Filipino Body Language and the Importance of Non-verbal Communication with your Filipina

 As you may have gathered, if you have been following my blog for a while, I can speak Tagalog, and I have even created a series of blog posts that touch on the subject of Tagalog grammar. Because I am interested in making my marriage with my Filipina not only work but actually thrive, I have been taking the study of the Filipino language and culture very seriously since I entered this relationship back in 2000. Now I am at a point where my wife and I can quickly and easily switch from Italian and English to Tagalog. Yet, being able to communicate verbally is just a tiny part of the equation of effective communication. Many experts talk about the idea that around 93% of human communication occurs through non-verbal cues and only the remaining 7% is accomplished through words. When I look at this issue through this lens I realize that my efforts to master the Filipino culture and language count for very little if I don't work on improving my non-verbal communication. So in this post

The Tagalog Language

(I have orginally posted this material in my other website and in this post I am putting the individual files together. For now I am just copying and pasting, at a later time I'll work on the style)

In the past few months I have published a series of articles about the Tagalog grammar.

In this post I am putting together what I have covered so far.

The reason why I am including this kind of posts in my blog is because from time to time I need to brush up my knowledge of the Tagalog grammar and, in so doing, I also share it with anyone who may be interested in learning this language, like some Western guy married to a Filipina for example.

I must give credit to a couple of sources that have greatly helped me to grasp the grammar of my wife's native language: "Conversational Tagalog" by Teresita Ramos and the website


Learning Tagalog is almost like playing with Lego blocks, as the seemingly long words are, in reality, the result of the combination of a root word and one or more affixes: English speakers are already familiar with this concept because in English a number of words are formed by adding an affix to a root word. For example the root word beauty can be combined with ful to form the adjective beautiful. Take for example the Tagalog root word ganda (that conveys the idea of beauty): if you combine it with the affix ma- you form the adjective maganda or beautiful; if you combine it with -um- (between the first consonant and the first vowel) you form the verb gumanda and if you put the prefix ka- before the root word and the suffix -an after it you form the noun kagandahan. As I said, it is almost like playing with Legos and putting the pieces together: depending on the affix that you stick to the root word you can form an adjective, a verb or a noun A root word is simply a basic, core word that can be used to make other words. This is the starting point to understand the structure of the Tagalog language and what I can say is that I've found out that the structure of Tagalog is much easier than that of most Western languages, especially when you are learning verbs, speaking of which....


Another aspect that made it relatively easy, at least for me, to learn Tagalog is that there is only one kind of past tense, present tense or future tense not many like in Italian for example. Technically those are not even called "tenses" but rather "verbal aspects" because they only convey the idea that a certain action has been accomplished, is being accomplished or is being "contemplated" but they give no clue as to "when" it has been accomplished or will be accomplished. For example the verb "bumasa" (to read) has the following aspects: Bumasa ako ng aklat=I have read the book (the action has been accomplished, it doesn't tell you the when) Bumabasa ako ng aklat=I am (in the process of) reading the book Babasa ako ng aklat=I have the intention to read it, I am contemplating the idea of reading it but I am not communicating when in the future I will do it (unless I use a time expression like bukas=tomorrow etc).

A nice way to illustrate the difference between a tense and the verbal aspect is the example of the boss of a company and the secretary (which I've found on the Tagalog page of the official website of the department of Asian studies of the University of Illinois): the boss of a company is only concerned with whether his employee has done his job or not, the secretary is concerned with when the employee did his job because she has to calculate the amount of his paycheck. Similarly the verbal aspect only communicates if a certain action has been done or not while a tense communicates when the action has taken place or will take place.

