Indonesian Grammar For Some Expat, Take A Look Here With Sample ..!

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Indonesian Grammar GK

JAKARTA, GESAHKITA COM–Indonesian Grammar for some expat  is none of that difficult because the rules is like other world Languages. This time we will discuss Indonesian grammar along with examples of Indonesian vocabulary and their examples for your exercises. You can check our previous article in here for your other references.

Indonesian Grammar Structures 

In the Indonesian vocabulary, we also find parts of speech same as in the English language. This topic is designed for you that consist of the 8 major parts of speech in Indonesian, with the definitions and examples. They are verb, noun, pronoun, adverb, adjective, conjunction, preposition, and interjection.

You will learn about how to use all eight-word groups below and make you understand how to use them properly in a sentence. Everything else that has to do with grammar builds on this information, so soak it all in! Thus, here are how to learn Indonesian Grammar

Kata Kerja (Verbs)

The sense of verbs is all words which describe the deeds or activities. Simply put, this verb can be understood as the words containing the meaning to perform an action. The verbs can be used to express an act, the act, processing, or work performed by the subject against the object. The verbs can be grouped based on the forms and the types.

  1. The Verbs Based on Forms

The basic verbs are verbs that is not yet given a prefix and it is the foundation of a larger word. This type of words cannot make a sentence without a subject and an object but we can make it as an imperative sentence. It’s important to learn verbs to learn Indonesian grammar.

The Basic Forms of Indonesian Verbs in Sentence = Subject+Verb+Object 

Here are the Indonesian Vocabulary Examples and Meaning

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Lihat See Saya lihat mereka di sana I see them there
Bicara Talk Saya bicara dengan Ibu I talk to mom
Lari Run Dia lari ke lapangan She runs to field
Pukul Punch Dia pukul saya He punches me
Tiup Blow Saya tiup lilin I blow the candle
Dengar Hear Saya dengar lagu itu I hear that song
Tendang Kick Dia tendang bola He kicks the ball
Pegang Touch Dia pegang tanganku She touches my hand
Masak Cook Saya masak nasi I cook rice
Buat Make Saya buat spageti I make spaghetti
Kirim Send Dia kirim surat He sends a letter
Ambil Take Dia ambil buku She takes the book
Bakar Burn Saya bakar sampah I burn trashes
Bunuh Kill Saya bunuh nyamuk I kill mosquitos
Bediri Stand Dia berdiri di sampingku She stands next to me
Dapat Can Dia dapat berenang He can swim
Datang Come Saya datang terlambat I come late
Minum Drink Saya minum jus orange I drink orange juice
Tidur Sleep Dia tidur di lantai She sleeps on the floor
Tolong Help Dia tolong adikknya He helps his brother
Dorong Push Saya mendorong meja I push the table
Tembak Shoot Saya tembak kaleng I shoot the can.
Hancur Destroy Dia hancurkan bukunya She destroys her book
Potong Cut Dia memotong rumput He cut the grass
Undang Invite Saya undang teman saya I invite my friends


Thus, that’s the simple example of Indonesian Verbs in sentences. To get to know it better, please open your dictionary and kindly practice to write sentences in Indonesian verbs.

As imperative sentences with verbs

Here are the Indonesian Vocabulary examples and meaning in imperative sentence:

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Lihat Look Jangan lihat! Don’t look!
Sentuh Touch Jangan sentuh! Don’t touch!
Lari Run Jangan lari! Don’t run!
Tolong Help Tolong saya! Help me!
Tembak Shoot Jangan tembak! Don’t shoot!

Meanwhile, learning Indonesia verbs is basically the same in English sentence. Just you need to know the right vocabulary and its meaning in sentence.

  1. Affix nouns

The affix nouns are the verbs that have been added with the prefix. The suffixes can be either a prefix, a suffix, infix, and prefix-suffix. This, the theory to learn how you use Indonesian grammar in sentences.

