In Bahasa Indonesia, the use of pronouns stays the same when indicating possession. Does this make Bahasa Indonesia difficult to learn? Yes, it does!
People who learn Bahasa Indonesia mostly stumble in the midst of the journey when they meet different grammatical pattern like this. Even those who have mastered the language may make the same mistake when it comes to Indonesian possessive pronouns.
In this post we are going to explain about how possessive pronouns work in Bahasa Indonesia. But before we jump into the discussion, make sure you have understood the general pronouns below. Also learn Indonesian grammar exercise.
General pronouns in Indonesian Language
|Saya (formal), aku
I, me, my
We, us, our
|Engkau, kau, kamu, anda (formal)
|Kalian, kamu sekalian
You, all of you
|Dia, ia, beliau (honorific)
He/she, it/its, his/her
They, them, their
The fact that pronouns does not change for personal and possession makes it difficult for foreign learners. The personal pronoun has many forms but it does not change. Different forms of pronoun mean different level of people such as children, older people, friends, and so on. ( 5 Types of Indonesian Pronouns )
Indonesian Possessive pronouns
In bahasa Indonesia, possessive pronouns refers to ‘kata kepunyaan’. It explains the possession of something or someone. The general pattern for possessive pronouns is noun + possessive pronoun. Take a look at below examples.
1. Saya (I, formal – usually spoken to someone with higher position such as teacher or someone honorable)
- Buku saya – my book
- Mobil saya – my car
- Sepatu saya berwarna biru – my shoes (is) blue
- Tas saya berwarna hitam – my bag (is) black
2. Aku (I, informal – usually spoken between friends or children)
Usually the possessive pronoun for ‘aku’ is shortened into suffix –ku and it is written without space from the noun.
- Buku aku – my book (this form is rarely used in everyday conversation or writing)
- Bukuku – my book
- Apelku – my apple
- Mobilku masih dalam perbaikan – my car (is) in service
- Ada tanda air di bukuku – there (is) watermark in my book
3. Gue (I, slang – mostly used in Jakarta or bigger cities in Indonesia)
- Buku gue, nih – this is my book
- Jam gue baru – my watch (is) new
- Coklat gue – my chocolate
4. Kamu, kau (your, informal)
Possessive pronouns using kamu or kau in general mean you but it is mostly used among friends and considered impolite when refers to older people. In most cases, the work ‘kamu’ is shortened into suffix –mu when refers to possession pronouns.
- Bolpoinmu – your pen
- Lipstick kamu – your lipstick (rarely used as it is not the current standard language)
- Bisakah aku pinjam bukumu? – can I borrow your book?
- Sepatu kau bau sekali – your shoes stink to heaven.
5. Anda (you, formal)
The possessive pronoun using ‘anda’ is the formal form of ‘kamu’ usually used in business, school, and other formal occasion. It can also be used to refer to person whom you think is average with you. Also learn Indonesian verb conjugation.
- Mobil anda – your car
- Silahkan pakai sabuk pengaman anda – please put your seatbelt on
- Mobil anda berwarna merah, kan? – Your car is the red one, right?
6. Beliau (his/hers, formal and mostly refers to someone you honour most)
- Buku beliau – his/her book
- Mobil beliau – his/her book
7. Kami (our, formal/informal but when using ‘kami’, the person being spoken is not included)
- Meja kami – our desk
- Buku kami – our book
8. Kita (our, formal/informal but when using ‘kita’, the person being spoken is included)
- Kursi kita – our chair
- Komputer kita – our computer
9. Mereka (their, formal/informal)
- Jadwal mereka – their schedule
- Gelas mereka – their glass
10. Dia, ia, -nya (her/his, its, formal/informal)
The possession pronoun for dia or ia usually used suffix –nya instead of using the word ‘dia’. Suffix –nya is also used for both animate and inanimate nouns.
- Dimana rumahnya? – Where is his house?
- Bukunya terjatuh – he dropped his book
- Bukunya sobek – the book is ripped
- Mobilnya berwarna hijau – her car is green
Indonesian Possessive pronouns part 2
In most languages, there are possessive pronouns using ‘mine’ words. In Bahasa Indonesia, there are also some words indicating possessive pronouns which are ‘punya’ and ‘milik’. Also learn Indonesian verb to have which also explain possession.
- Buku ini punyaku – the book is mine
- Buku itu milikmu – the book is yours
Indonesian Possessive pronouns in plural form
Plural in Bahasa Indonesia is mostly found in repetitive words. When it indicates possession, the possessive pronoun is used after the second word. Also learn about Indonesian Plural Nouns.
- Buku-bukuku – my books
- Baju-bajumu – your clothes
- Sepatu-sepatu kami – our shoes
Those are brief explanations of possessive pronouns in Bahasa Indonesia. The implementation of possessive pronouns is indeed easier in written language but when in conversation, you can always ask the people to stop and repeat what they are saying. So, you can understand them better. Good luck. Also learn Indonesian Reading practice.