Prefix “Se-“ in Indonesian – Formula – Examples

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As you learn more Indonesian, you will find out that most words in Indonesian sentences don’t exist just as their root words, instead they have a set of letters attached in the beginning (prefix) or ending (suffix) of those words to make them sound more ‘complete’ and usable in sentences. Learn more about Indonesian sentence structures here.

Previously, you might have read about Indonesian prefix “Ber-“. For today, we will focus on one of the prefixes, “se-“. You can find more prefixes in the Indonesian prefix table.

Prefix “Se-“ in Indonesian

“Se-“ prefix is used as substitution for the word “satu” (one). To use this prefix, it’s also very simple, you just add “se-“ to the beginning of the root word.

Example of Prefix “Se-“ in Indonesian

  • Seribu = se + ribu = satu ribu (one thousand)
  • Sekelas = se + kelas = satu kelas (one class)
  • Seragam  = se + ragam = satu ragam (one variety/uniform)

Check out more examples of words built from the Prefix “Se-“ in Indonesian!

Root Word Se + Root Word Meaning Example
gelas segelas A glass of Ia membuat segelas kopi setiap pagi (He makes a glass of coffee every morning)
mobil semobil One car Kami pergi semobil ke pesta itu (We go to the party in one car)
orang seorang One person Ia adalah seorang dokter (He is a doctor)
kota sekota One city Saya dan teman sekamar saya sekota (My roommate and I come from one city)

Prefix “Se-“ in Indonesian

The prefix “se-“ can also be used with number words to form cardinal numbers and fractions.

Se + Root Word Meaning Se + Root Word Meaning
sejuta one million sepuluh ten
seribu one thousand sebelas eleven
setengah half sepertiga one third
seperdelapan one eight seperempat a quarter

Another use is as a measure word.

There are many different measure words in Indonesian, just like in English, so you just need to adjust the usage to the proper objects, like the example below:

Root Word Se + Root Word Meaning
batang sebatang lilin a candle stick
buah sebuah apel an apple
cangkir secangkir teh a cup of tea
ekor seekor kambing a goat
gelas segelas air a glass of water
helai sehelai rambut one piece of hair
ikat seikat bunga a bunch of flowers
kejap sekejap mata in a blink of an eye
lembar selembar kertas one piece of paper
mangkuk semangkuk sup a bowl of soup
orang seorang wanita a woman
pasang sepasang sepatu a pair of shoes
piring sepiring makanan a plate of food
potong sepotong kue a slice of cake
sendok sesendok makan one table spoon
siung sesiung bawang putih a clove of garlic
suap sesuap nasi a mouthful of rice
tangkai setangkai bunga a flower
titik setitik darah a drop of blood

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Good luck! Selamat Belajar Bahasa Indonesia!