-an and -in affix


I tend to be confused about the usage of these two. What exactly is the nuance because from online sources they tend to look the same, but i think that aspects are different? or the tenses? ill just give a few examples

Tawagan vs tawagin
would the -an here be more present tense? or the usage to me seems like you WILL call them. with the -in here its more contemplative like you may or may not. im not really sure.

Tuluyan vs tuluyin vs ituloy

could the usage be the same here like

Tuluyan na natin!
Lets continue on with it!

Ituloy na natin!
Lets continue!

Tuluyin natin!
Lets continue it!

what im trying to say above is continuing on with something done because they had to pause
  • DotterKat

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    This is contextual and you will have to learn correct usage with practice. The lines of text you mentioned have no difference in terms of tense.
    Object-focus affixes include i-, -in, -an and ma. The suffix -an is not as frequently used as the other affixes, especially compared to i-. For example, if you want to say that you want to continue something which you had to pause for a while and at the same time want the equivalent Tagalog text to be object-focused, the best formulation is Ituloy na natin. It is better to avoid the form tuluyan because although the construction may seem correct, the resultant word tuluyan means prose and furthermore can be confounded easily with the idea of tulayan (to bridge something). More importantly, tuluyan is most commonly used to mean directly, unswervingly, unhesitatingly or something that happens or is done in a straightforward manner.
    For object-focus verbs, stick to i- or -in (Ituloy na natin or Tuluyin na natin).


    Senior Member
    They are both OBJECT-FOCUS suffixes but generally speaking the -in form is the passive form of -um- verbs.

    Kumain (to eat) - Kainin (to be eaten)
    Kumain ako ng tinapay (I ate bread) - Kinain ko ang tinapay (the bread was eaten by me/ I ate the bread)

    -an suffix on the other hand, is used when you to the action for somebody or on something

    Nilinisan ko ang lamesa (the table was cleaned by me)


    When spoken with the correct accent, the words "tawagan" and "tawagin" mentioned by "neealio" refer to five words with different meanings, not just two. This particularly important matter concerning proper accentuation of spoken words had seemingly been abandoned by the Philippine education authorities since a long time ago already. I myself am not very sure about the proper stress mark to use and where to place it, but I will say anyway what I have in mind. I will just hope that somebody more knowledgeable than me would give the necessary corrections. For "tawagan", we have the accented words:
    (1) "tawágan" (the letter “a” acute in the second syllable, with a sudden onset of a brief rise in the voice), which is a verb in the imperative mood commanding someone to call somebody by using a telephone or any communication devise (as in “Call up father in the office” or “Tawágan mo si tatay sa opisina”), and
    (2) "tawagàn" (the letter “a” grave in the third and last syllable, with a slight drop in pitch), which could either be a noun, a word in the indicative mood, (as in "Tawagàn ng mga tao ang telepono” meaning “People communicate with each other by using the telephone” or “Ang tawagàn nila ay giliw at mahal” meaning “ ‘Darling’ and ‘love’ are the names they call one another”, in referring to a married couple), as well as another verb in the imperative mood (as in "Tawagàn nalang tayo”, or since the word "magtawagàn” can be contracted to "tawagàn", one could also say "Magtawagàn nalang tayo” meaning “Let’s just call up each other”).
    We have just seen above how the single word "tawagan" without any stress mark could have three different meanings.
    With regards to the unaccented word "tawagin", we likewise have the two accented words:
    (3) "tawágin" (the letter “a” acute in the second syllable) is a verb in the imperative mood so that a person of authority could say, for example, "Tawágin si Pedro” (“Call Pedro”) if Pedro is not within a hearing distance so that shouting out his name would be futile, and no other means were available to contact him except by fetching and bringing him in to finally enable the person of authority to talk personally to Pedro;
    (4) "tawagìn" (the letter “i” grave in the third and last syllable with a slight drop in pitch) that denotes an adjective, as in "Tawagìn si Pedro sa pangngalang “Pedrong tinting’ dahil masyadong payat siya", indicating how often Pedro is being called by a certain name, and which translates into English as something like “Pedro tends to be called ‘Pedrong tinting’ because he is very thin”. “Walis tinting”, by the way, is the Tagalog term for broom stick.
    That is how the two written words "tawagan" and "tawagin", both without stress marks, could have five different meanings.