Hello and welcome again to Mari Belajar Bahasa Melayu. It's been a while I know, and I apologize for my long absence as I had been busy with work and a new life. Anyways, let's get on to learning Bahasa Melayu.
In this chapter, I would like to introduce to you the prefix me-. The prefix me- is used to make the kata akar (root words) into transitive verbs.
What do you mean by transitive verbs? It means that the subject is acting on an object directly. We have many examples of it in other languages like French for example or Japanese. However, you have to remember that the prefix me- category comprises of me-, men-, mem-, meng-. The prefixes depend on the first letter of the word that comes after it.
A few examples:
1. Ali me-lawan Abu.
Ali fights Abu.
2. Perempuan itu sedang men-jeling lelaki itu.
That woman is staring at that man.
3. Oleh sebab kepanasan, ibu meng-ipas dirinya.
Because it is hot, mother fans herself.
There really is no general rule that you can follow. The only way for you to know which ones to use is by reading a lot of Malay papers.
However, I will try to make it easier for you to remember.
For words beginning with 'k', the 'k' is usually dropped and the prefix meng- is used.
1. kipas - fan
meng-ipas - to fan
2. kupas - to peel
meng-upas - peeling
3. kunci - key
meng-unci - to lock
For words beginning with 's', the 's' is dropped and is changed into a 'y'. Usually men- is used for these words.
1. Sapu - to sweep
Meny-apu - the act of sweeping
2. Simpan - to keep
Meny-impan - the act of keeping
3. Sangkal - to deny
Meny-angkal - the act of denying
For words beginning with a 'b' the prefix mem- is usually used.
1. Bakar - to burn
Mem-bakar - the act of burning
2. Baling - to throw
Mem-baling - the act of throwing
For words beginning with 'p', the 'p' is dropped and mem- is used.
1. Panas - hot
Mem-anas-kan - the heat up something
2. Paling - to turn away
Mem-aling - the act of turning away
Exceptions: pelawa (to invite) becomes mem-pelawa (the act of inviting), persona becomes mem-persona-kan.
Words with a vowel, 'a', 'e', 'i', 'o', 'u' are usually preceeded by meng-.
Examples: Meng-ajak (the act of inviting), meng-elak (the act of avoding), meng-intai (the act of peeping), meng-olah (the act of changing something), meng-ucap (the act of saying something).
Another exception that you have to remember is that for one syllable words, menge- is used.
1. Cat - to paint (pronounced as ch-at as in ch-air)
Menge-cat (the act of painting)
2. Tar - tar
Menge-tar (the act of tarring as in tarring a road)
Always remember that there is always an exception for these rules that I've just told you. So read up and improve your Bahasa.
In the next chapter we will probably go for a break from the grammar stuff and start with some basic conversations. Till next time.