If I say something like binasa ko ang aklat (I read the book) that expression simply tells me that I did the action of reading the book, it could have happened one moment ago, yesterday, one year ago, 20 years ago. If I say babasahin ko ang aklat I am stating my intention to read the book: it could happen in 5 minutes or 5 years. So, in order to give the listener a clue about the when Filipinos need time expressions like kanina (earlier), kahapon (yesterday), ngayon (today), mamaya (later), bukas (tomorrow) and many others. In my language (Italian) not only do we have tenses but we have plenty of them, 21 to be specific. We have 8 tenses in the indicative mode, 4 in the subjunctive, 2 in the conditional, one in the imperative, 2 in the infinitive, 2 in the participle and 2 in the gerund, imagine that!


Filipinos often use either ng or na to connect two words, usually an adjective and a noun. If the word that appears before the linker ends with a vowel they use ng, if it ends with a consonant they use na like in the following two examples: Masamang kalagayan (bad situation) Mahirap na kalagayan (difficult situation) So, in the first example, because masama ends with a vowel I used ng, while after mahirap that ends in a consonant, I used na. The same applies when you are linking two numbers like: Limang daan Apat na raan


The first time I heard numbers like labingisa or isang daan at labindalawa etc. I wondered "how am I possibly going to learn this stuff"? In reality, if you are interested in learning numbers in Tagalog, all you really need to memorize are the numbers from one to ten being: isa dalawa tatlo apat lima anim pito walo siyam sampu. Then, the numbers from 11 to 19 are really easy because all you need to do is add labin to the numbers you've already learned: 11=labingisa 12=labindalawa and so on. Then, as for the numbers 20, 30, 40 etc. they all end like 10 or sampu: Dalawampu Tatlumpu and so on Between 20, 30, 40 etc. you just add 't isa, 't dalawa etc.: Example: 21=dalawampu't isa 22=dalawampu't dalawa ..... 51=limampu't isa And so on As for the "hundreds" you just have to learn daan (except for apat and other numbers that end in a consonant where you've got na raan) the pattern is: Isang daan Dalawang daan .... Apat na raan ..... Anim na raan Then for higher numbers you add: Libo=1000 Milyon Bilyon And so on.


Generally, in order to turn a singular noun into a plural, Filipinos add the word mga between the markers ang and ng and the noun like in the following examples: "Ang mga Pilipino ay umiinom ng gin" meaning "Filipinos drink gin" (which is true, by the way) and the focus is on the actors. "Iniinom ng mga Pilipino ang gin" meaning the same thing the focus being on the object So, when you find the little word "mga" between the marker and the noun that indicates that the noun is in the plural number. This means for example that if you go to a Filipino party don't just bring ang isang bote (one bottle), rather always bring ang mga bote (ng gin).....


In Tagalog there is no such thing as the verb to be. You will often come across expressions like: ako ay Pilipino. Well, that doesn't literally translate as "I am Filipino". That is just an inverted form of Pilipino ako where ay simply inverts the order in the sentence.


One of my goals in this blog is to share my knowledge of the Tagalog grammar and, in the process, study it again, as I studied it many years ago and never revisited it.

I am publishing (and rivisiting and updating) posts about the Tagalog grammar in Tagalog, English and Italian because I want to master the Tagalog grammar terminology in these 3 languages.

Tagalog is an agglutinative language.

An agglutinative language is a type of language that uses agglutination.

Agglutination means that words are formed by stringing together morphemes (the smallest meaningful unit in a language) without changing them in spelling or phonetics.

As I have said in my first post about the Tagalog grammar, in Tagalog agglutination happens by combining one or more affixes with a root-word.

There are 3 main categories of affixes in Tagalog being:

Maka-uri: to form adjectives like maganda=beautiful

Maka-ngalan: related to nouns like mag-kapatid or mag-asawa

Maka-diwa: used to form verbs and to indicate verbal focus

Maka-diwa affixes and verbal focus in Tagalog

in Tagalog you have to use the right affix to form a verb, depending on the focal point of the sentence, and there are many verbal affixes in Tagalog like -um-, mag-, maka-, makapag-, ma-, magpa-, i-, -in, -an.

