Most Filipinos will have a basic understanding of English and will try to converse with you if they can. Most are friendly enough to make conversation but some may be too shy to carry on a full conversation in English especially if they are not well-versed. Do not be offended if they shy away.


Here is a list of some useful words & phrases in Tagalog, the main Filipino dialect used in Metro Manila & may be understood in most parts of the Philippines.



It is useful to note that Tagalog words are pronounced exactly as they are spelled. Each vowel represents one separate syllable.  Just as "papaya" is pronounced "pa-pa-ya," the word "marunong" is pronounced "ma-ru-nong", the word "magsalita" is pronounced "mag-sa-li-ta".


A pronunciation guide for Tagalog vowels:

A - short "A" sound as in "Papa" or "Tart"

E - short "E" as in "Bed"

I - a long "ee" sound as in "Tweet"

O - as in the "au" sound in "Pauper"

U - a long "oo" sound as in "Pool"



It is always wise to add the word "po" to sentences as a form of respect or formality when speaking to elders or those you have just met or are not close with.



Do you know how to speak English? - Marunong po ba kayong magsalita ng Inggles?

I don't know how to speak Tagalog. - Hindi po ako marunong magsalita ng Tagalog.



How are you? / Hi. / Hello. - Kumusta? / Kumusta ka? (Informal. (May also be used to say "hello.")

I'm fine - Mabuti.

Good morning - Magandang umaga

Good afternoon - Magandang hapon

Good evening - Maganding Gabi

Thank you - Salamat po

You're welcome - Walang anuman.

My name is ... - Ang pangalan ko ay...

What is your name? – Anong pangalan mo? (informal) / Ano po ang pangalan ninyo? (formal)


Sorry / Excuse me - Pasensya na po.

Where is the washroom? - "Nasaan po ang C.R.?" (as in "Comfort Room." This is colloquial / slang, widely used.  Use this and you will more likely be understood than if you use "washroom", "restroom", or "W.C.")

May I bother you for a moment? - Maaari po ba kayong maabala sandali?

What is this? - Ano po ito?

What is that? - Ano po 'yan?(referring to something nearer) / Ano po 'yon?(referring to something far)

Can you please help me? - Maaari n'yo po ba akong tulungan?

Help! - Tulong!


 I - Ako

You (informal singular)- Ikaw

You (formal singular or informal/formal plural) - Kayo

Us/ We - Kami (excluding the person being spoken to)

Us/ We - Tayo (including the person being spoken to)

Them - Sila

Mine - Sa akin /Sa 'kin

Yours - Sa iyo / Sa 'yo

Ours - Sa atin / Sa 'tin

Theirs - Sa kanila

This - Ito

That - Iyan / 'Yan

Is - ay



Can you take (drive) me to...? - Pwede nyo po akong dalhin sa...?

I'm lost - Nawawala po ako.

I'm looking for... - Hinahanap ko po ang... (a place)

I'm looking for... - Hinahanap ko po si... (a person)

I'm looking for... - Naghahanap po ako ng... (a thing)

Can you show me on a map how to get there? - Maaari bang ipakita nyo sa mapa paano po pumunta doon?

Where is...? - Nasaan po ba ang...?

Left – Kaliwa / Please turn left – Kumaliwa po kayo.

Right – Kanan / Please turn right – Kumanan po kayo.

Straight ahead – Diretso / Go straight ahead – Diretso lang po.

In front - Sa harap

Behind - Sa likod

Upstairs/Above - Sa taas

Downstairs/Below - Sa baba

Please write that down for me.  - Pakisulat naman po 'yon.  (You may also use "Pakisulat naman po ang address." to ask for an exact address and you will be understood)

When is...? - Kailan po ang...?

...the train arriving? - "Kailan po ang dating ng tren?"

What time is...? - Anong oras po ang...?



How much is this? - Magkano po ito?

Too expensive - Masyadong mahal. / Ang mahal naman.

May I ask for a bargain? / Please lower the price. - Pahingi naman po ng tawad. / Tawad naman po. / Babaan nyo naman po ang presyo.

Keep the change. - Sa inyo nalang po ang sukli.

You haven't given me enough change. - Kulang po ang sukli.

You've given me too much change. - Sobra po ang sukli.

Do you have this in a different color? – Mayroon ba kayong ibang kulay?  (Then specify color in English)

Do you have this in a different size? – May ibang size ba kayo nito? (Then specify size in English)

Bigger – Mas malaki

Smaller – Mas maliit



Yes - Oo (informal). Opo (formal)

No - Hindi (informal). Hindi po (formal)

Maybe / Might - Siguro / Baka

Please do - Sige (can also mean "go / go ahead") / Sige na! (Please do! with emphasis)

Don't - Huwag

Can / May - Pwede / Maaari

Can't / May not - Hindi pwede / Hindi maaari

I want/ I like - Gusto ko (informal) / Gusto ko po (formal)

I want a... - Gusto ko ng... (informal) / Gusto ko po ng... (formal)

I don't want/ I don't like - Ayaw ko (informal) / Ayoko (slang) / Hindi ko po gusto (formal)

I need a... - Kailangan ko ng ... (informal) - Kailangan ko po ng ... (formal)

I don't need... - Hindi ko kailangan. (informal) / Hindi ko po kailangan. (formal) 

Correct - Tama

Incorrect / Wrong - Mali



Breakfast - Almusal

Lunch - Pananghalian

Dinner -  Hapunan

Afternoon snack - Merienda

Note:  In several fast food restaurants, you may be asked “Dine in or take out?”  It is not customary to order “to go” or “for here.”



