Indonesian/prefix ber

A form of Indonesian Conjugation

Awalan ber- (Prefix ber-) edit

Prefix ber- is used to form verbs or adjectives from nouns or other base verbs. The resulting word typically means having or being the property or attribute that the prefix is applied to. As such, the English translation of ber- prefixed words may be classified as verbs or adjectives, depending on the context. Typically the verbs created with the ber- prefix are intransitive verbs.

Ber- + Kata Benda (Ber- + Noun) edit

When combined with a noun, the prefix ber- converts the noun to a verb, meaning to have or perform the ability or property of that noun.

Examples that may translate as verbs:

  • Bisakah kamu berbahasa Indonesia? (= Do you speak Indonesian?) — from bahasa (= language)
  • Aku beragama(= I have a religion) — from agama (= religion)
  • Dia sudah berpacar (= He/She already has a boy/girl friend) — from pacar (= boy/girl-friend)
  • Anjingnya berjalan ke kandang itu (= His dog is walking to that kennel) — from jalan (= way/path/road)

Examples that may translate as adjectives (from nouns that are properties/conditions):

  • Dia berbahaya (= He/She is dangerous) — from bahaya (= danger/hazard)
  • Rambutan ini berair (= This Rambutan is succulent/juicy) — from air (= water)
  • Gunung itu berbatu sekali (= That mountain is very rocky) — from batu (= rock)

Ber- + Kata Kerja (Ber- + Verb) edit

When combined with a verb, the ber- prefix generates an intransitive verb (where the me- prefix or other affixes would typically create the transitive verb).


From ajar (= to teach)

  • Intransitive: belajar (= to study)
  • Transitive: mengajarkan (= to teach)

From kendara (= to ride/drive)

  • Intransitive: Saya berkendara (= I'm driving)
  • Transitive: Saya mengendarai mobilku (= I'm driving my car)