Words for ‘Give’: Kasi(h) and Beri(kan)

In Formal Indonesian memberi, optionally occurring with suffix-kan, is the general word for ‘give’. In Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian the more common word is kasi ~ kasih:

Saya suka membantu. Saya kadang-kadang dikasi tip gitu, dikasi uang gitu lo untuk itu.
I like help I sometimes given thus given money thus dp for that
I liked to help. Sometimes I was given a tip, given money for that.

Dia kasi tanda gitu supaya saya pindah ke mobilnya.
he give sign thus so.that I move to car-his
He gave a signal for me to move to his car.

Kasi occurs in a number of compounds, the most common of which are kasi tau ‘tell’, kasi liat ‘show’ and kasi makan ‘feed’:

Saya kasi tau kamu ya! Saya tu uda marah sekali sama dia!
I [tell ] you dp I that already angry very at him
I’m telling you, right! I’m really furious at him!

In Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian kasi(h) is much more common than beri(kan). In the semi-formal meetings, however, sometimes it is used, which shows it to be strongly marked for informality.

CJI Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian
dim diminutive
dp discourse particle
exc exclamation
FI Formal Indonesian
High style; forms associated with FI
Low style; forms associated with CJI
lit literally
prep preposition

Reference: Colloquial Jakartan Indonesian (Pacific Linguistics, 581) by James Neil Sneddon (2006)

About author
James Neil Sneddon PhD was Associate Professor in the School of Languages and Linguistics at Griffith University. He has many years' experience in the teaching of Indonesian language and linguistics. He obtained his PhD in Linguistics in 1974 at the Australian National University. His thesis topic was "Tondano Phonology and Grammar".

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