45+ Interesting Tagalog Homonyms You Should Learn

Tagalog homonyms - A photo of two girls facing each other

Are you confused about Tagalog words with the exact spelling (baybay) but have different meanings (kahulugan)? Worry no more! Master these Tagalog homonyms today by reading this post!

Have you heard the word mahal in the Tagalog language? Suppose you have been watching Filipino movies or listening to Filipino songs. In that case, you already know that this word also means expensive.’ If you’re a non-native speaker, there’s no way that you can quickly learn the other meanings.

What Are Tagalog Homonyms?

Sometimes, you need to consult a Filipino dictionary to look for the meaning of a word. But it’ll be confusing because there are words that have the same spelling but different meanings and pronunciations. In English, we call them homonyms.

Homonyms or mga salitang magkasintunog are two or more words having the same spelling or sound but different meanings and origins. There’s no exact Filipino translation of homonyms. A homonym can also be translated as mga salitang magkaparehas ng baybay ngunit magkaiba ang bigkas at kahulugan. But why do we have to learn homonyms?

  • It can avoid misunderstanding and confusion. Knowing the meanings of a word will help you understand how the word is used in specific contexts.

  • It widens your vocabulary and develops your Tagalog language skills. You can relate a particular word to its synonyms and antonyms.

  • You can also learn the origin and cultural contexts of these words. In short, it can open doors for knowing a lot about the Tagalog language and Filipino culture.

Now, let us learn if these spelled or pronounced words are the same but have different meanings. I will also give sentence examples about Tagalog homonyms for you to understand how they are used contextually.

Tagalog homonyms - A photo of texts about homonyms in Tagalog

Filipino Words With The Same Spelling But Have Different Meanings

The Filipino language is a language that is a product of history, variety, foreign influences, and modernization. This affects the meaning of words. The tricky thing here is that different factors affect the definition of a word in the Filipino language.

The first one is Filipino pronunciation. In Filipino, there are four different pronunciations of the words, or bigkas ng mga salita. Filipino words are pronounced in four different ways: malumay (gentle), malumi (soft), mabilis (fast), and maragsa (strong or emphatic).

Other factors that affect the meaning of the word are:

  1. Dialects
    • Example: The word aso in Tagalog means dog, but in Cebuano, it means smoke.

  2. Foreign Language Influences
    • Example: The Spanish word para. In Tagalog, this can mean ‘this is my stop’ when commuting on public transportation.

  3. Modernization, Globalization, and Social Media
    • Examples: The word awit means song, but Filipinos also use it today to describe a bad circumstance. Another one is Marites, which is used for people who love to gossip.

Common Homonyms In Tagalog

Here are some common words in the Filipino language with the same spelling but different pronunciations and meanings. If you’re enjoying this post, I bet you will enjoy learning more when you try the Ling app. And if you have questions, feel free to share them in the comment section. Now, let me give you examples of Tagalog homonyms.

1. Para

First Meaning: For

Example Sentence: Ang regalong ito ay para sa iyo. (This gift is for you.)

This word came from the Spanish word para, and it is still used by Filipinos today.

Second Meaning: Please stop!

Example Sentence: Para po! (Please stop!)

This word is used when riding on public transportation in the Philippines, like jeepneys, tricycles, and buses. It’s like you’re saying, “Stop the vehicle; this is my stop.”

Third Meaning: To

Example Sentence: Nag-iipon ako para makapaglakbay. (I am saving to travel.)

This is a common way Filipinos use para in a sentence.

Fourth Meaning: As

Example Sentence: Patawarin mo kami sa aming mga sala, para nang pagpapatawad namin sa nagkakasala sa amin. (Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.)

You’ll seldom hear Filipinos use this in daily conversation, but you’ll often hear it in prayers and Filipino religious songs.

2. Ayos

First Meaning: Order/In Good Condition/Good

Example Sentence: Maganda ang ayos ng kuwarto. (The room is in good order.)

The first meaning of the word ayos in Tagalog is used to describe something or someone in good condition or when something is done beautifully, like hairstyle, clothes, and makeup.

Second Meaning: Okay

Example Sentence: Ayos lang gumastos para sa pagkain basta’t ako’y busog. (It’s okay to spend for food as long as I’m full.)

