How to Be Polite in Tagalog

Maging Magalang = Be Polite

When talking to people older than you, the easiest way to make your sentences polite is to add po, usually at the end.

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10 Basic Tagalog Words to Know

If you need to learn just ten basic Tagalog words to get by, here’s a list of useful phrases to impress your Filipino friends with. Opo. Salamat. Kamusta. Oo…

Get started learning Tagalog with a few basic words!

Salamat. = Thank you.

Kamusta? = How are you?

Oo. = Yes.

Hindi. = No. Not.
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Speaking to Older People

Remember to use po and the third-person plural form when talking to someone much older than you.

Compare the following sentences:

Ewan ko.
I don’t know. (casual)

Ewan ko po.
I don’t know. (respectful)

Salamat sa tulong mo.
Thank you for your help. (casual)

Salamat po sa tulong ninyo.
Thanks to your help. (respectful)

Take note of the following exception:

Yes. (casual)

Yes. (respectful)

Sometimes, ho is substituted for po.

Opo. = Oho.

Salamat po. = Salamat ho. 

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What’s Your Name?

The Tagalog word for ‘name’ is pangalan.

Ano ang pangalan mo?

Combine the first two words in conversation:

Anong pangalan mo?
What’s your name? (casual)

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‘Happy Birthday’

The Tagalog word for ‘birthday’ is kaarawan.

The traditional way of greeting a Filipino a happy birthday is to say:

Maligayang Bati

Maligayang Bati
Maligayang Bati

This means “Happy Wishes” or “Joyful Greetings” but it’s understood to be referring to one’s birthday.

With the influence of English, most Filipinos translate the phrase “Happy Birthday” literally and these days say…

Maligayang Kaarawan!
Happy Birthday!

Maligayang Bati sa Iyong Kaarawan!
Happy Wishes on Your Birthday!

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10 Survival Travel Words

Try your best with 10 basic Tagalog words!

Saan? = Where?

Pakituro. = Please point.

Magkano? = How much?

Pakisulat. = Please write.
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Tagalog-English Dictionary

Diksyunaryo / Talahulugan

Use the search box to find a word in the Tagalog-English dictionary of our site 🙂
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‘Hello’ in Tagalog

Hello. (It is common for Filipinos to greet each other in English.)

How are you?
– the closest equivalent to the English greeting “Hello”
– this is the more current spelling of Kumusta
– it comes from the Spanish ¿Cómo está?

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