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Indonesian syntax (word order)

The basic word order of Indonesian is very similar to English, for example:
Saya perlu taksi. = I need (a) taxi.
Saya datang kemarin. = I arrived yesterday.
There is one basic difference with Indonesian sentence structure. In Indonesian, the most
important noun or subject is normally placed at the first of the sentence. If the subject of
the sentence is also the object of the verb, then it is placed first and the passive form verb
will often be used, ( a verb becomes passive when preceeded with "di-"). For example:
Buku itu ditaruh di sana. = Put the book over there.
(lit: book-that-put-at-there)
Bapak mau ke mana? = Where is father going?
(lit: father-want-to-where?)
Saya mau ayam goreng Kentucky. = I want Kentucky Fried Chicken.
(lit: I-want-chicken-fried-Kentucky)
(You will see Colonel Sanders in Indonesia. His restaurant name provides a memorable
grammar lesson.)
Additionally, the subject within a sentence is often implied and not verbally
communicated. For instance:
Mau pergi? = Do you want to go?
(lit: want-go)
Ada kamar? = Do you have any rooms?
(lit: have-room)
Boleh lihat? = May I see?
(lit: may-see?)

English Grammar Lessons Phrases & Clauses

Introduction to Phrases
Phrases are considered as the second level of classification as they
tend to be larger than individual words, but are smaller than
sentences. We refer to the central element in a phrase as the head of
the phrase. If the head is a noun then the phrase is called a noun
There are nine generally accepted classifications for phrases. These
classifications are generally based on the headword or construction of
the phrase. The headword can usually stand alone as a one-word
phrase. It is the only part that cannot be omitted from the phrase.
Noun phrases may serve as subjects, direct objects, indirect objects,
or objects of prepositions. Most noun phrases are constructed using
determiners, adjectives and a head noun.
Examples: My coach is happy. (noun phrase as subject)
Verb phrases are composed of the verbs of the sentence and any
modifiers of the verbs, including adverbs, prepositional phrases or
objects. Most verb phrases function as predicates of sentences.
Example: Henry made my coach very proud. (verb phrase as
Adjectival phrases are composed of the adjectives that modify a noun
and any adverbs or other elements that modify those adjectives.
Adjectival phrases always occur inside noun phrases or as predicate
Example: Dad bought [(a blue and green) sweater]
Adverbial phrases are composed of the adverbs that modify verbs,
adjectives, or clauses. Adverbial phrases may occur with more than
one word. The extra adverb is called an intensifier.
Example: He scored the goal very quickly.
Prepositional phrases are composed of the preposition and a following
noun phrase. Prepositional phrases are used either adjectivally to

modify nouns or adverbially to modify verbs, adjectives, or clauses.

The man in the house rented it. (prepositional phrase modifies a
noun adjectivally)
He went in the arena. (prepositional phrase modifies a verb
Dad was happy about the goal. (prepositional phrase modifies an
adjective adverbially)
On reflection, I believe that she was correct. (prepositional phrase
modifies a clause adverbially)
Gerundive phrases may function in any way in which nouns may
function: as subjects, objects, objects of a preposition, or even nouns
functioning as adjectives Gerundive phrases may contain gerunds,
adjectives, objects, adverbs or other main verb elements.
Example: Dad talked about winning the game.
Participles are root verbs with an "ed, en or ing" suffix. In the case of
the past participial, the form may be irregular. Participial phrases may
contain objects and other elements that might occur with main verbs.
Participial phrases always function as adjectives.
Example: Racing around the corner, he slipped and fell.
Absolute phrases are composed of a subject noun phrase and a
participial phrase. The absolute phrase is formally independent of the
main clause. The subject of the absolute phrase does not have to
appear in the main clause--because the absolute phrase has its own
Example: [(My chores) (completed for the week)], I went on a
Infinitive phrases are composed of an infinitive verb (the base form of
the verb preceded by to) and any modifying adverbs or prepositional
phrases. The infinitive phrase has three functions: noun, adjective,
My duty as a coach is to teach skills. (infinitive phrase functions as a
My sister wanted a cat to love. (infinitive phrase functions as an

Bill is eager to work on his skating. (infinitive phrase functions

adverbially, modifying an adjective)

