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Simple And Common Tagalog Adjectives - Describe People, Places and Things With Filipino Adjectives

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Describe the things around you and the people you meet with Filipino adjectives.

Describe the things around you and the people you meet with Filipino adjectives.

While learning phrases is essential and is one of the topic that is often search for online, learning adjectives starting from the most commonly used Filipino adjectives is just about as important. Adjectives are often the first words that people learn when studying another language. From asking what the word is for beautiful to compliment the lady you met, to knowing the word masarap to compliment a dish, you're learning adjectives. I, myself first learned a few adjectives from different languages in addition to nouns and phrases. Adjectives help us describe places, people's feelings, features and more and makes learning fun and easy specially when starting out with the ones that you are interested the most.

Filipino Adjectives

Known as pang-uri, Filipino/Tagalog adjectives are often placed before nouns. It may sound like an easy topic for some, but for the rest it can be a bit of a challenge. Adjective related questions are also one of the questions I usually get so for that, I decided to write this article, an easy to browse examples of Tagalog adjectives starting with the most commonly used ones that you will most likely encounter in a day to day basis. I've also included some examples of usage as a beginners guide.

Examples of Commonly Used Tagalog Adjectives

Before you take the plunge with the rest of the adjectives, let's warm up first with some of the most commonly used ones that you will hear a lot being used.This will be a good start for you if you're just starting with Tagalog adjectives.

Examples of commonly used Tagalog adjectives.

TagalogEnglish

pogi

handsome

matangkad

tall (as in a person's height)

maliit

short

maganda

beautiful

masarap

delicious

malinis

clean

mainit

hot

malamig

cold

maarte

fussy

malakas

strong

mahal

expensive

maingay

noisy

mabait

kind/nice

mura

cheap/affordable

mataas

tall/lofty/high

mabigat

heavy

magaan

light

malalim

deep

mababaw

shallow

mahina

weak

mabenta

salable, easily sold

Above are examples of pang-uri or adjectives that one will often hear used and usually one of the first words that beginners learn. Looking at the table above, notice the first syllable of words except for the first one. Most Filipino adjectives start with the prefix -ma.

You can learn more about -ma prefix along with other affixes in my article Tagalog Affixes: Examples and Usage of Commonly Used Tagalog Affixes.

Not all adjectives though have the ma- prefix at the beginning, the next set of adjectives below is a good example of what is called as simple adjectives. A question that will most likely come up is, how to know which of these used the prefix ma? Well, there is no clear rule to this so it is better to familiarize which of the Filipino/Tagalog adjectives have the prefix.

Examples of Simple Adjectives

Examples of simple adjectives in Fiilipino, notice each not having the ma- prefix at the beginning.

TagalogEnglish

basa

wet

tuyo

dry

lanta

withered (plants)

gusot

wrinkled (clothes)

singkit

chinky eyes

hilaw

raw, uncooked

inosente

innocent

bastos

rude

arogante

arrogant

seksi

sexy

kaakit-akit

attractive

kampante

complacent

lukot

crumpled/wrinkled

kyut

cute

gwapo

handsome

bakante

unoccupied/vacant

kupas

faded

kuripot

stingy

wais/mautak

wise

bilasa

raw fish that's no longer fresh/stale

kulot

curly

sikat

popular/famous

luma

old (used with things and not with age)

bago

new

kulubot

wrinkled (used when referring to the skin, leaves of plants as well as fruits)

There are a lot more to get familiar with and to add more, the adjectives below are not only easy to remember but will come in handy when describing taste and smell. Again, to help with remembering words, I suggest to start with something you're more interested to learn before going through the rest of them. Wouldn't you want to learn first what the word for crunchy is since you love crunchy food?

Adjectives That Describe Taste and Smell

TagalogEnglish

malutong

crunchy

malasa

flavorful/tasty

malinamnam

tasty

matabang

tasteless/blunt

maalat

salty

maanghang

spicy

matamis

sweet

mapait

bitter

panis

spoiled

mapakla

an astringent taste, like from raw or unripe fruits and veggies

mamantika

oily/greasy

maanglo

pungent (like the smell of goat cheese)

mabango

fragrant

mapanghi

the smell of urine

kulob

the smell associated with covered up things often wet/damp clothes

To add more to the adjectives above, take a look at the table below. Starting with your favorite weather, describe the weather each day until you familiarize all of them.

Also crossing off the ma- prefix will give you the noun form. Taking the first adjective maaraw which means sunny, crossing off the ma will give you araw which means sun.

Weather Conditions

Describe how the weather is with these adjectives. Is it sunny today?

TagalogEnglish

maaraw

sunny

maulan

rainy

mahangin

windy

makulimlim

gloomy

maulap

cloudy

maalinsangan

hot and humid

It is also essential to learn how to say different feelings and emotions to describe how you feel. Are you happy, calm or irritated today? These adjectives will help you to say how you feel.

Feelings and Emotions

TagalogEnglish

masaya

happy

malungkot

sad

galit

mad

gulat

startled

inis

annoyed/pissed

bugnutin

cranky

inggit

envious

payapa

calm

takot

frightened/scared

determinado

determinded

While some character adjectives are already in the first two lists under commonly used adjectives and simple adjectives, here's more to add for you to learn and put to use. Find that adjective that fits someone you have in mind using the list below.

