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4 Types Indonesian Language Particles – Formula – Examples

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Particles are a class of word which only has grammatical meaning and does not have lexical meaning. The general meaning of particles depends on its connection with other words in a phrase or sentence. Also, particles cannot stand alone and always have to be attached to other words.

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In general, particles include words that are resistant to any form changes. The main function is to emphasize the word it is followed. In Bahasa Indonesia, there are four types of modal particles which are –kah, -lah, -tah, and pun.

Types of Indonesian Language Particles

Here are all the explanations about Indonesian Language Particles:

Indonesian – Kah

Modal particle –kah is usually used in question sentence. In some cases, this particle also serves as suffix, but when it is used as particle, it has some functions as the following. Also learn more about suffix –kah.

  1. The first function of particle –kah is to emphasize certain words in question sentence.

Example:

  • Sepeda motor atau mobilkah yang akan kamu jual? (Either motorbike or car which you will put on sale?
  • Jaket biru atau hitam yang akan kamu pakai hari ini? (Either blue or black jacket that you will wear today?)
  1. Still in relation with question sentence, particle –kah changes declarative sentence into interrogative sentence.
  • Diakah yang akan menjadi pemimping yang baru? (Is he the one who will become the new leader?)
  • Buku itukah yang kamu inginkan? (is that the book that you want?)
  1. Another function of –kah particle is to emphasize the question words.

Example:

  • Siapakah yang sudah mencuri komputermu? (Who steal your computer?)
  • Bagaimanakah cara memasak nasi yang benar? (How is the correct way to cook rice?)
  1. Particle –kah is also used to emphasize interrogative sentence which does not have question word.
  • Akankah kamu datang pada hari kelulusan? (Will you come to the graduation day?)
  • Sudahkah kamu bersyukur hari ini? (Have you count your blessing today?)
  1. The last function of particle –kah is to express uncertain thing in indirect question sentence.

Example:

  • Kita tidak pernah tahu kebaikankah, keburukankah yang akan kita terima. (We never know either good or bad deed that we will receive.)

Indonesian – Lah

Particle –lah is used in declarative and imperative sentence. Sometimes, particle –lah also serves as suffix. Here is the function of particle –lah. Learn more about Indonesian suffix –lah.

  1. The function of particle –lah is to smooth the tone of order sentence in imperative sentence.

Example:

  • Pergilah sekarang sebelum jalanan macet. (Go now before the streets get jammed.)
  • Buanglah sampah pada tempatnya. (Throw the trash in the specific place.)
  1. The second function of particle –lah is to strongly underline certain meaning in declarative sentence.
  • Dari apa yang kamu ceritakan, jelaslah kamu yang salah. (From your storey, it is clear that you are the wrong one.)
  • Rumah kosong itulah yang menjadi sarang perampok. (That empty house becomes the basecamp of theft.) 
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Indonesian – Tah

In general, the main function of Indonesian Language Particles –tah is quite the same with particle –kah. However, the use of particle –tah is limited and mostly never used in everyday conversation. This is because particle –tah has more dialectal influence and mostly used in old Malay language.

Particle –tah has rhetoric characteristic in which the person ask the question does not require an answer as if he/she already know one. Here is the example of particle –tah. Also learn about similarities between Malay and Indonesia.

  1. Apatah artinya hidup tanga engkau disisiku? (What is the meaning of life without you by my side?)

Indonesian – Pun

Particle pun is mostly used in declarative sentence to emphasize certain meaning. In general, there are two main function of particle –pun as the following. Also learn more about Indonesian suffix –kan.

  1. The first function of particle –pun is to underline the word it is followed. For this function, the particle –pun is written with separately from the word. Here is the example of particle –pun.

Example:

  • Aku pun akhirnya menyetujui keputusan tersebut. (I do finally agree to the decision.)
  • Jangankan bernyanyi, berbicara pun Dina sudah kesulitan. (Let alone singing, even talking is difficult for Dina.) 
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  1. Particle –pun is attached to words when it just feels right to. In this function, particle –pun is written without space from the word.

Example:

  • Siapapun yang menemukan dompetku akan diberi imbalan. (Whoever found my wallet will receive reward.)
  • Bagaimanapun juga, orang itu adalah orang tuanya. (However, that man is his parent.)

Besides those Indonesian Language Particles above, there are also some expression which known as interjection. Most people still who learn Bahasa Indonesia still confuse with the use of particle and interjection because those two are similar. Modal particles in Bahasa Indonesia come in four types, but there are also many forms of dialectal particles which also used in everyday life. Learn more about Indonesian interjection.

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