Get up to 45% Off with the 12-month challenge. Ends soon!
Get up to 45% Off with the 12-month challenge. Ends soon!
FilipinoPod101.com Blog
Learn Filipino with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Filipino Lessons' Category

Learn the Top 15 Ways to Say Goodbye in Tagalog

Thumbnail

Walang iwanan. There’s probably no other Filipino value that will make you love the Philippines and its people more than the one represented by this expression. It basically means that no one is left behind. 

And that’s what Filipinos are all about. Pinoys stick together as a people, which is why you’ll find a Filipino community in nearly every corner of the world. Perhaps this makes saying goodbye in Tagalog that much more significant. 

Despite the fact that Filipinos always stick together, they’re also the ones who say goodbye to each other the most. Every year, more than a million Pinoys leave the country to live and work in a foreign land—and every day, families say goodbye to each other. But as the saying goes, “No goodbyes; only see you later.”

But how exactly do Filipinos say goodbye to each other? In this article, you’ll discover the top fifteen ways to say goodbye in Filipino. Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Common Ways to Say Goodbye in Tagalog
  2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye
  3. Untranslatable Goodbye Phrases in Filipino
  4. The FilipinoPod101 Advantage

1. Common Ways to Say Goodbye in Tagalog

Most Common Goodbyes

Filipinos are known for their hospitality, so the value they place on politeness should come as no surprise. When we speak of being polite and courteous, that includes knowing when and how to greet others, as well as how to ask permission when it’s time to go. Below are some of the most common ways to say goodbye in the Filipino language.

1. Paalam. / “Goodbye.”

“Goodbye” in Tagalog is paalam. This is a formal way to bid someone farewell in Filipino, so you won’t often hear it in conversations. Instead, you’re more likely to hear it in movies and read it in Filipino literature. You’ll also hear it in songs, such as in the classic OPM song Paalam Na by Rachel Alejandro. The chorus of the song goes:

  • Paalam na aking mahal, kay hirap sabihin. / “Goodbye, my love; such difficult words to say.”

2. Hanggang sa muli. / “Until next time.”

Hanggang sa muli is the Tagalog expression for “Until next time,” with hanggang being “until” and sa muli being “again.” Like paalam, this is a formal Filipino goodbye. 

Keep in mind that “next time” is actually sa susunod in Tagalog, so it’s also correct to say: Hanggang sa susunod. 

This phrase is often used as a follow-up to paalam, which is why it’s not uncommon to hear or read: 

  • Paalam. Hanggang sa muli. / “Goodbye. Until next time.”

Interestingly, this is something you also see in English grammar.

3. Hanggang sa muling pagkikita. / “Until we see each other again.”

Like the previous two examples, this phrase is rarely used in conversational Tagalog, and is more common in songs and literature. Hanggang sa muling pagkikita means “Until we see each other again,” and it’s just another way of saying: Hanggang sa muli nating pagkikita. / “Until our next meeting.” 

4. Babay! / “Buh-bye!”

Babay is the equivalent of the English words “buh-bye” or “bye bye.” In contrast to the first three words, this one is used only when you’re comfortable with or close to the person you’re saying goodbye to. That said, you don’t say this to your boss or to one of your clients. In fact, in the Philippines, this word is mainly used by little kids or parents saying goodbye to their children before leaving for work. 

5. Bye!

Yes, many Filipinos actually use the English word “bye” instead of the Tagalog equivalent. English is a second language to most Filipinos, so it’s not surprising that most people in the Philippines use a lot of English words in their conversations. In fact, you’ll rarely hear a Filipino person nowadays conversing in pure Tagalog. 

In the Philippines, there’s a subculture referred to as “conyo.” This refers to Tagalog-speaking people who, when speaking in English, insert one or two Tagalog words into their sentences, all the while speaking with a heavy American accent.

One example is “It’s so traffic naman today,” which, when translated, means: “The traffic is unusually heavy today.”

In regular Tagalog conversations, though, it’s not unusual to hear someone saying: 

  • Bye, mauna na ako. / “Bye, I’m leaving now.”

A Drunk Man Inside a Car

“It’s so traffic naman today.”


2. Specific Ways to Say Goodbye

Now, let’s discover how Filipino people say goodbye in more specific contexts.

6. Huwag magpagabi ha? / “Don’t stay out too late, okay?”

The conservativeness of the Filipino people is evident in the way they speak. This is clear, for example, in how Filipinos often speak to their loved ones. Huwag magpagabi is often said by strict parents or elders to remind their young ones that while they’re free to spend time with their friends, they’re still expected to come home before it gets dark. 

A: ‘Nay, alis na po ako. / “Ma, I’m leaving now.”
B: Sige. Huwag magpagabi ha? / “Sure. Don’t stay out too late, okay?”

7. Uwi kaagad ha? / “Be home as soon as possible, okay?”

Under Philippine Law, a person under the age of eighteen years old is still considered a child. But in many Filipino homes, it’s still very common to hear a parent bid their twenty-five-year-old daughter: Uwi kaagad ha? It’s like the Filipino way of saying goodbye, but not really. It’s like saying goodbye to the other person, but deep in your heart, you don’t want them to leave the house at all. Uwi, by the way, is short for umuwi, or “to come home.”

A: ‘Nay, alis na po kami ng mga kaibigan ko. / “Ma, I’m leaving with my friends now.”
B: Sige. Uwi ka kaagad ha? / “Sure. Be home as soon as possible, okay?”

8. Ingat! / “Take care!”

This Filipino word for goodbye translates to “care.” When using it to say goodbye, it’s actually short for Mag-ingat ka, meaning “You take care” or simply “Take care.” It’s used all the time as a way to wish the other person well or to tell them to take care of themselves. This is especially true if the person is embarking on a long journey or traveling at night. As a reply, you could simply say Ikaw rin or “You, too.”

A Mother with Two Children

Papayagan kitang mamasyal, basta uwi ka kaagad ha? 
(“I’ll let you go out with your friends, but promise me you’ll be home early, okay?”)

