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Tagalog: Basics 1 Skill


  • babae - woman

  • lalaki - man

  • ako - I/me

  • mansanas - apple

  • mayaman - rich

  • ka - you

  • batang lalaki - boy

  • batong babae - girl

  • kumakain - I/you/he/she/we/they/one eats

  • siya - he/she

  • at - and

  • bata - kid

  • mga - plural marker

  • ang - subject marker

  • ng - predicate/object marker

  • saging - banana

  • pula - red

  • pusa - cat

In tagalog, the word order is different. You put the verb, then the subject, then the object. For example, instead of saying "I eat an apple" you would say, "Eat I an apple." This may be difficult at first, but Tagalog is a relatively easy language so you will get used to it quickly.

Sentences: (Grammar at the end)

  • Lalaki ako. - I am a man.

  • Babae ka. - You are a woman.

  • Batang babae siya. - She is a girl

Notice how a verb for "to be" is not needed here. ^

  • Mayaman ang lalaki. - The man is rich.
  • Mayaman ka. - You are rich
  • Babae ka at batang babae ako. - You are a woman and I am a girl.

Woah, what just happened? Did you notice that new word ang? At first glance, you may thing it means "the", but not quite. Do you remember learning about subjects and predicates in class? The purpose of ang is to mark the subject! In the first sentence, lalaki is the subject so it gets the subject marker. This makes tagalog word order much more flexible. For example, you can say "Ang lalaki ay mayaman" and it would still make sense, even though it would be less common. The ay there has a use that I will explain later on.

  • Kumakain ako ng mansanas. - I am eating an apple/ I eat an apple
  • Kumakain ang lalaki ng mansanas. - The man eats an apple/is eating
  • Kumakain ka ng mansanas. - You are eating an apple/ You eat

Crazy stuff happened there! So, remember how I said that the word order changes and the verb goes first? Well, there it is. Kumakain is to eat in the present tense, and you don't have to conjugate the verb based on who is doing it. And what the heck is ng?? Is it the same as ang? Nope! It's actually the opposite. It marks the object of the sentence, or the word that is being verb-ed by the subject. What is being done? The apple is being eaten. So apple gets the ng marker. You have probably also noticed that when you use a pronoun, you don't need to use ang.

  • Kumakain ang bata ng mansanas at mga saging - The kid is eating an apple and bananas.
  • Kumakain ang pusa ng mga mansanas. - The cat is eating apples.
  • Pula ang mga mansanas. - The apples are red.

Notice mga and how it makes a nouns into the plural form. Even easier than Esperanto! Also notice how it goes after ang.

This is the first lesson of many, and I am 100% sure that I have made many mistakes (ESPECIALLY in Tagalog) so PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE correct me if you see any.

The first one to translate these sentences gets 10 lingots:

Pula ang mga pusa.

Kumakain ang batang lalaki ng mga mansanas at mga saging.

November 9, 2015



The cats are red.
The boy is eating apples and bananas.

  • 2013

The cats are red.


Those red cats! Is their leader called Chairman Miaow?

  • 2013

Thank you for posting this. I hope there will be a Tagalog course on Duo some day. I'll follow these posts!


Thank YOU for reading it! I have to say, I am quite jealous of your levels and streak. Keep up the good work!

  • 2013

Thanks, I'll try... I'm mainly interested in the Romance languages, but would also like to learn some basic Tagalog or Cebuano, lots os Spanish loanwords so building vocabulary may not be as much of a challenge as with other Asian languages - but very different grammar.


I really appreciate this. But there's only one thing that I found so funny, "girl" is not translated as "bebot" (it's usually too casual. Avoid saying it to a young lady or else you might get a passionate slap. Maybe some conservative ladies may find this offensive) since you already said that "boy" is "batang lalaki"( male child), you can also say that "girl" is "batang babae" (female child) or maybe just "bata" (child) in general -it's your safest bet and we use it all the time. The rests are just fine. Keep up the good work :)


Thank you! I changed it now.


the cats are red - other structure : Ang mga pusa ay pula

The boys are eating apples and bananas - other structure: Ang mga batang lalaki ay kumakain ng mga mansanas at ng mga saging.


Note: "ay" is used to reverse the order of the Tagalog sentence. Some Filipinos even thought it's translated to the verb "be".


As a Malay speaker, I can actually see some similarities between Malay and Tagalog, for example in Malay man is lelaki while in Tagalog it is lalaki. Tagalog also has some words that are similar in Spanish, apple in Spanish is manzana. Great to see these, keep up the good work :)


Our languages hail from the same family tree, the Austronesian languages


Maraming salamat para sa ito! I really appreciate your efforts. After Maltese, Tagalog is the next language I want on Duolingo. Please keep this up, and if you are in a position to do so, it would be fantastic if you could apply for the course on Duolingo. Suwerte!


If you have any questions, post them down here.


Maraming salamat, po!

One question - where does ikaw (another word for "you") fit into this? :)

Also, I personally hear a difference between ng and nang so it might help to find some audio to show that!

You still have bebot listed at the top in your word list! I'd find that offensive as well - it's more used very familiar situations or when you're about to be bastos! LOL

Other than that, galing mo! Salamat paré!


Ikaw is used like ka, but ONLY at the beginning of a sentence. Ka can be used in the middle, or the end. I'll talk more about it as we move on with more lessons. I also changed bebot, when I learned it I didnt think it was offensive. OOPS!


Here's the site for anyone who wants to familarize with Tagalog



I translated them in my head, but I already have way more Lingots than I'll ever need ;)

Just to be clear, "ng" is pronounced "nang" and "mga" is pronounced "manga," right?


Just don't be confuse with "ng" and "nang". Yes they pronounced exactly the same but there's a huge difference. To know more here's a link https://sites.google.com/site/learnmoretagalog/when-to-use-nang-and-ng-in-tagalog . Don't worry though, even natives fell into this simple trap. Happy Learning!


Hi! Do you have table of contents for this Tagalog lessons? (I only managed to find this one though..) because I wanted to make a post on the list of lessons created by users (soon I hope) and I want to include the link of the list of lessons page (or table of contents) and username there ^^


Hello Himawari34 I'm actually doing the same collecting all languages I can, Do you have any news about this table of contents?


Yes ^^ https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12981490
Unfortunately, it's not updated yet because I don't have wifi access now :(


I made this to post sometimes in the comments of Duolingo, to promote this easy guides:

Grammar of other languages (Not in the incubator)

Basque(1)- Basque(2)- Bulgarian- Chinese(1)- Chinese(2)- Croatian- Finnish- Georgian- Greenlandic- Hebrew- Japanese- Latin- Lithuanian- Macedonian- Maltese- Nahuatl- Others

I added only the courses which have a table of contents or links to move from lesson to lesson. And only the ones which didn't enter to the incubator.

http://pasted.co/753960a1 - click to see the code


There's only 1 for Tagalog, I only show the ones with more than 3 or so, to make it a "quality list" xD


Is there a part 2? This is full of great information.

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