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Filipino Classroom Phrases

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Online classes may be the norm these days, but nothing can beat an actual classroom experience. If you’re planning to study in the Philippines one day or currently are, it will help a lot to learn and master Filipino classroom phrases. Not only will it enable you to communicate with your teachers and classmates more effectively, but it will also help you get the most out of every class you take.

This guide will introduce you to over thirty school words and phrases in Tagalog, from basic greetings to common classroom instructions to useful expressions you can use when conversing with teachers and fellow students. Let’s begin!

Four Students in Uniform Chatting while Walking

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Basic Greetings
  2. Common Instructions and Commands Used by Teachers
  3. Phrases To Use When Asking for Clarifications
  4. Phrases To Use When Explaining Absences and Tardiness
  5. When Talking About Your Favorite Subjects
  6. When Talking About Common School Supplies
  7. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

1. Basic Greetings 

In most schools in the Philippines, the only time you would actually hear Tagalog classroom greetings is during classes where Filipino is used as the main language, such as the Filipino subject, or sometimes, Social Studies.

English is the preferred means of communication in Filipino schools, especially private ones. However, in most public schools, students are encouraged to communicate in Filipino or use their dialect.

It’s also essential to learn how to address one’s teachers and classmates and not just what Filipino words to say when greeting them.

Female teachers are addressed either as Ginang (Ma’am/Mrs./Madam) or Binibini (Miss), while male teachers are addressed as Ginoo (Sir). There are no special titles used for addressing one’s fellow students, but showing respect and courtesy to one another is encouraged at all times.

Magandang umaga, Binibining Reyes. “Good morning, Miss Reyes.”
Magandang umaga, Ginang Diaz. “Good morning, Mrs. Diaz.”
Magandang hapon, Ginoong Santos. “Good afternoon, Mr. Santos.”
Magandang umaga, Ma’am/Sir. “Good morning, Ma’am/ Sir.”
Magandang umaga, mga kaklase. “Good morning, classmates”
Magandang araw sa inyong lahat. “Good day to all of you.”
Paalam, Binibining Robles. “Goodbye, Miss Robles.”
Magkita ulit tayo bukas. “See you tomorrow.”

A Female Student Waving to Two Other Students

Magkita ulit tayo bukas. (“See you tomorrow.”)

    ➜ There are many different ways of greeting in Filipino. Our lesson on Basic Filipino Greetings is a great place to start learning them.

2. Common Instructions and Commands Used by Teachers

The Philippine educational system is largely influenced by the country’s colonial past. It has adopted the Spanish way of teaching, in particular. This is characterized by an authoritarian management style where the teacher has complete control of everything going on inside the classroom. This is no longer a common practice, although courtesy, politeness, and respect are values that are still highly encouraged among students and teachers alike. The following are some of the most basic Filipino phrases used by teachers when addressing their students:

Greetings

Magandang araw sa inyong lahat. “Good morning everyone.”
Kumusta kayo ngayong araw? “How are you today?”
Kumusta ka na, Andrea? “How are you, Andrea?”
Masaya akong makita kayo.“I am happy to see you all.”

Roll Call

Nandito ba kayong lahat?“Is everybody here?”
Sino ang wala ngayon?“Who is not here/absent today?”
Nasaan si Carlos?“Where is Carlos?”
Nandito na ba si Miguel?“Is Miguel here already?”
Anong nangyari kay Anya?“What happened to Anya?”

Time to Begin

Simulan na natin ang ating klase. “Let’s begin our class.”
Simulan na natin ang ating aralin. “Let’s begin our lesson”
Handa na ba ang lahat? “Is everybody ready?”
Magsisimula na tayo. Kung maaari ay tumahimik na ang lahat at makinig. “We’ll start now. Please keep quiet and listen.”
Umayos na ang lahat para makapagsimula na tayo. “Settle down now so we can start.”
Ang lahat ba ay nakikita ang nakasulat sa pisara? “Can everyone see what’s written on the board?”

Common Instructions

Itabi niyo na ang mga gamit niyo.“Pack your things away now.”
Isara niyo ang inyong mga aklat. “Close your books.”
Buksan ang mga aklat sa pahina… “Open your books at page…”
Kakailanganin ninyo ang lapis at papel. “You will need a pencil and a sheet of paper.”
Pag-aaralan natin ang…“We will learn about…”
Pag-aaralan natin kung paano… “We will learn how to…”
May sampung minuto lang kayo para gawin ito. “You only have ten minutes to do this.”