You also need to use the right marker (something like what we call an article in Western languages) like ang, ng, sa (or si, ni and kay if you are talking about a person).

The focus of the sentence also determines which personal pronouns you are going to use.

The actor focus personal pronouns are:


Ikaw (or ka)=you

Siya=he or she

Kami or tayo=we (I'll talk about the difference in another article)



The object focus personal pronouns are :




Namin or natin



To illustrate how all of this works, let's take the root word basa, which conveys the idea of reading and let's say that we want to say something like "I (or you, he/she, we, You, they) read a book"

In this sentence we've got:

A personal pronoun (I)

A verb (to read)

A marker (or article being "a")

In this sentence I can basically emphasize two elements:

The one who is reading thereby answering the question "who reads the book?"

The object or the thing being read which answers the question "what is being read?"


The first type of focus is the actor focus type of sentence:

In this kind of sentence I am going to use such verbal affixes like -um- (that goes between the first consonant and the first vowel of the root word) or mag-.

The markers I am going to use in connection with the actor are ang or si (if the actor is a personal name, like "si Eduardo").

And the personal pronouns are ako, ikaw etc.


Let's make a few examples:

"The man is reading a book"

In Tagalog that would be: "Ang tao ay nagbabasa (present "tense" or, more accurately "incompleted aspect" of magbasa) ng isang aklat". Notice that I am using the "ay" which inverts the order of the sentence that could also be rendered as "nagbabasa ang tao ng aklat".

"Eduardo is reading the book"

"Si Eduardo ay nagbabasa ng aklat" (or "nagbabasa si Eduardo....").

"I am reading the book"

"Ako ay nagbabasa ng aklat"

In the examples above I have used the verbal affix "mag" which turns the root word basa into a mag- verb, which is only one type of actor focus verb.

The completed aspect of magbasa is nagbasa (mag becomes nag)

The incompleted aspect is nagbabasa (mag becomes nag and I am doubling the first syllable)

The contemplated aspect (basically the "future tense") is magbabasa.

The abilitative form (expressing the ability to do the action) of a mag- verb is makapag-, so to convey the idea that one has the ability or the possibility to read I say makapagbasa.


The other common actor focus affix is -um- by using which with basa the verb is bumasa (past: bumasa, present: bumabasa, again I am doubling the first syllable, future: babasa, I am removing the um to form the future) and the corresponding abilitative form is maka-


Another actor focus affix is ma- for actor focus verbs like:

Matulog (to sleep)

Makinig (to listen)

Maligo (to take a bath)

Manood (to watch)


The second type of focus is the object focus in which case I am answering the question "what is being read?"



"The book is what the man is reading"

"Binabasa (present "tense" or incompleted aspect of basahin) ng tao ang aklat"

"The book is what Eduardo is reading"

"Binabasa ni Eduardo ang aklat"

"The book is what I am reading"

"Binabasa ko ang aklat"

In this case I have used a verb that ends in -in like basahin, inumin, ayusin etc. (Past: binasa, present: binabasa, future: basahin)


Another common object focus verb is the one that begins with i- like ituro, idiin, itago etc. (past: itinuro, present: itinuturo, future: ituturo).


Some ma- verbs are actor focus like makinig while others are object focus like:

Makita (to see)

Marinig (to hear)

Mapansin (to pay attention)


Some object focus verbs end in -an like:

Buksan (to open)

Takpan (to cover)


In Tagalog the affix -an is used to talk about a location, and this applies not just to verbs but also to nouns.

For example the word aklatan, which is formed by combining aklat (book) with -an means "library" or "the place or location where books can be found".

The word basurahan, which is formed by adding -an to basura (garbage) is the place where people dispose of garbage.

Similarly verbs that end with -an generally refer to an action where the focus is either the location or the direction of the action.

For example if I am going to Juan's house I can use the verb puntahan and the house of Juan is my pupuntahan.