Introduction to Clauses
All clauses have a subject and a verb.
This clause is a sentence and can act as a sentence.
Example: I wanted a new ball.
A subordinate clause has a subordinator.
Examples: Fred knew that I wanted a new ball.
Adverbial clauses modify the entire independent clause or another
subordinate clause to which they might be attached. Some adverbial
subordinators:" because, while, as, if, when, although, as if, after,
since, unless, before, until". Adverbial clauses signal common
adverbial meanings such as time of the event, place of the event,
manner of the event, cause of the event or condition for the event.
I haven't been skating since we all went up to Banff last winter.
He stood there as if he was frozen to the very spot.
Fred jogs where there is no traffic because he likes it.
Relative clauses modify nouns and sometimes indefinite pronouns.
Relative clauses occur with the relative pronouns "that, who, which,
whom, whose" Relative clauses may also begin with the following
relative adverbs "when, where, why".
Fred knew that I wanted a new ball
I saw the player [that hit you].
I like the park [where I jog].
I would like to know the reason [why you didn't eat the vegtables].
Nominal clauses function as nouns and are subordinated by one of the
following subordinating conjunctions 'how that what when where
whether which who why". Nominal clauses may be replaced with a

[How you did it] is not my concern. (That is not my concern)

[That I wanted a ball] was irrelevant in the discussion. ( It was
irrelevant )

Sentence Constructions
Compound sentences are constructed using two independant clauses.
a. Fred hit the ball well, but he only walked to first base.
b. Computer technologies are more sophisticated and today's
technicians are better trained.
Complex sentences are constructed using an independant sentence
and a dependant or subordinated clause.
Example: The motion, which the commons narrowly passed, was
defeated by the senate.
(Adjective clause introduced by relative pronoun)
Compound - Complex sentences are constucted using two independant
sentences or clauses and a dependant clause.
Example:When the jets fly by, the windows rattle noisily and the whole
house shakes.

A group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. A clause may be either a
sentence (independent clause) or a sentence-like construction included within another
sentence (dependent clause).

From the Latin, "the close of a sentence or formula"


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you
could miss it."
(Ferris Bueller's Day Off)
(Note: "Life moves pretty fast" and "you could miss it" are independent clauses.
"If you don't stop and look around once in awhile" is an adverb clause.)

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
(George Orwell, Animal Farm)
(Note: Orwell's sentence contains two independent clauses joined by the
conjunction "and." This combination is called a compound sentence.)

"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."
Virginia Woolf, "A Room of Her Own")
(Note: Woolf's sentence begins with an independent clause--"A woman must have
money and a room of her own"--and ends with an adverb clause. This
combination is called a complex sentence.)

"A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)
(Note: In King's sentence, the independent clause--"A man is not fit to live"--is
interrupted by an adjective clause. This is another example of a complex

"I was more independent than any farmer in Concord, for I was not anchored to a
house or farm, but could follow the bent of my genius, which is a very crooked
one, every moment."
(Henry David Thoreau)
(Note: Thoreau's sentence contains two independent clauses joined by the
conjunction "for"; the second independent clause is interrupted by an adjective
clause--"which is a very crooked one." This combination is called a compoundcomplex sentence.)

Independent clause
A group of words made up of a subject and a predicate. An independent clause (unlike a
dependent clause) can stand alone as a sentence.

Examples and Observations:

A clause is a group of words that [contains] a subject and a verb. There are two
major types: independent clauses and dependent clauses. An independent clause
can stand alone as a sentence, beginning with a capital letter and ending with
terminal punctuation such as a period. A dependent clause cannot stand alone as a
sentence; instead it must be attached to an independent clause."
(Gary Lutz and Diane Stevenson, The Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference,
Writer's Digest Books, 2005)
"When liberty is taken away by force, it can be restored by force. When it is
relinquished voluntarily by default, it can never be recovered."
(Dorothy Thompson)
"The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.
(H.L. Mencken)
"When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.
(Ernest Hemingway)
"I was born when you kissed me. I died when you left me. I lived a few weeks
while you loved me."
(Humphrey Bogart to Gloria Grahame in the movie In a Lonely Place)
"Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."
(George Orwell)
"Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
(Jack Benny)
"Her hat is a creation that will never go out of style; it will just look ridiculous
year after year."
(Fred Allen)
"Comedy has to be based on truth. You take the truth and you put a little curlicue
at the end. (Sid Caesar)
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
(Milton Berle)
"What's another word for 'thesaurus'?"
(Steven Wright)
"You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably."
(Jon Stewart to Tucker Carlson on CNN's Crossfire, October 2004)
"A schedule defends from chaos and whim."
(Annie Dillard)

Dependent clause
A group of words that begins with a relative pronoun or a subordinating conjunction. A
dependent clause has both a subject and a verb but (unlike an independent clause) cannot
stand alone as a sentence. Dependent clauses include adverb clauses and adjective


"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

"Never forget me, because if I thought you would, I'd never leave." (A. A. Milne)
"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." (Laura
Ingalls Wilder)
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"
(Albert Einstein)
"Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's.
Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own."
(Nelson Algren)
"We learn what we have said from those who listen to our speaking."
(Kenneth Patchen)
"I still need the camera because it is the only reason anyone is talking to me."
(Annie Leibovitz)
"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was."
(Anne Sexton)
"When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire
kind people."
(Abraham Joshua Heschel)

Subordinate clause
A group of words that has both a subject and a verb but (unlike an independent clause)
cannot stand alone as a sentence. Subordinate clauses include adverb clauses and
adjective clauses.


