Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Passive voice in the Malay language

In this post, I shall deal with the passive voice in the Malay language. We should bear in mind the following points in converting sentences in the active voice to the passive ones.

1 Only sentences with transitive verbs can be turned into passive voice.
For example, the sentence 'Mereka berbincang tentang masalah itu.' cannot be converted to passive voice because 'berbincang' is intransitive in nature.

2 Sentences with personal pronoun in the first and second person has a fixed rule in the conversion from active to passive voice and those in the third person has another set of rule.

3 For sentences beginning with pronouns in ther first and second person, follow this rule:
Object + auxiliary word + pronoun in the first or second person + transitive verb (minus the prefix 'meN (me, mem, men, meng, meny).
a) Saya akan membaca novel itu. [I will read the novel]
Novel itu akan saya baca. [The novel will be read by me.]
(Novel itu is the object, akan is the kata bantu (auxiliary word), saya is the pronoun in the first person and baca is the transitive verb (minus the prefix mem)

b) Awak pernah menonton wayang ini. [You have watched this film before.]
Wayang ini pernah awak tonton. [This film has been watched by you before.]
(Wayang ini is the object, pernah is the kata bantu (auxiliary word), awak is the pronoun in the second person.)

4 For sentences beginning with pronouns in the third person, follow the rule below:
Object + auxiliary word +di+ transitive verb (minus meN)+ oleh + pronoun in the third person.
a) Dia belum menjelaskan yuran kelab ini. [He has not paid this club's subscription.]
Yuran kelab ini belum dijelaskan olehnya. or
Yuran kelab ini belum dijelaskannya. [This club's subscription has not been paid by him yet.]
(Yuran kelab ini is the object, belum is the kata bantu (auxiliary word) and nya is the pronoun in the third person) and jelaskan is the transitive verb minus the prefix meN)

b) Mereka sudah menyiapkan kerja itu. [They have completed the work.]
Kerja itu sudah disiapkan oleh mereka. [The work has been completed by them.]
(Kerja itu is the subject, sudah is the kata bantu (auxiliary word), siapkan is the transitive verb (minus the prefix meN) and mereka is the pronoun in the third person.)

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