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Ilocano Affixes - Prefixes and Suffixes Used In Ilocano

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Precy enjoys helping others learn to speak and appreciate the Filipino language. She also speaks Ilocano.

Ilocano doesn't only attract foreign learners but many of my fellow Filipinos are eager to learn how to speak Ilocano as well. I guess it's true that when you fall in love with the place and the people, you will fall in love with the language too.

Some takes their first step by learning easy Ilocano words to Ilocano adjectives and the most popular, the phrases. I already have written a handful of articles about these subjects and I want to add more. So in this article, it's about Ilocano affixes this time. These are the Ilocano prefixes, infixes and suffixes used that I am familiar with and are most commonly used.

Ag

Ag- is a prefix not only used in imperatives but it is also used in forming future and present tenses of Ilocano verbs. Agluto is an example of a commonly used Ilocano verb you are probably familiar with. In Filipino/Tagalog, it is magluto. It is both an imperative and in future tense. Let's have example sentences below.

Agluto kan tapno nasapa ta nga mangan. This will give us "Cook now so that we can eat early." Translating by words, we have the imperative agluto at the start of the sentence, someone is being told to cook now (not later). The pronoun ka which is the English you, has the -n attached to it which is the adverb now/already.

The prefix is also used in forming future tenses as mentioned earlier. Agluto ak. In Filipino/Tagalog — Magluluto ako. I'm going to cook. To form the present tense of a verb that uses ag- as a prefix, the first syllable of the root verb is repeated with the first letter of the second syllable — aglutluto. Ag (prefix) lu (first syllable of the root verb luto) and the first letter of the second syllable is duplicated, letter t (second syllable in luto is to and letter t is duplicated). That's why the present tense became aglutluto.

Let's have more examples on the table below to help understand how the prefix ag- is used. The suffix -n will be covered more later but it is something I already discussed into details along with the Ilocano suffix -en on my article Suffixes En and N in Ilocano - Learn How to Use These Suffixes With Verbs, Adjectives and Nouns. Tagalog translations are included on the table below for Tagalog speakers who are learning how to speak Ilocano..

Examples of using the prefix ag- in Ilocano with verbs.

IlocanoFilipino/TagalogEnglish

Agdalos

Maglinis

To clean

Agsarita

Mag-usap

To talk

Agbuya

Manood

To watch

Aglaba

Maglaba

To do the laundry/Wash clothes

Aginana

Magpahinga

To rest

Agmula

Magtanim

To plant

Agmulmula

Nagtatanim

Planting

Agin-innana

Nagpapahinga

Resting

Aglablaba

Naglalaba

Doing the laundry

Agbuybuya

Nanonood

Watching

Agdaldalos

Naglilinis

Cleaning

Agsarsarita

Nagsasalita

Talking/Speaking

Nag

Nag- is used with verbs and it indicates completed actions. Nagluto. Cooked. Nagdalos. Cleaned. Refer to the table below for more examples of using this prefix in Ilocano.

In addition to being used in forming past tenses of verbs, nag also intensifies Ilocano adjectives. Banglo means fragrance. Bango in Filipino/Tagalog. Nagbanglo means very/so/too fragrant. Ang bango in Filipino/Tagalog.

A table of nag- prefix used in past tenses of verbs as well as in intensified adjectives.

IlocanoFilipino/TagalogEnglish

Nagpagna

Naglakad

Walked

Naglaba

Naglaba

Did the laundry/Washed clothes

Nagbuya

Nanood

Watched

Nagdalos

Naglinis

Cleaned

Nagdigos

Naligo

Took a bath/shower

Nagaramid

Gumawa

Made/Cooked/Created

Nagida

Humiga

Lied down

Nagpintas

Ang ganda

So beautiful

Nagbassit

Ang liit

Too small

Nagdakkel

Ang laki

Too big

Nagtangken

Ang tigas

Very hard/firm

Nagbangglo

Ang bango

Very fragrant

Nagbangsit

Ang baho/bantot

Too stinky

Naglaeng

Ang galing

So smart/brainy

Nagrugit

Ang dumi

Too dirty

Nagimas

Ang sarap

So delicious/good (food)

Na

This is a prefix used with Ilocano adjectives, that is if the adjectives aren't intensified. Nabanglo means fragrant. Intensifying it using the previous prefix, nagbanglo means very fragrant. Nagbanglo daytoy sabong. This flower is very fragrant.

This prefix is also used in past tenses of verbs. Example of a verb in Ilocano using this prefix is naturog. Naturog ni Sita. Sita went to sleep. In Filipino/Tagalog, the equivalent of naturog is natulog, which is also used on the next prefix below as an example.

Na- is also used to indicate an unintentional action. For something that peeled off on its own, let's say a sticker on your notebook, the word is naikkat. A button fell off from a worn-out shirt. No one removed it. Naikkat. In Filipino/Tagalog, the word for this is natanggal.

There are other Ilocano words with this prefix. Naaramid is another example for something that someone managed to fixed. For Filipino/Tagalog speakers, the equivalent word is nagawa. Naaramid na dyay tugaw. He managed to fix the chair. Probably you've heard the word inaramid instead. But using this would mean the said person fixed the chair, he didn't have a hard time fixing it. Inaramid na dyay tugaw. He fixed the chair. More of these are on the table below including these examples with their Tagalog translations.

Examples of adjectives and verbs using na- in Ilocano.

IlocanoFilipino/TagalogEnglish

Nabanglo

Mabango

Fragrant

Nagbanglo daytoy sabong.

