3+ Best Ways To Say Yes In Tagalog

yes in Tagalog - A photo of a happy man with glasses

Yes. Yassss. Yup! But how exactly can you say yes in Tagalog language? In this special article, we will take you by the hand and walk you through how you can express affirmations like a pro-Tagalog speaker in three easy ways. Prepare to awaken the Filipino in you as we also try to put the words in different scenarios and distinguish whether they follow a formal or casual pattern.  If you are ready for that, then off we go!

Let us be clear about one thing: It is almost impossible for someone not to say the word “yes” regardless of where you are in the world. For instance, if you are thinking of dining in any Filipino fast-food chain or restaurant, you might experience service crews offering you extra rice by saying, “Ma’am/Sir, rice?” If you are struggling to find the best Tagalog response, then let our list of vocabulary words below help you find the right words as you say a resounding “Yes!”

How To Say Yes In Tagalog Language?

Similar to the English language, the word “yes” can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on the tone, word choice, and context of the speakers. For the case of the Tagalog language, we have identified three major contexts: casual, formal, and casual-polite.

But saying yes in Tagalog is only the beginning because there’s a whole beautiful language out there to explore. The Ling app is the best resource for this. It’s free on Google Play and the App Store, and you even get a 7-day free trial to learn more Tagalog, discover new phrases, and have fun with it!

*Note: You may also add a quick smile (ngiti in Tagalog) or nod (tango in Tagalog) as you say any of the affirmative responses above.

Sample Scenarios For Saying Yes In Filipino

Now, let us say your Filipino boss, who is older than you, suddenly comes to you for a quick chat. A typical conversation between a person with authority and an employee may be structured in the format below.

Based on the scenario above, we can say that the exchange between you and your boss is in a formal setting. We arrived at this conclusion because of the following signifiers: (1) You consistently added the polite Tagalog word po to show respect, (2) You also chose to use the formal version of “yes” in the Tagalog language. Let’s have one more example below:

In the above example, we can say that the conversation with your boss is in a casual setting. Why? It is because of the following signifiers: (1) Boss and You did not add the word po, (2) You also used the informal version of “yes” in Tagalog in the form of oo, and (3) You also utilized the casual form of saying goodbye in Tagalog.

Related Terms To Yes In Tagalog

Of course, there is a fat chance that you also need to express a resounding “no” and “maybe” depending on the situation. In this part, let me also share with you how to say and use other vocabulary terms related to saying yes in Tagalog.

Pro Tip: To sound more polite when conversing with your bosses or older people, you can add the word po after any of the Tagalog words above. For example, you can say Hindi po ako galit or “I am not mad at you.” In this sense, it is always handy that you know when to add the magic word po.

Even at present, Filipinos usually add this polite word to sound cute even if they are simply speaking with people of the same age. So, do not be surprised if someone will add po when talking to you.

Remember that in the Filipino culture, how you choose your words can significantly affect how the natives will respond and act around you. As a general word of advice, always use a neutral and gentle tone in informal settings to avoid confusion and appearing arrogant.

yes in Tagalog - A photo of happy office people in front of computer

Dos And Don’ts For Yes In The Philippines

Alright, let’s go deeper and have some cultural knowledge now. I’m going to give you some useful tips that are easy to miss. These will help you use yes in Tagalog correctly and thoughtfully like a real Filipino.


  • Embrace Regional Variations: Know that the Philippines is ultra-rich in cultural diversity. This means that in different regions, “yes” might be expressed a bit differently. These regional variations should be welcomed and embraced.

  • Use Emphatic Phrases: Sometimes, just saying “yes” is not enough. Tagalog phrases like Talaga po (Really) or Siyempre (Of course) are often used by locals to add emphasis and show that they’re engaged in the conversation.

  • Combine Gestures with Words: As I’ve said earlier, a simple nod or smile, when paired with your “yes,” can make your response feel more genuine and heartfelt. If you can’t talk at that moment, you can simply throw a thumbs-up sign. The way you express yourself is as important as the words you choose.

  • Balance Formality and Warmth: When conversing with someone you respect and feel close to, let’s say a family elder, find the right balance. A warm tone combined with the respectful opo often strikes the perfect chord.

  • Taglish in Certain Settings: In cities or among young people, mixing Tagalog and English (Taglish) is quite common. Saying Yes, po in these situations can be both casual and respectful.


  • Beware of Sarcasm and Playfulness: Filipino communication can be full of humor and indirectness. Be careful not to misinterpret a playful oo as a serious agreement, particularly in casual talks.

  • Full Sentences in Formal Writing: When writing formally, like in emails or letters, short responses like oo are usually avoided. It’s generally better to use full sentences.

  • Respect Power Dynamics at Work: In a work environment, how you respond to someone in a position of authority can be really important. Even if they speak casually, a respectful response is usually expected.

  • Match the Speaker’s Formality: If someone speaks to you very formally, it’s usually a good idea to respond in the same way. It shows that you understand and respect the way they choose to communicate.

  • Seek Clarification Over Assumption: If you’re not sure about something, it’s better to ask than just say “yes.” Do not focus only on agreeing because clear communication is more important.

Say Yes In Tagalog The Right Way!

Learning how to say yes in Tagalog, from the polite opo to the friendly oo, is an important aspect of the Tagalog language to connect with people, show respect, and understand the Filipino culture. These little nuances make a big difference in sounding natural and heartfelt.

As you keep practicing, remember that every “yes” you say is a step closer to sounding like a native. Pay attention to the context, the tone, and the situation. Mix up your responses based on who you’re talking to, and you’ll fit right in. So, go ahead and try these out in real conversations. You’ll be surprised at how a simple “yes” can open up a world of friendships and experiences in the rich Filipino culture.

agree in Tagalog - A photo of people with thumbs up sign


What else can I say in Tagalog if I agree with someone?

Yes, or Oo in Tagalog can be too simple for fluent Tagalog speakers. In Tagalog, you can say something like Tama ka, which means “You’re right,” or Walang duda, translating to “No doubt.” And if you’re sure about a certain thing, Sigurado ako is your go-to. It’s equivalent to saying “I’m sure” in English. These phrases are handy when you want to agree in a more exciting way!

How do Filipinos show they’re being respectful when they talk?

Apart from using opo and po to be polite, Filipinos have a neat way of showing respect. They use special words like Ate or Kuya for someone a little older, kind of like saying “big brother” or “big sister.” For people much older, Manong or Manang works well. In the office, “Sir” or “Ma’am” is pretty common too. These words help show you value the other person’s age or role.

Are there polite ways to say no in Tagalog?

In Tagalog, you can say Pasensya na, pero hindi ako makakasama, which means “Sorry, I can’t make it.” Or, if you’re turning down an invite, Salamat sa imbitasyon, pero hindi muna ako works great (Thanks for the invite, but not this time.) These phrases are really helpful for saying no in Tagalog without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Updated By: Jefbeck

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