9. Mauna na ako. / “I gotta run.”

Mauna na ako is used to say that you need to leave. Most Filipinos incorrectly translate this to “I’ll go ahead,” which doesn’t have any use in the Filipino language at all. In Filipino, the phrase “go ahead” is actually sige. Mauna, on the other hand, means “to go first” or “to be the first.” In the context of saying goodbye, it means to be the first to leave or that someone is leaving already.

Mauna na ako basically means any of the following:

“I gotta run.”
“I have to run along.”
“I should be running along.”
“It’s time I ran along.”

  • Guys, mauna na ako para makaiwas sa traffic. / “Guys, I should be running along, or I’m going to have to deal with heavy traffic.”

10. Diyan ka na muna. / “I gotta leave you for a while.”

Another way to say goodbye in Tagalog is: Diyan ka na muna. Most Filipinos say this when they’re in a hurry to leave. It’s like when you’re having a conversation with a friend and then you suddenly receive a text message that there’s an emergency, or you suddenly remember something that you have to do quickly.

Naku! Kailangan ko palang bumili ng gamot. Diyan ka na muna. / “Oh my! I forgot that I need to get some medicine. I gotta leave you for a while.”

A Man and a Woman Hugging Each Other

Mauna na ako. Manonood pa ako ng Ang Probinsyano. 
(“I gotta run. It’s time for my favorite primetime show—Ang Probinsyano.”)

11. Iwan na muna kita diyan ha. / “I’ll leave you here for a while, okay?”

This is a more polite way of saying the previous expression. While diyan ka na muna is proper, if it’s not put into context, it could sound a bit rude. So, if you want to play it safe, you can say: Iwan na muna kita diyan.

  • Ay, nag-text ang boss ko. Emergency daw. Iwan na muna kita diyan ha? / “Oh, my boss texted me. He said it’s an emergency. Is it okay if I leave you here for a while?”

Notice the difference?

12. Kitakits! / “See you around!”

This Filipino term for goodbye is slang for “See you around” or “See you later.” It’s short for Kita-kita na lang, with kita being the Tagalog word for “to see.” Kita-kita na lang tayo is like saying: 

“Let’s just see each other around.” 
“Let’s meet again sometime.”

  • Sige, mauna na kami. Kitakits na lang sa susunod na reunion. / “We gotta run, guys. See you again at our next reunion.”

3. Untranslatable Goodbye Phrases in Filipino

One of the most unique things about the Filipino language is that it’s rich with words and phrases that don’t have an equivalent in other languages (particularly English). The following are a few untranslatable goodbye phrases in Tagalog.

13. Sige.

The word sige can be directly translated as “sure” or “go ahead,” but in many cases, Filipinos use it as a way of saying goodbye. In such a context, it could mean “go on” when addressing another person. It could also mean “I’m leaving now.” Sige can also be used on its own when someone is acknowledging a person who’s asking permission to leave.

A: Pare, mauna na ako. / “Hey mate, I gotta run.”
B: Sige. / “Sure.”

It can also be used as an introductory word when asking permission to leave:

  • Sige, guys. Mauna na ako. / “Alright, guys. I’m leaving now.”

Some people use it to get out of an awkward situation, like when you’re stuck in a conversation with someone you don’t really want to be chatting with. You can say sige and simply walk away.

A Man Smiling

Uhm…sige.

14. O siya, siya. 

This is an expression often used by the elderly. Perhaps it’s derived from Siya nawa, which basically means “Amen” or “So be it.” Sometimes, only one siya is used:

  • O siya, mauna na kami. / This could mean: “I guess we should go now.”

Siya is doubled only for emphasis. In response to the above statement, one could say: 

  • O siya, siya. Mag-ingat kayo ha? / “Alright then. You take care of yourselves, okay?”

15. O, paano? 

The direct translation of the word paano is “how.” In the context of saying goodbye, it doesn’t make sense to ask “How?” but Filipinos use it to say something along the lines of “What now?” It’s like saying goodbye and expecting an acknowledgment from the other person.

  • O, paano? Alis na ako. / “So, what now? I should be running along.”

4. The FilipinoPod101 Advantage

By now, you should have a better idea of how to say goodbye in Filipino. However, if you want to go deeper with your studies of important Filipino greetings, your best option is to sign up on FilipinoPod101.com. With FilipinoPod101, you’ll have access to tons of lessons with real-life applications.

Add to that our various resources to help you with your vocabulary, comprehension, and pronunciation, and you have the perfect all-in-one study tool.

Need to supercharge your learning? You can take advantage of FilipinoPod101’s MyTeacher feature, a Premium PLUS feature that will help you fasttrack your way to fluency. With this option, you can enjoy one-on-one lessons with a personal teacher, as well as real-time guidance and feedback. This way, you’ll always know whether or not you’re on the right track.

O, paano? Hanggang sa muli! Until our next post! 

Don’t forget to let us know in the comments what you think about this lesson, and share with us any questions or additional insight you may have!

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

A Show of Devotion: Feast of the Black Nazarene

The Philippines has a huge Christian population (with 92.5% of Filipinos identifying as Christian, around 80% of which are Roman Catholic), so it should come as no surprise that religious festivities hold great meaning here. Of particular interest is a massive holiday commonly known as the Feast of the Black Nazarene. 

In this article, you will discover the Feast of the Black Nazarene’s origins as well as how devoted Filipinos celebrate the holiday today. 

Let’s get started!

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

1. What is the Feast of the Black Nazarene?

a silhouette of someone praying in repentance

Each year on January 9, millions of mga deboto (devotees) celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene. This is a major religious holiday in the Philippines, drawing massive crowds and much speculation. 

The Black Nazarene is a life-size statue depicting a dark-skinned Jesus bearing the cross. According to the Black Nazarene story, this statue was created by an anonymous Mexican sculptor and brought to the Philippines in 1606. While no one is certain why or how the Black Nazarene statue is so dark in color, some speculate that the statue was exposed to fire during its relocation to the Philippines. Others say that the statue is likely made of Mesquite, a type of wood known for its black color. 

The Feast of the Black Nazarene in the Philippines commemorates the date that the statue was enshrined in the Black Nazarene Church (Quiapo) in 1787. Prior to this, the statue was housed in a variety of other churches, so this permanent enshrinement was a significant moment for the Filipino people. The event is referred to as the Traslación (or Transfer).

