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Indonesian Suffix –kah (Formula, Meaning, and Examples)

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If you are learning Indonesian for quite some time, you should familiar with the use of prefix, suffix, and infix. Adding affixes is a way to form Indonesian words. There are many forms of affixes and one of the common forms is Indonesian Suffix –kah.

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The Indonesian Suffix –kah is also known as particle which functions to emphasize certain statement. In Bahasa Indonesia, there are four types of particle which also serve as suffix which are –kah,-pun, -tah, and –lah. Each of the particles has different function but in this article we are going to focus on the use of suffix –kah. In general the use of suffix –kah is divided into three categories based on the functions.

Also learn: Indonesian suffix –lah.

To change declarative statement into interrogative

Declarative statement is a type of sentence to tell information which does not need to be answered. This type of statement can be both active and passive sentence depends on the verbs. The addition of suffix –kah to declarative statement will change it into interrogative statement. The suffix –kah is written after the subject and a question mark is also added in the end of the sentence. Take a look at example below. Also learn more about Indonesian to English grammar.

Indonesian Suffix –kah

Declarative statement Interrogative statement
Buku itu yang selama ini dicari Budi.

(That book is the one Budi has been searching all this time.)

Buku itu kah yang selama ini dicari Budi?

(is it the book that Budi has been searching all this time?)

Paman Jo pemilik sebagian besar saham di perusahaan.

(Uncle Jo has the most portion of stock in the company.)

Paman Jo kah pemilik sebagian besar saham di perusahaan?

(Is it Uncle Jo who has the most portion of stock in the company?

Dia satu-satunya yang tidak terluka dari kecelakaan maut itu.

(He is the one who does not get hurt in that deadly accident.)

Dia kah satu-satunya yang tidak terluka dari kecelakaan mau itu?

(Is he the one who does not get hurt in that deadly accident?

Abel menjadi ketua kelas yang baru tahun ini.

(Abel is the new class president this year.)

Abel kah menjadi ketua kelas yang baru tahun ini?

(Is Abel the new class president this year?)

Dinda selama ini menanggung kebutuhan hidup keluarganya.

(Dinda is responsible for her family expense.)

Dinda kah yang selama ini menanggung kebutuhan hidup keluarganya?

(Is Dinda responsible for her family expense?)

That’s the simple explanation about Indonesian Suffix –kah. 

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To make standard interrogative statement

Interrogative statement usually begins with question words such as apa (what), bagaimana (how), siapa (who), mengapa (why), dimana (where), and kapan (when). When suffix –kah is added to those question words, it becomes more polite and standard form of question. Take a look at below example. Also learn more about Indonesian suffixes.

  • Siapakah pemegang saham terbesar? (Who holds the biggest stock?)
  • Dimana rumah Joni sekarang? (Where is Joni’s house?)
  • Apakah kamu yang mengambil buku itu? (Do you take that book?)
  • Siapakah yang bertanggung jawab atas kejadian ini? (Who will be responsible for this accident?)

You may find this type of statement in news, textbook, and other formal environment. Using suffix –kah to change a regular question sentence into a more polite form is very easy. You just need to add the suffix –kah after the question word.

Also learn more about Indonesian suffix –an.  

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To emphasize interrogative statement

Making interrogative or question sentence in bahasa Indonesia is easy. You can just put a question mark on the end of the sentence in written language and change the tone of the sentence when speaking. But if you want to emphasize on the interrogative statement, you can add suffix –kah. Also, the addition of suffix –kah makes interrogative statement sounds more polite. Also learn more about Indonesian prefixes and suffixes.

As interrogative statement with additional suffix –kah is the standard form of the language; it is mostly used in academic, business, and other formal environment. However, you can also use the suffix –kah in everyday conversation if you think you need to speak in a more polite way.

Common interrogative statement Polite interrogative statement
Benar yang kamu katakan?

(Are you telling the truth?)

Benarkah yang kamu katakan?

(Is it true what you are telling?)

Bisa tidur tadi malam?

(Can you sleep last night?)

Bisakah kamu tidur tadi malam?

(Can you sleep last night?)

Kamu akan datang siang atau malam?

(You will arrive at noon or night?

Kamu akan datang siang atau malamkah?

(You will arrive at noon or night?

Bisa kamu tolong saya?

(Can you help me?)

Bisakah kamu menolong saya?

(Can you help me?)

In general, it can be concluded that suffix –kah is used to turn regular question sentence into a more polite form. It is also used to change informative statement into interrogative form.

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Kategori : Grammar