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What is the difference between "Saya memberi kamu makanan" and "Saya memberikan kamu makanan"?

February 16, 2019



Both mean "I give you food", but in a different sense. me-kan affix has a benefactive meaning, which means "I give YOU food", while the one with me- means somewhat like "I give you FOOD".


Also what is the difference between "Dia perlu tiga buah mangga" and "Dia memerlukan tiga buah mangga"?


tbh, i'm Indonesian and those sound the same for me. lol...Maybe it's like he needs 3 mangoes and he NEEDS 3 mangoes? But if you say these to Indonesian they would get the same meaning.


I found this section on "Me...kan" very difficult to fully understand. For example, I don't understand the difference between these 2 sentences: Dia menuliskan nama saya di bukunya. Dia menulis nama saya di bukunya.

I tried to google it to get more information explaining the concept but wasn't able to find very much. Does anyone have or know of some good resources that explain it?


My favourite resource for these complicated distinctions right now is the official dictionary, https://kbbi.web.id. The definitions are in Indonesian, so I use it in tandem with google translate to give me an idea of the words I have no idea about.

Let's look at the entry for tulis


The meaning of menulis is the pretty straightforward one we know

membuat huruf (angka dan sebagainya) dengan pena (pensil, kapur, dan sebagainya)

"To make letters, numerals* etc with a pen, pencil, chalk etc" In this sentence, I didn't know what "angka meant, so a quick trip to google translate told me it was "number" or in this context "numerals" fits a little better.

For menuliskan, we see that we do more than right, we're writing for some purpose.

1 menulis sesuatu di: para tamu menuliskan nama dan alamat masing-masing* di dalam buku tamu;

1 Write something ON/IN: "the guests wrote each of their names and addresses in the guest book"

2 menulis sesuatu dengan; memakai sesuatu untuk menulis: "bagaimana hendak menuliskan pensil tumpul ini;"

2 Write something WITH; use something to write: "How will I write with this blunt pencil"

This one I'm less sure about. I'm not familiar with the expression "bagaimana hendak" and it looks like a question but has no question mark. Nevertheless, we can see that menuliskan can take a writing implement as its object. "Saya menuliskan pensil" = "I write in pencil"

3 menulis sesuatu untuk orang lain: saya yang menuliskan surat untuknya;

3 Write something for another person: "I wrote a letter for her" I can't explain why that "yang" is there... but nevertheless, this demonstrates the benefactive sense of me-kan verbs. It emphasises that the letter was written specifically for her/him/them.

EDIT: I suppose the "yang" could mean "It was me that wrote the letter for her"

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