6 Types of Indonesian Suffix -an (Formula and Example)

Welcome back to another lesson about Bahasa Indonesia.

As you know, Forming Indonesian Words using Indinesian Affixes are very critical in terms of learning Bahasa Indonesia. You have known, there are several types of affixes that form new words and meaning in Bahasa Indonesia. However, this time, we will focus with one of them, which is Indonesian Suffix ‘-an’. To refresh your mind, please check this following articles:

Suffix -an is part of Indonesian suffixes. In formal an standard occasion, it is only form noun, even it could also form verb or adjective in non-formal and non-standard language. Here are several examples

1. Indonesian Suffix -an: Verb –> Noun

The suffix -an is mostly used to form noun from verb words, either formal or non-formal. Take a look!

Formal Words

  • makan (eat) + -an = makanan (food)
    – Saya makan nasi (I eat rice)
    – Saya membawa makanan (I brought food)
  • tahan (hold) + -an = tahanan (prisoner)
    – Tolong tahan pintu itu (Hold the door, please)
    – Ia adalah seorang tahanan (He is a prisoner)
  • main (play) + -an = mainan (toys)
    – Saya main bola (I play the ball)
    – Saya membawa mainan (I brought toys)
    *mainan also could means ‘play’ in informal non-standard language
  • unggah (upload) + -an = unggahan (uploaded file)
    – Tolong unggah file kemarin (Please upload yesterday file)
    – Kirimkan unggahan kemarin (Please send yesterday uploaded file)
  • nyanyi (sing) + -an = nyanyian (singing)
    – Ibu suka nyanyi dangdut (Mom loves to sing dangdut song)
    Nyanyian ibu sangat merdu (Mom’s singing is very lovely to hear)
  • masuk (get in) + -an = masukan (input/advice)
    – Silakan masuk (Get in, please)
    – Ibu meminta masukan (Mom is asking for advice)

Informal Words

  • jual (sell) + -an = jualan (goods – something that sold by the merchant/seller)
    – Saya jual murah (I sell it very cheap)
    – Riri membeli banyak jualan Ani (Riri bought many of Ani’s goods)
  • tutup (close) + -an = tutupan (cover)
    – Toko sudah tutup (The shop has closed)
    Di mana tutupan panci ini ya? Where is this pot cover?

2. Indonesian Suffix -an: Adverb (Position) –> Noun

There are at least 4 words of this type

  • luar (outside) + -an = luaran (output/outer)
    – Sisi ada di luar (Sisi is at the outside)
    Luaran penelitian ini adalah buku (This research output is a book)
  • dalam (inside) + -an = dalaman (inner/underwear)
    – Sisi ada di dalam (Sisi is inside)
    – Keira membeli dalaman (Keira is buying underwear)
  • atas (above) + -an = atasan (boss/employer)
    – Sisi ada di atas (Sisi is above)
    – Sisi adalah atasan saya (Sisi is my boss)
  • bawah (under) + -an = bawahan (employee)
    – Sisi ada di bawah (Sisi is under)
    – Sisi adalah bawahan saya (Sisi is my employee

3. Indonesian Suffix -an: Noun –> Noun (Bigger/Much More)

In this type, even though the part of speech does not change, the meaning of it has a little bit different. Suffix-an imply a bigger/ much more amount of the latter formed noun than the previous. It is might be difficult for non-native because it related to the sense of the words. Take a look

  • ruang (space) + -an = ruangan (room)
  • laut (sea) + -an = lautan (ocean)
  • duri (thorn) + -an = durian (durian, fruit that has many thorn in it shell)
  • sayur (vegetable) + -an = sayuran (vegetables)
  • jalan (road) + -an = jalanan (road) – bigger road 

4. Indonesian Suffix -an: Adjective –> Adjective (Comparison)

In this type, the suffix -an also does not change the part of speech. However, it imply comparison between two objects/situation. Moreover, the word formed by it is considered non-formal and non-standard. Here are the examples.