If I do something in behalf of someone and this person is the receiver or the direction of my action, I also use an -an verb like bigyan where the verb ("to give") is used to talk about the person to whom an object is given, like for instance bigyan ko ng bulaklak ang misis ko ("my wife is the one to whom I give the flowers", so my action, the action of buying flowers is directed toward my wife).

Sometimes -an can also be used for object focus verbs (see part 2) or even beneficiary focus verbs, speaking of which let's now talk about those


These verbs are used to talk about the beneficiary of an action like for example the verb bilhan (to buy for someone) ex. bilhan mo ang bata ng kendi ("buy the candy for the child")

In addition to -an another beneficiary focus affix is ipag- like in the following sentence: ipagluto mo ng l ang mga bata ng fried chicken ("(you) cook some fried chicken for the children"), even though, to be honest, I don't hear ipag- verbs very much in everyday speech (my wife never uses ipag- verbs but she does use -an beneficiary verbs)

An easy way to talk about the beneficiary of an action without having to learn the beneficiary focus is by simply using the expression para sa ("for something") or para kay ("for someone") in an actor focus or in a object focus sentence.

For example, instead of saying ipagluto mo ang mga bata ng fried chicken you could simply say magluto ka ng fried chicken para sa mga bata (or para kay Mario if you are using a personal name)


The last type of focus is the instrumental which talks about the tool or instrument one is using to do something.

The affix here is ipang- or ipan-

So I could say something like "I am using the walis tambo to sweep the floor" and, in this case I have to use ipanlinis ko ang walis tambo ng sahig

If I wanted to avoid using the instrumental focus I could simply use an actor or object focus verb + the expression sa pamamagitan ("by means of") like nagwawalis ako ng sahig sa pamamagitan ng walis tambo and, in reality, I have never heard my wife using ipang- verbs, she always uses either an actor focus affix or an object focus affix followed by the expression sa pamamagitan.


In Tagalog, there are nine basic parts of speech: verbs (pandiwa), nouns (pangngalan), adjectives (pang-uri), adverbs (pang-abay), prepositions (pang-ukol), pronouns (panghalip), conjunctions (pangatnig), ligatures (pang-angkop) and particles.

I started with the verbs because they are the easy as well as the tricky part, the easy part being the fact that Tagalog verbs have aspects rather than tenses and the tricky part being all the different affixes that one has to stick to the root-word depending on the focus of the sentence.

But let's address other parts of speech and in this post I am going to talk about nouns.

What is a Noun?

A noun is a person, a place, a thing, or an idea.

I have already mentioned that in Tagalog many words are formed by combining a root-word with one or more affixes.

In Tagalog, most root words function as nouns and these includes such roots as ganda, talino and many other roots. When a root-word has no affixes attached to it that word is usually a noun.

Some nouns have Austronesian origins while many others are borrowed from other languages such as Spanish, English, other Philippine languages, etc.

Spanish: silya, mesa, aparador, kotse

English: motor, kompyuter, tren, gadyet

Many other nouns are formed by sticking one or more affixes to the root.


ka-indicating a companion or colleague

ex kainuman:drinking buddy, katrabaho: work colleague

ka-....-an or ka-...-han: collective or abstract noun.
Example: kagandahan=beauty, kaalaman=knowledge, kaunawaan=insight

Pan-: denoting instrumental use of the noun.
Example: pantulong=aid

"-an" and "-han"

1. A place where you can find many of the things described by the root word.

Example: aklatan (a place with many aklat or books=library), bigasan=rice shop

2. Place where the action described by the root word takes place
Example: aralan (place where the aral or lesson takes place), lutuan (place where luto or cooking is made), laruan, labahan

3. time in which the action indicated by the root word takes place to a large extent
Example: pistahan=time for celebration, anihan=harvesting time

4. actions done for revenge
Example: barilan=shooting, suntukan=punching

5. something numerous or very large
Example: duguan=bloodshed

"in or hin"