In addition to commemorating the Traslación, this holiday is also seen as a time to pay paggalang (homage) to Jesus’s suffering.

    → To learn the names of different religions in Filipino, head over to our Religion vocabulary list!

2. Feast of the Black Nazarene Traditions

Feast of the Black Nazarene Procession

Celebrations for the Feast of the Black Nazarene really begin the night before, on January 8. This is when devotees gather together in Rizal Park to see and touch the statue, which is placed on a grandstand in the park. People also bring along their own statues of the Black Nazarene. Throughout the night, Filipinos celebrate and prepare for the following day with sermons, songs, and other festive activities. 

To show their debosyon (devotion), millions of Filipinos engage in the Nazareno parade. This prusisyon (procession) begins in Rizal Park following a mass. The statue is placed on a carriage, accompanied by several men who support and protect it—these men are known as the Sons of the Nazarene, and they wear yellow or white shirts.

To show pagpapakumbaba (humility) and their resonance with Jesus’s suffering, many Filipinos take part in this procession nakapaa (barefoot). Huge crowds follow the procession for several hours—normally just short of a full day—in order to show their devotion to Jesus. Many of those marching also try to touch the statue. 

Many of the faithful believe that the statue can perform miracles of healing, with some people reporting having been cured of disease or illness after touching the statue. Those who cannot get close enough to touch the statue themselves will often throw a panyo (handkerchief) toward the Sons of the Nazarene, who then wipe the handkerchief on the statue and toss it back. This is because the miraculous healing power is thought to be transferable to the cloth. 

In addition to those walking in the procession, there are millions of people gathered along the edge of the route to see their loved ones walking and to get a glimpse of the statue. Everyone shouts the words “Viva Señor!” during the procession to show adoration for the Nazarene.

The Feast of the Black Nazarene procession ends in Quiapo, at the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. 

3. Holiday Confusion!

Many people assume that the Feast of the Black Nazarene is the Quiapo Church’s annual feast day. However, this is not the case—the Feast of the Black Nazarene only celebrates and reenacts the Traslación.

Rather, the feast day people are thinking of takes place on June 24. This is St. John’s Day, held in commemoration of St. John’s birthday. Filipinos celebrate this day by ‘baptizing’ each other and covering themselves in mud and dried banana leaves. Their ‘baptism’ consists of throwing or drizzling water on each other in a sort of game, though this event is known to get out of hand with people damaging others’ property. 


4. Essential Vocabulary for the Feast of the Black Nazarene

Someone Lighting a Candle in Homage

Now let’s review some of the vocabulary words from this article, plus a few more! 

  • Quiapo (Quiapo Church) – proper noun
  • Deboto (Devotee) – noun
  • Prusisyon (Procession) – noun
  • Nazareno (Nazarene) – noun
  • Panata (Vow) – noun
  • Nakapaa (Barefoot) – adjective
  • Pagpapakumbaba (Humility) – noun
  • Magsisi (Repent) – verb
  • Panyo (Handkerchief) – noun
  • Debosyon (Devotion) – noun
  • Paggalang (Homage) – noun
  • Mirakulo (Miracle) – noun

If you head over to our Feast of the Black Nazarene vocabulary list, you can also hear the pronunciation of each word to practice along with. 

Final Thoughts

The Feast Day of the Black Nazarene is one of the most important dates in the Philippines, especially among faithful Catholics. In learning about this holiday, you’ve taken a step toward better understanding Filipino culture and immersing yourself in the language. We hope you enjoyed this lesson, and that you feel inspired to continue your Filipino studies! To learn about more Filipino holidays, you can check out the following blog posts on FilipinoPod101.com:

For even more useful content on the Filipino language and culture, create your free lifetime account with us today. We provide practical lessons and other learning materials for learners at every level, so you can jump right in wherever you are on your language learning journey! 

Before you go, let us know in the comments if you celebrate a similar holiday in your country. If not, would you ever want to visit the Philippines to witness the Feast of the Black Nazarene yourself? We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy learning!

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

Is Filipino Hard to Learn? Here’s All You Need to Know.

Thumbnail

The Philippines is rich in cultural history, which is why it attracts a lot of visitors. If you want to visit the country or even live there, it only makes sense for you to learn the Filipino language by heart. Now, the question is this: Is Tagalog hard to learn? This is a subjective question with no short answer. And while Filipino (sometimes referred to as Tagalog) is the country’s national language, it’s not the only system of communication used in the Philippines. After all, the Philippines is an archipelago, with each region having its own spoken language and dialect. 

Perhaps one of the proofs that Filipino isn’t that difficult to learn are the foreigners who have learned to speak it fluently. For example, vloggers Dwaine Woolley and Wil Dasovich—raised in Australia and the United States, respectively—are both known to be fluent Tagalog-speakers. 

And that’s not to mention the number of other foreigners who have made a living as actors and actresses here in the Philippines. Dayanara Torres, Sandara Park, Sam Milby, Ryan Bang—most, if not all, of these celebrities had to learn Filipino, and they’re now able to speak the language fluently. 

Why is that? Of course, they did their part by studying the language. But another reason is that Filipino is actually one of the easiest and most fun languages to learn, and we’re going to show you why.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Is it Hard to Learn Filipino?
  2. I Want to Learn Filipino. Where Should I Start?
  3. Tips for New Filipino Learners
  4. Why is FilipinoPod101 Great for Learning Filipino?
  5. Hindi Mahirap Mag-Aral ng Filipino. (“It’s not that difficult to learn Filipino.”)

1. Is it Hard to Learn Filipino?

Kid Listening to Filipino Podcast

“It’s more fun learning Filipino.”

Like in any language, there are factors that can make Filipino hard to learn. That said, it’s actually one of the easiest languages to study and master. That doesn’t mean that you can become fluent overnight, but compared to other languages, Filipino is a bit more straightforward.

One thing that makes learning Filipino fun is that Pinoys can be very encouraging and won’t hesitate to tell you that learning the language isn’t that difficult at all. Most Pinoys will even go the extra mile to help you sharpen your skills.

Another thing that makes Filipino an interesting language to learn is that around twenty percent of the language is based on Spanish. In a way, that’s like hitting two birds with one stone.

