Tagalog Lesson 1

Listen to the Opening Dialog for Lesson 1. If you are new to the language, this will give you a quick feel for the sound of the language. In the conversation, Mrs. Cruz greets Bob Turner and his wife. Bob then introduces his wife Anne to Mrs. Cruz.




You can click the links below to listen to the individual parts of the conversation. Afterwards, this page will provide various sentences similar to what you already hear. Please be sure to read the Lesson 1 Notes available from the right side menu. The notes further expand on the words and sentences introduced here.

Gng. Cruz: Magandang gabi po. Good evening.
Bob Turner: Magandang gabi po naman, Ginang Cruz. Kumusta po kayo Good evening too, Mrs. Cruz. How are you?
Gng. Cruz: Mabuti po naman, at kayo? Quite fine, and you?
Bob Turner: Mabutii po naman. Ginang Cruz, ito po si Anne, maybahay ko. Quite fine too. Mrs. Cruz, this is Anne, my wife.
Gng. Cruz: Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo, Ginang Turner. I’m pleased to meet you Mrs. Turner.
Anne Turner: Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo, Ginang Cruz. I’m pleased to meet you too Mrs. Cruz.

Listen to snippets of the above conversation

As pointed out in the notes for Lesson 1, maganda means beautiful in Tagalog. Beautiful morning, or beautiful afternoon are common greetings in Tagalog. Mabuti is a common reply. Mabuti means “fine”. Again, I urge you to check out the notes for Lesson 1.

You will see the word “maybahay” in the sentences below. It is still part of the language, however the more common word is “asawa”. Asawa is also mentioned on this page and in the notes.

Magandang gabi po. Good evening. (Beautiful evening)
Magandang Beautiful + ng
Magandang gabi po naman Ginang Cruz. Good evening too, Mrs. Cruz.
Kumusta po kayo? How are you? (formal or plural)
Kumusta po kayo? How are you? (formal or plural)
Ginang Cruz Mrs. Cruz
Magandang gabi po naman Ginang Cruz. Good evening too Mrs. Cruz.
Magandang gabi po naman Ginang Cruz. Kumusta po kayo? Good evening too Mrs. Cruz. How are you?
Mabuti po naman Quite fine.
at kayo? and you?
mabuti Fine
Mabuti po naman. Quite fine.
Mabuti po naman, at kayo? Quite fine, and you?
Mabuti po naman. Ginang Cruz, ito po si Ann, maybahay ko. Quite fine. Mrs. Cruz, this is Ann, my wife.
maybahay wife (formal)
maybahay ko wife (formal)
Ito po si Ann This is Ann.
Ito po si Ann, maybahay ko. This is Ann, my wife.
Ginang Cruz, ito po si Ann, maybahay ko. Mrs. Cruz, this is Ann, my wife.

Practicing “Ikinagagalak”. It’s fun to say once you learn it!

After living in a Tagalog speaking area for 12 months I can honestly tell you that this word is not spoken often. I’ve met a lot of people since I arrived here. In 1 year, I’ve heard this phrase only three times. Each of those times was when I overheard someone else say it to another person, not to me.

I find that most Filipinos will just say “kumusta” after meeting me, or start asking questions like “Taga-saan ka?” (Where are you from?)

Check out the notes for this lesson for more information about ikinagagalak and nagagalak. I remember saying “Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo” to my friends Lolo (grandfather) when I first met him in the Philippines. He was very happy to hear me say that. I was more thrilled to be able to say it!




Want to impress you friends? If they ask you to say something in Tagalog, just say “Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo!” Practice it below until you can say it without thinking!

Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo Ginang Turner. I’m pleased to meet you Mrs. Turner.
Ikinagagalak Pleased
galak
gagalak
nagagalak
ikinagagalak
ikinagagalak kong I am pleased
makilala kayo to meet you
Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I’m pleased to meet you.
Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo Ginang Turner. I’m pleased to meet you Mrs. Turner.

More short pieces of the dialog above

In this section, we look at different segments of the opening dialog. Lick the links and listen to the audio. Try to repeat what you hear. Play with it! It’s fun! Check out the notes for Lesson 1 for more information about some of the words on this page and in this section.

