'me-kan' verbs, Tips & Notes, Addendum.

'me-kan' verbs are transitive (needing a direct object in the sentence).
'di-kan' verbs are the passive counterpart.
'me-kan' verbs can have different meanings, depending upon :
(1) suffix '-kan' is sometimes mandatory to form a verb.
(2) syntactical category of the [base word]
(3) specific semantical characteristics.

If [base word] = verb, or adjective and the '-kan' suffix is mandatory to form a verb :
meaning ==> to perform the action as mentioned by the [base word].
meaning ==> to let someone/something become like the [base word].
kerja ==> mengerjakan ==> to work on something.
bicara ==> membicarakan ==> to talk about something.
hancur ==> menghancurkan ==> to destroy something.
bebas ==> membebaskan ==> to liberate someone/something.

If [base word] = noun :
meaning ==> to consider/to see object as the [base word].
meaning ==> to let the object become like the [base word].
dewa ==> mendewakan ==> to deify someone/something.
akibat ==> mengakibatkan ==> to cause something.

If [base word] = noun that indicates a location.
meaning ==> to put 'the object' at the location of the [base word].
penjara ==> memenjarakan ==> to put someone in prison.
pojok ==> memojokkan ==> to put something in the corner.
pinggir ==> meminggirkan ==> to move something to the side.

'me-kan' verbs with a 'causative' meaning.
meaning ==> to make something become like the [base word].
==> [base word] is usually an adjective.
kuning ==> menguningkan ==> to make something to become yellow.
besar ==> membesarkan ==> to make something to become big.
kecil ==> mengecilkan ==> to make something to become small.
satu ==> menyatukan ==> to let something become one.

'me-kan' verbs with a 'benefactive' meaning.
meaning ==> to do something for somebody else.
beli ==> membelikan ==> to buy something for someone else.
cari ==> mencarikan ==> to search something for someone else.
pilih ==> memilihkan ==> to choose something for someone else.
buat ==> membuatkan ==> to make something for someone else.

Although the 'benefactive' form occurs a lot, it's not the only meaning of this 'me-kan' affix.
The 'benefactive' nature of this verb also means that this verb is usually (not always) 'dwitransitif'.
'Dwitransitif' : it has two objects in the sentence.
'Ekatransitif : it has one object in the sentence.

Example dwitransitif:
"Saya membelikan Tini seekor kucing". = "I buy Tini a cat".
The Indonesian sentence is (S-P-O-Pel), the two objects in this sentence:
"Tini" = [O] = direct object (dativ object in German)
"seekor kucing" = [Pel] = indirect object (accusativ object in German)

Example ekatransitif :
'mendengarkan' is an example of an 'ekatransitif' 'me-kan' verb (one object):
'mendengar' = ekatransitif = to hear
'mendengarkan' = ekatransitif = to listen
"Saya mendengar bunyi sirene." = "I hear the sound of the sirene"
"Saya tidak bisa mendengarkan warta berita." = "I cannot listen to the news."

Furthermore, there is a group of verbs where the meaning does not differ significantly, with or without the '-kan' suffix.
antar : mengantar – mengantarkan = to bring someone.
balik : membalik – membalikkan = to bring back something.
cipta : mencipta – menciptakan = to create something.
ganti : mengganti – menggantikan = to exchange something.
palsu : memalsu – memalsukan = to falsify something.

To summarise:
'me-kan' verbs can be formed using different types of [base words] (noun/verb/adjective/etc).
'me-kan' verbs are transitive (needing an object).
'di-kan' is the passive counterpart.

Here is the conjugation table to convert a [base word] into a 'me-verb' :

Starting letter base word Conjugation
l, m, n, r, w Me + base
vowel, g, h Me + ng
c, d, j Me + n
b, f, v Me + m
k Me + ng – k
t Me + n – t
s Me + ny – s
p Me + m – p
monosyllabic Me + nge +base

There are more examples in the following Tinycards decks :

'me-kan' , 'me-i' affix in one deck :

'me-' prefix :

'transitive verbs and the passive counterparts' :

Related topics :

'me-i' verbs :

'Passive type 1 and 2':

'Transitive & Intransitive verbs':

Source :
TBBI, Tata Bahasa Baku Bahasa Indonesia (Edisi Ketiga), Bab Penurunan verba transitif dengan '-kan'.

March 29, 2019


Ahsiyap bossque.

April 15, 2019

Goodness me that is confusing. My understanding admittedly although basic was kan was for when the action was to the object and transitive and then with out the kan it wasnt. I have seen repeated usage on Duolingo that doesn't seem to follow that at all.

May 16, 2019
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