In the following sections, we’ll talk about what things might make the Filipino language hard to learn, how to overcome those challenges, and which things about the language are super-easy! 

A- The Challenging Parts of Learning Filipino

Like I said, Filipino is not a difficult language to learn and master. But just like any other language, it has aspects to it that require more effort, which we’ve listed below.

1 – The pronunciation of some words can be a bit tricky.

While most Tagalog words are pronounced the same way as they’re spelled, some words can be a bit more challenging than others. Tao (“man”), aso (“dog”), pusa (“cat”)—these words don’t pose any challenge at all. But what about words like nakakapagpabagabag (“worrisome”) and kumukutikutitap (“twinkling”)? Or kagilagilalas (“marvelous”) and nagsisiusyosohan (“watching with curiosity”)? 

And then there are words beginning with or including the infamous “ng” sound (pronounced like the “ng” in the words “ringing” and “clinging”), as well as words including the diphthongs ay, aw, iw, oy, and uy. If these words don’t twist your tongue (and your brain), I don’t know what will.

It’s a good thing that there are ways to overcome these hurdles, as described in our Filipino Pronunciation Guide. With practice, you’ll eventually master all the nuances of Filipino pronunciation: which emphasis to use and when to use them, how to correctly syllabicate certain words, and so on.

If you want to try your hand at more hard Filipino words to pronounce, see our relevant vocabulary list!

2 – Some words don’t have direct translations in English.

Another challenging factor of learning Filipino is that some words simply don’t have direct translations, at least in English. 

Take the word tampo, for instance. Filipinos use this word to express that feeling you get when someone has disappointed you. But it goes beyond simply feeling bad toward the other person. It’s like holding a grudge, but to a lesser degree. It’s the act of ignoring the person you’re mad at, but at the same time expecting the other person to comfort you. It’s like…okay, I give up. Like I said, there’s no direct translation for this word. 

And I haven’t even mentioned words like kilig (somewhat similar to having butterflies in your stomach when you see your crush), or alimpungatan (that feeling you get when you’re suddenly awakened just moments before entering a deep state of sleep). 

But wait, there’s more!

3 – Verb conjugation can be baffling at times.

Just like in English, Filipino verbs are conjugated by attaching a variety of affixes to action words. Unlike in English, however, these affixes reflect not only tense, but also aspect, voice, focus or trigger, and a variety of other factors. For instance, in English grammar, verbs are categorized as either regular or irregular. In Filipino, verbs are categorized according to the verb group they belong to: mag-, ma-, um-, in-, and i-, not including irregular verbs. 

And then there’s the trigger system, which is a central feature of Filipino verbs. This system also makes use of the affixes I mentioned, plus a few more. The three main affixes, however, are -in, i-, and -an:

  • -in

This is used when an action is done toward the actor. For example: bitbitin (“to carry something”). It’s also used to describe actions that produce change: biyakin (“to crack open”).

  • i-

This is used when an action is done to move something away from the actor. For example: itapon (“to throw something”). 

  • -an

This is used when the action done produces a change in something’s surface: punasan (“to wipe”) or hugasan (“to wash” or “to rinse”). 

Where’s the confusion, you ask? Well, let’s take a look at this example:

  • Bitbitin mo ang sako. (“Carry the sack.”)
  • Magbitbit ka ng sako. (“Carry a sack.”)

In the English translation, only one article needed to be changed to alter the sentence’s meaning. In Filipino, however, only the word sako (“sack”) remained unchanged.

B- The Easy Parts of Learning Filipino

Now that we’ve got the difficult aspects of learning Filipino out of the way, let’s move on and look at the top reasons why learning Filipino is easy.

1 – Gender-specific pronouns do not exist in Filipino.

This can be a confusing aspect of Tagalog to some degree, but it’s also one of the easiest parts of studying the language. In Tagalog, there’s only one word used to refer to a person: siya. There’s no “he” and “she” or “him” and “her.” There’s also no “they” or “them,” but sila is used instead. 

In the same manner, there are no separate Tagalog words for “husband” and “wife.” In Tagalog, both are translated as asawa or kabiyak, meaning “spouse.”

Glass Door Signs for Female and Male Entry

In Tagalog, there is only one word used to refer to another person: “siya.”

2 – Spelling is not an issue.

Perhaps one of the easiest aspects of the Filipino language is the spelling. Unlike in many languages across the globe, in Filipino, words are spelled the way they sound. You don’t need to worry about “k” sounds that are spelled as “ch,” or “tō” sounds that are actually spelled as “teau” (as in “plateau”). There are also no “th” sounds in Tagalog as in “mouth” or “thirst.” Even lengthy words are spelled with little to no complications.

3 – Phonetics are a no-brainer.

Tagalog phonology and phonetics do have more complex aspects, such as fricatives and affricates, but since words sound just as they’re spelled, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. All you need to do is memorize how patinig (“vowels”) and katinig (“consonants”) sound, and you’re good to go. You’ll have to deal with stresses and glottal stops later on, but for the most part, Tagalog phonetics isn’t much of a hindrance when you’re studying Filipino.

4 – It’s more fun learning Filipino.

The slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” has been around for years now, and the country’s Department of Tourism says it’s not going to go anywhere anytime soon. And if there’s one way to describe the Filipino language learning experience, it’s through this slogan. One reason why learning Filipino is fun is that when you’re studying the language, you’re not only learning about words and sentences—you’re also learning about the culture of the country and its people.

2. I Want to Learn Filipino. Where Should I Start?

Are you ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime, but don’t know where to start? Here’s what we recommend:

1 – Start with everyday phrases.

The best way to start learning a new language is to familiarize yourself with everyday phrases or words that you would use on a daily basis. Here are a few common Filipino expressions you can begin learning today:

  • Magandang umaga. (“Good morning.”)
  • Kumusta ka? (“How are you?”)
  • Anong oras na? (“What time is it?”)

2 – Build your vocabulary.