Adjectives Describing Appearance, Character and Personality

TagalogEnglish

simple

plain/simple

elegante

elegant

payat

skinny/thin

mataba

overweight

kalbo

bald

maskulado

muscular

maliit

small/little

matikas

well built (body)

bugnutin

grumpy

madaldal

talkative

tahimik

quiet

ambisyosa

ambitious (female)

ambisyoso

ambitious (male)

agresibo

agressive

arogante

arrogant

ulyanin

forgetful

isip-bata

childish

masipag

hard-working

maaasahan

reliable

pihikan

picky

maputi

fair-skinned

walang galang

disrespectful/impolite

tanga

stupid/idiot

magalang

restpectful/polite

tuso

cunning

matyaga

patient

responsable

responsible

tamad

lazy

matigas ang ulo

stubborn

masigla

lively

pranka

frank/straight forward

pilya

naughty (female)

pilyo

naughty (male)

mahinhin

demure

maalalahanin

thoughtful

matangos (ang ilong)

having a pointy nose

masagwa

immodest/obscene

maingat

cautious

burara

a person who is unorganized and careless with things

maputla

pale

mahinahon

calm/soft spoken

malandi

flirty

malihim

secretive

Using few adjectives from the table above, let's have examples of using these adjectives that you can take as a guide when describing a person's appearance, character or personality even as a beginner. Let's use the pronoun siya and the personal topic marker si.

Tuso si Connor. Connor is cunning.

Notice si before the name Connor. Si is placed before proper names. Now, let's have two or more adjectives to describe Connor more.

Tuso, matigas ang ulo at pihikan si Connor. Connor is cunning, hard headed and picky.

Now that you know how to use si before proper names, let's use the pronoun he for Connor instead of repeating his name for the third time. The Tagalog pronoun for either he or she is siya, it is gender neutral.

Tuso, matigas ang ulo at pihikan siya. He's cunning, hard headed and picky.

The Colors

Colors (mga kulay) in Filipino/Tagalog.

TagalogEnglish

puti

white

asul/bughaw

blue

itim

black

rosas

pink

murado

purple

dilaw

yellow

kulay abo

gray

dalandan

orange

kayumanggi

brown

berde

green

The prefix ma- which was previously mentioned, is used with some of the colors as well and the color is repeated. Let's use pula or red as an example. The prefix ma- is attached at the beginning of the word, let's repeat the color after - mapula pula. This word now means slightly red or being reddish in color. Some other colors where ma- is used for the same reason are berde, puti, dilaw, itim and asul. Referring to the table above, try and use the ma- prefix on your own with the colors mentioned. How would you say bluish or greenish? Let's have an example below.

Manipis at medyo maasul asul and mga talulot ng bulaklak. The petals of the flower are thin and tinged with blue/bluish/slightly blue.

Using Adjectives With Nouns

Adjectives in Filipino/Tagalog are often used before nouns with the -ng attached to adjectives ending in vowels. Taking one from the table above, let's use the color green or berde with a noun. Since our adjective ends in letter e which is a vowel, the -ng will give us a hand connecting it to the noun kotse or car.

Example - Berdeng kotse. Green car.

It isn't uncommon though to have them placed after nouns. Let's have a second example below by switching the adjective and noun.

Kotseng berde. Green car.

Although the noun came first and the adjective followed after, the meaning didn't change at all. Let's have another example from another list but this time with an adjective ending in a consonant.

Maalat na isda. Salty fish.

This time, notice na taking the place of -ng linking the adjective to the noun. This happens when the adjective ends in a consonant, just like our adjective maalat or salty with the letter t.

More on Adjectives - Intensifying Tagalog Adjectives

  • Filipino Adjectives and Intensifiers
    Different ways of intensifiying Filipino adjectives is covered in an easy to understand way with examples for both ma- adjectives and simple adjectives. Commonly used Filipino or Tagalog adjectives are here as well.

Shape, Size and Texture

What's the shape of your table? What about the size? How does it feel to the touch? Is it smooth or rough?

TagalogEnglish

makinis

smooth

magaspang

rough

malambot

soft

bilog

round

parihaba

rectangle

habilog

oval

espera

sphere

maliit

small

malaki

large

maikli

short

mahaba

long

malawak

vast

baluktot

crooked/bent

tuwid

straight

malagkit

sticky

matigas

hard

maikli

short (in length)

Rarely Used Adjectives

Examples of adjectives that you will less likely hear being used everyday.

TagalogEnglish

makipot

narrow

maaliwalas

having a good ambiance/roomy

bubot

young and unripe fruit

mailap

elusive

mayabong

bushy

mangmang

illiterate

marupok

breakable/weak

mabusisi

time consuming/fussy

masangsang

having a strong smell/pungent

manyakis

lewd

lampa

clumsy

usisera

prying/a woman who's too inquisitive

usisero

prying/a man who's too inquisitive

imoral

immoral

maalwan

effortless/easy

metikuloso

meticulous

presteryoso

prestigious

malapot

thick (as in the consistency of sauce/soup)

malabnaw

used to refer to the thin consistency of soup/sauce)

masukal

dense

suwail

disobedient

matatas

fluent (in speaking a language)

matumal

unsalable

makinang

shiny

You probably noticed that some English adjectives have more than one Tagalog counterpart. One good example is the English adjective famous or popular. You can either use the Tagalog adjective sikat, which is added on the list above under simple adjectives, or you can also use kilala which is on the list under rarely used Filipino adjectives. They are synonymous but between the two, you will most likely hear the first one being used.

This isn't a full list but it offers not only the commonly used adjectives but the ones as well that you probably haven't heard of. I will be updating the lists when I come up with more adjectives.

Comments

John on August 03, 2019:

Wow these are so helpful