Tagalog speakers have three ways of counting numbers — the first one is in native Tagalog, the second one is in the Spanish-influenced Tagalog, and the third one is in English. As far as I know, there are no exact rules on which one of these should be used for which specific situation, although there are certain situations where one is usually preferred over the other. Before we go into that, though, let’s try to learn the Tagalog numbers first.
Tens can be formed by combining the words for 1-9 and the letters “mpu” from sampu (ten). If the word ends with a consonant, the word “na” is added before “mpu.”
E.g. dalawa + mpu = dalawampu (two tens)
anim + na + mpu = animnapu (six tens)
Hundreds can be formed by combining the words for 1-9 followed by the word “daan” which means hundred. If the word for 1-9 ends with a vowel, we add the letters “ng” before daan, if it ends with a consonant, we add the word “na.”
E.g. isang daan = one hundred
apat na daan = four hundred
The same rule goes for forming numbers in the thousands and millions, the only difference is daan is replaced by “libo” which means thousand and “milyon” which means million.
E.g. Walong libo = eight thousand
Siyam na milyon = nine million
Number Combinations can be made by using the word “at” which means “and.”
E.g. dalawampu’t isa = twenty and one
animnapu’t pito = seventy and seven
That’s about it with counting using native Tagalog words. Next time, I’ll write about how you can count in Tagalog using Spanish loan words.