Saturday, July 4, 2009

The usage of prefix 'se' with nouns and adjectives

In Malay, the use of the prefix 'se' in combination with 'kata nama' (nouns) and 'kata adjektif' (adjectives) is governed by certain rules. These are explained in the following paragraphs.

When 'se' is combined with a 'kata nama', it must be followed by the preposition 'dengan'. Look at the following examples:
1 Saya belajar sekelas dengan Ali. [I study in the same class as Ali.]
(The preposition 'dengan' must be there to be grammatically correct.)

2 Johan tinggal sekampung dengan Muthu. [Johan lives in the same village as Muthu.]
(The prepostion 'dengan' must be present to render the sentence correct.)

On the other hand, when 'se' is combined with a 'kata adjektif' (adjective), it must not be followed by the preposition 'dengan'. The examples below will make this clear to readers.
1 Adikku tidak sepandai adikmu. [My brother is not as clever as your brother.]
(You should not put the preposition 'dengan' after 'sepandai' or the sentence will be grammatically wrong.)

2 Baju ini tidak semahal baju itu. [This shirt is not as expensive as that shirt.]
(The preposition 'dengan' must not be present after 'semahal' or the sentence will be considered incorrect.)

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