Precy enjoys helping others learn to speak and appreciate the Filipino and Ilocano language. She also writes about Filipino culture.
Used as the counterpart of the English adverb now and already, -en and -n suffixes are very much used in Ilocano just like it's counterpart na in Filipino/Tagalog. That I mentioned as many Filipino speakers who are learning Ilocano find it easier when they know the Tagalog counterpart. Words like balayen, awanen, addan, and mabisinen are just four examples of using these suffixes.
Attached at the end of the word, -en and -n are used with nouns, verbs, adjectives, and even with pronouns. And since I've written articles tackling verbs and forming simple sentences, it's time I should write about these suffixes too and make Ilocano learning a little bit more easier.
-En with Nouns
Let's start first with -en. This suffix is used not only with verbs and adjectives but with nouns as well. Let's tackle that in here with more examples both in English and Filipino.
Use this suffix with nouns ending in consonants. Balay is one for example, it means house. With -en now attached to it, balayen means already home/home now. Refer to the table below for more.
|Nouns + en||English||Tagalog|
already home/home now
already/now in the vehicle
-En With Adjectives
You'll see or hear this suffix too with adjectives. Two examples that you've probably heard amongst speakers are dakkelen and baketen. The first one means already big and the second one means already old (someone who have aged). Removing the suffix -en will give you the adjectives.
|Adjectives with -en||English||Tagalog|
already big/big now
already old (female)
matanda na (babae)
already old (male)
matanda na (lalaki)
already a young lady
already ripe/ripe now
smells bad now
Changing O to U
Adjectives with the letter o as second to the last letter, changes to u with the suffix. The adjective nadalos which means clean has the letter o. Now with the suffix -en, nadalusen, noticed the change from o to u — nadalus(en). With adjectives like this, change o to u before adding suffixes.
Using the Suffix -En With Verbs
Nanganen and naturugen are just two examples of using the suffix with verbs. The first verb means already ate while the second example means already went to sleep. While both are in the past tense, -en is used as a suffix regardless of the verb tense. Now, when it comes to forming the tenses, it is another topic which I went more into details on my other article Ilocano Tenses of Verbs, Pronouns and How to Construct Simple Ilocano Sentences.
already time to eat
time to sleep/going to sleep
already went to sleep
-N for Verbs, Nouns, and Adjectives Ending in Vowels
Since we've covered the -en suffix and how to use it, let's get to the next one. If a verb, adjective, or a noun ends in a vowel, the -n takes the place of the suffix -en. Rabii which means evening, or gabi in Tagalog ends in a vowel. Rabiin means already evening. Notice how the suffix -n is used.
The noun kwarta or money as our second example also ends in a vowel, letter a. Chances are you've heard Ilocano speakers say awan kwartan. Awan means none or no (insert noun) and knowing what the -n means which is attached at the end of the noun kwarta, this means "Don't have money now" or "Already out of money."
Nothing changed when it comes to verbs. These two examples are too common you've probably heard these as well. Naluton, with the suffix -n in is used when referring to whatever dish that is already cooked. For Tagalog speakers, the counterpart of this in Tagalog is luto na. Nagluton is another example that although this shares the same verb, nagluton is referring to whoever cooked the meal or the dish — Nagluton ni Gelai. Gelai already cooked.
Agbasbasa is another verb which means attending school or studying. To mean that someone is now attending school or already attending school — Agbasbasan.
Verbs and Pronouns With the Suffixes
This agglutination in Ilocano can be observe with pronouns as well where, for example, a verb, pronoun and either of the suffixes is used. One good example of this is naturugakon. I already went to sleep. Also for the record, naturugak means I went to sleep. It is without the suffix but still the pronoun is attached to the verb. Now, regardless of the tense, the verb always comes first followed by the pronoun, and then the suffix. Maturugakon. I'm going to sleep now. Also using the pronoun I like these examples, notice the -on now instead of -en. Refer to the table below for more examples.
I already took a shower/bath
Naligo na ako
I already ate
Kumakin na ako
I already cleaned
Naglinis na ako
I already bought (the said item)
Bumili na ako
Suffixes with Pronouns
The agglutination process isn't always the case with verbs and pronouns. While all were clumped together in our previous examples like naturugakon or I already went to sleep, it's not the case with naturog dan — They already went to sleep. Da is the Ilocano pronoun for they, dan with the suffix -n, since it ends in a vowel. The same goes with other pronouns aside from the pronoun I when speaking of an action done by you, the speaker. Another example for this is naturog isunan — She/He already went to sleep. Isuna is the Ilocano pronoun for he/she.
The same goes when asking a question. Naturog dan? The same verb was used, naturog, but notice that the -n suffix is now attached to the pronoun da or they, making it to dan, which is separated from the verb. Nangan kan? Did you eat already? Another example where the suffix goes with the pronoun and without using agglutination like the previous examples.
Now that we're done with both suffixes, I want to share more examples to widen your vocabulary. Maybe some on the table below already looks familiar or something that you already heard said or used by Ilocano speakers. Also keep the rules in mind regarding when to use -en and -n and observe while reading the words below.
Time of Day with Suffixes -En and -N
It's already/now morning
It's now/already noon time
It's already/now afternoon
It's already/now evening
Preeti from India on July 07, 2020:
Awesome work, keep sharing languages
Alexander James Guckenberger from Maryland, United States of America on July 06, 2020:
I love linguistics. This is a fascinating topic.