Tamil Phrases, Words, Sentences and Expressions

Tamil Sentences and Phrases

Tamil sentences are the building blocks of the Tamil language, which is a classical language spoken primarily in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and northeastern Sri Lanka. Tamil has a rich literary tradition dating back to the early Sangam era and is considered one of the oldest surviving classical languages in the world.

The language has a complex grammatical structure, but the sentences in Tamil are typically formed using subject-verb-object word order.

The vocabulary of Tamil is influenced by several languages, including Sanskrit and Pali, and it has developed a unique style of poetry, known as sangam literature.

People walking on the side of the road in Tamil Nadu, India

Tamil is widely spoken and is an important part of the cultural identity of the Tamil-speaking people, who use the language to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

This page contains a table including the following: Tamil phrases, expressions and words in Tamil, conversation and idioms, Tamil greetings, and survival phrases. It also helps if you simply want to know what to say when chatting in Tamil, as the list below includes some of the most simple and common words for tourists and beginners alike!

Most of the sentences below are used for everyday life conversations, so they might come handy if you memorize them.

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English Phrases Tamil Phrases
English Greetings Tamil Greetings:
Hi! Alo!
Good morning! Kaalai Vanakkam
Good evening! Maalai Vanakkam
Welcome! (to greet someone) Vaazhga!
Thanks Romba Nandri
How are you? Eppati irukkinga? (or) Nalamaa?
I'm fine, thanks! Nallaa irukéan! (or) Nalam! , Nandri!
And you? Nienga?
Good/ So-So. Sari
Thank you (very much)! Romba Nandri
You're welcome! (for "thank you") Paravaa illa
Hey! Friend! Alo! Nanbaa!
I missed you so much! Unnai rumba izhanthu vittéan.
What's new? Enna seithi?
Nothing much Onnum illai
Good night! Iravu vanakkam
See you later! Apram paarkalame!
Good bye! Poittu varén!
Asking for Help and Directions
I'm lost Enakku vazhi theriyala.
Can I help you? Unakku udhavattumaa?
Can you help me? Enakku udhavi seivienkala?
Where is the (bathroom/ pharmacy)? Kazhivarai / Marundukadai Engéa?
Go straight! then turn left/ right! Néraa ponga! Idathu/Valathu thirumpunga
I'm looking for john. Naan johnnai théduréan. (or) John irukkara?
One moment please! Oru nimidam!
Hold on please! (phone) Irunga!
How much is this? Idhu evvalavu?
Excuse me ...! (to ask for something) Mannikanum (or) Alo!
Excuse me! ( to pass by) Mannikanum (or) Alo!
Come with me! Ennodu va (informal) Ennodu Vaanga! (formal)

How to Introduce Yourself
I Naan
You! Nienga!
Do you speak (English/ Tamil )? Nienga (english/ thamizh) pésuviengala?
Just a little. Konjam konjam.
What's your name? Unga péranna?
My name is ... En péru ……….
Mr.../ Mrs.…/ Miss… Thiru…. / Thirumadhi…. / Selvi…..
Nice to meet you! Ungalai santhithathil magizhchi (or) Magizhchi!
You're very kind! Nienga romba nallavar.
Where are you from? Nienga engirundhu varrienga?
I'm from (the U.S/ Sri Lanka) Naan …… irundhu varéan.
I'm (American) Naan (american)…..
Where do you live? Neinga engéa vasikkirienga?
I live in (the U.S/ Sri Lanka) Naan …… il vasikkiréan.
Did you like it here? Ingu nalla irukka?
Sri Lanka is a wonderful country ………..oru nalla naadu!
What do you do for a living? Enna vélai seirienga?
I work as a (translator/ businessman) Naan ……. Vélai seiyaréan.
I like Tamil Enakku Thamizh pidikkum
I've been learning Tamil for 1 month Naan oru maasama thamizh padikkiréne.
Oh! That's good! O! Romba Nalladhu!
How old are you? Ungalukku ethanai vayasu?
I'm (twenty, thirty...) years old. Enakku ….(age)… vayasu.
I have to go Naan poga véndum.
I will be right back! Naan udané thirumpuvéne.
Wish Someone Something
Good luck! Nallathu!
Happy birthday! Pirandha naal vazhthu!
Happy new year! Iniya putthaandu!
Merry Christmas! Iniya kiristhumas!
Congratulations! Paaraattukkal
Enjoy! (for meals...) Nanraaga saappidunkal
I'd like to visit Sri Lanka one day
Say hi to John for me Johnnai kéttathaaga sollunkal.
Bless you (when sneezing) Nouraandu vazhga!
Good night and sweet dreams! Nalla thoungunga!
Solving a Misunderstanding
I'm Sorry! (if you don't hear something) Mannikkanum!
Sorry (for a mistake) Mannikkanum!
No Problem! Onnum prachanai illai
Can You Say It Again? Thirumba sollunga?
Can You Speak Slowly? Porumaiya pésunga?
Write It Down Please! Adhai ezhuthunga!
I Don't Understand! Enakku puriyala!
I Don't Know! Enakku theriyaathu
I Have No Idea. Ennaku theriyala
What's That Called In Tamil ? Thamizhil enna solvaarkal?
What Does "gato" Mean In English? Englishil "lingua" enraal enna?
How Do You Say "Please" In Tamil ? "Please" enbathai thamizhil enna solvaarkal?
What Is This? Idhu enna?
My Tamil is bad. En …(thamizh) romba mosam.
I need to practice my Tamil Naan thamizh pésa véndum.
Don't worry! Kavalai padaathey!
Tamil Expressions and Words
Good/ Bad/ So-So. Nallathu / Mosam / Appadithaan.
Big/ Small Periya / Chinna
Today/ Now Indru / Ippothu
Tomorrow/ Yesterday Naalai / Nétru
Yes/ No Amaam / illai
Here you go! (when giving something) Indhaa.
Do you like it? unakku idhu pidikkuthaa?
I really like it! Enakku idhu romba pidikkuthu.
I'm hungry/ thirsty. Enakku pasi / thagam irukku.
In The Morning/ Evening/ At Night. Kalaiyil / Maalaiyil / Rathri (or) iravil
This/ That. Here/There Idhu / Adhu. Ingu / Angu
Me/ You. Him/ Her. Enakku / Ungalukku. Avanukku / Avalukku
Really! Nijamavaa?
Look! Paarunga
Hurry up! Siekkiram!
What? Where? Enna? Engéa
What time is it? Ippo mani enna?
It's 10 o'clock. 07:30pm. Ippo 10(patthu) mani. Ezhu nuppathu(7.30)
Give me this! Adhai enakku kodu
I love you! Naan unnai virumpukirén.
I feel sick. Enakku udambu sari illai.
I need a doctor Daktarai paarka véndum.
One, Two, Three Onnu, Rendu, Moonu,
Four, Five, Six Naalu, indhu, aaru
Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten ézhu, ettu, onbadhu, patthu


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I hope the content of this page was useful to you, and that you learned some Tamil phrases, expressions and words. Make sure to memorize them to be able to use them in your daily conversation.