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Javanese Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Javanese grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Javanese and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Javanese and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Javanese.

Prepositions - Javanese
and lan
above ing ndhuwur
under ing ngisor
before sak durunge
after sak uwise
in front of ing ngarepe
behind ing sisihe
far from adoh saka
near cedhek
in ing
inside ing jerone
outside ing jabane
with kanthi
without tanpa
about babagan
between antarane
but ananging
for kanggo
from saka
to menyang

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules - Javanese
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] aku mangan tanpa lading
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] dheweke manggen cedhek greja
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] dheweke luwih dhuwur tinimbang sing kae
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] dheweke teka karo kirik cilik
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] bisa teka karo aku?

Negation in Javanese

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules - Javanese
I understand you
[affirmative form] aku mangerteni kowe
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] aku ora mangerteni kowe
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] iki dudu jawaban sing bener
don't leave me
[imperative negation] aja tinggalne aku
no problem
[negation + noun] ora masalah

Negative Sentences - Javanese
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] aku ora bisa cara Prancis
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] dheweke ora ngunjungi Jerman
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] dheweke ora bisa ndeleng kita
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] apa dheweke ora bisa main catur?
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] aku ora bakal teka telat

Questions in Javanese

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English - Javanese
how? piye?
what? apa?
who? sapa?
why? kenapa?
where? ing ngendi?

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Javanese
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] kowe tinggal ana ngendi?
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] apa dheweke bisa ngomong cara Cina?
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] pira akehe iki?
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] aku bisa mbantu kowe?
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] sapa jenengmu?

Adverbs in Javanese

It's time to learn the adverbs in Javanese. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs - Javanese
now saiki
yesterday wingi
today dina ini
tonight mbengi iki
tomorrow sesuk
soon sak cepete
quickly cepet
slowly alon
together bareng-bareng
very banget
almost meh
always mesti
usually biasane
sometimes kadang-kadang
rarely jarang
never ora tau/ora pernah

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules - Javanese
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] paham apa sing tak omongne?
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] aku butuh bantuan sak cepete
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] dheweke pinter banget
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] aku bakal tansah tresna sliramu
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] apa awake dewe isa sinau basa Jerman bebarengan?

Pronouns in Javanese

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Javanese. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns - Javanese
I aku
you kowe/awakmu
he dheweke
she dheweke
we kita
they dheweke

Object Pronouns - Javanese
me aku
you kowe
him dheweke
her dheweke
us kita
them dheweke

Possessive Pronouns - Javanese
my ku (mobilku)
your mu
his gone dheweke
her gone dheweke
our gone dewe
their gone dheweke

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns - Javanese
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] aku kancamu
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] omonganmu kecepeten
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] dheweke duwe asu cacah telu
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] dheweke bisa ngomong cara Jerman
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] kita ora bakal teka telat
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] dheweke tuku susu lan roti

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns - Javanese
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] aku bisa weruh sapa jenengmu?
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] aku bakal menehi sampeyan duwit
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] dheweke nulis surat
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] dheweke dikunjungi wingi
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] apa dheweke bisa ngewangi kita?
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] dheweke menehi roti

Possessive Pronouns - Javanese
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] jenengku Maya
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] sedhulur kakungmu tinggal ana kene
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] ibune masak kanggo kita
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] hobine maca buku
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] cita-citaku ngunjungi Paris
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] omahe dheweke ora adoh

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns - Javanese
this is my house iki omahku
that restaurant is far restoran iku adoh
these apples are delicious apel iki nyamleng rasane
those stars are shiny lintang kae cemlorot

I hope you learned a lot about the Javanese grammar in this lesson. Please check out our main menu here for more lessons: homepage. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus

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