1. relationship
Example: tiyuhin=uncle, inapo=offspring

2. something that has the same shape as the thing defined by the root-word
Example: sinampalok=something having the shape of sampalok or tamarind


1. part of a group
Example: kabayan=fellow countryman

2. relationship
Example: kalaro=fellow player


1. group of things described by the root word
Example: kabahayan=group of houses

2. the climax of a situation
Example: kainitan=under the sun, in a very hot environment


1. family relationship
Example: mag-ama=father and son

2. mag- + repetition of the first syllable of the root word=profession
Example: manggagamot=someone who works in the field of medicine


1. season
Example: tag-ulan=rainy season


1. one who does the job indicated by the root word
Example: tagalinis=cleaner

This list shows that in Tagalog there are really a lot of affixes.

But it doesn't stop here. In addition to verbal and noun affixes there are also affixes that are used to form adjectives.


An adjective describes a noun

Adjectives are words like beautiful, awesome and any other word that gives some information about the thing, the place, the person, the idea or the animal described by a noun.

In Tagalog there are adjectives that are formed by a root word+an affix (like maganda=beautiful) and adjectives that don't require an affix (like bobo=stupid).

Here is a list of affixes that are used to form compound adjectives

1 ma- having a certain quality
Example: maganda=beautiful

2. maka- having a certain inclination
Example: makalaman=fleshly

3. maka- having a certain ability
Example: makadurug-puso=having the ability to break one's heart

4. mala- being like
Example: malasibuyas=like an onion

5. mapag- having a certain habit
Example: mapagbiro=having the habit to joke

6. mapang~ mapan~ mapam~ one who does on a regular basis the thing described by the root word
Example: mapang-away= one who regularly engages in a quarrel

7. pala- one who is constantly doing the thing described by the root word
Example: palaisip=always thinking

8. pang-~ pan-~ pam- instrumental
Example: pampatibay=encouraging

9.-an~ han one who possesses the quality described by the root word to a large extent
Example: duguan=inclined to a large extent toward bloodshed

10. in- like the thing described by the root word
Example: sinampalok=like a tamarind

11. in/-hin one who easily catches the thing described by the root word
Example: lagnatin=one who easily catches the flu

12. ma- -in/-hin one who possesses the quality described by the root word to a large extent
Example: maawain=full of mercy


Markers in Tagalog play a role similar to that of articles and prepositions in English.

A marker is, in fact, a word that comes before a noun.

Depending on the focus of the verb a marker indicates the role that the noun plays in the sentence: a marker may mark a noun as actor, object, location, direction etc.


These markers are used to point out the focus of the sentence.

1. ANG (or ANG MGA if the focus of the sentence is a plural) marks a word as the focus of the sentence except for nouns that are the names of people that are marked by SI (singular) or SINA (plural)


Pumunta ang empleyado sa opisina (singular)=the office worker went to his office

Pumunta ang mga empleyado sa opisina

Pumunta si Mario sa opisina

Pumunta sina Mario at Grace sa opisina


These markers are used when the noun is not the focus of the sentence


Binasa ng estudiante ang libro=the book is what the student read (the student is not the focus of the sentence, rather it is the book)

Binasa ng mga estudiante ang libro

Binasa ni Mario ang libro

Binasa nina Mario at Grace ang libro

NG also indicates possession


Ang libro ng estudiante (the book that belongs to the student)

Ang libro ni Mario


These markers have to do with direction, location and beneficiary and correspond to prepositions in English



Ibinigay ng titser ang isang libro sa estudiante (or sa mga estudiante=plural)=the teacher gave a book to the student

Ibinigay ng titser ang isang libro kay Mario (or kina Mario at Grace)


Pumupunta ako sa bahay=I am going (sa=to in this context) home

Pumupunta ako kay Mario=I am going to Mario



Mayroon ang isang Jollibee restaurant sa Milan, Italy=there is a Jollibee restaurant in Milan

