Lesson 1 Notes


I love the way filipinos say “good morning”. They say magandang umaga. That translates literally to “beautiful morning”. Isn’t that cool?

Maganda means beautiful.  The word for morning is umaga.   When the two words are used together, a sort of linker (-ng) is used.  Thus we have magandang umaga. (maganda+ng umaga).


Another very common word in the Tagalog language is the respectful term po.   You can almost think of po as something like saying Sir  or Ma’am in English.  It is used when speaking to an older person, or someone of authority (such as a boss).


The word kumusta means “how are you”.  It is from the Spanish “como esta”.  It can be used alone to mean “how are you” or you can add the work ka (you)  or the plural / formal version of you, which is kayo (you).

Kumusta can be used to ask how other things are too. For example, the word for family is pamilya.  You can ask Kumusta ang pamilya mo? (How the family of-you?) or (How is your family?).


There are actually three ways to say “you” in Tagalog.  They are: ka, kayo and ikaw.

The ka version is the more personal version.  You can say “Maganda ka”.  (Beautiful you), You are beautiful.

The kayo version is used when speaking to more than one person, or as a sign of respect to one person.  Example:  Mabait kayo po. (Kind you sir/ma’am), You are kind.  The same sentences can be used when speaking to more than one person, perhaps to a couple, or you can use it when speaking to an older person, or in a more formal setting.

The ikaw version is always used alone or at the beginning of a sentence. For example: Ikaw din. (You too).  Or perhaps, if you ask “Who will pay for it?”. The answer may be “Ikaw!”


Si is used to mark the top or subject of a sentence when it is someone’s name.  For example: Maganda si Carla. (Beautiful si Carla), Carla is beautiful.  In this case, Carla is the topic of the sentence, and si is used to point that out to the reader or listener.


The word ko is used to mean my, or mine.  For example: Bahay ko. (House my), My House.  I often think of ko as meaning “of-me” or “of-mine” or “by-me”.   For example, the word for like is gusto. I can say “I like” by saying: Gusto ko. It just doesn’t sound right to say “like my”. I think it sounds better, at least in my mind to say “Like by-me”.


The linker -ng is often used with ko.  For example: Gusto kong bumili ng gatas. (Want by-me +ng to-buy milk), I want to buy milk.  You could think of it more correctly as: My want is to buy milk.

Din and Naman

Din and naman mean “too” or “also” in English.  However, the word naman has different meanings in Tagalog depending on how it is used.  However in Lesson 1 it is used to mean “too”.

In expressions like: Mabuti po naman,(Fine too) naman is used to mean “too” or “likewise”.

Din has two versions, din and rin.   The din version is used when the preceding word ends with a consonant.  Otherwise, rin is used.  Examples: Mabuti rin and Ikaw din.

Nagagalak and Ikinagagalak

These two words are formed from the root word “galak” which means “to be pleased” or “to be happy about”.  The both have slightly different meanings.  It is important to look at the word following their use.  One is followed by ko+ng (kong), which we know means “my” or “mine” as discussed earlier.  The other is followed by ako+ng  (akong).  Ako means I in tagalog.  When I is used in a sentence, it is normally the subject of the sentence.

Nagagalak akong makilala kayo. (I am pleased). I am pleased to meet you. (Note the use of “I”)

Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo.  (Pleased my).  It is my pleasure to meet you. (Note we did not use “I”)

Both sentences say essentially the same thing, but the first focuses on the feeling of the speaker (I am pleased..), while the latter focuses on the cause for the feeling.

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