Tagalog Compound Nouns

Some nouns are made up of two words, which may or may not be linked by a hyphen.

first word

second word

compound noun

bahay

house

bakasyunan

vacation place

bahay-bakasyunan

vacation home

anak

child (son or daughter)

mayaman

rich

anak-mayaman

person born to wealth

bata’

child (boy or girl)

lansangan

street

batang-lansangan*

homeless child

balik

return

bayan

town, country

balikbayan

a Filipino returning to the Philippines either temporarily or for good

first word

bahay

house

second word

bakasyunan

vacation place

compound noun

bahay-bakasyunan

vacation home

first word

anak

child (son or daughter)

second word

mayaman

rich

compound noun

anak-mayaman

person born to wealth

first word

bata’

child (boy or girl)

second word

lansangan

street

compound noun

batang-lansangan*

homeless child

first word

balik

return

second word

bayan

town, country

compound noun

balikbayan

a Filipino returning to the Philippines either temporarily or for good

* If the first word ends in a vowel or /n/, -ng is added to it. See also: Na/-ng (p. 28)

In some cases, the literal meanings of the two component words disappear. Examples:

first word

second word

compound noun

anak

child (son or daughter)

araw

sun

anak-araw

albino

hanap

seeking

buhay

life

hanapbuhay

livelihood, work

bunga

fruit

araw

sun

bungang-araw*

prickly heat

kapit

hold, grasp

bahay

house

kapitbahay

neighbor

kwento

story, tale

barbero

barber

kwentong-barbero*

hearsay, tall tale, urban legend

Lit. barber’s tale

first word

anak

child (son or daughter)

second word

araw

sun

compound noun

anak-araw

albino

first word

hanap

seeking

second word

buhay

life

compound noun

hanapbuhay

livelihood, work

first word

bunga

fruit

second word

araw

sun

compound noun

bungang-araw*

prickly heat

first word

kapit

hold, grasp

second word

bahay

house

compound noun

kapitbahay

neighbor

first word

kwento

story, tale

second word

barbero

barber

compound noun

kwentong-barbero*

hearsay, tall tale, urban legend

Lit. barber’s tale

* If the first word ends in a vowel or /n/, -ng is added to it. See also: Na/-ng (p. 28)

Tagalog grammar bookThis is the free online edition of Essential Tagalog Grammar: A Reference for Learners of Tagalog
Download Sample  |  Buy Ebook or Print Edition

“I got a copy of your book and I love it. It's really the best I've come across.”
— Martin Kelemenis, Geneva, Switzerland