Nagagalak din po ako. I’m pleased too.
Nagagalak din po ako. I’m pleased too.
makilala kayo to meet you
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Ginang Cruz. I’m pleased to meet you too Mrs. Cruz.
Magandang gabi po. Good evening.
Magandang gabi po naman Ginang Cruz. Good evening too Mrs. Cruz.
Kumusta po kayo? How are you? (formal or plural)
Mabuti po naman, at kayo? Quite fine, and you?
Mabuti po naman. Quite fine.
Ginang Cruz, ito po si Ann, maybahay ko. Mrs Cruz, this is Ann, my wife.
Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo Ginang Turner. I’m pleased to meet you Mrs. Turner.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Ginang Cruz. I’m pleased to meet you too Mrs. Cruz.
Magandang gabi po. Good evening.

 

Common Greetings Based on Time of Day

One of the interesting things for English speakers as they learn Tagalog is the greeting for Noon-time (Magandang tanghali). In English, we don’t have such a greeting. We of course might say something like “Enjoy your lunch!”. Masarap! (delicious!).

Practice the words for morning, noon, afternoon and evening. Try to feel comfortable with the words and expressions of greetings. They should come naturally, and they will with practice. One note about Magandang gabi (Good evening). It isn’t used for saying “Good night” as we would in English. It is a greeting, not a way to say good-bye. There really isn’t a way to say “Good night” as you are leaving. We will be using other ways to say “good-bye” as we progress.

Magandang umaga. Good morning.
Magandang tanghali Good noon-time.
Magandang tanghali Good noon-time.
Magandang hapon. Good afternoon.
Magandang araw. Good day.
Magandang gabi. Good evening.
Magandang umaga po naman. Good morning too.
Magandang umaga po. Good morning.
Magandang umaga po naman. Good morning too.
Magandang tanghali po. Good noon-time.
Magandang tanghali po naman. Good noon-time too.
Magandang hapon po. Good afternoon.
Magandang hapon po naman. Good afternoon too.
Magandang araw po. Good day.
Magandang araw po naman. Good day too.

Some Military Ranks and How to Say them in Tagalog

This course was originally developed to help soldiers and sailors learn the language before being stationed in the Philipppines. Thus, you will see references to military ranks and the locations around the now closed Subic Naval Base, and Clark Airbase. The U.S. Navy and Air Force no longer have bases in the Philippines. I toured the old Clark Airbase (now named the Clark Special Economic Zone). I really enjoyed the tour of the place. I also spent a day picnicking and swimming at one of the beaches along Subic Bay. The water was so warm! I loved it.

tinyente Lieutenant
kapitan Captain
medyor Major
koronel Colonel
komander Commander
admiral Admiral
sarhento Sargeant

Using the Military Ranks in Common Greetings

Notice the “respect marker” po being used in these greetings. You can think of the word po as meaning “sir” or “ma’am”.

Magandang araw po tinyente. Good morning Lieutenant
Magandang araw po kapitan. Good morning Captain.
Magandang araw po sarhento. Good day sargeant.
Magandang araw po tinyente. Good day Lieutenant.
Magandang araw po admiral Good day Admiral.
Magandang araw po kolonel Good day Colonel.
Magandang araw po medyor. Good day Major.

Mister, Misses, Miss

Not that Ginang (Mrs.) is abbreviated Gng., Ginoo (Mr.) is abbreviated G. and Binibini is Bb. A linker, ng is added to Ginoo (Mr.) and Binibini (Miss) when used with names. For example: Ginoong Cruz and Binibining Reyes. However, Ginang (Mrs.) remains the same with or without names. Examples: Ginang Cruz and Ginoo at Ginang.

