Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns are pronouns which refer to people. They reflect social relations between people.

Person Singular Plural
Pertama
First

Kedua
Second

Ketiga
Third
saya, aku
I, me, my
engkau, kau, kamu, anda
you, your
ia, dia, beliau
he/she, his/her, it/its
kita, kami
we, us
kalian, kamu(sekalian)
you, all of you
mereka, nya
they, them, their

Personal pronouns should be used with care. Both ‘saya‘ and ‘aku‘ mean ‘I’, ‘me’, but ‘aku’ is only used when speaking to intimate friends only. ‘Kita‘ means ‘we’ where the person being spoken to is included, that is ‘I and you’. ‘Kami‘ means ‘we’ where the person being spoken to is not included, that is ‘I and others but not you’.

Aku, engkau, kau, kamu, kalian‘, are intimate forms, used to children and between equals who have a close relationship with each other. They are sometimes used to younger adults although this always conveys a suggestion of social superiority on the part of the speaker.

Anda‘ is confined to impersonal situations, such as addressing strangers of the same age as or younger than the speaker. It is not widely used in addressing individuals because it does not convey respect. It can not be used by a junior to a senior. It is mostly used in advertisements, public announcements, conferences, and people in gatherings.

Kenakan sabuk pengaman selama anda duduk.
Fasten your seatbelt while you are seated.
Apakah mesin fotokopi anda mencemari lingkungan?
Does your photocopier pollute the environment?

Beliau‘ carries social connotation, referring to people who are held in high respect.

Bound Forms

The singular pronouns aku, engkau, kamu and dia have bound variants in certain situations. The bound forms are:

prefixed
First
Second
ku-
kau-
Kubuka pintu ini.
Buku ini sudah kaubaca
I open this door.
You have read this book.
suffixed
First
Second
Third
-ku
-mu
-nya
Dia menunggguku.
Buku ini untukmu?
Kue itu dimakannya.
She is waiting for me.
This book is for you.
The cake was eaten by him.

Bound form can occur as possessive pronouns:

suffixed
First
Second
Third
-ku
-mu
-nya
Ini bukuku.
Di mana rumahmu?
Ini mobilnya.
This is my book.
Where is your house?
This is his car.

The bound form -nya can refer to non-human animate and inanimate nouns, both single and plural:

Apa namanya?
Saya sudah membaca nya .
What’s its name?/their names?
I have read it/them.

Reference: 
Indonesian Reference Grammar by James Neil Sneddon, 1996.

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