Learn Indonesian Personal Pronoun with Examples

Sometimes someone will get tired by keep hearing another person uttering a name in every sentence. There is a way to convey that the actor of an action is still the same as the previous sentence. This could help shorten the length of a sentence and make you look smarter. So, how to convey an action has been done by someone without overtly telling the name of the actor? In English, you may use personal pronouns. In Indonesian, the equivalent of personal pronoun is kata ganti personal.

Before continuing to the discussion, you may want to know about:

  1. Indonesian Basic Tenses,
  2. Indonesian Grammar
  3. Learning Indonesian

Now let’s move to the discussion. There are several similarities and differences between Indonesian personal pronoun and English personal pronoun, there are also several types of personal pronoun in Indonesian, but before that let’s take a look on what is personal pronoun really is.

Indonesian Pronoun is a term that could be used to substitute a subject in a sentence. The subject that could be substituted varies from someone’s name to a non-living thing. Sometimes personal pronoun could make a sentence more eligible, sometimes it could make the sentence harder to be understood because of the location of the personal pronoun and the substituted noun is too far away or too complex.

The characteristics of pronouns are:

  1. It substitutes a subject (S) or an object (O), and sometimes the predikat (P).
  2. The location of a pronoun is always changing depend on the context and the sentence itself.
  3. What is being substituted could be a word, a phrase, a clause, or even a whole sentence.

Indonesian personal pronoun is a type of pronoun that could be used to substitute a human actor or a non-human living actor; and human object or non-human living object

There are two types of personal pronoun in Indonesian if looked from the pronoun position in a sentence. The first one is subjective personal pronoun and the second one is objective personal pronoun. Each of the type is then divided into three more types. They are first person pronoun, second person pronoun, and third person pronoun.

Subjective personal pronoun

Subjective personal pronoun is used to substitute a subject in a sentence. The table below is a list of subjective Indonesian personal pronoun.

1. First person

Types First person English equivalent
Singular aku I
saya
daku
hamba
Plural kami we
kita

The pronoun aku is widely used in an informal situation while the pronoun saya is more likely to be used in a more formal situation or when you are talking with a person who is older or having higher position (in a company) than you.

Daku is not being used anymore. Sometimes if you encounter the use of this personal pronoun, it is only for the variety in a sentence. In the same hand, the pronoun hamba is not being used in almost every situation. This pronoun is sometimes still being used to indicate the lowly status of a person and sometimes used in a prayer.

Pronoun kami is used when the person you talk to is not included in the context. On the contrary, pronoun kita is used to express that the person you talk to is also included as the actors.

2. Second person

Types First person English equivalent
Singular kamu you
anda
kau
Plural kalian you

Similar to the use of saya and aku, anda and kamu is being used in two different contexts. The formal one is anda, and the informal one is kamu. The pronoun kau could be used also in an informal context.

3. Third person

Types First person English equivalent
Singular ia he/she
dia
beliau
Plural mereka they

The pronoun ia and dia are being used in an informal situation while the pronoun beliau is being used in more formal one. The pronoun beliau also indicates that the person that is being substituted by this pronoun is having a higher status or higher position than the speaker.

Objective personal pronoun

Indonesian have the exact same pronoun when a personal pronoun is being used to substitute an object in a sentence. However, sometimes the pronoun could be in a different form of the subjective personal pronouns as can be seen in the table below.

1. First person

Types First person English equivalent
Singular ku me
saya
daku
hamba
Plural kami us
kita

2. Second person

Types First person English equivalent
Singular mu you
anda
kau
Plural kalian you

3. Third person

Types First person English equivalent
Singular nya Him/her
dia
beliau
Plural mereka them

The examples below show you about the use of kata ganti personal (personal pronouns) in a sentence:

  1. Saya menjadi satu-satunya utusan sekolah untuk olimpiade fisika se-kabupaten. (I am the only representative of my school for district physics competition.)
  2. Aku merupakan anak bungsu dari enam bersaudara. (I am the last child from a family of eight.)
  3. Kami telah sepakat untuk mengerjakan tugas sekolah itu secara kelompok. (We have decided to do the homework together.)
  4. Kita tak mungkin bisa berhasil tanpa doa dari orang tua. (We would never succeed if not because of our parents’ prayer.)
  5. Kamu adalah sahabat terbaik yang pernah ada dalam hidupku. (You are the best friend of my life.)
  6. Anda tak perlu repot-repot mengerjakan semua tugas ini. (You don’t have to bother to do all these works.)
  7. Masalah yang kau hadapi saat ini hanyalah sebagian kecil dari perjalanan hidup yang masih panjang. (The problem that you encountered today is only a little part of the life.)
  8. Engkau adalah cahaya paling terang yang menerangi gelap malamku. (You are the brightest light that shines in my darkest night.)
  9. Kalian bisa berhasil memenangkan perlombaan ini jika kalian bekerja sama. (You could win this competition by working together.)
  10. Dia menangis terisak saat mendengar berita kematian orang tuanya. (She is sobbing knowing her parents’ death.)
  11. Ayah memberi dia sepotong kue. (My father gives him a slice of cake.)
  12. Kakek memiliki sebuah medali yang ia berikan kepada (My grandfather owns a medal which then he gives it to me.)

You could understand more about how to form basic sentences in Indonesian, and Indonesian sentence structure if you are eager to practice it individually. Remember to keep practicing and eventually you could master it.