100+ Indonesian Intransitive Verbs – Formula – Meaning

Similar to English, verbs or ‘kata kerja’ in bahasa Indonesia is also divided in two which are transitive and intransitive verbs. I am sure that you are already familiar with this type of verb. In bahasa Indonesia, intransitive verb refers to the doer of the action. To put in simple, intransitive verbs signifies someone’s action. Intransitive verbs in Bahasa Indonesia come in many forms, some in root words and some in affixes form.

Characteristic of intransitive verb

Distinguishing between intransitive and transitive verbs in Bahasa Indonesia is actually very easy. If a word is followed with affixes ber-, ke-an, ter-, and ber-kan; it can be classified as intransitive verbs. However, you should still be very careful because there are some words followed with those affixes which classified as intransitive verb. Also learn more about me-kan verbs Indonesian.

Identifying intransitive verbs can be more difficult if the word is in the root form for example mandi, tidur, datang, pergi, terbang, duduk, setuju, and more. There is no other way to identify this type of intransitive verb unless you memorize it.

Example of intransitive verb

As aforementioned above, intransitive verb is divided into two forms which are root word and affixes form. This is the example of intransitive verb in the root form.

  • Mandi – take a bath
  • Tidur – sleep
  • Bangun – wake up
  • Nyanyi – sing
  • Setuju – agree
  • Datang – come
  • Pergi – go
  • Masuk – in
  • Terbang – fly
  • Kawin – marry
  • Duduk – sit
  • Makan – eat
  • Berangkat – leave

Here is the example of Indonesian intransitive verbs in the affixes form.

  • Bekerja – work
  • Belajar – study
  • Berusaha – attempt
  • Berdoa – pray
  • Bersuara – voiced
  • Berlari – run
  • Berpakaian – get dressed
  • Bermula – started
  • Tertawa – laugh
  • Terharu – touched
  • Berteman – be friend
  • Bercerita – story telling
  • Berbaring – lay down

Here is some exception of intransitive verb using prefix me-. This does not mean that all words with prefix me- are intransitive verbs, but only a few. Also learn about Indonesian suffix –an.

  • Mengantuk – sleepy
  • Menguap – vapour
  • Melebur – to dissolve
  • Mencair – melt
  • Menuai – to harvest
  • Menyanyi – to sing
  • Mengajar – to teach
  • Memasak – to cook
  • Membaca – to read
  • Menulis – to write
  • Meletus – to erupt 

The use in sentence Indonesian intransitive verbs 

Even though distinguishing between transitive and intransitive verb can be quite hard, but using intransitive verb in sentence is very easy. Sentence uses intransitive verb is also called active intransitive sentence. There are several characteristic of active intransitive sentence as the following:

  • Does not need object
  • Use intransitive verb
  • Cannot be changed into passive form
  • The verb mostly uses affixes ber-, ke-, ter-, ke-an, and also small amount of me-.

Also learn more about Indonesian prefixes and suffixes.

Sentence example of Indonesian intransitive verbs :

  • Andi berlari dengan sangat kencang. (Andi runs very fast.)
  • Dia hanya tersenyum ketika aku menyapanya. (He only smiles when I greet him.)
  • Kami hanya sempat bertemu satu kali. (We only get the chance to meet once.)
  • Anak anjing itu kelaparan. (The puppy is starving.)
  • Di mana Anda mengajar? (Where do you teach?)
  • Apakah kamu bisa menyanyi? (Can you sing?)
  • Mereka sudah menikah. (They have married.)
  • Ibu pandai memasak. (Mom is good at cooking.)
  • Dina belum bisa menulis dan membaca. (Dina cannot write and read yet.)
  • Saat akhir pecan, kami suka berjalan-jalan. (On weekend, we love to have a walk.)
  • Saya rutin berolahraga tiga minggu satu kali. (I always exercise three times a week.)

Also learn about verbs me-i in Indonesia

What to remember?

By now, do you understand the characteristics of intransitive verb and its use in the sentence? Is so, there is something you need to pay more attention to. The complicated part of intransitive verb is when the verb drops the affixes. This being said that some of the verb is in the root form. In this case, you need to investigate whether the sentence requires object or not. If the sentence uses no object, it can be concluded as active intransitive sentence.

Take a look at below example of Indonesian intransitive verbs.

  • Saya ingin berjalan kaki saja. (I prefer to take a walk.)
  • Saya ingin jalan kaki saja. (I prefer to take a walk.)
  • Dina biasanya bermain golf saat akhir pekan. (Dina usually plays golf on weekend.)
  • Dina biasanya main golf saat akhir pecan. (Dina usually plays golf on weekend.)

Also learn about Indonesian to English grammar.

Can you spot the difference? Yes, both verbs (with or without affix) are intransitive verb. You need to memorize this kind of word to avoid confusion.