4 Types of Verb in Bahasa Indonesia

As discussed in Indonesian grammar resource, Bahasa Indonesia has four types of verb. Three of them are divided into two, and another one has three derivatives. What are they?

Verb Based on its Subject

Based on its subject, Bahasa Indonesia divides verb into active and passive.

Active Verb

When active verb fills the predicate of the sentence, the subject does the predicate. In Indonesian, the verb usually starts with (prefix) “me-” or “ber-”.

Active Verb Contoh Example
Menyapu Andi cleans his room Andi membersihkan ruangan/kamarnya
Mengemudikan Sarah mengemudikan mobil Sarah drives a car
Memasak Jane memasak nasi Jane cooks rice
Berlari Kuda itu berlari dengan sangat cepat The horse runs very fast
Berdandan Santi berdandan sebelum berangkat ke sekolah Santi dresses up before leaving for school

Passive Verb

When passive verb fills the predicate of the sentence, the subject is affected by the predicate. In Indonesian, the verb usually starts with (prefix) “di-” or “ter-”. 

Passive Verb Contoh Example
Terdampar Kami terdampar di pulau terpencil We are stranded in a small island
Terjatuh Andi terjatuh dari sepedanya Andi fell from his bicycle
Disirami Bunga mawar disirami oleh Santi The roses are watered by Santi
Dimakan Pisang dimakan oleh Joni The banana is eaten by Joni

Verb Based on its Object

Based on its object, verb can be divided into intransitive verb and transitive verb.

Intransitive Verb

Intransitive verb is kind of verb which does not need object as sentence has been considered clear enough.

Intransitive VerbContohExample
MakanKami makan udang di restoranWe eat shrimp at the restaurant
MinumSaya tidak pernah meminum minuman bersodaI never drink sparkling drinks

Transitive Verb

Just like in English, transitive verb in Bahasa Indonesia should also be followed by object(s) so that the meaning becomes clear.

Transitive Verb Contoh Example
Membuat Kami membuat sebuah portal belajar daring We make an online learning portal
Menyelesaikan Saya sedang menyelesaikan tugas kuliahku I am finishing my college assignment
Mengarahkan Joni mengarahkan kami ke kelas Joni leads us to classroom
Mengerjakan Pisang dimakan oleh Joni The banana is eaten by Joni
Memangkas Mereka memangkas rumput liar di halaman belakang They mow the lawn in the backyard

Verb Based on its Form

Based on its form, verb in Bahasa Indonesia is divided into basic verb and derivative verb.

Basic Verb

Basic verb simply does not have affix, as the name suggests. Here are some examples in Bahasa Indonesia.

Basic Verb Contoh Example
Makan Kami makan udang di restoran We eat shrimp at the restaurant
Minum Saya tidak pernah meminum minuman bersoda I never drink sparkling drinks

Derivative Verb

Derivative verb refers to a kind of verb which has affix. This kind of verb is divided into 5 categories, they are:

Bebas Afiks Wajib (Mandatory affix free) refers to verb which should have affix or the meaning could change. In other words, to keep it in verb, affix should exist. Some examples of this are:

Mandatory Affix Free Contoh Example
Mendarat (v) - Darat (n) Pesawat yang terbang pagi tadi telah berhasil mendarat Plane flights this morning has successfully landed
Mengering (v) - Kering (n) Daun-daun hijau telah mengering The green leaves have dried up
Melebar (v) - Lebar (adj) Diskusi pagi ini melebar kearah politk This morning discussion widened towards politics

Bebas Afix Manasuka is a basic verb that contains affix, but it still functions as a verb if the affix is not applied. Some examples are membaca (v) which is similar with baca (v), berlari (v) which is similar with lari (v), bekerja (v) which is similar with kerja (v).

Terikat Afiks Wajib (Mandatory affixes) is a verb that should have affix on it. Some examples of this are: berjuang (v) from root word juang, bertemu (v) from root word temu, bersua (v) from root word sua.

Reduplikasi (reduplication) refers to verb which is repeated. for example: swinging, swirling, jumping.

Majemuk (compound) refers to verb consisting two different words that when they are combined, they refer to a new meaning. for example: bertatap muka (v) which means meet face to face. 

Other Classifications

Another form (unclassified) of verb is classified into three, they are:

Benefaktif (Benefactive)

Benefactive verb is a verb that denotes a job or action done for another person or other persons. 

Benefaktif Contoh Example
Menyebrangkan Andi menyebrangkan seorang nenek ke seberang jalan Andi crossed a grandmother across the street
Memandikan Andi memandikan binatang piaraannya Andi bathes his pet

Reflektif (Reflective)

Reflective verb refers to a verb which denotes the action for the speaker himself/herself.

Reflektif Contoh Example
Berdandan Santi berdandan didepan cermin Santi dressed in front of the mirror
Bersembunyi Andi bersembunyi dibalik pintu Andi hid behind the door

Respirok  (Reciprocal)

The reciprocal verb refers to a verb that indicates an action or activity carried out by two persons.

Respirok Contoh Example
Bersalaman Setelah perdebatan kemarin, mereka berdua saling bersalaman After yesterday's debate, the two of them shook hands each other
Bertatapan Andi dan Rini saling bertatapan Andi and Rini stare at each other