Ginoo (G.) Mr.
Binibini (Bb.) Miss.
Ginoong Cruz Mr. Cruz
Binibining Reyes Miss Reyes.
Ginoo at Ginang Mr. and Mrs.
Ginoo at Ginang Cruz Mr. and Mrs. Cruz

Using “to you” (sa iyo) and Practice of Greetings and Salutations

 

Even in English we often use the phrase “to you” in our sentences. Often, sa iyo is shortened to sa’yo. I often see it written simply as “sayo“. If you are speaking to one person, you can use “sa iyo” (to you). However, if you are speaking to more than one person, or you want to be more formal, then use “sa inyo“. More about “sa inyo” in the next section on this page.

sa iyo to you
Magandang tanghali sa iyo Juan. Good noon-time to you Juan.
Magandang tanghali po Ginoong Cruz. Good noon-time Mr. Cruz.
Maria Maria
Magandang tanghali sa iyo Maria. Good noon-time to you Maria.
Binibining Gomez. Miss Gomez.
Magandang tanghali po Binibining Gomez. Good noon-time Miss. Gomez.
Ginoong Ramirez Mr. Ramirez
Magandang tanghali po Ginoong Ramirez. Good noon-time Mr. Ramirez.
Pedro Pedro
Magandang tanghali sa iyo Pedro. Good noon-time to you Peter.
Jose Jose
Magandang tanghali sa iyo Jose. Good noon-time to you Jose.
Ginang Ruiz Mrs. Ruiz
Magandang tanghali po Ginang Ruiz. Good noon-time Mrs. Ruiz.
Paulita Paulita
Magandang tanghali sa iyo Paulita. Good noon-time to you Paulita.
Magandang gabi po. Good evening.
Magandang po naman Ginoong Cruz. Good evening too Mr. Cruz.
Kumusta po kayo? How are you? (formal or plural)
Mabuti po naman, at kayo. Quite fine, and you?
Mabuti po naman. Quite fine too.
Ginoong Cruz, ito po si Ann, maybahay ko. Mr. Cruz, this is Ann, my wife. (formal)
Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo Ginang Turner. I’m pleased to meet you Mrs. Turner.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Ginang Cruz. I’m pleased to meet you too Mr. Cruz.

“to you” in the Plural (or Formal) Version – Sa Inyo

Sa iyo” is used when speaking to one person, a friend or equal. “Sa inyo” is used to speaking to more than one person, or to someone of more rank or seniority.

While looking and listening to the following sentences, notice how “sa iyo” is used in comparison to “sa inyo“.

Keep in mind, the word “lahat” means all. It can be used in sentences such as “How are you all”, or “How much is it all” (will learn about that later).

sa inyo to you (formal or plural)
sa iyo to you
sa inyo to you
lahat all
Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Good morning to you all.
inyong lahat you all
Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Good morning to you all.
Magandang umaga sa inyo. Good morning to you.
Magandang umaga sa inyong lahat. Good morning to you all.
Magandang umaga po Ginang Ruiz. Good morning Mr. Ruiz.
Magandang umaga sa inyo Ginang Ruiz. Good morning to you Mr. Ruiz.
Magandang tanghali sa iyo Carlos. Good noon-time to you Carlos.
Magandang gabi po Ginang Cruz. Good evening Mr. Cruz.
Magandang gabi sa inyo Ginang Cruz. Good morning to you Mr. Cruz.
Magandang hapon sa iyo Pacita. Good afternoon to you Pacita.
Magandang araw po Binibining Ramirez. Good day Miss. Ramirez.
Magandang gabi po tinyente. Good evening Lieutenant.
Magandang hapon sa iyo Ana. Good afternoon to you Ana.
Magandang tanghali po sarhento. Good noon-time Sargeant.
Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat. Good evening to you all.

“How are you?” Casual and Plural / Formal

The Tagalog word Kumusta is derived from the Spanish “Como Esta?” (How are you?). Keep in mind the Spanish influence is very strong in the Philippines. The Spanish ruled the archipelago for about 400 years! Tagalog has adopted many Spanish words. But don’t be fooled, they may not always use the Spanish word in the same way or pronunciation as the Spanish word.

Kumusta po kayo? How are you? (formal or plural)
Kumusta ka? How are you? (informal, singular)
Ka you

Practicing the Use of “Kumusta po kayo?” and “Kumusta ka?”

