Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs
Notifications
Mark all as read
Q&A

When does "me-" go on verbs?

+6
−0

So I started learning Indonesian through a Duolingo course for 2 weeks now, and I've gotten to the "Me- Verbs" part as I'm writing this question.

I have already learned a few verbs from past lessons such as "makan" ("eat"), "minum" ("drink") and "pesan" (order), but what got me curious is that "memakan", "meminum" and "memesan" exists. They still mean the same word, but I don't get why "me-" is there in the first place.

Question: When does an existing verb use "me-" as a prefix if they can just not use it?

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.
Why should this post be closed?

0 comment threads

1 answer

+1
−0

Verbs with "me-" as a prefix are active verbs. In the definition of active verbs:

Active verb is a term in traditional English grammar for a verb used primarily to indicate an action, process, or sensation as opposed to a state of being.

In sentences I got to in Duolingo, most of them used the "me-" prefix to give a present tense verb. An example I created is:

  • "Saya makan makanan." - "I eat food."
  • "Saya memakan makanan." - "I am eating food."

Using "me-" is a bit complicated, because it requires a spell change on the base verbs just to create a smoother pronunciation for speakers. Depending on the starting letter of the base verb, "me-" would get an additional letter/s and said starting letter will be dropped off of the verb to make the word. Some examples are:

  • "tulis" (write) - "menulis" (to write)
  • "hilang" (lost) - "menghilang" (disappear)
  • "beri" (give) - "memberi" (to give)

As seen in the 2nd example, an adjective can turn into a verb through "me-". There are many forms of these:

  • "panjang" (long) - "memanjang" (to become longer)
  • "besar" (big) - "membesar" (to become bigger)

Even nouns and places can have "me-" to express a new meaning.

  • "cat" (paint) - "mengecat" (to paint)
  • "darat" (ground/land) - "mendarat" (to land)
  • "seberang" (across) - "menyeberang" (to cross)

The numbers one and two can be turned into verbs too:

  • "satu" (one) - "menyatu" (unite)
  • "dua" (two) - "mendua" (split in two)

So basically, the prefix "me-" can create active verbs and verbs from other words.

Sources of research:

Why does this post require moderator attention?
You might want to add some details to your flag.

0 comment threads

Sign up to answer this question »

This community is part of the Codidact network. We have other communities too — take a look!

You can also join us in chat!

Want to advertise this community? Use our templates!

Like what we're doing? Support us! Donate