You can’t survive learning a new language if you don’t make the effort to build your vocabulary. Spending at least fifteen minutes a day learning a new word is enough to bring about an immediate improvement in your Filipino vocabulary skills. You can start by investing in a Tagalog dictionary. Of course, you can always download an app or study our list of 2000 Core Filipino Words. It would also be an excellent idea to keep a journal of new Tagalog words you’re learning. Writing words down on paper will help reinforce them in your memory, and you’ll have something to pull out of your reservoir during conversations.

3 – Read Filipino literature.

Memorizing words from a list is a good strategy, but reading regularly from a variety of sources is a much better way to improve your vocabulary. Don’t worry about people calling you a bookworm or a nerd. Studies have confirmed over and over that reading regularly fosters language development and helps one become much more expressive. You can check out our entry on The Power of Reading that offers a fun explanation of this process.

4 – Listen to Filipino songs.

Aside from simply reading good Filipino books, listening to OPM (Original Pilipino Music) songs is another great way to help you learn Filipino. Music can be a powerful tool for learning, not only because singing is fun and relaxing, but also because song lyrics have a way of getting stuck inside a person’s head. That said, most songs, particularly OPM, are written in a poetic manner. This means that the lyrics you hear and repeat may not map directly onto day-to-day conversations. But that’s okay. In fact, songs are a great way to learn Tagalog words in their formal structure.

    Did you know that one of the best times to learn Filipino through music is while you’re stuck in traffic?
A Taxi Driver Listening to a Filipino Lesson

Who says you can’t drive and study Filipino at the same time?

5 – Watch Filipino films.

Just like listening to OPM, watching Filipino films is a fun approach to improving your Tagalog. We have an entry on the top Filipino TV shows to watch to improve your language skills, where we mentioned that while watching Tagalog films and shows won’t make you a master of Tagalog overnight, it sure can bring your skills up a notch. Speaking of Filipino films, check out our entry on the Top 10 Filipino Movies: Jose Rizal. This film will not only help you improve your vocabulary, but also teach you more about the life of the national hero of the Philippines.

6 – Make lots of Tagalog friends.

Remember when I said that it’s more fun learning Filipino? Well, one of the main reasons is that Filipinos are more than willing to help you learn their language. We Filipinos are known to be very welcoming and friendly to strangers. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that our hospitality doesn’t end with our making sure your stay is comfortable. 

We’re also very generous—not only with our material possessions, but also with our wisdom and knowledge. If you want to make learning Filipino much easier, just make more Tagalog-speaking friends. You’ll learn simply by having daily conversations with them. And if you’re lucky, the sincere ones will even give you language lessons for free!


3. Tips for New Filipino Learners

1 – Be committed.

Learning a language starts with the desire to learn and master something new, but if you’re going to succeed, you’ll need to commit to the task. Filipino is not a very difficult language to learn, but there will always be a learning curve when you’re first starting out. Before you even begin, make sure that you first cultivate a commitment to learning. In one of his interviews, the founder of Innovative Language, Peter Galante, said that big commitments can turbocharge one’s learning. In fact, it was his decision to commit that helped him ramp up his own progress.

2 – Be patient.

I can confidently say that you’re going to go through a lot of discouraging moments while learning Filipino. Be patient with yourself and trust the process. There will be times when you feel you’re making a lot of progress, but there will also be times when you feel you’re not advancing at all. It’s during these times that your patience matters the most. If you’re losing your patience because learning Filipino is starting to feel very difficult, just remind yourself of what Theodore Roosevelt said: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.”

3 – Be persevering.

All your hard work will come to nothing if you give up the moment the going gets tough. Commit to persevere. If you do, there’s no question that you’ll reach your goal. One thing you can do to make sure you don’t quit in the middle of your learning adventure is to remind yourself of why you’re learning in the first place. 

Why are you studying Tagalog? Why spend time and money learning a new language? The only reason we often give up on what we’re doing is that we’ve forgotten the “why” behind our “what.” At the same time, however, see to it that you’re not too hard on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up every time you make a mistake. Keep in mind that making mistakes is a part of the process. If you feel you need to take a break, don’t hesitate to do so. Sometimes, it’s all that your mind and body need to recharge.

4 – Think big.

Finally, believe in yourself. If you don’t believe that you’re going to succeed, you’re right. When you’re just starting your journey of learning Filipino, never underestimate yourself. Keep in mind that you have the potential to actually acquire a new language the same way you acquired your first. Believe in your potential, and nothing will stop you from becoming an expert in Filipino.

A Man Standing on Top of a Snowy Mountain

“Endurance is nobler than strength, and patience than beauty.” – John Ruskin

4. Why is FilipinoPod101 Great for Learning Filipino?

In addition to the four previous tips for new learners of Filipino, one of the best ways to accelerate your progress is to sign up for a FilipinoPod101 account. Here are three reasons why this language-learning system will help you speak like a native Filipino in no time.

1 – Unique Learning System

There are quite a few language-learning systems online, so why choose FilipinoPod101? Well, unlike most language-learning systems, FilipinoPod101 uses a unique method that combines techniques you won’t find in a traditional classroom. For instance, all the materials offered by FilipinoPod101—from blog articles to PDF lessons to live video tutorials—are created using a variety of writing and speaking styles. In that manner, you’ll be exposed to different elements, which is vital for developing reading comprehension, pronunciation, and even a proper accent. 

Moreover, with FilipinoPod101, you’ll be exposed to learning materials dedicated to cultural information, so that you’re not only learning about Tagalog grammar but the Filipino culture, as well.

2 – High-Quality Resources

When I say high-quality, I’m talking about lessons—written, audio-recorded, and filmed—that have been prepared by the best writers and teachers. All content offered here is fresh and up-to-date, each one designed to keep current events and pop culture in mind, so that whenever you decide to start, you can rest assured that you are given relevant lesson materials tailored to meet your needs. Most importantly, all content released by FilipinoPod101 is screened and approved by a certified Filipino teacher, so that you can be sure every time that the information you’re receiving is accurate and reliable.

3 – One-on-One Coaching

Speaking of teachers, perhaps one of the most distinct attributes of FilipinoPod101 is our MyTeacher feature. This feature allows you to sharpen your Filipino skills at a rate like no other. Imagine being able to receive non-stop feedback and corrections, as well as one-on-one interaction with a personal teacher. With this approach, you’re sure to receive the guidance necessary to grow and improve your Filipino language skills.