SA also marks a future time


Magbabakasyon ako sa Agosto=I'll go on vacation in August


There are three types of pronouns in Tagalog:

  • Ang pronouns (personal and demonstrative)
  • Ng pronouns (personal and demonstrative)
  • Sa pronouns (personal and demonstrative)


These are the pronouns in focus, or, in other words, the pronouns that are used with mag-, -um-, maka-, makapag- and some ma- verbs

Personal (panao)

Ako: I

Ikaw (used at the beginning of the sentence)/ka (used in other parts of the sentence): you

Siya: he/she

Kami (we exclusive: excludes the hearer or the person being addressed)/tayo (we inclusive): we

Kayo: You

Sila: They

Example: pumunta ako sa bahay ni Mario, pumunta ka sa bahay ko etc.

Demonstrative (pamatlig)

Ito this

Iyan that (near the hearer or the person being addressed)

Iyon that (far from the speaker and the hearer)

Example: ano ba ito? (What is this?), Ano ba iyan/iyon? (What is that?)


These are the pronouns that are not in focus and go with ng verbs (i-, -in, ma-, -an)

Personal (panao)

Ko my

Mo your

Niya his/her

Namin (esclusive)/natin (inclusive) our

Ninyo Your

Nila their

Demonstrative (pamatlig)

Nito (of) this

Niyan (of) that (near the hearer)

Niyon (of) that (far from the hearer)

They indicate


Example: ang bahay ko=my house

Direct object

Example: bumili ako (focus) nito (not in focus)=I bought this

Actor not in focus

Example: binili ko ang kotse=the car is what (the car is in focus) I (actor not in focus) bought


Personal (panao)

Akin me/mine

Iyo you/yours

Kanya he/his

Amin (exclusive)/Atin (inclusive) we/our

Inyo You/Your

Kanila they/their

These pronouns have four functions:


Example: ang aking bahay (my house)


Examples: pupunta ako sa iyo=I am going to you (or your house), ibinibigay ko ang libro sa kanya=I am giving him the book


Example: ang susi ng kotse ay nasa akin=the car key is with me

Demonstrative (pamatlig)

Dito/rito here

Diyan/riyan there (near the hearer)

Doon/roon (far from the hearer)

These also indicate


Example: pupunta ako doon=I'll go there


Example: bumili ako ng regalo para dito=I bought a gift for this


Example: dito sa Italya= here in Italy

So these are the various pang-halip (panao=personal at pamatlig=demonstrative) in Tagalog


In the English language there are the so-called modal verbs that are used to talk about needs and wants (must, shall, will, should, would, can, could, may, and might).

In Tagalog there are the so-called pseudo-verbs that have a more or less similar function.

The reason why they are called pseudo-verbs is because they have no verbal aspect, so they are not conjugated (in Tagalog there are only verbal aspects not tenses like in English), nor do they have any affixes attached to them indicating focus.

These verbs are:

Gusto like

Ayaw dislike

Kailangan need

Pwede can

Maaari might

Dapat must


These 3 pseudo-verbs can be used both in sentences where the doer of the action is in focus and in sentences where the actor is not in focus


Actor in focus:

Pwede akong pumunta sa bahay ni Mario

Maaaring tumawag ang asawa ko sa akin (in this case, because the pseudo-verb comes before the verb, it is linked to it by -ng)

Dapat akong bumili ng pagkain

Actor not in focus


Pwede kong tulungan sila

Maaaring ibigay ko ang isang regalo sa anak ko

Dapat kong isulat ang isang liham


These pseudo-verbs always go with ng pronouns so you never say gusto ako but always gusto KO or ayaw KO.

Ayaw ko can be shortened as ayoko


"Nanay, tatay, gusto kong tinapay" (or a more modern version: "nanay, tatay, gusto ko isang tagay....")

