What Does “Ibuku” Mean in Indonesian? Does It Mean “Ibu+ku” is “My Mother”?

Halo! Welcome back to Mastering Bahasa! Today we will talk about pronoun in Indonesian, but first, let’s have a warm-up with…POP QUIZ!

The question is: What does “Ibuku” mean in Indonesian?

Can you answer it? If you are still confused, that’s okay, though! Because we’re going to break it down together. Here we go!

In this post, we will talk specifically about pronoun that acts as Possesive Adjective or Determiner. But before we step in, have you read our previous post about 5 types of Indonesian pronouns? Make sure you give it check to help you understand the basic of what we are going to talk after this.

For short, there are 5 types of pronouns in Indonesian, which are: 1) Subject Pronoun, 2) Object Pronoun, 3) Possessive Adjective or Determiner, 4) Possessive Pronoun, and the last, 5) Reflexive Pronoun. Each type has a different context in sentences but today’s menu is all about possessive adjective type or in Indonesian called “ajektiva kepemilikan.”

Now back to the question, what does “Ibuku” mean? What we know for sure it is a combination of “Ibu” + “Aku”. “Ibu” means Mother and “Aku” means I, me, or my.

But “Aku” in here acts as a determiner for the first person singular that we put in the back of the word, means “milik aku”  but cut its forms into, “-ku”. For short, it is “My” in English but in Indonesian, we combine and put it in the back of the word.

So, yes. You got it right. “Ibuku” (“ibu” + “-ku”) means “my mother”. It is easy, right? The same way goes to the second person singular (“-mu”, from “milik kamu” or “your”), and the third person singular male and female (“-nya” from “milik dia/miliknya” or “his” and “her”)

For examples:

  • I like your book! = Aku menyukai bukumu!
  • I borrow his book = Aku meminjam buku miliknya or Aku meminjam buku milik dia or Aku meminjam bukunya (laki-laki)
  • I buy her book = Aku meminjam buku miliknya or Aku meminjam buku milik dia or Aku meminjam bukunya (perempuan) 

For plural, we don’t combine the word like “-ku” or “-mu” or “-nya”. We just simply put it in the back of the word. For the first person plural, we use “milik kami” or “kami” for “our”. Look at the example:

“You buy our book” = Kamu membeli buku kami or Kamu membeli buku milik kami.

The same thing goes for the second and third person plural. As the second third plural, we use “milik kalian” or “kalian” for “your”:

 I buy your book = Aku membeli buku kalian or Aku membeli buku milik kalian.

For the third person plural, we use “milik mereka” or “mereka” for “their”:

He buy their book = Dia membeli buku mereka or Dia membeli buku milik mereka.

 That’s all you need to know for now. But if you want to dig deeper, we recommend you to read these following articles: