Bahasa Indonesian Lesson Three


Prepositions establish relationships between words and are therefore useful in building phrases. Some common examples in Bahasa Indonesia include the following:

At, In, On (all referring to place), use "Di".
At, In, On, For (all referring to time, use "Pada jam", "Dalam", "Pada", "Selama", respectively.
For (a purpose) use "Untuk"
From use "Dari"
Towards use "Ke"
Inside, Outside use "Di dalam", "Di luar", respectively
Since and Until use "Sejak", "Sampai", respectively
About and With use "Tentang" and "Dengan", respectively

"Di" is combined with a number of words to form a great number of phrases indicating location e.g., "di sini" (here), "di sana/situ" (there). "di dalam" (inside), "di luar" (outside), "di bawah" (below, downstairs), "di atas" (above, upstairs), "di depan" (in front of), "di belakang" (behind), "di sebeleh" (next door to), "di seberang" (across the street)


Interrogative words and phrases are used to form questions; "Apa?" (What?), "Apa ini" (What is this?), "Siapa?" (Who?), "Kalau?" (If?), "Kapan?" (When?), "Kenapa?" (Why? What did you say?), "Mana?" (Where?), "Bagaimana?" (How?), "Yang mana?" (Which one?), "Di mana?" (Where is it?), "Ke mana?" (To where?), "Dari mana?" (From where?).

"Ke mana?" is used for directions; "Di mana?" is used for location e.g., "Di mana Lombok? Dekat Bali" (Where is Lombok? Near Bali)

"Di mana kama kecil?" (Where is the toilet?). Also "Di mana W.C.?", pronounced "way-say"; "pria", men's and "wanita", women's.

"Siapa nama ibu/bapak?" (What is your name?), "Ibu/Bapak darin mana?" (Where are you from?), "Kapan datang di sini?" (When did you arrive here?)

"Apakah masih ada ...?" (Do you still have any ...?), "Apakah di sini ada ...?" (Do you have any .. ?) "Apa ...?" (Have ..? Can be used for 'Is there any ...?', 'Do you have any ...? etc)

"Saya mau .." (I would like, I want etc), "Tidak mau .." (I don't want, literally 'no want'), "Saya mau pergi ke ..." (I want to go to ...), "Saya mau minum/makan ..." (I would like to drink/eat some ...), "Say ma beli ini/itu ..." (I want to buy this/that ..)


Statements can be turned into questions by raising the tone at the end of the sentence and by prefixing the sentence with "Apakah" (Is it that). When asking about nouns the word "bukan" (not) at the end of the sentence can turn it into a question e.g., "Ini anak saudaura, bukan?" (This child yours, not?)

"Tolong" (to help) is used for requests from other people for assistance e.g., "Tolong panggil taksi" (Help me summon a taxi), "Tolong berhenti di sini" (Please stop here)

"Boleh" (to permit) is used as a request to see or do something e.g., "Boleh saya bicara dengan ...?" (May I speak to ...?), "Boleh saya lihat ini/itu?" (May I see this/that?)

"Minta" (to request) is a polite way to ask for goods and services, especially at convinence stores and resturants e.g., "Saya minta air minum" (I would like some drinking water) or "Saya minta nasi goreng" (I would like some fried rice). A more direct request is "kasih" (to give) e.g., "Kasih air minum!" (Give me some drinking water!).

"Coba" (to try) can be used with the verb "lihat" (to see) to request viewing something in a display case or shop window e.g., "Coba lihat itu" (Can I see that?)

"Silikan!" (go ahead!, be my guest!) is an invitation. One should wait for an Indonesian host to say this before partaking in food or drink etc e.g., "Boleh kami masuk?" (May we come in?") "Silikan masuk!" (Please come in!), "Silikan makan!" (Please eat!"), "Silikan minum" (Please drink) etc. Not that "Silikan" is never used as as a request. "Mari" and "Mari kita" are used as exhortatives e.g., "Mari makan" (Come, let's eat). Colloquially the word "ayo", has the same function as the English "let's go", e.g., "Ayo pulang, ayo" (Let's go home)

"Terima kasih" (thank you, literally 'to receive love'); however it can also be used as a polite refusual - so don't use when offered a meal, unless you don't want it! An appropriate response to "terima kasih" is "Sama-sama" (same-same) or "kembali" (return).