Indonesian Suffix -Nya – Formula – Examples

Let’s learn more about Indonesian grammar!

You might have read about Indonesian prefixes and infixes, now let’s learn about suffixes. Suffixes are a set of letters you add to the end of a root word. The suffix we’ll focus on today is “-nya” This suffix has some different uses in Indonesian language and we’ll go through them one by one.

Indonesian Suffix “-Nya”

But for each usage, the formula remains the same, it’s just the basic Indonesian root word + “nya” in the end.

The first use of the suffix is as a possessive pronoun, or a pronoun which shows a possessive of something or someone. It shows that an object belongs to someone.

Examples of Indonesian Suffix -Nya

Formula: Root Word (Noun) + Nya

  • Suami + nya = suaminya (her husband)
    Ia memasak untuk suaminya yang pulang kerja (She cooks for her husband who is going home from work)
  • Rumah + nya = rumahnya (his/her house)
    Taman itu tidak jauh dari rumahnya (The garden is not far from his/her house)
  • Sekolah + nya = sekolahnya (his/her school)
    Ia mendapat ranking satu di sekolahnya (S/he gets the first rank in his/her school)
  • Next, the suffix “-nya” can also be used as an object pronoun. So, it is used in a sentence when you already know the object you are referring to, to make the sentence simpler or shorter. It is attached to a verb, like in the example below.

More Examples Indonesian Suffix -Nya

Formula: Root Word (Verb) + Nya

  • Menunggu + nya = menunggunya (waiting for him/her)
    Kami terus menunggunya sampai tengah malam (We keep waiting for him/her until midnight)
  • Mengambil + nya = mengambilnya (take it)
    Kue itu masih utuh ketika saya mengambilnya (The cake is still whole when I take it)

More Examples Indonesian Suffix -Nya 

Next, the suffix “nya-“ can also be used as a determiner, which means the suffix is put after a noun and translated as the. This happens in a sentence when the noun has not been mentioned before, but is understood because of the context of the sentence.

Formula:  Root Word + Nya = Determiner

To make it clearer, here are some examples:

  • Nasi + nya = nasinya (the rice)
    Kalau mau makan, nasinya ada di dapur
    Meaning: If you want to eat, the rice is in the kitchen
  • Jalan + nya = jalannya (the way)
  • Saya mau ke lobi, tetapi tidak tahu jalannya
    I want to go to the lobby, but I don’t know the way

(Learn more about Indonesian sentence structures here) 

Lastly, another use of the suffix “nya-“ is as indefinite numbers. Examples:

  • Semua + nya = semuanya (all of them)
    Ia memanggil semuanya untuk berkumpul (He calls all of them to gather)
  • Seluruh + nya = seluruhnya (all of it)
    Gedung itu terbakar seluruhnya (The whole building was burned)
  • Setengah + nya = setengahnya (half of it)
    Kalau kau terlalu kenyang, aku bisa memakan setengahnya (If you are too full, I can eat half of it)
  • Seperempat + nya = seperempatnya (a quarter of it)
    Ia menabung gaji seperempatnya untuk liburan (He saves a quarter of his salary for vacation)

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