Question: Tagapag vs Taga

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Author Photo by: Kersheys
Aug 09 2023, 3:21pm CST ~ 1 mo., 16 days ago. 
Question: Tagapag vs Taga
As I understand it tagapag is an prefix for the doer of an action, so tagapagalaga is carer, tapagaluto is cook etc. However I have also seen taga used in similar contexts. Do both of these words have the same meaning, is there a regional difference to where these words are used?
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Author Photo Juantutri Badge: Native Tagalog Speaker
Aug 11 2023, 1:34am CST ~ 1 mo., 15 days ago. 
Yes, they mean the same thing as far as the activity is concerned, but there could be a difference with regard to the “type of person” doing it. “Tagapag” could mean someone who does it as a profession or is specifically assigned to perform the task.
For example: “taga-alaga” may be anyone taking care of another person, but “tagapag-alaga” might refer to one employed as a caregiver.; “tagaluto” is someone who does the cooking by default, but “tagapagluto” might suggest that it is a task assigned to a particular person.
The differentiation is not rigidly applied though and some might still use the words interchangeably. At times, the context may be the one to indicate the distinction.
Also, the 2 prefixes may not always be applicable to or may not provide the same meaning with the same root word.
Tagakain – a word we use to mean one who eats what others won’t or won’t anymore, e.g., leftovers, meat in the company of vegans. There is no “tagapagkain”.
“Tagapágsalitá” is a spokesperson, but “tagasalitá” might suggest one who presumptuously takes it upon himself to speak on behalf of another and as such, may suggest inappropriate behavior.
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