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Indonesian Base Verbs

So far learning Indonesian has been really fun and quick to catch on to! However, I'm hitting a huge wall with the base verbs. I've easily retained all other groups of words, including lessons that come after base verbs but I cannot get these verbs down. Is anybody else struggling with this same issue? Are there any tips / tricks to get past this mental block?

September 26, 2018



Hi! I only finished the first level of the base verbs skill yesterday but some of the verbs did strike me as difficult to remember.

I revised 4 of them today (duduk, muncul, datang, setuju), and this is how I would try to remember them:

  • datang 'to come': easy if you already know selamat datang 'welcome'.

  • muncul 'to appear': this one seems difficult but it does remind me of the English word 'to munch' -- I would try to remember it by imagining a ghost that appears munching on a carrot :-)

  • duduk 'to sit': another word that does not look like anything else I'm familiar with; it does look onomatopoeic though -- I would imagine making a duduk sound while sitting on a wooden chair :-)

  • setuju 'to agree': it helps me to know that this is a prefixed form of tuju 'direction, intention', although I imagine this isn't something that will be helpful to everyone.

I only do one exercise from each skill per day, so these are the only verbs I revised today. I could be back with four more tomorrow if you find that talking about them helps!


I notice that austronesian family language has a lot of words that most likely its archaic words come from onomatopoeias.

Like in javanese/sundanese, ma'em (to eat; polite in javanese, impolite in sundanese), I reckon it was originally onomatopoeia from humming sound when you open and close your mouth when eating something. So yeah, it's a good choice to remember some words with that.


Hi, I'm not sure if this will help but what I do when learning action verbs is I act them out and repeatedly say them as I do so. But even with this, some of them require a lot more repeating than others. For example with Jatuh (to fall), I pretend I am falling and say Saya jatuh, or with Gosok (to brush) each time I brush my teeth I say Saya mengosok gigi. (I brush my teeth) I have also written up cards and stuck them to objects in my house like "Saya membuka jendela" (I open the window).


I've been having the same difficulty. My plan is to work my way up to level 5 on them (I'm just starting level 4) and then use the practice feature to keep repeating exercises until I feel I've got them. Good luck!

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