Saturday, April 19, 2008

Some Differences between Malay and English Grammar

1 Position of Adjectives

In Malay, the adjectives are placed after nouns instead of in front of them as in English.

e.g. Rumah besar (Big house)

2 Countable nouns in Malay must be preceded by numerical coefficients (penjodoh bilangan) after counting words (kata bilangan) such as dua (two), kedua-dua (both), beberapa (several), and berpuluh-puluh (tens of) but there are no numerical coefficients in English. e.g.

a) Dia membeli dua buah buku.

(He bought two books.)

b) Kedua-dua biji buah epal ini sudah masak. (Both apples are ripe.)

c) Beberapa orang pelajar sedang dimarahi oleh guru mereka. (Several students are being told off by their teacher.)

) Berpuluh-puluh pucuk surat permohonan jawatan sudah ditulisnya. (Tens of application letters for jobs have been written by him.)

In the above four sentences the words in bold are penjodoh bilangan which must be used in front of countable nouns which appear in italic.

3 There are no pronouns for things and animals in Malay but in English they are ‘it’ for singular thing or animal and ‘they’ for plural ones. You have to repeat the name of the thing or animal if you want to mention it for the second time in Malay.

e.g. Saya memelihara seekor kucing. Kucing itu sangat comel. (I rear a cat. The cat is very cute.)

1 comment:

Nehal said...


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Kind Regards

Nehal khan
language leader upper intermediate