Note the different uses depending on if you are asking a friend or someone of the same age versus asking an older person or someone of rank. Also, keep in mind that “kayo” is plural. It will be used not only for respect to one person, but is always used when addressing more than one person.

Magandang umaga po tinyente. Kumusta po kayo? Good morning Lieutenant. How are you?
Magandang umaga sa iyo Lydia. Kumusta ka? Good morning to you Lydia. How are you?
Magandang umaga sa iyo Rebecca. Kumusta ka? Good morning to you Rebecca. How are you?
Magandang umaga sa iyo Miguel. Kumusta ka? Good morning to you Miguel. How are you?
Magandang umaga po Ginoong Garcia. Kumusta po kayo? Good morning Mr. Garcia. How are you?
Magandang umaga po Sarhento. Kumusta po kayo? Good morning Sargeant. How are you?
Magandang umaga sa iyo Pacita. Kumusta ka? Good morning to you Pacita. How are you?
Magandang umaga po Ginang Abrera. Kumusta po kayo? Good morning Mrs. Abrera. How are you?
Magandang umaga po Ginoong Paraiso. Kumusta po kayo? Good morning Mr. Paraiso. How are you?
Magandang hapon sa iyo Pacita. Kumusta ka? Good afternoon to you Pacita. How are you?
Magandang tanghali po Binibining Ruiz. Kumusta po kayo? Good noon-time Miss. Ruiz. How are you?
Magandang gabi po Kapitan. Kumusta po kayo? Good evening Captain. How are you?
Magandang araw sa iyo Pacita. Kumusta ka? Good day to you Pacita. How are you?
Kumusta ka? How are you?
Mabuti po naman. Quite fine.
Mabuti naman. Quite fine.
Mabuti po naman. Quite fine.
Magandang gabi sa iyo. Kumusta ka? Good evening to you. How are you?
Mabuti naman. Quite fine.
Magandang umaga po. Kumusta po kayo? Good morning. How are you?
Mabuti po naman. Quite fine.
Magandang gabi po. Kumusta po kayo? Good evening. How are you?
Magandang hapon sa iyo. Kumusta ka? Good afternoon to you. How are you?
Mabuti naman. Quite fine.
Magandang tanghali po. Kumusta po kayo? Good noon-time. How are you?
Magandang araw sa iyo. Kumusta ka? Good day to you. How are you?
Magandang gabi sa iyo. Kumusta ka? Good evening to you. How are you?

 

Introducing the Words “Asawa” (spouse) and Kaibigan (friend)

The word “asawa” is most commonly used for wife or husband. It is gender neutral. It is similar to the use of spouse in English. The word for friend in Tagalog is “kaibigan“.

asawa spouse (husband / wife)
asawa spouse (husband / wife)
maybahay (more formal than asawa) wife (formal)
kaibigan friend

Practice using Asawa, Maybahay and Kaibigan

The word “ito” means this in English. Notice the use of “si” in the following sentences. The “si” word marks the use of a personal name. Examples: si Carla, si Mary. The word “po” is used as a respectful word. Similar to the way sir or ma’am is used in English.

For more information about this topics please visit the Lesson 1 Notes. You will note that the sentences do not contain a Tagalog equivalent of “is”. For example, the Tagalog sentence “Ito po si Tom, kaibigan ko” can be translated in pseudo-English as “This po si Tom, friend my”). Po is the respect marker, and si is the marker for the name of a person, there is no word for “is”. See the notes for his lesson (check out the menu on the right) for more information about the lack of “to be”.

The word “si” is not the word “is” spelled backward! It is the marker for the name of a person (personal pronoun).

Ito po si Tom, kaibigan ko. This is Tom, my friend.
Ito po si Mary, maybahay ko. This is Mary, my wife.
Ito po si Peter, asawa ko. This is Peter, my husband.
Ito po si Ellen, asawa ko. This is Ellen, my wife.
Ito po si Frank Olsen, kaibigan ko. This is Frank Olsen, my friend.
ito po si Ginoong Cruz. This is Mr. Cruz.
Ito po si Binibining Paraiso. This is Miss. Paraiso.
Ito po si Carl, asawa ko. This is Carl, my husband.
Ito po si Tony Johnson, kaibigan ko. This is Tony Johnson, my friend.
Ito po si Tinyente Miller, kaibigan ko. This is Lieutenant Miller, my friend.
Ito po si Karen, asawa ko. This is Karen, my wife.
Ito si Alicia, asawa ko This is Alicia, my wife.