Comprehension Questions

Naiintindihan niyo ba?“Do you understand?”
Nakakasunod ba kayo?“Do you follow?”
May mga tanong ba kayo? “Do you have any questions?”
May mga katanungan? “Any questions?”
Sino ang nakakaalam ng sagot? “Who knows the answer?”
Sino ang makakasagot sa tanong? “Who can answer the question?”
Pakisulat ang sagot sa pisara.“Please write the answer on the board.”
Pakiulit ng sinabi mo. “Say it again, please.” / “Please repeat what you said.”

Classroom Supervision

Tumigil muna kayo sa pagsasalita. “Everybody stop talking please.”
Tumingin kayo dito. “Look this way.”
Makinig kayo sa sinasabi ni Kiana. “Listen to what Kiana is saying.”
Hayaan niyo na muna iyan sa ngayon. “Leave that one for now.”

Male Teacher Handing the Chalk to a Student Raising Her Hand

Pakisulat ang sagot sa pisara. (“Please write the answer on the board.”)

    ➜ No student is greater than their teacher. If you want to be a great student of the Filipino language, you will need to have a great teacher. Our lesson entitled The Power of a Good Filipino Teacher shares insights on how important it is to find a good language teacher.

3. Phrases To Use When Asking for Clarifications

Asking for clarification is part of learning. It’s a great way for students to learn new information and better understand what has just been taught. Most teachers allow their students to ask questions regarding the lesson only after giving the lecture. 

Some would take a break midway to give students the opportunity to process what they have heard and ask for clarifications. A few others don’t mind if their students raise a question in the middle of the lesson. Just remember to ask politely and use the expression po as much as possible when addressing the teacher.

Hindi ko po maintindihan.“I don’t understand.”
Pwede niyo po bang ulitin? “Can you please repeat?”
May gusto po akong itanong.“I would like to ask something.”
May tanong po ako. “I have a question.”
Pakiulit po ng mga tagubilin.“Please repeat the instructions.”
Nahihirapan po akong ayusin ang pangungusap na ito. “I’m having trouble fixing this sentence.”
Turuan niyo po akong baybayin ito. “Please help me spell this one.”
Ano daw ang sabi ng guro natin?“What did our teacher say?”

    ➜ Asking questions is the fastest way for you to learn about something. Here are other common Filipino questions you need to be familiar with.

4. Phrases To Use When Explaining Absences and Tardiness

As much as we all love learning and would never want to be late or absent, there are times when we can’t help but miss school. This is where the importance of knowing how to provide reasons for your absence or delay comes in. 

Reasonable Excuses

Pasensya na po kayo kung hindi ako nakapasok kahapon. “I apologize for not being able to attend yesterday.”
Ipagpaumanhin niyo po kung nahuli ako sa klase. “I’m sorry if I’m late for class.”
Masama po ang pakiramdam ko kahapon. “I wasn’t feeling well yesterday.”
May importante po kaming lakad. “We had an important thing to attend to.”
Wala pong magbabantay sa kapatid ko. “No one’s around to look after my younger sibling.”
Nasiraan po ang sinasakyan kong bus. “The bus I took broke down.”
Bumaha po sa kalye namin kaya hindi ako makalabas. “Our street was flooded, so I couldn’t go out.”

Somewhat Silly Excuses

There are valid excuses for being late or absent, and there are somewhat silly ones. But believe it or not, a lot of students still use them. You can’t fool teachers, though, especially the more experienced ones. Years of teaching have honed their intuition and will instantly know if you’re just making up your reasons for being tardy.

Namatay po ang lola ng nanay ko.“My mom’s grandma passed away.” 

*This is one of the most abused reasons for being absent in school. Students use this all the time since teachers rarely verify the truth of the claim considering that it’s a sensitive issue. The claim becomes suspect, though, if the same student has used it more than a couple of times. The teacher would then ask, Andami mo naman yatang lola? (“It seems that you have too many grandmothers.”)
Hindi po natuyo ang mga damit ko.“My clothes didn’t dry all the way.”
Hindi po nag-alarm yung orasan namin.“Our alarm clock didn’t go off.”
Naiwan ko po sa dyip ang takdang-aralin ko.“I left my homework in the passenger jeepney.”
Namatay po ang pinsan ng lolo ko. “My grandpa’s cousin died.”
Nakatulog ako sa tren at bumaba sa maling istasyon. “I fell asleep on the train and woke up at the wrong station.”

