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Malay Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Malay 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 Malay and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Malay and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Malay.

Prepositions - Malay
and Dan Audio
above Di atas Audio
under Bawah Audio
before Sebelum Audio
after Selepas Audio
in front of Di depan Audio
behind Di belakang Audio
far from Jauh dari Audio
near Berhampiran Audio
in Di/di dalam Audio
inside Di dalam Audio
outside Di luar Audio
with Dengan Audio
without Tanpa Audio
about Tentang Audio
between Di antara Audio
but Tetapi Audio
for Untuk Audio
from Dari Audio
to Ke Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

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

Prepositions + Rules - Malay
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun] Saya makan tanpa menggunakan pisau. Audio
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition] Dia tinggal berhampiran gereja. Audio
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition] Dia lebih tinggi daripadanya. Audio
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun] Dia datang dengan anjing kecilnya. Audio
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun] Boleh anda datang dengan saya? Audio

Negation in Malay

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 - Malay
I understand you
[affirmative form] Saya faham anda. Audio
I don't understand you
[negation + verb] Saya tidak faham anda. Audio
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective] Ini bukanlah perkataan yang betul. Audio
don't leave me
[imperative negation] Jangan tinggalkan saya. Audio
no problem
[negation + noun] Tiada masalah Audio

Negative Sentences - Malay
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense] Saya tidak bercakap bahasa Perancis. Audio
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense] Dia tidak melawat Jerman. Audio
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb] Dia tidak boleh melihat kita. Audio
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation] Dia tidak boleh bermain catur? Audio
we will not come late
[negation + future tense] Kami tidak akan datang lewat. Audio

Questions in Malay

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

English - Malay
how? Bagaimana? Audio
what? Apa? Audio
who? Siapa? Audio
why? Mengapa? Audio
where? Di mana? Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules - Malay
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb] Anda tinggal di mana? Audio
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb] Bolehkah dia bercakap Cina? Audio
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition] Ini berapa? Audio
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb] Boleh saya bantu anda? Audio
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition] Siapa nama anda? Audio

Adverbs in Malay

It's time to learn the adverbs in Malay. 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 - Malay
now Sekarang Audio
yesterday Semalam Audio
today Hari ini Audio
tonight Malam ini Audio
tomorrow Besok Audio
soon Segera Audio
quickly Cepat-cepat Audio
slowly Perlahan-lahan Audio
together Bersama Audio
very Sangat Audio
almost Hampir Audio
always Selalu Audio
usually Biasanya Audio
sometimes Kadang-kadang Audio
rarely Jarang Audio
never Tidak pernah Audio

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

Adverbs + Rules - Malay
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb] Adakah anda memahami saya sekarang? Audio
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb] Saya memerlukan bantuan segera. Audio
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective] Dia sangat pintar Audio
I will always love you
[verb + adverb] Saya akan sentiasa mencintai anda. Audio
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question] Boleh kita belajar bahasa Jerman bersama? Audio

Pronouns in Malay

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Malay. 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 - Malay
I Saya Audio
you Kamu/awak/anda Audio
he Dia Audio
she Dia Audio
we Kami Audio
they Mereka Audio

Object Pronouns - Malay
me Saya Audio
you Kamu/awak/anda Audio
him Dia Audio
her Dia Audio
us Kami Audio
them Mereka Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Malay
my Saya punya Audio
your Kamu/awak/anda punya Audio
his Dia punya Audio
her Dia punya Audio
our Kami punya Audio
their Mereka punya Audio

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 - Malay
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb] Saya rakan anda. Audio
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb] Anda bercakap sangat cepat. Audio
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb] Dia mempunyai tiga ekor anjing. Audio
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb] Dia boleh bercakap bahasa Jerman. Audio
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun] Kami tidak akan datang lewat Audio
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun] Mereka membeli susu dan roti Audio

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 - Malay
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun] Boleh anda beritahu saya nama anda? Audio
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun] Saya akan beri anda wang. Audio
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun] Dia menulis surat kepadanya. Audio
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun] Mereka melawat beliau semalam Audio
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun] Bolehkah dia membantu kita? Audio
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun] Dia memberi mereka makanan. Audio

Possessive Pronouns - Malay
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun] Nama saya Maya Audio
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun] Abang anda tinggal di sini. Audio
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun] Ibunya memasak untuk kami. Audio
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun] Hobi beliau ialah membaca buku-buku. Audio
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun] Impian kami adalah untuk melawat Paris Audio
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun] Rumah mereka tidak jauh. Audio

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

Demonstrative Pronouns - Malay
this is my house Ini rumah saya Audio
that restaurant is far Restoran itu jauh. Audio
these apples are delicious Epal-epal ini lazat. Audio
those stars are shiny Bintang-bintang itu bersinar. Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Malay 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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