Another way to say “My” in Tagalog

We have been using “ko” after the word asawa (spouse) or kaibigan (friend). “Ko” can be thought of as a word for “my”. However I tend to think of it as “of mine”. Therefore, “kaibigan ko” can be translated as “friend of mine”. “Ko” has a number of ways to be translated in English. It is basically a less direct way to say “my”. “Ko” always comes after the noun that is possessed. Another version of “my” is used if place before the noun that is possessed. That word is “aking“. It also mean “my”. “aking bahay” (my house), “aking asawa” (my spouse), “aking kaibigan” (my friend).

Compare and contrast the two uses of “my” in the following sentences.

Itong aking asawa, si Alicia. This is my wife, Alicia.
Ito ang asawa ko, si Alicia. This is my wife, Alicia.
Ito si Alicia, aking asawa. This is Alicia, my wife.
Ito ang aking asawa, si Alicia. This is Alicia, my wife.

 

More Practice Sentences

These sentences are similar to the ones learned elsewhere in this lesson. Practice speaking and listening to them. Try to pronounce the sentences the same way the speaker does. Repetition is a very useful method to get it right. Have fun and enjoy the process!

The word “ako” in the following sentences means I in English. You can read more about Nagagalak and Ikinagagalak in the Notes for Lesson 1.

Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I’m pleased to meet you.
Ako po si Kapitan Juan Santos. Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I am Captain Juan Santos. I am pleased to meet you.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Kapitan Santos. I am pleased to meet you too Captain Santos.
Ako po si Tinyente Fidel Corona. Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I am Lieutenant Fidel Corona. I am pleased to meet you.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Tinyente Corona. I am pleased to meet you too Lieutenant Corona.
Ako po si Kapitan Ridon. Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I am Captain Ridon. I am pleased to meet you.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Kapitan Ridon. I am pleased to meet you too Captain Ridon.
Ako po si Medyor Parado. Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I am Major Parado. I am pleased to meet you.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Medyor Parado. I am pleased to meet you too Major. Parado.
Ako po si Rafael Aquino. Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I am Rafael Aquino. I am pleased to meet you.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Rafael Aquino. I am pleased to meet you too Rafael Aquino.
Ako po si Alicia Lazaro. Ikinagagalak kong makilala kayo. I am Alicia Lazaro. I am pleased to meet you.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Alicia Lazaro. I am pleased to meet you too Alicia Lazaro.
Nagagalak din po akong makilala kayo Binibining Lazaro. I am pleased to meet you too Miss. Lazaro.

 

Listen to the Following Dialog

You may want to listen to the following dialog repeatedly until you feel very comfortable with it. I suggest that you become comfortable listening to the first dialog of the lesson too. If you have problems with certain areas, review the troublesome phrases in the listings above.
It’s up to you to practice this lesson until you can completely understand the final dialog. Enjoy! Learning this language is fun!
Final Dialog For Lesson 1 (Listening Comprehension)

Gloria: Magandang araw po, Ginang Turner. Good day Mrs. Turner.
Gng Turner: Magandang araw sa iyo Gloria. Kumusta ka? Good day to you Gloria. How are you?
Gloria: Mabuti po naman. Ginang Turner, ito po si Rosa, kaibigan ko. Quite fine. Mrs. Turner, this is Rosa, my friend.
Rosa: Nagagalak po akong makilala kayo, Ginang Turner. I am pleased to meet you Mrs. Turner.
Gng. Turner Kumusta ka Rosa? How are you Rosa?

Practice, practice, practice. If you are serious about learning Tagalog, practice the sentences on this page over and over again. You will want to be completely comfortable with using these sentences and replying to them. Have fun! Enjoy the ride!

See you in Lesson 2!!

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