Welcome to the second article of the series Tagalog Root Words. You keeping track of the root words shows how eager you are in building your Tagalog vocabulary. Congratulations!

Even if it was mentioned in the previous issue, I'd still want to reiterate that a huge percentage of the whole Tagalog vocabulary are words with root words embedded inside them. Root words are the seeds in your vocabulary building. The seed can grow naturally producing many branches and then fruits later on.  Likewise, the root word can grow in numbers resulting to many derived words.

Tagalog Root Word Alala

Our root word for today is alala. It's a noun and can be translated as worry, concern, or qualm. Balisa is the synonym to alala. Strange but natives don't use the term alala in their daily conversation. The good news is...

There are a few affixes that work with alala. Take note of the following:

  1. When prefix pa is applied, paalala is a noun which means reminder;
  2. When suffix in is applied, alalahanin is a verb (infinitive) which means "to recall"; the indicative moods completed, uncompleted and contemplative are inalala, inaalala and aalalahanin, respectively;
  3. When prefix um is applied, umalala is a verb (infinitive) which means "to remember"; the indicative moods are umalala (completed), umaalala (uncompleted) and aalala (contemplative);
  4. When prefix mag is applied, mag-alalá is a verb (infinitive) which means "to worry"; the indicative moods are nag-alalá (completed), nag-aalalá (uncompleted) and mag-aalalá (contemplative);
  5. When prefix ma is applied, maalala is a verb (infinitive) but indicates intentional or unintentional aspect of "to remember"; the indicative moods are naalala (completed), naaalala (uncompleted) and maaalala (contemplative); and finally
  6. When prefix maká is applied, makáalala is a verb (infinitive) which means "ability to remember"; with indicative moods completed, uncompleted and contemplative nakáalala, nakákaalala and makákaalala, respectively.

See the following sentence examples:

  • Paalala, bawal ang bisikleta.
  • Alalahanin mo ang unang aralín natin.
  • Tuwíng unang araw ng Nobyembre, ang mga Pilipino ay umaalala sa mga namatáy.
  • Nag-aalalá akó kung bakit hindî ka pa nakauwî.
  • Sana ay maalala mo akó kapág nangibáng bayan ka na.
  • Balang araw ay makákaalala rin siyá sa iyó.

With respect to the conjugated word umalala, learn more from this video...

Basic Tagalog

Having just little knowledge in Tagalog? Don't worry too much. You may start off with the following words, phrases or simple sentences:

  • Bisikleta (noun): bicycle
  • Aralín (noun): lesson
  • Bayan (noun): town
  • Araw (noun): day
  • Una (adjective): first
  • Bawal (verb): prohibited
  • Bawal ang /noun/. (/something/ is not allowed.)
  • Alalahanin mo. (You remember.)
  • Ang unang /noun/ natin. (Our 1st /something/.)
  • Unang araw ng /month/. (First day of /month/)
  • Nag-aalalá akó. (I'm worried.)
  • Sana ay maalala mo akó. (I wish that you'll remember me.)
  • Balang araw (Someday in the future)

A Test On The Root Word Alala

Fill in the blanks with the best Tagalog word:

  1. Madalás mo akóng tatawagan at nang hindî akó ________.
    A. Paalala
    B. Mag-alalá
    C. Umalala
    D. Alalahanin
  2. __________ mo ang pinág-usapan ninyó kahapon.
    A. Alalahanin
    B. Mag-alalá
    C. Umalala
    D. Makáalala
  3. __________ kitá tuwíng araw ng Paskó.
    A. Paalala
    B. Umalala
    C. Naaalala
    D. Makáalala
  4. Nakiníg muna akó sa mga _________ ng akíng iná bago ako umalís.
    A. Paalala
    B. Umalala
    C. Alalahanin
    D. Makáalala

How did you find the test? Easy? Not so easy? Do you wish to know the answers? If yes, watch out for future announcements because we will be able to publish downloadable worksheets with answer keys in a single eBook.

But for now, here's a video version of this mini-tutorial and I'm sure you'll also enjoy this...


Another quick lesson in Tagalog language has been delivered to you! Salamat for your trust and support. Just remember that the root word alala means worry but I hope that you're now able to use the words paalala, alalahanin, umalala, mag-alala, maalala, and makáalala in a sentence. Otherwise, just take it easy. My advise to anyone who's just starting in Tagalog is to learn a bunch of nouns and adjectives, and then understand how to use the linkers na, ng, and at.

Should you wish to accelerate your fluency in Tagalog, write us an email and request for a Custom Quote now.