Indonesian Suffix -Kan (Formula and Example)

Good day! Have you read about Indonesian prefixes table and Indonesian infixes? They are an important part of Indonesian grammar structure. Today, we are focusing on suffixes, particularly the suffix “-kan”. Sometimes a suffix has more than one usage in Indonesian, just like the suffix “-kan”, but basically the formula is the same, you just add “-kan” to the root word you want to use.

The first function of the Indonesian suffix -kan is causative, making or causing something to happen. Usually, it is used as imperatives, instructions, or commands. You’ll encounter these words often in recipes or manuals.

  • examples: campurkan {campur+kan} = to mix or combine
    Pertama, campurkan tepung dan gula bersama (First, combine flour and sugar together)
  • ingatkan {ingat+kan} = to remind
    Ingatkan saya untuk membawa payung sebelum berangkat (Remind me to bring an umbrella before leaving)
  • matikan {mati+kan} = to turn off; to extinguish
    Jangan lupa matikan lampu jika tidak digunakan (Don’t forget to turn off the lights if not used)
  • belikan {beli+kan} = to buy or purchase something
    Tolong belikan saya obat untuk sakit kepala (Please buy me medicine for my headache)
  • bawakan {bawa+kan} = to bring
    Bawakan panggangan dan kipas untuk acara nanti malam (Bring a griller and fan for tonight’s event)
  • ambilkan {ambil+kan} = to take something
    Tolong ambilkan sapu dari halaman depan (Please take the broom from the front yard)

More Examples Indonesian Suffix -Kan

Here are more Indonesian Suffix -Kan examples

Ia membersihkan kamarnya.
Polisi membebaskan Jimmy.
Dia menyelamatkan anaknya.
She cleaned her room.
The police freed Jimmy.
She saved her child.
(i.e. she caused it to be bersih: clean)
(i.e. they caused him to be bebas: free)
(i.e. she caused it to be selamat: safe)

Sometimes, the suffix is also used to describe feelings.

Kabar itu mengherankan.
Film ini membosankan.
Sikapnya mengecewakan.
That news was surprising.
This film is boring.
His attitude is disappointing.
[i.e. it causes one to be heran: surprised]
[i.e. it causes one to be bosan: bored]
[i.e. it causes one to be kecewa: disappointed]

Other times, the suffix is not used as a causative suffix, it actually does not have a particular function, but the root word would be odd if it did not have the suffix “-kan” added to it. It is often used in combination with the prefix “me-“.

Examples of Indonesian Suffix Kan

  • Me + mikir + kan = memikirkan (think about)
    Kami memikirkan hal itu (We think about the matter)
  • Mem + bicara + kan = membicarakan (talk about)
    Mereka membicarakan film itu (They talk about that movie)
  • Men + kerja + kan = mengerjakan (do)
    Teresa mengerjakan PR-nya (Teresa does her homework)
  • Men + kembali + kan = mengembalikan (return)
    Dia mengembalikan payung saya (He returned my umbrella)
  • Mem + bangun + kan = membangunkan (wake)
    Ibu membangunkan anaknya (Mom wakes her child)
  • Meng + henti  + kan = menghentikan (stop)
    Saya menghentikan mobil itu (I stopped the car)

For further reading, check out: