Tagalog Roots and Affixes

The building blocks of Tagalog words are roots and affixes. Roots can stand on their own while affixes cannot. In words comprising of a root and one or more affixes, the root carries the core meaning of the word.

Example in English: In the word uneventful, event is the root while un- and -ful are affixes.

Examples of Tagalog roots:

anak

child (son or daughter)

araw

day, sun

gabi

night, evening

Some roots can be repeated to form a new word.

araw-araw

every day

gabi-gabi

every night

Some roots can be combined to form a new word.

araw-gabi

day and night

anak-araw

albino

Finally, various affixes can be added at the beginning, in the middle and/or at the end of a root.

maaraw

sunny

tag-araw

summer

kaarawan

birthday

kagabi

last night

gumabi

to be or become evening

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