Your Partner in Learning Bahasa Indonesia

Subject - Verb Agreement

Howdy, Englinesians?! Subject and verb agreement is the first topic that I firstly taught when I learned English. Then, you should have it too in learning bahasa Indonesia. Let’s have a learn.

This topic is not commonly discussed when learning bahasa Indonesia. Unlike English that has specific rule regarding this topic, in bahasa Indonesia, verbs are not influenced by the subject. Meaning that all subjects can be paired with all verbs.

If in English we should add suffix “-s” on the verb when the subjects are the third persons, in bahasa Indonesia, we do not. If in English we should use the past verbs when talking about activities happened in the past, in bahasa Indonesia, we do not.

English Bahasa Indonesia syllable
I Saya, aku sa-ya, a-ku
We Kami, kita ka-mi, ki-ta
You Anda, Engkau (formal) - Kamu, Kau (informal) an-da, eng-kaw - ka-mu, kaw
They Mereka me-re-ka
He Dia, ia di-ya, i-ya
She Dia, ia di-ya, i-ya
It ini/itu i-ni, i-tu

Read specific lesson on Personal Pronoun

Firstly, you should notice that bahasa Indonesia uses the same personal pronoun (dia) to refer to all the third persons. Secondly, bahasa Indonesia does not classify people based on their gender, but age (younger or older). Thirdly, personal pronoun “it”, if translated into bahasa Indonesia, it literally means “this” if the thing you refer to is close to you and “that” if thing you refer to is in distance. If the thing you refer to is in plural form, bahasa Indonesia still uses “ini” or “itu” instead of “they” because “they” is only used to refer to people.

Then, how subject and verb agreement is like in bahasa Indonesia? Well, You are allowed to form your sentence as you want. No specific rule to this. You are enable to pair all verbs with all personal pronouns. Here are some examples.

English Bahasa Indonesia
I eat Saya makan
She eats Dia makan
I ate Saya makan
He ate Dia makan

In bahasa Indonesia, time does not influence the verb. So do the subjects.