Monday, September 14, 2009

Malay words with affixes - 'membeli', 'membelikan', 'memberi' and 'memberikan'

In Malay, mastering the 'imbuhan' (affixes) will put you in good stead when you write essays. Very often, a word with has a suffix 'kan' will render its usage different from its original one. There are four words here which pose problems to students, and even some newspapers make glaring mistakes, especially 'membelikan' which is wrongly used before things. I shall elaborate my point here by giving the following example:

Saya membelikan surat khabar dari gerai itu. (wrong)
Saya membeli surat khabar dari gerai itu. (correct)
The verb 'membeli' (to buy) is followed by things whereas the verb 'membelikan' (to buy for) is followed by a person. Hence you can make the two sentences below to show this difference.

1 Saya membeli sebuah buku cerita untuk adikku.
[I bought a story book for my brother.]
2 Saya membelikan adikku sebuah buku cerita.
[I bought my brother a story book.]

Two other words which cause confusion are 'memberi' and 'memberikan', both meaning 'give'.
The first word 'memberi' must be followed by a person while 'memberikan' has a thing after it in sentences. Perhaps the following sentences will make it clear to readers.

1 Saya memberi pengemis itu semangkuk nasi berlauk.
[I gave the beggar a bowl of rice with dishes on it.]
2 Saya memberikan semangkuk nasi berlauk kepada pengemis itu.
[I gave a bowl of rice with dishes on it to the beggar.]

1 comment:

奈米公主 said...

useful, i am a Malay Language tuition teacher. It helps alot! thanks!