For examples of Indonesian affix noun:

Prefix (me- and ber-)

The Forms of Prefix (me- and ber-): Prefix + Basic Word

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Prefix + Basic Word
Melihat (me- + lihat) Looking at Saya melihat kamu I am looking at you
Berbicara (ber- + bicara) Talking Dia berbicara keras She is talking loudly
Memukul (me- + pukul) Punching Saya memukul tembok I am punching wall
Berlari (ber- + lari) Running Dia Berlari Kencang He is running fast
Memasak (me- + masak) Cooking Saya memasak mie I am cooking noodles

As well, this Forms of Prefix (me- and ber-) is basically the Indonesian version simple present continuous tense (S + Tobe (is, am, are) + Ving + O/C)

Prefix-sufix (me- + -kan, memper- + -i, and me- + -i)

Indeed, Prefix-sufix is the way basic words of verbs, added by Prefix-sufix (me- + -kan, memper- + -i, and me- + -i) in the middle of the basic word. Meanwhile, the basic word will have just the same meaning, but in different use. Not all basic words can be added with this Prefix-sufix (me- + -kan, memper- + -i, and me- + -i). Also, there are ruls how you can add the prefix-sufix.

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Basic Word: Tambah Add Saya menambahkanbumbu I add seasoning
(me- + tambah + -kan)
Basic Word: Soal Matter Dia mempersoalkanmasalah itu He discuss that matter
Mempersoalkan Discuss
(memper- + soal + -kan)
Basic Word: Lampau Over Dia melampaui batas He exceeded the limit
Melampaui Exceed
(me- + lampau + -i)

Well, this may be hard for the first learner. Yet, you can just use basic verb words in sentences. It won’t really change the meaning.

  1. The verbs based on types

The next is the types of basic verbs, divided into two which is intransitive and transitive verbs.

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Intransitive Verbs

The Intransitive words are a type of verbs that do not require an object. Because of the absence of objects, every sentence with this type of words cannot become a passive sentence.

The Forms of Indonesian Intransitive Verbs = Subject + Intransitive Verbs

For examples of Indonesian intransitive verbs

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Menangis Crying Dia menangis He is crying
Tersenyum Smiling Dia tersenyum She is smiling
Berdiri Standing Saya berdiri I am standing
Terdiam Speechless Saya terdiam I am speechless
Tidur Sleeping Dia tidur She is sleeping
Mandi Bathing Dia mandi He is bathing
Menguap Yawning Dia menguap She is yawning
Berdoa Praying Saya berdoa I am praying
Berlomba Racing Dia berlomba He is racing
Berpakaian Dressing Saya berpakaian I am dressing

Well, you know how to use intransitive verbs in English, it’s little bit different with Indonesian intransitive verbs.

The Transitive Verbs

The transitive verbs is type of verbs that always require an object.

The Forms of Indonesian Transitive Verbs = Subject + Intransitive Verbs + Object

For examples of Indonesian transitive verbs

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence Object
Membeli Buying Saya membeli baju I am buying clothes Baju/Clothes
Memanggil Calling Saya memanggil kamu I am calling you Kamu/You
Memeluk Hugging Dia memeluk bantal She is hugging a pillow Bantal/Pillow
Menanam Planting Dia menanam bunga He is planting flowers Bunga/Flowers
Memperbaiki Fixing Saya memperbaiki meja I am fixing a table Meja/Table
Menasehati Advising Saya menasehati adik I am advising brother Adik/Brother
Membuat Making Dia membuat film He is making a movie Film/Movie
Memotong Cutting Dia memotong daging She is cutting a meat Daging/Meat
Menyiram Watering Saya menyiram tanaman I am watering plants Tanaman/Plants
Memberikan Giving Saya memberikan uang I am giving money Uang/Money
Menerima Accepting Dia menerima hadiah She is accepting a prize Hadiah/Prize

Indeed, Indonesia intransitive verbs included object in the sentence. So, make it a complete sentence with subject, verb, and object.


Kata Benda (Nouns)

The sense of nouns is a type of words that describe something kind of objects, real objects/visible or invisible (abstracts), such as a person’s name, places, plants or animals, activities, behavior, and others. It has a function as a subject and an object in activities. It’s important to learn nouns to learn Indonesian grammar.

The Basic Nouns

The Basic noun is nouns that indicate the existence of an object, whether it is concrete or abstract objects. Here are some examples of their formation.

