20 Indonesian Descriptive Words and Examples

Indonesian descriptive words are quite different from English. In bahasa Indonesia descriptive words can be found in form or adjectives and also static verbs. This makes Indonesian descriptive words can be quite difficult for foreign people.

Related: Types of adjunct in Indonesian

Descriptive words are mostly used to explain something or a situation. In simple, all adjectives can be considered as descriptive words but not all descriptive words are adjectives. Take a look a below examples.

English Indonesian Example
Spectacles Kacamata


My friend is the one with spectacles

Teman Saya yang berkacamata

Green Hijau

Berwarna hijau

My house is the green one

Rumah saya yang berwarna hijau

Nice Baik She is a nice friend

Dia teman yang baik

Ripe Matang The mango is ripe

Mangga itu sudah matang

Hot Panas The weather is hot

Cuacanya panas

Married Menikah

Sudah menikah

My neighbor is married

Tetangga saya sudah menikah

Delicious Enak Ice cream is very delicious

Es krim ini sangat enak

Indonesian descriptive words include static words such as colors. Sometimes nouns are also turned into stative words simply by adding Indonesian prefix ber- nouns. The addition of prefix ber- in English is similar to affix be-something-ed which means using, having, or wearing. Take a look at below examples.

  • Buku hijau itu adalah buku saya – that green book is my book.

Hijau’ (green) in this sentence is the descriptive word from static verbs. While green in this sentence serves as verb instead of descriptive words.

  • Buku itu hijau – that book is green

Hijau’ (green) in this sentence is not descriptive word but it is a verb “to be green”.

Sometimes the addition of relative pronoun “yang” (who/which) is easily disappears from a sentence in Indonesia. This makes the word ‘green’ also serves as verb in the first example.

Buku (yang) merah itu adalah buku saya – that book, which is green, is my book.

Can you spot the difference of the word ‘green’ from the three examples? Now, take a look in another example of descriptive words which are formed from nouns. Learn more about Indonesian prefix ber- .

  • Kacamata (spectacles) → berkacamata (bespectacled)
  • Teman saya yang berkacamata hitam (my friend is the one wearing black spectacles)
  • Hasil (harvest, yield) → berhasil (successful)
  • Kami telah berhasil melewati ujian (we have been succeeded the exams)
  • Sepatu (shoes) → bersepatu (wear shoes)
  • Ibu guru bersepatu merah (the teacher wears red shoes)
  • For plural form, the descriptive word does not change much but it uses the repetitive words to show the plural.
  • Kucing saya putih (my cat is white) becomes kucing-kucing saya putih (these are my white cats).

Learn more about Indonesian plural and reduplication words.

From the example, the adjective comes after the noun and the plural form in repetitive words. Another form of adjectives is also in the form of shapes, sizes, and colors. Learning descriptive words in Indonesian is very important because it helps you communicate better in Bahasa.  Learn more about Indonesian conversation for beginner.