"Saya tidak bisa menolak."

Translation:I cannot refuse.

January 6, 2019

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I thought me- verbs required an object. Why doesn't this sentence have one?


It can. Every word with prefix 'Me-' is transitive. It may have an object or not


Why tidak bisa and not tidak?

  • 1222

Tidak, the adverb, negates a verb (tidak mau = don't want, tidak suka = don't like etc). In this sentence the verb is bisa or 'can' in English. So tidak bisa = can not


You can certainly say “saya tidak menolak” (= “I didn’t refuse” or “I won’t refuse”) but using “bisa” (“can”, or “able to”) adds extra meaning. It’s really the same in English: “I won’t refuse” is different to “I can’t refuse”.

  • 1222

Yes, thanks for clarifying. I meant the verb that tidak is negating in this sentence is 'can', but maybe I could have been clearer. Without bisa you can still negate menolak with tidak, but as you said it becomes 'did not refuse' rather than cannot

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