  1. The Concrete objects

Just like in English, Indonesian have lists of concrete nouns, here are the example of concrete nouns in Indonesian language:

Indonesian English
Pakaian Clothes
Kertas Paper
Tas Bag
Rumah House
Mobil Car
Botol Bottle
Gelas Glass
Buku Book
Kursi Chair
Topi Hat

Further, there are thousand Indonesian noun as concrete nouns or objects that we will discuss in the next study.

  1. The Abstract Objects

Abstract noun is the amount of noun that you can’t count. Here are the example of Indonesian abstract noun:

Indonesian English
Udara Air
Bencana Disaster
Ide Ideas
Perdamaian Peace
Kejujuran Honesty
Keinginan Desire
Kesempatan Opportunity
Kegagalan Failure
Kaya Rich
Kesenian Art

Thus, there are thousand Indonesian noun as abstract nouns or objects that we will discuss in the next study.

  1. The Derivative Nouns

The Derivative nouns are verbs that get the addition of a prefix, suffix, infix or prefix-suffix, known as affixation. Here are some examples of the process.

Prefix (Pe-) + Verb

Prefix (Pe-) changes verb to be noun. As well as suffix + er in English.

The Forms of  Prefix (Pe-) + Verb = Noun

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Basic Word: Lukis Paint Dia seorang pelukis He is a painter
Pelukis Painter

There are more example of Prefix (Pe-) in Indonesian sentences.

Verb + Suffix (-an)

Suffix (-an) changes verbs to be noun in Indonesian rule.

The Forms of  Suffix (-an): Verbs + Suffix = Noun

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Basic Word + Suffix
Pukulan (pukul + -an) Punch Pukulan dia keras His punch is so hard
Minuman (minum + -an) Drink Dia suka minuman itu He likes the drink
Makanan (makan + -an) Food Saya suka makanan I like food
Sayuran (sayur + -an) Vegetables Saya makan sayuran I eat vegetables
Undangan (undang + -an) Invitation Dia kirim undangan He sent invitation

Indeed, don’t be confused by the changes of the word class. Slow but sure we will teach how to learn Indonesian correctly.

Infix (-em-, -in-, -ah-, -el-, and –er-)

Where you add infix in the middle of basic word, that basically have new meaning, but still in the same noun word class.

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Basic Word: Getar Shake Badannya gemetar Her body is shaking
Gemetar (Ge + -em-+ etar) Shaking
Basic Word: Kerja Work Kinerja dia bagus His performance is good
Kinerja (K + -in- + erja) Performance
Basic Word: Dulu Past Dahulu, dia adalah kekasihnya Fomerly, she was his girlfriend
Dahulu (D + -ah- + ulu) Formerly
Basic Word: Gembung Bloated Saya membuat gelembung I make bubbles
Gelembung (Ge + -el- + embung) Bubbles
Basic Word: Suling Flute Saya meniup seruling I blew the flute
Seruling (Se + -er + uling)

There are more examples Infix (-em-, -in-, -ah-, -el-, and –er-). Basically, this point uses for Indonesian formal sentences.

Prefix (pe-) + noun + Suffix (-an)

This is where a basic word added by both prefix and suffix, and it will create new meaning.

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Basic Word: Rumah House Perumahan mereka sangat indah Their housing is very beautiful
Perumahan Housing
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Thus, there are more examples prefix (pe-) + noun + Suffix (-an)

The Indonesian Noun Characteristics 

The characteristics of nouns based on understanding. It has three characteristics are as follows:

  1. In a structure of a sentence, nouns can be used as a subject or an object.

For Example:

A noun as an object

Noun that uses as object in the sentence.

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Koran Newspaper Ayah membaca koran Dad is reading newspaper

Meanwhile, it’s a basic use of noun like we know in English. Where noun as object uses to complete the sentence so it’s clear what the sentence means.

A noun as a subject

Noun (Kata Benda) that used as subject in sentence.

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Adik Brother Adik memeluk boneka My sister hugs her doll

Thus, there are many example of noun as subject such as Mother (Ibu), Father (Ayah), Friend (Teman), and many more.

  1. Nouns can be followed or preceded by the denial words, not (bukan) or without (tanpa)

For example:

A noun with a denial word “Not (Bukan)”

This is for negative sentence when you use “Not” in English.

Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Saya yang meminta bantuan, bukan dia I am asking for help, not him

Well, you may practice it more using a denial word which is Not (Bukan).

