Lesson 5 – Questions Words in Bahasa Indonesia

To enhance your learning of Bahasa Indonesia, focus on improving your vocabulary. Question words are frequently used in conversations, which is why I recommend including them among the first words you learn when starting to learn Indonesian.

What (Apa)

Apa itu? What is that?
Apa yang kamu mau? What do you want?

Who (Siapa}

Siapa dia? Who is she?
Siapa yang tidur di sini? Who sleeps here?


When (Kapan)

Kapan kamu datang? When did you come?


Why (Mengapa/Kenapa)

Mengapa kamu sedih? Why are you sad?

*kenapa is less formal

Where (Di mana, Ke mana, Dari mana)

Di mana Anda tinggal? Where do you live?
Ke mana dia pergi? Where did she go?
Dari mana kamu berasal? Where do you come from?
* To decide which question words to use depends on the answer. If the  answer uses preposition “di”, so the question word must be “di mana” and so on.

Which (one) (Manakah, Yang mana)

Manakah kopimu? Which one is your coffee?

How (Bagaimana)

Bagaimana cuacanya? How is the weather?

How … (Berapa)

Berapa sering kalian cek situs ini? How often do you check this website?

Berapa banyak teman Indonesiamu? How many are your Indonesian friends?
*Berapa is used when the answer is in numbers. How can be followed by other words such as:

  • berapa lama (how long)
  • berapa jauh (how far)
  • berapa tinggi (how tall)
  • berapa suhu (what’s the temperature)
  • berapa harga (how much, what is the price )
  • etc.

To ask someone’s phone number, we say “Berapa nomor telepon Anda?”. We use berapa because the answer is in numbers (although in English we say “What is your phone number?”)

More explanations about questions words will be available in the next lessons.

We are currently developing this website, so it is far from perfect. Our goal is to assist you in learning Bahasa Indonesia in structured lessons, offering one lesson per day. If you have any questions or wish to have 1-on-1 lessons, please contact us at magnabasa@gmail.com or on Instagram @hestiwidy

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