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  5. "Why is nothing written here?"

"Why is nothing written here?"

Translation:Mengapa tidak ada yang tertulis di sini?

May 30, 2019



Why is it tertulis instead of ditulis? The meanings a lot of the verb preffixes and suffixes are still really confusing to me.


With the prefix di- you refer to the action, and with ter- you refer to the result of the action. I imagine this is hard for English speakers, since there is no distinction there, but in most languages there is. For instance, if you speak some Spanish: "ditulis" = "es escrito"; "tertulis" = "está escrito".


So for "ditulis" the action of writing is still in progress but for "tertulis" that writing is already done?

Does it have something to do with the action maker too?

for example: "It was written by him" would be "ditulis oleh dia" or "tertulis oleh dia"???

I mean, I can understand your point about the difference between the process of the action and the result of the action. But sometimes it seems to me that it matters whether we mention the action maker there. But maybe I am wrong...

for example with "buka"

"Pintu ini terbuka" - "This door is open" ...this seems clear to me

"Pintu ini dibuka" - "THis door is beiing opened" (right now but the action has not been finished yet) I think, I still can understand that, but...

...if I want to express that the door was already opened and it was opened by the gardener, for example. Would that be:

"Pintu ini terbuke oleh tukang kebun"


"Pintu ini dibuka oleh tukang kebun"


thanks, I hope my question is clear :)


We usually use ter- as passive form similar to di- prefix, but when the actor is not important. This is not the full explanation but summarises most of the cases. Ter- is also used when the action is sudden.

When you say Pintu ini terbuka you know the door is being opened but we don't care by whom. If you want to say that is opened by the gardener, you're right, you should use dibuka and optionally oleh.

I recommend you to use the desktop version of Duolingo (on a PC or in your phone browser) and read the tips of the lesson. Also search online ter vs di, there are a lot of good articles.

Semoga berhasil!


How do we know when to use/not use 'yang'?

  • 1426

if we want to know 'why

mengapa tidak ada yang ... (verb)

mengapa bukan kamu yang ... (verb)

mengapa tidak aku saja yang ... (verb)

mengapa tidak seorangpun yang ... (verb)

[deactivated user]

    So for a sentence using "mengapa," we always have to include "yang?"


    Actually the word "yang" is used here as a conjunction for another sentence (subordinate clause)

    The right english is "Why there is nothing written here?" but you could transcript that as "Why there isn't anything that is written here?" which Indonesians do in their grammar. And "yang" has the function of "that" here. It doesn't almost matter whether it is a question or not. You can apply it for many declarative sentences as well ("Tidak ada yang terulis di sini").

    And you can use it not only as "that", but also "who" ("Tidak ada yang bisa mengerti bahasa Indonesia di kota ini" - "Nobody can understand Indonesian in this city" or transcription "There is not anybody who can understand Indonesian in this city"


    Sounds like that..vrty hrloful Adi thank you i had same queztion on use of yang


    why can't I say "Mengapa tidak ada yang tertulis apa pun di sini"?


    You can absolutely say that. It's just closer to saying "Why is not there anything written here?"

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