Your Partner in Learning Bahasa Indonesia

Parts of Speech bahasa Indonesia - Overview

Many agree that word is considered as the smallest elements which contains distinctive meanings. In learning any foreign language, parts of speech is usually set as the first topic. Words are classified based on their function in a line or sentence. In bahasa Indonesia,

Noun - Kata Benda

This group of words represents things and living things (inanimate and animate objects). It can appear in singular and plural. If plural noun is marked by the ending -s in English word, bahasa Indonesia requires repetition with dash (-). Whether the nouns always appear in plural (such as jeans, etc), they should be repeated with dash (-) in bahasa Indonesia.

book - books buku buku-buku
table - tables meja meja-meja
car - cars mobil mobil-mobil
* sunglasses kacamata kacamata-kacamata
* shoes sepatu sepatu-sepatu

Adjective - Kata Sifat

Adjective is used to describe noun and/or pronoun. It specifies the quality of the noun and/or pronoun. Its functions are similar with English, but the order should be reversed in which the noun comes first and the adjectives comes last. If there are more than one adjective, connector "yang" should be used. On the table below, the bold words are adjectives.

red car mobil merah
beautiful red car mobil merah yang indah
wooden table meja kayu
big wooden table meja kayu yang besar

Verb - Kata Kerja

Verb represents subjects' mental state of being in a sentence. It holds essential role in a sentence. In bahasa Indonesia, the subject does not influence the verb. Besides, no past and future verbs. When it appears in repetition with dash (such as makan-makan - derived from verb makan), it reflects different state of being. Here are some examples of verbs in bahasa Indonesia. Note that dash (-) sign means the verb has no affix & suffix form or it might have but refers to different interpretation.

cut - cut potong memotong
drink - drank minum meminum
eat - ate makan memakan
go - went pergi -
learn - learned belajar mempelajari
like - liked suka menyukai
listen - listened dengar mendengar
love - loved suka, cinta menyukai, mencintai
read - read baca membaca
see - saw lihat melihat
sleep - slept tidur -
take - took ambil mengambil
wake - woke bangun -
write - wrote tulis menulis

Here are the examples of each in a sentence. Note that dash (-) sign means the verb is not commonly used in sentence format, sounds strange, or less-grammatical.

cut - cut - saya memotong kertas
drink - drank saya minum kopi saya meminum kopi
eat - ate saya makan nasi goreng saya memakan nasi goreng
go - went saya pergi ke sekolah -
learn - learned saya belajar bahasa Indonesia saya mempelajari bahasa Indonesia
like - liked saya suka belajar bahasa Indonesia saya menyukai bahasa Indonesia
listen - listened - saya mendengar musik klasik
love - loved saya suka/cinta kamu saya menyukai/mencintai kamu
read - read saya baca koran saya membaca koran
see - saw saya lihat sesuatu saya melihat sesuatu
sleep - slept saya tidur di kamar -
take - took - dia mengambil sesuatu
wake - woke saya bangun pukul 5 -
write - wrote - saya menulis surat


Preposition in bahasa Indonesia refers to the same meaning as it is defined in English. It refers to specific location of something/someone. The main difference is that preposition in bahasa Indonesia has lesser words in which their meanings depend on the type of presposition - place and time.

at pada pada / di
on pada diatas
in pada didalam
above diatas
over diatas
below dibawah
under dibawah
by pada disebelah, setelah
between diantara
behind dibelakang
in front of didepan
accross diseberang
from dari, sejak dari
since sejak
to kurang ke
past lewat, lebih
before sebelum sebelum
after setelah setelah
till / until hingga, sampai