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Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world. Of its large population the number of people who fluently speak Indonesian is fast approaching 100%, thus making Indonesian one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau dialect of the Malay language, an Austronesian (and Malayo-Polynesian) language originally spoken in Northeast Sumatra which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for half a millennium.

Introduction to the Indonesian word

An Indonesian word consists of one or more morphemes added together. A morpheme is the smallest component of a language that has a value within the language structure. There are two types of morphemes in Bahasa Indonesia, roots and affixes. These roots and affixes are combined together to form words.

  • Roots are morphemes that occur by themselves, or in combinations (eg. in the word memberitahukan, the beritahu actually consists of two roots, beri and tahu, joined together).
  • Affixes are morphemes that never occur independently, but rather always occur in a fixed relationship to a base. A "base" may simply be a root, or it can be a more complicated structure consisting of several morphemes. It could be a duplicated root, or a combination of several roots in some morphological or syntactic arrangement, and possibly with affixes attached as well. A root is thus just one possible form of a base.

The Indonesian Verb

The Indonesian Verb does not inflect for

  • Tense; instead time adverbs (such as "yesterday") or other tense indicators (such as sudah "already" and belum "not yet") are used.
  • Person

On the other hand, there is a complex system of verb prefixes/affixes to render nuances of meaning and to denote voice or intentional and accidental moods.

Verb Prefixes

Verb prefixes are applied to the root. The root has the base meaning that is altered by the prefix. The root is typically the dictionary look-up word. In the lists below, the root is marked in bold.


  • berbelanja 'shop'
  • berbicara 'talk', 'speak'
  • berkumpul 'gather together'
  • bertanya 'ask'
  • berhenti 'stop'
  • bekerja 'work' (note: Irregular prefix ber-)
  • belajar 'study' (note: Irregular prefix ber-)


  • memakai (note: root is pakai)
  • membeli
  • memakan 'to eat'
  • memfitnah 'to slender'
  • memveto 'to veto'




See also

External links

Verb Wiki

Verbix Website

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