A Woman Teaching a Girl How to Write Something in Filipino

Sabi ko sa’yo eh. Hindi mahirap mag-aral ng Filipino
(“What did I tell you? It’s not that difficult to learn Filipino.”)

5. Hindi Mahirap Mag-Aral ng Filipino. (“It’s not that difficult to learn Filipino.”)

No, it’s not that difficult to learn Filipino, especially if you have FilipinoPod101 as your partner. As mentioned, FilipinoPod101 is a unique language-learning system that offers everything you need to learn Filipino all in one place. What’s unique about FilipinoPod101 is that your learning goes beyond reading, watching, or listening to lesson materials. If you need a quick answer to a question, you can always depend on our community of helpful students and teachers.

So, are you ready to learn Filipino? Do you have questions that weren’t answered in this article? Don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments section below! And if you believe you’re all set to embark on the journey of learning this one-of-a-kind language, sign up now!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Filipino

10 Common Filipino Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Thumbnail

As a Filipino, I would say that the Tagalog language is one of the easiest languages to learn. Filipino pronunciation, for instance, isn’t rocket science, since Filipino words are pronounced the way they’re spelled. Nevertheless, it’s not unusual for students of the language to commit common Filipino mistakes. In fact, even native speakers make grammar mistakes all the time, whether in speaking or writing. But who doesn’t? 

Committing mistakes is part of learning, and even experts of the language commit an error in Filipino from time to time. The good news is that you can avoid such errors by simply being familiar with the common Filipino grammar mistakes most students make. And that’s exactly what we’re going to discuss in this article.

There are plenty of ways you can get Tagalog grammar and speech wrong, but we’ll stick to the ten most common ones in a variety of categories: pronunciation, vocabulary, word order, word usage, and various other grammar mistakes. Of course, we’ll look at some of the ways one can avoid such errors as well. 

So, if you’re ready, let’s begin!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Filipino Table of Contents
  1. Pronunciation Mistakes
  2. Vocabulary Word Mistakes
  3. Word Order Mistakes
  4. Grammar Mistakes
  5. Other Common Mistakes
  6. The Biggest Mistake
  7. Minimize Your Filipino Grammar Mistakes with the Help of FilipinoPod101

1. Pronunciation Mistakes

As mentioned, one of the best things about learning Filipino is that the words are often pronounced the way they’re spelled. Nevertheless, there are still a few common Filipino errors that students make when it comes to pronunciation. We’ve actually covered this subject in our article on Filipino Pronunciation, but it seems worthwhile to reiterate certain points. 

1 – Syllabication

One of the pronunciation errors that Filipino language students make is not using correct syllabication. More often than not, this is due to the student carrying over their accent and not using the correct Filipino accent, which can result in a word being pronounced with the incorrect number of syllables. For instance, the word tao or “man,” could be mispronounced as /taw/ instead of /ta.o/. In the same manner, the word manok or “chicken,” could be mispronounced as /ma.no.ka/ (three syllables) instead of /ma.nok/ (two syllables).

2 – Emphasis

Another aspect of Filipino pronunciation where students often err is emphasis. We’re not going to go into detail regarding this subject since we’ve covered it in our pronunciation article already. However, just to reiterate, Tagalog words are pronounced in one of four ways according to emphasis, or what is known in Filipino as diin. These four types of diin are: malumay, malumi, mabilis, and maragsa. 


2. Vocabulary Word Mistakes

While the Filipino language is quite easy to learn, it’s not one that’s free of confusion. A vocabulary mistake that even native speakers get confused with from time to time is in the usage of ng and nang. There was no strict distinction between the two words in the past, but all that has changed, and today, both foreigners and natives alike get confused as to which one to use in a given context.

3 – Ng versus Nang

NG

The two-letter word ng is the exact translation of the preposition “of,” and that’s basically how the word is used. However, it also functions as a conjunction.

Here are some sample sentences of ng used as a preposition:

  • Jed ang may-ari ng kotse. (“Jed is the owner of the car.”)
  • Masyadong maikli ang kadena ng aso. (“The chain of the dog is too short.”)

Now, here are some examples of ng used as a conjunction:

  • Bumili ka pala ng bagong bahay? (“So, you bought a new house?”)
  • Kumakain si Kent ng mansanas. (“Kent is eating an apple.”)

Using nang instead of ng in the previous sentences is a common mistake in Filipino that learners make. 

NANG

If ng is the equivalent of the preposition “of,” nang, on the other hand, is the equivalent of the conjunction “when.” Here’s how to use it correctly:

  • Naliligo ako nang biglang may kumatok sa pinto. (“I was taking a bath when someone suddenly knocked on the door.”)
  • Tumakbo siya papalayo nang makita niya akong paparating. (“He ran away when he saw me coming.”)

Nang is also used to mean “to,” “for,” or “so that.”

  • Matulog ka na nang hindi ka mahuli sa klase bukas. (“Go to bed now so that you won’t be late to class tomorrow.”)
  • Dapat magpahinga ka rin nang hindi ka palaging nagkakasakit. (“You better rest for you not to get sick often.”)

It also answers the question “How?”

  • Paano siya sumigaw? (“How did he cry out?”)
    Sumigaw siya nang malakas. (“He cried out loudly.”)
  • Paano siya namatay? (“How did he die?”)
    Namatay siya nang nakangiti. (“He died smiling.”)

Not only that, but nang also functions as a connector of action words that are repeated in a sentence. In Filipino grammar, action words are repeated when the speaker wants to emphasize a certain behavior.

  • Kain ka nang kain hindi ka naman tumataba. (“All you do is eat, and yet you never get fat.”)
  • Tulog ka nang tulog. Tumulong ka naman dito sa bahay? (“You don’t do anything but sleep. Why don’t you help around here?”)
  • Iyak nang iyak ang bata. (“The child kept on crying.”)
Man Pointing to Himself with Confused Look on His Face

‘Nang’ ba? Akala ko ‘ng’? (“What do you mean nang? I thought it was ng?”)

4 – Kumusta and not Kamusta

Filipinos tend to be flexible when it comes to using kumusta and kamusta, both of which mean “How are you?” 

