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Etymology 1[edit]

From hän, dialectally used as an emphatic.


-han (front vowel harmony variant -hän, linguistic notation -hAn) (enclitic particle)

  1. (emphasis)
    1. after all, in any case, although
      Onhan siitä jo kauan aikaa.
      It's been a long time since that, after all.
    2. Expresses a fact that the speaker either considers obvious, or at the very least known to both the speaker and the addressed, and worth reminding someone of.
      No senhän me jo kaikki tiesimme.
      Well we all already knew about it.
    3. A particle to express that the speaker has some view on something that they are willing to either confirm or question; attached to verbs, including the negative verb, and the word modified is sometimes repeated at the end of the sentence.
      Mutta eihän sellaista voi tapahtua, eihän?
      But such a thing cannot happen, right?
      Pystyyhän kortilla maksamaan?
      I can pay with the card, right?
    4. A particle to express that the speaker is determined about or resistant towards something.
      Tässä talossahan määrään minä!
      Hey, I'm the one who keeps order in this house!
    5. Expresses disagreement, particularly in brief exclamations.
      Synonyms: -pa, -pas
      Enhän tehnyt!
      No, I didn't do (it)!
    6. With a negation verb form and the enclitic particle -ko / -kö to express "I suppose".
      Emmeköhän me jotenkuten tule toimeen.
      I suppose we'll get by somehow.
    7. With -pa (-pahan), expresses a particularly strong convinction that one's statement can be corroborated.
      Olenpahan jotain sentään oppinut.
      At the very least I have learned something.
  2. (politeness)
    1. A particle appended to an indicative (or more rarely conditional or potential) verb form in order to express the speaker's wish about something
      Laitoithan tiskikoneen käyntiin?
      I trust you started up the dishwasher?
      Näytithän sinä valokuvat äidillesi?
      You (made sure you) showed the photos to your mother, didn't you?
    2. As particle used to politely ask someone to do something — i.e., to avoid the imperative.
      Katathan pöydän?
      Set the table, will you?
    3. Expresses that the speaker is suggesting an idea that they just came up with; in this case, the clitic always attaches to the subject that must be the first word in the clause, and is often used with verbs in conditional mood.
      Mehän voisimme aloittaa sitä.
      We could start with that.
    4. Softens a question for which the speaker expects the answer to be affirmative. Note: replaces -ko; compare definition below.
      Tunnethan sinä hänet?
      You know him/her, right?
    5. Used in a question where the speaker expects themselves or the addressed to know the answer to. Note: replaces -ko; compare definition below.
      Synonym: -pa
      Kukahan keksirasialla on käynyt?
      Guess who rummaged the box of cookies again?
    6. Expresses wondering in questions, usually with -ko / -kö, or used to simply make questions more polite.
      Pukeutuikohan hän tarpeeksi lämpimästi tänä aamuna?
      I wonder if he put enough clothes on this morning.
      Mitä(kö)hän on oikein tapahtunut?
      What on earth has actually happened, I wonder?
    7. Softens an imperative verb, causing it to behave more like a suggestion, such as a friendly suggestion or one where the speaker expects the person addressed to do so anyway.
      Tulkaahan sisään!
      Come on in!
      Otahan lisää kakkua!
      Have some more cake!
    8. A particle appended to a passive or first-person plural imperative verb to express an informal proposal or suggestion.
      Ollaanhan ystäviä!
      Let us be friends!
  3. (surprise)
    1. A particle to express that the speaker had some (more or less) certain view on something but is surprised after having got to know the truth about it.
      No tuohan meni hienosti!
      Hey, but that went well!
    2. A particle to express that the speaker had some (more or less) certain view on something but is surprised at the controversial view expressed by some other person.
      Olet kyllä turhaan masentunut opettajasi arvostelusta, sillä tuo maalaushan on aika hieno.
      You're sad about the teacher's criticism for no reason, since that painting is [emphasis] quite good.
Usage notes[edit]
  • As seen above, this particle is used in subjective expressions or opinions, and thus especially in spoken language. It can, depending on the context, have several meanings that, in English, can usually be expressed only by accentuating the words differently or by adding extra words.
  • Note also that this particle is very often attached to either the first or the second word of the clause.
  • In everyday speech, this particle is used quite often even if there were no intention to give some special tone.
  • (when surprised at something, softer than -han) -pa / -pä

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. Alternative form of -hVn (illative singular).

See also[edit]




  1. Rōmaji transcription of はん




-han (verb-forming suffix, noun-forming suffix, adverb-forming suffix, Baybayin spelling ᜑᜈ᜔)

  1. alternative form of -an

Usage notes[edit]

  • Normally, /h/ is inserted before -an when a root word ending with a vowel is not followed by a glottal stop. In some cases, phoneme change can occur and /h/ becomes /n/.
    laba + ‎-han → ‎labahan
    ganti + ‎-han → ‎gantihan
    talo + ‎-han → ‎talunan
  • Sometimes, the final vowel of the root word disappears when the suffix is added.
    laba + ‎-han → ‎labhan
    bili + ‎-han → ‎bilhan

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]