Expressing “When” and “While”

Kalau

“Kalau” is used to say “when” about something that is true in general. Example.

Kalau cuaca baik, saya berjalan kaki ke sekolah.
When the weather’s good, I walk to school. (i.e. whenever the weather’s good, not just one time]

“Kalau” is also used to say “when” about an event in the future. Example:

Kalau tamat sekolah nanti, saya mau bekerja di luar negeri.
When I finish school, I’m going to work overseas.

“Ketika” or “waktu” are used to say “when” about an event or a state of affairs in the past. Examples:

Ketika/waktu mobil itu berhenti, saya turun. When the car stopped, I got out.
Dia lebih bahagia ketika/waktu masih kecil. She was happier when she was still a child.

Kapan

“Kapan” is used to ask a question about when. Example:

Kapan mereka pulang? When are they going home?

If the question is indirect (i.e. inside a sentence) we still use “kapan”. Example:

Saya tidak tahu kapan mereka pulang. I don’t know when they are going home.

Sambil

“Sambil” is used to say “while” about two actions done simultaneously by a person. Examples:

Saya suka mendengarkan musik sambil membaca. I like to listen to the radio while I’m reading.
Sambil berjalan dia melihat burung-burung. While she was walking she looked at the birds.

Note: we don’t mention the subject after “sambil” (e.g. “sambil saya membaca”; “sambil dia berjalan”) because it is mentioned in the other clause.

“Sedangkan” or “sementara” can be used to say “while” about actions by different people. Example:

Saya bekerja di kebun sedangkan mereka membersihkan rumah. (or “sementara”)
I worked in the garden while they cleaned the house.

These words “sedangkan” and “sementara” are not only used about two actions. Often they link two ideas instead. Example:

Kita bebas berbicara tentang dia, sementara dia bebas juga berbicara tentang kita.
We’re free to talk about him, while he’s free to talk about us too. (“or “sedangkan”)

If the two linked ideas contrast strongly, then the meaning is like “whereas”. Example:

Di Indonesia bagian Barat sebagian besar penduduk beragama Islam, sedangkan di bagian Timur umat Islam lebih sedikit. (or “sementara”)
In Western Indonesia most people are Moslems, while/ whereas in the Eastern part there are fewer Moslems.

These words “sedangkan” and “sementara” can also be placed at the start of the sentence.

Sedangkan saya bekerja di kebun, mereka membersihkan rumah.
Sementara kita bebas berbicara tentang dia, dia bebas juga berbicara tentang kita.

 

Exercise 1.

Say it using “kalau,” or “ketika/waktu,” or “kapan” as appropriate.
1. __KETIKA melihat maling__ , dia berteriak. [When she saw the thief]
2. _______________________________________________ ke Brisbane? [When are you going]
3. ________________________________nanti saya akan mencari flat baru. [When I return]
4. __________________________________________ dia suka berburu. [When he was still young]
5. Gatot marah ____________________________________________. [when I borrowed his bike]
6. __________________________________________20 menit lamanya. [when/if you take a taxi there]
7. Saya tidak memberi tip ______________________________________ .[when he carried my suitcase]
8. Giginya terasa sakit ________________________________________. [when she eats]
9. ____________________________________________, awas pencopet. [when/if you walk around]
10. Dia ingin tahu ____________________________________________ [when she can start work]
11. ________________________________________________ dia merasa bingung. [When she arrived]
12. Dia bertanya ______________________________________________. [when I had lived in Jakarta.]
13. Dia merasa senang _________________________________________ . [when he sees children playing]
14. _____________________________________ berangkat dari kantor? [When did you]
15. Anda dapat memilih _____________________________________. [when, and where, you study.]
16. _________________________________________ kita bisa berbicara. [when the music stops]

 

Exercise 2.

Insert “sambil” or “sedangkan/sementara”, as appropriate.
1. Diah menganggukkan kepala __sambil__ tersenyum.
2. ____________________________menonton basket Iwan mendengarkan Walkman.
3. Pak Samil duduk enak _______________________ isterinya mencuci piring.
4. Saski menangis ____________________________ membaca surat dari pacar.
5. Mereka berbicara dan tertawa-tawa ______________ berjalan pulang.
6. ___________________mereka mencari hotel, saya tinggal di terminal bus.
7. Kami menunggu di luar _______________ pembantu membersihkan kamar.

