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^ Indonesian ^ | << Lesson 5: Numbers | Lesson 6: Particles | Lesson 7: Introducing Yourself >>

Di (In/on/at [place])

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To indicate a place, we use the particle di. It can mean in, on, or at.

Contoh (Examples):

  • Bukuku ada di meja.
  • My book is (in/on/at) [the] table.
  • Mobilmu ada di garasi.
  • Your car is (in/on/at) [the] garage.

Note the word "ada", which means "to exist". It is placed right before the di particle to indicate existence.

Note also that the particle di doesn't convey any further detail on how the object is being placed, whether it's in front, inside, etc. To put additional detail, we put a location word after the particle di.

Contoh (Examples):

  • Bukuku ada di atas meja.
  • My book is on [the] table.
  • Mobilmu ada di dalam garasi.
  • Your car is in [the] garage.

The word "atas" means "top" or "above" and "dalam" means "inside". Below is the list of location words you may use:

  • Atas = top/above
  • Bawah = under/below
  • Dalam = inside
  • Luar = outside
  • Depan = front
  • Belakang = behind/back
  • Sebelah/Samping = beside
  • Sebelah kiri = left side
  • Sebelah kanan = right side

In Indonesian, to change the position is quite easy. Like Bukuku ada di atas meja, if you want to change it becomes beside or behind, you just need to change them into Bukuku ada di sebelah/samping meja and Bukuku ada di belakang meja.

Be careful to differentiate between di as prefix (awalan) and di as showing the place (kata depan). Most Indonesian natives forget about this and mistakes are common. If the word di is followed by a verb, it is a prefix.


  • Dia di luar : he is outside.
  • Dia dipukul : he was beaten -- pukul = beat

Indonesian also commonly (and mistakenly) use di with time, for example "di waktu sedih" (during sad times). Pada is the correct proposition for time. Hence, it should be "pada waktu sedih".

Pada (at [person])

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Although in spoken Indonesian it is acceptable to use di to indicate the existence of a noun at someone, this is unusual. For example, it is not correct to say: "Bukumu ada di Budi" to mean "Your book is at Budi". Rather, you should use the particle pada:

  • Bukumu ada pada Budi
  • Your book is at Budi.

This sounds awkward to translate literally. Usually in English, people would say "Budi has your book".

This preposition is also used for time, for example Pada pukul enam pagi. (At 6 am)

Ke (to [a place])

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The particle ke is to indicate the notion of to a place. It is often coupled with the word "pergi", which means to go.

Contoh (Example):

  • Ibu pergi ke pasar.
  • Mother goes to [the] market.
  • Ayah pergi ke kantor.
  • Father goes to [the] office.
  • Aku pergi ke sekolah.
  • I go to [the] school.
  • Dia pergi ke rumahmu.
  • He/she/it goes to your house.

In spoken Indonesian, people often omit pergi when the context is clear. So, you'll often hear Ibu ke pasar to mean Mother [goes] to [the] market.

Kepada (to [a person])

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Some verbs in English like "to send", "to give" and so on need the particle "to", followed by a person. For example: "I give the book to you". In Indonesian, for this notion of to, you cannot use the particle ke. Rather, you'll use the particle kepada.

Contoh (Example):

  • Aku memberikan buku ini kepadamu.
  • I give this book to you.
  • Dia mengirimkan surat ini kepadaku.
  • He/she sends this letter to me.

Memberikan = to give
Mengirimkan = to send
Surat = letter

Certainly, in spoken Indonesian, people may violate this rule and use ke instead of the proper kepada.

Dari (From)

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The particle dari is almost synonymous with from in English. It is to indicate the origin of something.

Contoh (Example):

  • Aku datang dari rumah.
  • I come from [the] house.
  • Dia datang dari Amerika.
  • He/she comes from [the] US.

Not only that dari explains the place origin, but also explains the origin of things. For example:

  • Cincin ini terbuat dari emas
  • This ring is made of gold.

Cincin = ring
Terbuat = is made
Emas = gold

Untuk (For)

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The particle untuk is almost synonymous with for. For example:

  • Buku ini untukmu : This book is for you.
  • Pensil ini untuknya : This pencil is for him/her/it.

It is also used to explain the usage of a thing:

  • Pensil ini untuk menulis : This pencil is for writing [things].

(menulis = write)

^ Indonesian ^ | << Lesson 5: Numbers | Lesson 6: Particles | Lesson 7: Introducing Yourself >>


Adjectives Adverbs Gender Negation Prepositions Pronouns Sentences Tenses Verbs

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