Indonesian/Grammar/Adjectives

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For the western student, adjectives in Indonesian are a little difficult. Many adjectives are really stative verbs - that is, they are verbs that describe the state of things. For example 'merah' (red) looks like an adjective in

 mobil merah itu adalah mobil saya (that red car is my car)

but like a verb in

 mobil itu merah (that car is red) where "merah" is the verb "to be red".

However, the relative pronoun "yang" (which/who) easily disappears from sentences in Indonesian, therefore "merah" is probably also a verb (to be red) in the first sentence too

 mobil (yang) merah itu adalah mobil saya (that car, which IS RED, is my car)

If in doubt it is better to assume that an adjective is really a stative verb rather than a true adjective.

Nouns can be turned into stative verbs by means of the prefix ber-something, which roughly translates the english affix be-something-ed and means having, using or wearing something e.g.

 berkacamata - bespectacled (kacamata = spectacles)
 berhasil - successful (beharvested) (hasil = yield or harvest)