The Structure

There are six basic sentence patterns in Indonesian:

  1. Subject – Complement
  2. Subject – Predicate – Adverb
  3. Subject – Predicate – Object – Adverb
  4. Subject – Predicate – Complement – Adverb
  5. Subject – Predicate – Object – Complement
  6. Subject – Predicate – Object – Object

The Active and The Passive

Beside active sentences, passive sentences are used far more common in Indonesian than in English, specially in newspaper headlines. Passive sentences sometimes can be frustrating also because some students fail to grasp the basic concept of when to use it, and practically no students learn to use it as often as Indonesians do.

The Functions

Based on their functions or meanings, Indonesian sentences can be classified into four types:

  1. statements or declarative sentences
  2. questions or interrogative sentences
  3. commands or imperative sentences
  4. exclamations or exclamatory sentences

Indonesian Grammar Made Easy by Dr. Liaw Yock Fang, TIMES 1996

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