Indonesian Verbs to Have – Formula – Example

The verb to have is widely used both in English and Indonesia. It is an important verb which serves as auxiliary verb and main verb. As auxiliary verb, verb to have indicates past tense or action in the past while as main verb it indicates possession. In Indonesia, the Indonesian Verbs to Have has two meaning which is ‘sudah’ and ‘mempunyai’.

1. ‘Have’ as ‘Sudah’

The first function of have in Bahasa Indonesian is to indicate that an action has done in the past. In English, we use have in past tense, while in Indonesia, we have the same function even though it is not as strict as in English in terms of grammar.

If used in past tense, verb to have is considered as irregular verb as it may change according to the subject and time. Verb to have, which means ‘sudah’, in Indonesia is much simpler than in English because there it does not change no matter what the subject and the time. Learn more about Indonesian verb conjugation.

If used in past tense, verb to have is considered as auxiliary verb in English. In Bahasa Indonesia, the verb ‘sudah’ is also classified as Indonesian auxiliary verb or kata bantu. Take a look at below example to spot the difference between verb to have in English and Indonesia. Also learn about Indonesian auxiliary verb.

Indonesian Verbs to Have Formula and Examples 

English Indonesia
I buy a new book

I have bought a new book

She has bought a new book

Saya membeli sebuah buku baru

Saya sudah membeli sebuah buku baru

Dia sudah membeli buku baru

You meet the new teacher

You have met the new teacher

He had met the new teacher

Kamu bertemu dengan guru baru

Kamu sudah bertemu dengan guru baru

Dia sudah bertemu dengan guru baru

Do you spot the difference?

Yes, in English verb to have as auxiliary verb is changed according to the subject and tenses. In general, verb to have is used in perfect tense to indicate that an action has carried out. As it shows perfect tenses, the main verb is also changed accordingly.

In bahasa Indonesia, verb to have or ‘sudah/telah’ is way simpler than in English. There is no change made for different tenses or subject. The verb sudah can be used in any sentence in the same form and the main verb does not change as well. This is why bahasa Indonesia is an easy language to learn because there is no change made for auxiliary or main verb in different tenses.

However, both verb to have and verb ‘sudah’ have the same purpose to indicate an action in the past. Learn more about Indonesian grammar exercise.

2. ‘Have’ as ‘Mempunyai’

The second meaning of verb to have is to show possession. In bahasa Indonesia, verb to have can be translated as ‘punya/mempunyai’. In this case, the verb to have serves as main verb or kata kerja. As always, in English the verb to have, even though as main verb, is changed according to the subject.

While in Indonesia, any form of have, be it ‘mempunyai’ or ‘sudah’ does not change even though the subject and tenses is changed.

Indonesian Verbs to Have Formula and Examples. Take a look at below examples.

English Indonesia
I have a new smartphone

She has a new smartphone

Saya punya smartphone baru

Dia punya smartphone baru

She has a cute dog

I have a cute dog

Dia mempunyai anjing yang lucu

Saya mempunyai anjing yang lucu

In bahasa Indonesia, the verb or kata kerja does not change due to subject and tenses. However, in bahasa Indonesia, affixes is used to change the meaning of a word. The Indonesian verb ‘punya’ is also widely used with affixes as shown in the example above.

It is important to note that not all affixes can be paired with the verb ‘punya’, but both ‘punya’ and ‘mempunyai’ have the same meaning show possession. Learn more about Indonesian sentence construction.

3. Have in Interrogative Sentence

When making question sentence with verb to have, it serves as auxiliary and main verbs. The general grammatical rules are more or less the same like in making other question sentence.

  • Have you bought the book? (Sudahkah kamu membeli buku?)
  • Has she enrolled in college? (Sudahkah dia mendaftar di perguruan tinggi?)

In question sentence, the word ‘sudah’ cannot be used in without suffix –kah when there is subject in the sentence. But when the sentence, the verb ‘sudah’ can be used in the root form. Learn more about Indonesian question word order.

  • Sudahkah kamu membeli buku? (Have you bought the book?)
  • Sudah membeli buku? (Have you bought the book?)

Meanwhile, the verb to have as possession, in Indonesia, cannot be used directly in question sentence. Question word should be added to asking for possession.

  • Do you have the book? (Apakah kamu punya bukunya?)

As the example above, ‘sudah’ to ask for possession should be followed with question word ‘apakah’ and never appear on its own.