5 Indonesian Sentence Structures with Examples

A full sentence could be formed by independent words, phrases, or clauses. However, the location of these components plays a vital role in eligibility of a sentence. Therefore, there are several rules in language that could help a sentence to be understood by the reader. In English, there are several items that are considered as components of sentences.

They are: a subject; a verb; an object; and a compliment although to form a grammatically correct sentence, you only required to put a subject and a verb at least. These items could be in the form of words, phrases, or clauses. There are Indonesian sentence components which possibly different from English. Here is the article that discuss the Indonesian sentences components and how to form them.

Sentence Components in Indonesian

As a developing language, Indonesian has its own pattern to form a correct sentence. In written form, the pattern is a crucial factor whether the sentence is eligible or not. Similar to English, Indonesian also has several components which forms a sentence. They are Indonesian sentence structures:

1. Subjek (Subject)

Subjek is an equivalent to subjects in English. This could be functioned as the actor of the action. Subjek commonly appear in the form of nomina (a single word), frasa (a phrase), or klausa (a clause) which denotes a noun or a pronoun. it could be used to answer the question what or who e.g.:

  • Ayah sedang membersihkan gudang. (Dad is cleaning the storeroom.)
  • Sebuah bus AKDP menunggu penumpang. (An AKDP bus is waiting for passengers.)
  • Coklat yang dibeli kemarin sudah dimakan habis. (The chocolate that is bought yesterday has been eaten.)

2. Predikat (Predicate)

Predikat is an equivalent to English verbs. It could be in the form of a word, a phrase. It could be used to answer the question how or why. For example:

  • Ayah sakit (Dad is sick) in english this sentence need to be. In indonesian, it does not
  • Diana tidak keluar kamar seharian. (Diana has not coming out from her bed room all day.)

3. Objek (Object)

Objek is an object in English. When the predikat (verb) is intransitive, then this one is not required and when the predikat is transitive, then objek is required. Similar to subjek, objek could be in a form of nomina, frasa, or klausa. i.e.:

  • Ayah sakit. (as sakit is predikat intransitif, the object is not required)
  • Franky menendang (Franky kicks the ball.)
  • Kucing itu memakan (The cat eats the fish.)

Objek could be switched into subject in a passive sentence.

4. Keterangan (Explanation)

Keterangan, Indonesian adverbs or adjectives in English, inform further information regarding the subjek or the predikat in a sentence. The use of this component preceded by a linking word or konjungsi. Keterangan could explain the place, the time, the condition or even the tool of which the sentence happen. i.e.:

  • Ani pergi ke pasar dengan sepeda. (Ani goes to market by bicycle.)
  • Sepeda is keterangan, dengan is konjungsi.
  • Ria meninggalkan tasnya di kelas. (Ria has left her bag in the class.)
  • Kelas is keterangan, di is konjungsi not that Indonesian prefix table.

5. Pelengkap (Complement)

Pelengkap gives further explanation of a sentence. Unlike keterangan, pelengkap does not need to be preceded by konjungsi. E.g.:

  • Julia memberikan Anna kado sebuah boneka. (Julia gives Anna a doll as a gift.)
  • Semua peraturan di indonesia berdasarkan UUD 1945. (All the regulations in Indonesia are based on UUD 1945.)

Sentence types in Indonesian

Here are more Indonesian sentence structures:

Based on the directness

1. Kalimat langsung (Active Voice)

Kalimat langsung is similar with direct speech in English. It consists an utterance directly uttered by the speaker. It usually is marked by a quotation mark. For example:

  • “Riana akan pulang nanti sore,” Desti memberi kabar
  • “Riana is coming home this afternoon.” Desti announced.
  • Andriana berkata, “Aku mungkin tidak akan pulang malam ini. Besok aku beri kabar lagi.”
  • Andriana said “I won’t be home tonight. I’ll tell you later.”

2. Kalimat tidak langsung (Passive Voice)

Kalimat tidak langsung is the opposite of kalimat langsung. In this sentence, the speaker of the utterance has no role on the conversation. In other words, the information within the utterance is being spoken by another person without quoting the exact same sentence.

  • Aku dengar dari Desti bahwa Riana akan pulang nanti sore.
  • I heard from Desti that Riana will be home tonight.

Based on the grammatical structure

1. Kalimat tunggal (Simple Sentence) 

Kalimat tunggal is a simple sentence in English. Therefore, it only consists of a simple structure. There are several structures in Indonesian which is considered as kalimat tunggal. They are:

Sentence structure Examples Meaning
Subjek (S) + Predikat (P) 1.       Pendemo berorasi.

2.       Pemilik vila itu sudah tua.

3.       Harga sofa itu dua juta rupiah.

1.       The representative of the strike is giving a speech.

2.       The owner of the villa is already old.

3.       The price of the sofa is two million rupiahs.

S + P + keterangan (K) Ayu menari dengan gemulai. Ayu dances supplely
S + P + Pelengkap (Pel) Mukanya bersemu merah. She is blushing.
S + P + Objek (O) Ayah membeli roti. Dad buys a loaf of bread.
S + P + O + K Rasya menikahi gadis itu di Bali. Rasya marries the girl in Bali.
S + P + O + Pel Ayah membelikan aku sebuah bunga. Dad buys me a bucket of flower.

There are two types of kalimat tunggal. The first one is Kalimat Nomina and the second one is Kalimat Verbal. Kalimat nomina employs a noun as the predikat and Kalimat verbal employs verb as predikat. For example:

  • Kalimat Nomina: Tentara itu tewas di medan perang
  • Kalimat Verbal: Siska makan sepotong kue.

2. Kalimat majemuk (Compound Sentence)

Kalimat majemuk is a compound and complex sentence in English. It consists of at least two kalimat tunggal. There are three types of kalimat majemuk. They are: Kalimat majemuk setara, kalimat majemuk bertingkat, kalimat majemuk campuran.

3. Kalimat majemuk setara (Equivalent Compound Sentence)

Kalimat majemuk setara is formed by at least two kalimat tunggal which have the same level. it is used by separating both sentences with konjungsi. Below is the list of konjungsi in Indonesian and the equivalent in English.

Konjungsi English Equivalent Function
dan, serta and to add another similar sentence.
tetapi, sedangkan, melainkan, namun but to give a contradiction
atau or to give a choice
bahkan even though, although to emphasize

4. Kalimat majemuk bertingkat (Compound Complex Sentence)

Kalimat majemuk bertingkat is formed by at least two kalimat tunggal which have different level. Quite the opposite of kalimat majemuk setara. It is also separated by konjungsi. Below is the list of the konjungsi (conjunction) in Indonesian.

Konjungsi English Equivalent Function
ketika, saat, sejak at, while to add a time
sebab, karena, oleh sebab itu because to add a cause effect
jika, asalkan, apabila if, provided to add a requirement
meskipun, walaupun even though, although to give contradiction
agar, supaya, untuk for, in order to to give a goal
bagai, laksana, seperti, ibarat like to give a comparison
kecuali, selain except to add a restriction
dengan + noun with, by to add a media

5. Kalimat majemuk campuran (Complex Sentence) 

Kalimat majemuk campuran is a combination of the two sentence types above. Therefore, it consists of at least three kalimat tunggal.

This are the introduction on Indonesian sentence components. You can actually combine all the components randomly and could form a correct sentence in Indonesian. Keep practicing and eventually you will be fluent in Indonesian and Indonesian sentence structures.