  • cantik (pretty) + -an = cantikan (prettier)
    Cantikan yang mana, Tina atau Tini? (Which one is prettier, Tina or Tini?)
  • ganteng (handsome) + -an = gantengan (more handsome)
    Gantengan Tono daripada Tino (Tono is more handsome than Tino)
  • bagus (good) + -an = bagusan (better)
    Potongan rambut kamu bagusan kemarin (Your previous haircut is better)
  • luas (wide) + -an = luasan (wider)
    Luasan rumah Sisi daripada Rina (Sisi’s house is wider/bigger than Rina’s)
  • pintar (smart) + -an = pintaran (smarter)
    Pintaran siapa sih? (Which one is smarter?)

5. Indonesian Suffix -an: Forming Verb

Although not many, there are several occasion when suffix -an form a verb. Here are the lists.

  • pacar (lover) + -an = pacaran (in a relationship)
    – Sisi adalah pacar Andi (Sisi is Andi’s girlfriend)
    – Sisi pacaran dengan Andi (Sisi is in a relationship with Andi)
  • tidur (sleep) + -an = tiduran (lying down)
    – Mami sedang tidur (Mami is sleeping)
    – Mami sedang tiduran (Mami is lying down)
  • rebah (lie/lying) + -an = rebahan (lying down)
    – Mami sedang rebah di atas kasur (Mami is lying on the bed)
    – Mami sedang rebahan (lying down)

6. Indonesian Suffix -an: More than one meaning (ambiguity)

There are several words that became ambiguous when added by suffix-an. It happened because the words will have to interpretation, depends on the contexts. Here are the examples.

  • balap (race) + -an = balapan (race)
    – Ayah suka nonton balap kuda (Dad loves to watch horse racing)
    – Ayah suka dengan kuda balapan nomor 5 (Dad likes the race horse number 5)
    – Andi sedang balapan dengan Sisi (Andi is racing with Sisi)
    – Andi sedang menonton balapan (Andi is watching a race [F1/horse racing])
  • baik (kind/good) + -an = baikan (better or healthier/ kinder/ reconcile)
    – Ani adalah anak yang baik (Ani is a kind/good kid)
    – Kamu sudah baikan? (Are you better now?) – for someone sick
    Baikan Andi daripada Tono (Andi is more kinder than Tono)
    – Mereka sudah baikan (They have reconciled)
  • besar (big) + -an = besaran (bigger/scale)
    – Baju dia sangat besar (His clothes are very big)
    – Buatin rumah yang besaran, ya (Build a bigger house, please)
    – Besaran panjang adalah meter (The scale for length is meter)
  • satu (one) + -an = satuan (each/unit)
    – Suni membeli satu baju (Suni bought one cloth)
    – Kita misahin kue ini jadi satuan ya (We divide this cake for one for each)
    Satuan panjang adalah meter (Unit for length is meter)  
  • samping (side) + -an = sampingan (move aside a little bit/side job)
    – Lia ada di samping adiknya (Lia is next to her brother’s side)
    Tolongan berdiri agak sampingan (Please stand a little bit aside)
    – Dia punya dua (pekerjaan) sampingan (She has two side jobs)
  • murah (cheap) + -an = murahan (cheaper/ cheap-related [for person])
    – Udang ini murah (The shrimp is cheap)
    – Harganya murahan di pasar (The cost is cheaper at the shop)
    – Dasar perempuan murahan (You are a wh*re)
    Kelakuan kamu murahan (Your behavior is cheap/embarassing)
  • gampang (easy) + -an = gampangan (easy/cheap-related (for person)
    – Soal ini sangat gampang (This question is very easy)
    Gampangan ujian kemarin (Yesterday test is easier)
    – Kamu laki-laki gampangan ya (You are really easy to buy/to bribe)
    *Both murahan and gampangan is a really rude word that means easy to buy/to bribe like a prostitute

Those are the explanation about Indonesian suffix ‘-an’. If you want to get deeper to other affixes, please check these following articles. I wish it help you a lot. Keep practicing!