A noun with a denial word “Without (Tanpa)”

This form of positive sentence but have negative meaning using word “without (tanpa)”

Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Saya dapat mengerjakaan ini tanpa bantuan I can do this without assistance

Well, you may practice it more using a denial word which is “without (tanpa)”

  1. Nouns can make a linguistic meaning when it is followed by adjectives

The meaning of linguistic is meaning which doesn’t have a predicate in its structure.

For example:

Kata Benda + Sifat Adjective + Noun Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Tas Putih White Bag Tas putih adalah milik saya The white bag is mine

Based on the process of its formation, nouns are divided into two types, namely basic nouns and derivative nouns.

Here is the list of examples that use nouns for your vocabularies. Can you guess which one of the nouns as subject and object? Here is the explanation of how to learn Indonesian Vocabulary.

Indonesian Sentence Subject Object
Daisy adalah anak pertama  Daisy  Anak pertama (first child)
Dia memiliki banyak pensil  Dia (He/she)  Pensil (pencil)
Ibu membeli sayuran  Ibu (Mother)  Sayuran (Vegetable)
Ayah mendegarkan musik  Ayah (Father)  Musik (Music)
Saya menyukai kucing  Saya (I)  Kucing (Cat)
Adik membeli buku  Adik (Brother)  Buku (Book)
Dia membeli permen  Dia (He/she)  Permen (Candy)
Saya mendapatkan ide  Saya (I)  Ide (Idea)
Dia menyesali kegagalannya  Dia (He/she)  Kegagalan (Failure)
Dia adalah seorang dokter  Dia (He/she)  Dokter (Docter)

Meanwhile, Indonesian noun is basically the same like English noun, just Indonesian have some rule points that you need to understand.

Kata Ganti (Pronouns)

In accordance with the Indonesian dictionary, kata ganti (pronouns) are type of words that have a function as a substitute word for noun or noun phrase. Meanwhile, in the common language, pronouns are type of words which is used to replace another noun, it can be people or things. They are usually used with the intention to refine the language used as well as to make a sentence more effective. It doesn’t make a sentence seem to be wordy and repeatedly.

The Indonesian Pronoun Characteristics

The characteristics of pronouns based on its use and application, they can be recognized easily by their characteristics. Below are some of the characteristics of pronoun which are as follows:

The pronoun replaces a word domiciled as a subject and object in a sentence. But in some cases, it can also replace predicate position in a sentence.

The position of a pronoun is not fixed.

The pronoun is not only to refer one context, but it adapts to the context of a sentence. It can be changed to adjust the context of a sentence.

The pronoun follows who is a speaker, reader, and who is being discussed.

The functions of pronouns are to a pointer of the perpetrator, bookmark owner, and declaring an object of a person.


Types of Indonesian Pronoun 

Type of pronoun can be divided into 3 types. They are:

Kata Ganti Orang (Personal Pronoun)

Kata Ganti Petunjuk (Demonstrative Pronoun)

Kata Ganti Tanya (Interrogative Pronoun)

For more detail and easy to distinguish, the pronoun can be sub-divided into 6 types, They are:

  1. Kata Ganti Orang (The Personal Pronoun)

The personal pronoun is used to replace people or object. It is divided into 3 types, they are:

  1. Kata Ganti Orang Pertama (First personal pronoun)

Kata ganti orang pertama tunggal (Singular first personal pronoun)

Indonesian English
Saya, Aku I, Me

The Example of Singular first personal pronoun in Indonesian

Aku suka kamu
(I Love You)

Aku tidak tahu
(I don’t know)

Dia suka saya
(He likes me)

Kata ganti orang pertama jamak (Plural first personal pronoun)

Kata ganti orang pertama jamak (Plural first personal pronoun)

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Indonesian English
Kami, Kita We


  1. Kata Ganti Orang Kedua (Second personal pronoun)

Kata ganti orang kedua tunggal (Singular second personal pronoun)

Kata ganti orang kedua tunggal (Singular second personal pronoun)

Indonesian English
Kamu, Anda, Kau dan Engkau You

Kata ganti orang kedua jamak (Plural second personal pronoun)

Indonesian English
Kalian All of you
  1. Kata Ganti Orang Ketiga (Third personal pronoun)

Singular third personal pronoun (Kata ganti orang ketiga tunggal)

Singular third personal pronoun (Kata ganti orang ketiga tunggal)

Indonesian English
Dia, Ia, Beliau He or She

Dia, Ia, Beliau (in the English, these words are the same with he/she but in the Indonesian, it is used for both titles). Please read our previous article here.

