Personal Pronouns


Pronouns - As indicated above, a strong sense of social hierarchy attaches to the personal pronouns for "I" and "you". For this reason, Indonesians prefer to use first names or the polite forms of address given in the previous post rather than these personal pronouns. In conversation with someone you are meeting for the first time or meeting on a formal basis, it is more polite to refer to them as bapak or ibu followed by the person's first name (if known) rather than using the pronouns for "you". 

1st person singular : saya, aku 
1st person plural : kita, kami 
2nd person singular : anda, saudara, kamu, engkau, bapak, ibu 
2nd person plural : kalian, saudara sekalian, anda sekalian 
3rd person singular : dia 
3rd person plural : mereka 

Note : Indonesian pronouns do not distinguish gender, thus dia may mean he, she or it. 


1st person (singular): saya, aku 

Use your own name with people who know you, or else the pronoun saya (which originally meant "your slave" but know generally means "I"). Aku also means "I" but used in more informal circumstances, as are the Jakarta slang forms gua and gue (which derive from Hokkien Chinese). Note that when requesting something, words for "I" are often omitted because this is understood. 


1st person (plural): kita, kami 

Kami means "we" or "us" but formally excludes the person or persons being addressed, whereas kita includes the person or persons you are speaking to. In everyday speech, kita is in both contexts and you may generally use this form to translate English "we". 


2nd person (singular): anda, saudara, kamu, engkau, bapak, ibu 

Use bapak or ibu. In informal circumstances, the first name alone may also be used. If the person the person being addressed is about the same age as yourself, use anda or saudaraKamu or engkau may be used for children or you know the person well. 


2nd person (plural): kalian, saudara sekalian, anda sekalian 


3rd person (singular): dia, beliau 

For animate objects and persons use dia. The word beliau[i/] is also used in formal circumstances to refer to a person of very high status who is not present. For inanimate things, use ini (this one) or itu (that one), to mean "it". 


3rd person (plural): they mereka


This article is taken from PhraseBase.

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