The spelling of Malay words with prefix meN (which represents me, mem, men, meng, meny, and menge) often confuse learners of the language. In this post, I would like to list the rules and examples to make it clear to readers of this blog.
1 me is used for words beginning with l, m, n,w and y.
Examples: melompat (jump), memaki ( scold), menanti (wait), mewakili (represent) and meyakini (convince)
2 mem is used for words starting with b, p (giving way to m), p and v.
Examples: membaca (read), memakai (wear), mempamerkan (exhibit) and memveto (veto)
3 men is used when the initial letters of words are d, t (giving way to n), s and t.
Examples: mendapat (get), menulis (write), mensyaratkan (make it a condition) and mentadbir (to manage)
4 meng is used for words with initial letters a,e,i,o,u,g,h, k(giving way to ng), k, q and x.
Examples: mengalih (move), mengelakkan (avoid), mengikut (follow), mengolah (process), mengubah (alter), menggunakan (use), menghabiskan (to finish), mengarang (compose essays), mengkaji (to study), mengqada (replace fasting that is missed) and mengX-ray (to X-ray)
5 meny is used when the first letter of each word is s (giving way to ny)
Examples: menyusun (to arrange), menyerap (to absorb)
6 menge is used in front of monosyllabic words.
Examples: mengepos (post), mengecam (recognise), mengetut (bud-graft), mengesahkan (confirm)
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