Appendix:Indonesian affixes

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Words with prefixes and suffixes can be found by looking up their roots. If you do not know the root of a word, you can find it by choosing its prefix on the list below and looking for it there.



Variations: be- (if the root word starts with letter "r").
Forms a verb that often means "being something, having something, having a certain attribute" or "indicating a state of being or condition". For example the root word 'nilai' have a general meaning of 'value', thus the verb bernilai have a meaning of verb 'to have a value' or 'valuable' adjective. The adjective 'bahaya' means 'danger', 'berbahaya' means 'to be dangerous', having a dangerous value.

  • Tumbuhan itu berbahaya untuk dimakan - That plant is dangerous to eat
  • Joko adalah lelaki yang beragama - Joko is a religious (having a religion) man


Forms a verb indicating the passive voice where the main focus of the sentence is on the action or the object of the action. Almost always translated into -ed suffix in English - often corresponds to to be + verb + -ed, but not necessarily. 'larang' (prohibit), 'dilarang' (prohibited).

  • Dia ditunjuk menjadi kepala sekolah setelah rapat para guru - He is appointed to be principal after teachers' meeting



Variations: men-, mem-, meng-, meny- (depend on the first letter of the root word):

  1. men-: c (caci - mencaci), d (daki - mendaki), j (jadi - menjadi), t (tepi - menepi, first letter disappears)
  2. mem-: b (beri - memberi), f, p (punya - mempunyai, sometimes the first letter disappears), v (validasi, memvalidasi)
  3. meny-: s (sapu - menyapu, first letter disappears)
  4. meng-: a, e, g, h, i, k, o, u
  5. me-: l, m, n, r, w


Variations: pen-, pem-, peng-, peny- (depend on the first letter of the root word):

  1. pen-: c (cari - pencari), d (daki - pendaki), j (jilat - penjilat), t (tikung - penikung, first letter disappears)
  2. pem-: b (beri - pemberi), f, p (pisah - pemisah, sometimes the first letter disappears), v
  3. peny-: s (sapu - penyapu, first letter disappears)
  4. peng-: a, e, g, h, i, k, o, u
  5. pe-: l, m, n, r, w


It can forms words that indicate a singularity, and the words sometimes are used for measurement (measure words). For example, 'buah' (fruit) becomes 'sebuah' (a fruit, one fruit) which is used for expressing oneness: 'sebuah kursi' (one chair). It's also used to express similarity or being at the same situation as the attached word.


Variations: te- (if the root word starts with letter "r")

  • + adjective: forms a superlative
  • + non-adjective: forms a passive perfect verb or an accidental and unplanned occurrence.
















Variations: pem-an, pen-an, peng-an; penge-an, peny-an (depend on the first letter of the root word)


Forms a noun that often refers to a circumstance referred to by the root word or the result of the action of the verb in the sentence. May also indicate a place or location.

See also[edit]