Monday - Lunes

Tuesday - Martes

Wednesday - Miyerkules

Thursday - Huwebes

Friday - Biyernes

Saturday - Sabado

Sunday - Linggo



Earlier / A while ago - Kanina

Earlier this morning - Kaninang umaga

Earlier this afternoon - Kaninang hapon

Now - Ngayon

Later - Mamaya

Later this afternoon - Mamayang hapon

Later tonight - Mamayang gabi

Today - Ngayong araw

Tomorrow - Bukas

Yesterday - Kahapon (can also mean "yesterday afternoon")

Last night - Kagabi

Last week - Noong nakaraang linggo

This week - Ngayong linggo

Next week - Sa susunod na linggo

Last month - Noong nakaraang buwan

This month - Ngayong buwan

Next month - Sa susunod na buwan

Last year - Noong nakaraang taon

This year - Ngayong taon

Next year - Sa susunod na taon



Note: Filipinos use both Tagalog and Spanish words for numbers and may switch from one language to the other depending on usage.  Tagalog numbers are used to count things and people ("one person" - "isang tao" --- "one dog" - "isang aso").  Spanish numbers are used when telling time ("1:00PM" - "ala una" ---  "1:30PM" - "ala una imedya" --- "2:00PM" - "alas dos"), and used interchangeably with Tagalog numbers when counting money or age ("Two thousand pesos" - "Dalawang libong piso" OR "Dos mil" --- "Eighteen years old" - "Labinwalong taong gulang" OR "Disi-otso anyos")

Tagalog Numbers

Note: When counting MONEY, Tagalog numbers ending with vowels are used with the suffix "-ng", while numbers ending in consonants are followed by the word "na" (meaning "of") and followed by the word "Piso" which represents "Pesos", the Philippine currency. 

English - Tagalog - Tagalog number in currency

One - Isa - Isang piso

Two - Dalawa - Dalawang piso

Three - Tatlo - Tatlung piso

Four - Apat - Apat na piso

Five - Lima - Limang piso

Six - Anim - Anim na piso

Seven - Pito - Pitung piso

Eight - Walo - Walung piso

Nine - Siyam - Siyam na piso

Ten - Sampo / Diyes - Sampung piso


***For numbers 11-19, the prefix "labin-" is added to numbers starting with consonants, while the prefix "labing-" is added to numbers starting with vowels***

Eleven - Labing-isa - Labing-isang piso

Twelve - Labing-dalawa - Labindalawang piso

Thirteen - Labing-tatlo - Labintatlung piso

Fourteen - Labing-apat - Labing-apat na piso

Fifteen - Labing-lima - Labinlimang piso

Sixteen - Labing-anim - Labing-anim na piso

Seventeen - Labing-pito - Labinpitung piso

Eighteen - Labing-walo - Labinwalung piso

Nineteen - Labing-siyam - Labinsiyam na piso 

Twenty - Dalawampo  - Dalawampung piso


***For numbers 21-29, 31-39 and onwards, the contracted form of the word "at" (meaning "and") is attached, spelled as ('t) and followed by the corresponding ending number.***  

Twenty-one - Dalawampu't isa  - Dalawampu't isang piso 

Twenty-two - Dalawampu't dalawa - Dalawampu't dalawang piso

Twenty-three - Dalawampu't tatlo - Dalawampu't tatlung piso

Twenty-four - Dalawampu't apat - Dalawampu't apat na piso

Twenty-five - Dalawampu't lima - Dalawampu't limang piso

Twenty-six - Dalawampu't anim - Dalawampu't anim na piso

Twenty-seven - Dalawampu't pito - Dalawampu't pitung piso

Twenty-eight - Dalwampu't walo - Dalawampu't walung piso

Twenty-nine - Dalawampu't siyam - Dalawampu't siyam na piso

Thirty - Tatlumpo - Taltlumpung piso

Forty - Apatnapo - Apatnapung piso

Fifty - Limampo - Limampung piso

Sixty - Animnapo - Animnapung piso

Seventy - Pitumpo - Pitumpung piso

Eighty - Walumpo - Walumpung piso

Ninety - Siyamnapu - Siyamnapung piso

One Hundred - Isang Daan - Isang daang piso

Five Hundred - Limang Daan - Limang daang piso

One Thousand - Isang Libo - Isang libung piso


Spanish Numbers

Note: When counting MONEY, Spanish numbers are usually used alone, and are sometimes not followed by the word "Piso" or "Pesos".  You will also note a difference from the actual Spanish spelling of the following numbers.  Again, the words are pronounced as spelled.

English - Spanish - Spanish number in currency

One - Uno

Two - Dos

Three - Tres

Four - Kwatro

Five - Singko

Six - Sais

Seven - Siete

Eight - Otso

Nine - Nuwebe

Ten - Diyes 

Eleven - Onse

Twelve - Dose

Thirteen - Trese

Fourteen - Katorse

Fifteen - Kinse

Sixteen - Disi-sais

Seventeen - Disi-Siete

Eighteen - Disi-Otso

Nineteen - Disi-Nuwebe

Twenty - Beynte - Beynte pesos

Thirty - Trenta - Trenta pesos

Forty - Kwarenta - Kwarenta pesos

Fifty - Singkwenta - Singkwenta pesos 

Sixty - Sisenta - Sisenta pesos

Seventy - Sitenta - Sitenta pesos

Eighty - Otsenta - Otsenta pesos

Ninety - Nobenta - Nobenta pesos

One Hundred - SIyento - Siyento pesos

Five Hundred - Kinyentos

One Thousand - Mil

Two Thousand - Dos mil

Five Thousand - Singko mil

Ten Thousand - Diyes mil