How to Speak Tagalog

Lesson 5 Looking for Things and Persons

In Lesson One you learned to look for places by asking SAAN. In this lesson you will learn how to look for things by asking NASAAN. The distinction is easy - SAAN is for places, NASAAN is for people and things.

1. Using NASAAN To Find Things

Nasaan ang pera?
Where is the money?

Nasaan ang pagkain?
Where is the food?

Nasaan ang inumin?
Where is the beverage?
Where is the drinking water?
Where is the drink?

Nasaan ang tiket?
Where is the ticket?

Nasaan ang damit?
Where are the clothes?

Nasaan ang sasakyan?
Where is the jeepney?
Where is the bus?
Where is the train?
Where is the tricycle?

Nasaan ang lalagyan?
Where is the container?
Where is the bag?
Where is the basket?
Where is the box?

2. Using NASAAN to Find People

Nasaan ang pangulo?
Where is the leader?
Where is the chief?

Nasaan ang tagaturo?
Where is the instructor?
Where is the teacher?

Nasaan ang Tatay?
Where is father?

Nasaan ang Tatay mo?
Where is your father?

Nasaan ang Tatay niya?
Where is his father?
Where is her father?

Nasaan ang Nanay?
Where is mother?

Nasaan ang Nanay mo?
Where is your mother?

Nasaan ang Nanay niya?
Where is his mother?
Where is her mother?

Nasaan ang kaibigan mo?
Where is your friend?

Nasaan ang kaibigan ko?
Where is my friend?

Nasaan ang kaibigan niya?
Where is his friend?
Where is her friend?

Nasaan ang kapatid ko?
Where is my brother?
Where is my sister?

3. Using MANGA to Make Plural

Nasaan ang kapatid mo?
Where is your brother?
Where is your sister?

Nasaan ang manga kapatid mo?
Where are your brothers and sisters?

Nasaan ang kasama mo?
Where is your companion?

Nasaan ang manga kasama mo?
Where are your people?

Nasaan ang magulang mo?
Where is your parent?

Nasaan ang manga magulang mo?
Where are your parents?

Nasaan ang kaibigan ko?
Where is my friend?

Nasaan ang manga kaibigan ko?
Where are my friends?

4. Using SINO to Identify a Person

SINO is equivalent to the English word WHO. You can use SINO to ask Which one? If you are visiting a family or meeting a group of people, you will probably need help in identifying specific persons.

Sino ang pangulo?
Who is the leader?

Sino ang tatay?
Who is the father?

Sino ang nanay?
Who is the mother?

Sino ang panganay?
Who is the eldest?

In most Filipino gatherings, whether family or social, it is important to know who is the leader. Except in a business or political context, the oldest person present usually is the leader in a group. Even if that eldest is not the smartest or strongest, the younger people will give him the necessary support for decision making. Never make a mistake of ignoring the eldest person when you meet a Filipino group or family for the first time. When you're gone, everyone will ask his or her opinion of your character.

Kumusta po kayong lahat?
How are you all?
This is what you say after you are introduced to a group.

Kumusta po kayo?
How are you sir?
This is what you say, after you are introduced, to one or more person deserving respect.

Kumusta ka?
How are you? (singular and friendly)
This is what you say to a younger person. This is also what you say when you first personally meet a friend, Web pal, or sweetheart.

Kumusta po?
How are you? (business like but still friendly and respectful greeting)

How are you?
This is polite and friendly but not respectful. This is what you say after you have established friendship with a person. Being respectful to a person, by using the Tagalog word PO, after you have established friendship, is a sign of aloofness or refusal to be intimate. A person will say, "Do not say PO to me", in case you said "Kumusta po?" when he or she wants to be considered a peer or close friend. This is equivalent to someone in America suggesting you use his or her first name without the Mr, Mrs, or Ms.

However, always use the respectful greeting (Kumusta po?) to those one generation older than you (father, mother, uncle, auntie, grandparent), especially if you are apparently bigger, smarter, richer, or better dressed. ALWAYS!

 4. Using NG with NASAAN

The word NG is equivalent to OF in English. It is one of the difficult Tagalog words to learn but we'll make it easy. We pronounce it like the word NANG. Its vowel sound is like that of the words HUNG, SUNG, RUNG except you say it with N, of course.

Nasaan ang lista ng dadalhin?
Where is the list of things to bring?

Nasaan ang lista ng sasama?
Where is the list of people coming?

Nasaan ang lista ng gagawin?
Where is the list of things to do?

Saan ang lagayan ng pera?
Where is the place for money?

Saan ang lagayan ng pagkain?
Where is the place for food?

Saan ang lagayan ng basura?
Where is the place for trash?

Saan ang kuhanan ng pagkain?
Where do you get food?

Saan ang kuhanan ng gamit?
Where do you get tools?
Where do you get supplies?

Saan ang bilihan ng tiket?
Where do you buy tickets?

Saan ang bilihan ng pako?
Where do you buy nails?

Saan ang taguan ng susi?
Where do you hide the key?

Saan ang taguan ng pera?
Where do you hide the money?

Nasaan ang kopya ng resibo?
Where is the copy of the receipt?

Nasaan ang kopya ng kontrata?
Where is the copy of the contract?

5. SAAN versus NASAAN

Saan ang istasyon ng tren?
Where is the train station?

Nasaan ang tren?
Where is the train?

Saan ang istasyon ng bus?
Where is the bus station?

Nasaan ang bus?
Where is the bus?

Saan ang paliparan?
Where is the airport?

Saan ang daan?
Where is the way?

Nasaan ang taksi?
Where is the taxi?

About Ray Colorado

Ray Colorado was born in the island of Mindoro, Philippines, where people speak different Filipino languages. Tagalog was his first language. He also speaks Ilocano, Bicol, English and Spanish. He learned these languages because of his father's job - Methodist Evangelist and Pastor. They moved every two years, living in places where people spoke differently. He had to learn each local language in order to survive and win new friends. He also formally studied English and Pilipino, the national language, in elementary, high school, and the University of the Philippines. He started creating Web-based Tagalog lessons in 1999. He moved to United States in 1984. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife, former Lura Eden Alampay, and their three sons Marc Dexter, Maxwell Lucas, and Hexel James. He may be reached at