Enseignement de l'indonésien/Grammaire/Tenses

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^ Indonesian ^ |  << Lesson 3: Pronouns  | Lesson 4: Simple Sentences | Lesson 5: Numbers >>

Tenses[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

Indonesian grammar is pretty much like English. Generally, it begins with subject, followed by verb (or called a predicate) and then object.

It's a good news that Indonesian doesn't have any tenses. Indicating past or future tenses requires putting in some words or time signals, which is very simple.

Contoh (Example):

  • Saya makan nasi (= I eat rice)
  • Saya telah makan nasi (= I ate or have eaten rice)
  • Saya sudah makan nasi (= I ate or have eaten rice)
  • Saya akan makan nasi (= I will eat rice)
  • Saya sedang makan nasi (= I am eating rice)
  • Saya makan nasi kemarin (= I ate rice yesterday)

As you noticed in the examples above, the word "telah" or "sudah" indicate completed actions, the word "akan" indicate future actions, and the word "sedang" indicate actions in progress. The main word itself (i.e. "makan" = to eat) is left unchanged.

Note also that Indonesian has no notions of imperfect tense. To make an imperfect notion, we use duration words, such as "selama" (literally means during or as long as):

Contoh (Example):

  • Saya sudah belajar Indonesia selama dua tahun. (= I have studied Indonesian for two years)
  • Selama ini, saya belajar dengan baik. (= Until now, I've studied well)
  • Selama dua tahun ini, saya belajar dengan baik. (= For the last two years, I've studied well)

Don't worry about these "tenses" yet. We'll study it in greater detail later.

Adding Emphasis[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

The Indonesian language is very expressive. You can scramble up the sentence structure but still means the same thing. It is almost like Latin or Japanese, just without the cases and the sentence particles. Usually, when non-subject is put in the front, the phrase at the beginning of the sentence is the emphasis of the sentence. This is broadly used in spoken Indonesian.

Contoh (Example):

  • Saya sedang makan nasi (= I am eating rice, neutral emphasis)
  • Sedang makan nasi saya (= emphasis on the progress of eating rice)
  • Makan nasi sedang saya lakukan (= emphasis on eating rice, "Eating rice (is what) I am doing (now)")
  • Nasi sedang saya makan (= emphasis on rice)

Note also that these emphases can occur in any "tense" using the same pattern.

Don't be intimidated on this structure swapping at the beginning. You can always form your simple sentence as: Subject + Verb + Object.

^ Indonesian ^ |  << Lesson 3: Pronouns  | Lesson 4: Simple Sentences | Lesson 5: Numbers >>

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