Eps-8: Singular to Plural Noun in Bahasa Indonesia

Just like English, bahasa Indonesia also has singular and plural noun and the singular can be converted into plural noun. Thing that makes it different is just the way the singular noun is treated to form plural noun. If in English you need to add suffix -s to countable singular noun to make it plural, in bahasa Indonesia you just need to repeat the noun with the dash (-). Thing that makes this lesson easier is the fact that bahasa Indonesia does not recognize countable and uncountable nouns.

These are some examples of singular to plural with how the plural is used in sentence.
  1. Buku buku-buku buku-buku tersebut milik saya (These/those books are mine)
  2. Semua ini adalah mobil-mobil saya (All these cars are mine)
  3. Apakah semua meja-meja ini milik Anda? (Are all these tables yours?)
Is only that simple? Yes! only that simple. However, there is a special case that you need to know.

Special Case

In some cases, you will find singular noun which is converted into plural out of the rule as explained above. This one is common case. Let’s recognize it as unwritten grammar. However, this exists.

Plural noun, let’s say “mobil-mobil”, can be both cars (which is more than one car) and a toy which looks like a car. In some cases, this kind of phenomenon is signed by ending -an, such as “mobil-mobilan” to make certain that what the speaker intends to say is not “cars” but “a toy that looks like a car”. Another example, “rumah-rumah” which can be translated into “houses” (more than one house) and a toy that looks like a house. To emphasize that what you intend to say is a toy that looks like a house instead of the real houses, just add suffix or ending -an so it becomes “rumah-rumahan”.

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