You can also say ayos when you’re asked, “How are you?” you can simply say, Ayos lang (I’m okay.)

3. Tayo

First Meaning: Stand

Example Sentence: Tayo! (Stand up!)

Another common word that you’ll usually hear among Filipinos is tayo. You can solely use tayo! to order or ask somebody to stand without using other words.

Second Meaning: We

Example Sentence: Tayo ay pupunta sa Pilipinas. (We are going to the Philippines.)

Tayo is also a Tagalog pronoun that is used in first-person speech. This is translated as “we” in English.

4. Kita

First Meaning: Visible

Example Sentence: Kita ko sa kaniyang mga mata ang kalungkutan. (I can see the sadness in his/her eyes.)

The first one indicates the visibility of something or someone. This is the most straightforward word you can use if you’re looking for something or somebody.

Second Meaning: Income

Example Sentence: Maliit ang kita ng magsasaka ngayon dahil sa dumaang bagyo. (The farmers’ income nowadays are low due to the recent typhoon.)

This refers to the income you get in doing Philippine business. When talking about job salaries, Filipinos often use sahod.

Third Meaning: A Pronoun For Two People

Example Sentence: Mahal kita. (I love you.)

One of the unique things in the Filipino language is that there are Tagalog pronouns intended only for two people, and kita is one good example.

5. Kaibigan

First Meaning: Friend

Example Sentence: Itinuturing kong pamilya ang aking mga kaibigan. (I consider my friends family.)

The word kaibigan is one of the basic Tagalog words you’ll learn because it simply means friend.

Second Meaning: Lover

Example Sentence: Buwan ng Disyembre nang sila’y naging magkaibigan. (It was December when they became lovers.)

This other meaning of the word kaibigan is proof of how beautiful the Tagalog language is. By just changing the antala or ‘delay of the pronunciation’ of a word, the word kaibigan becomes ka-ibigan (lover).

homonyms in Tagalog - A photo of a man and a woman talking to each other

How Do You Say Homonyms In Tagalog?

Homonyms in Tagalog as mentioned earlier are called mga salitang magkasintunog.

You can also call it mga salitang magkasing bigkas. Speechword voice=”Filipino Female” isinline]mga salitang magkasing bigkas[/Speechword]

There is no direct one-word translation for this grammar concept.

Other Vocabulary For Filipino Homonyms

Do you want to learn more homonyms in the Tagalog language? Here at Ling, we don’t want our learners to leave without getting what they need to learn. Here you go! Check out these amazing Tagalog vocabulary:

With all these exciting things about the Tagalog language, wouldn’t you want to learn more? Learning Tagalog can be beneficial, especially if you love to travel because the Philippines is a beautiful country.

Frequently Asked Questions For Tagalog Homonyms

Why Are There Tagalog Homonyms That Look Like Spanish Words?

There are many Tagalog words that have Spanish influence in them due to the colonization period of the Spaniards in the Philippines. Moreover, the Tagalog language has existed during the Spanish era. Hence, you’ll see many false friends, cognates, and homonyms for Tagalog and Spanish. We’ll be giving you some examples on the next question.

What Tagalog Words Have Different Meanings In Other Languages?

Speaking of homonyms, there exist Tagalog words that have the same spelling and sound as other languages.

For example:

  1. Bulbulul – This may sound really funny, but in Tagalog, this is pubic hair. On the other hand, there is a yellow-vented bulbul bird in English.
  2. Puto – In Spanish
  3. Ganda – In Korean, this word means to go. However, for Tagalog, this means beautiful.
  4. At – In Tagalog, this is a word for and. On the other hand, this word is a conjunction in English.

Why Should I Learn Tagalog With Homonyms?

If you are a Tagalog language learner, you will appreciate that you’re improving your language learning skills when memorizing homonyms. Homonyms are considered intermediate lessons for any kind of language due to the requirement of you knowing the basic meanings of the word. You are also able to detect the difference between these words through the spelling and sound. More importantly, improving your memory with advanced Tagalog phrases will help you converse deeper with your Filipino friends.

Did You Enjoy Tagalog Homonyms?

Did you enjoy this post about Tagalog homonyms? I know they might seem tricky at first. But believe me, if you will just continue to practice your Tagalog language skills, you will be as good a native Tagalog speaker! Keep the learning going!

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