"The man who is a pessimist before 48 knows too much; if he is an optimist after
it, he knows too little."
(Mark Twain)
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and
(Mark Twain)
"When I'm good, I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better."
(Mae West, I'm No Angel)
"Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events."
(Albert Einstein)
"If you can't leave in a taxi you can leave in a huff. If that's too soon, you can
leave in a minute and a huff.
(Groucho Marx, Duck Soup)
"The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an
hour, whatever he does, whoever he is."
(C. S. Lewis)
"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who
are rich."
(John F. Kennedy)
"Man, when you lose your laugh, you lose your footing."
(Ken Kesey)
"And whereas women had to fight to find their way into the workforce, men are
now fighting to reclaim their place in the family structure."
(Bob Geldof)
"Every book is a children's book if the kid can read."
(Mitch Hedberg)


Written by maftukhin on
Oct-22-08 6:08pm2008-10-22T04:08:00
This S1 thesis entitled Contrastive Analysis Between English and Indonesian Syntactic
Devices is intended to give a description of English and Indonesian syntactic devices
and to show the similarities and differences between them. The research type used in the
study is descriptive research on which it is based on the descriptive data.
The objects of the research are English and Indonesian Syntactic devices taken from the
books Understanding English Grammar by Wardhaugh Ronald (1977), The Structure of

American English by W. Nelson Francis (1986) Modern English A Practical References

Guide by Marcella Frank (1972), Introduction To Linguistic Analysis by Ramelan (1992),
Essential of English Sentence Structure by Nuryanto (1986), Analisis Bahasa by Samsuri
(1994) Tata Bahasa Indonesia, Sekolah Menegah Tingkat Atas by Gorys Keraf (1985)
Tata Bahasa Baru Bahasa Indonesia by S. Takdir Alisyahbana (1980) Tata Bahasa
Rujukan Bahasa Indonesia by Gorys Keraf (1991) Tata Kalimat Bahasa Indonesia by
Samsuri (1981). In collecting the data, the writer uses the four techniques: except Teknik
Rekam. Teknik Catat is used to find the data of verbs in many books. Teknik Pisah is
used to separate English from Indonesian syntactic devices. Teknik Balik is used to
translate some Indonesian vocabularies to English syntactic devices. In analyzing the data
contrastive analysis is applied to find the similarities and differences between English and
Indonesian syntactic devices.
After analyzing the data, it is found that both English and Indonesian have syntactical
devices. English has five syntactical devices: inflection, derivation, word order and basic
sentence patterns, function words, and prosody, and Indonesian language also has five
syntactical devices: infleksi, derivasi, kata tugas, tertib kata and pola dasar kalimat, and
intonasi and both have the similarities and differences between English and Indonesian in
syntactic devices. The similarities are: (1) English and Indonesian use inflectional
suffixes. (2) English and Indonesian derivational processes use derivational affixes
including prefixes and suffixes. (3) In English and Indonesian sentences, the subject
always comes before the predicate or the verb, two basic sentence patterns of English and
Indonesian are similar as in S + V (English) similar to FN + FV (4) To lengthen a
sentence, English and Indonesian function words use prepositions, conjunctions, and
coordinators. (5) English and Indonesian show pitch, stress, and juncture. The differences
between English and Indonesian syntactic devices are: (1) English inflection formations
show the plural suffixes and possessive suffix meanwhile Indonesian inflections show
prefix what consists of prefix me-, ber-, pe-, and ter- and suffix kan. (2) Indonesian
syntactic devices show prefixes but English syntactic devices only show suffixes (3)
Indonesian derivational processes use confixes and infixes meanwhile English use
derivational prefix and suffix. (4); An English sentence always needs a verb or at least
there must be a linking verbs; meanwhile Indonesian language has FN + FA, FN1 + FN2,
and FN + FNu; English and Indonesian are also different in terms of word order on which
the modifier of English noun phrase usually comes in front of the headword; meanwhile,
Indonesian language has the other way arround. (5) English and Indonesian function
words are different on their kinds and Indonesian function words use particles (-kah, -lah,
and pun). (6) Indonesian shows duration but there is no duration in English. (7) English
stress can change the meaning of the words but Indonesian stress does not change the
meaning of words.