A Man Holding an Alarm Clock in Disbelief, Signifying that He’s Late

Hindi po nag-alarm yung orasan namin. (“Our alarm clock didn’t go off.”)

    ➜ Learning how to give an excuse is an important aspect of good communication. In our lesson What’s Your Filipino Excuse, we share with you tips on how to give reasons for not being able to do something.

5. When Talking About Your Favorite Subjects

In the Philippines, most of the names of school subjects are in English. Most have Filipino translations, but they are only used in written communication and seldom in daily conversations. For instance, you won’t hear your classmate say Nagawa mo ba ang proyekto natin sa Sikolohiya? Instead, it’s Nagawa mo ba ang project natin sa Psychology? (“Were you able to work on our project in psychology?”). 

However, it’s still important to learn the Filipino equivalent of the names of common school subjects since they are what you will use when writing formal or academic papers in Filipino. Here’s a list of these subjects and their equivalent in English:

List of Subjects

Wika at Gramatika/Balarila Language and Grammar 
Matematika Mathematics
Agham / SiyensiyaScience
Kimika Chemistry
PisikaPhysics
Musika at Sining Music and Arts
Araling PanlipunanSocial Studies
SikolohiyaPsychology
EkonomikaEconomics
Relihiyon at EtikaReligion and Ethics
Edukasyong Pantahanan at PangkabuhayanHome Economics and Livelihood Education

Talking about school subjects:

Simulan na natin ang proyekto natin sa Araling Panlipunan.“Let’s start working on our project in Social Studies.”
Tulungan mo ako sa bagong paksa na tinalakay natin sa Wika at Gramatika.“Please help me with the new lesson we discussed in Language and Grammar.”
Magaling ako sa Musika at Sining.“I’m good at Music and Arts.”
Wala tayong takdang-aralin sa Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan.“We don’t have homework in Home Economics and Livelihood Education.”


6. When Talking About Common School Supplies

School supplies are often a subject of daily conversations, which is why it’s so important to learn this type of classroom vocabulary in Filipino. Below is a list of Tagalog words describing the names of writing and learning tools and their English translation.

LapisPencil
Aklat/LibroBook
PapelPaper
KuwadernoNotebook
PantasaSharpener
GuntingScissors
PangkulayColoring Pen
PanukatRuler
PolderFolder
PandikitGlue
PamburaEraser
KalkuleytorCalculator
BaunanLunch Box
PisaraBlackboard
TisaChalk
MesaTable
Silya / UpuanChair

And here are a few examples of how to talk about the objects in the list above:

Pwede bang makahiram ng lapis?“May I borrow a pencil?”
Nawawala ang pambura ko.“My eraser is missing.”
Pahiram naman ng libro mo sa Balarila.“Let me borrow your grammar book.”
Hindi ko yata nadala ang kuwaderno ko.“I don’t think I brought my notebook with me.”
Pwede daw gumamit ng kalkuleytor sabi ni titser.“Teacher said we can use a calculator.”

A Person Using a Calculator

Pwede daw gumamit ng kalkuleytor sabi ni titser. (“Teacher said we can use a calculator.”)

7. How FilipinoPod101 Can Help

This guide has introduced you to basic Filipino classroom phrases that will surely help enhance your classroom experience. Here, you have learned how to greet your teachers and classmates in Tagalog, how to ask for clarifications, and how to express yourself when giving reasons for tardiness and absences. You also learned common instructions and commands used by teachers inside the classroom. And finally, you learned how to talk about school subjects. 

Did we miss anything that you believe should be in this guide too? Let us know in the comments!

And if you want to learn more than just Tagalog classroom phrases, we highly recommend that you sign up for a free lifetime account here at FilipinoPod101 where you can experience innovative Filipino language learning and learn all you need to know about Filipino. That includes grammar, pronunciation, basic sentences, frequently used vocabulary, and other important Filipino lessons you will need in your language learning journey. All this while finding out more about Filipino culture too!

For a more strategic approach to online Filipino learning, we also have MyTeacher, a premium feature we offer students who want to receive one-on-one coaching from an actual Filipino teacher. Don’t wait! Join FilipinoPod101 today and enjoy innovative language learning!

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