Indonesian Subject Verb Object – Grammatical Structure

The problem when learning a language is not about memorizing vocabulary or perfect pronunciation, but many people fail in understanding the grammar. That being said that grammar is the bone of a language which makes it understandable. Speaking of Indonesian grammar, one of the most important aspects to learn is sentence structure.

In general, Indonesian sentence structure is similar to English consist of subject, object, and verb. The word order in sentence is also similar to English, so there should be no difficulty in learning it. If in English we know the sentence structure as SVO, in Indonesia we have SPOK. S stands for subject, P for predicate, O for object, and K for keterangan which is optional.

To be able to compose good and understandable sentence, it is important to learn about Indonesian Subject Verb Object.

1. Indonesian Subject

In a sentence, subject or (S) is the doer or person who does certain activity. In sentence, subject is the main element which determines the real meaning of the sentence. A word can be considered as subject if it indicates what the speakers (spoke person or writer) are saying. Subject in a sentence has some characteristic as the following:

  • Subject is placed accordingly before verbs or predicate.
  • The answer of who or what.
  • It is usually noun or noun phrase
  • Usually followed with particle ‘ini’ or ‘itu’
  • If the subject is adjective, it is usually followed with particle ‘si’, ‘sang’, or ‘yang’.
  • Subject is never followed with prepositions.
  • Subject cannot be paired with the word ‘tidak’ or not, but it can be paired with ‘bukan’.

There are some functions of subject in Indonesian sentence as the following:

  • To compose basic sentence, singular and compound sentence.
  • Strengthen the meaning of a sentence
  • Becomes the main point of the sentence

After learning the characteristics and functions of subject, here are some examples of subject in sentence. Also learn more about Indonesian sentence starter.

  • Diah mahasiswa pandai. (Diah is a smart college student.) – the subject is noun
  • Yang membuang sampah sembarangan akan diberi denda. (Those who throw garbage in any place will receive penalty.) – The subject is sentence clause.
  • Kamu belum makan. (You have not eaten yet.) – the subject is pronoun

Another easy way to differentiate subject in a sentence is to ask question about it. Take a look at below example:

  1. Sasa membeli baju baru. (Sasa bought new clothes.)

Q: Who bought new clothes? A: Sasa (Then, Sasa is the subject.)

  1. Buku itu dibeli bibi. (That book is bought by aunt.)

Q: What is aunt bought? A: book. (Then, book is the subject.)

This indicates that words followed with particles ‘ini’, ‘itu’ and ‘yang’ also serve as the barrier between subject and verb. i.e. Anak itu menghabiskan makan siangku. (That boy eats my lunch.) Also learn more about Indonesian language particles

2. Indonesian Verb

Indonesian verb or also called predikat is a sentence element which explains the activity of the subject. Verbs in bahasa Indonesia usually consists of working words or ‘kata kerja’. The verb or ‘kata kerja’ may be in root words or combination of root words with affixes. In general, the main function of verb is to tell what the subject is trying to do or say. Also learn more about Indonesian Me-Kan verb.

In basic sentence, predicate or verb is placed after the subject but it basically can be placed in any category of the phrase. In Bahasa Indonesia, the verb for predicate mostly is verb, verb phrase, or adjective phrase. Take a look at below example:

  • Ayahku adalah seorang guru. (My father is a teacher.)
  • Dina sedang tidur di kamar. (Dina is sleeping in her room.)
  • Wajahnya itu sangat cantik. (Her face is very pretty.)

Indonesian verb does not necessarily to be verb, but it can be in the form of modals such as ‘ingin’, ‘bisa’, and so on and also in the form of ‘adalah’ and ‘ialah’. Let’s learn more about Indonesian subject verb object! 

3. Indonesian Object

Indonesian object does not necessarily to be included in a sentence. If the verb is intransitive, thus there is no need to add object. However, object is something which receives treatment from the subject. Object can be found in the form of noun and adjective.

Also, object can be turned into subject when the sentence is in passive form. Take a look at below example: Also learn more about Indonesian intransitive verb.

  • Petani menanam (Farmer plants corn).
  • Ibu membeli sepatu (Mom buys new shoes.)

Learning Indonesian sentence structure is not that difficult. This is because the Indonesian subject verb object structure is not that difference from English.

You just have to pay more attention to the word and the use of affixes because it may change the meaning of the sentence. Also learn more about differences between Indonesian and English Grammar.