Kamusta is actually the one that’s most commonly used, particularly in informal conversations. However, if you’re going to use the greeting in a formal manner, such as when writing a formal letter, a report, or lyrics for a Filipino song, then the correct version to use is kumusta. And if you’re wondering why it sounds Spanish, well, that’s because it actually came from the Spanish greeting cómo esta.

3. Word Order Mistakes

Mistakes in Filipino word order are pretty common among native English-speakers in particular. Here are two things to watch out for! 

5 – “Barok” Speak

In one of our previous articles, we talked about Filipino Word Order, and we learned that Filipino is primarily a V-S-O language. We also learned that Filipino is quite flexible in terms of word order, and can actually be inverted. That said, you won’t really find a lot of word order mistakes in spoken Filipino, although there’s something that we call “barok” speaking, wherein the speaker omits linking words necessary for crafting a complete thought. 

For instance, instead of saying Ako si John (“I am John”), the speaker would say Ako John (“Me John”). 

In some cases, the linking word ay, often used in formal or literary Filipino (S-V-O), is omitted. This, too, is an error, since the absence of ay between the subject and the verb makes the sentence sound awkward. 

For instance, removing ay from Ang bata ay kumakanta (“The child is singing”) transforms it to Ang bata kumakanta (“The child singing”), which is an incomplete thought.

6 – Use of Ba

Aside from that, another common word order mistake in Filipino grammar is in the use of the untranslatable word ba. This word is often placed at the end of an interrogative sentence, although it can also appear in the middle, depending on the sentence structure.

  1. Kumain ka na ba? (“Have you eaten already?”) 

    In this simple interrogative sentence, ba is placed at the end. A common mistake students make here is to place ba before na.

    Kumain ka ba na? (INCORRECT) ✘
  1. Kumain ba siya? (“Did he eat?”) 

    Here, ba comes before the subject or the pronoun siya. In this case, it would be incorrect to place ba after siya.

    Kumain siya ba? (INCORRECT) ✘
  1. Nasaan na ba ang susi? (“Where is the key, anyway?”) 

    Here, ba appears before the object. Placing it at the end of the sentence would make the sentence sound awkward.

    Nasaan na ang susi ba? (INCORRECT) ✘
  1. Siya ba ang sinasabi mo? (“Is he the one you were talking about?”) 

    This time, ba appears right after the pronoun siya. To move it to a different spot would, again, make the sentence sound awkward.

    Siya ang sinasabi mo ba? (INCORRECT) ✘

There are cases when you can move ba to two different spots without the sentence sounding awkward, such as in the following examples:

  • Ano ba ang kinain mo? (“What did you eat?”)
  • Ano ang kinain mo ba? (“What did you eat?”)

In the first example, ba is placed right after ano, while in the second example, it’s found at the end. It would seem that the second example is the better-sounding one since ba is usually found at the end of a sentence, but in this case, the first example would be more preferable to use.

4. Grammar Mistakes

Now, let’s talk about two of the most common grammar mistakes Filipino-learners make! 

7 – Use of ikaw, ka, and mo

Ka and ikaw both mean “you,” although you should note that the former is used more in everyday speech. Interchanging the two words is a common error among students of Filipino. For instance, instead of saying Mabait ka (“You are kind”), some students would say:

  • Mabait ikaw. (INCORRECT) ✘

Ikaw can also be used in the Filipino translation of “You are kind.” However, it should be placed at the beginning of the sentence and followed by the connector ay:

  • Ikaw ay mabait. (CORRECT)

Keep in mind that this is a more formal way of saying Mabait ka, and is not used in day-to-day conversations.

Here are more examples:

  1. Kumain ka na habang maaga pa. (“Go and eat while it’s still early.”)

Using ikaw:

  • Kumain na ikaw habang maaga pa. (INCORRECT) ✘
  • Ikaw ay kumain na habang maaga pa. (CORRECT)
  1. Naligo ka na ba? (“Have you taken a bath already?”)

Using ikaw:

  • Naligo na ba ikaw? (INCORRECT) ✘
  • Ikaw ba ay naligo na? (CORRECT)

Mo, on the other hand, is the equivalent of “your,” but when the verb in a sentence functions as an object-focused verb, mo is used instead of ka and now takes the “you” meaning.

You won’t encounter a lot of errors in the use of mo, but since it also means “you” just like ka and ikaw, it would help to understand when and how to use it in a sentence. Here are several examples of how to use it:

As a pronoun:

  • Isulat mo ang pangalan mo dito. (“Write your name here.”)
  • Nasaan na ang tatay mo? (“Where is your father?”)
  • tabi mo konti ang bisikleta mo. (“Move your bicycle a little bit.”)

When used as “you” in a sentence:

  • Pinagaan mo ang pakiramdam ko. (“You made me feel better.”)
  • Tinutulungan mo ako palagi. Salamat. (“You always help me. Thank you.”)
  • Binuksan mo ba ang binigay kong regalo? (“Did you open the gift I gave you?”)

8 – Verb Conjugation Errors

In our entry on Filipino Verb Conjugation, we talked about how Filipino verbs are conjugated using the affixes mag-, ma-, um-, in-, and i-.

A common error for students of Filipino is interchanging the affixes when conjugating verbs.

For instance, many students use mag- instead of -um when conjugating “um” verbs. Instead of saying pumunta, students would say magpunta.

The word pumunta is both the past tense and the imperative tense of the verb “go.” It would be incorrect to use mag- in this case, since punta (“go”) is not a mag- verb but an um– verb.

Here are more examples:

  1. “C’mon, let us eat!”

    Tara, magkain na tayo. (INCORRECT) ✘
    Tara, kumain na tayo. (CORRECT)
  1. “We’re moving next week.”

    Maglipat na kami sa susunod na Linggo. (INCORRECT) ✘
    Lilipat na kami sa susunod na Linggo. (CORRECT)
  1. “Why don’t you want to take a bath?”

    Bakit ayaw mong magligo? (INCORRECT) ✘
    Bakit ayaw mong maligo? (CORRECT) 
Man Standing on the Edge of Bathtub with Shower Hose

Magligo na..este, maliligo na ako. (“Time to take a bath.”)

