Meaning of Indonesian Prefixes – Formula – Examples – Worksheet

As you know, understand Forming Indonesian Words & Using Indonesian Affixes is really important. You have learned many form of Indonesian Prefixes, as well as Indonesian Prefixes and Suffixes. There, you learn how to form a new word using affixes and also morphology (study of word forming) rule in Bahasa Indonesia. Then, right now let’s move to another part of prefixes, which is about formed meaning.

Before we start, let’s refresh your mind with these following articles.

Indonesian Prefix me-

Here are meaning of Indonesian Prefixes that formed by prefix me-. Take a look of the examples!

  • do the act of (root word)
    – memukul = do the act of ‘pukul’ (hit)
    Andi memukul adiknya (Andi hit his brother)
    – menari = do the act of ‘tari’ (dance)
    Ina menari (Ina is dancing)
    – menyanyi = do the act of ‘nyanyi’ (sing)
    Dina suka menyanyi (Dina loves to sing)
  • do the act with the tool (root word)
    – mengunci = do the act with ‘kunci’ (key)/lock
    Ibu mengunci pintu (Mom locked the door)
    – menggunting = do the act with ‘gunting’ (scissor)/cut
    Andi menggunting kertas (Andi cut the paper)
  • become (root word)
    – melunak= become more soft (things/food/person)
    Simon Cowell sekarang melunak (Simon Cowell is softer nowadays)
    – menghitam = become more black/dark
    Kulit kamu menghitam (Your skin is darkened/tanned)
  • go to
    – melaut = go to the sea
    Ayah sedang melaut sekarang (Dad is going out to the sea)
    – mendarat = go to the ground (landing)
    Pesawat sedang mendarat (The plane is landing)

Indonesian Prefix ber-

Here are meaning of Indonesian Prefixes that formed by prefix ber-.

  • have
    – berusia = have ‘usia’ (age) of … / is or are … years old
    Lili berusia 7 tahun (Lili is 7 years old)
    – berkumis = have moustache
    Doni berkumis tebal (Doni has thick moustache)
  • have (amount)
    – berjuta = millions
    Permen itu berjuta rasanya (That candy has millions taste)
    – beribu = thousand
    Indonesia mempunyai beribu pulau (Indonesia has thousands islands)
  • do the act of (root word)
    – bernyanyi = do the act of ‘sing’ (nyanyi)
    Indah bernyanyi (Indah is singing)
    – berbicara = do the act of ‘bicara’ (speak)
    Lisa berbicara bahasa Spanyol (Lisa speaks Spanish)
  • have … feeling/ feel (root word)
    – bergembira = feel ‘gembira’ (happy)
    Mereka bergembira (They feel happy)
    – bersedih = feel ‘sad’ (sedih)
    Jangan bersedih! (Don’t be sad)

Read also: Indonesian Prefix Ber-

Indonesian Prefix di-

Here are meanings that formed by prefix di-.

  • given action of
    – dipukul (is hit by)
    Andi dipukul adiknya (Andi was hit by his brother)
    – ditusuk (is stabbed by)
    Susi ditusuk orang tak dikenal (Susi is stabbed by a stranger)
  • given action of (tools)
    – digunting = is cut (with ‘gunting’/scissor) by
    Kertas ini digunting Sisi (The paper is cut by Sisis)
    – dipalu = hammered (palu = hammer) 

Indonesian Prefix ter-

Here are meanings that formed by prefix ter-.

  • given action of … by accident/without intention/without plan
    – tertusuk = accidentally stabbed
    Ani tertusuk (Ani is [accidentally] stabbed)
    – tertangkap = caught
    Ikan itu tertangkan (The fish was caught) *no fish intended to be ‘caught’ right
  • superlative
    – terbaik = best
    – tercantik = most beautiful
  • a condition
    – tertulis = written
    Di buku itu tertulis tanggal penerbitannya (Inside that book, the date of publish was written)
    – terbaca = legible

Indonesian Prefix Se-

Here are meanings that formed by prefix se-.

  • in one (rootwords)/have same (rootwords)
    – sekelas = in the same ‘kelas’ (class)
    Andi sekelas dengan Joni (Andi is in the same class with Joni)
    – seibu = has same mother
    Mereka seibu tetapi beda ayah (They have same mother with different father)
  • one
    – segelas = a glass of
    – sebuah = a (even though ‘buah’ means fruit, ‘sebuah’ is still means ‘a’)
    Ia melempar sebuah batu (She threw a rock)
  • as far as
    – selama = as long as
    Dia pergi selama dua jam (He went as long as/for two hours)
    – sepanjang = across
    Sepanjang laut = across the sea 

Indonesian Prefix pe-

Here are meanings that formed by prefix pe-.

  • person that do/perform
    – penyanyi = singer
    – penulis = writer
    – perasa = sensitive person (feeling/sixth sense)
    – pengasuh = caretaker
  • athlete
    – pebasket = basketball player
    – pesepak bola = footballer
    – pebalap = racer

Notes: for athlete the rules of pe- sound changing is a little bit different. For example: pe + tulis = penulis (writer), but for pe + tinju = petinju (boxer). Meanwhile, there is also pe + tinju = peninju. But, ‘peninju’ means ‘person that punch someone’, not a professional/boxer

  • thing that has function for/person that show (rootword)
    penunjuk = pointer/guide
    petunjuk = instructions

Read also Indonesian Prefix Pe-

Now, you have know many meaning of Indonesian Prefixes. Unlike English, the affixes in Bahasa Indonesia are really varied and has very significant rules, beside Indonesian Part of Speech. On the other words, it is more complex. If you master this, you are many steps closer to master Bahasa Indonesia. Here are several useful articles to help you conquer affication.

Good luck and keep practice!