • Anong ginagawa mo dun sa labas kanina? 
    “What were you doing there outside?”

Responding to the question:

When asked this by a friend, you can respond in several ways, depending on what you’re currently up to. For instance, if you’re just at home watching your favorite films on Netflix, you can say: 

  • Nasa bahay lang ako nanonood ng mga pelikula sa Netflix. 
    “I’m just here at home watching Netflix films.”

If you’re busy in school or at the office, you can say: 

  • Nasa klase ako. 
    “I’m in class.”

Or:

  • May meeting kami ngayon dito sa opisina
    “We’re currently having a meeting here in the office.”

Now, if your buddies are asking what you’re doing at the moment, it’s because they miss you and want to hang out with you. If you’ve got nothing to do and want to spend time with them, too, you can say something like:

  • Nasa bahay lang ako. Kape tayo? 
    “I’m just here at home. Want to grab some coffee?”

You can also say:

  • Wala akong pasok. Gusto mo bang manood ng sine? 
    “I have no work/school today. Do you want to see a movie?”

Important words and their translation:

  • Anong ginagawa mo diyan? (“What are you doing right now?”)

    anong– combination of ano ang, which means “what”

    ginagawa – This is from the root word gawa, meaning “do” or “action.” In this case, the present tense of the word is used: ginagawa, or “doing.”

    diyan (“there”)
  • Anong ginagawa mo dun sa labas kanina? (“What were you doing there outside?”)

    dun – shortened form of doon, meaning “there”

    labas (“outside”)

    kanina (“earlier”)
  • Nasa bahay lang ako nanonood ng mga pelikula sa Netflix. (“I’m just here at home watching Netflix films.”)

    nasa – a preposition referring to one’s location (“in,” “on,” “at”)

    bahay (“house”)

    nanonood – present tense of nood, which means “to watch”

    pelikula (“film”/”movie”)
  • Nasa klase ako. (“I’m in class.”)

    klase (“class”)
  • May meeting kami ngayon dito sa opisina. (“We’re currently having a meeting here in the office.”)

    may – shortened form of mayroon, which means “there is” or “have”

    kami (“us”/”we”)

    opisina (“office”)
  • Nasa bahay lang ako. Kape tayo? (“I’m just here at home. Want to grab some coffee?”)

    kape (“coffee”)

    tayo (“us”)
  • Wala akong pasok. Gusto mo bang manood ng sine? (“I have no work/school today. Do you want to see a movie?”)

    wala (“none”)

    pasok – The meaning of pasok is “enter,” so in this context, it means attending class or work. When one says wala akong pasok, what they mean is that they don’t have school or work, either because it’s a holiday or they’re on leave.

    gusto (“like”/”want”)

    manood – from the root word nood, meaning “to watch”

    sine – the big screen or the movie house
Someone Watching TV with a Bowl of Popcorn

Nasa bahay lang ako nanonood ng mga pelikula sa Netflix. 
(“I’m just here at home watching Netflix films.”)

9. What’s wrong?

There are times when you need to ask someone how they feel, especially when there seems to be something wrong. If you want to confirm if a friend or colleague is in a tough situation, you can say:

  • Anong problema? 
    “What’s wrong?” (Literally: “What’s the problem?”)
  • May problema ba? 
    “Is there a problem?”

Alternatively, you can ask:

  • May problema ka yata? 
    “You seem to have a problem?” / “Something doesn’t seem right with you.”

Responding to the question:

If you’re the one being asked and you don’t want to talk about the problem, you can say:

  • Ayos lang ako. Salamat. 
    “I’m fine. Thank you.”
  • Wala ito. Salamat sa pag-aalala. 
    “This is nothing. Thanks for your concern.”

On the other hand, you can say:

  • Oo, may problema ako. 
    “Yes, I have a problem.”

And then you can begin sharing your problems or concerns with the other person.

Important words and their translation:

  • May problema ka yata? (“You seem to have a problem?”)

    problema (“problem”)

    yata – This is a word that expresses uncertainty and is equivalent to “I think,” “it seems,” and “perhaps.” In this context, “it seems” is the nearest translation.
  • Ayos lang ako. Salamat. (“I’m fine. Thank you.”)

    ayos – This is an expression that implies orderliness. In this context, it means that everything is fine.

    salamat (“thank you”)
  • Wala ito. Salamat sa pag-aalala. (“This is nothing. Thanks for your concern.”)

    wala (“none”/”nothing”)

    ito (“this”)

    pag-aalala (“concern”)

10. How much is it? 

Filipinos are among the best when it comes to haggling, which is why some of the most important Filipino questions and answers for beginners are those about prices. 

In Tagalog, when you want to ask for the price of an item, you say:

  • Magkano po iyan? 
    “How much is it?” / “How much is that?”

If you think you can get the seller to give you a better deal, you can say:

  • Baka pwede pa po babaan ang presyo? 
    “Perhaps the price can still be lowered?”

In cases where there’s only one of a certain item for sale, or if you’re holding the item in your hand, you can simply say:

  • Magkano? 
    “How much?”

Responding to the question:

What if you’re the one selling the item? Then you say:

  • Mura lang. Isang-daang piso lang ang presyo niyan. 
    “It’s not that expensive. It only costs a hundred pesos.”

Alternatively, you can simply inform the buyer of the price: 

  • Singkwenta. 
    “Fifty.”

Important words and their translation:

  • Magkano po iyan? (“How much is it?”)

    magkano (“how much”)

    iyan (“that”)
  • Baka pwede pa po babaan ang presyo? (“Perhaps the price can still be lowered?”)

    baka (“perhaps”/”maybe”)

    pwede (“possible”/”can”)

    babaan (“to lower”)

    presyo (“price”)
  • Mura lang. Isang-daang piso lang ang presyo niyan. (“It’s not that expensive. It only costs a hundred pesos.”)

    mura (“cheap”)

    isang-daan (“one hundred”)

    presyo (“price”/”cost”)
Someone Digging into Their Wallet for More Cash

Baka pwede pa po babaan ang presyo? (“Perhaps the price can still be lowered?”)

11. Nais Mo Bang Matuto Nang Mas Mabilis?

Do you want to learn faster? Well, it’s a good thing that FilipinoPod101 is here. With FilipinoPod101, you can learn not only Filipino questions and answers, but other important topics, as well. For example, how to read in Filipino, how to get around in the Philippines, and most importantly, how to speak more Filipino in 2020.

Yes, it’s very important to learn how to ask and respond to Tagalog questions, but you can only get better at it if you have a strong foundation in basic Filipino expressions and vocabulary

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