How in Tagalog

Asking a question using the word “how” is common especially when a person wants to know something. Usually, unfamiliarity with something, unfamiliarity with a place or situation and the desire to know are often the reasons people ask questions.

The word “how” in Tagalog is “paano.” Examples of using the word “paano” include “paano ako sasakay” (how will I commute), “paano ko mahahanap ang hotel” (how do I find the hotel), and “paano ko mahahanap ang …” (how can I find …. ). However, when these questions are directed at someone who is your senior, or someone much older than you are such as parents or grandparents; then you should add the word “po” to the question. The word “po” is a more formal word and when added to a sentence it shows respect for the person to whom one is speaking.

When someone needs to get somewhere but does not know how, asking for directions is a solution. For instance, to get the directions to the nearest mall we could say “paano ako pupunta sa mall” (how do I go to the mall). In the previous example, “ako” means “I” while “pumunta” means “go” and “sa” is the word for “to.” To ask how to get to the market, just say “paano ako pupunta sa palengke” (how do I go to the market).

If a person wanted to learn the cooking style referred to as “adobo” in the Philippines then he or she could ask “paano magluto ng adobo” (how does one cook adobo).

When shopping and asking “how much” a different word is used instead of “paano.” For instance, if someone wants to know how much the pair of jeans they have their eyes on is, they would use the word “magkano” instead of “paano.” To find out the price of the item, ask “magkano ang mga ito” (how much are these). “Ang mga” stands for “are” and “ito” means “these.”

If you want to know the distance then do not use “paano” instead use the words “gaano kalayo” which means “how far.” To inquire how far the next gas station is, simply say “gaano kalayo ang sunod na gasolinahan?” (how far is the next gas station).

If one is interested in knowing the size of something then the way to ask this is “gaano kalaki” which means “how large” or “how big.” If someone said “Gaano kalaki ang pizza” then the translation of this would be: “how large is the pizza?” To say “how big is the watermelon,” you can say “gaano kalaki ang pakwan?”

After learning and memorizing the different words for “how” in Tagalog and the different ways to say “how” in Tagalog, one should be better able to ask for instructions, directions, the size of something and be able to inquire about distance.