I Love You in Tagalog Language

August 27, 2020

If you want to romance your way to the Philippines, then learning how to say I love you in the Tagalog language is a must! Whether you are a language enthusiast or just plainly in love, you can impress someone by saying I love you in a language they have never heard before.  In this blog post, we will guide you on the basic ways on how you can express affection using the Filipino language.

 

 

Love is an emotion that grips us in surprising ways. Falling in love is easy but saying out those three little words prove to be harder than we thought. In fact, it is even more difficult to say if you are just learning a new language. Similar to English, there are a lot of ways to express love in Tagalog. The most common way of saying I love you is through the following:

Common way Example
Mahal kita! “Mahal kita, David!”

Translation: “I love you, David!”

Mahal na mahal kita! “Mahal na mahal kita, David!”
Translation: “I love you so much, David!”
Traditional way Example
Iniibig kita / iniirog kita “Iniibig kita, David!”

Translation: “I love you, David!”

* A quick tip: Filipinos deem the traditional way as poetic which is why it is not usually used in conversations. You may encounter this word though in dramatic movies, tv-series, and original Pinoy music (OPM) as this variation is used to express intense yet old-fashioned love.

Unlike the way we greet good morning in Tagalog, adding "po" to sound formal is not necessary for this instance. The word that you need to remember is the Tagalog term “mahal” which directly translates to “love”. In the Philippine setting, "mahal" is used sparingly in intimate conversations. It is also considered by some as a term of endearment. Do note though that the word “mahal” can also be used as an adjective which means “expensive”. Take note of the example below:

Use of “mahal” Translation
Mahal din kita! “I love you too!”
Ang mahal naman niyan! “That’s expensive!”

As you were reading the examples, I bet you are wondering what the word “kita” means in “mahal kita”. This Tagalog term stands as the combination of “I” and “you" which means that from a grammatical point of view, "kita” is considered as both the subject and the object. In simple words, the speaker is the one doing the action and the person being spoken to is the receiver of the action. To be fully enlightened on the structure, see the examples below:

Use of “kita” Translation
Tulungan kita! “I will help you!”
Naririnig kita! “I can hear you!”
Nakikita kita! “I can see you!”
Sasamahan kita! “I will accompany you!”
Tuturan kita! “I will teach you!”

Terms of Endearment in the Tagalog Language

At this point, not only did you learn about how to say I love you in the Tagalog language, but you also learned a thing or two about grammar. Isn’t that great? Well, if things are getting serious between you and your Filipino loved one, we also prepared a few terms of endearment commonly used by couples. Judging from the table below, Filipinos are extremely creative when it comes to giving pet names. The traditional syrupy terms on the right are commonly used to grab attention when writing poems, songs, and even letters. The variation on the left is more commonly used and is adapted from English.

Colloquial/ Modern Traditional
Mahal Irog
Love or labs Sinta
Honey or hon Giliw
Baby or bebe Pangga
Darling or darleng Liyag

How would you respond if someone says I love you?

Now that you have learned how to say I love you in Tagalog language, it is important that you also know the common response and what they mean. Similar to our previous post on how to say good morning in Tagalog language, all you need to worry about is the use of the word “din.” We are going to use “din” because the preceding word, “mahal”, ends with a consonant.

Example Situation Response
If someone says I love you to you “Mahal din kita”

Translation: “I love you too”

If someone says I love you to you in a poetic way “Iniibig din kita/ iniirog din kita”

Translation: “I love you too”

 

If ever you are gearing up to say I love you in Tagalog in various ways, we prepared a list of variations that can ultimately help you depending on your situation.

Example Situation Response
If you want to say that you loved him/her in the past “Minahal kita”

Translation: “I loved you”

If you want to say you love everyone “Mahal ko kayo!”

Translation: “I love you all”

If you want to ask someone if he/she loves you “Mahal mo ba ako?”

Translation: “Do you love me?”

If you want to say that you do not love someone “Hindi kita mahal!”

Translation: “I don’t love you!”

When you want to express that you really the person “Mahal talaga kita!”

Translation: “I really love you!”

 

Learning basic phrases in the Tagalog language

With your newfound skill in properly expressing love using the Tagalog phrases, you are definitely a lot closer in mastering the Filipino language! Do remember that one of the best ways by which you can fully unlock your full potential is by practicing the target language consistently. For additional reinforcement, be sure to check out the Ling App to which features fun mini-games and quizzes that can motivate you to practice and learn more about the language day by day.

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