Verbs Me-i Indonesian – Formula – Examples

We have talked about Indonesian suffixes for numbers of time and there are loads of articles about it in Masteringbahasa. Bahasa Indonesia does not only use prefix and suffix in single use but also in combination. The combination of prefix and suffix can be quite confusing because it changes not only the meaning but also the class of word. Noun and adjective can turn into verb when suffix and prefix is added. Also learn me-kan verb Indonesia.

Prefix me- in Bahasa Indonesia has the main function to turn root words into verb. When combined with suffix –i, it creates active transitive verb. The writing rule of prefix verbs me-i Indonesian follows the rule of Indonesian me- prefix.

Function of affix me-i

The general function of affix me-i is to create active intransitive verbs into active transitive verb. This means that transitive verb (the me-i form) will usually be followed by object.

  1. Lila sedang menangis. (Lila is crying.)
  2. Lila sedang menangisi kematian kucingnya. (Lila is crying over her dying cat.)

The word menangis in sentence (a) is intransitive verb which does not need an object, while menangisi in sentence (b) is transitive verb which require object.

Besides the example above, there are some other functions of me-i affixation as the following. Also learn more about Indonesian suffix -an.

To make or cause something

Affixation me-i can mean to make or cause something when paired with adjectives. The meaning of the words strongly depends on the root word. The general formula remains the same with other affixes, me+ adj + i.

Example of verbs me-i Indonesian:

Root word Me+root word+ i Verb Meaning
Terang me+terang+i Menerangi to light
Basah Me+basah+i Membasahi To wet
Warna Me+warna+i Mewarnai To color

Sentence example:

  • Bulan menerangi bumi pada malam hari. (The moon lights up the earth on the night.)
  • Hujan membasahi bumi. (The rain wets the earth.)
  • Ia sedang mewarnai buku. (She is coloring the book)

To give or apply

When paired with noun, affix me-i creates verb with to give or apply meaning. The meaning of the word strongly depends on the object of the sentence. Also, not all nouns can be paired with affix me-i, only noun which states elements or materials. learn more about Indonesian prefixes and suffixes.

Example of verbs me-i Indonesian:

Root words Me+noun+i Verb Meaning
Garam (salt) Me+garam+i Menggarami To give salt
Nama (name) Me+nama+i  Menamai To give name
Bumbu (season) Me+bumbu+i Membumbui To seasoned

Sentence example:

  • Ibu sedang menggarami sayur. (Mom gives salt into soup.)
  • Deni menamai mobilnya si merah. (Deni named his car, the red.)
  • Ibu membumbui ayam dengan garam dan lada. (Mom seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper.

Doing or creating something

Affix me-i can also be paired with certain verb to create doing or creating something. The general pattern is me+verb+I, but it is important to remember that not all verbs can be paired with affix me-i. Learn more about Indonesian to English grammar.


Root words Me+verb+i Verbs Meaning
Tanam Me+tanam+i Menanami To plant
Duduk Me+duduk+i Menduduki To occupy

Sentence example:

  • Mereka menanami halaman rumah dengan sayuran dan tanaman herbal. (They plan the house yard with vegetable and herbs.)
  • Belanda pernah menduduki wilayah di Indonesia. (Netherland had occupied some areas in Indonesia. 

Continuous act

When paired with certain verb, affix me-i may mean create or dong something, but when pair with action verb, it means continuous act.

Root words Me+root+i verbs Meaning
Cubit Me+cubit+i Mencubiti To pinch
Pukul Me+pukul+i Memukuli To punch
Cabut Me+cabut+i Mencabuti To pull out

Sentence example:

  • Ibu mencubiti adik karena tidak menurut. (Mom pinches brother for disobeying.)
  • Polisi memukui pencuri sampai babak belur. (The police punch theft until black and blue.)
  • Ayah mencabuti rumput liar di halaman. (Dad pulls out unwanted grass in the yard.)

To feel something

In the above point, affix me-i when paired with adjective can mean to make or create something. For certain root word, affix me-i can mean to feels something at. The root word should express emotion or feeling.


Root word Me+root word+i Verb Meaning
Suka Me+suka+i Menyukai To fond of
Cinta Me+cinta+i Mencintai To love

Sentence example:

  • Dina menyukai lagu-lagu dari Charlie Puth. (Dina likes songs from Charlie Puth.)
  • Edo mencintai gadis itu. (Edo loves that girl.) 

To show place or direction

When paired with certain verb, affix me-i can also mean to show place or direction. The root words are sometimes associated with direction or places as well.


Root word Me+root+i Verb Meaning
Masuk Me+masuk+i Memasuki To enter
Lewat Me +lewat+i Melewati To pass through

Sentence example:

  • Kita memasuki kawasan bebas rokok. (We are entering free-smoking area.)
  • Hati-hati saat melewati jalan itu. (be careful when passing that street.)

The affix me-i can be used in almost root words such as verb, noun, and adjective. However, the affix me-i cannot be used for words ends with vowel i. For example nyanyi, sepi, santai, and more.