For a more detailed review on how to conjugate Filipino verbs, you can check out our entry titled “Learn the Basics of Filipino Verb Conjugation.”

5. Other Common Mistakes

In this section, we’ll talk about common Filipino mistakes that don’t quite fit in the other categories. Let’s take a look.

9 – Ano ba talaga, kuya? (“Which one is it really, bro?”)

It’s true that Tagalog is the first language of Filipinos, particularly in Luzon, but there are details that even so-called masters of the language sometimes miss. Here are some of them:

Daw vs. Raw

The words daw and raw do not have any direct translation in English, but the best match is “it is said” or “they say.”

These words may be composed of only three characters, but they’re among the few Filipino words that cause a lot of confusion to foreign and native speakers alike. The usual question is about which version to use and when. The key lies in the word that precedes them.

You use daw if the word preceding it ends with a katinig (consonant), except in the cases of “w” and “y.”

  • Kumain daw kayo kina Andrew kagabi? (“I heard you had dinner at Andrew’s last night. Is that correct?”)

On the other hand, you use raw if the word preceding it ends with a patinig (vowel) or with a mala-patinig (vowel-sounding “w” or “y”).

  • Nasa Manila na raw sila. (“They said they’re in Manila already.”)
  • Aliw na aliw raw sila sa show ni Jo Koy! (“They said they were so amused with Jo Koy’s show!”)
Boy Scratching His Head

Ano raw? (“What was that?”)

Bukod vs. Maliban

Another word pair that most learners of Filipino get confused with is that of bukod and maliban

Bukod means “in addition to” or “besides.” 

  1. “In addition to a Master’s Degree, he also has a Doctor’s Degree.”

    Maliban sa Master’s Degree, mayroon din siyang Doctor’s Degree. (INCORRECT) ✘
    Bukod sa Master’s Degree, mayroon din siyang Doctor’s Degree. (CORRECT)

Meanwhile, maliban is the equivalent of the expression “except,” so it’s used when the object being talked about in a sentence is the only exception to something.

  1. “All of Alfonso’s children have graduated from college except for Mateo.”

    Lahat ng anak ni Alfonso ay nagtapos na ng kolehiyo bukod kay Mateo. (INCORRECT) ✘
    Lahat ng anak ni Alfonso ay nagtapos na ng kolehiyo maliban kay Mateo. (CORRECT)

Kung vs. Kapag

These are two different words, each with a direct translation in English, and yet, they’re among the Filipino words often used in place of each other. The key to avoiding this error is to become familiar with their meanings. Kung, for instance, is the Tagalog word for “if,” while kapag and its variant pag mean “when” in English.

Now, note that there is a specific situation where you can interchange them: when you’re stating a “what if” question.

For example:

  1. “What if I miss the train tomorrow?”

    Paano kung hindi ko maabutan ang tren bukas?
    Paano kapag hindi ko maabutan ang tren bukas?

If, however, you’re stating a “cause and effect” sentence, then that’s a different story.

If you’re going to use kung, then the verb has to be in the future tense.

  1. “If I miss the train tomorrow, my boss is going to kill me.”

  2. Kung hindi ko aabutan ang tren bukas, papatayin ako ng boss ko.

If you’re going to use kapag, the verb has to be in the past tense.

On the other hand, there are sentences that require the use of kung if you’re using “if,” and kapag if you’re using “when.”

  • Uuwi lang ako kung sasama ka sa akin. (“I’m going home only if you’re coming with me.”)
  • Uuwi ako kapag tinawag na ako ni nanay. (“I’m going home when mom calls me.”)

6. The Biggest Mistake


10 – Not practicing enough

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when learning Filipino is not spending an adequate amount of time each day practicing and brushing up on your speaking and writing skills. Language is like mathematics. If you fail to practice on a regular basis — listening to lessons, writing and rewriting, and reciting what you’ve learned—there’s very little chance that you’ll ever master it.

Making mistakes is part of learning, so as you move along in your journey of studying Filipino, always remember that it’s okay to fail. Never allow your blunders to stop you from reaching your goal. And remember, practice makes permanent!

Need more motivation? Watch the video above!

Counselor Comforting a Girl Who’s Crying

Kaya mo ‘yan. May FilipinoPod101 pa. (“You can do it. There is FilipinoPod101 still.”)

7. Minimize Your Filipino Grammar Mistakes with the Help of FilipinoPod101

Do you want to minimize your Filipino errors? Do you want to avoid common Filipino grammar mistakes that most students of Tagalog make? The secret is to sign up with FilipinoPod101, one of the best language-learning systems on the Internet today.

When you first start learning a particular language, committing grammar mistakes is inevitable. It’s all part of the process. So here at FilipinoPod101.com, we want to make sure that you finish strong. That’s why we happily provide unique tools for our students, such as the MyTeacher feature, to ensure that you make the most out of your Filipino-learning pursuit. We also provide special apps that allow you to study Tagalog whenever and wherever. You can also visit our blog page if you want to see more articles like this one.

And speaking of articles, why don’t you share with us in the comments section what you’ve learned in this post? And if you have suggestions or additional thoughts on the subject, don’t hesitate to share them with us, too!

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

The 10 Fundamental Filipino Questions and Answers

Thumbnail

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.

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

Haven’t signed up yet? Well, signing up is easy, and when you’re done, you can start enjoying benefits exclusive only for FilipinoPod101 members. By upgrading your account, you can also gain access to MyTeacher, an exclusive feature that lets you study Tagalog one-on-one with one of our FilipinoPod101 teachers.

Did you find this article helpful? Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends who also wish to learn more about the Filipino language and culture. And don’t hesitate to let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

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

10 Filipino Sentence Patterns You Should Learn By Heart

Thumbnail

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!

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

The Adverb in Filipino: The 100 Most Common Filipino Adverbs

Thumbnail

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!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Filipino
two women talking excitedly
“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!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Filipino

Learn the Basics of Filipino Verb Conjugation

Thumbnail

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!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Filipino

A Comprehensive Guide to Filipino Verbs

Thumbnail

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!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Filipino

The Pronoun in Tagalog/Filipino: Your Ultimate Guide

Thumbnail

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!

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