Plural third personal pronoun (Kata ganti orang ketiga jamak)

Indonesian English
Mereka They


  1. Kata Ganti Kepemilikan (The Possessive Pronoun)

The possessive pronoun is used to denote ownership of things.

For examples:

“aku” becomes “ku”

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Ku Mine Buku itu punyaku That book is mine

“kamu” becomes “mu”

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Mu Your Ini tiketmu Here’s your ticket

“dia” becomes “nya”

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Nya Belong(s) to Buku itu miliknya That book belongs tohim
  1. Kata Ganti Petunjuk (The Demonstrative Pronouns)

The demonstrative pronouns are used to indicate a location of an object or a place which is near or far from the subject.

This and Here

Penggunaan “Ini and di sini” (This and Here)

Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Ini This Ini buku This is a book
Di sini Here Letakkan buku di sini Put the book here

These words indicate a location which is near from the subject. When you write “di sini”, please always use a space between “di” and “sini”. This shows differences between a word with affix or pronoun, because “di sini” describes that you mention a place.

That and There

Itu and di sana (That and There)

These words indicate a location which is far from the subject. Same as “di sini”, you should write “di sana” with a space between “di” and “sana”.

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Itu That Itu buku That is a book
Di sana There Letakkan buku di sana Put the book there
  1. Kata Ganti Penghubung (The Relative Pronouns)

The relative pronouns are used to connect two distinct sentences between main clause and sub-clause. In addition, it is also functioned as a pronoun that connects between an object with its adjective.

For example:

The Relative Pronouns “It”

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Itu That Aku mau itu I want it

So, “that” in Indonesian actually have many meaning.

  1. Kata Ganti Tanya (The Interrogative Pronouns)

The interrogative pronoun is a pronoun that used to inquire or ask for information about an event.

  1. Asking people or things with interrogative pronouns


Apa? (What?)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Apa? What? Ini apa? What is this?

Siapa? (Who?)

Siapa? (Who?)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Siapa? Who? Siapa mereka? Who are they?

(Which One?)

Yang mana? (Which One?)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Yang mana? Which? Yang mana kau suka? Which one do you like?
  1. Asking time with interrogative pronouns


Kapan? (When?)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Kapan? When? Kapan kamu datang? When will you come?

(What if)

Apabila (What if)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Apabila If Apabila kamu datang, mohon menghubungi saya If you come, please call me
  1. Asking a place with interrogative pronouns

Di mana? / Kemana?

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Di mana? Where? Di mana mereka? Where are they?
Ke mana? Where? Kemana mereka pergi? Where are they going?

Meanwhile, we use this interrogative pronouns to ask questions in Indonesian grammar.

  1. Asking a condition with interrogative pronouns


Mengapa? (Why?)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Mengapa? Why? Kenapa dia pergi? Why she left?


Bagaimana? (How?)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Bagaimana? How? Bagaimana ini bisa terjadi? How is this happenned?
  1. Asking for a quantity with interrogative pronouns

Berapa? (How?)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Berapa? How many? Berapa banyak buku yang kamu punya? How many books do you have?

Use quantity with interrogative pronouns with “How?” such as How many times? (Berapa kali?)

  1. Kata Ganti Tak Tentu (The Indefinite Pronouns)

The indefinite pronouns are used to replace a group of people or things that are numerous and erratic.


 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Masing-masing? Each Masing-masing memiliki sepeda? Each of them has bicycle

Semua (All)

 Indonesian English Indonesian Sentence English Sentence
Semua All Semua memiliki jawaban yang sama All of you have the same answers

Meanwhile, check out this video to learn better about how to learn Indonesian grammar

Indeed, there are many ways to understand Indonesian grammar but first of all, we need to learn about the Indonesian parts of speech with the examples of Indonesian vocabulary. Meanwhile, learning Indonesian (Bahasa) is not so hard but need to be serious. We must practice it everyday. So, let’s learn Indonesian with fun and easy…!


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