Gusto kong bilhin ang pagkain

Gusto kong bumili ng pagkain

Ayaw kong bumili ng pagkain (or ayoko bumili ng pagkain)

Gusto ko ng alak

Ayoko ng alak


There are two words to negate something in Tagalog: hindi and wala


The word hindi, meaning no or not, and the word wala, indicating non-existence or absence.

Hindi is the opposite of oo meaning yes, and it is also used to talk about what a person or something is not


Pilipino ka ba? (are you Filipino?)

Two possible answers: Hindi ako Pilipino=I am not Filipino; hindi=no

Hindi ako Amerikano=I am not American

Hindi siya maganda=she is not beautiful

Gusto mo bang pumunta sa Jollibee?=would you like to go to Jollibee?

Answer: hindi=no


Wala is the opposite of mayroon meaning there is (example mayroon maraming Pilipino sa Roma=there are many Filipinos in Rome) or to have (mayroon akong panahon ngayon=I have time today).

Here are few examples:

Wala maraming Pilipino sa mga maliit na bayan ng Italya=there are not that many Filipinos in small Italian towns

Wala akong pera=I haven't got any money

nasa kusina ba ang TV?=is the TV set in the kitchen?

Answers: wala=no; wala sa kusina ang TV=the TV set is not in the kitchen


To talk about the existence of something, Filipinos use may or mayroon (sometimes Filipinos use the more colloquial form meron).

Difference between may and mayroon

Mayroon, must be followed by an adverb of place or a personal pronoun

For example, if I am using the personal pronoun ako immediately after mayroon, I can't use may

I can say mayroon akong pera but I can't say may akong pera. If I want to use the may instead of mayroon I have to move the personal pronoun to the end of the sentence and say: may pera ako

Mayroon is a full word that can standalone, while may has to be followed by a noun, verb, adverb, adjective.

For example, if I ask the question:

May pera ba si Mario?

I can answer with mayroon siya

If I wanted to use the may instead, I would have to say may pera si Mario


An adverb (pang-abay) is a word that modifies a verb (pandiwa).

Adverbs tell the listener

  • How (paano) the action described by the verb is done: these are known as adverbs of manner (pamaraan)
  • When (kailan) the action takes place: these are known as adverbs of time (kapanahunan)
  • Where (saan) it takes place: adverbs of place (lugar)

Adverbs of manner

In Tagalog they are usually formed by placing nang before ma+root word


I run fast: tumatakbo ako nang mabilis

Adverbs of time

The most common Tagalog words that are used to talk about when a certain action takes place are:

Kanina earlier

Mamaya later

Ngayon now or today

Kahapon yesterday

Bukas tomorrow


Bukas pupunta ako sa dagat=tomorrow I'll go to the beach

Adverbs of place

Are used to talk about the place where the action occurs. They are usually formed by putting sa before the place.


Nag-aaral ako sa bahay=I am studying at home

Pupunta ako sa beach=I am going to the beach


In order to change an adjective into a comparative form, Filipinos use mas (meaning "more") before the adjective and kaysa sa (meaning "than").

So, for example, a sentence like "a dog is more beautiful than a cat" in Tagalog would be "mas maganda ang aso kaysa sa pusa".

More examples:

Ako ay may MAS maraming balahibo KAYSA SA unggoy

Ang mga Pilipina ay MAS maganda KAYSA SA ibang lahi

"Ang mga Pilipina ay mas mabait kaysa sa ibang uri ng babae.... kapag natutulog sila at kapag hindi mainit ang ulo nila"


As for superlatives, they are formed by using the pinaka- affix.

So, for example, if I wanted to say that "dogs are the most beautiful animals in the world", I would have to use pinaka- and, therefore, say: "ang aso ay ang pinakamagandang hayop sa mundo".

More examples:

Ang mga Pilipina ay ang pinakamabait na uri ng babae.... kapag natutulog sila....(lol)

Ang mga Pilipinong lalaki ay ang pinakamadiskarteng uri ng lalaki


Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!


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