Ang bango nitong bulaklak.

This flower is very fragrant.

Naturog ni Sita.

Natulog si Sita.

Sita went to sleep.

Naaramid na dyay tugaw.

Nagawa niya iyung upuan.

He managed to fix the chair.

Naaramid ko dyay tugaw.

Nagawa ko iyung upuan.

I managed to fix the chair.

Nadalos

Malinis

Clean

Napudot

Mainit

Hot

Nasayaat

Mabuti

Good

Naimas

Masarap

Delicious

Nasam-it

Matamis

Sweet

Nalaing

Magaling

Smart/Intelligent

Naka

Naka- is a prefix that indicates an action was unintentional or unplanned. Let's have examples having the same root verb and using two different prefixes indicating the action was intentional and unintentional.

Turog is our root verb that means sleep. For Filipino/Tagalog speakers, the equivalent word is tulog. Saying nakaturog means the person fell asleep. You, for example were watching your favorite television show and you fell asleep. You didn't intend to sleep. Nakaturogak. I fell asleep. This example has the pronoun I in English attached at the end which is the -ak. Naturog means you went to sleep. You went in your room to sleep, and you did. The same prefixes are used in Filipino/Tagalog to indicate an unintentional and intentional action.

Another use of this prefix is to intensify an Ilocano adjective, to say it is excessively huge or heavy, or whatever the adjective is. Nakabangbanglo means excessively fragrant. In Filipino/Tagalog, ang bango bango.

Examples of using the prefix maka- in Ilocano.

IlocanoFilipino/TagalogEnglish

Makaapan ka?

Makakarating ka?

Are you able to come?

Nalpas kan? Tapno makadigos ak.

Tapos ka na? Para makaligo ako.

Are you done? So that I can take a bath.

Makadigos ka nga maymaysam?

Makaligo ka ng mag-isa?

Are you able to bath on your own?

Makatakdir ka?

Kaya mong makatayo?

Are you able to walk/Can you walk?

Makapagna ka?

Kaya mong makalakad?

Can you walk/Are you able to walk?

Agidda ka tapno makaturog ka.

Humiga ka para makatulog ka.

Lie down so you can sleep.

Makagatang ka ngata daytoy?

Makabili ka kaya nito?

Will you be able to buy this?

Maka

This prefix means able to or can. Makadigos. Able to bath or can bath since the root verb digos means bath.

Nalpas kan? Tapno makadigos ak. Are you done? So I can take a bath. Makadigos ka nga maymaysam? Are you able to bath on your own? More examples of using maka as a prefix on the table below. Some of these are probably familiar to you.

-Ak

This suffix is the English pronoun I, or the pronoun ako for Tagalog speakers. It is used with verbs and adjectives. Nanganak. I ate. Napintasak. I'm beautiful. More examples of Ilocano verbs and adjectives with the sufix -ak on the table below.

The suffix -ak in Ilocano is the pronoun I. Here are examples of using this suffix with verbs and adjectives.

IlocanoFilipino/TagalogEnglish

Nagdalusak.

Naglinis ako.

I cleaned.

Naturugak.

Natulog ako.

I went to sleep.

Mabutengak.

Natatakot ako.

I'm scared.

Inalak.

Kinuha ko.

I took it.

Niramanak.

Tinikman ko.

I tasted it.

Kinasaritak.

Kinausap ko.

I talked (to him/her/them).

Sinibugak.

Diniligan ko.

I watered it.

Nalaingak.

Magaling ako.

I'm smart.

Naragsakak.

Masaya ako.

I'm happy.

Nabangsitak.

Mabaho ako.

I stink.

Ubingak.

Bata ako.

I'm a kid.

Suffix -N

A suffix used in Ilocano not only on verbs but adjectives and nouns as well, the counterpart of now and already in English. The na in Filipino/Tagalog.

A verb that ends in a vowel uses the Ilocano suffix n- along with a prefix. One good example is the root verb luto which means cook. Niluton. Already cooked. Pebrero. The second month, February. Pebreron.It means it's now February or it's already February. More examples are below to see how suffix -n is used with Ilocano adjectives, nouns, and verbs.

Examples of how suffix -n is used in Ilocano with verbs and nouns.

IlocanoFilipino/TagalogEnglish

Niluton ni Kaye dyay sida.

Niluto na ni Kaye iyung ulam.

Kaye already cooked the dish.

Pebreron.

Pebrero na.

It's already/now February.

Rabiin.

Gabi na.

It's already/now evening.

Agtugaw tan.

Umupo na tayo.

Let's now take a seat.

Agtadir tan.

Tumayo na tayo.

Let's now stand.

Naturog dan.

Natulog na sila.

They already went to sleep.

Nangan isunan.

Kumain na siya.

He/She already ate.

Agpagpagna isudan.

Naglalakad na sila.

They are already walking.

Sumangpet dan.

Dumating na sila.

They already arrived.

Adadtoy dan.

Andito na sila.

They're already/now here.

Mangmangan isudan.

Kumakain na sila.

They're already/now eating.

This suffix is also used with pronouns, example is kon. The pronoun ko or I in English has the suffix -n. Niluto kon. I already cooked it. Niluto ko na, in Filipino/Tagalog. The Ilocano pronoun na which means he/she, when it has the suffix -n becomes nan. Niluto nan. She/He already cooked it. Niluto na niya in Filipino/Tagalog.

There are more Ilocano affixes and this isn't a complete list but I want to be able to provide the prefixes and suffixes often used in Ilocano. As more comes to mind, I will always update this list.

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