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Negation: Tidak, bukan, jangan, belum, Tips & Notes, Addendum

Negation is done by adding a negation word that matches with the type of the sentence and the type of the predicate.

'jangan' ("Don't") is used in imperative sentences.
In a declarative or interrogative sentence:
- if the predicate P = [N], [FN], [FNum] ==> 'bukan' ;
- if the predicate P = [V], [FV], [Adj], or [FAdj] ==> 'tidak';
- 'belum' ("not yet") is used to negate the counterpart 'sudah' ("already").
('sudah' and 'belum' are used if the [Predicate] = [V] or [Adj].


(1) Tini sudah datang. ('Tini has already arrived.') ==> P = sudah datang ==> 'belum'
(2) Tini belum datang. ('Tini has not yet arrived.')

(3) Tini akan datang nanti. ('Tini will come later.') ==> P = akan datang = [FV] ==> 'tidak'
(4) Tini tidak akan datang nanti. ('Tini will not come later.')

(5) Tini punya banyak uang. ('Tini has a lot of money.') ==> P = punya = [V] ==> 'tidak'
(6) Tini tidak punya banyak uang. ('Tini does not have a lot of money.')

(7) Tini kaya. ('Tini is rich') ==> P = kaya = [Adj] ==> 'tidak'
(8) Tini tidak kaya. ('Tini is not rich.')

(9) Bubur ayam itu sarapan saya. ('That chicken porridge is my breakfast.') ==> P = [FN] ==> 'bukan'
(10) Bubur ayam itu bukan sarapan saya. ('That chicken porridge is not my breakfast.')

(11) Tingginya pohon itu lima meter. ('The height of that tree is five metres.') ==> P = [FNum] ==> 'bukan'
(12) Tingginya pohon itu bukan lima meter. ('The height of that tree is not five metres.')

If only a part of a sentence is negated and there is mention of a contrast/contradiction, then the following constructions can be used :
[tidak ... tetapi ...].
[bukan ... melainkan ...].
In such a construction, 'bukan' can be transformed to 'bukannya'.
By attaching '-nya', the clause is nominalised.
As a result, it can now be used to negate something else than only a [N] or [FN] (see 15,16,17).
[bukannya ... melainkan ...].
[bukannya ... malah ...].


(13) Tini tidak datang dengan kereta api, tetapi dengan bus.
Tini did not come by train, but by bus.

(14) Tini datang bukan kemarin, melainkan tadi pagi.
Tini arrived not yesterday, but this morning.

(15) Tini tidak ke sekolah bukannya karena sakit, melainkan karena malas.
Tini didn't go to school not because she is ill, but because she is lazy.

(16) Setelah dibantu, dia bukannya berterima kasih malah marah-marah.
After being helped, he is not being thankful, instead he is angry.

(17) Waktu dipanggil, anak itu bukannya datang malah lari.
When he was called, that child didn't come, instead he ran anway.

In the examples above, these constructions are used to show the contrast/contradiction :
train <-> bus; yesterday <-> this morning; ill <-> lazy; thankful <-> angry; come <-> run away.

Here is a Tinycards deck with more examples :

Source :
TBBI, Tata Bahasa Baku Bahasa Indonesia (Edisi Ketiga), Bab 9.8. Pengingkaran

March 15, 2019



Terima kasih Rick! It would help if Duolingo gave a short lesson or series of lessons on grammatical terms and so on. I probably speak for many people in saying that I'm lost when it comes to such terminology and concepts.


Hi there, thank you for your post! I just wanted to clarify, what do [FN], [FNum], [FV], [FAdj] actually stand for? Thank you!


what do [FN], [FNum], [FV], [FAdj] actually stand for?

Those are abbreviations used for the sentence decomposition.

[N] = Nomina = noun
[FN] = Frasa Nominal = noun phrase
[V] = Verba = verb
[FV] = Frasa Verbal = verbal phrase
[Adj] = Adjektiva = adjective
[FAdj] = Frasa Adjektival = adjective phrase
[Num] = Numeral
[FNum] = Frasa Numeral = numeral phrase
[Prep] = Preposisi = preposition
[FPrep] = Frasa Preposisional = prepositional phrase

Please have a look here for more info about the word order in a sentence:


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