 

Exercise 3.

Add the most appropriate idea below, using “sedangkan/sementara”.
Australia gave $15 million // Erna’s very bright // He uses the word “mensukseskan”// she feels stronger // Malang is in East Java. // there’s no doctor there // our car is old // There are many farmers // news from Edi is good// she’s a Christian// Hendro got 12 votes //
1. __Erna pandai sekali sedangkan__ adiknya tak kalah pandainya.
2. _______________________________untuk menang diperlukan 20 suara.
3. Bandung terletak di Jawa Barat, _______________________________
4. ________________________________________ lahan pertanian terbatas.
5. Jepang memberi bantuan $20 juta ______________________________.
6. ______________________________kabar dari Tono lebih baik lagi.
7. Anak itu sakit perut ___________________________________________ .
8. _____________________________ di kamus hanya ada “menyukseskan”.
9. Calon suaminya beragama Islam ____________________________
10. ______________________________ suhu badan sudah kembali normal.
11. Jalannya rusak dan berlubang-lubang ______________________________.

 

Exercise 4.

Complete the sentence using an idea of your own.
1. Harga CD di pasar itu Rp 30. sedangkan harga kaset Rp 15.000 saja___________. [sedangkan]
2. Minah mendapat sepeda sebagai kado, ___________________________________ [sedangkan]
3. Dia harus berjalan kaki 10 km __________________________________________. [sambil]
4. _________________________________________________ Manado daerah yang cukup kaya. [sementara]
5. “Bangsat!” teriaknya ___________________________________________________. [sambil]
6. Anak itu tak bisa berbahasa Cina, _________________________________________ [sedangkan]
7. “________________________________,” katanya ____________ melihat jam tangan. [sambil]
8. ___________________________________________jumlah mesjid di sini sedikit saja. [sedangkan]
9. Wanita-wanita desa bernyanyi dan mengobrol ________________________________. [sambil]
10. Kursi hanya cukup untuk 10 tamu, ________________________________________. [sementara]

Answer Key

Exercise 1 2) Kapan Anda pergi 3) Kalau saya kembali 4) Ketika/waktu masih muda 5) ketika/waktu saya meminjam sepedanya. 6) Kalau naik taksi ke sana 7) ketika/waktu dia membawa tas saya 8) kalau dia makan 9) kalau berjalan-jalan di Blok M 10) kapan dia bisa mulai bekerja 11) Ketika/waktu dia tiba 12) kapan saya tinggal di Jakarta 13) kalau melihat anak-anak bermain 14) Kapan Anda 15) kapan dan di mana Anda belajar 16) Kalau musiknya berhenti
Exercise 2. Note: sementara/sedangkan are interchangeable in this exercise.
2) sambil 3) sedangkan 4) sambil 5) sambil 6) sementara 7) sedangkan
Exercise 3. Note: sementara/sedangkan are interchangeable in this exercise.
2) Hendro mendapat 12 suara, sedangkan 3) Malang terletak di Jawa Timur 4) Petani sudah banyak sementara 5) sedangkan Australia memberikan $15 juta. 6) Berita dari Edy itu buruk sementara 7) sedangkan tidak ada dokter di sana 8) Dia memakai “mensukseskan” sementara 9) sedangkan dia orang Kristen 10) Dia sudah merasa lebih kuat sementara 11) sedangkan mobil kami sudah tua
Exercise 4. NB: Examples only. 2) sedangkan Riko hanya diberi sebuah bolpoin. 3) sambil membawa kopor berat 4) Nusa Tenggara Timur itu daerah yang cukup miskin 5) sambil memukul Ali. 6) semua murid-murid lain bisa. 7) “Permisi ya. Saya mau pulang,” katanya sambil 8) Jumlah umat Islam di Australia cukup besar 9) sambil menunggu anak-anak mereka. 10) sementara banyak orang yang akan datang.

© Tim Hassall 2012
(May be reproduced for private study or for classroom use, with acknowledgement of author)

About author
Tim Hassall has a PhD in Applied Linguistics, an MA in TESOL, and a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. He coordinates and teaches courses on Indonesian language and aspects of Indonesian linguistics at the Australian National University, Canberra. His main research interests are the acquisition of second language pragmatics and the influence of English on Indonesian. He has published a number of articles in refereed journals and book chapters.

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